Now You Can Rent Your Very Own “Oppa” For Your Next Korea Trip
Similar to Chinese app Hire Me Plz, a South Korean technology company has broken the ground to start a specialty tour service with good-looking “oppa” for foreign tourists. “Oppa” is an affectionate term used by Korean women to call an older male family, friend, or lover.
Oh My Oppa is the first once-of-a-kind tour service in South Korea. In an interview with Koreaherald, CEO of Winwincook, Lee Joon-woo, said the whole concept was birthed from the common joke that foreign visitors usually expect to see good-looking men on the streets as those in K-dramas but always left disappointed.
Lee continued, “We thought we would present these tourists with men we can be proud of. Although it was a joke at first, we followed up with an actual website, and the social media reaction has been beyond our expectations.”
In March 2018, the trial of the Oh My Oppa service was completed, and the company is currently preparing for a full roll-out this month.
According to Oh My Oppa website, the service currently features seven Korean men; Arami, Sean, Hue, William, Jake, Sam and Ryan, with new oppas available from April 1. Although they are not professional tour guides, they are friendly and happy to assist tourists for a service fee. The activities include visiting of cafes, city tours, and taking photographs. But for places that require payment, only if both parties mutually agree.
Lee revealed the demand for his tour guides come from countries around the world like France, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia. He himself has also tested the service by working occasionally under the name “Joon”. (At this time, he is no longer listed in the website.) The other tour guides listed on the site are mostly his personal friends and recommendations by acquaintances.
To address the negative perception of Oh My Oppa to be a branded male escort service, Lee stressed the “oppa” image is what the foreigners know through the K-dramas.
Internally, the company imposes strict guidelines to its new potential recruits, which is to ensure they are suited to take up the ambassador service role of Korea to the tourists. For instance, the guides are told not to arrange night tours or go drinking with their allocated tourists.
Will you rent an oppa for your next Korea trip?