Retail stores and duty-free shops in Korea have reinforced their promotional activities and launched various events to welcome foreign visitors taking advantage of the Golden Week in Japan from April 28 to May 6 and China's Labor Day holidays from April 28 to May 1.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization, (KTO), around 18,500 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Korea during the holiday season.

Lotte Department Store has rolled out various free gifts and discount coupons for foreign tourists. It is also collaborating with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to offer free postcards to visitors.

From April 30 to November 30, foreign visitors can receive seven types of postcards decorated with Korean traditional images at the Tax-Refund Lounge at the head shop of Lotte Department Store and Gimpo Airport.

Visitors can also send the postcards to China or Japan free of charge. From April 27 to May 7, a scratch ticket that offers visitors a taste of some Korean traditional foods is given to foreign visitors at the head shop of the department store and the airport.

Hyundai Department Store has formed a foreign reporter group on overseas social network services that introduces famous restaurants and attractions around all branches of Hyundai Department Store. It also holds an autograph-signing event with Hallyu celebrities and a giveaway of celebrity treasures to attract Japanese and Chinese tourists.

Shinsegae Department Store has recently formed a group of reporters composed of Chinese students in Korea. The student reporters will conduct various activities to promote Korean tourism using Weibo, one of the Chinese social networking services. A total of 50 students will cover Korean tourism stories with various themes such as shopping, Hallyu, and beauty.

Lotte Mall in Gimpo Airport, which has many Chinese and Japanese flights, has launched Korean Hall that exclusively deals with Korean products preferred by foreign tourists. It has also placed interpreters at major spots around the shop. In order for tourists to shop with convenience, it offers Carrier Storage Service at an information desk and a connection tunnel to international flights.

Galleria Department Store offers a membership card for foreign visitors and a free facial spa service to customers who purchase over 200,000 won worth products from the store.

Shilla Duty Free Shop conducts promotional events to attract Japanese tourists in collaboration with the Japanese travel agency HIS. Lotte Duty Free Shop is also holding a special discount event until May 6 offering up to 50% discounts on duty-free products.

By Jessica Seoyoung Choi Staff Writer

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