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K-Star Road in Gangnam beckons hallyu tourists

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Published : Apr 12, 2015 - 17:44 / Updated : Apr 12, 2015 - 17:44

South Korea’s Gangnam-gu Office in the southern affluent district of Seoul will further revamp the streets of Cheongdam-dong to recreate them as streets of hallyu, or the Korean Wave, as part of efforts to attract foreign tourists.

The renovation of the streets called the “K-Star Road,” modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has entered its second phase of construction, the district office said.

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Gangnam Mayor Shin Yeon-hee (fourth from right) poses with K-pop stars to launch the K-Star Road in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam in Seoul. (The Korea Herald)
Its first phase involved developing local stores where Korean singers and artists regularly visited into tourist attractions, and setting up photo zones on the streets of Cheongdam-dong last year.

The district office also produced and distributed guidebooks and maps for foreign tourists during the first development phase.

The second part of the development included setting up three-meter-high art toys and dolls, or the so-called “GangnamDol” -- coined from the words of Gangnam-gu and K-pop idols.

The district office has worked with 10 K-pop teams of artists and singers to create the art toys, which emblematize popular music bands such as 2PM, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation and F.T. Island.

The art toys and dolls have been placed in front of the Galleria luxury department store and all the way up to SM Entertainment, Korea’s leading entertainment agency that represents K-pop idols such as Girls’ Generation.

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A Girls’ Generation member poses with an art toy in Seoul. (The Korea Herald)
The district office said that it planned to expand the K-Star Road by further setting up GangnamDol art toys and kiosks, from which foreign tourists can get travel information about Cheongdam-dong and hallyu.

It will also seek to develop more stores on the streets into tourist attractions, and jump into merchandising and content businesses with entertainment agencies.

Seoul’s Gangnam-gu Office chose Cheongdam-dong because that is where the country’s leading entertainment or talent agencies, including SM are located representing famous hallyu singers, TV and movie stars.

Gangnam Mayor Shin Yeon-hee recently told the media that she aimed to make Cheongdam-dong into a hallyu mecca where tourists can meet stars and learn about the Korean culture anytime on the streets.

She added that the office will expand the K-Star Road into Apgujeong-dong and Shinsa-dong in an effort to attract 10 million foreign tourists to the southern district of Gangnam in the near future.

By Park Hyong-ki (hkp@heraldcorp.com)

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