South Korea abolishes $5,000 duty free allowance for outbound tourists

By Charlotte Turner |

A Lotte Duty Free spokesperson has confirmed to TRBusiness that the South Korean Government has now abolished the $5,000 duty free allowance for outbound Korean tourists, in a bid to boost the beleaguered travel retail industry.

 

The government legislated to raise the duty free departure purchase limit for Koreans from US$3,000 to US$5,000, in 2019.

 

“It will benefit Korean travellers as they can now buy high-priced luxury fashion products, jewellery, etc. at Korean duty free shops,” said the spokesperson on the latest announcement.

 

“It will definitely boost domestic consumption and also help Korean travel retailers build up their competitiveness when overseas travel returns to normal.”

 

Lotte began offering passengers on so-called ‘flights to nowhere’ exclusive duty free discounts in February.

Lotte began offering passengers on so-called ‘flights to nowhere’ exclusive duty free discounts in February.

‘IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING’

While Lotte welcomes the news, the leading Korean travel retailer said that a $600 duty free allowance (for outbound Korean tourists) still exists. This was raised from $400 back in 2014, as reported by TRBusiness.

 

“Relaxation of regulation is essential for Korean travel industry to grow and it is finally happening,” added the spokesperson.

 

In February of this year, Lotte Duty Free began offering passengers on so-called ‘flights to nowhere’ exclusive duty free discounts.

 

Lotte Duty Free teamed up with a variety of domestic airlines including Air Busan, t’Way, Jeju Air and Air Seoul to offer duty free shopping benefits.

 

In an exclusive interview for TRBusiness’ perennial and revered Top 10 International Operators report, CEO Kap Lee discussed why adopting distinctive business strategies in the mid- to long-term has allowed South Korea’s travel retail juggernaut to pre-emptively respond to the volatile trading landscape.

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