The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is linking up with a top Seoul-based entertainment group to promote Hong Kong as a travel destination in Korean dramas and variety shows.
As the saying goes: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
The three-year “strategic partnership” between the tourism board and CJ ENM—the group behind popular series like “Crash Landing On You” and “Hospital Playlist”—aims to “place Hong Kong firmly on the travel wish list of legions of K-drama fans,” according to a press release shared Monday.
Scenes will be filmed in Hong Kong when travel restrictions are eased, with the tourism board advising on “locations and the aspects of Hong Kong culture to be featured.”
Chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board Pang Yiu-kai said putting the city in the limelight will reinforce Hong Kong’s image as a tourist destination.
“We anticipate competition for tourists will be intense once the pandemic is over, and the HKTB is therefore getting a head start to secure influential media partners for maintaining Hong Kong’s visibility,” Pang said.
The global traction of Korean dramas has seen unrivaled growth in recent years, with shows frequently topping streaming charts, and dubbed and subbed in languages from Hindi to Portuguese.
Just last week, “Squid Game”—a Hunger Games-esque survival series—became the first Korean show to top Netflix US charts. Bloomberg reported that the show’s popularity sent the shares of related media companies soaring.
Financial Secretary John Tsang announced during his annual budget speech earlier this year that he would be earmarking HK$765 million (US$98 million) to the tourism board to revive the flailing industry.
Coconuts has reached out to the tourism board to ask the value of the partnership with CJ ENM.
In March, lawmakers blasted the board for spending around HK$9 million (US$1.16) on a two-minute virtual fireworks countdown video meant to help Hong Kong “achieve global exposure.”