Korea plans K-pop concert to revive MERS-hit tourism

Korea plans K-pop concert to revive MERS-hit tourism
PHOTO: YG Entertainment and Live Nation Korea

A K-pop concert will be held next month as part of the government's efforts to attract foreign tourists after the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome, an infectious disease that claimed dozens of lives here, but is nearing its eradication, the tourism ministry said Thursday.

The K-pop festival will take place at Seoul Plaza on Aug. 4, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said Thursday.

South Korea has reported no additional cases of MERS for the past 18 days, with the death toll remaining flat at 36 for nearly two consecutive weeks.

The number of incoming tourists, however, nose-dived 41 per cent on-year in June, contracting for the first time in 25 months, according to the Korea Tourism Organisation.

The ministry said foreigners will be the main target. Some 3,000 seats have been reserved for this demographic, with 2,000 additional seats available in the picnic zone.

It has yet to work out the lineup with management agencies, but it said it plans to invite some of South Korea's top celebrities.

Two more large-scale K-pop concerts are being planned in September and October to drum up interest in Korea travel among overseas K-pop fans.

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