HomeDivisionsTourism Resource DevelopmentTourism & Leisure City Program

Tourism & Leisure City Program

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is pursuing projects to cultivate a select number of cities into combined tourism and leisure destinations. The resulting mix will encompass leisure, sports, culture, medicine and residential services in one realm.

The project is expected to provide balanced growth among different cities in Korea. Three regions have been selected to pilot the initiative including Taean, Muju and the South-West Coastal area (Yeongam & Haenam). The KTO is actively involved in the creation of a tourism and leisure city in the South-West Coastal area.

1. What is a Tourism & Leisure City?
  • The concept of a Tourism & Leisure City refers to a self-sufficient area encompassing industrial, residential, medicinal, educational and cultural facilities to accommodate tourism and leisure in the region.
  • The Tourism and Leisure City is one of four planned cities stipulated in the Special Act on the Development of Corporate Cities (Industry & Trade, Knowledge-based, Tourism & Leisure, and Innovative Hub).
  • The cities, developed and funded by the private sector, will introduce a wide range of leisure and life facilities.
  • Three pilot areas have been selected as of 2005 (Muju, Taean, and Haenam & Yeongam) and sponsorship and support are actively underway by local government organizations.

2. Why a Tourism & Leisure City?
  • The 40-hour week trend and a rising interest in healthy life styles in Korea is leading to a surge in demand for tourism and leisure industries.
    -The transition to a 40-hour week in Korea increased overall leisure time of the Korean population by 20% (KRIHS)
  • Many economies around the world are making substantial investments to control a larger portion of their markets, based on the expectation that tourism and leisure will be strategic industries in the 21st century.
    -Japan: Campaign to induce 10 million foreign visitors by 2010
  • Some outdated and high-cost structures of tourism and leisure infrastructure in Korea divert domestic demand to overseas destinations, with concerns over financial aggravation in the relevant industry.
3. Expected Benefits
  • Promote revenue in foreign currencies by inducing more in-bound tourists, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of the Korean tourism industry.
  • Revitalize investment in tourism and leisure facilities by large companies in Korea to generate jobs and boost economy.
  • Develop relatively under-developed cities by designating them as tourism & leisure cities. Focus on balanced growth in all facets of the city including education, culture and living infrastructures, ultimately for improved distribution of wealth and contribution to overall economy.
• Investment Size & Expected Economic Benefits per Respected Region