'Gangnam Style' hotel package to debut
By Kim Rahn
Worldwide awareness of the affluent southern district of Seoul has never been higher thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of Psy’s hit song “Gangnam Style” and its accompanying video. So it is not surprising that the tourism sector is moving to take advantage of the fervor.
The Novotel Ambassador Gangnam is offering a special Gangnam Style Package. The hotel said Tuesday that the package, comprising of accommodation and a tour of the area, will be offered from next week after it was proposed by the Australian headquarters of the worldwide hotel chain.
“Such an offer is very unusual and shows the popularity of the song there. Psy is scheduled to play in Australia on Monday, and almost all Australian media will likely cover the event. It means Australians are paying attention to Gangnam Style and the attention is expected to lead to trips to Korea, especially Gangnam,” a director at the Korean hotel said.
In Australia, there are hundreds of Novotels and they will introduce the package on their websites. “We are talking with the branding office of Novotel, which is part of the Accor Group. It says it is likely that the hotel group’s other affiliates, such as Ibis, will offer the deal on their websites,” she said.
The package will offer a half-day city tour operated by the Gangnam District Office, store coupons and discounts on exhibitions and performances at Seoul Arts Center. It will cost between 270,000 ($240) and 290,000 won.
“We plan to run the package through the end of the year, but we may extend or reduce the period according to how the ‘Gangnam Style’ fever goes,” the director said.
The district office is also taking the song’s popularity as an opportunity to promote the area.
“Besides the regular city tour programs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, we are actively advertising that we have more options such as night tours or tailor-made ones,” a district official said.
She added that they are also promoting the package through the Korea Tourism Organization’s overseas branches where the song is popular, such as America or Europe and have been receiving many inquiries.
The tourism organization also placed a banner featuring a man doing Psy’s “horse-riding dance,” on its English website. On clicking the banner, Gangnam’s tourist attractions are presented such as beauty salons, Garosu-gil, Cheongdam fashion street and COEX Mall.