March 13, 2015 12:44
Hotels and guesthouses in Seoul's southern Gangnam area are full up due to huge concerts by K-pop superstars EXO.
EXO performed at the Olympic Park last weekend and are set to stage more performances from Friday to Sunday. A total of over 70,000 fans are expected, with 2,000 from abroad on package tours arranged by the band's agency SM Entertainment.
The agency also has chartered around 30 buses to transport fans from the provinces.
The biggest beneficiaries are guesthouses near the venue. "More than half of the guests who booked for this weekend are here to go to the EXO concert," one operator said. "If there's a K-pop concert, we have guests from all around the world."
Luxury hotels are also benefitting. The InterContinental Grand Seoul Parnas in Samseong-dong offered special discounts for guests who bought concert tickets, and Japanese fans filled over 70 rooms last week. Around 50 rooms are booked under the special offer this week.
The hotel signed a deal with SM Entertainment to provide the special discount and the rooms have been newly decorated to cater to EXO fans, a spokesman said.
Most of the fans from the provinces stay in accommodation close to the concert venue. Facilities near the Olympic Park were almost full last weekend.
K-pop concerts are a boon for the hospitality industry in the Gangnam area. Fans prefer to stay there rather than in tourist destinations in northern Seoul such as Jongno or Hongik University due to its proximity to concert venues and major entertainment agencies.
Rather than visiting generally popular tourist attractions, they traipse after their idols, looking at their entertainment agencies or restaurants frequented by the stars.
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