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Foreign tourists planning to visit the Yeosu Expo during its three-month run from May through August will likely face a lack of hotel rooms in the southern port city, the head of the organizing committee said Monday.
Kang Dong-suk, chairman of the Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu, also called for North Korea to take part in the international event.
“We would like to attract as many foreign visitors as possible for the largest global event ever hosted by the coastal city of Yeosu, South Jeolla Province,” Kang said. “But the problem is that there aren’t enough lodging facilities in the city and its surrounding areas to accommodate a large number of non-Koreans. We have to come up with alternative measures to house foreign guests during the event.”
The Yeosu Expo aims to attract a total of 8 million visitors, including 550,000 from overseas. Organizers expect about 300,000 Chinese will visit the trade fair, followed by 200,000 Japanese. Those from Southeast Asia, Europe and Americas will account for the remainder.
The expo will open its doors to visitors on May 12 through Aug. 12, under the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast.” Organizers say 106 countries and 109 international organizations have confirmed their participation.
“We do not worry about Korean visitors because they will figure out where to stay. Churches in Yeosu told us that they will provide rooms for expo visitors for free. Many Yeosu residents have expressed willingness to offer visitors a place to stay,” the chairman said. “But our concern is where all the foreign tourists will stay.”
Kang said there are about 1,000 hotel rooms in Yeosu and the nearby areas, including the newly-constructed MVL hotel at the expo site that has 331 rooms.
“We will have no problem accommodating foreign government officials and other high-profile guests. But regular foreign tourists, particularly the Chinese, won’t find it easy to get a hotel room,” he said.
To ease the expected accommodation shortage, the chairman said the organizing committee has been in talks with travel agencies to have foreign guests sleep in Busan, Gwangju and other nearby larger cities, and bring them back and forth to the expo site.
“For instance, Japanese visitors can stay at hotels in Busan and come to the expo via a high-speed boat. As for the Chinese, they can visit Yeosu via a cruise ship from the mainland and sleep onboard,” the chairman said. “We will figure out how to accommodate foreigners before the expo kicks off, in cooperation with travel agencies.”
Kang then called on North Korea to participate in the expo, saying the committee has reserved an exhibition hall, built on a 1,200-square-meter site, for it.
“Despite the worsening inter-Korean relations, we have not given up hope for the North’s participation. We really want the North to participate and showcase its lifestyle, culture and tradition to the global audience,” he said.
Oui cela confirme l'extrême difficulté de se loger dans la ville mais même aux environs ! Loger dans une église, chez l'habitant ou en Corée du Nord ! Est-ce raisonnable ?
Il ne reste aux environs que les hotels les plus chers et c'est à se demander si la Corée du Sud veut que des étrangers viennent ! En effet, seuls les Coréens se débrouilleront en logeant chez eux et faisant un saut de puce à l'Expo.
C'est quand même dommage car cela fait déjà des mois que les rares hotels sont pleins.
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