중앙데일리

Bullet trains are attracting foreigners

Apr 27,2009

Bullet trains are gaining popularity among foreign travelers, according to the Korea Railroad Corporation, the KTX operator.

Last year, more than 10,000 foreigners have signed up to take the “Foreigners KTX Tour,” which offers an up to 50 percent discount. In addition, some 5,000 foreigners have bought the “Korea Rail Pass,” a ticket that lets foreigners travel on an unlimited number of railroad lines for a limited period (of 3, 5, 7 and 10 days). Through March of this year, some 1,000 foreigners have taken the Foreigners KTX Tour.

Some 500 foreigners in total are expected to take the KTX Seoul-Busan route this month alone, including 100 graduate students from France. A group of ambassadors to Korea, including Fernando Borbon, the Ambassador of Costa Rica, took the train early this month from Seoul to Daegu. Afterwards, Borbon sent a letter of appreciation to the KTX regional director of the Korail Tour Service, Seop Seong-gi, noting the friendly service. Responding to the increasing number of foreigners taking or willing to take the KTX, the state-run company has developed additional services that offer discounts of up to 50 percent to foreigners. KTX has increased the number of English-speaking employees onboard and the number of English newspapers.

“A majority of the foreign tourists and residences traveled to Seoul,” said Yang Woon-hak from Korail, noting that most of the foreigners go shopping and sightseeing in the nation’s capital.

Now, more foreigners are looking for ways to travel to other regions, he said, which helps promote regional economies.


By Lee Eun-joo [angie@joongang.co.kr]


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