April 24, 2024
K-pop is the top attraction for those who visit Korea from abroad, according to a recent report. Shown are K-pop fans on Aug. 18 at the annual K-pop concert KCON LA at Crypto.com Arena and LA Convergence Center in Los Angeles. CJ ENM

K-pop is the top attraction for those who visit Korea from abroad, according to a recent report. Shown are K-pop fans on Aug. 18 at the annual K-pop concert KCON LA at Crypto.com Arena and LA Convention Center in Los Angeles. CJ ENM


By Lee Dasom

K-pop is the most cited reason for visiting Korea by social and online media users from the top 20 countries that send tourists to the country. 

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Tourism Organization on Oct. 10 released a report on the relationship between the popularity of Korean culture and its influence on people’s intent to visit the nation. 

Conducted between June 2020 and May this year, the report said the number of mentions of Korean culture on social and online media in the 20 countries was led by K-pop (36,823,578), followed by Korean food (14,180,796), cosmetics and beauty (9,971,048), and cultural content (9,286,145).

Based on the number of mentions and on-year growth rates for each category, K-pop was most popular in Indonesia and France, Korean food in the U.S., China and Turkey, cosmetics and beauty in China, the Philippines and Indonesia, and cultural content in the Philippines and Indonesia.

In France, the average number of monthly comments mentioning K-pop nearly tripled from 15,170 in 2020 to 44,016 in 2021 and continued to grow through June this year.

In the Philippines, mentions of Korean content jumped over 300% from a monthly average of 30,114 in 2020 to 115,385 last year, with a conspicuous surge of mentions of dramas and streaming platforms. This year, the K-drama “The Glory” and its lead actor Song Hye-kyo saw a huge jump in the number of mentions.

The report also analyzed data from surveys of foreign tourists and potential travelers to determine which aspects of Korea influence demand for visiting.

Using the results of last year’s survey of potential visitors, cosmetics and beauty emerged as the top reason for people abroad planning to visit Korea within three years, followed by K-pop, cultural content and food.

According to data on places most visited by foreign tourists and an analysis of spending from January 2020 to May this year, Seoul’s Jung-gu District, Jung-gu in the neighboring city of Incheon, and the capital’s districts of Gangnam-gu, Mapo-gu and Jongno-gu were the most consistently popular areas among such travelers.

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