Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - In preparation for tourist peak season in October, Seoul City plans to crack down on rip-offs targeting foreign tourists for the next three weeks.
Officials said yesterday the city government will focus on five special tourist zones and popular areas such as Sinchon and Hongdae to ensure that merchants fulfill the obligation to list prices, and check for illegal activities in taxis and call vans.
Karaoke rooms, which do not have to list prices under the current law, will put up a voluntary price listing in cooperation with the regional police, and snack carts will have to list prices or otherwise pay a fine.
Oversight of taxis and call vans will be tightened. Seoul has carried out on-the-spot inspections in 20 rip-off-prone areas downtown since September 5.
Seoul is also promoting the "120 + 9" number for foreigners to report inconveniences, and has been employing "foreign mystery shoppers" since June, where expats disguised as tourists report instances of overcharging.
The city is also considering raising penalties for over charging as well as rewards for citizen reports.