Residents of Busan are first-hand witnessing the impact of BTS ahead of their historical concert “Yet To Come In Busan” today. Everyone from businesses to ordinary citizens is expressing gratitude for the large-scale traffic this event is drawing to the city.
Taxi drivers are one of those people who are experiencing the impact on Busan’s economy in real-time. Mr. Kim has been driving a taxi in the city for 20 years. He told news outlets that even though he is in his 60s, there is no way he wouldn’t be familiar with BTS, given the amount of hype there is around this concert. The surge of ARMYs in the city has boosted his business. According to him, after the economic downturn due to COVID-19, taxi customers had reduced drastically. But now he is getting passengers again, most of whom are in Busan for the BTS concert.
I don’t know, but I expect it will have a huge effect on the Busan economy. Would you not have saved Busan?
— Kim, SPOTVNEWS
Another taxi driver told news outlets that foreign guests have increased significantly in the last few days. One out of every two parties that he has given a ride to has told him that they are in the city for the concert—“Every time I asked if I was a BTS fan, they all said yes, and they came to see BTS. I learned the word “fan club), are you an Amish?”
An international flight attendant told the media that since visa-free entry was granted to Japanese travelers, the seats on Busan-bound flights filled up surprisingly quickly. Air Busan even added a chartered plane from Japan to Busan for ARMYs and had a customized broadcast message for them on board.
According to another report by local media, Busan residents are surprised by the literal purple-fication of the city. A 70-year-old Busan citizen told outlets, “I can’t believe a band made so many people wear purple. I thought there’s a big protest“. Another man in his 50s, Kim Sok Hui (alias), said that he got confused seeing so many people wearing purple while he went for a hike, also coincidentally in a purple outfit. “I realized how powerful BTS are,” he concluded.
A volunteer interpreter working with tourists who have come to Busan for the concert told the media that tens of thousands of people have come to see BTS. “It seems like there are even more people than during the Busan Film Festival. As a Busan citizen, I feel proud.”