K-Pop band BTS brings $3.6 billion a year to South Korea

K-Pop band BTS is literally a national treasure for South Korea.

A new study by Hyundai Research Institute found that the boy band is worth more than $3.6 billion yearly to the country’s economy.

And BTS, which is short for Bangtan Sonyeondan and translates to Bulletproof Boy Scouts, is also the reason that one in every 13 foreign tourists visited the East Asian country in 2017.

In the past year, the seven-member band has successfully transitioned to the U.S. market. In June they nabbed the top spot on the Billboard 100 Charts and now have more than 14 million followers on Instagram.

Reps at the Hyundai Research Institute told AFP that the band’s international appeal has helped bolster South Korean brands and products abroad. Researchers estimated that BTS’ annual production inducement effect, which means the economic value added to related industry, totals $3.6 billion annually, which is equivalent to 26 mid-sized South Korean companies.

The institute also found that about 800,000 visitors reportedly went to South Korea because of BTS, which is more than seven percent of the country’s annual tourists.

At this rate, researchers estimate the septet will generate an economic value of $37 billion over the next decade.

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