The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will be introducing 'touring hours' at the Bukchon Hanok Village for the first time. Accordingly, the vicinity around Buckchon-ro 11-gil - the area where the most tourists tend to gather - will limit the passage of tourists starting in July. On weekdays and Saturdays, tourists will be able to visit the area between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Sundays will be 'a day of rest for the alleys', and an introduction of an advanced reservation system for the long term is currently being reviewed. Furthermore, foreign tourist groups visiting Bukchon must be accompanied by a tour guide, and the area around Donmi Pharmacy which leads into Bukchon Hanok Village will be designated as a 'No Parking' zone for tour buses, where strict parking enforcement will be implemented.
In order to decrease the harm being caused to the local residents and protect the residences themselves, the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Jongno District held a forum for the residents on July 22nd and agreed to the 'Lifestyle Improvement Plan for Bukchon Hanok Village Residents'. Bukchon Hanok Village is a major landmark in Seoul that sees an average of 10,000 visitors daily. It is estimated that approximately 70% of these 10,000 visitors are foreign tourists. As the number of tourists visiting the area grew, the actual residents of Bukchon Hanok Village have experienced a number of inconveniences such as excessive noise, illegal disposal of waste, trespassing, and illegal parking.
The plan includes the following 8 measures: ▲designating and enforcing 'touring hours' ▲having guides accompany tourist groups ▲designating a 'No Parking' area for tour buses where parking is strictly enforced ▲increasing the frequency of waste collection and bringing in additional cleaning staff ▲prompting the expansion of public restrooms ▲installing a notice board of prohibited tourist behavior ▲training and educating tour guides ▲training for a resident-led management workforce (tentatively named ‘Protectors of Bukchon Village’).
According to the improvement measures, the frequency of waste collection will increase from two times a day to three times a day, and for the time slots when sanitation workers are not on the clock, there will be two permanent cleaning staff members who will be sent in to clean the alleys. To resolve the issue of tourists urinating in the streets, the 70 public restrooms that are currently in the area will be expanded. During the latter half of the year, a board of guidelines notifying tourists of prohibited behavior - such as excessive noise and illegal disposal of waste - will be installed at two locations.
In order to ensure the provision of proper, on-site guidance, tour guides will undergo tourism etiquette training. In the month of July, tour guides from travel agencies and city and district tour guides will all be educated on visiting hours, prohibited behaviors, and regulations for punishment. The resident-led management workforce, the 'Protectors of Bukchon Village' (tentative name), will also receive training. These guides’ responsibilities will consist of restricting the entry of tourists who attempt to enter outside of 'touring hours' and preventing the occurrence of prohibited tourist behavior, such as the illegal disposal of waste.