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Seoul to make Hallyu map to entice tourists

2007/01/14 Source

Surrounded with hip-hop clubs, some Latin bars and live band clubs, Hongdae (the area around Hongik University) is a famous spot with young Koreans and foreigners, especially on weekends. This area is popular not only for those who love clubbing but also for the Korean drama "Spring Waltz" which was shot on location there.

Some scenes of "Winter Sonata", Korea's mega hit TV drama starring Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo, were shot in Gahoe-dong near Jongno in Seoul.

In "Untold Scandal", another hit movie both nationwide and overseas, that portrayed the life of corruptive yangban (aristocrats) during the Joseon Dynasty, Namsangol Hanok Maeul (a neighborhood of traditional houses in Seoul) was the location where Madame Joh (Lee Mi-sook) and Joh-won (Bae Yong-joon) met and made a fatal bet over Lady Sue (Jeon Do-yeon).

According to the Korean National Tourism Organization, the number of overseas tourists who visited Korea on so-called Hallyu tours exceeded 1 million in 2005, spending 1.4 trillion won in total. These tourists visit places where Korean movies or dramas were shot and sometimes meet with popular Korean entertainers, such as Bae Yong-jun or Song Seung-heon.

Considering the growing popularity of Korean movies and dramas overseas, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is planning to promote famous spots that appeared in Korean dramas and movies, as a part of its strategic Hallyu tourism marketing.

City officials are planning a "Seoul Hallyu Map" for release this summer. Besides the location of shoots, the map will also indicate shops where Korean TV and movie stars might be spotted and the schools they attended.

The city is supporting the renovation of a special hall in Hongdae that will commemorate "Spring Waltz", by Yoon Seok-ho, who also directed "Winter Sonata" "Autumn in my Heart" and "Summer Scent" for the Korean Broadcasting System. It hopes the images in the hall will help visitors recall the scenes from the drama and is considering building other such halls to develop Hallyu tourism packages to attract more overseas tourists.

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