Saving Up To See Your Favorite Idols In Korea? Here’s How Much The Average K-Pop Tourist Spends

The lowest spend category might surprise you.

Are you planning on making the trip to South Korea to see your favorite idols once the pandemic is over? There’s so much for K-Pop fans to do in the country, from attending music shows to visiting agency headquarters. Of course, travel doesn’t come cheap. Not sure how much to save up? Take a look at the Korea Tourism Organization’s recently released stats on how much “Hallyu tourists” spend on their trips.

On average, the biggest spend for K-Pop tourists is general shopping, which amounts to around $302 USD per person.

Myeongdong shopping district | @es_kwon/Instagram

This can encompass everything from stocking up on Korean fashion to buying souvenirs for family and friends.

BT21 Line Friends store | @linefriends/Instagram

The next biggest spend is lodging. K-Pop tourists tend to spend around $184 USD on lodging.

Hotel Millenium Hilton, Seoul | Hilton

Generally, the cost of lodging depends on where you stay—one-room goshiwons are on the cheaper end, while hotel rooms can be a lot more expensive.

One-room goshiwon | @notes_from_korea/Instagram

K-Pop tourists spend almost as much on food as they do on lodging.

Tteokbokki | Lee Kum Kee Korea

With so many delicious dishes to choose from—like ramyeon, tteokbokki, and bibimbap—it’s no surprise the average spend totals around $155 USD per person.

Bibimbap | Sous Chef/Flickr

And finally—perhaps most surprisingly—tourists who travel to Korea specifically for K-Pop only spend around $138 USD on K-Pop related purchases.

SMTOWN store | Canon’s Travelog

This can include anything from merch to fansign albums.

BTS fansign

In total, the average K-Pop tourist spends $1,007 USD on their trip (not including air fare). With 1.11 million foreigners traveling to Korea specifically for the Hallyu Wave in 2019, K-Pop tourism brought over $1 billion USD into the country.

Source: Korea Joongang Daily