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Welcome Week for tourists to start Friday

Special deals, discounts and free souvenirs will be offered at hotels, shops and restaurants in Seoul from Friday to Oct. 6 as part of a 10-day event for foreign tourists. 

Under the theme of “Eat and Stay,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government will host Seoul Welcome Week 2019, targeting Chinese tourists traveling abroad during China’s Golden Week from Tuesday to Oct. 7. 

Poster for Seoul Welcome Week 2019 (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
Poster for Seoul Welcome Week 2019 (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Discounts -- up to 50 percent for musical tickets and up to 20 percent for shopping and food -- and free souvenirs are available at 190 partner establishments, including hotels, casinos, restaurants, cafes, duty-free shops, department stores, theaters, exhibition halls and museums.

For those seeking other activities, discounts and benefits are available at N Seoul Tower, Lotte World, Coex Aquarium, E-land Cruise, the Running Man Thematic Experience Center, Seoul City Tour Bus and Korea Bike Tour.

More information about establishments participating in the event and coupons for discounts and souvenirs will be available at Welcome Centers as well as the website

A booth promoting Seoul Welcome Week is set up at Cheonggye Plaza, central Seoul, in spring. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)
A booth promoting Seoul Welcome Week is set up at Cheonggye Plaza, central Seoul, in spring. (Seoul Metropolitan Government)

Welcome Centers will be set up from noon to 9 p.m. at the four areas most visited by tourists: Seoul N Tower Plaza from Friday to Monday; the entrance of Namdaemun Market from Oct. 4-6; Dongdaemun Doosan Tower Plaza from Tuesday to Oct. 3; and Gwanghwamun Square from Saturday to Oct. 6.

A series of events will also be held, including nighttime viewing of Gyeongbokgung, Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market along the Han River, and the Hanwha Seoul International Fireworks Festival. The list of events is available on the website. Some events are free, such as the Instagram Picket Photo Shoot and Nail Art Service.

In addition, Seoul’s signature K-pop festival, the Seoul Music Festival, is set to be held at Gwanghwamun Square in downtown Seoul. Some 500 tourists were invited to the event free of charge in a draw on social media.

To celebrate Welcome Week, free gifts will be prepared for tourists at partner hotels, including Lotte Hotel, Grand Walkerhill Seoul Hotel and InterContinental Hotel.

In collaboration with C-trip, China’s largest online travel agency, the city plans to invite 15 Chinese power bloggers with 4.7 million followers to the festival, to promote Korean tourism and food.

“As the tourism industry is suffering due to factors such as Japan’s export curbs, I hope this year’s Welcome Week can revitalize the industry and leave foreign tourists with good memories of Seoul,” said Joo Yong-tae, director-general of the Tourism and Sports Bureau.

Since 2014, the city has hosted Welcome Week at least twice a year, in spring and autumn, as part of efforts to attract more foreign tourists to the nation’s capital.