T-20 Tourism Ministers to Meet in Seoul
Prior to the G-20 (Group of 20) Summit in Seoul,
the T-20 Tourism Ministers to discuss global tourism expansion
Member nations chose Seoul as the next T-20 venue during the inaugural T-20, which ended on Feb. 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa. T-20, which was initiated by the government of South Africa and supported by UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization), was launched with the aim of promoting tourism in order to make valuable contributions to the global economy. Membership is restricted to those countries that are also a part of the Group of 20.
The T-20 is scheduled to precede the G-20, which will be held in November, but the specific time and venue have not yet been decided.
The first T-20 meeting was attended by the tourism ministers and working officials of each of the G-20 nations, with the exception of the United States and Great Britain. During the meeting, the group developed a statement expressing the group's specific purposes of promoting economic growth and creating jobs through tourism while strengthening international cooperation in the field of tourism.
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This year's cherry blossoms are expected to bloom about three days later than last year and about six days earlier than average.
The weather in February and early March affects when the cherry blossoms will bloom. This year in February there were fewer sunny days than past years, but a higher average temperature. March has had more than an average amount of precipitation, but has been similar in temperature to past years.
Starting from the most southern region of Korea (Seogwipo, Jeju-do) the cherry blossoms are expected to begin blooming around March 21. The warm weather will make its way to the Southern Provinces a few days later, where we can expect to see the cherry blossoms in bloom between the 23rd and the 31st. Central Korea will be able to enjoy the cherry blossoms from April 1 - 10. However, Seoulites in the central mountainous areas will be the last to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, starting from April 10.
Those wanting to go to a place famous for Cherry Blossoms should head to Jinhae or Seoul's Yeoui-do Jinhae, Korea's major cherry blossom district, which holds an annual Cherry Blossom Festival, can expect to see cherry blossoms around March 26. Blossoms are expected to make their appearance in Seoul's Yeoui-do area in Yunjungno the following day. Make sure to take your camera if you plan to visit either of these areas while the trees are in bloom.
The cherry blossoms are only in full bloom for a week, so it's best to go see them right after they start blooming, before the petals have begun to drop off.
The month of March is an exciting time in Seoul, as the city welcomes in the spring with a fresh new selection of cultural events and performances. A program full of free and reasonably-priced events provides patrons with a great chance to spend some time with the family and take full advantage of some of these exciting opportunities.
Among the season's scheduled events are the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra's series of
"Outreach Concerts" which, instead of a concert hall, will be held throughout various districts in Seoul including Yeongdeungpo-gu (March 3, Salesius Youth Center); Gangnam-gu (March 4, Seoul Medical Center), Songpa-gu (March 5, Multicultural Family Support Center), Gangbuk-gu (March 8, Samgaksan Culture & Art Center), and Guro-gu (March 10, Gocheok Library). Other programs include the exhibition at the Dongdaemun History & Culture Park titled "Let's Meet New Seoul Typography," which is scheduled to run until March 28 and the special music album display "Seoul Pop Music" running at the Cheonggyecheon Museum starting from March 23.
Seoul's seasonal program includes a variety of events specifically geared towards families. Special events include the Seoul Grand Park Botanical Garden "Spring Scent Festival" (March 20 to April 25), featuring an impressive display of over 17,000 plants (a mixture of orchids and wildflowers) and the zoo's program "Saving Baekryeongdo Seals," which was scheduled to run until March 21. The traditional Yeonhui play "Spinner, Runner and Flyer," opening on March 19 at the Guro Art Valley, is also sure to be a fun event for the whole family. nw
(Photos from above) Scenes from the first T-20 Tourism Ministers Meeting held on Feb. 24 in Johannesburg in South Africa, that named Seoul as the venue for its second meeting.