Gangneung Selected as the First City for “Barrier-free” Tourism City Project

Date Apr 13, 2022

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister HWANG Hee, MCST) together with the Korea Tourism Organization (CEO AHN Young-bae, KTO) selected Gangneung City as the first “Barrier-free tourism city” project. The “Barrier-free tourism city” project, promoted for the first time this year, will lay the ground for all tourists, including the disabled, the elderly, pregnant women, families with infants to travel without restrictions on transportation and facilities and access information. The project focuses on strengthening the link between tourist attractions and facilities such as accommodation, food and beverage, and shopping through introducing and applying barrier-free tourist transportation and collaborating with private facilities.


MCST and KTO opened a public competition for this project among local municipal governments this year. Applicant cities for the project were assessed focusing on tourism attractiveness, project capacity, and the possibility of public-private cooperation through a competitive screening process, including on-site examination and expert discussion. Gangneung City received good reviews for its excellent tourism resources such as the sea and well-known Gangneung coffee, as well as a solid organization for advancing tourism businesses. In particular, the city also had three years of experience as the “Open tourist destination”, which gave Gangneung city a high level of understanding on barrier-free tourism.


Gangneung City will be provided with up to KRW 4 billion in government budget for three years, including consultation with experts in tourism and exploring business opportunities to revitalize the barrier-free tourism industry. Taking this opportunity, Gangneung will be able to establish a successful barrier-free tourism city model. The city also plans to carry out various projects on annual basis such as improving barrier-free tourism and transportation, accessibility to tourist facilities (including private facilities such as accommodation, food and beverage, and shopping), providing information on inclusive barrier-free tourism, and training special workforce.


MCST emphasized that “Barrier-free” city will be providing inclusive tourism environment, which can minimize inconveniences and challenges during travelling. Accessible tourism city circumstances will elevate the charm of the tourist destinations lessening restrictions. By actively cooperating with local governments and the private sector, the “Barrier-free tourism city” project will lay the foundation  as a successful model to revitalize local tourism industry.