The Power of Hallyu


Hallyu is a state of mind! And we are not kidding…

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


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.