Pop: Buzz­word for S. Korea

Byung­sun Lee, Di­rec­tor, Korea Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion, shares new plans to high­light the coun­try’s cap­ti­vat­ing cul­ture to in­crease In­dian ar­rivals to the coun­try.

TravTalk - India - - NTO - AHANA GU­RUNG

Back in 2013, K-pop singer Psy sud­denly shot to global fame with the re­lease of his mega vi­ral track ‘ Gang­nam Style’. One could re­peat­edly hear the con­ta­gious tune in ev­ery mall, shops, at par­ties, you name it, and although the craze even­tu­ally died down, it did what it had to – it left a strong im­pact. The song high­lights South Korea’s ur­ban chic area Gang­nam district that makes up a ma­jor chunk of Seoul and is a hub for shop­pers.

Korea Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (KTO) is at­tempt­ing to recre­ate the same fer­vour through a new Korean drama se­ries called De­scen­dants of the Sun, air­ing on the chan­nel Zindagi to reach out to more In­di­ans and fa­mil­iarise them with the cul­ture, enough

This year, we are up­ping the bud­get, the steps and the re­sources to raise aware­ness of the des­ti­na­tion, and wel­come more In­di­ans to our coun­try

to mo­ti­vate them to travel to South Korea. “I feel that the Korean cul­ture is not as well­known here in com­par­i­son to the South East Asian coun­tries where there is a huge fol­low­ing,” re­veals Byung­sun Lee, Di­rec­tor, KTO. “We want to cre­ate the same re­sponse. In­dia is emerg­ing as a very im­por­tant mar­ket for us which is why we are ag­gres­sively pro­mot­ing the coun­try’s tourism prod­ucts. This year, we are up­ping the bud­get, the steps and the re­sources to raise aware­ness of the des­ti­na­tion, and wel­come more In­di­ans to our coun­try.” Plans to or­gan­ise large-scale Korean cul­tural fes­ti­val in New Delhi to­wards the sec­ond half of the year are al­ready afoot to cre­ate a buzz in the in­dus­try.

Al­most 200,000 In­dian trav­ellers vis­ited South Korea in 2016 and Lee men­tions that a 20 per cent Y-o-Y growth in tourist re­ceipts have been wit­nessed for the past five years. This is also due to the fact that Korean Air re­cently started ply­ing be­tween In­cheon and New Delhi five times a week with the route re­ceiv­ing an av­er­age pas­sen­ger load fac­tor of 85 per cent and plans to add more routes af­ter ob­serv­ing the de­mand. Lee in­forms that Asiana Air­lines is al­ready look­ing to add an­other route to South In­dia, ei­ther Chen­nai or Ban­ga­lore. “This will give di­rect con­nec­tiv­ity to South In­dia which is ben­e­fi­cial for both par­ties, since Kore­ans love Ker­ala and the back­wa­ters, tea plan­ta­tions etc. are al­ready very pop­u­lar. This will give a lot of trac­tion for twoway traf­fic be­tween the two coun­tries,” he adds.

Byung­sun Lee Di­rec­tor KTO

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