An estimated 60,000 Chinese soccer fans are expected to follow their national team to its appearance next year in the World Cup in South Korea. At the draw for the competition, in Pusan on Saturday, China was drawn in the same group as Costa Rica, Turkey and Brazil, with the three games to be played in the South Korean cities of Kwangju, Sogwipo and Seoul from June 4 to June 13. At least 60,000 of China's 80 million soccer fans would make the journey to South Korea and spend US$200 million (HK$1.56 billion), bringing a badly needed boost to South Korean tourism industry, according to estimates in the official press yesterday. This will put a strain on accommodation facilities in Kwangju and Sogwipo, which will have to house some of the fans in private homes, universities, schools and apartment buildings as well as hotels. Kwangju has only 24,000 hotel rooms. The South Korean organising committee was taking measures to open all available empty space to accommodate the visitors, the reports said. Korean companies are eager to exploit this influx of visitors from what is likely to become the country's biggest tourism market and trading partner. Samsung Electronics is offering its customers the chance to win match tickets in a lottery and will also give out prizes for each goal scored by the Chinese team. LG Electronics and SK Group plan to buy blocks of tickets and give them to their sales agents in China, who will be invited to South Korea to see the games and tour their factories and showrooms. Cities all over South Korea are preparing events to attract Chinese during the days when they are not watching football. The cities of Inchon and Pusan are preparing to build 'Chinatowns', while hotels are arranging cooks to prepare Chinese food and interpreters who can speak Putonghua.