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SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) –– The state-run Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said Thursday it will hold a promotional road show in major Chinese cities next week to bring back Chinese incentive group visitors. The MICE -- meeting, incentive travel, convention, exhibition and event –– road show will be held in Guangzhou on Monday, Beijing on Wednesday and Shenyang on June 29, according to KTO officials. It will be the first such official event in the neighboring country since China prohibited group tours to South Korea in retaliation over a diplomatic row in March last year. More than 20 tourism-related agencies and businesses from South Korea's leading cities and provincial governments will take part in the road show, meeting with decision makers at Chinese travel agencies that handle incentive travel through consultation sessions and presentations over dinner. Chinese visitors used to account for nearly half of all travelers to South Korea before the diplomatic spat over Korea's hosting of a U.S. missile defense system on its soil. April statistics, reflecting partial lifting of China's travel ban, showed that the number of Chinese travelers to Korea gained 60.9 percent on-year. "Restoring the network between businesses is as important as permission from Chinese authorities in order for Korea's market for Chinese incentive travel to quickly recover," Park Chul-beom, head of meeting incentive team at KTO, said. "KTO plans to encourage incentive trips to Korea by a large number of companies by using this road show as an opportunity for exchanging active, updated information between firms and travel agencies of the two countries."
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