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Korea`s Tourism Minister promises support for Chinese restaurants

Culture and Tourism Minister of Korea Chung Dong-chea announced on Monday (May 23) that the ministry would support 100 selected Chinese restaurants to make their food more suitable…

Culture and Tourism Minister of Korea Chung Dong-chea announced on Monday (May 23) that the ministry would support 100 selected Chinese restaurants to make their food more suitable to the increasing number of Chinese tourists to the nation.



Chung held a meeting at Chinbukkyong, a Chinese restaurant in western Seoul for lunch, and exchanged opinions about what makes a difference at the most popular Chinese restaurant for Chinese tourists visiting Korea.



Joining Chung for the lunch were Kim Jong-min, president of Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO); Chang Yoo-jae, the president of Chang`s Travel Service, a local travel agency that specializes in programs for Chinese tourists; and Dam Young-bal, the owner of the restaurant.



It`s cheap and hearty, the minister said satisfactorily after finishing the restaurant`s home-style lunch, which includes six different dishes, along with a bowl of rice and soup for 5,000 won. Approximately 300-400 Chinese people dine at the restaurant every day, according to Dam.



After the meal, Chung promised financial and administrative support to the 100 selected restaurants, which include free CS (customer satisfaction) education for employees, support for Chinese menu development and incentives based on the Tourism Promotion Law.



According to the 2003 survey of the ministry and KNTO, the biggest complaints of 1,800 Chinese tourists who had been to the country since 2000 was about Korean foods or restaurants.



Your average Chinese finds Korean dishes far too small for a regular meal, Dam said. Chinese people like `bibimbap (steamed rice with mixed vegetables)` too, but it`d be better to combine other dishes to serve as main meal.



Chinese are also known to love raw fish or sashimi, which, according to Dam, makes the restaurant popular among tourists, especially after they have been to Cheju island, which is one of the hottest tourist destinations and popular for fresh raw fish dishes among Koreans.



Located near one of the busiest Chinese shopping districts in the country, the restaurant is one of very few Chinese restaurants that survives mainly on the earnings from Chinese tourists.



For most other Chinese restaurants, it`s hard to even make ends meet, if they have to run additional menus for Chinese tourists only, the minister said. Along with problems of parking tourist buses, the ministry will do its best to solve the food-related problems of Chinese tourists.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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