South Korea Creates Self-Governing International Development, Tourist Destination

by Susan MacLaughlin ,  Market Watch | 2008-09-02

NEW YORK, Sep 22, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Tourists from around the world will soon have the opportunity to be among the first to experience the next major global destination -- a clean, green natural environment with resort-style living and cutting-edge healthcare and education -- Jeju, South Korea.

JDC has recognized that people from around the world are becoming savvy healthcare consumers -- looking for the best treatment, in the best locations, for the best price. JDC's "Healthcare Town" will offer medical tourists a variety of health and treatment options, ranging from medical examinations, to obesity treatment to wellness therapies. The complex will also be home to a research and development park, which will include a National Anti-Aging R&D Center, Bio Medical R&D Center, and New Medicine R&D Center.
"We believe Jeju's beautiful, clean natural environment, coupled with its proximity to some of the world's most important markets, make it an ideal location for international development," said Kyung-Taeg Kim, CEO and Chairman of JDC. "While JDC is promoting several important development projects on the island -- two of the most exciting are our new English Education City and Healthcare Town."

Healthcare Town is expected to provide significant economic benefits for Jeju over the long-term. According to McKinsey and Company, medical travel market gross revenues were US$40 billion worldwide in 2004 and are projected to grow up to US$100 billion by 2012. In line with the growth of the global market, Korea's medical tourism sector is aiming to attract 100,000 tourists by 2012, topping US$37 billion.
JDC's Healthcare Town will cost approximately US$315 million to complete. About US$99 million will be an investment from the South Korean Government and US$220 million will come from private investors.

"Healthcare is no longer simply a regional issue," said Kim. "The medical travel market is growing rapidly every year, and we believe that our international medical facilities, which focus not only on medicine, but also on wellness, will be among the premier healthcare facilities in the world. Every person should have the right to receive cutting-edge care at a fair price."

JDC will begin construction of a first-of-its-kind English Education "City" in 2009. The City will include a settlement-type English-speaking town, which will be equipped with residences, commerce and convenience functions, as well as educational facilities in order to absorb the demand for overseas language courses and offer the chance for English education to middle-class citizens. In addition to more than 12 English-only primary, middle and high schools, English will be the only language spoken at public buildings, shopping centers, and parks. The goal is to create a total English-language immersion experience for students.

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