SINGAPORE – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding with leading K-drama production house Studio Dragon.

This is the first time that Studio Dragon, known for runaway hit drama series like Crash Landing On You (2019), Goblin (2016), and Stranger (2017 to 2020), has entered into an MOU with a national tourism organisation, according to a press release on Wednesday (Dec 9).

The deal will promote Singapore as a destination in South Korea and other regions through the production of South Korean dramas in Singapore.

Though the Covid-19 pandemic means that such plans will take time to materialise, when travel restrictions ease, Studio Dragon will be filming K-dramas with the Lion City as a backdrop.

STB will work with Studio Dragon to decide on the locations, products, and cultures of Singapore to be featured.

There will also be joint marketing and promotional activities for such dramas to be rolled out in phases.

STB’s chief executive Keith Tan said: “Korean dramas are immensely popular around the world, and we hope this will generate more interest and conversations about Singapore. We are confident that this partnership will help to boost the recovery of our tourism sector and inspire more people to visit Singapore when the time is right.”

South Korea is an important source of tourists for Singapore, ranking 9th in Singapore’s list of top visitor sources last year.

The city-state received about 646,000 South Koreans last year, a 3 per cent increase over 2018.

This is not the first time that STB has worked with drama and film production companies to promote Singapore.

STB collaborated with Warner Bros to promote the set-in-Singapore romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and also supported the marketing of the Japanese animated movie Detective Conan: The Fist Of Blue Sapphire (2019), which is set in Singapore.

Text: Jan Lee/The Straits Times