The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) launched a promotional campaign in Beijing on Friday to lure Chinese tourists back to South Korea as the country has reported no new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) for nearly three weeks.
As part of the campaign, the KTO teamed up with a travel agency unit of China’s property conglomerate Wanda, and they plan to send about 1,000 Chinese tourists to South Korea next month, the KTO’s Beijing branch said in a statement.
Park Jeong-ha, head of the KTO’s Beijing branch, said his organization is offering a raft of support measures to Chinese travel agencies to encourage Chinese people to travel to South Korea.
“We are making efforts to swiftly normalize tourism demand from China ahead of China’s National Day holidays in October,” Park said in the statement.
South Korea’s tourism industry has been reeling from the outbreak of MERS, with many foreign tourists canceling planned trips to the country.
Since the first case of the virus was reported in South Korea on May 20, 186 people have been infected, 36 of whom have died. No additional cases of the virus have been reported since July 4.
In June alone, the number of Chinese tourists visiting South Korea plunged 45.1 percent on-year to 315,095 people, according to official figures.