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Posted : 2012-11-14 11:22
Updated : 2012-11-14 11:22

Korea to seek visa process for Chinese tourists faster, easier

Korea will seek to make the visa process for Chinese tourists faster and more convenient in an effort to tap into the neighboring nation's booming overseas tourism market, a presidential committee reported Wednesday.

The Presidential Council on National Competitiveness reported the measure to President Lee Myung-bak, saying Chinese tourists are expected to overtake their Japanese counterparts in the near future as the No. 1 visitors to South Korea.

The number of Chinese visitors nearly tripled from 1.07 million in 2007 to 3 million this year, while the number of Japanese tourists rose from 2.24 million to 3.5 million during the same period, the council reported.

It said China is growing as one of the world's biggest overseas tourism markets. Thanks to the rise, the total number of foreign visitors to South Korea is set to break the 10 million mark for the first time this year.

The council reported that it plans to promote the use of online visa issuance, dubbed "Hu-Net" (Human Networking Korea), for Chinese coming to South Korea for medical tourism, while expanding no-visa entry for Chinese transiting through the country.

Cheap, low-quality tour programs for Chinese are hampering South Korea's image, the council said, vowing to take various steps to root them out, including strengthening administrative penalties for tour agencies selling such programs and hiring uncertified tour guides.

The Presidential Council on National Competitiveness reported the measure to President Lee Myung-bak, saying Chinese tourists are expected to overtake their Japanese counterparts in the near future as the No. 1 visitors to Korea.

The number of Chinese visitors nearly tripled from 1.07 million in 2007 to 3 million this year, while the number of Japanese tourists rose from 2.24 million to 3.5 million during the same period, the council reported.

It said China is growing as one of the world's biggest overseas tourism markets. Thanks to the rise, the total number of foreign visitors to South Korea is set to break the 10 million mark for the first time this year.

The council reported that it plans to promote the use of online visa issuance, dubbed "Hu-Net" (Human Networking Korea), for Chinese coming to South Korea for medical tourism, while expanding no-visa entry for Chinese transiting through the country.

Cheap, low-quality tour programs for Chinese are hampering Korea's image, the council said, vowing to take various steps to root them out, including strengthening administrative penalties for tour agencies selling such programs and hiring uncertified tour guides.(Yonhap)

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