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South Korea tests visa free program for cruise ship tourists

Staff Writer |
South Korea's government said it is testing operating a visa waiver program for foreign tourists entering the country via three selected cruise ships in the next six months.

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The Ministry of Justice said passengers of those cruise ships - Costa Serena, Sapphire Princess and Quantum of the Seas - can enter South Korea without visas, starting this week until the end of March.

The plan aims to attract more Chinese tourists in particular as most of the cruises that arrive here depart from the neighboring country, according to the ministry.

Previously, only groups of Chinese tourists registered through travel agencies could enter the country without a visa for up to three days.

Under the new program, individual tourists can also freely enter South Korea for a maximum of 72 hours, regardless of their nationality.

The ministry expects some 317,100 foreign tourists to use the program during the trial run.

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