Visit Korea Comm. Holds Events to Woo Japanese & Russians to PyeongChang Olympics
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Visit Korea Comm. Holds Events to Woo Japanese & Russians to PyeongChang Olympics
Delegation from tourism organization visits Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Vladivostok to sound off on the winter Olympic events to lure visitors from those regions

27(Tue), Jun, 2017

A group of Korean dignitaries is shown at the May 18 opening of the Korea Tourism Organization booth at Tokyo’s Haneda Int’l Airport to promote the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics set to run Feb. 9-25 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, Korea. They included Gov. Choi Moon-soon of Gangwon Province, President Chung Chang-soo of KTO and Sec.-Gen. Yeo Hyung-koo of the PyeongChang Olympics Organizing Committee and Chairman Park Sam-koo of the Visit Korea Committee. (Photo: KTO)

The Visit Korea Committee held events overseas to drum up interest in winter sports in Korea with the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics set to be run Feb. 9-25 next year.

The 2017 Korean Cultural Tourism Fest that took place in Japanese cities from May 18-24 is a representative event for the KTO to draw attention to the huge international sports event to take place in Korea early next year. The KTO has been holding events in other countries to boost the number of foreign tourist visits to Korea, as the number of Chinese tourists has fallen in recent months due to the Chinese government’s retaliatory measures against Korea for the installations of the THAAD system. The KTO has been stepping up its campaign in Japan to lure more Japanese to visit Korea, as they make up the largest foreign tourists in Korea after Chinese tourists. 

In the first quarter this year, 614,372 Japanese tourists visited Korea, up 21.5 percent YoY, but worsening tension due to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile test-firing is making it harder to attract Japanese visitors. The KTO has been implementing a variety of programs in Japan in an effort to underpin interest amongst Japanese in visiting Korea. South Korea will begin a global campaign this week to promote the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games worldwide, with the events a mere eight months away in the eastern South Korean town of PyeongChang, the government said recently.

The KTO has also been holding events in Vladivostok to informed Russians in the region of the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics by participating in the Pacific International Trade Exhibition (PITE) taking place on May 19-21 in Vladivostok, the largest international expo held in the Russian Far East, where 177 foreign trade institutions and firms from nine nations participated. KTO events included those to publicize the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in cooperation with the Gangwon provincial administration. 

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will soon set up a comprehensive and organized plan for the international promotion of the PyeongChang Olympics in cooperation with its subsidiary agency, the Korean Culture and Information Service, and Korean cultural centers overseas. The overseas campaign will begin with promotional video clips for the PyeongChang Winter Games on NBC, the official American broadcaster of the upcoming games in South Korea, on Tuesday (U.S. time). The Winter Olympics are set to run on Feb. 9-25, 2018, in PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, and the neighboring towns of Gangneung and Jeongseon.

The clips, which last from one minute to two minutes and 30 seconds, will be shown once a week on three NBC programs — the "Today Show," "NBC Morning News" and "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

Those programs will be directly followed by a separate public ad on the Olympics, produced by the Korea Tourism Organization, according to the ministry. The English-language TV advertisement titled "Draw Your Winter Story in PyeongChang 2018" has already garnered more than 17 million views on YouTube.

Following NBC, the government will release the promotional clips on major television networks of countries like Peru and Vietnam, whose people have relatively less interest in winter sports. The government will offer about 100 journalists from some 40 countries a chance to visit venues of the games beforehand. The Korean cultural centers in 31 regions around the world will hold exhibitions and cultural performances related to the PyeongChang Winter Games. They will also showcase sculptures of the two official mascots, Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear, and run a promotional booth for the games, according to the ministry. In a bid to promote the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games Olympics at home and aboard and attract foreign tourists to Korea, the KTO is also hosting the K-Pop Festival at the 20,000-seat Gocheok Sky Dome baseball stadium at on Sept. 8.

The festival’s lineup includes top k-pop stars such as Shinee, Beast, Wonder Girls, Monsta X, Cosmic Girls, Boys Republic and B.A.P. Also, Singer Gummy and actor Jin Goo will introduce the OST track for KBS2's hit drama “Descendants of the Sun” at the event. Big Bang, Psy and Exxo will appear as guest stars through videos. In addition, various events will be held to promote tourist attractions in Gangwon Province where the Olympic Games will be hosted. 

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