To attract foreign tourists, the Korean government will allow group tourists from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia who will visit Jeju Island as the final destination, be allowed to visit other parts of the country with visa-free.
The Korean government announced the 2020 economic policy direction at an economy ministers meeting chaired by President Moon Jae-in on December 19, 2020.
As part of measures to boost domestic demand, the government will seek to attract foreign tourists using hallyu cultural contents. Its goal is to open an era of 20 million tourists visiting Korea.
To that end, the government will significantly improve visa convenience for foreign tourists.
First, the government decided to introduce 72 hours of visa-free stay, which was allowed only at Incheon International Airport at the moment, on a trial basis when foreign tourists go to other countries via Korea.
It will also expand its visa-free inland tour, which was only allowed to Chinese group tourists visiting Jeju Island, to three Big Southeast Asian countries – the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
This will also allow group tourists from the three Southeast Asian countries who visited Korea for the purpose of visiting Jeju Island to stay near Seoul, Incheon and Busan airports without a visa for up to five days.
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In addition, the government will shorten the period for issuing tourist visas to Southeast Asia and include employees of large companies or holding more than $200,000 in personal assets.
The Korean government will also expand efforts to attract tourists using hallyu culture.
The government plans to hold the “K-culture Festival,” which links K-content, K-beauty and K-food, twice a year from next year and encourages the release of related travel products.
Support for tourism products using K-pop public broadcasting or the right to watch the awards ceremony will also be expanded to 10,000 people, which has tripled from 3,500 this year.
Foreign tourists who visit Korea through regional airports such as Gimhae, Daegu, Muan, Yangyang and Cheongju will also be provided with air and lodging vouchers that can be used when revisiting the country.
The post-tax refund system for foreign tourists, which conducted pilot projects in Daegu this year, plans to expand to four regional tourism hub cities next year.