News / Asia

'Gangnam Style' Boosts S. Korean Tourism

'Gangnam Style' Boosts South Korean Tourismi
|| 0:00:00
X
Jason Strother
November 28, 2012 6:23 PM
The South Korean pop song and music video "Gangnam Style" has gone viral worldwide. And now the South Korean tourism industry is hoping to cash in on the song's international success. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.

'Gangnam Style' Boosts South Korean Tourism

Jason Strother
The South Korean pop song and music video "Gangnam Style" has gone viral worldwide. And now the South Korean tourism industry is hoping to cash in on the song's international success.

Alexis Martinez, 14, is in a tour group that is learning the dance made famous by South Korean musician Psy in his video Gangnam Style. Martinez says even back home in Texas the song is a big hit.

"It was basically my whole school knew about it, it was crazy," said Martinez.  "There was a flash mob in our school that did it, the Gangnam Style."

"Gangnam Style" is one of the most viewed videos ever on the Internet.  It has ranked high on music charts in Asia, Europe and North America. And is what many say is South Korea's most successful cultural export.
 
For those reasons, some believe "Gangnam Style" can be used to import many foreign visitors and money.

"I think Gangnam Style is bringing up Korea's brand value," said Je Sang-won, who heads the Korea Tourism Organization's Halyu, or Korean Wave, division. "It has attracted more Western fans and made them interested in Korea.  We did a survey in Los Angeles and found 70 percent of respondents said they wanted to visit Korea after they saw the video."

Out of the streets of Gangnam, which is the part of Seoul south of the Han River, businesses are using Psy and his song to help sell products.
 
And some other merchants say ever since "Gangnam Style" went viral, they have seen an increase in foreign shoppers.   
 
Kwon Da-na runs a clothing shop in Gangnam's trendy Apgujeong neighborhood.

"Sometimes there are more foreign customers than Korean shoppers coming to my store.  When I turn on the Gangnam Style song and open the door, some people come in off the street.  They smile a lot," she noted.

South Korea expects to see more than 10 million foreign visitors this year.  And according to the Korea Tourism Organization, Korean pop music, known as K-POP, is one of the country's biggest draws. And now thanks to Psy, the KTO plans to use Gangnam Style to attract more foreign tourists.
 
Tourist Alexis Martinez says the "Gangnam Style" dance is one that anyone can learn.  And cool is what "Gangnam Style" is all about.

Producer Malte Kollenberg also contributed to this story.

You May Like

Analysis: China Raises Hong Kong Rhetoric to Tiananmen Level

A front-page commentary in The People’s Daily called the current demonstrations 'chaos,' the same word Party officials used 25 years ago to describe the Tiananmen Square protests More

US Airstrikes Anger Syrian Civilians Fleeing Their Homes

Pentagon officials say they have seen no credible evidence of civilian deaths caused by US airstrikes against Islamic State militants More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid