Posted on January 11, 2012 by Admin
Whether you’re a shopaholic, a workaholic, a K-Pop fanatic, a foodie, a filmmaker, or just plain superstitious: 2012 is a good year to be here.
2012, the year the world supposedly ends. All the more reason to visit Korea — the Land of Morning Calm — to soothe your terror before the world is destroyed by a meteorite.
And 2012 is also the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac. And not only that, but it’s also the Year of the Black Dragon, which only comes once around every 60 years.
But there’s more than cool East Asian symbolism to make 2012 a great year for visiting Korea.
There are 12 reasons, listed below:
1. It’s Visit Korea Year
Visit Korea Year is essentially a two-year campaign of exclusive discounts and promotions designed to make Korea more attractive to travelers. 2012 is the final year of the campaign.
Virgin tourists to Korea: don’t wait another year.
The coupons, KTX discounts of up to 30 percent, free bus shuttles, and hotel deals won’t wait around forever. 2. Korea Grand Sale
The Korea Grand Sale is technically part of the Visit Korea Year campaign but in its grandness it deserves its own category. Unlike some of the other promotional discounts of Visit Korea Year, the Korea Grand Sale is surprisingly, and non-intuitively, not just about saving a few won.
“We’re sometimes asked why the discounts in the Korea Grand Sale’s sales are rather less than grand,” says Yoon Heejin of the Visit Korea Committee’s PR team.
“That’s because the Korea Grand Sale is not just about buying loads of cheap stuff at low prices. It’s about a complete cultural experience.”
Sure, there is a strong element of Black Friday stampedes in this 52-day “national shopping extravaganza,” which will involve more than 21,000 businesses and discounts of up to 50 percent.
But if you look beyond the shiny promotional poster of Hallyu star Choi Ji-woo looking mighty happy with shopping bags hanging off her arms, there’s a great deal more to be found in the Korea Grand Sale than half-price luxury lipsticks.
The Grand Sale will kick off with a week-long welcome event at Incheon International Airport beginning January 9, 2012. And unlike lipstick, which is likely to appeal exclusively to a specific, narrow demographic, this opening event will include the distribution of a lottery ticket, so everyone receives at least something. A sweltering volunteer will be dressed up as Pororo the Penguin — who is an official mascot — willing to take photos with kids.
But the real opening celebration will be on January 13, at DOOTA Shopping Mall in Dongdaemun. There will be performances (like Original Drawing Show) most Koreans usually pay hefty sums to see. There will be prize draws, which means that even by simply being there, you might win a trip to Jeju Island or a free night at a hotel. And finally, there will be celebrity appearances as well as numerous lotteries and sweepstakes opportunities.
Window shopping will never be so fun again. (Nor so potentially profitable).
3. Hallyu Madness
2012 is looking to be a good year for K-Pop.
If you’re a devoted follower, you might already know that there are several big comebacks in the works, like an upcoming Big Bang concert, or Se7en’s new album. You might also know that 2ne1 will be releasing their collaborations with will.i.am.
But if all this is hard to remember, you can just remember one: the 21st Seoul Music Awards, which will be held on January 19, 2012, at the Olympic Gymnastics Arena, which will be the K-Pop event of the next year.
And it just so happens that the date of the awards ceremony coincides with the period of the Korea Grand Sale. Coincidence? Or clever maneuvering on the part of the Visit Korea Committee? Doesn’t matter; saw Big Bang!
Also keep your eyes peeled and your limbs oiled for the 2012 take on last...