The Impact of Korean Tv Dramas on Taiwanese Tourism Demand for Korea

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Tourism Economics, 2009, 15 (4), 867–873

Research note: The impact of Korean TV dramas on Taiwanese tourism demand for Korea HYUN JEONG KIM

School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-742, USA. E-mail: MING-HSIANG CHEN

Department of Finance, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, ROC. E-mail: HUNG-JEN SU

Department of Management, National Chung Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan, ROC. E-mail: This study examines the effects of popular Korean TV dramas on Taiwanese outbound travel to Korea between 1997 and the end of 2005. The popularity of Korean TV dramas began with the drama Fireworks, first shown in Taiwan from July to September 2000. Based on that information, the data were divided into two subsamples: January 1997 to September 2000 and October 2000 to December 2005. The Chow tests revealed a significant structural change in the total number of Taiwanese visitors to Korea between the two sample periods. Additional analyses indicated that a significant structural change was attributable mainly to the increase in pleasure travel, further demonstrating the strong effects of Korean TV series in Taiwan. Empirical results support the concept of film-induced tourism. Keywords: TV drama; Korea; Taiwan; outbound travel; Chow tests

Traditionally, South Korea has focused on exporting manufactured goods. However, recently, the country has become known for exporting entertainment products. In May 1994, the Korean Presidential Advisory Board on Science and Technology released its first report regarding the impact of digital technology on economic development. The report pointed out that the Hollywood film Jurassic Park generated revenue equivalent to foreign sales of 1.5 million Hyundai cars (Shim, 2002). The comparison between Hyundai cars and



Hollywood films drew the country’s attention to the importance of media content to the national economy. Since then, the Korean government has declared the high value-added audiovisual industry as one of the national strategic industries for the next century. In 1995, the government enacted the Motion Picture Promotion Law, with incentives such as tax breaks to encourage corporations to invest in the film industry (Shim, 2002). Korean TV dramas did not travel much beyond the national border until the late 1990s. Along with the Korean government’s support for the film industry, Korean TV dramas began to be broadcast in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia (Lin and Huang, 2006). The Taiwanese media coined the slogan ‘Korean Wave’ in 2001, in response to the phenomenal popularity of the Korean pop culture in Taiwan (Chang et al, 2005). Not only has Taiwan been engulfed by the ‘Korean Wave’, but also Japan, China, Singapore and Malaysia (Lin and Huang, 2006). The popularity of Korean TV dramas in Taiwan began with Fireworks, first aired in 2000. The programme was an enormous success and it was rerun several times over the years, thereby forming the foundation of the ‘Korean Wave’ in Taiwan (Sung, 2008). Since Fireworks, more than 100 Korean soap operas have been shown in Taiwan (Lin and Huang, 2006). The Korean TV programmes have led to a dramatic change in the negative image associated with Korea; for example, roughness, violence and a lack of cultural refinement (Sung, 2008). Taiwanese people are now more willing to purchase Korean consumer goods (Onishi, 2005), join an international trip to Korea (Onishi, 2005) or learn the Korean language (Sung, 2008). Lee (2005) argued that the popularity of Korean TV dramas and movies overseas could launch a second economic boom for South Korea, particularly benefiting the entertainment and tourism industries. Lee (2005) stated that according to the export statistics of South Korean TV dramas, Taiwan was a leading importer (24.5%), followed by Japan (19%), China (18.6%) and Hong Kong (3.3%)....
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