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Support for youth, vulnerable groups expanded: Culture Ministry

By Park Ga-young

Published : Jan. 3, 2024 - 15:03

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Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon speaks at a briefing titled Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon speaks at a briefing titled "Art, the Culture for All: Three Major Innovation Strategies, Ten Key Challenges" at Modu Arts Theater in Seoul on Dec. 28. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it will implement various cultural, sports and tourism policies focusing on youth, vulnerable groups, culture-related companies and regional development in 2024.

Support for youth and vulnerable groups has been expanded, including an increase in the subsidy for integrated cultural use cards, the ministry said. For instance, to provide cultural experiences to those who have become legal adults this year, a pilot program called the Culture and Arts Pass has been introduced, allocating 150,000 won ($114) each to about 160,000 people who were born in 2005, to use to purchase tickets to performances and exhibitions.

The subsidy for the integrated cultural usage card for vulnerable groups will be increased from 110,000 won to 130,000 won per person per year. Basic living allowance recipients and those in the upper low-income bracket can utilize the card to subsidize various leisure activities such as purchasing books and movie tickets, travel for tourism and sports activities.

Support for youth entrepreneurship in the field of culture and the arts is also expanding. Today's Traditional Startup program, which aims to discover and support young entrepreneurs in traditional culture industries, will be expanded from initial startup companies (those 1 to 3 years after startup, up to 100 million won for a maximum of 3 years) to include "leap" companies (those 4 to 7 years after startup, up to 140 million won for a maximum of 2 years). Professional startup planners will provide tailored startup incubation services, including education, counseling, promotion and investment attraction.

Policies to enhance the convenience of travel are also being expanded. New areas will be selected for the enhancement of barrier-free tourism, with 30 additional barrier-free tourism sites added to the current 162 sites.

The sports lesson vouchers, which were previously targeted at low-income infants and youth and people with disabilities, will see an increase in the amount of support and the number of beneficiaries.

This year, a total of 120,000 infants and youth will receive 100,000 per month, while 20,000 people with disabilities will get 110,000 won per month as sports lesson vouchers.

In the K-content sector, a total of 174 billion won worth of funding in various forms will be provided this year.

The Culture Ministry is newly promoting the creation of a strategic fund with no restrictions on the investment target. The government and private companies in the content sector will jointly create a 600 billion won fund for supporting large-scale content production to conquer overseas markets.

Content Business Centers charged with supporting content exports will open in 10 additional countries including Argentina and Turkey this year. Currently, there are 15 such centers.

For tourism companies, the Culture Ministry is introducing the Tourism Company Innovation Voucher Support project to help introduce advanced technologies such as big data and robots, and supports the digital transformation of 150 companies.

Last month, the National Assembly confirmed the ministry's budget at 6.95 trillion won for 2024, up 3.17 percent from 2023.

"The goal that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism aims to achieve in 2024 is to reduce the burden on the people enjoying culture, activate the economy through culture and create an environment where culture can thrive in local communities," Yu In-chon, the minister of culture, sports and tourism, said.