Vietnamese travel agency halts visa-free passenger services to South Korea’s Gangwon

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People walk at Incheon International Airport in Incheon, South Korea, March 25, 2022. Photo by Reuters/Heo Ran

The only travel agency to bring Vietnamese tourists to South Korea’s Gangwon under a visa-free policy via commercial flights has stopped receiving new bookings until the end of this month.

“The only Vietnamese travel agency designated by South Korean authorities to bring visa-free passengers to Gangwon Province via commercial flights operated by Fly Gangwon has stopped taking new bookings from Sunday to reorganize management issues. “, said the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in Vietnam. VnExpress.

This means that Vietnamese tourists from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City can no longer travel to Yang Yang County in Gangwon Province on regular weekly flights operated by Fly Gangwon under the resumed visa-free program. June 1.

Fly Gangwon launched its first direct routes between Hanoi and HCMC and Yangyang on October 13-14.

In Yangyang, a popular destination for surfers, visitors can stay for 15 days without a visa, but must book tours through agencies designated by Gangwon Province.

Late last week, a Korean tourism forum posted on its Facebook page, saying that Fly Gangwon had stopped receiving Vietnamese passengers in Yangyang under the visa waiver policy, because authorities in Gangwon discontinued the program after a trial period.

South Korea had become a favorite tourist destination for Vietnamese before the pandemic.

The country welcomed more than 80,000 Vietnamese tourists in January-August, a far cry from the 2019 figure of 550,000.

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