By Yi Whan-woo
Korea will simplify the immigration process for leisure cruise tourists visiting here from Sunday.
The Ministry of Justice said Friday that cruise travelers can enter the country for three days maximum once their ship provides passenger information 24 hours before docking at a local port.
The move comes as the number of international visitors from cruise voyages that disembark at Korea as a final or interim destination rises.
The ministry requires ships to submit photos, fingerprints, and other passport information 24 hours before passengers arrive. The Korea Immigration Service (KIS) will review each traveler's status before entry.
Those qualified will pass through immigration without any check procedures.
Chinese cruise tourists who were initially required to acquire a 15-day travel visa (C-3) to enter Korea will also be exempted.
The number of international visitors on cruises rose sharply over the past few years, up from 33,473 in 2007 to 145,255 in 2011. The ministry expects to see 300,000 overseas tourists from cruises this year.
Source : www.koreatimes.co.kr/... ( English Korean )
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