DFS and JTO enter a strategic partnership to attract international visitors to Jeju Island, a rapidly growing tourism destination, and enhance the traveler’s retail experience on the island.

March 17, 2016, Hong Kong – Jeju Tourism Organization and DFS Group, a leading travel retailer based in Hong Kong, today announced a strategic partnership to raise awareness and attract international tourism to Jeju Island, as well as to provide an elevated retail experience for international tourists.

Under the agreement, DFS will integrate its global worldwide network and marketing capabilities to encourage tourism to Jeju. It will also supply international luxury merchandise under its leading industry retail operational model to JTO to establish a new duty free store in Jungmun, southern Jeju, in 2016. The store, called The Jeju Duty Free, will be located in one of the largest 5-star beachfront and gaming resorts in Jungmun and will carry global brands as well as local offerings. There is scope for the partnership to extend to other channels in future.

Jeju Island is a self-governed province and Korea’s largest island, located south-west of the Korean Peninsula. A leading tourism destination in North Asia, it has been referred to as “the Hawaii of South Korea”, renowned for its dramatic natural beauty and boasting three UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as offering a wide range of leisure and cultural pursuits. Jungmun, in the south of the island, attracts visitors with its beaches, golf courses, high-end resorts and casinos, and an international convention centre.

Jeju Island is forecast to attract four million visitors in 2016 and has recorded an average 44 percent growth in foreign travelers per year since 2010. To further support the growth of international tourism, the Jeju Provincial Government, through the efforts of JTO, has begun a program of strategic development in Jungmun to further attract discerning overseas travelers who are seeking a combination of adventure and excitement but who also value luxury and convenience. In addition to several new large-scale integrated resorts and casinos, a cruise port is planned for completion in 2017 with an estimated handling capacity of one million passengers annually, enabling large cruise liners to dock near Jungmun and alleviating the limited capacity at the current port in Jeju City.

With a long history of assisting tourism development in destinations such as Okinawa, Bali and Hainan, DFS is well-suited for this shared vision.

“As a provincial government entity of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, we must elevate Jeju’s value as a tourism destination by bringing high-quality duty free shopping services,” said Hee-ryong Won, Governor of Jeju. “We look forward to positively contributing to the development of Korea’s duty free industry.”

“We highly respect DFS’ dedication to JTO’s vision in developing Jeju as a preferred destination for tourism,” said Kab-Yeol Choi, President of JTO. “The strategic partnership between JTO and DFS will allow Jungmun to offer the best duty free shopping experience and be of great assistance in attracting more international tourists to Jeju.”

“DFS is honored to join this project with JTO to bring an elevated retail experience to southern Jeju,” said Philippe Schaus, Chairman and CEO of DFS Group. “We greatly admire JTO’s creativity and foresight in developing Jungmun and the surrounding area as an international tourist destination, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to these efforts by providing travelers with a tailored selection of high quality, luxury products from our partner brands around the world.”

The Jeju Duty Free will open in its second phase by May 2016, with all brands and product offerings in place by the fourth quarter.