Accepted paper:

Travel Celebrities and New Media Travel Culture in South Korea

Authors:

Minyoung Lee (Seoul National University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows the way how 'travel celebrities' appear and the 'new media travel culture' are formed to understand the new formational mechanism of tourist culture in Korea. New media function as tools to accumulate 'travel capital', and emotional images, ritual plays about travel are spread.

Paper long abstract:

This paper shows the way how 'travel celebrities' appear and the 'new media travel culture' are formed to understand the new formational mechanism of tourist culture in Korea. I did participatory observation in 1) 'trip platform' which is a platform travel agency making and selling travel packages of 'travel mates' who are more friend-like tour leaders, 2) 'trip school' which plans and sells lectures about know-hows and knowledge of travelling, and 3) 'trip planet' which is a travel podcast made by a major broadcasting company in Korea. Working as a tour leader, travel lecturer, broadcasting planner and host, I met many travel celebrities and figured out the patterns of the market. Many wanna-be travel celebrities use blog, facebook, instagram, YouTube, podcast and etc.. to boast about their stories of leaving stable jobs and travelling around the world. Becoming more influential, they write books, appear on television, radio, take pictures of advertisements of tourism bureaus and goods, and sell their own travel packages. Travelling is becoming rites of passages, and travel celebrity is becoming a dream job to many young people. Travel new media function as tools to accumulate 'travel capital', and resultingly, emotional images and ritual plays about travel destinations and travel itself are spread.

panel P068
Imaginaries, media and tourism