Gyeonggi Province allocates more than KRW 770 billion over five years for mutually beneficial, sustainable, smart tourism

Createdd 2022-01-09 Hit 160

Contents

○ Gyeonggi Province announces establishment of 7th Gyeonggi Province Tourism Development Plan (2022–2026)
– Establishes 14 promotional strategies under three main goals for ‘Tourism for All, Glocal Gyeonggi Tourism’
– Shifts from foreigner-based to resident-based development, and from city/county-based planning to township-based cooperation planning
– KRW 777.4 billion to be allocated by 2026 (excluding private capital)

Gyeonggi Province will allocate more than KRW 777.4 billion by 2026 to promote 78 projects, such as creating K-pop mecca attractions, registering the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as UNESCO World Heritage, and developing a blockchain model for tourism economy activities.

On January 9, Gyeonggi Province announced that it had established the 7th Gyeonggi Province Tourism Development Plan (2022–2026) which includes the aforementioned content. This plan was prepared to provide policy direction for the next five years based on the future vision for Gyeonggi Province tourism and is in accordance with Article 49(2) of the Tourism Promotion Act.

The vision for this development plan is ‘Tourism for All, Glocal (global + local) Gyeonggi Tourism.’ It consists of 78 projects within 14 strategies under three main goals: 1) mutually beneficial tourism for the common growth of people, culture and local communities; 2) sustainable tourism that considers future generations; and 3) smart and innovate tourism that pursues innovative changes.

Unlike the previous tourism development plan, Gyeonggi Province shifted its aim from the previous focus on foreign tourists, expanded its target market, and selected residents as both implementers and beneficiaries of tourism development. In addition, rather than a simple plan centered on development projects, the province has assigned execution power and meaning by examining cooperative local community projects and initiatives shared with residents. In addition, rather than small projects promoted individually by the 31 cities/counties of the province, Gyeonggi led the creation of new opportunities for tourism development through cooperation between cities/counties.

Aside from private capital, the five-year budget is projected to be KRW 777.4 billion in total, including KRW 121.6 billion in 2022, KRW 205.9 billion in 2023, KRW 194.4 billion in 2024, KRW 148.2 billion in 2025, and KRW 107.3 billion in 2026.

For major projects of the three main goals, approximately KRW 340.1 billion will be allocated, and a total of 35 projects will be promoted to realize mutually beneficial tourism for the common growth of people, culture, and local communities.

For the revitalization of mutually beneficial tourism, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites in the province will be linked, and a local tourism base will be developed on the West Coast. Gyeonggi Province will also differentiate itself as a mecca of K-pop attractions by designating photo zones for K-pop celebrities, such as BTS, and staging concerts on a regular basis.

Moreover, various projects will be implemented, such as discovering and supporting unique regional venues (distinctive meeting spots), revitalizing cruise tourism in line with the opening of international passenger terminals in the cities of Pyeongtaek and Dangjin, revitalizing old tourist spots in cooperation with local residents, and identifying/branding long-established Gyeonggi Province-style stores.

For the second goal of sustainable tourism that considers future generations, approximately KRW 282.5 billion has been earmarked for a total of 31 projects that will be promoted over the next five years.

Gyeonggi Province will continue to pursue UNESCO Biosphere Reserve area designation and World Heritage registration so as to strengthen the environmental and ecological value of the DMZ. Moreover, it will promote paid leave support for the expansion of tourism opportunities, as well as local resident tourism support platforms and discounted tourism passes so that residents can become the direct beneficiaries of tourism development.

In tandem with the above projects, the province will also support cooperative tourism development for the common markets and related products of neighboring cities and counties, such as those aligned with National Road No. 1, Anyangcheon Stream, Hantangang River and provincial hiking trails.

As the tourism industry is facing a crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gyeonggi will foster the growth of small-but-strong tourism companies as global operations, and strengthen its tourism startup promotion program.

The third goal, smart and innovative tourism that pursues innovative changes, consists of 12 projects and encompasses a budget of KRW 154.8 billion.

Apart from existing tourism statistics and market research data, Gyeonggi Province’s tourism information will be compiled using data generated by tourists; this data will be used to develop a blockchain model in connection with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which have recently emerged as a new economic trend.

Gyeonggi Province will create opportunities for new jobs with employment support programs undertaken in connection with colleges that offer local tourism courses, and will establish a digital ecosystem in the tourism sector by connecting tourist attractions in Gyeonggi with the metaverse. This initiative also includes plans to engage foreign students from Southeast Asia and other countries as promotional specialists and professional personnel for Gyeonggi tourism.

For the smooth implementation of this integrated plan, Gyeonggi Province will establish an annual implementation schedule (interconnected plan) and undertake multifaceted efforts through the realization of governance in cooperation with the private, public and academic sectors while securing related annual budgets, including public funding and other sources.

Gyeonggi Tourism Director Choi Young-hoon said, “During the ‘living with COVID-19’ era, in which the environment surrounding Gyeonggi tourism is rapidly changing, as seen in shifting tourist trends and digital transformation responses, now is the time to actively prepare.” He continued, “Although this plan is not complete, we will steer our organization flexibly so as to preemptively respond to upcoming changes.”