One of the “secret tools” to attract tourists to a destination is riding on the popularity ofÂ telenovelas which continue to gain top ratings in TV viewership not only in the country but in several places in the world.
This was proven by Korea when her tourists’ arrivals skyrocketed to an unprecedented volume since after the introduction of Korean telenovelas syndicated in different languages.Â
“Endless Love” with the Korean love team Song Seonghyun and Â Songhyun was the first done in Sorak Mountain wayback in 2000. The Koreans grabbed the market from Japan which used to produce telenovelas.
This was followed by other Korean telenovelas “Winter Sonata,” “Jewel in the Palace” which both made good review in the social media and TV ratings as well.
In 2003, ” Jewel in the Palace” directed by Lee Byung -hoon first aired in September 2003 in MBC got an average viewership of 57.8% making it the 10th highest rated Korean drama of all time.The drama was produced for USS15 million and exported to 91 countries, including the Philippines, earning USS103.4 million worldwide.
One of the onsite location shooting was at the Sungup Folk Village in Jeju Island which was one of the many places visited last week by a 20-man Bohol tour group.
After 14 years of successful production of these syndicated telenovelas, Korea is now reaping the fruits of its intensive production studies in telenovelas including the rigid acting training of their actors and actresses.
To date, Jeju Island, which is half the size of Bohol, is now getting 13 million tourists in one year because of the popularity of these telenovelas viewed Â by millions all over the world, according to Melvin Kim,a licensed tour guide for 20 years. He noted that Filipinos are part of this increasing number of tourists visiting Korea these past few years because of the telenovelas.
Jeju Island which is an hour trip by plane from Seoul is indeed a captivating place which made these producers do their telenovelas in the island.
In fact, because of the popularity of Jeju Island, there are now direct flights from Mactan International Airport, according to Zarah Dejaresco of Angels Wings Tours and Travel who recently arranged a Â tour to Korea which included sightseeing tour to Jeju Island, Nami
Island, Sorak Mountain, Morning Glory Garden, Everland as well as in the capital city of Seoul, among others.
The Boholano tour group was composed of businessman Jun, Anabelle Caturza and children Toto and Joanna, Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo with children Josh and Leal, Liza and Jamie Yu, Pamela Besas, businesswoman Virgie Balistoy and daughter Juvy Calacat, Ting and Edith Torres, Emily and Angela Huan, Kim Tan, Peter, Zarah and Â Divine Joy Dejaresco.