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BTS creates 1 trillion won for Korea

Dec 24,2019
Boy band BTS created an economic effect worth 1 trillion won ($860.7 million) in October through its three concerts in Seoul, an academic report showed Monday.

The septet finished off its “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour with a final leg in Seoul that featured three concerts at Seoul Olympic Stadium in southern Seoul on Oct. 26, 27 and 29 that drew a total of 130,000 fans.

According to a report by a research team led by Pyun Ju-hyun, a business professor at Korea University, the concerts created a total of 922.9 billion won in direct and indirect economic effects.

The research team put the direct economic effect at 330.7 billion won and the worth of the indirect economic effect expected over the next five years at 592.2 billion won.

The research team came up with the sum of the direct economic effect by adding up the total ticket and merchandise sales revenue, the costs of putting on the concerts, including stadium rental fees, as well as the expenditure by ticket holders, including transportation and accommodation costs.

For the calculation of the indirect effect, the report took into account new consumer expenditures by households whose income was driven up by the BTS concerts, the effect of added value creation and the prospect of revisits to Korea and future spending by foreign fans, according to the report.

The team carried out an in-depth survey of 356 foreign fans who attended the recent Seoul concerts to study how long they stayed in Seoul for the occasion, their local expenditures and whether they are willing to revisit the country following the concerts.

The team estimated that some 187,000 tourists traveled to Korea for the occasion of the October concerts, with 23,000 of them attending the concerts.

One foreign ticket holder brought to Seoul with them an average of 3.28 companions, while the tourism promotional effect of the concert also attracted foreign tourists to the country, according to the report.

The number of BTS-driven foreign tourists accounts for about 67 percent of around 280,000 foreign tourists who visited Korea during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the report also showed.

The report also stressed the unquantifiable economic effect of the BTS concerts. Having developed interest in Korean culture and the Korean language thanks to BTS, its fans had a wish to study or work in the band’s home country - an effect, the team pointed out, of bringing in foreign human capital.

“The research shows that high-quality cultural content is capable of drawing as many foreign tourists as the Olympics, opening up a new type of window for service exports,” Professor Pyun said.

Yonhap