September 23, 2016 13:38
Night tours of Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul are so popular that ticket touts have started to move in on the business.
Official ticket sales began on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the night tours on Saturday and for certain dates sold out instantly. Later, on an online marketplace for second-hand goods, dozens of scalpers were touting for customers and asking over W10,000 for the W3,000 tickets (US$1=W1,105).
The night tours started in 2010 and the beautifully illuminated palace has become a magnet for visitors. In the first half of 2013, the average daily visitor numbers stood at 42,000.
Due to safety concerns and to avoid damage to the historic treasures, the Cultural Heritage Administration has limited daily visitor numbers to 1,500-2,000 but extended the period for night tours. Each person is allowed to buy only four tickets.
The CHA is warning against buying scalped tickets because visitors need to show ID to pick them up, but the touts offer to be there in person.
The night tours continue until Oct. 28.
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