The likes of Hyun Bin and Song Joong-ki could be making their way to Hong Kong as part of the Tourism Board’s deal with producers of hit Netflix shows Crash Landing On You and Vincenzo
Hong Kong and Korean TV and movies have long enjoyed a mutual synergy with many Korean filmmakers and actors sharing their fondness for Hong Kong culture and cinema on-screen and off-screen. This includes the natural affinity many Hong Kongers have for Korean culture, including Korean shows and films.
That’s all become incredibly evident in a recent partnership between Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and CJ ENM. The latter is the Seoul-based entertainment company behind top shows like Crash Landing On You, Goblin: The Lonely and Great God and Vincenzo.
Through a three-year deal, CJ ENM will promote Hong Kong as a travel destination to Korean and global viewers who can access CJ ENM shows. According to an official press release, the deal “will see Hong Kong featured in a variety of shows made by CJ ENM from 2022 until 2024, beaming the city’s unique lifestyle and culture into the living rooms of global audiences”. In essence, placing Hong Kong “firmly on the travel wish list of legions of K-drama fans”.
Once travel restrictions are eased, Hong Kong will be the backdrop for a range of drama and variety show programmes produced by CJ ENM. The move is aimed to hopefully boost tourism when international travel resumes (and the 21-day quarantines are a thing of the past).
While HKTB is the first tourism organisation to enter a partnership of this kind with CJ ENM, its timing seems rather curious. With Amazon TV productions also running in Hong Kong (such as Expats and Exciting Times), the latest announcement draws attention to Hong Kong’s new public relations roll-out, the US$5.7 million campaign “Relaunch Hong Kong”. The campaign is set to promote the city as “the best place in Asia to live, work and invest in”, according to Home Affairs secretary, Caspar Tsui.
Considering how pleasant both Switzerland and North Korea looked in the CJ ENM production Crash Landing On You, it will be interesting to see how the company will portray Hong Kong in forthcoming dramas and series. Regardless of who pays the bill, seeing the city in beloved K-dramas will be a treat for everyone.