Since the Chinese government allowed its citizens to participate in group tours to South Korea last month, Chinese travel industry representatives have visited South Korea in significant numbers for the first time. This visit is reported to be part of a survey to develop South Korean travel packages.
According to duty-free industry sources on Wednesday, more than 130 people from around 100 travel agencies, including China’s Strait International Travel Services, arrived at Incheon International Ferry Terminal the previous day. Du Xianzhong, President of the China Association of Travel Services, was also part of the visiting delegation.
They visited Incheon’s Ganghwa Island on the first day and toured major tourist attractions in Seoul on the following day. The Seoul city tour included visits to Lotte Duty Free in Myeongdong and Shinsegae Duty Free. A visit to Imjingak in Paju is scheduled for Thursday.
The visit of Chinese travel industry officials to South Korea was initiated by an invitation from the Korea Association of Travel Agents (KATA) and some domestic travel agencies. The main purpose of this visit is to explore opportunities for developing new travel products following the reopening of group tours to South Korea.
Based on their experiences during this visit, they plan to develop travel packages that reflect changes in South Korean shopping trends, restaurants, accommodations, transportation, and more over the six years since group tours to South Korea were banned in 2017.
The duty-free industry anticipates that the actual influx of Chinese group tourists to South Korea will likely begin in Oct. or Nov., considering the time needed for developing products.