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Is Busan Set to Join Seoul With Gangnam-Style Tourist Police?

BUSAN, South Korea — The city of Busan is apparently set to become the second city in the country to establish a “tourism police” force to help protect tourists from being ripped off in the city according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The “tourism police” made international headlines when the 101 member-unit was established last October in Seoul for wearing uniforms created by K-pop legend Psy’s costume designer.

The recruits have no arresting capabilities, yet are deployed to help tourists in need of communication help or inconveniences with locals. The police officers are noted for their language skills in English, Japanese and Chinese.

“The tourist police wasn’t created because this country is unsafe,” former Korea Tourism Organization president Lee Charm said last October at the inauguration ceremony in Seoul, noting that they were hired to be ambassadors who promote how safe this country is.

The role of the police includes crime prevention, tourist protection, and additional tourism services including giving information to tourists. There are yet any details of when the service may begin in the city.

Those in need of immediate help can call 1330 for tourism information provided by police or the Busan Global Centerat 1577-7716 in Korean, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Russian, Uzbek from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday



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