The Korea Herald


Foreigners pick PyeongChang bid as most influential in promoting Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 8, 2011 - 19:09

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Foreign visitors to Korea and foreign residents chose PyeongChang’s successful Olympic bid as the biggest contribution to enhancing the country’s brand this year, a survey showed Tuesday.

The e-mail survey of 514 Korean and expat opinion leaders and foreign visitors was conducted by Corea Image Communication Institute from Oct. 10 to Nov. 17.

Of the 211 foreigners who participated in the survey, 119 said that PyeongChang, which won the right to host the 2018 Winter Games in July, did the most to promote Korea worldwide.

K-pop came second with 19 percent, followed by author Shin Kyung-sook, whose novel “Please Look after Mom” has been published in more than 28 countries, with 17.1 percent.

Among the 303 Korean respondents 43.9 percent, said K-pop was the key in helping promote the country’s image this year, followed closely by PyeongChang’s Winter Games with 40.9 percent and Shin’s novel with 22.4 percent.

When asked to pick the country’s most influential young figure, Pororo, a popular Korean animation character from the “Pororo the Little Penguin,” received the most votes from both foreigners (39.8 percent) and locals (70.6 percent).

Sohn Yeon-jae, a 17-year-old rhythmic gymnast came second with 31.8 percent of the votes by foreigners and 30.7 percent of the Korean respondents. She was followed by junior figure skater Kim Hae-jin.

In the same survey, 25.6 percent of the foreign respondents said American writer Ben Ryder Howe and his memoir “My Korean Deli,” had the biggest influence from abroad in enhancing Korea’s image, followed by Michelin three-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his wife Marja with 25.1 percent for their U.S. TV series on Korean cuisine.

By Oh Kyu-wook (