BTS is undoubtedly the first thing that any foreigner will think of when someone utters the words “Korea.” BTS has become a global sensation with millions of fans listening to their songs and albums on a daily basis. This wave of popularity has had an undeniable effect on the economy of South Korea but also has brought in a wave of tourists from around the globe trying to experience the Korean lifestyle. This is exactly the positive effect that big Korean corporations such as Samsung and Hyundai have brought to the small Asian country. The popularity of BTS generates revenue and tourism increases at an undeniable pace.
BTS, with their fame across the globe, has accomplished many things throughout their short yet eventful career. After being in obscurity and basically poverty for the first few years of BTS’ career, the group has now made the Billboard top 100 multiple times with their song “I Need U” winning them first place on The Show, which for them was their first award.
Along with UNICEF, BTS launched its “Love Myself” campaign. This recognition around the world has led to many fans buying merchandise such as shirts or even Army Bombs. All this has amounted to the group having an estimated net worth of around 45-60 million dollars. This number is definitely very impressive as they are the biggest sensation South Korea has ever seen, but the effects on the economy are far more impressive.
According to an article by Medium, BTS has generated about 4.9 billion dollars in revenue for the Korean economy (5.6 trillion won). For comparison, Psy’s Gangnam Style brought only 1 trillion won to the country. According to the Hyundai Research Institute, the economic impact of the Korean economy in 10 years will amount to 49.8 billion dollars or 56.2 trillion won.
Even more impressive is when the group brought in an estimated 345.5 billion won from their 5th muster concert held in Seoul and Busan. Not only has this led to an increase in the revenue generated for the Korean economy, but it has also led to an increase in consumer goods exports. BTS was responsible for contributing 1.1 billion dollars in the export of Korean consumer goods, with clothing bringing in $2.026 billion, cosmetics generating around $2.8 billion, and food bringing in $3.96 billion.
Tourism to South Korea has also taken a spike with 796,000 foreigners coming due to BTS. Out of the 10.41 million tourists who visited Korea, 7.6% of the visitors admitted to going because of the hit group. The Seoul Metropolitan Government gave credit to the group for reviving the tourism industry. The industry had previously taken a dip due to the THAAD ban and BTS brought it back with flying colors.
Over the six-year lifespan of arguably the face of South Korea. BTS has literally brought both fame and fortune to Korea and they will not stop any time soon. To say that BTS has boosted the Korean economy is an understatement. They have brought an interest in Korea globally to a scale the country has never seen.
It is understandable why some Americans would give Korea the label of “KPOP land” and have BTS as the face of it. The group is quite obviously very beneficial to Korea and it is because of that reason Korea should always keep BTS or any KPOP group for that matter as globally popular as BTS.
Jude Choi, Grade 11
John Marshall High School