What is Hallyu?

Graphic with young Korea people, flags and food.

Hallyu is a state of mind! 

Often referred to as the “Korean Wave”, Hallyu is a cultural phenomenon that has originated in South Korea and has taken the world by storm in a very short time. As of the end of 2022, the number of Hallyu fans surpassed 178 million—19 times the number of fans counted through the first survey in 2012 (9.26 million) (source: Korea Foundation).

Always according to the Korea Foundation, “While the Asia-Oceania region remains Hallyu’s stronghold with some 130 million fans, a Hallyu craze is also sweeping the Americas. Both numerically and proportionally, the Korean Wave fandom in Europe shows an unprecedented year-on-year growth among all regions, and Africa and the Middle East add 18 countries to the global survey, compared to the inaugural 2012 publication.”

Hallyu encompasses various elements of Korean culture, including music, television dramas, films, fashion, beauty, cuisine and more. It’s often tied to K-Pop and K-Dramas specifically, but the burgeoning Hallyu industry also includes K-beauty brands and even e-sports, contributing to “$12.3 billion worth of exports in 2019” (source: CNBC International).

Heart shaped hands concert, loving artist, festival. Music concert with lights, silhouette of people
Korean Foods V3

What is the effect of Hallyu on tourism?


It is impossible to deny that Hallyu has positively affected the country’s inbound tourism and changed the way the international community perceives South Korea.

Since the 90s, the Korean Wave has been bringing more and more visitors to South Korea, with a rising percentage among the younger generations. According to a survey conducted in South Korea throughout 2022, over 21 percent of tourists aged between 15 and 19 years old stated stated that they visited for K-pop and “Hallyu”-related experiences.

Hallyu Tourism” is now an essential part of Korean tourism. According to Martin Roll, the Hallyu effect has been tremendous, contributing to 0.2 percent of Korea’s GDP in 2004, amounting to approximately USD 1.87 billion. In 2019, Hallyu had an estimated USD 12.3 billion boost to the Korean economy.

The Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) has harnessed the immense interest in Korea by curating highly enticing tour packages for tourists. These exclusive packages include visits to iconic destinations featured in Korean dramas and journeys to the very shooting locations that have captivated viewers worldwide.

Landscape view at seoul
Beautiful Korean girl sitting in front of mirror and applying lipstick on lip in bedroom.



There are many activities and locations in South Korea related to the Korean Wave. 

Heart shaped hands at concert. Music concert with lights and silhouette of people enjoying concert.

Go to a K-Pop concert or event – Concerts, fan meets, television broadcasts, and award shows… The opportunities to meet your favorite K-Idols in South Korea are abundant!
K-Pop isn’t just a music genre; it’s a cultural phenomenon, a true force of nature.
Another dream itinerary addition? A K-Pop dance or singing lesson!

Feasting on Bibimbap, Kimchi and other traditional Korean food

Take a K-Food cooking class
Korean cuisine is carving out a place among the most intriguing and flavorful in the international culinary scene. What sets it apart is its deep connection to Korean culture and philosophy; everything carries a deeper meaning. There’s nothing like a cooking class to understand and savor all its delicious nuances.

Young asian female makeup beauty by eyebrow brush

Indulge in K-Beauty shopping
South Korea is at the forefront in many aspects, but it truly shines in the realm of cosmetics. Makeup and skincare are fundamental aspects of Korean life, and the tourism dedicated to shopping and K-Beauty is thriving. Myeongdong, Hongdae, Insa-dong are some popular neighborhoods in Seoul for shopping.

Squid game

Visit Seoul’s filming locations
K-Drama and more! South Korean cinema has recently risen to prominence with the success of director Bong Joon-Ho and his film ‘Parasite’ at the 2020 Academy Awards. However, South Korea has been producing high-quality films and TV series for years. The iconic locations of Seoul, in particular, have become ingrained in the collective imagination: Lotte World, Namsan Tower, Itaewon, and more


Choosing a specialized tour operator for South Korea can significantly enhance a travel experience. It’s about having experts who understand the country deeply, are passionate about it, and can offer a more immersive and tailored journey.

  1. We Help You Craft Your Perfect Tour to South Korea: Our team specializes in designing tailored travel experiences to South Korea. Whether it’s exploring the vibrant K-Pop scene, delving into the rich history and traditions, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the country, we work with you to create the ideal itinerary that matches your clients’ preferences.

  2. We Help You Understand Your Clients’ Requests and Korean Culture: Understanding your clients’ unique requests is crucial. We bridge the gap between your clients’ expectations and the intricacies of Korean culture. With deep insights into Korean customs, etiquette, and local insights, we ensure your clients have a respectful and immersive experience.

  3. We Take Care of All Travel Services: Leave the logistics to us. From accommodation and transportation to guided tours, we handle all travel services with precision. This means your clients can focus on making memories while we ensure their journey is seamless and stress-free. Your clients’ satisfaction is our top priority.


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