Rev. Moon sizes up Yeosu as retreat

Joong Ang Daily/September 26, 2003
By Kim Si-rae

The Reverend Moon Sun Myung, the globally known religious leader and businessman, has chosen Yeosu, South Jeolla province, as the place in which he wants to spend his remaining years, according to sources.

The Tongil Group is about to start work on a large resort town in the province, the sources said. The Unification Church, which the Reverend Moon, 83, heads, has a business relationship with Tongil, which also acquired the Yongpyeong resort earlier this year. The resort was a contender to host 2010 Winter Olympics.

With 20 subsidiaries mostly in heavy industry or food, Tongil may be signaling that it is shifting its focus to tourism and the leisure business.

"It is true that the Reverend Moon is recently showing interest in tourism and resort business," a Tongil Group official said. "But we can neither confirm nor deny concerning the Yeosu resort town."

But industry sources said Tongil has now submitted business plans to the Yeosu municipal government, in which it laid out a plan to establish a resort town of 68 acres in Hwayang-myeon, Yeosu.

The group had already bought one third of the necessary land. The development will take 10 years and include global cultural town, golf courses and time-share condominiums, which will be built first.

An official from Yeosu said that the locals would be careful in overseeing the development. "To prevent speculation in Hwayang-myeon, we plan to designate the area a zone where people need government permission to transact land," he said.

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