South Korea tourism 'jumps 13%'

23rd Jan 2013

A huge increase in tourism in South Korea is being attributed to the Gangnam Style video clip phenomenon.

One-hit wonder PSY's viral YouTube video has been watched over a billion times, a world record, and is said to have helped boost visitors to his home country, particularly the capital Seoul.

The 11.2 million people who visited South Korea in 2012 is 13.4% more than the numbers who visited the previous year, according to the country's culture department.

PSY was even recently awarded the Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit for his song and accompanying Gangnam Style dance, said to be a parody of the well-heeled Gangnam district of the capital.

The popster was given the award for increasing the world's awareness of South Korea's pop music.

Je Sang-won, of the South Korea Tourism Organisation, said: "I think Gangnam Style is bringing up Korea's brand value. It has attracted more Western fans and made them interested in Korea."

Meanwhile in New York, a city council-run visitor centre due to open next month may feature a hologram of PSY performing his dance.

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