SEOUL, April 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Exports of Korean cultural products, including computer games, music, tour programs and cosmetics, soared 22.4 percent last year from a year earlier thanks to the global ascent of Korean culture, a report showed Tuesday.
According to the report on the 2019 economic effects of hallyu, or the Korean Wave, released by the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE), hallyu-related exports came to US$12.3 billion last year, up 22.4 percent from 2018.
Of the total, exports of cultural content including computer games, K-pop and broadcasting programs rose by 19.2 percent to $6.38 billion, while overseas sales of consumer goods such as tour programs, cosmetics and groceries shot up 26.1 percent to $5.93 billion, according to the report.
Korean computer games were the biggest Korean cultural content export, with overseas sales of $4.7 billion last year, followed by the K-pop industry’s exports of $533 million.
On the consumer product front, tour products were the biggest export with $2.65 billion in sales, followed by cosmetics with $969 million.
The 2019 figure for tourism exports, in particular, marked a growth of nearly 88 percent from a year earlier.
The report put the value of the effect on production inducement by hallyu, or the global popularity of Korean culture, at 25.7 billion won (US$21.1 million), up 28.6 percent from a year ago.
This year, the South Korean entertainment industry stepped further into the international limelight after the Korean film “Parasite” won four top Oscar awards while K-pop boy band BTS earned its fourth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.