Seoul mayor sets out to woo back Chinese tourists

August 4, 2015 5:42 am 

GUANGZHOU, Aug. 3 — The mayor of Seoul brought all his skill into play to attract more Chinese tourists to travel to MERS-hit Republic of Korea (ROK) on Sunday in southern Chinese city Guangzhou.

In a one-and-half-hour campaign in the afternoon, Park Won-soon, the 59-year-old Seoul mayor, in a white sports shirt stamped with "Visit Seoul Now", danced with Korean pop stars and passed on coupons and cosmetics giveaways to passers-by in a busy shopping street in downtown Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

Park is also slated to visit Shanghai and Beijing in his five-day trip in China, the world's largest outbound travel market, to woo back tourists who put on hold plans to travel to ROK following the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in June.

"More than 43 percent of visitors to Seoul came from china last year. The MERS outbreak reduced the number of visitors by half from a year ago," Park told Xinhua on Sunday. "I hope the promotion campaign could bring more Chinese tourists back."

Park will meet with Chinese officials, visit major Chinese travel agencies and ROK companies in china for promotions, as well as have online interactions with Chinese netizens.

Park said he hoped that through efforts in the coming months, Chinese visitors to Seoul would return to last year's level by October.

The means of attracting tourists include shopping discounts and a raft of cultural events, such as concerts and live shows, to be staged in early October, coinciding with the "golden week" of Chinese National Day holiday, and promotion of the lifestyle of Seoul's young people. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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