South Korean boy band BTS is a formidable force. Not only does the the pop group boast 38.2 million followers on Twitter and 47.7 million on Instagram, BTS also commands its own Army — the name of their fan group.
It's no wonder the world's corporates and organisations, from McDonald’s to Samsung to UNICEF, seek to capture a slice of their global fame through brand partnerships.
The latest? Samcheok City in South Korea's Gangwon Province.
Following the May 2021 launch of their digital single 'Butter', which was filmed at the Maengbang Beach for the music video, the Samcheok City government started receiving enquiries about the album's location, and calls to reinstall the MV setting so the BTS Army could visit.
Today, the local authorities have restored BTS' Butter photoshoot on the beach, complete with referee chair, sun beds and volleyball net.
Next: a BTS sculpture and stamp tour for nearby sites recommended by the band members.
This is not the first time local governments have reinstated BTS shoot locations.
There's the bus stop at Hyangho Beach in Jumunjin, Gangneung, Gangwon Province, for the 2017 single 'You Never Walk Alone'. No buses stop here, but a street light was installed together with BTS songs looping in the background all day until 7pm for those who still visit throughout the year.
Other locations of post-BTS fame: Sihwaho Lake in Gyeonggi Province, Jeju Island's oreum volcano, Dongjak bridge in Seoul, as well as Bomun tourist complex in Gyeongju.
Even abandoned sites are now garnering interest, like Iryeong train station north of Seoul in Gyeonggi province.
Travel agencies also offer BTS-themed tours for foreign travellers, such as DMC eTour's private 7-day K-Entertainment Tour with BTS’s History.