'Hallyu land' to open in 2017
THE allure of Korean pop culture will be brought to life in a new hallyu theme park that will open next year.
The project, which is now informally named K-Culture Valley, will cover an area of 326,393 sq km within the Korea International Exhibition and Convention Center in Goyang in Gyeonggi province.
The park features six zones that highlight different aspects of Korean pop culture, such as K-pop, TV dramas and movies as well as the country's history and retro culture.
Visitor experience will be further enhanced through virtual-reality and augmented-reality offerings.
Its groundbreaking ceremony on Friday was attended by President Park Geun Hye.
The project is part of the government's ambitious project to utilise and promote the country's unique and diverse cultural resources and content.
In a press conference on Thursday, director general of the content industry bureau of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Choi Bo Keun said the park serves to bring people closer to Korean culture.
"The theme park will be a platform connecting the public to diverse hallyu content."
The CJ Group is the major developer of the theme park. It will be responsible for its design and development.
The K-Culture Valley is one of the three major culture projects undertaken by the Culture Ministry with private corporations such as CJ Group and Korean Air.
Other projects include a space dedicated to traditional culture in Jongno-gu and a K-pop concert hall in Songpa-gu, Seoul, which are both also due to open in 2017.
The presidential office said the project is expected to create 56,000 jobs over the next five years and have an economic effect of 8.7 trillion won (S$10 billion).
K-Culture Valley is expected to attract five million tourists annually, it added.
Other commercial facilities for the park - including hotels, restaurants and shops - will be completed in stages after 2017, said the Culture Ministry.
THE KOREA HERALD/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK