A total of 12,251 Chinese tourists (figure based on the tourist hotel accommodation record) visited Daegu during the first two months of 2014, an increase of 4,403 (56.1 percent) from the same period last year. An additional 410 Chinese tourists are expected to visit the city during the months of April and May.
In April, 63 elderly Chinese tourists and 114 tourists from Hong Kong visited Daegu and its major attractions. Fam tours, in line with the ‘Daegu Byeongbyeol Tour’ program, were also offered to inbound travel agencies catering to Chinese tourists.
In May, 35 Chinese students and 135 senior citizens from China are expected to visit Daegu. The city has also organized fam tours, for some 40 principals from Chinese schools, in line with its plan to attract some 700 tourists during the months of July and August.
The increasing number of tourists from Greater China has been attributed to the various efforts of the city to promote tourism in China. Daegu launched a task force in January 2012, with the sole responsibility of attracting higher numbers of Chinese tourists. Since then, the city has pursued a marketing strategy aimed at niche markets, rather than the ordinary package tourism market, and has set up a network of tourism planners. The city has also provided diverse incentives and developed a more diverse range of tourism products than those offer in the past.
In particular, Daegu published a guidebook kit for tourism planners, which included information on the tailored tour programs in Daegu and the incentives being offered. The city also actively carried out marketing activities aimed at 180 travel agencies that cater to group tourists from China. In addition, Daegu city officials paid several visits to those travel agencies with good performance records.
Moreover, Daegu City set up a marketing strategy geared toward tourists from Greater China, with a view to drawing 100,000 Chinese visitors by 2016. This strategy was based on the increasing interest shown by the Chinese in Korean culture, which is much indebted to the new Korean Wave and growing popularity of Korean products, as well as the heightened international status of Daegu as the host city of the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and the 2013 World Energy Congress.
In particular, the city has taken measures to ensure more convenient shopping in Daegu, enabling shops on Dongseong-ro street to accept the China UnionPay credit card and designating more shops as ‘good stores’.
Daegu City has also taken various other measures to increase the convenience of Chinese tourists. The city increased the extent of its signage in Chinese, discovered restaurants that can appeal to Chinese people and expanded the number of parking lots designated for tourist buses.
Seo Sang-u, director-general for culture and sports affairs of Daegu City, said, “We will do our best to improve the conditions for tourism and shopping in Daegu, based on the marketing strategy we have set up to attract Chinese tourists, and thus contribute to the local economy.”