|▲ A ship is in port at night on Jeju Island. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
Plans are being executed to make cruise tourism a central pillar of Jeju’s economy for years to come. A dual civil and military base and tourism port will be built by 2015 at Jeju Outer Port and extra berths for the simultaneous docking of two 150 thousand ton ships will be constructed.
In addition, in the area around Jeju Outer Port and Sanjicheon, the historic area of Jeju City, Tamna Culture Plaza will be constructed by 2015. It will be a public space for residents and tourists to experience local culture, festivals, food and shopping.
The development will cost 12.8 billion won, with 6.4 billion supported by government and 6.4 billion privately invested.
Work has been ongoing since July at the west seawall of Jeju Outer Port. Much of the site has been fumigated and nine mobile passenger stairways have been installed. Work is also ongoing on a large security fence.
A provincial official said, “Up to now there was only one cruise docking location, but depending on securing additional berths, the number of possible entries can be increased and staying hours extended, which will benefit the local economy.”
A spokesperson for Jeju Tourism Organization said, “We will try our best to inject the local economy through cruise tourism in this, Jeju’s second ocean era. We will help realize the second coming of Jeju’s ocean kingdom as the Northeast Asian cruise hub.”
The upgrading of the passenger terminal is crucial to achieving this vision. A two-floor international terminal with a waiting room, lounge and duty free shop will be constructed in the Outer Port site of 48,237㎡ by 2015.
The inclusion of Tamna-themed tourism at Tamna Culture Plaza will allow international and domestic cruise tourists to see, feel, and enjoy the story of Jeju Island. This will ensure an economic boon to local tourism through the preservation of local culture and creating a new tourist space.
A provincial official said, “This development will contribute to local citizens’ incomes and the themed street will allow citizens to buy natural products and tourists will be able to experience the culture of Jeju.”
The construction of the dual civil and military base and tourism port is part of the core economic plan for Jeju Island and President Park has pledged to support 50 percent of the budget to quicken the development. A Defense Acquisition Program Administration official said, “As the budget has passed to a new government task force, it has greatly increased. ”
If the developments continue at the current pace, Jeju is set to achieve its ambition of being the regional hub for cruise tourism by 2015.