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14 - Following the Footsteps of BTS

The Global Rise of K-Pop Tourism

from Part VI - Circuits of K-Pop Flow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2023

Suk-Young Kim
Affiliation:
University of California, Los Angeles
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Summary

The globalization of K-pop has spawned an inbound flow of tourists and shoppers to the country. As Korean popular culture functions as a window through which audiences come to know Korea, specific places have emerged as sites through which K-culture can be experienced. Beyond conventional tourist destinations, these sites are related to K-pop idols, such as music video shooting locations, cafés and restaurants that idols frequented, locales used as the background of album cover photos, shops that sell celebrity merchandise, K-pop agency buildings, even ordinary parks and bookstores that K-pop stars visited. Thus, “K-pop pilgrimage” has emerged as a new tourism trend, and Korean local governments and the tourist industry are busy creating, discovering, identifying, and publicizing K-pop-associated places. This chapter presents a detailed ethnography of K-pop tourism by ARMY, BTS’s fandom, and discusses how local municipalities and tourism agencies, which have discovered the market power of ARMY, actively promote BTS-themed destinations via social media. By combining the two analyses, this chapter examines the ways K-pop consumption is extended into urban places, thereby reconfiguring the tourist and urban landscapes in Korea.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Further Reading

Beeton, Sue. Film-Induced Tourism. Clevedon: Channel View Publications, 2005.Google Scholar
Choe, Youngmin. Tourist Distractions: Traveling and Feeling in Transnational Hallyu Cinema. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Edensor, Tim. “Staging Tourism: Tourists as Performers.” Annals of Tourism Research 27/2 (2000): 322344.Google Scholar
Kim, Kyung Hyun, and Choe, Youngmin (eds.). The Korean Popular Culture Reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.Google Scholar
Kim, Suk-Young. K-Pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018.Google Scholar
Kim, Youna (ed.) The Korean Wave: Korean Media Go Global. New York: Routledge, 2013.Google Scholar
Oh, Youjeong. Pop City: Korean Popular Culture and the Selling of Place. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018.Google Scholar

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