April 10, 2017 / 2:32 PM / 3 years ago

Korean-themed mall opens in Bangkok

A man walks past portraits of Korean actors at the Show DC Korean-theme mall in Bangkok, Thailand, April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Hoping to capitalise on growing regional interest in South Korean pop culture, a Thai company opened a $275-million Korean-themed shopping mall and entertainment complex in Bangkok on Monday.

The 180,000 square meter (1.9 million square feet) building 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 D.C. Corp Ltd. “Thailand is the place where people can just fly in.”

The mall has stores with clothing, cosmetics and restaurants from Korean brands and K-pop artists. It has statues and palm prints of Korean stars and plans to bring Korean performers in to the floor it has dedicated as a 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 defense system.

($1 = 34.6500 baht)

Reporting by Juarawee Kittisilpa; Editing by Mark Potter

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