Second Year of Korea Grand Sale,
Has Become Korea’s Leading Shopping Tourism Campaign
- Sales tripled compared to last year during the tourism off season
- Early overseas promotion and marketing attract more foreign tourists
Visit Korea Committee (Chairman Dong-Bin Shin) announced that ‘2012 Korea Grand Sale, which was carried out to attract foreign tourists during the off season of the tourism industry and to maximize tourism expenditures of foreigners, reached the sales of KRW 34.5 billion which is three times higher than last year’s sales.
Benefits such as 5 – 50% discounts or free gifts were provided to foreign shoppers. Participating department stores provide additional benefits such as free gifts or gift certificates according to the purchase amount in addition to a discount. Free gifts were given to participants of events held in areas frequented by foreign tourists such as Incheon International Airport, Dongdaemun and Insadong. Cultural performances, photo exhibitions and a bazaar were held as well. Other entertainment such as concerts by Hallyu stars were provided to create a festive mood in addition to the shopping benefits.
This year, 77 companies and 22,861 shops in 20 areas participated in the event, a 62% increase compared to last year (57 companies and 14,053 shops). Analysis indicates that the increase was due to heightened recognition of Korea Grand Sale among relevant companies. In addition, the sales made during the Korea Grand Sale, a way to measure the achievement, totaled KRW 34.5 billion, a 184% growth compared to 2011’s sales volume of KRW 12.1 billion. And the number of coupons used was 600,000, more than triple last year’s figure of 190,000.
This year, Korea Grand Sale started overseas promotion and marketing early. In cooperation with Visa Card which has a worldwide network, Korea Grand Sale was promoted among members. The event was proactively marketed through Chinese leading portal sites including 163.com, QQ.com, etc. and Yomiuri Sinbun and Asahi Sinbun to attract tourists from China and Japan.
In addition, shuttle buses transported foreign shoppers from the Gangbuk area to the Gangnam area, and a foreigner-only call center was operated for convenient shopping.
According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the number of foreign tourists increased by 47% (167,022) as more Chinese shoppers visit Korea during the Chinese New Year, and 25% was gained in the Japanese market (244,370). As a result, the total number of foreign tourists was 753,793, which was a 29% increase from last year. The total expenditure made by foreign tourists to Korea in January was 1.01 billion dollars, which was 21% higher than the same period a year earlier. The per capita expenditure was 1,345 dollars, which was higher than last year’s average of 1,250 dollars. The Korea Grand Sale is evaluated as having contributed significantly to the sales increase of participating companies as the number of foreign tourists increased by 29%, tourism income increased by 21% from the same period a year ago, respectively, and the sales growth of participating companies reached 190% in January 2012. /font>
Manager Jae-Dong Han of Hyundai Department Store said, “The sales of foreigners increased by 130% compared to last year with the increasing sales made by Chinese (based on credit card use). We will take full advantage of Korea Grand Sale in our marketing activities.” It was also revealed that Shinsegae Department Store and Lotte Department Store have seen 100 – 200% increases in sales from last year thanks to Korea Grand Sale. /font>
Secretary General Ju-Min Hong of VKC said, “It is very inspiring that participation and sales increased significantly from the same period a year ago thanks to companies’ voluntary participation. We must make Korea Grand Sale one of the leading private-led tourism events in the next 10 years by continuously upgrading the event both quantitatively and qualitatively, increasing discounts and the number of participating shops and providing various shopping benefits and Hallyu contents to foreign tourists to Korea.”