Tickets in demand among domestic and foreign tourists
Various travel packages and services gaining popularity
When people think about Daejeon, we often hear them say that Daejeon is a 'boring' city, which is a label that has been placed on the city since three years ago. In a survey conducted by the Daejeon Sejong Institute in 2019, people who did not want to visit Daejeon cited the lack of things to see or enjoy as the main reason to skip the city, and thus Daejeon became widely perceived as a boring place to visit. However, the city has since put in significant effort to create its own unique color. For example, Daejeon has greatly expanded its tourism infrastructure and has hosted new festivals. Take note of how Bomunsan has transformed into a thriving tourist destination, or how the 'Daejeon 0 o'clock Festival' saw a revival. Among these various efforts, the Daejeon Travel Lounge is gaining traction as a program that can be enjoyed by both domestic and foreign tourists.
The Travel Lounge was established in 2020 as part of the year-long Visit Daejeon initiative. This was the first time a Travel Lounge was established by a local government, and it is a facility that welcomes both domestic and foreign visitors. On the first floor, there are services for tourists such as a tourist information center and cultural tourism commentators. Tourists can also experience an unmanned travelers' cafe, buy gifts at the souvenir shop, try out school uniforms of the past, and create their own mugs. The second floor has a public relations center, tourism support center, and a book cafe. This is also where travelers can participate in tourist or experience programs. The third floor has a traveler's cafe, a traveler's shelter, and a conference room that can be used for alumni reunions, work meetings, or family gatherings.
Q1. What makes the Daejeon Travel Lounge unique?
:The Daejeon Travel Lounge is unique as it is a one-stop place where tourists visiting Daejeon can come to relax or find information and services that can be useful for traveling in Daejeon. Most notably, we placed a great deal of emphasis and effort in our tourism expert training program. In 2022, the tourism trend is all about smart digital tourism and safe healing tourism, which aim to help those working in the tourism industry adapt to new trends.
Q2. What programs are available for foreign visitors?
:Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a decline in the number of foreign visitors to our city. Fortunately, we still get many foreign students coming from overseas to study in Korea. During the spring season, we had three Japanese students from Hannam University - Maho, Karen, and Ling - come visit us at the Travel Lounge, where we helped them learn how to recharge their transportation cards and find the route of their dormitory buses. Since those working at our tourist information centers can speak different languages (English, Japanese, and Chinese), they are able to help visitors and provide them with information on Daejeon. In 2023, we have new plans such as providing Korean language and Daejeon history courses and hosting tourism information exchanges with other countries to benefit international students.
Q3. I understand that the Daejeon Travel Lounge holds various contests in addition to its existing programs. Do you have any upcoming contests or new promotional plans?
:In 2022, we organized various programs such as 'Making My Own Daejeon Tourist Map,' a 'Ruined Photo Contest,' and 'Searching for My Family's DNA.' In September, artists living in Daejeon will hold a "Sound Concert" for about an hour from 2 p.m. every Saturday. In October, a Halloween costume contest will be held. All events hosted by the Travel Lounge can be found on our Instagram account.
Q4. What is the ultimate goal of the Daejeon Travel Lounge?
:Our goal is to increase the value of the space we have by actively engaging in exchanges with the local community. The current Travel Lounge serves as a shelter for travelers where they can find travel information and as a place where Daejeon citizens can relax. The Travel Lounge is always looking for ways to help the local community. In addition to making the most of our original role, we are also planning programs to help underprivileged children in Daejeon. The goal is to create a "travel lounge" that has value for both travelers and the local community. The Daejeon Metropolitan Tourism Association will do its best to achieve this goal. We will continually post news about the Travel Lounge on Instagram and YouTube, so be on the lookout for those as well!
Three years after Daejeon got the moniker of 'a city of no fun,' the city has made significant strides to escape this stigma with the help of local businesses and citizens. It has achieved this by creating various new cultural spaces, but more importantly, creating "cultural spaces that both travelers and local citizens can enjoy." I look forward to seeing more cultural spaces like the Daejeon Travel Lounge, which can help boost the local economy, in the future.