Foreigners’ purchases at duty-free stores reach record high in Dec.
[THE INVESTOR] Sales to foreigners at Korean duty-free stores reached a new record high in December, industry data showed on Jan. 23.
Sales to foreigners at local duty-free shops came to US$939 million last month, up 28 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Korea Duty Free Shops Association. The figure is up 0.1 percent from the previous high of US$983 million, set in November.
The number of foreign visitors to local duty-free shops, meanwhile, plunged 11.3 percent on-year to 1.42 million last month, mainly due to Beijing’s ban on selling Korea-bound package tours in apparent retaliation over the deployment of THAAD.
The number of Chinese nationals who visited Korea last year stood at 4.16 million, down 48.3 percent from 8 million tallied the previous year, according to separate government data.
Chinese nationals accounted for nearly half of the 17 million foreigners who visited Korea in 2016.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)