Baojian Street, an iconic tourist road strip which runs through Jeju city, will have its name changed to something else as Chinese tourists to the southernmost resort island of Jeju have dwindled drastically since March this year.
Jeju's tourism industry was struck hard earlier this year by a diplomatic row over the deployment of a US missile shield in South Korea that prompted Beijing to take retaliatory steps including a travel ban. Before the ban, Baojian Street was the heart of Jeju's tourism, packed with Chinese tourists.
Jeju city officials said in an announcement on Friday that it would receive submissions for the street's new name via email, fax or vial postal service for a month starting from October 1. The city officials will select a total of six nominees including the grand prize with one million won (873 US dollars) prize money.
Baojian Street was named after China's Baojian Group, as a sign of gratitude for sending 14,000 tourists to Jeju during a 15-day period in September 2011.
According to government data, about 1.47 million Chinese tourists visited Jeju Island from March to August this year. The number has decreased by 87.7 percent from the same period last year. Though the travel ban was not officially imposed by the Chinese government, it has also affected the tourism industry in the South Korea's mainland.
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