BTS Military Service Could Cost the South Korean Economy Billions

South Korea’s K-pop band BTS will be enlisting in the military for their mandatory service, and fans are heartbroken. The seven members of the band will be serving for several years, which means no new tours or music during that time. However, their conscription could also have an economic cost.

Since releasing their first album nine years ago, BTS has become an economic powerhouse and a triumph in the entertainment industry. In 2018, Hyundai Research Institute said BTS was contributing more than $3.6 billion to the South Korean economy every year–equivalent to the contribution of 26 midsize companies.

Hyundai researchers also said the boy band brought in one in every 13 tourists who visited South Korea in 2017 and generated an estimated $1.1 billion from consumer goods exports like merchandise and cosmetics in a single year.

Their military service will undoubtedly have an impact on the South Korean economy, but it remains to be seen how significant that impact will be.

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