Here’s How Much Busker Busker’s “Yeosu Night Sea” Helped Yeosu’s Tourism

This classic song has become an anthem for Yeosu.

“Yeosu Night Sea” is a certified classic from Busker Busker. Here’s a look at how much impact the song has had on Yeosu’s tourism industry.

| iStock by Getty Images

A post on Twitter became all the rage after a restaurant owner declared Jang Beom Joon, who has done so much for Yeosu’s economy, gets all the tables for free.” SBS News decided to investigate this bold claim.

“This message to Jang Beom Joon giving him VIP service was found on Twitter. Was this because of the song”Yeosu Night Sea?” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

The owner of the restaurant Hwang Sun Ho, went on record saying the impact the song has had on the city is for real. Ever since the release of the song in 2012, he’s definitely noticed an uptick in the number of tourists.

“I’ve been doing business for about 20 years now, and ever since the song came out in 2012, a lot more tourists have visited.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Hwang doubled down on his take, saying that “I can guarantee you it’s true, because I’m a Yeosu native.” Many Koreans can attest that their friends and acquaintances have visited Yeosu because of this song too.

“Trust me on this one, I’m a Yeosu native,” said Hwang. It’s common for Koreans to hear that their friends have visited Yeosu because of the song. | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Take these two Koreans for instance. Kim Eun Ji said that she and her friend were obsessed with the song at one point, and made an impulse trip to Yeosu. Lee Ja Kyung went as far as to claim “Isn’t that how most people end up visiting?” insinuating that the song is responsible for putting Yeosu on the radar for most Koreans.

“I’ve made an impulse trip because of the song.” “Isn’t that why most people go in the first place?” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

According to the data jointly published by Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korea Culture & Tourism Institute, Yeosu’s tourism hovered around 7 million visitors a year before the song was released. In 2012, it more than doubled to over 15 million!

“Yeosu tourism numbers peaked at 7 million, but in 2012, it spiked to 15 million.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Zooming into March 2012, when the song was released, we can see that the numbers doubled every month from March to June!

“From March 29 onwards, we can see the tourism numbers explode.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Other popular tourism spots such as Seoul, Daegu, Busan, Jeonju, Gyeongju, Gangreung, Tongyoung and Jeju predictably saw no significant changes. Busker Busker deserves a medal from the city of Yeosu!

“The stats for other tourist spots haven’t changed. Yeosu needs to award Busker Busker.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

While on the phone the Yeosu government was somewhat reserved about attributing everything to Busker Busker…

“It’s hard to say that all this is the result of just one song…” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

…in an official government document, they showered “Yeosu Night Sea” with praise!

“We thank Busker Busker for helping with tourism and raising the average income of our residents.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Most people in the tourism industry think that the song has been a boon for the tourist numbers. Thank you so much for composing such a beautiful song to raise awareness about Yeosu.

— Yeosu Government’s Tourism Promotion Team


The song is infectious, as we all know. The production team at SBS was listening to the song on repeat working on the coverage video, and confessed that it made them want to take a trip there too!

“Listening to the song on repeat while making this video, has made me want to run to Yeosu too.” | 스브스뉴스 SUBUSU NEWS/YouTube

Take a listen to this certified classic. Does it make you want to visit Yeosu too? Let us know in the comments!

Watch the full SBS News video here: