Nine out of 10 Chinese tourists on VIP travel packages to South Korea spent over 50 million won ($44,840), making them the biggest foreign consumer group, a travel agency reported Monday.
According to the survey conducted by Cosmojin Tour, a Seoul-based travel agency, about 87 percent of 596 Chinese who traveled to South Korea on exclusive tours between Feb. 1 and Nov. 20 spent over 50 million won. Another 8 percent spent over 300 million won.
Seven out of 10 bought luxury brands at duty free shops, 2 in 10 preferred Korean brands such as cosmetics and rice cookers, and 1 in 10 opted for Korean herbs and food products. Among the affluent Chinese, 30-somethings were the most avid shoppers. They spent over 50 million won per visit, with 9 percent buying 200 million won’s worth of goods. Another 20 percent spent 100 million won on shopping.
“VIP Chinese tourists want top quality service and luxury brands, so they spend much more than what people imagine during their visit here,” Chung Myung-jin, the CEO of Cosmojin Tour, said.
Chinese last year overtook Japanese as the No. 1 source of tourists visiting South Korea, encouraging local retailers to roll out customized services such as limousine pickups and special shopping privileges.
About 4.3 million Chinese tourists visited Korea last year, and the number is expected to reach 6 million this year, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.