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Published on : Monday, June 20, 2016
As China and South Korea’s exchange and cooperation in tourism deepens, the UnionPay card becomes an important tool supporting the personnel exchange between the two countries. On June 9, the annual Dragon Boat Festival, UnionPay International will cooperate with CTS and South Korea National Tourism Organization in holding a festival celebration participated by 1000 people in Hanok Village, Seoul. UnionPay cardholders are able to experience the local culture and custom, while enjoy exclusive UnionPay discounts.
The Sino-Korea tourist exchanges have exceeded 10 million in two consecutive years. The cultural communication between the two countries has been increasingly active. In 2015, China held the “China Travel Year” in South Korea, which attracted over 4.4 million Korean tourists to China. This year is the “Korea Travel Year”, in which South Korea aims to attract 8 million Chinese tourists. According to South Korea Tourism Organization, approximately 6.2 million Chinese tourists visited South Korea in 2015, taking up over 40% of the total number of international tourists.
In this context, UnionPay International is endeavoring to promote crossover cooperation with the tourist industry, in order to enrich and improve the services to Chinese tourists’ visiting South Korea. Through this cooperation among the three parties, several tour groups from Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Fujian to South Korea will be able to participate in the celebration of Dragon Boat Festival. Tourists will watch traditional performances, make special food for the festival in person, and take part in festival activities such as playing on the swings and using calamus water for hairdressing. They can also get UnionPay merchants brochures, UnionPay maps of Seoul and delicate gifts. When spending with UnionPay cards (card number starting with 62) to a certain amount, the tourists can also enjoy a 5% card-using reward.
Now, an increasing number of the local merchants have taken the acceptance of UnionPay cards as a significant means to attract tourists. In South Korea, it is convenient to use UnionPay cards. Half of the ATMs accept UnionPay cards, and almost all the merchants supporting signature payment accept UnionPay credit cards while 1.43 million merchants accept UnionPay cards for PIN payment. All the local taxies accept UnionPay credit cards, and UnionPay QuickPass cards and mobile QuickPass products can be used at Doota Shopping Center, all the GS25 convenient stores and Watsons. In addition, half of the local ATMs accept UnionPay cards for cash withdrawal.
Meanwhile, many local merchants offer exclusive privileges and services for UnionPay cardholders, covering shopping, catering, accommodation, and entertainment. For instance, Lotte Duty Free, Shinseagae Duty Free, Lotte World Theme Park as well as many duty free stores, restaurants and book stores at Incheon International Airport all provide discounts for UnionPay cards. At the Airport, cardholders will get a T-money transportation card upon buying shuttle bus ticket with UnionPay cards, and a discount of 1,500 KRW upon renting a portable WIFI with UnionPay cards.
Since last year, the South Korean government has taken several measures to encourage Chinese tourists, including exempting visa fee for group tourists, increasing the number of multiple-entry visa, offering special visa for Korean pop culture fans, and adding new air lines. Meanwhile, UnionPay International is improving its online and offline service system in South Korea to provide payment convenience for customers visiting the country.