April 10, 2017 / 2:32 PM / 10 months ago

Korean-themed mall opens in Bangkok

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.”

Slideshow (2 Images)

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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