Traveling to Korea to become easier, more convenient

Overseas tourists who stay at hotels in Korea will be eligible for a ten-percent discount on accommodation fees starting next year. The Korean government will also offer multiple entry visas for tourists especially from China or Southeast Asian countries.

At a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae to promote tourism on July 17, the government announced its plan to boost the tourism industry and improve the tourism environment for overseas tourists by addressing common inconveniences.

Under the plan, starting next year overseas travelers who stay at hotels in Korea can receive a value-added tax refund amounting to ten percent of the total accommodation fee when they depart from Korea at the airport or seaport.
President Park Geun-hye (center) leads a meeting to boost the tourism industry at Cheong Wa Dae on July 17.

The multiple entry visas to Korea are available for spouses and children of Chinese nationals who already hold a multiple entry visa, residents of Beijing or Shanghai, and students from 112 Chinese universities selected by the Chinese government.

The terms for visa issuance will be also eased for visitors from Southeast Asian countries. The new plans allow travelers from Southeast Asian countries to receive a 30-day stay multiple entry visa if they have visited Korea once or more with no record of illegal overstay. The government will also ease visa requirements by lowering the income level for multiple entry visa applicants from USD 10,000 to USD 8,000.

To prevent crimes against overseas tourists, the government will introduce a 100-strong tourist police force under the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency this October, with plans to expand it to Busan and Incheon later. The tourist police will patrol tourist destinations like Insa-dong, Myeong-dong, and Dongdaemun Market to crack down on unlicensed tour guides, overcharging, and illegal call van taxis.

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