Tongyeong emerging as a new popular ecotourism destination for locals as well as foreigners
Tongyeong emerging as a new popular ecotourism destination for locals as well as foreigners
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  • 승인 2013.12.11 14:34
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Mayor Kim Dong-jin of Tongyeong City

Tongyeong emerging as a new popular ecotouri-sm destination for locals as well as foreigners

Against the backdrop of the government’s policies to promote the nation’s southern coast as a major tourism destination being pushed by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Tongyeong is rapidly emerging as one of the popular ecotourism destinations for locals as well as foreigners nowadays.

“Some 1.8 trillion won in investments will be sought from the private sector to turn Korea's most underdeveloped coastline into a main tourist spot,” Kim Dong-jin, mayor of Tongyeong said in a recent interview with The Korea Post.

Through deregulation, the region will be developed in a sustainable and environmentally sound way. Additionally, the construction of hotels and other lodging facilities will be allowed inside national parks.

Tongyeong along with other port cities of the southern coast will be able to build larger berths to accommodate cruise ships as well under the new policies.

“Over the years, the country's eastern and western coasts have developed into flourishing tourist zones, thanks to their proximity to Seoul. But the southern coast has failed to attract much attention from tourists, despite its two national sea parks, Dadohae and Hallyeohaesang, and numerous islands, beaches and historical sites,” Mayor Kim pointed out.

Tongyeong City as it is known today consists of Goseong Peninsula, Hansan Island, Mireuk Island and other islets.

It was formerly known as Chungmu, after the posthumous name of Admiral Yi Sun-shin. The name Tongyeong means "command post" and is itself associated with Admiral Yi, as it refers to his principal base that was located on nearby Hansan Island.

Located in a spot one hour drive to the west of Busan, Tongyeong is a strong contender for the most under-rated tourist draw Korea has to offer.

Still steeped in attractive traditions, Tongyeong harbor is a stunning spot where you can watch the sun fade over hole-filled pagoda roofs, explore the surreal glassiness of the city’s sculpture garden, settle in for a picnic or explore the defensively inspired ‘turtle boat’ still floating amidst it all.

In many ways, Tongyeong offers a more attractive alternative to the massively overcrowded beaches that dominate nearby Busan in the summer. Here, things move at a more leisurely pace, and you can spend your days clambering to rocky peaks to staring down at the dozens of islands lining Tongyeong’s coast (incredible at sunrise), before taking a dip off one of the tiny beaches. In Tongyeong’s quiet harbor you’ll find tiny dinghies for hire, while you can look down on it all from the cable cars that rush you to the peak of the region’s highest hill, which offers a truly epic view.

Hallyeosudo viewing Ropeway in Mt. Mireuk, Tongyeong is one of major tourism attractions in Tongyeong which is also blessed with other rich cultural and natural tourism attractions in and around the city.

The panoramic ropeway has attracted 6 million plus tourists since it was open to general public on April 18, 2008.

A lucky rider on the ropeway who happened to be 6 millionth visitor was Choi Ji-woo, second grade student from Naksaeng High School in Bundang, Seongnam City in Gyeonggi Province. He was given a special gift plus 30 free tickets to the ropeway by Lee Sang-kyun, president of the Hallyeosudo Ropeway Co., in a ceremony held recently.

The 1,975 meter long ropeway, the longest in the country, has been contributing immensely toward the tourism development in Tongyeong area with more than 50 to 60 billion won in annual revenue generating impacts in and around Tongyeong areas, according to a recent survey.

In recognition of its contribution toward the regional tourism industry, the state-run Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) selected the Hallyeosudo Ropeway as one of 12 “Korea Tourism Guinness” on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding in December 2012.

Sacheon Airport is an airport in Sacheon. It also serves the cites of Tongyeong and Jinju. The airport passenger service began in 1977 after years of delays. The airport has a small single storey terminal building for domestic flights within South Korea. In 2011, 143,483 passengers utilized the airport

Tongyeong is aiming high as a major ecotourism destination. Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. Ecotourism typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Ecotourism is intended to offer tourists insight into the impact of human beings on the environment, and to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats.

Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.
Since the 1980s ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention.

Tongyeong is fully qualified to become one of the popular key ecotourism destinations in Korea

Another good news for Tongyeong in connection with its ongoing drive to become an emerging ecotourism destination is a recent inauguration flight of an international charter plan to Sacheon Airport for the first time since after the opening of the provincial airport 45 years ago.

Sacheon Airport is an airport in Sacheon located nearby Tongyeong It also serves the city of Jinju as well as Tongyeong.

A Southern Airlines of China with 148 passengers aboard touched down the airstrip of Sacheon Airport on April 27, 2013 from Shanghai, China to open a new chapter of direct tourist air traffic between China and Sacheon, a gateway to Tongyeong.

A special ceremony marking the opening of direct airway between Sacheon City and Shanghai was held at the airport with the attendance of aviation officials of the two cities.

It is not a simple airway connection between Sacheon and Shanghai but a historic event to usher in new era of direct tourist exchange between the southern coastal cities of Korea and foreign countries.

The group tourists from Southern Airlines flights took sightseeing tour of Tongyeong areas including Hallyeosudo and Sacheon aerospace museum,

In the meantime, Tongyeong was the site of the first race of 2009 in the International Triathlon Union-sponsored ITU World Championship Series, which encompasses "international-distance" triathlon events in cities around the world. On May 3, 2009, Bevan Docherty of New Zealand won the men's race in a thrilling photo finish as he crossed the line almost simultaneously with Brad Kahlefeldt of Australia.

Tongyeong is preserving and managing its sustainable forest resources and marine environment through afforestation, marine waste clean-up, marine environment investigation, marine ranching, and so forth. Also, the city has many green areas, including Tongyeong Eco-Forest, Wonmun Park of Marine Corps, Culture Neighborhood Park, Admiral Yi Sun-sin Park, and a number of small parks which were built on little pieces of leftover land. Such areas are in harmony with the scenic coastline. In addition, Tongyeong is making efforts to develop Jangsado Island as the island of wild flowers and Maemuldo Island as the island of charm. Such efforts are in line with the city’s strategy to attract tourists.

Like many Korean cities, Tongyeong is famed for its local cuisine. Tongyeong has created a special type of Kimbap the rice roll that’s traditionally provided as a kind of healthy street snack that has become so popular that many of the city-centre restaurants have featured on national television, something they invariably advertise in garish wall posters and amusing storefront features. The dish itself is a mind-meltingly spicy two-sided plate that’s a challenge to eat, and despite the popularity, still comes in at only a few pounds in most of the harbor-view spots.

In many ways, Tongyeong offers a more attractive alternative to the massively overcrowded beaches that dominate nearby Busan in the summer.

Things seem to be moving at a more leisurely pace, and tourists can spend their time clambering to rocky peaks to staring down at the dozens of islands lining Tongyeong’s coast (incredible at sunrise), before taking a dip off one of the tiny beaches.

In Tongyeong’s quiet harbor tourists will find tiny dinghies for hire, while they can look down on it all from the cable cars that rush them to the peak of the region’s highest hill, which offers a truly epic view.

Famous people associated with the city include Yi Sun-sin, whose headquarters were located there, and Yun Isang, a noted 20th-century composer who is well-known in Germany.

Tongyeong International Music Festival is held every year to remember Yun, I-sang, the maestro of modern music. The feast offers excellent musical performances. When the construction of Tongyeong International Music Hall is completed, the Festival will become the central axis of the musical cultures of Asia and the world. The city is dotted with memorial halls and monuments that were established to celebrate world-renowned artists who brought great honor to Tongyeong.

Park Kyung-ni, a really famous novelist, who wrote the most well-known novel, Toji (The Land) consisting of 16-volume story, was born in Tongyeong.

Tongyeong is situated in the southern tip of Goseong peninsula and its three sides are surrounded by the sea. It consists of 41 inhabited and 110 uninhabited islands. Tongyeong Port, the east gate of Hallyeo Marine National Park, is referred to as the most beautiful port in South Korea.

The geography consists of low mountains crossing over the south to the north on the Goseong peninsula. The mountain range stretches out from Byeokbang mountain (650m) on the boundary of northern Goseong county (Goseong-gun) to the south, encompassing Cheongae mountain (525m), Baral mountain (261m), Jeseokbong peak (279m) and Yongha mountain (461m) on Mireukdo island.

The Mireukdo Tourism Area, with the Donam Tourist Complex as its core, provides tourism services for 24 hours. This district caters to visitors with a variety of waterway tour.

Melodious music, colorful laser images, refreshment, and relaxed laughter can all be found at Donam Fountain Square in the city center. A laser show presents the history and culture of Tongyeong the water screen. The bubbling, dancing fountain changes with musical genre from dance and ballad to folk music, for everyone’s enjoyment k

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