Filipinos can enter South Korea visa-free for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang until April 2018 to boost the country's tourism industry, according to a report by Yonhap News agency.
The 2018 Winter Olympics is scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25 in Pyeongchang County. It is the first Winter Olympic Games hosted by South Korea
Tourist groups from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam will be allowed to come to Pyeongchang without a visa if they enter through the regional YangYang airport.
South Korea will also extend the $15 per person visa fee waiver for Chinese tourists with electronic passports until the end of 2018.
The latter is an incentive to lure Chinese tourists back to their shores after the Chinese government ordered travel agencies to stop selling tour packages to South Korea due to the latter's decision to allow the US to install a THAAD missile defense system in its territory.
Yonhap reported that the order caused a 60 percent drop in tourists arrival every month, and saw the number fall from 61.3 to 2 million during the March-August period.
At the same time, Seoul will renegotiate with the US to amend their free trade agreement and uphold South Korean interests, the report said.
The process for this amendment began in October this year. US President Donald Trump recently blamed the FTA, which took effect in 2012, for the U.S.' growing deficit in goods trade with South Korea. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News