The number of foreign tourists visiting South Korea surpassed 13 million in 2015 and 5.98 million of them were Chinese, accounting for more than 45 percent, followed by Japanese at 1.84 million.
It is clear that Chinese visitors are dominating the South Korean tourism market. However, it is also time to relieve the unequal distribution of Chinese tourists in order for the South Korean tourism industry to take a leap forward and to change the perception of South Korean tourism by developing quality tourism products.
With this in mind, “a FIRST Myeongdong Hotel,” which is to open in Myeongdong, Seoul, on Nov. 1, has set up the facilities and marketing plans from the initial stage of the development.
Unlike budget hotels, which focus almost solely on Chinese tourists in central Seoul, a FIRST Myeongdong Hotel places the highest priority on Southeast Asian tourists that are growing into the largest target customers. Moreover, the hotel plans to secure a certain portion of foreigners visiting South Korea for business in a bid to diversify the market.
a FIRST Myeongdong Hotel has strengthened the quality of its restaurant and bar to satisfy the needs of Southeast Asian tourists, which show a growing number of younger people and women, at the hotel. They are seeking to enjoy popular Korean foods and culture and visit hot places as well as shop. The hotel is ready to open “2 Thirsty Taproom,” a trendy American dining restaurant with a diverse range of draft beers to be directly managed by the hotel. It will also open “My Boss is Watching,” a rooftop bar which offers a good resting place in the city surrounded by buildings.
Cho Ah-ra, manager of a FIRST Myeongdong Hotel, said, “In addition to such differentiated facilities, we are preparing for the marketing and service plans to diversify the market. We are also considering halal food promotional events for Southeast Asian tourists who are mostly Muslim. Furthermore, we are ready to provide 3S services – safety, security and sanitary – that corporate customers value the most.”