Seoul Mayor woos tourists in downtown Chinese city

The Mayor of Seoul has held a campaign in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to woo more Chinese tourists to South Korea.

The country saw a slump in tourist numbers since an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in May.


The Mayor of Seoul Park Won-soon held a one-and-half-hour campaign in the Chinese city of Guangzhou on Sunday.

In a white sports shirt stamped with “Visit Seoul Now”, the 59-year-old danced with Korean pop stars.

They also passed on coupons and cosmetics giveaways to passers-by in a busy shopping street downtown.

Beside Guangzhou, Park is slated to visit Shanghai and Beijing in a five-day trip in China.

His trip is aimed at wooing back tourists in the world’s largest outbound travel market.

Park says more than 43 percent of visitors to Seoul came from China last year.

But many Chinese put on hold plans to travel to South Korea following the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS in May.

“The MERS outbreak reduced the number of visitors by half, as compared with a year ago.”

Park will meet with Chinese officials, visit major Chinese travel agencies and South Korean companies in China for promotions, as well as interacting with Chinese netizens online.

“Our slogan is ‘Visit Seoul Now’. I hope that through efforts in the coming months, Chinese visitors to Seoul would return to last year’s level by October.”

Park says more shopping coupons will be offered and cultural events staged to attract tourists.

Concerts and live shows will be staged in early October, coinciding with the “golden week” of Chinese National Day holiday.

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