South Korea To Hold Free Concert To Promote Tourism After MERS Virus

kpopluv, Aug. 3, 2015, 9:49 a.m.

Psy, Infinite, Got7, T-ara, U-kiss and Crayon Pop are some of the big headliners at a large K-pop concert set to take place this week, organizers said Monday. Co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), the free concert is scheduled to take place at a public square in central Seoul at 7 p.m. on Aug. 4.

Some 30 K-pop groups and singers, including rapper Psy, boy bands Infinite, Got7, and U-kiss, girl groups T-ara and Crayon Pop, and Song Ji-eun, a member of girl group Secret, will perform in the "Summer K-pop Festival," the ministry said.

The concert aims to reassure foreigners that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, an infectious disease that has claimed dozens of lives here, is nearing eradication and spur the Asianwide boom of Korean pop culture, a phenomenon known as "hallyu," according to the government. The ministry expects some 10,000 foreign visitors and locals will attend the concert at Seoul Plaza.

As foreigners are the main target, some 3,000 seats have been reserved for this demographic, with 2,000 additional seats available in the picnic zone. Foreigners interested in attending the concert may log onto the KTO website and download tickets, the ministry said. The concert will be taped for broadcast on major television networks at home and on foreign TV channels in such countries as China and Japan, it added.

South Korea reported no additional cases of MERS for the 29th consecutive day, with the country's death toll remained unchanged at 36, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The number of incoming tourists, however, nosedived 41 percent on-year in June, contracting for the first time in 25 months, according to the KTO.

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