Chungcheong is everywhere. On the side of buses passing through Seoul’s busiest thoroughfares, on subway information broadcasts seen during morning commutes, in the article you hold in your hand. ‘Chungcheong,’ the umbrella designation for three regional districts - Daejeon Metropolitan City, Chungcheongbuk-do Province and Chungcheongnam-do Provice - is the star of the Korean administration’s latest push to revitalize regional tourism, the ‘2010 Visit Chungcheong-Korea’ campaign.
The Korean government first instituted these sprawling campaigns in 2004 - often uniting individual districts in a concerted effort to heighten local and foreign tourist traffic. The 2010 Visit Chungcheong-Korea project, which fortuitously coincides with the ‘2010 Year of Visiting Korea’ campaign, serves as an opportunity to actively introduce and promote the hidden charms of the Chungcheong region to the public. The goal is to put Chungcheong tourism on the map as a world-acknowledged brand.
A wealth of events, travel packages, and programs are being offered to bring Chungcheong closer to the potential traveler throughout the year. One of the most enterprising is “Red-band Chungcheong Cross-country Trip,” a program that makes the often impractical trek of cross-country trips accessible to a broader base. Utilizing Chungcheong’s geographical advantage as South Korea’s central region and traffic hub, the Red-band trips are interesting in that they allow the participant to start their trip right where they are.
Trial runs, to be held in the summer, gather both amateurs and professionals in the world of tourism - from professors to bloggers - in one of many highly diversified pilgrimages through Chungcheong. The first wave of these travel enthusiasts, through suggestions for improvement and spreading word of mouth, is expected to spike interest for the Red-band program in the general public.
First, Daejeon Metropolitan City’s motto is ‘the most livable city in Korea,’ and travel routes through the city highlight the strength of Daejeon’s sciences and technology. Showcasing the city’s seamless merge of green growth and high-tech, the “Science and Greenery Combination Tours” through Daejeon promises to transform the visitor into the hero and heroine of this prestigious trip. Taking place from March to November of 2010, the itinerary includes EXPO Science Partk, Gapcheon River Park, the night view of the Gunwoo nd Giknyeo Bridge, Hanbat Arboretum, a 39 km noble in Mt. Gyejok, the Daejeon Hot Air Balloon Festival and a dip in the hot springs of Yuseong Special Tourist Zone. Next, Chungcheongbuk-do Province proffers its strong tradition in oriental medicine in the 2010 World Oriental Medicine-Bio Expo in Jecheon, Korea, held from September 16 to October 16. A chance to inform the public of the salutary effects and singular excellence of oriental medicine, host city Jecheon’s strong medicinal herb market will serve as a fitting foundation for this festival of traditional health methods.
Finally, Chungcheongnam-do is emphasizing its roots as the birthplace of the great Baekjae Dynasty of the Three Kingdoms period in Korean history, perished near 1300 years ago. As descendants of Baekjae, the residents of Chungcheongnam-do proudly present many events based on Baekjae’s industrious history. The historical military ceremony of General Gyebaek with horse guard, a reenactment of the famous Hwansanbeol Battle, traditional performances and exhibition of Baekjae masks are just part of the festivities celebrating the long-lost dynasty.