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Diverse events to mark 220th anniversary of Hwaseong Fortress

All News 06:00 January 25, 2016

SUWON, South Korea, Jan. 25 (Yonhap) -- A series of cultural festivities and exhibitions will commemorate the 220th anniversary of Hwaseong Fortress in this city, officials said Monday.

The Suwon City Government said a number of cultural, academic and sports events are scheduled from this month in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, some 50 kilometers south of Seoul, to raise the profile of the city.

With an aim to invite some 7 million tourists, the city government has designated the year as "Visit Suwon Hwaseong Year."

"Once an identity or image is formed, (we) can develop a city brand," an official said. "We are preparing to emphasize the distinct characteristics of Suwon, so that it does not stop at a one-time event."

The city government has started providing incentives to companies that attract large groups of tourists, and it is pushing to designate the area near the fortress as a special tourist zone.

Hwaseong Fortress is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site that commemorates the filial affection and innovations of King Jeongjo, the 22nd monarch of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), who built the fortress.

From January to September, the city will hold six lectures on the fortress and the philosophy of King Jeongjo, city officials said. International seminars and forums are scheduled for October. The king and citizens' parades are some of the subjects to be dealt with during the lectures.

Diverse cultural events, including an international music festival, jazz festival, food and culture event, Asian model festival and K-pop concerts, are scheduled throughout the year.

The city government has also attracted sports events such as an international soccer match and national high school baseball league.

In an effort to boost citizens' participation, the authorities are planning to carry out a campaign of putting out flowerpots in front of houses and offices from January to December.

The municipal government also plans to provide incentives such as discount for restaurants and accommodations to those who upload photos taken with Hwaseong in the background to social media.

Some 110,000 taxi and bus drivers are receiving the city's education program for better service, according to the city government.

"After analyzing other local governments' projects to celebrate the visit year, we found out that the participation of residents is important," the official said.


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