The Korean Tourism Organization Researches the Hallyu Wave Overseas


Who likes Korean entertainment outside of Korea? Is music the most popular? Is it movies? Television? Do girls like it the most? Do guys like it the most? These are questions which have very vague answers depending on who you ask.

Well, the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) have released results of a poll they held on their website ( from May 11th to 31st, and as you may have guessed, K-Pop is the primary draw for most to Korean entertainment, while the age demographic that was most common were people in their 20’s. Korea is hip with the kids!

The survey asked 12,085 non-Korean’s from 102 countries, seven questions related to the Hallyu wave. Through social networking and the internet, it covered eight languages: English, Russian, Spanish, German, French, simplified and traditional Chinese, and Japanese.

55 percent chose the category of K-Pop as the biggest draw which isn’t that big of a number as you expect. Food and cosmetics were also there, as well as the show “2 Days and 1 Night,” which I get to watch on TV in New York! (As well as some other Mnet and KBS shows, lucky me!) With KBS World and MNET tv spreading to multiple countries, (Music Bank is broadcasted to a large amount of countries,) is it a surprise to see a rise in people who enjoy Korean TV? As you’ll see below, Korean TV is especially popular with Japanese women, they love their dramas!

As expected, a large amount of people answering were Asian with 9,253 from Asia, 2,158 from Europe, 502 from the Americas, 112 from Africa and 60 from Oceania. Are you surprised to see a bigger number for Europe than America? Call me stupid but I have only recently, with events like SM Town Paris, realized that Kpop is bigger in Europe than it seemed.

The stand out statistic, however, was that 90% of people who replied were female. Are you surprised? (I am male but I admit most Kpop fans I talk to are female, guys this is something we must change!) Guys seem to be reserved to falling into a Kpop obsession as I have seen opinions that male Kpop stars are “gay” because of the use of makeup and “guy-liner.” So does this sort of stigma contribute to the underwhelming amount of guys showing interest?

When it came to the “hallyu celebrity” they would travel with in Korea, here were the top 5:

1: Super Junior (13%)

2: Big Bang (9%)

3: JYJ (7%)

4: TVXQ (5%)

5: SNSD (4%)

I presume by this they mean spend time with. Obviously all these groups are huge, but to be totally honest, I was expecting TVXQ to be on top of this list and for SNSD to be higher. I was surprised, but as a top five this made sense. Is this the top five you would choose? Considering 2NE1’s plan to tackle the American market, and how Will.I.Am says he wants 2NE1 to become a global name, shouldn’t they be on the list? Maybe their American push will put them there.

Countries also had re-occurring preferences when it came to celebrities from Korea they liked.(Note this was just a stand out figure, and it does not mean all people from these countries or that speak this language fall under this category.)

English speakers – Super Junior

French and Spanish speakers – Big Bang

German speakers – Kim-Tae-hee

Japanese speakers Bae Yong-joon (Japanese speakers showed more interest overall in Korean TV. More than half of Japanese respondents were women in the 40-50 demographic. Younger Japanese speakers preferred Kpop.)

What did you think of some of these findings?

Source: Korean Herald