According to Busan Tourism Organization, about 2.7 million foreign tourists annually visited the port city well known for its food and culture before 2020, when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. 290,000 foreign tourists visited the city in 2020 and they were mostly people who live in other South Korean cities.
Busan City said in a statement on November 22 that the city government and the local tourism promotion office have partnered to develop the "Busan Tourism Pass," a one-stop tourist pass service that will integrate features such as automatic ticket discounts for tourist attractions and public transports into a single card. The convenient pass card will be issued in a form of a physical plastic card or a digital app card. Discount coupons will also be issued through the travelers' pass service that is scheduled to be demonstrated in 2022.
"We predict that the number of foreign visitors to Busan will increase annually by 78 percent," Busan Tourism Organization official Cho Man-gil told Aju Business Daily. On November 17, Busan welcomed a group of tourists from Singapore for the first time in about two years. A group of 20 travelers visited the port city through a travel bubble agreement that exempts quarantine processes for people who travel between partner cities or countries.
Busan's tourist pass service benchmarks "My Seoul Pass," a tourist pass service that offers up to 50 percent discount on ticket prices. The Seoul tourist pass also offers tourist insurance programs as well as reservation services for hot tourist attractions and accommodations through a dedicated smartphone app.
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