Viral chart hit fuels tourism boom

22nd Nov 2012

Gangnam Style, the viral hit from South Korean pop star Psy, could attract an influx of overseas visitors and investment to the nation, according to the country's tourism chiefs.

Although the song sends-up the inhabitants of South Korea's upmarket Gangnam district, an area of Seoul south of the Han River, local firms are making the most of Psy's global popularity to help market their products.

Merchants reported that since Gangnam Style exploded on to YouTube - it currently has over 780 million views, making it one of the most viewed internet videos of all-time - the area has seen an increase in foreign shoppers.

The catchy song has ranked highly on music charts from Asia to Europe and North America, with many commentators suggesting it may be South Korea's most successful cultural export ever.

Je Sang-won, who heads the Korea Tourism Organization's Halyu, or Korean Wave, division, said: "It has attracted more Western fans and made them interested in Korea.

"We did a survey in Los Angeles and found 70% of respondents said they wanted to visit Korea after they saw the video."


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