Posted by: oliviapontet | February 5, 2016

South Korea top destination among Chinese tourists

Chinese visitors to South Korea buying fewer global luxury pillars as Louis Vuitton and Chanel in favor of brands from us cheaper, such as young, independent travelers represent a larger share of tourists.

Korean wave

Attracted by the “Korean wave” of exports of culture, dramas and K-pop to food and fashion, young Chinese visitors price-conscious are looking for a more authentic experience and cheaper shopping.

South Korea trails only Thailand as a destination for Chinese travelers abroad, including heavy retail spending has helped make South Korea’s largest duty free market world.

The focus on value will put more pressure on global luxury retailers already struggling with slowing sales in China after years of rocketing growth, as a government crackdown on graft and bites lavish spending.

“You can buy these brands everywhere, and it’s actually cheaper to buy these brands in other countries compared to the prices in South Korea,” said the 21-year-old Zhu Xin, who was making his shopping in Stylenanda in Hongdae, a Seoul neighborhood popular with young adults.

“Now that we’re here, we should buy local brands,” she said.

The average prices of items of global brands in South Korea the most sold are cheaper than they are in mainland China, but still cost more in Europe, Singapore and Dubai, according to data from HSBC.


In the shops of downtown Seoul on rights managed by Lotte Hotel Lotte Duty Free and Shilla Hotel of the Samsung Group, LG Household & Healthcare Whoo and Sulwhasoo cosmetics AmorePacific are the trademarks sold in 2015, surpassing Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Richemont Cartier store data shows.

“This does not necessarily mean that luxury retailers to launch cheaper stuff, but it does mean that they need to be more relevant at every price,” said Erwan Rambourg, HSBC analyst in Hong Kong.

The number of Chinese tourists in South Korea plunged 2.3 percent in 2015 to around 6 million due to the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) epidemic. However, the brokerage CLSA said China’s growth of incoming traffic has rebounded from September and is expected to jump 28 percent in 2016. The South Korean government expects a record 8 million Chinese visitors this year.


Chinese tourists in South Korea are younger: from those of 20 and 30 rose to 46.1 percent last year from 40.9 percent in 2013, according to the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute managed by the government.

While older Chinese tourists usually travel in groups where they are transported between shops catering to them, Chinese learners tend to be better informed about what they want, independent travel and spend less on purchases.

“I use my mobile phone to research what products to buy in South Korea,” said the 20-year-old Chinese tourist Liu Yuting. “Many Chinese girls as South Korean products, because most of them are cheap and cute.”

Lotte Department Stores, a chain owned by Lotte Shopping Co Ltd, average spending by Chinese visitors fell to 500,000 won ($ 412) in 2015 from 900,000 won in 2013, although the increase in visitor numbers set consisting of the difference, a manager of the chain said.

“While past generations luxury goods purchased in the dark, the younger generations are more sensitive trend in consumer prices,” said KB Investment & Securities analyst Yang Ji-hye.





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