SEOUL, Dec 8 - Nine out of 10 Chinese tourists on VIP package to South Korea spent over 50 million won (US$44,840), making them the biggest foreign consumer group, a survey said Monday.

According to the survey conducted by Cosmojin Tour, a Seoul-based travel agency, 87 percent of 596 Chinese who traveled to South Korea on exclusive VIP tours between Feb. 1 and Nov. 20 spent over 50 million won. Another 8 percent spent over 300 million won.

Seven out of 10 bought luxury brands at duty free shops, two in 10 preferred Korean brands such as cosmetics and rice cookers, and one in 10 opted for Korean herbs and food products.

Among the affluent Chinese, 30-somethings were the most avid shoppers. They spent over 50 million won per visit, with 9 percent buying 200 million won's worth of goods. Another 20 percent spent 100 million won on shopping.

"VIP Chinese tourists want top quality service and luxury brands, so they spend much more than what people imagine during their visit here," Chung Myung-jin, the CEO of Cosmojin Tour, said.

Chinese last year overtook Japanese as the No. 1 source of tourists visiting South Korea, encouraging local retailers to roll out customized services such as limousine pickups and special shopping privileges.

About 4.3 million Chinese tourists visited Korea last year, and the number is expected to reach 6 million this year, according to the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade.

BANGKOK, Dec 8 -- Eight Chinese rubber processing entrepreneurs are interested in investing in Thailand, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Amnuay Patise.

BANGKOK, Dec 8 –  The popularity of the three-month-old government of Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has declined slightly, but a majority of respondents still want him to continue ruling Thailand, according to a  survey conducted by the Bangkok Poll. 

Monday, 08 December 2014 14:08

Ministers will be elected following reform

BANGKOK, Dec 8 --  As a new Constitution is being written, its drafting committee members have debated and concluded that cabinet ministers should be elected directly because it would be easier to investigate while it is also difficult to buy votes as in past administrations, according to Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, chairman of the National Reform Council (NRC) committee charged with political reform. 

Jakarta, Dec 6 - The number of passengers who will travel using public transportation during Christmas and New Year holidays is estimated to reach 14 million, according to the directorate general of land transportation of the ministry of transportation.

"The increase in the number of passengers can reach 14 million this year," Acting Director General of Land Transportation Sugihardjo told a press conference here on Friday.

Sugiharto said that in 2014 the number of passengers is predicted to increase by 4.88 percent to 14,047,912 from 13,392,788 in 2013.

Of the modes of transportation, Sugihardjo said train will get the biggest number of passengers reaching 3.85 million passengers followed by air transportation with 3.72 million passengers, land transportation 2.94 million, inter island waterway transportation service 2.60 million and sea transportation 0.91 million passengers.

SEOUL, Dec 6 - The national professional football federation announced on Friday it has issued a warning on the first-division club Seongnam FC after its owner openly criticized officiating, saying his action tarnished the image of the league.

Saturday, 06 December 2014 14:08

BMA celebrates Thai King’s birthday

BANGKOK, Dec 5 -- Officials of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and people from all walks of life early Friday wore yellow shirts and offered alms to Buddhist monks, celebrating the  87th birthday of the revered Thai monarch, HM Bhumibol Adulyadej.. 

BANGKOK, Dec 5 --  After learning that His Majesty the King canceled his public appearance and will not leave Siriraj Hospital today for an audience at the Amarin Winitchai Throne Hall on his 87th birthday, well-wishers wearing yellow shirts travelled all the way to the hospital and chanted “Long Live the King.” 

Saturday, 06 December 2014 14:03

Hospital says HM the King needs complete rest

BANGKOK, Dec 5 --  Realising that the general public might worry about His Majesty the King’s health following the cancellation of activities on his 87th birthday celebrations today, Prof Dr Udom Kachintorn, dean of the Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, said HM the King needs only complete rest in order to regain his strength.

Saturday, 06 December 2014 14:00

Higher taxi fares likely at end-of-month

BANGKOK, Dec 5 --  An increase in taxi fares in Bangkok is likely to be implemented before the end of the month, according to Theerapong Rodprosert, director-general of the Land Transport Department. 

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