Korea will a visa-free entry to Chinese visitors around the time of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, which open in early February.
The aim is to lure more Chinese tourists during the period now that Beijing has partially lifted its unofficial boycott of Korean goods and services.
The waiver applies for 15-day stays from Dec. 1 until late March, a Justice Ministry spokesman said Thursday. To be eligible, Chinese travelers must have visited Korea with an entry visa at least once in the last five years or carry Olympics tickets worth more than W200,000 (US$1=W1,089).
This is the first time Korea has decided to grant a visa-free entry to foreign visitors for an international sports event.
"We hope that the policy will contribute to attracting more Chinese tourists, help sell more Olympics tickets and promote the tourism industry in Gangwon Province," a ministry official said.