Chinese tourists are buying less in bulk

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Chinese tourists are buying less in bulk

Chinese tourists are increasingly traveling in smaller groups and shopping lighter, forgoing the large-volume purchases that have long characterized Chinese tour groups, new figures from the recent Mid-Autumn Festival holiday show.

According to a report by CJ Olive Networks, sales at Olive Young, the company’s health and beauty chain, during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival holiday last week went up 40 percent compared to the same period last year.

From Sept. 12 to Sept. 18, when the store offered promotions to draw Chinese tourists on vacation, health care products, nutritional supplements and hair care products were most popular. A posture correction belt manufactured by the Japanese company Sun Family was the best seller, with sales 90 times higher than last year’s holiday period.

Health care products like the posture correction belt are new additions to the list of items popular with Chinese tourists. Interest in hair care products also increased, with sales up 70 percent from last year.

The changes mainly stem from a decrease in the size of tour groups, the company said. Previously, a trip in Korea would typically involve traveling on a large tour bus through a set itinerary, but the recent trend is smaller groups of tourists like families traveling freely on their own, which allows them to purchase more diverse goods.

These tourists use smartphones to collect information on products and then shop accordingly. For example, last year’s top seller was beauty sheet masks, which were relatively cheap and purchased in large quantities. This year, tourists turned their eyes to more expensive types of masks such as modeling masks and peel-off masks after researching the products online.

Female tourists in particular displayed keen interest in Korean women’s diet and skin care products, leading to a nine-fold increase in sales of “innerb,” a beauty supplement by CJ CheilJedang.

“Small groups of tourists with an understanding of the K-beauty market are rising, and the new trend is about buying individual products to meet personal needs rather than buying a big bulk of the same thing from a certain category,” an Olive Young public relations representative said.

“We were able to see Chinese tourists’ interest in Korean skin, beauty and health care through the increased purchases of such products.”


BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]

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