Fall in Descendants Of The Sun theme park arrivals after Song-Song couple break up

The Descendants Of The Sun actors, Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki (both above), tied the knot in 2017.
The Descendants Of The Sun actors, Song Hye-kyo and Song Joong-ki (both above), tied the knot in 2017.PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL • Visitors are no longer in love with a theme park in South Korea linked to celebrity couple Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo of K-drama The Descendants Of The Sun after they broke up.

The Descendants Of The Sun attraction opened in 2016, with the local government in Taebaek city pumping US$230,000 (S$311,000) into the project in a bid to ride on the popularity of the 2016 hit drama serial of the same name.

Song Joong-ki, 33, and Song Hye-kyo, 37, the stars of that show who got married in 2017, announced their divorce last week.

The theme park, which includes a statue of their characters sharing a kiss, was a magnet for visitors from China and Taiwan, according to the Allkpop portal.

But the news of their split has since seen a sharp fall in tourist arrivals, sparking concern over whether the theme park can still be viable.

For now, an immediate casualty is the park's annual couple festival, which is held this month.

The event celebrates the romance between the characters played by the two stars in the show.

But some netizens feel that the park can survive, given that it is dedicated to the television drama and not the A-list couple.

Others note that the city government must have recouped its investment over the years, so any closure would not amount to a financial disaster. But they expressed sympathy for those who are at risk of losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, lawyers expect the divorce proceedings to go ahead smoothly, given that the duo have no children and that most of the assets owned by them were acquired individually before their marriage, negating any dispute over joint-ownership issues.

Their assets are worth about US$86.5 million, with Song Hye-kyo said to be wealthier than Song Joong-ki as she owns two luxury homes and an apartment in Seoul.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2019, with the headline 'Fall in K-drama theme park arrivals after stars break up'. Print Edition | Subscribe