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Culture minister vows to nurture tourism as new economic growth engine

Art/Culture 16:22 April 12, 2019

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new culture minister said Friday he will extend full support to the tourism industry to develop it into a new economic growth engine.

Park Yang-woo, who took office as minister of culture, sports and tourism Monday, said he is determined to further develop the tourism sector to help create jobs and boost the nation's economic growth.

"The government won't spare any efforts to nurture the tourism industry as a key growth engine for job creation and the national economy," said Park in a meeting with tourism industry officials at the Tourism Venture Center in Seoul.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Park Yang-woo (C) speaks at a meeting with tourism industry officials in Seoul on April 12, 2019 in this photo provided by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. (Yonhap)

As part of such efforts, the minister vowed to provide full government support to tourism venture companies after meeting with their executives at the center.

Park explained details of the government's tourism promotion policies, discussed at a recent government conference presided over by President Moon Jae-in.

In a special meeting held in Songdo, near Incheon International Airport, on April 2, the president called for efforts to attract more foreign tourists to help offset the country's chronic deficit in tourism. Moon also stressed a need to develop new appealing reasons for tourists to visit the country, such as a tour program themed after the Korean Wave of popular culture, or "hallyu."

Minister Park said the local tourism industry should constantly pursue innovation through new ideas in the face of changing industry circumstances.

"I'll keep communicating with industry people in the field to improve regulations and provide support policies. The policy will also be focused on nurturing unicorn companies in the tourism venture sector," the minister said.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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