'Sparkling Korea' opens NTO; targets 75,000 Indian visitors in 2008'

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) As more Indians visit abroad, spending about four billion dollars on overseas travel by mid-2008, Korea is pitching itself as a 'sparkling' tourist destination.

Eyeing a tourist inflow of 75,000 Indians this year, Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) today opened its first National Tourism Office (NTO) here.

''The growth prospects in India are many. From being a business destination, Korea has emerged as a holiday destination as well. We received 68,276 Indians in 2007, an increase of 9.2 per cent,'' KTO Vice President Ju Min Hong told reporters here.

India had received about 40,000 Korean visitors in 2006, he added.

Tourism contributes 4.7 per cent to Korea's GDP and the country is targeting a major tourist inflow with the Beijing Olympics around the corner.

''We plan to introduce many schemes to attract tourists who visit China for the Games,'' he said.

It will also promote its locales to Indian film producers.

''After the successful experience with the filming of Gangster, we plan to invite others as well,'' Mr Hong said.

KTO will work in cooperation with Korea Film Promotion Institute to act as a one-stop, single window clearance for facilitating requisite arrangements.

Many countries are now targeting India to attract Indian outbound travellers. Spain has recorded a 10 per cent increase in tourism from India last year, while Singapore received 7,49,000 Indians.


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