K-pop sensation BTS’ popularity has skyrocketed in recent years, with the boy band even placing third on the U.S. Billboard 200 main albums chart in early May. Not only is the group’s music and glowing persona the talk of the town, but also locations for their music videos or places members have visited have become popular attractions for fans visiting Korea.
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Traveling to one of BTS’ video filming locations and uploading photos with the hashtag #btstour has become a trend among foreign fans. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) conducted a popularity vote on BTS-related locations in Korea on its website from June 10 to 24, in which over 22,000 fans from 137 countries took part.
Topping the list was a bus stop at Hyangho Beach in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, which was featured in a photograph on the album jacket for “You Never Walk Alone,” with 21.8 percent of the votes. However, it is not a real bus stop, but a prop built for the photo.
Coming in second was Dadaepo Beach in Busan, which was visited by BTS member Jimin and uploaded on his social media accounts, with 12.2 percent; followed by a road lined with metasequoia in Damyang, South Jeolla Province, which RM visited and posted a photo of on social media, at 12.1 percent.
|1||Jumunjin Beach, Gangneung||4873||21.8%|
|2||Dadaepo Beach, Busan||2734||12.2%|
|3||Metasequoia Road, Damyang||2701||12.1%|
|4||Line Friends Itaewon Branch, Seoul||2646||11.8%|
|5||Iryeong Station, Yangju||1558||7%|
|6||Yoojung Sikdang (Restaurant), Seoul||1456||6.5%|
|7||Schools attended by BTS members||1003||4.5%|
|8||Hyangiram Hermitage, Yeosu||957||4.3%|
|9||Laundry Pizza, Seoul||913||4.1%|
|10||Banpo Hangang Park, Seoul||870||3.9%|
“Due to the group’s popularity, fans from all around the globe have been visiting the sites,” said Je Sang-weon, director of KTO’s international smart tourism team.
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Several other locations in the top 10 included an outlet of Line Friends in Itaewon, Seoul, which was visited by all members and sells BT21 figurines of the boy band members; and Yujeong restaurant in Gangnam, southern Seoul, which the members have frequented since they were trainees.
Fans in their teens to 30s picked the beach as the best location to visit, while people in their 40s preferred the Line Friends shop, and fans in their 50s, the metasequoia road.
More than 94 percent of the online survey participants were women.
“We have strengthened promotion activities via social media on the destinations selected by fans. We also plan to develop related tourism products to attract more visitors to the country,” Je said.
Source: The Korea Times, KTO