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South Korea's Jeju Island considers charging tourism fees

By Ratziel San Juan Published Apr 23, 2023 11:43 am

South Korea's Jeju Island could soon start charging for entrance and other tourism fees if recent legislation is submitted and passed at the country's National Assembly.

Specifically, these include 1,500 won (P63) per night for tourists, 5,000 won (P210) per day for those renting cars, and 10,000 won per day (P420) for minivans, as well as 5% of the fee for renting a bus.

The Jeju Special Self-Governing Province said each visitor would be charged an average of 8,170 won (P343) per day if ever.

According to The Korea Times, the proposed measure is now under consideration. If implemented, it will collect around 141 billion won (P5.92 billion) from the Korean government after the first year, which will increase to 154 billion (P6.46 billion) by the second year and 167 billion (P7.01 billion) by the third.

The travel destination has been considering such policies after locals raised concerns regarding the side effects of successful tourism. These include garbage and sewage exceeding the island's official capacity beyond management.

Although the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province government initially introduced the said entry fees over a decade ago in 2012, it ultimately gave way to criticism at the time.

The island government in August 2022 requested the state-run research company Korea Environment Institute to study the entrance fee's feasibility.

In time for the research's completion by August, the government plans to propose the bill to the National Assembly within 2023.

Jeju Governor Oh Young-hun has since said that the measure is "being very carefully planned" and is "by no means easy" since they have to gather nationwide support before it is even passed.