By Min Yea-Ji and Yoon Sojung
Photos, Video = Visit Korea Committee
Korea Grand Sale 2019, one of the country’s biggest shopping and tourism events of the year, will start Jan. 17 for a 43-day run and feature discounts and specials mostly in accommodations, transportation, tourist attractions, shopping and performing arts.
Under the theme “Travel, Taste, Touch,” the extravaganza will feature old yet wonderful restaurants and a wide range of discounts, tourism programs and services to boost visitor convenience, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Visit Korea Committee said on Jan. 14.
Scheduled to run through Feb. 28, the sale will be comprised of two parts: discounts and tourism programs.
Korean budget carriers Air Seoul and Jeju Air will offer huge discounts of 85-97 percent on flight tickets to Korea, while higher-end hotels such as the Grand InterContinental and Ramada Encore Haeundae will cut prices on accommodations and food from 15-75 percent. A combined 850 participating businesses in the hospitality, transportation, shopping and performing arts sectors will also offer discount vouchers to foreign tourists during the period.
Among tourism packages, “Old Restaurant Stories” will bring participants to dine at selected landmark restaurants such as Cheong Jin Ok, known for ox blood soup that is famous as a hangover cure; Woo Lae Oak, whose specialty is naengmyeon (cold noodles); and Yeol Cha Jib, which is famous for bindaetteok (savory mung bean pancakes).
These old yet famous eateries are well known to Koreans but not so much to overseas tourists. Participants can also hear stories and discover the hidden charms of the restaurants while dining there.
Despite the cold weather, visitors can enjoy winter in Korea by taking classes in Buddhist temple cuisine and seasonal sports such as skiing. Those interested in these programs can sign up on Klock, an online platform for tourism activities.
Over the event period, a welcome center at Cheonggye Plaza in central Seoul will be open daily from noon to 8 p.m. Every day, the first 50 visitors to the center will receive the Korea Tour Card on a first-come, first-served basis, and the 10,000th visitor will win one night of hotel accommodation.
Those presenting receipts of purchases at the center can enter a drawing to win a Korea tourism package.
To learn more about Korea Grand Sale’s discounts and exciting tourism programs, just click the event’s homepage and choose one of the nine language options available including English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Russian.