As China's economy faces a slump, Chinese tourists are shifting their focus from overseas trips to domestic travel. However, recent data shows a resurgence in Chinese tourists visiting Korea, particularly in the retail sector.
According to a survey by a Japanese research firm, Korea ranked sixth on the list of desired overseas trip destinations for Chinese people. Despite the economic downturn, Chinese tourists are returning to Korea, with a notable increase in retail sales. On August 23, 150 Chinese tourists visited the Lotte Duty Free shop in Myeong-dong, Seoul, marking the first time since March 2017 that the store had hosted more than 100 Chinese tourists at once.
Some 250,000 locations in Korea will begin to accept WeChat Pay and Alipay, the mobile payment services widely used in China. However, the return of Chinese tourists is expected to take time due to visa processing and travel package arrangements. The tourism sector anticipates a significant increase in Chinese tourists during China's National Day holidays, the largest holiday season in the country. Despite the immediate sales increases, these figures are expected to fall short of pre-pandemic levels due to the reduced number of flights and tightening Korea-China ties.
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