Korean boy group will perform in October
It typically costs less than 200,000 won ($150) to stay at a Busan hotel for two days. But the charge is up to 5 million won ($3,700) for Oct. 15 this year.
The reason is a concert of K-pop superstar BTS that is scheduled to perform in the South Korean port city on the day to support the country’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan.
Up to 100,000 fans are expected to visit Busan for the free concert, and local hotels are seemingly trying to take advantage of the rare opportunity to cash in.
Some BTS fans are even complaining that hotels canceled their reservations, which were made at normal room rates before they recognized the concert.
“I made a reservation early on, but the hotel canceled it for dubious reason. Now, it charges millions of won for a single day. This is crazy,” a BTS fan wrote on a website.
This is not the first time for Busan hotels to come under fire for predatory pricing.
During the Busan International Film Festival in early October, they tended to jack up the room rates as much as they could, according to critics.
Escalating criticism prompts Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to take action.
Han told a press meeting on Aug. 30 that he asked Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon to persuade the port city’s accommodation businesses.
“The concert would be a test on whether Busan city has the capacity to manage a big event in terms of accommodation, traffic, and safety,” Han said.
Earlier this year, BTS announced its plan to suspend playing as a group and instead seek solo careers. Its member J-Hope released his first solo album in July.
But the seven-piece boy band agreed to perform as a team in October to underpin Busan’s attempt to host the 2030 World Expo.