Updated: 10/24/2013 00:29 | By Agence France-Presse

S. Korean province mulls country's first nudist beach

A South Korean province is considering setting up the country's first nudist beach in an attempt to boost tourism, but is already receiving protests from the public, officials said Wednesday.

S. Korean province mulls country's first nudist beach

Nudists take part in an annual skinny dip in Northumberland, northeast England on September 22, 2013

The idea was initially put forward by the East Sea-Rim Headquarters (ESRH) -- a department of the government in the eastern province of Gangwon.

The proposal envisages opening a nudist area by 2017 to attract more foreign visitors to a province known for its sandy beaches.

"We see this project as part of our efforts to promote tourism," an ESRH official said.

Despite its rapid modernisation, South Korea remains a largely conservative country and the official said the plan would need the approval of local residents.

"Without their consent, it will be difficult to push ahead," she told AFP.

"In fact, we've already received protest calls from some residents since the project was reported," she added.

The idea of a nudist beach was first mooted in 2005 but was swiftly discarded because of public opposition.

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