• 최종편집 2024-05-30(목)
 

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The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) recognized Jeongseon-gun as the first ‘Wellness Tourism City of the Year’ for Korea’s local tourism industry by offering travelers with healing experiences.


The ‘Wellness Tourism City of the Year’ program, launched this year, is designed to mend the hearts of Korean and international travelers who have been worn down by the COVID-19 pandemic and boost local economies by promoting the growth of the wellness tourism industry. The regions selected for the program work with the MCST and KTO to develop tourism products inspired by local wellness tourism resources while also implementing related annual events and laying the groundwork for the industry to continue expanding even after the program ends.


This year, the ministry issued a call for project proposals from local governments. The project plan submissions were evaluated by experts within and outside of the ministry based on the plan’s feasibility, local tourism resources’ appeal, and the projects’ expected effects. As a result, the project was given to Jeongseon county. The region is home to three wellness tourism attractions designated by the MCST and the KTO.


The Jeongseon county, in particular, was lauded for its efforts to develop and promote unique tourism products based on the region’s outstanding wellness tourism resources. The local government earned particularly exceptional points with its long-term vision to use this year’s project as a platform to reinforce the region’s identity as a wellness tourism city and become a leader in the Korean wellness tourism sector.


To develop a successful industry model as the ‘Wellness Tourism City of the Year,’ the Jeongseon county government plans to form a local wellness tourism development organization with representatives from the government, universities, local merchants, and residents. The organization will support efforts to keep the local community flourishing with wellness tourism and develop a new tourism industry closely connected with the local communities. These endeavors include the development of wellness tourism products, such as the Mindful Meditation Tour and the Healing Food Experience Tour, the Wellness Happiness Academy, which helps train wellness tourism professionals, and the 2023 Wellness Tourism Festa, which features a selection of wellness tourism attractions.


At the central government, the MCST has been working to promote wellness tourism and lay the groundwork for Korea’s wellness tourism industry as part of the key projects for the 61st National Policy Tasks, ‘Boost People’s Happiness through Travel, and Drive Growth with Tourism.’ First, the ministry plans to draft a law called the Wellness Tourism Industry Development Act (tentative title), which defines wellness tourism and provides a collaborative interdepartmental framework alongside the registration of wellness tourism businesses and the designation of wellness tourism industry zones. Second, as a part of the Wellness Medical Tourism Cluster project (February 27, six sites announced), which includes the newly launched Wellness Tourism City of the Year program, the MCST will actively engage in fostering a wellness tourism industry linked closely with local communities. Third, the ministry also plans to select 8,000 people (along with their companions) who have dedicated the last few years of their lives to fighting COVID-19 and provide them with opportunities to experience wellness tourism programs so that they may rest their weary minds and replenish their happiness.


An MCST official said, “As the first ‘Wellness Tourism City of the Year,’ it is expected that Jeongseon county can overcome the population decline issue and propose a new model to lead local economic growth.”

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Jeongseon-gun Recognized as the First ‘Wellness Tourism City of the Year’
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