Wealthy Chinese Shell Out For $88,000 Korean “Anti-Aging” Tour

Clinics In South Korea Investing More In Marketing To Chinese Travelers

The Ritz-Carlton Seoul

The Ritz-Carlton Seoul

Angling to capture a bigger slice of the Chinese outbound tourist market from Japan, over the last year South Korean luxury retailers, cosmetics brands, department stores and tour operators have invested heavily in marketing, looking to leverage their country’s regional reputation for everything from cuisine to pop culture. As the Korean newspaper JoongAng advised companies last year, to attract more free-spending Chinese visitors, “how about launching package tours that combine Korean cuisine and shopping? Or how about publicizing the works of Korean artists? Moreover, Korea boasts many skilled aesthetic surgery clinics, including the world’s best hair transplant surgeons. Medical tours need to be developed strategically.”

Apparently, one high-priced clinic in Seoul listened to JoongAng‘s advice. As the Dong-a Ilbo writes today, Possom Prestige, an anti-aging clinic at the Ritz-Carlton Korea, is set to welcome a group of 180 high-net-worth Chinese for a beauty tour worth up to 100 million won (US$87,680). Taking advantage of an explosion of interest in what the Chinese media is calling “meditel” — a combination of medical services and a hotel offering treatment, accommodation and rest — Possom Prestige and the Ritz-Carlton have been perhaps the first in Korea to team up to roll out this particular red carpet specifically for Chinese groups.

As the Dong-a Ilbo adds,

With growing interest in the tour package of sightseeing, shopping and plastic surgery from rich Chinese, the Chinese travel agency offering the anti-aging program chartered a 180-seat private plane at the end of this month.

The program, which targets customers who wish to travel abroad for a week that includes the May Day holiday, is almost sold out and the first charter flight package for Chinese who want a “meditel” tour.

Possom offers anti-aging programs priced from five million (438.40 dollars) to 100 million won (87,680 dollars). Thirty clients selected a program covering a physical check-up, skin care, plastic surgery and hair transplantation costing more than 50 million won (43,800 dollars).

As the paper points out, clinics and hotels aren’t just looking to bring in groups of 100+ plastic surgery-minded Chinese “meditel” tourists, they’re all too happy to accommodate individual travelers as well. According to Possom Prestige, three Chinese nationals booked a “full-package program” last month that included an eight-night stay at the hotel, stem cell treatment ranging in price from 10 million won (US$8,768) to 50 million won, and six months worth of nutritional supplements. As a Ritz-Carlton rep noted, the burgeoning success of these anti-aging tours isn’t just good for the clinics. Said the rep, “Sales at our restaurants and bars have increased markedly, as many tourists take a rest after undergoing plastic surgery.”

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Art & Design, Beauty, Market Analysis