BANGKOK: Hoping to capitalise on growing regional interest in South Korean pop culture, a Thai company opened a US$275 million Korean-themed shopping mall and entertainment complex in Bangkok on Monday (Apr 10).
The 180,000 square metre (1.9 million square feet) building, named Show DC, targets both Thai fans of K-culture and foreign visitors. It hopes to get 10 million visitors a year and become a major attraction in what was the world's most visited city last year.
"A lot of Asian people are fans of Korea," said Chayaditt Hutanuwatra, chairman of privately-owned Show DC Corp. "Thailand is the place where people can just fly in."
The mall has a "K-District" on the first floor which boasts street fashion, cosmetics, cafes and restaurants owned by K-pop artists. Show DC also has statues and palm prints of Korean stars and plans to bring Korean performers to its dedicated concert hall.
South Korea's Lotte Group is among the companies that will open a store there, the mall said.
Around a third of the more than 34 million tourists forecast to visit Thailand this year are from China - where interest in K-culture has been driven underground by a recent row over Seoul's deployment of a missile defence system.