On October 1, the first day of the Chinese National Holidays, the Lotte Duty Free Shop located in Sogong-dong, Seoul was packed with Chinese tourists all day long. It appeared that at least seven out of every 10 persons in the shop were Chinese tourists visiting Korea for the holiday season.
Many of them stopped at luxury watch and jewelry brands such as Piaget, Longines, Omega, and Chanel. “Not only are the prices of luxury watches higher in China than in Korea due to a variety of taxes, but also there are lots of fake goods there,” a manager at Lotte explained, adding, “However, the same products are approximately 10% to 15% cheaper in Korean duty free shops, and thus many Chinese male tourists are heading here to get them.”
He continued, “The sales volume has been consistently on the rise here so that more new products are imported, and this has appealed to better-off Chinese tourists.” These days, luxury bags, watches and jewelry are especially popular with them.