Entry visa is free for Vietnamese tourists flying to Korea’s Jeju

South Korea entry visa is now free for Vietnamese tourists from Ho Chi Minh City flying direct to Korea’s Jeju Island, tourist officials announced Monday in the city.

Mr. La Quoc Khanh, vice director of the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and Mr. Oh Chang-Hyeon, marketing director of the Jeju Tourism Organization, gave an information session Monday night to announce their cooperation result right after their working sitting in the day time.

Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism vice director La Quoc Khanh (R) and Jeju Tourism Organization marketing director Oh Chang-Hyeon shake hand during their information session in HCMC Oct. 17, 2011 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Two chartered flights per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays contracted by Korea-based company Asia World Travel now link the two destinations, with visa free for Vietnamese tourists, said Mr. Oh Chang-Hyeon.

The chartered flights, which started over the weekend, are already fully booked for the HCM City-Jeju direction until December, said Mr. Vo Binh, Vietnam branch manager of Asia World Travel. Boeing aircraft with more than 140 seats are used for the chartered flights, he said.

A round trip package tour to Jeju now costs about US$600-620 depending on two or three nights, and on tour operators, he added.

Mr. Oh Chang-Hyeon is leading a Jeju tourism promotion mission visiting Vietnam on Oct. 14-18 to sound out more opportunities. Besides Ho Chi Minh City, they have come to the Mekong Delta in the south. They have also met with representatives of Vietnamese tour operators.

Mr. Khanh, vice director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the two sides have agreed on some other activities to be conducted to lure more Korean tourists to the city and more Vietnamese visitors to Korea, especially Jeju Island.

About 10 Korean journalists joined the Jeju mission to make reporting and shooting on Vietnam, said James Shin from the Jeju Tourism Organization.

In May this year, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in cooperation with the Korean Cultural Centre in Vietnam launched a website for online votes for Ha Long Bay of Vietnam and Jeju Island to become one of the seven new World Natural Wonders.

Website www.jeju-halong.com is in three languages – Vietnamese, Korean and English – so that people in the two countries and others can easily vote for the two UNESCO-recognized natural heritage sites.

Switzerland-based organization New7Wonders is scheduled to announce the result of global voting for the seven new World Natural Wonders on November 11, 2011.

By Tuong Thuy

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