South Korea

Luxury brands beware: Angry Chinese tourists are avoiding Japan and South Korea

Luxury brands beware: Angry Chinese tourists are avoiding Japan and South Korea

what happened: More recently, South Korea wore yellow tags at its airports for incoming Chinese passengers, and Japan followed suit, offering red tags for travelers from the country. The move sparked outrage online.On Weibo, the hashtag “Japan Issues Red Cards to Mark Chinese Tourists” It has gathered 200 million page views and once became the fourth most popular topic.

Many Chinese tourists have complained that not only do they have to pay for a COVID test and a possible quarantine in poor conditions when they enter South Korea, but they also have to wear a yellow sticker around their neck to indicate they are from China in order to travel in the country. Airports are subject to special inspections. The labels, along with South Korean journalists taking pictures of them, made them feel like transferred criminals.

South Korea recently made yellow stickers for Chinese inbound passengers to wear at its airports, and Japan followed suit.Image: Weibo

The Chinese government has condemned the neighboring country’s actions, calling it a discriminatory policy. In response, it suspended short-term visas to individuals from South Korea and Japan in retaliation for COVID restrictions on Chinese tourists.

Brilliant: In late December 2022, news that the Chinese border will reopen on January 8 drove luxury stocks higher. LVMH shares rise 2.7%, while Richemont rose 4%. Easing COVID restrictions in markets fueled hopes of retaliatory travel and shopping sprees.

According to travel agency Ctrip, locals’ search interest in outbound flights jumped 83% in the 11 days after the release, compared with the 14 days before the release. However, the most popular destinations have shifted. Search interest in Thailand and Singapore increased by 176% and 93%, respectively. Unlike Japan and South Korea, both countries warmly welcome Chinese tourists. For example, Thailand starts with “red carpet service“, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand was present from time to time, personally presenting flower necklaces to Chinese tourists, and the airport staff distributed souvenirs.

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Thailand welcomes Chinese tourists with “red carpet service”. Sometimes the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand will be present and personally present flower necklaces to Chinese tourists.Image: Weibo

Escalating tensions between China, Japan and South Korea could affect sales of Japanese and South Korean retailers and consumer goods.Japan’s recovery will be modest without return of Chinese tourists, experts predict That accounts for about 44% of total spending by foreign tourists before the pandemic. Meanwhile, the South Korean market is already suffering from a lack of Chinese tourists, according to local media reports. media. W Mall, an outlet mall in downtown Seoul, announced that it will Closed in September due to lack of mainland shoppers. The article also said that South Korea’s tourism, aviation and duty-free retail industries are nervous about the future prospects.

Given this shift, luxury brands may need to adjust their focus and turn to other top Asian travel destinations such as Thailand and Singapore to capitalize on the recovery in Chinese tourism.

Jingtaike Covering a headline story and presenting our editorial team’s analysis of key influencers in the luxury industry. In a recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to the heated debates that are bubbling up on Chinese social media.

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