Invigoration of Tourism the Goal

New Year reception held for tourism industry at Lotte Hotel on Jan. 11 to attract 10 mln tourists this year

Chairman Nam Sang-man of Korea Tourism Association delivers his New Year speech at a reception for the tourism industry held at Lotte Hotel Jan.

Korea Tourism Association hosted a reception for New Year at Hotel Lotte in downtown Seoul Jan. 11 with a main theme of attracting 10 million foreign tourists to Korea this year where some 500 people from the related government agencies, legislators, tourism industry and foreign diplomats were gathered including Vice Minister Mo Chul-min of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, President Lee Cham of Korea Tourism Organization and Japanese Amb. Muto Masatoshi, among others.
Tourism industry people brought a earth bag and collected them together to swear to invigorate domestic tourism and try to attract more than 10 million foreign tourists to Korea this year, congratulating themselves for the fact that foreign tourist arrivals in Korea numbered 8.8 million last year, the initial year of the Visit Korea Year and they could easily achieve the targeted number this year.
Korea Tourism Association plans to hold various events this year to celebrate its 50th anniversary to perk up domestic tourism and also pave the way for attracting foreign tourists to Korea this year.
Chairman Nam Sang-man in his speech said last year at the New Year reception, we swore to attract 8.5 million foreign tourists and the target has been exceeded with foreign tourist arrivals numbering 8.8 million last year thanks to the efforts by so many people involved. We would not have trouble attracting 10 million tourists this year if 3 million people in the tourism industry get together to pool their strength, the chairman said.
It was a difficult year for the tourism industry last year due to the European financial crisis, tight economic conditions and the North Korean threats, but we were able to step up our growth after battling with various tough waves stood in our way.
But it was the year that saw Korea's prestige boosted throughout the world hosting the G20 Summit and the T20 Tourism Ministers' Meeting to be known as a country in the global economic center. The Visit Korea Year campaign also was kicked off last year securing a great success in the tourism promotion campaign. Korea is about to have its per capita GDP to reach $30,000 shortly and we feel that the tourism industry should match the great national milestone by advancing its international status. The industryOs share of GDP amounts to only 7 percent, far below those in advanced countries, about 14 percent and showing that the industry far more room to grow to take its place as a strong economic sector in the country.
We have to work hard to make the tourism industry advanced as we have limitless possibility and potential to make it so as confirmed in the development of the Hallyu(arts and entertainment) tourism. We have to further invigorate tourism this year as a means to grow as a great tourism country in the world and to attract 10 million foreign tourists to put Korea rank among the 20 largest tourism country in the world, Chairman Nam said.
KTA will hold various tourism events this year to support the goal so that Korea is well on its way to be a strong tourism country in the world soon the chairman concluded.

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