Measures needed to keep Chinese tourists returning to Korea 중국 국경절 이후 해결과제

Korea′s retail and tourism industries are
all smiles after a record number of Chinese tourists came to the country for their Chinese
National Day holiday, which just came to an end on Tuesday.
Everything is going great now, but will the good times keep on coming?
Connie Kim reports. Less than a third of Chinese tourists who
come to Korea these days plan to make a return trip.
It′s a trend that has the tourism sector here worried, with a recent survey showing
that the industry as a whole is expecting a decline in the fourth quarter.
Identifying the problems is the first step. For one, Chinese tourists spent more than
half of their money on shopping during their stay in Korea, which experts say poses issues
over the long term. “The product brands these tourists buy are
mostly global ones that can be bought in other countries as well. If Korea starts losing
price competitiveness, it won′t be as appealing for the Chinese to visit Korea.”
Baik says demand among Chinese travelers for leisure activities will rise as their income
levels do. For that reason, it′s recommended that Korea
begin investing more time and energy into culture, leisure and entertainment travel
packages that are unique to Korea. “I wish there were more chances to experience
Korean culture, such as trying on the traditional costume hanbok and more tours outside of Seoul.
I personally want to go down to Chuncheon to taste their trademark chicken dish, dakgalbi.”
“I want to visit Busan, and also try making chicken ginseng soup and kimchi while I′m
here.” The availability of affordable accommodations
is another hurdle for Korea′s tourism market. There are some 190 tourist hotels currently
in Seoul, but less than one-fifth are two to three star hotels.
That keeps many Chinese tourists from booking return flights to Korea.
Government regulations are holding back new cons truction projects.
“Hotels are currently banned from being within 200 meters of a school. But because of the
growing demand for accommodations, this regulation is expected to be eased in the long term.”
The shopping may be luring Chinese tourists here now,… but Korea will need to show it
has more to offer to keep the millions of Chinese tourists coming, year after year.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.

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