Hallyeo Haesang National Park will gain an international resort complex, while Dadohae National Park will host a marine sports center, the ministry said. The two marine parks account for a fourth of the entire southern coastal area.
Gangjin, Boseong and Wando in South Jeolla will be developed into health and retreat centers, it said.
The article continues with plans for many other spots in the country.
There are a lot of plans in the works for the area---building a new capital in Muan, a "Tourism and Leisure City" in Haenam, Formula One racing in Yeongam county, the Expo in Yeosu, the International Garden Expo coming to Suncheon, Naju becoming an "Innovation City," 등---and all of the titles seem like a way to spread the development around. And in the spring the government said it will allow hotels to be built inside these national parks. Of course, the purpose of developing those island parks is to increase eco-tourism, something diminshed by increased development. Indeed, the development seems to run counter to the aims of the 2012 Yeosu Expo; from Korea.net last year:
The main reasons Yeosu's theme and bid appealed to judges is the growing sense that we humans are depleting the ocean's resources and causing rising sea levels and coastal disasters. Yeosu itself embodies harmony between development and conservation -- a beautiful port city surrounded by some 300 beautiful islands and the miles upon miles of picturesque coastline and seas within the vast National Hallyeosudo and National Archipelago marine parks.
I wrote "more" hubs in the title because not only is "hub" a popular buzzword in Korea, but Gwangju already calls itself the "Hub City of Asian Culture" and was designated the Global Hub of Kimchi Research (believe it or not there was some competition). Last September we read about another plan to separate the country into various hubs, each with its own specialty:
According to the Korea Times last year,
Southwestern Jeolla Province is to be developed as a center for culture as well as renewable energy development and other green growth-based businesses[.]
And before that there was talk of a "mega economic zone" down here; From the Chosun Ilbo last May:
The government will start building a mega economic zone on the south coast later this year by grouping Mokpo in South Jeolla Province, Busan and other southern cities. Tentatively named the Sun Belt economic zone, it will have as big a population and economic power as the Seoul metropolitan area. The government will subdivide the area into three zones: Busan, Mokpo and southern central zone, which clusters together six cities and counties in South Jeolla Province and South Gyeongsang Province. The economic zone will house industrial complexes and research and development parks.
And before that, seven development zones; from the Chosun Ilbo in January, 2008:
The plan is to group 16 large cities and provinces into five economic zones -- a central metropolitan zone (Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province), a Chungcheong zone (Daejeon and the Chungcheong provinces), a Jeolla zone (Gwangju and Jeolla provinces), a Daegu-North Gyeongsang zone (Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province) and a southeastern zone (Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province) -- plus two special zones for Gangwon Province and Jeju Island.
Each zone will be managed by a headquarters with planning, coordination and financial supervisory authority and will get receive subsidies from central government for management of various projects and coordination of policies and programs with cities and provinces under its jurisdiction. This will create separate local economic municipalities.
The committee is thinking of making the central metropolitan zone a hub of international finance and state-of-the-art industries. The Jeolla zone would link the Saemangeum project with tourist, leisure and corporate cities on the southwestern coast, such as Gwangyang and Yeosu. The Chungcheong zone would become a science-technology-education-R&D-bio belt. The Daegu-North Gyeongsang zone would become an energy, electronic and textile industries hub, the southeastern zone a shipbuilding-machinery-maritime-cultural industrial area; the Gangwon zone a tourist and medical hub; and the Jeju zone a tourism hub.
Meanwhile, the committee said construction of the Jeolla regional section of the KTX bullet train line will be completed by 2012, a year earlier than previously scheduled, to galvanize the economy in this part of the country, and to start construction of a new international airport in the southeast, either in Milyang, South Gyeongsang Province or in Busan, as early as 2009. New third-generation ports will be built in Saemangeum, Gwangyang and Busan, together with highways linking the economic zones and highway belts around large cities.