South Korea Names K-Pop Group Newjeans As Tourism Ambassadors

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Seoul: South Korea on Thursday appointed K-pop girl band NewJeans "honorary ambassadors" as part of a drive to promote tourism, joining a long list of Korean celebrities to take up the role.

South Korea has seen tourism figures recover to nearly pre-pandemic levels this year, with around a third of visitors citing K-pop or K-drama -- the so-called "Hallyu" or Korean wave -- as a major motive for travelling to the East Asian country.

Tourist arrivals are at "about 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels," said culture Minister Yu In-chon.

"With NewJeans as tourism ambassadors, I expect even more people from all over the world to visit Korea," he added.

The group will serve as ambassadors with no actual diplomatic responsibilities for a year, succeeding previous representatives such as "Squid Game" star and Emmy-winner Lee Jung-jae and K-pop megastars BTS.

Members of the band shared their personal recommendations for visitors to the South, including eating "gimbap dipped in tteokbokki sauce" and taking "a photo a day", which is an "unspoken rule among young Korean generations".

More than 11 million tourists visited South Korea last year, a 245 percent increase compared to 2022, when some pandemic restrictions were still in force.

Chinese and Japanese tourists made up the majority of the visitors.

NewJeans recently held their first fan meet at the Tokyo Dome, just nearly a year after their debut -- the fastest Tokyo Dome debut for any foreign artist. Tickets were sold out in minutes.

The group's Japanese debut single "Supernatural" sold over a million copies as of Thursday, marking their fifth million-seller.


The Peninsula

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