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SEOUL, May 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The 1st Russia-Republic of Korea (ROK) conference on cooperation in the sphere of tourism opens on Friday. The conference has been organized within the scope of the "Successful Russia" project which is aimed at bettering the Russian Federation's modern image in Asian countries and provides for presentation tours of Russia's regions.
The RF delegation at the forum includes representatives of the Kamchatka Territory's Agency for Tourism and Foreign Relations, the Republic of Buryatia's Agency for Tourism, Tomsk Region's Department for Culture, Amur Region's Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Tourism and Entrepreneurship, Sakhalin Region's Ministry of Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy, Khabarovsk Territory's Ministry of Culture, the Chukotka Autonomous Area's Committee for Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Altai Republic's Ministry of Tourism and Entrepreneurship, etc. Within the scope of the Roadshow they will tell about tourism and investments resources of the regions of Russia: hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, transportation and insurance companies, and entertainment facilities.
Oleg Safonov, acting Director of Rostourism (Federal Tourism Agency), has pointed out in an Itar-Tass interview that the principal aims of the forum are to promote strategic partnership and cooperation on tourism between Russia and the Republic of Korea, develop and popularize the RF's tourism product on the international market, as well as to increase mutual streams of tourists.
Safonov said Asian countries as of now are the most promising and rapidly developing markets. "South Korea, in particular, can be referred to as such in view of the introduction of visa-free travel, effective from January 1, 2014," he emphasized.
According to the data given by Safonov, almost 108,000 citizens of the Republic of Korea visited Russia in 2013, with more than 52,000 of them being tourists. "In view of the observance of the Years of Reciprocal Visits between the RF and ROK and the abolition of visa regulations, I think a substantial increase in the influx of travellers from South Korea to Russia must be expected," Safonov said.
Yuk Kyong-un, Director for Marketing at the ROK's Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), said, "The Korean side at the forum will present the fullest information on travel resources of the country. Leading tour operators will tell about new programs, including those in the sphere of medical and business tourism". "To the Republic of Korea, Russia is a priority and utterly important area for the development of economic, cultural and, of course, tourism contacts. Participation in the conference is yet another step (by the two countries) towards each other," she believes. The forum will provide a fine opportunity to strengthen the two countries' relationship at both state level and at the level of business, she said.
The KTO representative pointed out that Russia-Korea cooperation would not be limited to the holding of the forum in Seoul: a 2nd Korean-Russian forum is due to be held in Moscow on June 13, at which matters regarding the development of medical and business tourism will be also touched upon.
Next stages of the "Successful Russia" project will be held in Beijing (June 28-29), Tokyo (September 26-27), Shanghai (November 13-14) and Hong Kong (November 17-18).