Korea Ushers In an Era of Attracting 10 Mil. Foreign Visitors

Kicks off Korea Grand Sale 2012

Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year Committee, attended a "Welcome to Korea Airport Promotion" event to kick off the Korea Grand Sale at the Incheon International Airport arrival lounge on Jan. 9.
Committee officials, including Hong Ju-min, secretary general of the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year Committee, welcomed foreign arrivals, where they posed for pictures together with the Korean-born popular character "Pororo."
The committee held a grand opening ceremony to kick off the Korea Grand Sale at the Ttuta outdoor performance ground near Dongdaemun (East Gate), which coincided with a lottery and diverse performances on Jan. 13. The event attracted a throng of Koreans and inbound international visitors.
The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has launched marketing activities to attract Chinese tourists on the occasion of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday season.
The Korea Grand Sale is Korea's biggest-ever nationwide shopping extravaganza, catering to the needs of foreign tourists, being organized by the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST). Roughly 21,800 outlets belonging to 77 firms in 20 business arenas including shopping, lodging, dining, drinking, and performance in the Seoul metropolitan area and other parts of the nation are participating in the event.
The Korea Grand Sale is not just a shopping event with discounts like its counterparts in Hong Kong, Singapore, and others, but an opportunity to taste and share Korea's culture and sensitivities, experiencing Hallyu (Korean Wave) contents as well as supporting charity events for multicultural families.
"Publications on the Korea Grand Sale 2012 have been distributed to foreign ticket buyers from major overseas branches of the Korean flag-carriers Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, articles publicizing the event are carried in magazines being circulated overseas, and online advertisements targeting Chinese, Japanese, and Southeast Asian markets have been posted," he said.
Hong said inbound foreign tourists were forecast to hit 9.8 million during 2011, surpassing Korea's goal of attracting 9.6 million foreigners, and inbound visitors this year the third and last year of the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Years are likely to top 11 million, surpassing the initial target of 10 million.
"The 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year Committee has played a part in proliferating Hallyu by supporting the K-pop SM Town World Tour performance in Paris, which received rave reviews, and organized Korea's first K-pop cover dance festival whose final round took place in Gyeongju," he said.
Hong said his committee explored high-class must-see routes in celebration of the Visit Korea Years, including: Seoul, with a combination of the past and the modern, along with brand shopping streets; Jeju, caring for body and mind; Busan, a dynamic port city; Gyeongju, a living & breathing historical museum; and Andong, with the roots of Korean spirit and heart. To name a few of the things foreign visitors to Korea love to visit, he said, Singaporean visitors favor the traditional Korean "seonbi" (Confucian scholars) village in Sangju, Japanese love trekking on Mt. Dobong, and Indians prefer temple stays. nw

Hong Ju-min, secretary general of the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year Committee, welcomes a foreign arrival at a "Welcome to Korea Airport Promotion"event to kick off the Korea Grand Sale at the Incheon International Airport arrival lounge on Jan. 9.

Foreigners appear jubilant for shopping with a sign about the sale in the background.


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