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Work and explore in Korea's scenic destinations

Sept. 2, 2023 - 16:00 By Kim Hae-yeon
A "workation" office in Yeongdo, Busan (Culture Ministry)

The Culture Ministry and the Korea Tourism Organization have unveiled a "workation" program, spanning 16 regions across the nation, away from the bustling city of Seoul.

The pilot initiative is aimed to give people a chance to step away from conventional office settings and experience a change in their work environment, while also potentially stimulating local economies.

The ongoing application process, launched Tuesday, will be carried out until Oct. 30., on a first-come, first-served basis

With a capacity of 1,500 participants, individuals such as online workers or freelancers, as well as companies registering in groups, can seize the opportunity.

A total of 20 distinct programs have been planned, each seamlessly integrating with local tourism events.

For instance, the workation program hosted in Yangyang, Gangwon Province, offers participants discount coupons for surfing on Jukdo Island and at Ingu Beach, both renowned surfing destinations in the region.

Those who wish to indulge in peace and quiet while enjoying serene seaside villages may consider Incheon's Ponae Village, Namhae's fishing community in Jijok Strait in South Gyeongsang Province, Pohang's Changbau Village camping site in North Gyeongsang Province, or Wando's Slow Island Travel School in South Jeolla Province. Before and after work, participants can take part in experiences such as mudflat explorations and "tongbal" fish trap making activities.

For those seeking a serene atmosphere in nature, the program in Gokseong, South Jeolla Province, is highly recommended. Set in a spacious "hanok," this program offers moments of quiet reflection through activities such as "bulmeong" (campfire gazing) or "byeolmeong" (stargazing).

Two types of programs are available -- one where accommodation and workspaces are separate, and another where they coexist.

People work in a "workation" center's coworking space in Muuido Island, Incheon. (Culture Ministry)

In the case of Grab The Ocean in Songdo, a shared ocean-view coworking space and a lobby lounge designed for meetings are conveniently situated within the accommodation premises, along with rooftop gardens.

In many other programs, workspaces and accommodation are located close to each other but are independently hosted. In Yeongdo, Busan, the Hue-il office property boasts coworking spaces, open lounges and seminar rooms. Just a short drive away, participants have their pick of two hotel options.

A variety of local tours, including cycling and cruise ship excursions, help alleviate work-related fatigue during afternoons and evenings.

Participation in the program is priced at 50,000 won per person.

Registration can be completed through the KTO's VisitKorea website. The Industrial Bank of Korea will offer additional participation fee support for employees from small and medium-sized enterprises.

The ministry is to release a "Korea's Workation Guidebook" by the end of October. The resource will offer information on domestic workation programs and facilities.

As workation culture continues to flourish in various regions across public and private sectors, the latest updates will also be available on the VisitKorea website.

The Culture Ministry looks to turn this year's trial program into an annual program, based on the feedback this fall.