Chinese tourists' spending in South Korea may exceed 30 trillion won (US$ 29 billion) six years from now on the back of a rapidly surging number of visitors from the neighboring country, a report said Wednesday.
Spending by travelers from China is expected to reach 30.5 trillion won in 2020, nearly five times the 6.2 trillion won registered last year, according to the report by Hana Daetoo Securities Co.
The figure is equivalent to 7.7 percent of the 398.2 trillion won forecast for that year's total sales in the retail market, according to the report.
"The Chinese people make up a major portion of demand for consumption in the local retail market," said Park Jong-dae, a researcher from Hana Daetoo Securities. "Chinese tourists provide an overwhelming source of growth momentum for all types of businesses in the local retail industry."
According to data from state-run Korea Tourism Organization and Hana Daetoo Securities, the number of incoming tourists from China is forecast to climb 19.8 percent on a yearly basis, hitting 14.9 million by 2020.
Duty-free items and cosmetics will likely be the most favored items for travelers from Asia's No. 1 economy, with the amount spent on duty-free shopping expected to jump almost four-fold to 9.2 trillion won in 2020 compared with last year, according to the report.
The figure for cosmetics is forecast to reach 5.2 trillion won in the same period, nearly double the amount tallied for 2013.
Last year, total spending by Chinese tourists came to about 7.67 trillion won, accounting for 49 percent of the total spent by foreign tourists here. (Yonhap)