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(LEAD) 'Visit Korean Heritage' campaign returns for third year

Yonhap Korea Stories 17:09 June 14, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with quotes in paras 10, 13)

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- An annual government-led campaign to lure more local and foreign tourists to Korean cultural heritage sites returned Tuesday, with the former presidential complex of Cheong Wa Dae included in the popular heritage sites recommended for tourists.

The Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) and the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation have held the Visit Korean Heritage campaign every year since 2020, as the global boom of Korean pop music, films and TV dramas has raised worldwide interest in Korea and its culture as a whole.

For this year, the organizers planned the same 10 routes that tourists are recommended to visit as last year. One of the routes newly included the former presidential office and residence, which was opened to the public on May 10 after President Yoon Suk-yeol moved out in line with his campaign to give the historic place to the public.

The site was used as the rear garden of Gyeongbok Palace during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and served as a major site of Korean politics for the past 74 years after the South Korean government was established in 1948. It now is emerging as a hot tourist spot in the capital city.

This photo provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration shows actress Kim Min-ha in a scene from a video to promote tourism to Haein Temple in Hapcheon, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul, home of the Tripitaka Koreana. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap).

There will be a performance of diverse K-pop and traditional Korean music on Aug. 15 Korean Liberation Day and a media art show in October at Cheong Wa Dae as part of the campaign.

Kim Min-ha, lead actress of Apple+TV's popular Korean epic series "Pachinko," was chosen as the campaign's first-ever PR ambassador.

She traveled to Haein Temple in Hapcheon, some 240 kilometers south of Seoul, to film a video to promote tourism to the old temple famous for being the home of the Tripitaka Koreana.

Considered the most comprehensive set of Buddhist texts found to date, the Tripitaka Koreana comprises 13th-century Buddhist scriptures carved on more than 80,000 wooden printing blocks.

The video will be released in the second half of this year and shown on a billboard at Times Square in New York City.

"I feel proud and pleased to be able to publicize Korean cultural heritage and its historical beauty," she said during a press conference in Seoul to promote the campaign. "It was my first time to visit Haein Temple. It was calm and magnificent, so I was able to get good energy."

This image provided by the Cultural Heritage Administration shows three virtual influencer siblings -- Ho, Gon and Heil -- in a scene from a video promoting tourism to Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, some 35 kilometers south of Seoul. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Three virtual influencer siblings -- Ho, Gon and Heil -- whose combined number of Instagram subscribers reach 10,000 will join Kim in promoting this year's campaign.

Videos of the siblings visiting various cultural heritage sites, such as Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, Seongyojang in Gangneung and Hahoe Village in Andong will be released on the Times Square billboard and online on June 27. There will be a hide-and-seek event involving the three siblings hiding on Zepeto, the metaverse platform of Korea's tech giant Naver, according to the organizers.

"We used virtual influencers to better communicate with the MZ generation, and expanded programs and the number of places to visit," Choi Eung-chon, head of the CHA, said. "We hope Korean cultural heritage will be a warm comfort for domestic and foreign tourists, and a vital source of hope for the local economy."

More details about the campaign will be provided on its official website at www.chf.or.kr/visit.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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