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150 Chinese group tourists shop at Lotte Duty Free in six years

150 Chinese group tourists shop at Lotte Duty Free in six years

Posted August. 25, 2023 08:34,   

Updated August. 25, 2023 08:34


More than 150 Chinese group tourists lined up at the Lotte Duty Free Main Store entrance in Jung-gu, Seoul, on Tuesday afternoon. After disembarking from the tour bus and exploring the ‘Star Avenue,’ adorned with photos of Korean celebrities such as the girl group Aespa and actor Lee Jun-ho, they were guided into the building by a tour guide holding a travel agency flag. This marked the first time in six years and five months that package tour visitors from China officially entered a duty-free shop in Korea.

On Thursday, Lotte Duty Free announced that over 150 Chinese tourists officially entered Lotte Duty Free's main store in Jung-gu, Seoul, and enjoyed shopping for about an hour. This marks the first instance of more than 100 Chinese package-tour visitors visiting a Korean duty-free shop since March 2017, when the Chinese government banned group tours to Korea in retaliation for deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.

The Chinese tourists purchased K-beauty products from Laneige and Mediheal and global cosmetics brands such as Chanel and Lancome. They also expressed keen interest in Korean food products like citrus chocolate and seasoned laver.

They arrived in Korea on Tuesday via a car ferry between Weihai Port in Shandong Province, China, and Pyeongtaek Port in Gyeonggi Province, Korea. During their three-day, two-night stay, the visitors went shopping and toured major tourist attractions in the Gangbuk area of Seoul, including Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Blue House, and Namsangol Hanok Village. On the afternoon of the 24th, over 270 package-tour visitors, who arrived via a car ferry between Shidao and Incheon, China, visited the Lotte Duty Free main store. Similarly, more Chinese group tourists are currently visiting Korea.

Following the Chinese government's decision to allow group tours to Korea on August 10, the domestic tourism industry, including duty-free shops, travel agencies, and hotels, is making a concerted effort to attract Chinese tourists. In particular, they are anticipating a significant influx of group tourists during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day (Sept. 29-Oct. 6), two of China's major holidays.

Lotte Duty Free plans to attract Chinese tourists to its main store near Myeongdong, the No. 1 tourist destination for foreigners, and its Lotte Duty Free World Tower Store in Jamsil, Songpa-gu, Seoul. The company is also reorganizing its Busan and Jeju stores to target Chinese group tourists, as cruise ships carrying them are scheduled to visit these areas one after another. "We anticipate a revival in the domestic duty-free industry as early as the fourth quarter, thanks to the resumption of Chinese group tours," stated an official from Lotte Duty Free.