Saturday, September 8, 2012

15,000-seater K-pop Concert Hall To Be Built In Seoul

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The Korean government's show of support to the K-pop and tourism industries includes the construction of a 15,000-seater concert hall in Seoul.
The planned concert venue is estimated to cost about 200 billion (about P7.38 billion) to construct with the government providing 25 billion won (P924 million), according to Korea's Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
(Clockwise from top left) KARA, Lee Min-ho, 2NE1 and Big Bang.
(Photos by www.newsen.com, MTV and YG Entertainment)
The location will be unveiled in October and construction will begin next year. The arena is scheduled for completion by 2016, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.
The construction of the concert hall is inspired by Japan's Saitama Super Arena, a popular venue for K-pop concerts. The arena can accommodate up to 37,000 people.
Hallyu, or the Korean wave, has been expanding worldwide including in the Philippines in recent years.
In particular, K-pop is experiencing a surge in popularity. K-pop artists are touring in different countries to hold concerts and meet fans.
Korean pop culture exports totalled $794 million in 2011 from $637 million in 2010, according to a report by The Chosun Ilbo newspaper.
The construction of the new concert hall is expected to attract more tourists to Korea.
A survey last year by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) showed K-pop is the most popular hallyu component. Of the 12,085 foreign respondents, 53.3 percent or 6,441 respondents chose K-pop as their favorite hallyu aspect.
It was followed by Korean TV dramas with 33.2 percent and Korean films with 6.2 percent.
Of the hallyu stars that they wanted to be their travel buddies in Korea, 9 out of 10 respondents chose K-pop singers.
Korean TV dramas are popular overseas as well. An example is Lee Min-ho's new drama "Faith," which is currently airing in Korea.
A report on Sports Donga said SBS has signed agreement to export the drama to the Philippines and five other countries in Asia.

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