|The Seoul Metropolitan Government is promoting Doaejissal Supermarket located in Mapo District where the award-winning film "Parasite" was shot as a tour attraction./ Courtesy of Seoul Metropolitan City|
By Kim Se-jeong
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Thursday it will actively promote four locations where scenes from director Bong Joon-ho's film "Parasite" were shot as tourism attractions.
"Parasite" won four Oscars at the 92nd Academy Awards that were held Feb. 9.
The four sites include Doaejissal corner store in Mapo District, where the first scene of the film was shot; the stairs near the store where Kim Ki-jeong buys peaches and carries them to the Park's house; Jahamun Tunnel stairs in Jongno District which the Kim family used to return home from the Park's house in the pouring rain; and Sky Pizza in Dongjak District which donated a stack of pizza boxes for the shooting.
The city said the first project will be a guided tour of the four sites for movie fans sometime this month or early March, adding that it is also working to add signs and photo zones at each site.
Seoul isn't the only local government to profit from the "Parasite" shooting locations.
On Wednesday, the city of Goyang, on the northern outskirts of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province, announced that it will restore the main set where a flooding scene was filmed.
The capital has actually been quietly promoting the four sites since November on the city's tourism website www.visitseoul.net.
"The project was already gaining popularity and so the Academy Awards ceremony just encouraged us to do it officially and more actively," a city official said.
The website visitors can read explanations on where each location appears in the film and get information on their physical locations, how to get there and things to do in the neighborhood.
"The film's shooting locations have already become a pilgrimage place for movie fans from Korea and overseas," said Joo Yong-taek, a city official. "Following on the heels of K-pop and K-drama, Parasite shows K-movies are starting a new trend. We hope this will boost the tourism industry in Korea which is currently suffering a slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak and other geopolitical factors."
The city said it was also looking at other films, including Bong's "The Host," to promote as tourist attractions.
Known as hallyu or the Korean wave, Korean cultural content has drawn a large number of tourists. Local governments, including Seoul, want to act on every opportunity they can to promote their respective regions.
Taebaek in Gangwon Province is another example of a city that restored the main set of the Korean hit drama "Descendants of the Sun" starring Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki.
The city also held a "Couple Festival," which initially drew thousands of Chinese fans, but canceled it after the Song couple divorced last year.