SEOUL, March 27 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s duty-free sales rose nearly 37 percent on-month in February, industry data showed Monday, as China resumed short-term entry for Korean travelers.
Combined sales at duty-free shops in Asia’s fourth-largest economy came to 1.09 trillion won (US$837.4 million) last month, up 36.7 percent from a month earlier, according to the Korea Duty Free Shops Association.
Foreigners’ spending on duty-free goods surged by about 50 percent to over 894.6 billion won in February, compared with 596.4 billion won in January.
The hike came amid an increase in Chinese resellers and renewed demand for Korean cosmetics after China’s reopening.
Last month, South Korea resumed issuing short-term visas for Chinese visitors, and China also restarted the issuance of short-term visas for South Koreans.
In January, South Korea tightened curbs on travelers from China amid a surge in coronavirus infections in the neighboring country.
China suspended short-term visa issuance for South Koreans in apparent retaliation for what it called “discriminatory” entry restrictions.