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S. Korea's tourism industry moving to accommodate rise in Muslim visitors

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무슬림 관광객 100만명 육박… 유커 빈자리 메운다? The slump in the number of Chinese tourists to South Korea since Beijing's tour ban... has prompted Seoul to reassess... and refocus its overseas marketing.The country is keen to attract tourists from new markets,... including Muslim nations, as a new source of growth.Our Won Jung-hwan has more on Korea's efforts to accommodate the rising number of Muslims spending their vacation in the country. With the number of foreign tourists visiting Korea declining for the fifth consecutive month in July, Korea is seeking to reverse the trend by attracting visitors from other countries. According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the total number of foreign tourists last month dropped by over 40 percent on-year, with almost 70 percent within this figure corresponding to Chinese tourists. However, the KTO also reported that the number of Muslim tourists last year totaled nearly one-million,… which is almost a 33 percent increase compared to the previous year. (KOREAN) "Since the number of Chinese tourists is dropping, the government is targeting travelers from Southeast Asian and Muslim countries as an alternative market. As such, local governments are their pouring efforts into further developing their respective tourism sectors to cater to those visitors." Popular amusement parks such as Everland , and destinations like Namiseom Island in Gangwon-do Province have installed prayer rooms to better accommodate the needs of Muslims travelers. Lotte Department Store followed suit by opening a prayer room at its Jamsil branch in southern Seoul. However, despite such efforts, Korea still lacks enough facilities such as prayer rooms and Halal restaurants to cater to the needs of an ever-growing number of Muslim visitors. (ENGLISH) "We can say, it is a bit difficult to get more prayer room in Seoul, which is… mostly we have to go to Itaewon… And other place, I can compare with Japan, which they have more prayer rooms at attraction places. For Seoul, I think it can be improved.."(STANDUP) "To further draw Muslim tourists in the country, the government is even pushing for easing VISA regulations. But still... there are many things to be done to encourage essential needs for the convenience of Muslim tourists for their daily rituals and meals. Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News."Visit ‘Arirang News’ Official PagesFacebook(NEWS): http://www.facebook.com/newsarirang Homepage: http://www.arirang.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/arirangtv Twitter: http://twitter.com/arirangworld Instagram: http://instagram.com/arirangworld

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