'Visit Korean Heritage' campaign to be expanded in preparation for post-pandemic era - Korea Times
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'Visit Korean Heritage' campaign to be expanded in preparation for post-pandemic era

Kim Hyun-mo, head of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) speaks during a press conference held to promote its flagship
Kim Hyun-mo, head of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) speaks during a press conference held to promote its flagship "Visit Korean Heritage" Campaign to promote cultural assets, at Korea House in Seoul, Friday. Yonhap

By Park Ji-won

The government's two-year-old "Visit Korean Heritage" Campaign promoting cultural assets will be expanded as a preemptive measure for the recovery of international tourism to Korea after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted by the Cultural Heritage Foundation and run by the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA), the campaign aims to attract 20 million foreign tourists to Korea per year and vitalize the visitation of cultural assets and thus regional tourism across the country. It will introduce up to 10 tourist destinations paired with various cultural assets throughout the nation, as well as various online content, physical exhibitions and events throughout the year.

"It is largely expected that foreign tourists will be visiting Korea from the start of next year. This year we will focus on preparation of the campaign for next year's visitation … We are planning to set up a space where foreign tourists can use AR and VR devices to get various information about Korean cultural assets and tourism routes at Incheon International Airport," department chief Kim Ki-sam said during a press conference held at Korea House, Friday.

The government organizations launched the campaign with seven heritage routes in 2020, but the outbreak of the infectious disease last year got in the way. Last year, seven tourism courses were made to promote cultural assets and tourist sites. They largely explore the history of ancient kingdoms such as Silla, Baekje and Joseon as well as prehistoric sites, the iron age and Jeju Island.

In addition to the introduction of unique tourist sites, the organizations are pushing to promote Korean traditional culture in various cities around the world.

"Korea in Fashion Hanbok," a promotional video by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation (CHF) is being displayed on an electronic billboard at Times Square in New York, Thursday local time. Courtesy of CHF

For example, promotional videos presenting traditional hanbok clothes, Korean food, Hangeul and Korean architecture were released and will be released in New York, London, Sydney, Bangkok and Cape Town while being released on multiple social media platforms.

The second video of the promotional fashion film series "Korea in Fashion Hanbok," which revolves around an imaginary princess in hanbok by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation (CHF) was released at Times Square in New York, Thursday, local time.

"The reason why we released the video in Times Square is to take advantage of the current situation, that China has been running so-called the Northeast Project, China's ambition to include Korean culture as its own and distort history since the end of last year so that it could promote our traditional culture throughout the world," said Seo Kyoung-duk, professor of Sungshin Women's University.

As part of the campaign, the second round of the Royal Culture Festival will present various physical and online events themed with palace, at the five main palaces in Seoul and online platforms, following the first round of its program in May. It is the first time for the event to be held two times in a year.

The country will also run a national pavilion during the Dubai Expo which is expected to start in October.

Media art exhibitions will be also held in five cities, presenting media art on cultural heritage such as Iksan Mireuksaji in North Jeolla Province, where there is an ancient stone pagoda that was built in 639 during the rule of King Mu. "Korea on Stage," a show performed by various artists in Gwanghallu, a UNESCO-designated site in Namwon, South Jeolla Province, will be presented in August and October.

Park Ji-won jwpark@koreatimes.co.kr

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