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Soap Opera Sparking Korea Tour Boom in HK

2005/09/04 | 105 views | Permalink | Source

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Sunday, September 4, 2005 16:38:17

The surging popularity of a Korean soap opera has led to a South Korea-bound tourist boom in Hong Kong.

"Dae Jang-geum", named after a Korean medicine woman in ancient times, has reportedly attracted the largest number of television viewers for a single show in the island's history.

In reflection of such popularity, the Korea Tourism Organization said Sunday the number of inbound tourists from Hong Kong rose 33-point-five percent in July to 17-thousand-four-hundred-56 from the same period of last year.

The aggregate number of tourists from January through July is said to have increased 16-point-four percent to 106-thousand-seven-hundred-45 from the previous year's record.

Such an explosive growth during the summer season is notable, as Hong Kong denizens traditionally come to Korea in greater numbers for skiing during the winter.

The sheer increase in number is all the more significant, given the fact that the island has a population of only seven million.

China, which has the world's largest population of one-point-three-billion, is still greatly under the sway of Korea's pop culture, with the number of inbound tourists from January through July climbing eight-point-five percent to some 390-thousand from last year.

Experts say Hong Kong now realizes that South Korea was traditionally a nation of exquisite cuisine, medicine, and venerated kings, not a nation enjoying sudden wealth after freeing itself from its subordination to China.

Reported by KBS World Radio

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