PSY, Kpop and tourism

The Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) is linking an increase in tourism to Kpop and, most recently, PSY's Gangnam Style. In fact, KTO's US branch did a small survey with 200 Americans in NYC and LA. Results showed that 60% wanted to go to Gangnam after watching the music video.

"Gangnam Style" @ 2012 MAMA

Check out the full article, "Tourism industry is learning to adapt" from Korea JoongAng Daily.

To offer a quick summary: Although the number of visitors has risen, the issue is most are not returning for another trip. Tour agencies in South Korea, it seems, are now looking to re-examine their offerings. Too many offering the same tours. However, businesses are starting to add new ideas even if the tourism industry themselves is not. Story-telling is even examined as a major attraction since many locations have been made famous through dramas. People like to feel a part of a story.

“If Korea wants to mature as a tourist destination, it has to pay attention to the current trend,” says Choi Kyung-eun, a researcher at Korea Culture and Tourism Institute. “People used to look around at sightseeing places and take photos. They found it pleasant because trips were not very common. But today, everyone leaves on a trip wanting to do something more than just watching.
“If we can work on this issue, it will make travelers visit this country again.”

I've never been a fan of guided tours. I might do one of a specific location, but when it comes to a whole city I prefer to explore on my own. I know many who prefer being in a guided group when traveling though.

I also don't make travel decisions based on music videos, but if that's what's working to increase tourism I say keep going.

Going back to PSY for a second, The Korean Herald had an interesting article today about him and Samsung as driving forces behind 'brand Korea' this year.

Edit to add: Check out a Dec 12 article from the Korea Times that touches on tourism and the influence of Kpop.

So, what's your preference guided tours or exploring independently?
Leave your thoughts on the article(s) in the comments below :)


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