Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In Chon on Dec. 21 shouts the slogan

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In Chon on Dec. 21 shouts the slogan “Regions to Visit, Stay and Live In through Culture, Local!” of the tourism project “Local Journey to See Local 100” with participants at an event for the initiative held at Seoul Station. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

By Lee Kyoung MiMinister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Yu In Chon from Dec. 21-22 visited two cities in Gyeongsangnam-do Province — Miryang and Tongyeong — as the first stop of his tour for “Local Journey to See Local 100,” a campaign to visit 100 tourist spots in the provinces.

The initiative features 100 leading tangible and intangible cultural resources in the provinces selected by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in October like cultural landmarks, content and famous people to promote the cultural charm of each area and the value of regional culture. Through December next year, the ministry will run regional campaigns to stimulate visits to such regions by both domestic and foreign visitors.

“Local 100 Train Travel – Miryang” is a ministry project jointly pursued with Miryang City Hall, Korail Tourism Development and Regional Culture & Development Agency. As the first participant in the campaign, Minister Yu visited Miryang, the host of the Miryang Arirang Festival, and Tongyeong, home of the Tongyeong International Music Festival.

On Dec. 21, he experienced Miryang’s unique cultural content, the folk song “Miryang Arirang,” along with some 50 citizens and foreign visitors including youth active in culture and the arts. As the city’s leading event held every May since 1957, the Miryang Arirang Festival preserves “Miryang Arirang,” which UNESCO added to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

The next day, the minister visited Tongyeong and met youth in culture and the arts to discuss support for their development. The music festival there has transformed the coastal city of Tongyeong from a fishing hub into a global center for classical music.

The festival’s venue, Tongyeong Concert Hall, is a high-quality auditorium for classical music allowing anyone to enjoy the best in the genre.

“Every region in Korea has a unique and captivating culture, a force that makes residents love their respective regions and an attractive asset that draws both domestic and international visitors,” Minister Yu said. “Starting with Miryang and Tongyeong, I will continue visiting Local 100 sites to get immersed in each region’s culture to make people want to visit, stay and live in those areas through the power of culture.”

Ahead of his visit to both cities, an opening ceremony for the campaign on the morning of Dec. 21 was held in front of its promotional booth on the third floor of Seoul Station. The initiative is open to everyone in Korea or abroad, and people who post photos or videos confirming their visits to Local 100 areas on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram or Facebook can win small souvenirs through a random drawing.