[Video] Dreamers are doers

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Gangneung Airbnb host takes steps to become hotelier

  • Published : Jan 16, 2018 - 09:55
  • Updated : Jan 16, 2018 - 09:58
Shot by Lim Jeong-yeo / Edited by Lim Jeong-yeo

Bang Jin-hee is finally seeing her hotelier dream take shape.

The 41-year-old mother of two teenage twins owns a clutch of pensions and villas in a secluded area near the Gyeongpo Lake in Gangneung, Gangwon Province.

At the end of a narrow winding road stands six Analog 76 pensions and four Eastern Paris pool villas.

“I always had it in the back of my mind that I would one day own a boutique hotel. Of course, a dream doesn’t take shape straight away. It took me 10 years to prepare the money to start my hospitality business. But having the dream pushed me to put in extra work and persevere each day,” Bang said in an interview with The Korea Herald.

Airbnb host Bang Jin-hee has dreams to become a hotelier. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Bang’s ultimate goal is to build a waterfront boutique hotel on the coastline of Gangneung. Through the restaurant business and various other jobs she juggled on the way, Bang has stoked her dreams and in the end the dreams grew wings and took flight.

Based on her experiences, Bang firmly believes that cherished dreams do come true with enough thinking and longing about it.

“One day, I was flipping through the local paper and by chance came up on a tempting real estate announcement. I had to go see it with my own eyes. It was being sold at three times the money than what I had at the moment, though, and my husband said there’s no point meeting the realtor as we had no means to make the purchase. I still insisted, ‘Let’s just do it,’” Bang recounted.

When they did go to check out the estate, Bang knew this was it. She had to have the land. Quite amazingly even to herself, people around her helped her out and Bang was well on the way to her dream before she knew it.

It has now been three years since Bang opened the Analog 76 pensions, and her new Eastern Paris pool villas opened recently, with Big Bang’s Taeyang staying over to shoot for entertainment TV program, “Livin’ the Double Life.”

Bang Jin-hee decorates her spaces to the details with care. She lives in the information house with her husband. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

The Eastern Paris villas are ready just in time for the Winter Olympics, during which several events will take place in Gangneung.

Airbnb, an official partner of the PyeongChang 2018, Airbnb, is fastidiously recruiting more hosts to welcome Olympic-goers.

Bang became a celebrated Airbnb host for her beautifully decorated pensions. She was also noted by Airbnb as a host who refrained from price gauging during the Olympics period, despite receiving offers thanks to her close proximity to the venues.

Bang’s lodgings are currently booked for most of the Olympic Games, but a few openings remain.

For those who are having difficulty finding budget deals, the local authorities are making efforts to resolve the situation by matching visitors with homestay hosts who are willing to open up their houses at affordable prices.

Airbnb host Bang Jin-hee's 'Analog 76' lodging. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

Winter and Summer Olympic Games are the peaceful occasions that bring together people of all nations. This year‘s Winter Olympics has an elevated importance in that the so-far hostile and reclusive regime of North Korea has officially announced to take part in the games.

The Olympics period is between Feb. 9 and 25. Hosting cities are PyeongChang, Gangneung and Jeongseon. While the KTX train schedules permit a one-day trip to the Gangwon Province from Incheon Airport and Seoul, the tourism attractions in the region may lure the visitors to stay a few more days for travel’s sake.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (

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