2023 New Year Message

Date Jan 09, 2023

Warm greetings and best wishes for the New Year!


I am PARK Bo Gyoon, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.


The New Year 2023, which is the year of the water rabbit, has dawned. I wish that you will all challenge yourself to a new dream and achieve what you set out to do, while enjoying good health throughout the year.    


The inauguration of the Yoon Suk Yeol administration opened an era of cultural prosperity. As I reflect on the past year, I feel my heart overflowing with emotions as Korean culture expanded its reach to all corners of the globe.


The performance of Dreamers by BTS member Jung Kook at the FIFA World Cup Qatar in November 2022 stoked excitement for the big kick-off of the festival of dreams. The performance showcased the formidable global appeal of K-pop. At the venue of dreams, our national football team played with indomitable spirit to advance to the Round of 16.


The movies Decision to Leave and Broker won the Best Director and the Best Actor, respectively, at the Cannes Film Festival last year, while the OTT series Squid Game won six Emmy Awards. Pianist Lim Yunchan, cellist Choi Ha-young, and violinist Yang Inmo have expanded the horizons of K-classic. In the literary domain, the Hans Christian Andersen Award won by Lee Suzy for her illustrations in children’s books and Chung Bora’s novel Cursed Bunny shortlisted for the Booker Prize highlighted the potential that Korean literature has to offer. 


In 2022, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism strove to reflect in cultural policy ‘freedom,’ ‘solidarity,’ and ‘the guarantee of opportunity to access various cultural activities’ that President Yoon had mentioned in his inauguration speech.  


The Blue House was not just opened to the public; it has changed into a huge multi-purpose space for history, culture, and the arts, encompassing cultural and artistic collections, the history of former Presidents, an arboretum, and traditional cultural assets. The Blue House collection, previously enjoyed only by a few behind doors, is now open for everyone to enjoy. In this space previously reserved to presidents for 43 years, the public can now gain hands-on experience of political leadership and power.   


The Yoon administration is friendly towards disadvantaged groups and less privileged people. The Special Exhibition for Disabled Artists, which was the first event held in the Blue House since it went public, was attended by 70,000 or so people over 20 days. The Ministry established a basic plan to support cultural and artistic activities of disabled artists, opening a new horizon for this community of artists. 


Culture is an industry. Before we knew it, K-culture has become our principal export item. As of 2021, the total export value of K-content ($12.45 billion) exceeded that of home appliances ($8.67 billion), electric cars ($6.99 billion), and display panels ($3.6 billion). Today, K-content has emerged as a rising star of Korean export. 


In the tourism sector, we hosted the 7th Council for National Tourism Strategy. In view of building up the tourism ecosystem from the serious recession caused by COVID-19, we together with experts established and announced the Yoon administration’s strategies and vision for K-Tourism in connection with K-culture.


The fairness, common sense, freedom, and unity of the Yoon administration must be manifested in sports. To prevent recurrence of another Shin Yu-bin (A young table tennis player who finally dicided to leave school to pursue her professional career because of  challenging reality of perfectly balancing both school and career) , the Ministry took the lead in improving the Sports Reform Committee’s recommendations by incorporating the views of the sports world, given that the recommendations were not aligned with the reality. We were also committed to bringing the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to Korea. Though the efforts failed, they helped to conceptualize football as a festival in which sports meet culture. 


In 2023, the philosophy guiding the Yoon administration will become clearer within the culture, sports, and tourism policy framework. We will work to achieve tangible results as the administration enters the second year.


The government operates under the flags of ‘freedom’ and ‘solidarity.’ Our determination to make bold innovations and take up challenges will inform a new set of policy decisions. Every member of the Ministry will work passionately to enable those involved in culture, sports, and tourism to display their creativity, autonomy, and originality to their fullest potential. The year 2023 will continue to see more policies in support of vulnerable groups. ‘Solidarity’ becomes more valuable when the disadvantaged are a part of it. By offering tailored support for aspiring, young, new artists, we will secure an engine for arts to flourish in the future. The environment for creation and distribution of artworks by persons with disabilities will be significantly improved through establishment of theaters and exhibition halls that are disability sensitive. We will aggressively assist behind-the-scene television crew members to get their fair share of the K-culture benefits. Greater funding will be secured to promote the cultural and sports enjoyment of vulnerable groups (Munhwa Nuri card[1], sports classes, etc.). 


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will enable a greater leap of K-content, which the world has fallen in love with. Various incentives in the form of financial benefits and tax breaks will be offered to content businesses, while 10,000 personnel specialized in fusion and convergence of content will be fostered over the next three years. Full preparations will be made to ensure that the self-classification of content by OTT platforms slated to begin in March has the intended effect. 


2023 will be the first year that Korea makes a global mark in the tourism sector. It is the year when the 2023-2024 Visit Korea Year begins. The Ministry will implement the 3C Strategy for K-Tourism: Convergence between K-tourism and K-culture, Charms of attractions, and Convenience of tourism. We will support close public-private partnerships so that travel to Korea can be a unique bucket list idea for people around the world. 


Since it was opened to the public, the Blue House has become a symbolic landmark of Seoul. The area around the Blue House will be developed into a tourist cluster by leveraging the unique attractions, stories, and foods in and around the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwanghwamun Gate, nearby galleries and museums, and the distinct neighborhoods of Bukchon and Seochon.  


At a meeting with youths at the Yeongbingwan Hall in the Blue House last month, President Yoon emphasized the importance of embracing the thoughts and ideas of young people, and enabling them to experience how government affairs work. The Ministry launched the 2030 Advisory Panel as a conduit of youth ideas and imagination into national policy. The passion and vision of our youths will help push our culture, sports, and tourism to the next level. The artistic originality, unconventional approach, sensibility, and challenging spirit of the younger generation will be incorporated in the Ministry’s policy decisions. 


Since I came to office, I have always emphasized the importance of observing what is happening on the ground. This year, I will engage more frequently with the communities of culture and arts, sports, and tourism so that their voices can inform more robust policy decisions. 


This year, the Ministry will work with the people, and those involved in culture, sports, and tourism to ensure that Korean appeal continues to flourish around the world.


Thank you.



January 1, 2023



PARK Bo Gyoon

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism


[1] A card provided to the underprivileged class to improve recipients' quality of life and to narrow the cultural gap by providing holders with opportunities to enjoy cultural events, arts, domestic travel opportunities, and sporting occasions. Each recipient can spend up to 110,000 KRW.