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S. Korea aims to attract 8 million Chinese tourists this year

All News 11:00 January 20, 2016

BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is exempting visa fees for Chinese group travelers and will add six new air routes between the two nations with the aim of attracting 8 million Chinese tourists this year, officials said Wednesday.

South Korea's Culture Minister Kim Jong-deok announced the plan in Beijing as he is set to host a ceremony marking "The Year of Visit to Korea" in China.

Riding the wave of the popularity of K-pop and culture in China, Kim said his ministry will develop various tour packages specialized in fashion, beauty, culture and leisure.

"We are aiming to develop attractive tourism content and improve tourism infrastructure to help Chinese tourists visit Korea again," Kim said.

As part of the plan, South Korea will cut the age of Chinese people who are eligible for multiple entry visas to 55 from 60, the ministry said in a statement.

From February, six new air routes will be launched between South Korea and China, according to the statement.

The number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea fell 2.3 percent on year to 5.98 million people last year, hit by the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

kdh@yna.co.kr
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