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More business hotels land in Seoul to welcome Chinese tourists

05/17/2016| 9:55:52 AM|

Industry officials in South Korea estimated that up to 60 percent of visitors from China are now coming onself-guided tours rather than group tours, raising the demand for business-class accommodations.

More business hotel chains are preparing for their branches in and near Myeongdong, the shopping mecca of downtown Seoul, as they try to cater to a growing number of Chinese tourists who visit South Korea as individuals instead of package tours.

Industry officials estimated that up to 60 percent of visitors from China are now coming onself-guided tours rather than group tours, raising the demand for business-class accommodations.

"Unlike group travelers, independent tourists prefer business hotels that are usually closer to subway stations," an industry official was quoted by Yonhap on Monday. "Business hotels are 100,000 won (85 U.S. dollars) to 200,000 won cheaper than luxury hotels but offer rooms that are not much below par."

Courtyard Marriott will open a branch in Namdaemun, near a popular traditional market in central Seoul within walking distance from Myeongdong, on May 23, its third business hotel in the country. It has 409 rooms, an executive lounge, an all-day dining restaurant and conference rooms.

Starwood Hotel 7 Resort will join the ranks in February next year with the opening of its business hotel Aloft. The 223-room hotel will sit in the middle of Myeongdong.

Nearly 6 million Chinese travelers came to South Korea last year, a number that would have been higher if not for the scare from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), according to tour agencies.

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TAGS: Seoul | business hotel | China | outbound travel
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