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Gyeongju wins at IEFA 2024 Pinnacle Awards

March 1, 2024 - 13:29 By Lee Si-jin
Gyeongju Major Joo Nak-young (center) and Asia Festival City Conference participants join promote the 2025 APEC Summit to be held in Gyeongju at the Asia Festival City Conference in Pattaya, Thailand. (Gyeongju City)

Gyeongju, an iconic tourist destination in the southeast of Korea, clinched the prize for best world heritage city and festival at the 2024 Pinnacle Awards and Asia Festival City Conference held in Thailand on Thursday.

The Pinnacle Awards is a tourism industry event that celebrates different cities’ tourism excellence across the globe. The Asia Festival City Conference is an annual meeting dedicated to creating quality Asian festivals to beckon overseas travelers from different regions.

Gyeongju was not only recognized for its unique travel experience it provides, with media art blending nature, history, media and information technology, but also praised for the nighttime tour showing ancient architecture and jewels of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935).

Spectators enjoy media art at Daereungwon in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, in June. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

The seasonal festivals -- a cherry blossom festival in spring, SoolSool Festival in summer, Silla Cultural Festival in autumn and Haeryong Sunrise Festival in winter -- were judged as exemplary events.

“Gyeongju is a city with great access to Silla’s legacies -- including centuries-old temples, palaces, royal tombs and treasures, earning it the name of ‘roofless museum’ to many South Koreans. And the tourism products, featuring such world heritage site and cultural heritage, take up a large part in the city’s tourism business,” a Gyeongju City press release quoted Gyeongju Mayor Joo Nak-young as saying in 2024 Pinnacle Awards and Asia Festival City Conference.

“With the augmented reality and metaverse, Gyeongju will create more exciting, digital content to allow tourists to enjoy the city and its cultural heritage,” the mayor added.

Gyeongju officials held events at 2024 Pinnacle Awards and Asia Festival City Conference to promote the city as the host of the upcoming 2025 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and a go-to South Korean travel destination.