Psy promotes tourism Gangnam style

18th Apr 2013

Austrian tourist chiefs are no doubt grateful to pop group Ultravox for the publicity generated by the 1981 hit Vienna.

And New York tourism owes an obvious debt to Frank Sinatra and his modern counterpart Alicia Keys.

So it was perhaps inevitable that Gangnam Style singer Psy would star in a series of TV commercials promoting South Korea.

His worldwide hit put Gangnam - a suburb of the capital city, Seoul - on the map and prompted his appointment as the Korea Tourism Organisation's public relations ambassador.

Seoul boasts a mix of modern and ancient architecture, such as the historic Summer Palace. While the N Seoul Tower, built in 1969, offers panoramic, hazy views of the metropolis created almost from scratch after the Korean War ended in 1953.

Gangnam Style became the first YouTube video to reach a billion views on December 21 2012 - and in the wake of this South Korea's tourist numbers jumped about 50% in a year to reach 320,000 in January 2013, according to government data.

The advertisements will air in 70 countries next month, according to the Yonhap news agency.

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