The “BTS Effect” on South Korea’s Economy, Industry and Culture

South Korea should be proud of BTS who are bringing so much impact.

South Korea (Photo by Shawn Ang on Unsplash)

Economic Effect of More than 5.5 Trillion Won per Year

On Dec, 2018, the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) reported (check the original Korean report here) that BTS generates an estimated amount of 4 trillion won ($3.54 billion) as economic value to the country per year and 1.42 trillion won ($1.26 billion) as added value per year. According to Statista’s analysis of 2018 company revenues report, BTS’ contribution to South Korea’s GDP is almost comparable with Korean Air.

Increase of Tourism

According to HRI, 796,000 foreigners visit South Korea annually because of BTS, promoting the local tourism industry. Out of the 10.41 million people, 7.6% of the visits in 2017 were influenced by the Korean group. HRI also stated that one in every thirteen foreign tourists visited South Korea in 2017 thanks to BTS.

Increase of South Korea’s Consumer Good Exports

On Dec, 2018, HRI also revealed that BTS is responsible for contributing $1.1 billion (1.7%) to the total Korean consumer goods export which was $65.2 billion in 2017. 1.7% is a big percentage being contributed by just one Korean artist alone. Another reason why this is huge is because according to the International Trade Center’s data and World’s Top Exports report, export goods such as cosmetics, food, clothing (where BTS had a compelling impact) are considered important exports of South Korea.

Increase of South Korea’s BOP

The Bank of Korea Economic Statistics System stated that South Korea’s BOP (balance of payments which is the total economic transactions between a country and the world) for music and entertainment reached $114.7 million in the first quarter of 2019 due to 2 main reasons: the improved relationship between China and South Korea and the global success of BTS.

Improvement of Investment Stocks for Entertainment Agencies

When China imposed the THAAD ban in 2016, the stocks of entertainment companies were badly affected because China is one of the the top countries for Korean entertainment in terms of investment and export. Thanks to BTS, the investment stocks of the entertainment companies improved and they are focusing on the American and European markets.

The Growth of Korean Hallyu Wave

According to a government-affiliated Korea Foundation, it was reported that BTS lead a 22% increase of Korean Hallyu fans worldwide in 2018 (Korean Hallyu means the increase in popularity of Korean music, films, TV shows and language).

Promoter of Korean Language & Culture

The World Economic Forum (an international forum for powerful business leaders, international political leaders, top economists etc.) made a special report where they talked about BTS and globalization. BTS’s global success is going against the “cultural odds” because (1) American culture is the main “global” culture around the world (making English the global language) and (2) Korean is not even in the top 10 of the world’s most spoken languages, making their success even more astonishing. BTS are showcasing their Korean culture and language worldwide through their music and ideas fighting against all odds.

The Verdict

So we can see that it is rare for a single Korean artist to make such an impact on the economy, industry and culture of a nation. Looking at the confirmed data, it is no surprise that BTS is South Korea’s national treasure and pride who is bringing positive influence with authenticity and sincerity.

BTS (Photo by @bts_bighit from Twitter)

I love to serve tea, data and facts about BTS. I write according to my mood and the latest news. Follow me or DM me on Twitter: @shadow_twts

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