With the Korean television drama ‘Descendants of the Sun’ turning out to be a grand success recording multi-million views across Asia, one of its filming sites in Camp Greaves, the former US military camp near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, north of Seoul, will turn into a foothold of the region’s tourism industry, provincial officials have said. The camp, which is currently used as a youth hostel, will be transformed into a cultural historical park by 2018, according to the officials.
As the only residential facility for civilians within the civilian control line, the state-run hostel attracted 11,099 people last year, more than doubling the number in 2014, which stood at 5,571. The new park will be comprised of different zones focusing on natural scenery, culture and arts, as well as military experience, where tourists can experience military food and camping, the officials said.
The provincial government, Paju city government and local tourism organization will together inject 35.5 billion won (US$31 million) into the park project, according to the officials. The construction will begin later this month. The provincial government will also turn the area into a must-see place for drama fans by creating photo zones near where it was filmed.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, South Korean actor Song Joong Ki, the actor who portrays Captain Yoo Shi Jin of the Alpha Team of the ongoing Asian sensation Descendants of the Sun has been appointed by the Korean Tourism Organization to be its promotional ambassador, reported The ChosunIlbo. He will appear in commercials to promote the country’s tourism which will be shot in Taebaek and Jeongseon, former mining cities in Gangwon Province.
Meanwhile, notwithstanding the record 40.9 percent rating that cliffhanger scene in Episode 11 of Descendants of the Sun received, chances of having a second season for the blockbuster Korean drama are slim, it was reported. Descendants of the Sun is on its way to overtake the 40-percent viewership mark that no other shows have been able to touch in four years, data showed on Monday. The KBS 2TV’s Wednesday-Thursday night show was watched by 32.4 percent of viewers in South Korea, maintaining a viewership above 30 percent for the second straight week, data by Nielsen Korea showed.
This, despite the warning that Beijing issued last month against watching the superhit-television series. “Watching Korean dramas could be dangerous, and may even lead to legal troubles,” the ministry warned in a Weibo post. The department then cited some real-life cases of domestic violence, divorce and plastic surgery, all of which it related to an obsession with Korean dramas and accompanied with photos of similar incidents from various Korean television series.