Aiming to create new jobs and invigorate regional economy, the Yangpyeong County is developing the health tour business of new concept as a new growth engine.
In an effort to leap forward in 2017, the County government is concentrating efforts and resources on the health tour business, one of its 5 major initiatives, by developing stay-overnights tour and other programs in line with trends of transforming from sightseeing tour of eating foods, viewing scenes and enjoying entertainment to health promoting and healing tour.
After preparation for two years with some setbacks in setting adequate prices of offerings, health tour programs now move on track. Starting with the healing course in Mt. Sori, the County operates 3 healing courses, adding a cycling course connected with beautiful Namhan-gang River-side Cycling Lane and another course connected to the Yangpyeong Swija Park, one of the best rest areas in the Seoul metropolitan region. ‘Swija’ literally means ‘taking a rest’. More than 3,200 visitors used these 3 healing courses last year, increasing income in the region by over KRW400 million (approx. $350,000). Health tour programs also contribute to generating new jobs and invigorating regional economy by employing local manpower and training health tour coordinators.
Unlike sightseeing tour that is prototyped and tightly scheduled, health tour programs in the County are uniquely developed jointly by health tour coordinators and local residents to include a variety of programs, such as healthy rural foods, tracking along clean valleys and those that give leisurely and subtle pleasures to tourists. They also provide visitors with chances of mitigating stresses cumulated in urban life. Through familiarization tours of travel agents, journalists and power bloggers, the County authority actively conducted publicity and marketing activities, while improving shortcomings.
Particularly, it recently hosted an international symposium on Yangpyeong health tour with participation by Japanese representatives, foreign journalists and travel agents as part of its effort to widely publicize initiation of the first health tour program in Korea. In order to promote health tour programs, it organized a health tour council, established the Yangpyeong Health Tour Center in the Swija Park, and filed patent applications for health tour products.
The municipal government will further accelerate promotion of health tour programs in this year, targeting companies and organizations in the metropolitan region. It will attract training programs of companies, school teachers and public officials, operate health tour programs in connection with the MICE (meeting, incentives, convention event and exhibition) industry, and open rest and recreation facilities for industrial companies during summer. It also prepares to hold events on occasion of the tourism week and health tour day. In addition, it will build relationships with educational and training organizations in the metropolitan region and organizations that took part in health tour programs, while helping various educational organizations easily get access to its health tour programs.
In an effort to diversify health tour courses and differentiate programs, it is developing new courses and programs tailored for youths, families, lovers, women and would-be retirees. Since it was designated in December 2016 as the first special zone for health tour by the Small and Medium Administration, and is pushing forward the ‘Project of Developing Forest-based Healing and Healthcare Valley’, the County is expected to grow into a region that will lead healing tour trend in Korea.
For reservation and more information on health tour programs, please call the health tour team at Yangpyeong County (031-770-2094) or Yangpyeong Health Tour Center (031-770-1004 and 1005), or visit its website (www.healthtour.co.kr).