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S. Korea stepping up drive to woo foreigners to PyeongChang
According to Yonhap News, 

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) South Korea is speeding up its efforts to promote the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, a move that can help the country achieve this year's target of attracting some 20 million foreign visitors, tourism authorities here said Wednesday.

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has teamed up with the Gangwon Provincial government to conduct global promotional events with the help of its 32 overseas branches, a KTO spokesman said over the phone.

The winter sports games are scheduled to be held in the host city of PyeongChang, Gangwon Province, and two other nearby cities -- Gangneung and Jeongseon -- from Feb. 9-25 of next year.

"A total of 320,000 tickets have been allocated to foreigners during the games. The number is not big but we want to use the event as an opportunity to show off Gangwon Province as a tourism destination to foreigners," a KTO official said over the phone.

This year, the country aims to lure at least 3 million more foreign tourists than the 17 million that came to the country in 2016.

"If the government prepares effectively for the games in terms of the infrastructure such as transportation, accommodations and restaurants, it will help woo foreign customers to the eastern resort area in the coming years," the official said asking not to be named.

Gangwon Province is taking a leading role in upgrading the existing infrastructure or establishing new facilities, he pointed out.

In February, the KTO and the PyeongChang Olympics organization committee invited executives from official ticket selling agencies from 15 countries and media people to give a briefing on the country's preparations for the global event, the KTO said.

In April, they made similar briefings in European countries such as Austria, Germany, Britain and Finland to promote Gangwon Province and the region's seven major tourism sites, it said.

"We will continue to hold such promotional campaigns across Asia in such places as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines," a KTO spokesman said.

This Yonhap file photo shows PyeongChang Olympic Games mascots, Soohorang and Bandabi. (Yonhap)

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Source: Yonhap News (Aug. 23, 2017)