Jeju Special Self-Governing Province's Municipal Police Unit has taken action to establish order in response to the increasing number of foreign tourists visiting Jeju. Beginning April 24th, the police initiated a special crackdown on illegal activities targeting foreign tourists, resulting in the apprehension of a total of 11 cases at major tourist destinations on the island.
Among the cases, the police conducted internal investigations on 10 unregistered travel companies, while one case involving commercial transportation was reported to the national police.
Most of these illegal operators were unlicensed guides, mainly targeting Chinese tourists for tourism-related activities. The police brought Chinese-speaking officers to monitor travel information websites and travel package sales sites, while also conducting on-site surveillance at hotels and tourist sites, leading to the detection of these illegal operators.
Unregistered travel operators refer to entities that provide travel conveniences, such as booking accommodations, travel guidance, and ticketing, without registering as official "travel operators” to the authorities. According to the Tourism Promotion Act, operating as an unregistered travel operator may result in a sentence of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to 30 million won.
Using unregistered travel operators can lead to unclear accountability in the event of accidents during the trip. Additionally, it undermines the competitiveness of legitimate travel operators and may provide travelers with inaccurate information about Korean history, culture, and other aspects, thereby negatively impacting the image of Jeju's tourism.
Park Sang-hyun, the Head of the Tourism Police Unit, stated, "Unregistered travel operators undermine the competitiveness of legitimate operators and cause harm to tourists and the image of Jeju tourism by providing false travel information." He further mentioned that they will strengthen crackdowns on unregistered travel operators in close cooperation with relevant agencies such as local governments, administrative bodies, and the
Chinese Interpreters Association.
Furthermore, the municipal police plans to continue monitoring and cracking down on cases involving Chinese social media influencers intentionally promoting anti-Korean sentiments in Korea. These influencers urge travelers to hire unregistered Chinese travel operators by denouncing Korean guides as risk factors, and thereby facilitating illegal travel operations.
Jeju Weekly firstname.lastname@example.org