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S. Korean cities hope Ban's visit boosts tourism

All News 16:17 June 01, 2016

GYEONGJU/ANDONG, South Korea, June 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean cities showed a sign of expectation that more people would visit them following a high-profile visit by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week.

On Sunday, Ban toured the UNESCO-listed folk village of Hahoe in Andong, 268 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

In the village, the U.N. delegates visited Yangjindang and Chunghyodang, two historic residences of high-ranking officials from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), and had traditional and regional Korean cuisine for lunch at the latter house.

To experience the regional culture there, they watched a 15-minute traditional mask performance, which is a social satire targeting the elite and originates from the region. Every autumn, the city of Andong holds an annual festival to celebrate and publicize the mask performances.

Bomun Tourism Complex in the traditional city of Gyeongju, 371 kilometers southeast of Seoul, also received renewed attention after Ban visited the city.

The complex, nestled around Bomun Lake, boasts five-star hotels, golf courses, convention centers, amusement parks and trail courses, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Korea.

On last day of his visit to the city, Ban had lunch at an upscale Korean restaurant which stands on a site where a palace from the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-A.D. 935) used to exist. The restaurant, run by a distinguished family, is frequented by high-ranking Korean officials.

"Since the two cities have been under huge spotlight by media with Ban's visit, we expect more travelers to come visit here," said an official from the provincial government of North Gyeongsang.


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