The South Korean island of Banwol has taken a bold step: authorities decided to paint everything purple. wanted to do something different to make itself more attractive to tourists. It didn’t create a festival or other mass event, but just painted everything purple. Yes, really everything. We are talking about house fronts, bridges, banks, and even telephone booths, nothing escaped the color.
Banwol is now known as the purple island. It has become a popular destination in recent months for domestic tourism in the country given that, due to the pandemic, trips abroad have become more limited.
The inspiration for the color came from a popular flower on the island, the campanula, which has this lilac and purplish color. The various roofs of the village were painted and almost nothing escaped. The color is everywhere: house fronts, bridges, banks, telephone booths, post offices. In addition to the painting, authorities have planted several thousand square meters of lavender fields.
Since the initial painting back in 2017, more than 490,000 visitors have come to Banwol as of 2021.
On the small island one can find a hotel, a cafe, a restaurant, and a store for renting bicycles. Due to the influx of local tourist, the shops are all currently up and running. According to CNN, between June and August of 2020, more than 100,000 visitors came to Banwol Island, a 20% jump from the previous year. Most of the inhabitants on the island work in agriculture, as do the residents of the neighboring island of Bakji.
With the splash of color, the island has also become one of the most Instagrammable spots in the country. To enter Banwol one has to pay 2.22€.