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Boy Band F4 Invites Korean Fans to Taiwan

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

For several years now, die-hard fans of Korean actors, actresses and pop stars have been traveling to Seoul to attend fan meetings and concerts. Hallyu or Korean wave has helped boost Korean tourism, thanks to the popularity of Korean dramas, movies and music around Asia.

Now Taiwan is using the same tactic, hoping the charm and popularity of boy band F4 will entice Korean tourists to visit the island

F4 members Jerry Yan, Vanness Wu, Ken Chu and Vic Chou, who gained popularity among Korean fans with its drama ``Meteor Garden” visited Seoul for the first time on Friday. F4 was appointed by Taiwan Tourism Bureau chief Lai Se Zhen as its ambassadors to promote Taiwan tourism to the rest of Asia.

Taiwan is hoping to increase the number of Korean tourists going to Taiwan, which is estimated at 200,000 annually, while there are some 400,000 Taiwanese tourists going to Korea annually.

To kick off the ``Wish to See You in Taiwan” tourism campaign, F4 announced it is holding a fan meeting in Taipei on April 22. During the press conference, Yan said it has been a long time since F4 reunited as a group, so they are preparing some surprises for their fans during the event.

As part of being tourism ambassadors, Chu said F4 will film a commercial for the Tourism Bureau and start working on a TV drama, which will be shot in tourist spots throughout the country. The drama will be aired in Korea and Japan later this year.

F4 members talked about their favorite places, including food and tourist attractions in Taiwan, which they hoped would be enjoyed by Korean tourists. Wu said Korean tourists should sample the island’s delicious mangoes, while Chu recommended the hotpot shabu-shabu.

Yan said tourists should visit Kaohsiung, a major port city, where he served for 2 years during military service. He added he couldn’t forget the place since it is where his girlfriend broke up with him.

F4 is also currently in negotiations with Korean organizers to hold their first concert in Seoul. Wu said they are eager to meet Korean fans, especially after seeing so many enthusiastic fans welcoming them at the airport.

F4 members also expressed their desire to work with Korean actors and actresses in the future. Wu, who formed a duo with Korean singer Kangta last year, said he would like to do an action movie with Kwon Sang-woo or Ryu Seung-beum, while Yan said he is a fan of the film ``Old Boy” and its star Choi Min-shik. Chou said he would like to work again with Park Eun-hye, who co-starred with him in the drama ``Silence” and So Ji-sop.

Yan, Wu, Chu and Chou gained popularity throughout Asia after starring in the TV drama ``Boys are Prettier than Flowers” and its sequel. F4 has released two albums ``Meteor Rain” and ``Fantasy Forever” and has staged sold-out concerts.

However, in recent years, F4 members have concentrated on solo work such as dramas, movies and albums. F4 members have visited Seoul on separate occasions but never as a group. In November 2004, Chou, Chu and Wu attended the Asia Song Festival, while Yan attended the M-net Music TV festival in December 2004.


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