Korean pop culture draws female tourists

“Hallyu”, or the popularity of South Korean pop culture in Asia, is becoming a magnet that is drawing female tourists to visit here, the state-run tourism agency said Wednesday. According to the Korea Travel Organization (KTO), females made up 44.2 percent of overseas tourists to South Korea in 2005, up 2.3 percentage points from the previous year.

The rate has risen from 33.1 percent in 1995, 38.6 percent in 2003 and 41.9 percent in 2004.

The term hallyu was coined by the Chinese media in 2001 to define the rising popularity of South Korean popular culture there.

South Korean TV dramas like “Winter Sonata,” which introduced the male heartthrob Bae Yong-joon to Asia, have since become very popular in Japan and Southeast Asia.