Seoul pledges fireworks, balloon rides to bring in tourists
Fireworks in the sky over the Han River will be more common, a new drone light show will be created, and balloon rides over Seoul are coming.
These are part of Seoul’s ambition to attract 30 million tourists a year.
Some 13.9 million foreign tourists visited in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, and in line with the lifting of quarantine rules, the Seoul Metropolitan Government announced a blueprint for tourism Thursday that aims to bring in 28 million by 2026. The ultimate goal is 30 million a year.
Seoul is counting on its natural resources including the Han River, major mountain trails and its night skyline to do the trick.
The capital city will stage fireworks shows more often by making them part of other major events such as the Seoul Festa. It will promote hiking courses on Bugak, Inwang and Bukhan Mountains. A hot air balloon ride will be created for panoramic night views of the city. Night bike tours will be offered around the Blue House and the redeveloped Gwanghwamun Plaza.
Support for the high value-added MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) industry will be strengthened. The city aims to develop its own unique events as the Consumer Electronics Show is associated with Las Vegas and the Mobile World Congress Barcelona.
The plan also proposes creating a smart environment for the convenience of foreign tourists. In cooperation with tech startups, Seoul will develop a platform facilitating processes such as reservations, payments and transportation for traveling in the megacity. Next year, the city plans to offer customized tourism services and a digital management environment through the "Seoul Tourism Knowledge Information System."
A new qualitative index for evaluating Seoul tourism will be established by next year in a bid to achieve "fair tourism," to help the travel industry, tourists and local residents coexist. The city will regularize monitoring to do away with low-quality tourist products.
“The recent recognition of Hallyu content through online media has served as an opportunity to promote Korea and Seoul to the world,” Choi Kyung-ju, Director General of the Tourism and Sports Bureau at the Seoul Metropolitan Government, said.
“With such interest, we will enthusiastically promote plans to revitalize Seoul’s tourism and make the city one of the top five global cities.”
BY SEO JI-EUN [email@example.com]