Hyundai Development Co. chairman Chung Mong-gyu and Hotel Shilla president Lee Bu-jin joined hands with local governments to promote tourism.
The HDC Shilla Duty Free Shop held an event on July 2 at Yongsan iPark Mall in downtown Seoul and formed the "K-Discovery Alliance." The HDC Shilla Duty Free Shop is a joint venture between Hotel Shilla and Hyundai Development to earn the license to open a downtown duty-free shop.
At the event, Gangwon provincial governor Choi Moon-soon, North Chungcheong provincial deputy governor in political affairs Seol Moon-shik, South Jeolla provincial government tourism director Lee Jae-cheol, New Frontier Party representative Shin Seong-beom, New Politics Alliance for Democracy representative Yoon Kwan-seok, Korail tourism business unit head Cha Kyung-soo, and Yongsan Electronics Market Merchants Association president Park Byung-soo were in attendance.
The K-Discovery Alliance is a private-public network to help Korea's tourism industry overcome the current difficulties. It will work with local governments and private companies and trade groups to promote tourism to Seoul and other cities in Korea. In particular, the alliance will share profit generated from the duty-free shop in Yongsan with merchants within the area and elsewhere so that Korea could see the age of 20 million inbound tourists. The number of tourists who visited Korea last year was 14.2 million.
The HDC Shilla Duty Free Shop will play the pump-priming role for the area's small business operators. The 27,400-square-meter downtown duty-free shop to be located within Yongsan's iPark Mall will attract tourists by hosting 400 brand shops. The duty-free shop will also offer a variety of amenities including a concert stage, a tourism promotion center, and parking spaces. Local governments will help the initiative by developing unique tourism contents while Korail offers train services customized to the needs of tourists visiting the country.