Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chinese millionaire shoppers on tour in Seoul

A group of millionaire Chinese, who are members of a department store in the Chinese city of Changchun, are currently visiting Korea to fill their shopping bags and also lift their beauty, according to Money Today Saturday.

These tourists are known as “SVIP” by the Chinese department store. It means “Special VIP.” To qualify as an SVIP, one has to spend approximately over 100 million won during a six-month period. 

They are top shoppers in China and are mostly known to be in their 40s and 50s and are spouses of China’s top wealthy people, it said.

SVIP is even a higher level concept than “VVIP,” which means “Very Very Important Person,” it said.

Their visit is part of an “incentive tour,” arranged by the Chinese department store, which has taken the 12 tourists to Korea for a medical tour, while shopping is a natural part.

These special shoppers normally receive their medical care abroad, the report said. “They used to go to the U.S. and Europe. But recently, Singapore and Japan have joined the competition,” the report said.

Now, Korea is among their destinations as well. 

Korea is a favored medical-tour destination because it has the state-of-the-art medical facilities, while the price is competitive, compared to those in other countries. In recent years, South Korea has particularly become a Mecca for the worlds’ cosmetic surgery, even drawing people from Japan, which was previously preferred.

The Chinese department store plans to send more SVIP customers to Korea in the future, if the feedback from the tour this time turns out to be satisfactory, it said.

According to government data, last year a total of 60,210 foreigners visited South Korea to receive medical service. 

Changchun is the capital city of Jilin Province, which is a major industrial hub in China’s northeastern region. The city has become widely known here when North Korean leader Kim Jong-il secretly visited there last month.

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