Jeju Airport duty free tender race comes down to Lotte and Shilla

SOUTH KOREA. The contest for Jeju International Airport’s duty free concession has been narrowed to the country’s two leading travel retailers, Lotte Duty Free and The Shilla Duty Free, Korea Airports Corporation announced this week.

As reported, Lotte, Shilla and Shinsegae Duty Free originally contested the bid. The new concession runs for five years.

The retail opportunity has been greatly enhanced by the recent resolution of the dispute between China and South Korea over the latter’s deployment of US anti-missile system THAAD. Before the THAAD row, Jeju enjoyed enormous popularity as a Chinese travel destination, buoyed by the island’s visa-free status for Chinese visitors.

Korean travel retail giant Lotte Duty Free held the contract for the duty free concession at Jeju Airport before Hanwha Galleria. With the THAAD row over, the timing for a comeback couldn’t be better.

Incumbent Hanwha Galleria held the Jeju International Airport duty free concession until April 2019. However, it opted to terminate the contract after being hit by a disastrous slump in Chinese visitors due to the THAAD crisis. Hanwha will operate the store until year-end.

As reported, KAC has revised the terms of the Jeju duty free contract and slashed the rental terms.

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