The newly launched Oh My Oppa service lets travelers hire suave local men to show them around the country.
Ever since wildly popular Korean dramas like Winter Sonata and Descendants of the Sun swept the world by storm, fans everywhere have clamored over the dashing good looks of the leading men — often addressed as “oppa” in the shows.
Now, one South Korean software company is capitalizing on this “oppa” appeal by launching a specialty tour service targeting foreign travelers who’d like to enjoy the company of good-looking local men, while seeing the sights and attractions in the country.
The term “oppa” is often used in Korean society to address an older male family member, friend or romantic partner.
The service, aptly titled Oh My Oppa, currently features seven Korean men who will bring travelers on a guided tour for a fee. They may cut up steak for you, help you take flattering photographs for Instagram, and enjoy activities like café-hopping. Bills are split for paid events, and activities are subjected to the agreement of both guides and tourists.
A quick glance at the site shows that each “oppa” offers a unique suggested itinerary, including pitstops at Gwangjang Market, Racoon Café, Trick Eye Museum, and more.
According to the website, an “oppa” will act as a local friend, as well as a culture tutor. That said, English may not be their forte as these are true blue locals with minimal training.
“It started out as a joke that foreigners coming to South Korea expect to find men like the ones they see on dramas, but no, there aren’t any men on the streets that are as good-looking, tall and nice as the TV stars,” said Mr Lee Joon Woo, CEO of the software company Winwincook which started the service, in an interview with The Korean Herald.
While the service feels like a branded male escort service, Mr Lee is quick to dispel the idea.
He says: “The notion of “oppa” among foreigners seems to revolve around the images portrayed in K-drama, and therefore is not likely to be so associated.”
Plus, the service has strict guidelines for its tour guides, including not arranging tours at night or drinking.
Online reservations opened on Wednesday, ahead of an official launch slated for next month.
More information here.