No-visa rule for transit passengers taking toursThe Ministry of Justice announced yesterday that all travelers transferring at Incheon and Gimhae International Airports will be allowed to get out to see some of Korea for 72 hours without visas starting from next month.
The no-visa program has been tested since last October in an effort to boost tourism by increasing forays out of the airport by overseas transit passengers.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as government bodies including the Korea Tourism Organization, Incheon International Airport Corporation and Korea Airports Corporation are supporting the transit-without-visa program.
Foreigners transferring at Incheon Airport to a third country or Jeju Island are eligible to go sightseeing in Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi, Busan and Ulsan during their stopovers.
The government expects a growing number of Chinese tour groups destined for Jeju Island to enroll in the program.
The Justice Ministry will dispatch guides to the airport to help transit passengers arrange the tours with passport controls and prevent them from slipping away.
The Culture Ministry selected a handful of travel agencies to handle the program.
It warned that a heavy penalty will be imposed in case a travel agency pushes the transit tourists to buy promotional products.
During the trial period, a total of 6,601 transit passengers experienced the program.
Transit passengers can sign up for the program at Incheon or Gimhae Airport after their arrival.
By Park Eun-jee [email@example.com]
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