China’s new rich take part in the Korean WaveAs the Korea JoongAng Daily reported, the Korean Wave is now attracting the Chinese upper class, beyond the nation’s middle and working classes. Recently, wedding picture packages offered by luxurious hotels in Gangnam have been catching Chinese couples’ attention. These packages include studio time, a dress and makeup. Hotels not only offer pre-wedding services, but also medical treatments, such as dentistry and even plastic surgery. These couples come to Korea expecting to have the same wedding as their favorite Korean celebrities.
Until now, five-star hotels were not very enthusiastic to promote to Chinese consumers. But with the rapid growth of the Chinese upper class and their love for South Korean TV shows, the number of Chinese couples traveling to Korea to have wedding photos taken has suddenly increased. “We had around 1,000 Chinese customers holding a party at our hotel, and we expect to have 3,000 Chinese guests this year based on our reservation records,” said an official at Seoul’s Intercontinental Hotel.
Due to its geographical proximity, Korea can attract more of China’s new rich, which will help Korea’s tourist industry to thrive. The government should keep a close watch on hotels, studios and other services so that they do not overcharge and provide customers with the proper service they pay for. Studios and hotels need to serve their Chinese customers with special events such as offering packages, including baby showers, photo shoots and birthday parties. Inviting Chinese consumers to baby fairs where they can find the newest toys, clothes, strollers and other infant-related products will also be a good idea.
Marketing strategies targeting the Chinese’s love for the number eight could also be effective. For example, hotels could offer events for couples married for 8, 18, 28 or 38 years. This could appeal to not only soon-to-be married couples but also couples who are already married.
The Korean Wave has done a good job so far in Asia, but it’s essential that we do our best to help the Chinese have a better experience in Korea.
*Baek Hannah Student at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies