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Film-Induced Tourism in Asia: A Case Study of Korean Television Drama and Female Viewers' Motivation to Visit Korea

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Film-induced tourism refers to visits to a destination or attraction as a result of it being featured on television, film, or video. An important part of tourism marketing in Korea is the promotion of filming locations of Korean television soap operas as tourist attractions, because Korean television dramas enjoy immense popularity in Asia. Based on focus group interviews with Singaporean women who are avid viewers of Korean TV dramas, this article examines how emotions and experiences in watching Korean TV dramas motivate viewers to visit Korea. It also explores the mediatized gaze of female viewers-turned-tourists and how their actual tourist experiences in Korea influence their subsequent consumption of Korean TV dramas. Responses from the focus group participants were divided between those who were motivated by the TV dramas and those who were interested in visiting Korea for other reasons. For the former, the primary pull factor of beautiful scenery in the settings of the various Korean dramas was usually combined with the push factor of seeking to validate or confirm the landscapes and architecture that one had seen in the TV dramas. It was found that visiting Korea did not necessarily lead to interest in viewing Korean TV dramas, but participants who had a positive tour experience in Korea were more likely to be interested in Korean TV dramas upon returning home. As the participants indicated a preference for natural scenery (used as a backdrop for scenes in the TV dramas) over film sets, the author cautions against the overcommercialization and artificiality in the packaging of filming locations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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