|A scene from "Kingdom" is shown in "Explore Korea," a video clip created jointly by the Korea Tourism Organization and Netflix to promote Korea. / Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization|
By Jun Ji-hye
People around the world who have been going through a hard time due to the COVID-19 pandemic are invited to take a journey to explore the tradition and beauty of Korea through Netflix's offerings.
The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) said it has joined hands with the U.S.-based online streaming service provider to create a promotional video, dubbed "Explore Korea," so people can experience Korea's charm at anytime and anywhere simply with devices connected to internet.
The state-run tourism agency hopes that the special content will give people a little pleasure at a time when a large portion of the global population have been unable to travel abroad due to lockdowns imposed to battle the novel coronavirus.
The approximately 90-second video clip, which was released through KTO's YouTube channel (youtube.com/visitkorea), Tuesday, is a collection of scenes from a variety of Netflix's original content including the zombie-thriller "Kingdom."
The KTO said the promotional video clip contains scenes featuring Korea's traditional costumes and palaces of the Joseon Kingdom, which were featured in "Kingdom."
Other content including the variety show "Busted!" that stars comedian Yoo Jae-suk, and "Love Alarm" based on the webtoon by Chon Kye-young feature the different sides of Korea to show the attractiveness of the country as a travel destination.
Viewers can also experience the culinary culture of Korea through scenes from "Chef's Table," "Street Food: Asia" and "Somebody Feed Phil."
|A scene from "Chef's Table" is shown in "Explore Korea," a video clip created jointly by the Korea Tourism Organization and Netflix to promote Korea. / Courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization|
"Kingdom" is a zombie mystery thriller set during the Joseon Kingdom, with the story revolving around Crown Prince Yi Chang, played by Ju Ji-hoon, who fights against a mysterious plague and people behind an evil scheme.
The first season of "Kingdom" was released in January last year and grabbed viewers' attention worldwide for combining the concepts of zombies and historical drama.
The second season, which premiered on March 13, starred the previous main cast, including Ju, Bae Doo-na and Ryu Seung-ryong, and featured a guest appearance by Jun Ji-hyun.
The KTO said it made efforts to reflect the past and present of Korea, and the country's culture and lifestyle in the promotional video, noting that it will actively upload the video on social networking services operated by its overseas branches.
Netflix has also added "Explore Korea" as a search category, enabling viewers to search for the original content featured in the promotional video easily.
According to the 2019 survey by the tourism agency, 88.3 percent of foreign tourists who traveled to Korea in pursuit of hallyu (or the Korean Wave) led by K-pop expressed their willingness to visit Korea again.
The survey also showed that 92.3 percent of hallyu tourists were willing to recommend Korea as a travel destination to others.
"We will continue to work to create attractive video content so some 100 million hallyu fans around the world can experience Korea through K-dramas and movies amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said Kim Young-hee who heads the hallyu tourism department at the KTO. "We will also enhance digital marketing activities to attract potential hallyu tourists in the post-pandemic era."
Netflix has secured loyal customers by focusing on high-quality exclusive content through its own platform, in addition to third-party movies, dramas and documentaries.
The U.S. firm currently boasts more than 183 million members in about 190 countries around the globe.
The company has aggressively expanded original Korean content in the pursuit of a wider Asian audience since its $50 million investment in "Okja" by Oscar-winning Korean director Bong Joon-ho generated wide media attention in 2017.