South Korea will be expanding their visa-free stay program to help in flourishing the country’s tourism.

A package of policy measures was discussed during the meeting regarding the strategies to help promote the regional tourism of the country. The meeting was held in the southern city of Cheongju.

The meeting which was presided by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon was attended by the ministers from the culture, health, and transportation as well as vice ministers from foreign affairs, finance, justice, education, agriculture ministries and officials from other tourism-related government bodies.

“(South Korea) plans to sign a treaty with ASEAN to allow young people from the region to enjoy regional tours and language studies while staying in South Korea up to one year,” as stated in the government’s press release.

This program aims to uplift the tourism of the country, especially in smaller cities and counties.

“Regional (cities) are grappling with shrinking economies stemming from decreasing and aging populations … the very promising solution to that would be (promoting) tourism,” says Lee during the meeting.

“Through these measures, the government will open up a new era of hosting 20 million foreign visitors and 380 million domestic trips with a (consumer) tourism expenditure of 120 trillion won (US$101.1 billion),” he added.

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