June 25, 2024
Yu In-chon, back row center, minister of culture, sports and tourism, poses with Lee Boo-jin, back row fifth from left, chairperson of the Visit Korea Committee and Hotel Silla CEO, and Ihn Yo-han, back row fifth from right, lawmaker from the People Power Party, as well as Korean beauty and tourism representatives and foreign influencers during Korea Beauty Festival's opening ceremony in Gwanghwamun Sqaure, Seoul, Saturday. Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Yu In-chon, back row center, minister of culture, sports and tourism, poses with Lee Boo-jin, back row fifth from left, chairperson of the Visit Korea Committee and Hotel Silla CEO, and Ihn Yo-han, back row fifth from right, lawmaker from the People Power Party, as well as Korean beauty and tourism representatives and foreign influencers during Korea Beauty Festival’s opening ceremony in Gwanghwamun Sqaure, Seoul, Saturday. Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Various pop-up stores, beauty seminars, guided tours to be offered during month-long event

By Lee Hae-rin

The inaugural edition of the Korea Beauty Festival kicked off in Seoul, Saturday, featuring various promotional events and K-beauty experiences across the capital’s landmark shopping districts such as Hongdae, Myeong-dong and Seongsu.

Organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and sponsored by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Visit Korea Committee, Korea Beauty Festival is a month-long event that promotes K-beauty to foreign nationals in and outside the country in celebration of the second year of the Visit Korea Year 2023-2024 campaign.

“Korean beauty culture has firmly positioned itself as the center of K-culture. K-beauty has taken the world by storm, assigning a large following,” Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon said during the opening ceremony held in Gwanghwamun Square, Saturday.

“In this regard, during the month of June, large-scale K-beauty experience and promotional events will be held across Seoul, encompassing Korean makeup, hair, fashion, health care and wellness.”

The opening ceremony featured a makeup demonstration by Jung Saem-mool, a star makeup artist and a live music “singing bowl” performance in collaboration with Korean traditional music and dance.

Culture Minister Yu, Visit Korea Committee Chairperson and Hotel Silla CEO Lee Boo-jin, KTO’s acting President Seo Young-choong, People Power Party lawmaker Ihn Yo-han and several beauty and tourism representatives attended the ceremony.

“We expect Korea Beauty Festival to demonstrate the new charms of Korea’s tourism to foreign visitors and take position as key content to attract 20 million inbound tourists this year,” Yu said.

Yu In-chon, right, minister of culture, sports and tourism, and Lee Boo-jin, chairperson of the Visit Korea Committee and Hotel Silla CEO, visit  Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, Saturday, for the opening ceremony of Korea Beauty Festival. Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Yu In-chon, right, minister of culture, sports and tourism, and Lee Boo-jin, chairperson of the Visit Korea Committee and Hotel Silla CEO, visit Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, Saturday, for the opening ceremony of Korea Beauty Festival. Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Seo Young-choong, KTO’s acting president, said, “One of the most noticeable changes in tourists visiting Korea after the pandemic is that they have general as well as specific things they want to do while in Korea.”

According to the KTO’s annual survey on potential inbound tourists, beauty tourism was included for the first time in the top 10 list of activities desired by inbound tourists last year.

“To swiftly respond to this growing K-beauty demand, the ministry, the KTO and the Visit Korea Committee collaborated to prepare a special Korean tour focused on enjoying K-beauty,” Seo said.

During the month-long event, over 330 Korean companies in the beauty industry, including makeup, hair fashion, health care and wellness, will offer pop-up stores, beauty seminars and guided tours themed around K-beauty across the capital.

Specifically, the festive and trendy neighborhood Hongik University area — better known as Hongdae — in western Seoul will feature outdoor hair and makeup consulting events and several K-beauty promotions and experiences.

Seongsu, another trendy neighborhood in eastern Seoul, also known as the “Brooklyn of Seoul,” will host fashion-themed events and programs, while Myeong-dong, the leading shopping and tourism district in central Seoul, will hold numerous shopping reward events, where foreign visitors who present the receipts for purchased Korean cosmetic products from the area are given beauty gifts as a reward.

According to KTO statistics, some 1.46 million inbound tourists visited Korea in April, which is an 89.5 percent recovery from the pre-pandemic record high of 2019. The country saw over 4.87 million inbound visitors between January and April this year.

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