[Sponsored Report] SK Networks builds up Walkerhill
In line with its bid for a duty-free operation license from the government, SK Networks announced plans to “make SK Walkerhill Duty Free irreplaceable and build it into a must-visit tourist destination that can surpass Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel.”
The duty-free shop is expected to span 18,224 square meters (196,162 square feet), with competitiveness both in terms of size and prospective sales.
Even though the Korean tourism industry is experiencing a boom driven by the popularity of Hallyu, or Korean pop culture, tourists from overseas are still turning to luxury resorts in Singapore and Macau for shopping, as the Korean duty-free market has failed to provide differentiated services.
SK Walkerhill Duty Free, together with the upcoming Walkerhill Resort Spa, is SK Networks’ solution to compete with the luxury resorts of Singapore and Macau.
The company is investing 120 billion won ($104.7 million) to build the Walkerhill Resort Spa, a 39,670 square-meter complex equipped with the world’s longest infinity pool, stretching 170 meters, and spa facilities that can be used during all seasons.
Indoor and outdoor hot-spring swimming pools, eco-friendly garden spa steps and an observation platform will provide a view of the Han River and nearby Mount Acha.
The Walkerhill Resort Spa is expected to be completed in two years and is anticipated to become a must-see destination for global tourists, as it will feature hotel facilities, a casino and horse-race screenings exclusively for foreigners.
The new resort will also come with SK Walkerhill Duty Free, and 14,313 square meters of the 18,224 square-meter space will be occupied solely by retail stores. That is 2.5 times larger than the previously managed area of 5,490 square meters.
SK Walkerhill Duty Free will become Korea’s first duty-free shop in Seoul to be built together with a resort spa.
“SK Walkerhill Duty Free will correspond to the needs of tourists, and we look forward to attracting 7.05 million foreigners and achieve annual sales of 1.5 trillion won by 2021,” SK Networks CEO Moon Jong-hoon said.