The 2015 Korea Grand Sale, which aims to elevate Korea’s stance as Asia’s shopping paradise and to attract overseas tourists during the low season, will take place from Dec. 1, 2014 to Feb. 22, 2015.
The Korea Grand Sale, which is hosted by the Visit Korea Committee and sponsored by Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, has offered excellent shopping opportunities in conjunction with all-round tourist experiences of Korean food, lodging, and performances. The event this year will involve 126 participants, including major department stores, duty free shops, hotels, discount stores, shopping malls, and performance organizers, which are popular among non-Korean tourists, with a total of 28,000 venues taking part in the promotion. They will all be offering discounts, events, and souvenirs during the event period.
The 2015 Korea Grand Sale will begin in December this year, one month earlier than previous events, so that it can be held at the same time as Visit Korea Week. The organizers hope to create synergy among the event participants and to make bigger promotions. The goal is to create a year-end festive atmosphere for foreign tourists to Korea.
The event will be held over three periods and conducted by a theme during each period: “must-see,” “must-do,” and “must-buy.” Each period will offer different promotions and opportunities. Tourists will enjoy one-plus-one promotions during the must-see period, which will be centered on acclaimed non-verbal performances. Entertainment companies like theme parks will offer over 50 percent discounts for visitors to their events. The must-buy period is scheduled when winter turns to spring. During this period, tourists will get a summarized information booklet on various benefits offered by event participants and receive some extra gifts depending on the amount of money spent. Municipal governments will offer local festival experiences to tourists and open traditional markets to them during the period.
There will be a variety of online and offline promotions before, during, and after the Korea Grand Sale to attract international attention and tourists. Ahead of the official opening of the event website, an online survey was started on Oct. 15 about what information is most necessary for preparing a shopping trip to Korea. The results will be reflected in the website’s “shopping tips” section at www.koreagrandsale.co.kr.
Event booths will be open during the entire duration of the event and will run the “888 Gift Event.” If tourists visit 8 participating venues on every date that ends with the letter “8” and collect stamps to verify their visits, they will be given the opportunity to get a variety of gifts including a round-trip ticket in drawings. In particular, Japanese tourists will be given specially designed shopping bags in commemoration of the joint promotion with the Japan Shopping Festival.
Other events available during the 2015 Korea Grand Sale are the airport welcome, the grand opening, a K-POP concert celebrating the Korea Grand Sale, mobile stamp collections, and more. “Mobile Tourism Service Centers” will offer free wifi, cell phone charging, and other vital convenience services to tourists.
Meanwhile, the Visit Korea Committee invited over 100 event participants to the Nine Tree Convention on October 7 to introduce the 2015 Korea Grand Sale. On Oct. 16, the committee signed a joint promotion MOU with the Japan Shopping Festival of the Japan Shopping Tourism Organization to cement Korea’s status as the ultimate shopping destination for Japanese tourists. More presentations of the event will take place in China, Taiwan, and other Chinese-speaking countries with the participants in the event, promoting the Korea Grand Sale further throughout the continent.
Katie Han, the secretary-general of the Visit Korea Committee, said, “The 2015 Korea Grand Sale will not be just about shopping. It will be a festival to provide an opportunity for tourists to experience Korea’s various facets and culture encompassing Korean cuisine, Hallyu, and the performing arts. In particular this year, the upcoming 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between Korea and Japan ahead, we are going to broaden the horizons of the Korea Grand Sales event by revitalizing tourism exchanges in private sector and expanding promotions through the MOU with the Japan Shopping Festival.”