Opened May 23 as Largest in Event’s History
The 2017 Seoul Summer Sale began May 23 and will run through July 31 (70 days) all over Seoul to offer major discounts to foreign shoppers. A combined 133 companies will offer sales over the event period, up from last year’s 108, making it the greatest sale of its kind in yet.
Photos by: MICE SEOUL/Seoul Tourism Organization
This year’s Seoul Summer Sale kicked off about a month and a half earlier than usual as a part of the city’s plan to support tourism in Seoul, which has suffered a sharp decline in Chinese tourists. Accommodations was added this year as one of the main sectors to offer discounts and benefits to stave off the drop in Chinese tourists.
Among the participating sectors in this year’s sale are accommodations, culture and entertainment, food and beverages, fashion and beauty, medical care and shopping. Moreover, department stores, stores offering tax refunds, large supermarkets, large shopping malls, leading fashion and beauty stores, and more businesses located in densely populated regions in Seoul will hold sales.
In addition, programs aggressively pursued by both Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization have been added to the sale to attract foreign tourists. The city created the Discover Seoul Pass, exclusively for foreign visitors, and One More Trip, a mobile tourism open market, to minimize the damage to the tourism industry.
Seoul’s tourism policy has emphasized the preferences of female Asian shoppers, who are the main visitors to Seoul. To reflect this, the K-pop boy band Super Junior was again selected the official ambassador of this event. Visitors can see the group throughout the stores taking part in this sale until July 31.
On March 31, Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization held a large business briefing for participating industries to prepare for and ensure a smooth and successful Seoul Summer Sale this year. Both sides will work until the sale’s last day to resolve the tourism crisis and boost the satisfaction of foreign visitors to Seoul.
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Launch of Limited Edition and 48–hour Discover Seoul Pass
Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Organization have teamed up with SM Entertainment to create 500 limited editions of the Discover Seoul Pass aimed to attract foreign K-pop fans. This exclusive pass for foreigners allows entry into tourist attractions and use as a reusable transportation smart card.
First, the pass will initially feature the images of celebrities such as Super Junior’s Yae Sung, Red Velvet and NCT, and other K-pop stars will be added later. The marketability of the Discover Seoul Pass have greatly improved, and the high demand for extended use time has resulted in a new 48–hour pass in addition to the existing 24–hour one.
The number of tourist facilities that grants entry with the pass has risen from 16 to 22. This allows tourists a larger range of choices by enlarging the coverage area to all of Seoul, including art galleries, museums and other hotspots to truly experience Korea.
A lot of thought has gone into the design of and instructions on the card, with the 24- and 48–hour passes distinguished by color. Moreover, the instructions include closing dates, visiting hours and other detailed information for use used as a reference when visitors make their itineraries.
The city and Seoul Tourism Organization are offering a 30-percent discount online on One More Trip (www.onemoretrip.net) through June commemorating the new 48–hour pass. In addition, a special event will offer prizes for buyers of the new pass.
Kim Jae-yong, Director of Tourism Policy Division for Seoul Metropolitan Government, said, “We won’t hold back in contributing to the diversification of attracting tourists from Southeast Asia through stronger publicity marketing, attraction of additional affiliates and development of diverse pass forms.”