|Title||Ongjin-gun in Incheon calls for the launch of the Guleopdo tourist complex development project|
(Incheon=Yeonhap) by Kim Myeong-gyun
Ongjin-gun, Incheon, announced on June 23 that, in relation to the Guleopdo Ocean Park Tourist Complex Development project, it has demanded that the developed C&I re-conduct their preliminary environmental assessment and designate the region as a tourist complex.
Ongjin-gun said that the demand is based on a consensus among Ongjin-gun residents that the public perception about marine tourism has changed, as cruise operation between the Hangang and Deokjeokdo (Island) with the opening of Gyeongin Ara Waterway and the establishment of the Wangsan Marina as part of the preparation for the Asian Games Incheon 2014 have demonstrated.
The island area in Ongjin-gun suffers from local economic recession due to the drastic drop in the population of younger citizens and the consequent increase in seniors and the depletion of marine resources. Under these circumstances, there is a growing demand for improvement in the quality of life (education, leisure activities, living conditions, etc.) and for the revitalization of the local economy among Ongjin-gun residents.
The Ongjin-gun governor, Cho Yun-gil, complained that Incheon City continues to reject the idea of construction of a golf course in Ongjin-gun due to fear of criticism by environmental organizations, despite the petition for the development of the Guleopdo tourist complex submitted by Ongjin-gun residents, including residents from Guleopdo (Island).
Cho confessed that Ongjin-gun, whose financial independence ratio accounts for only 22.3 percent, is having great difficulty in pushing the project for local development without the support of the central government and Incheon City. Cho continued that, under these circumstances, Incheon City and Ongjin-gun should welcome the proposal by C&I to independently develop a tourist complex by investing some KRW 350 billion in the project, especially considering that Incheon City is also in serious financial crisis.
Cho said that he would wait and see how Incheon City would handle this opportunity to rise as a Northeast Asian hub for the marine tourism industry in the 21st Century and drastically improve the quality of Guleopdo residents’ lives.
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