Seoul’s Lotte World Tower becomes tourist hot spot
The city’s tallest building is seeing a leap in number of visitors, despite a drop in Chinese tourists
By Park Jae-hyuk
Lotte World Tower has drawn 126,000 daily visitors on average in April, becoming South Korea’s newest tourist hot spot.
The number is set to grow faster this month, as Lotte holds various events around the nation’s tallest skyscraper in Jamsil, southeastern Seoul, during the “golden week” holiday.
According to Lotte Corporation, Monday, 3.16 million people have visited Lotte World Tower and its neighbouring Lotte World Mall since the tower’s April 3 opening.
About 102,000 people per day visited the site on weekdays, while 203,000 per day visited there on weekends.
In particular, Seoul Sky, the nation’s highest observation deck located between the 117th and 123rd floors of the tower, was visited by 120,000 people ─ about 4,800 a day enjoyed the city view from the 500-metre-high deck.
Lotte, which has suffered a decreasing number of Chinese tourists over a missile dispute, now expects to achieve its goal of attracting 60 million tourists a year.
A company official said April’s figure is 48 per cent higher than that of March, when only the mall was in operation.
The growing number of visitors positively affected sales revenue of facilities there as well.
The aquarium, cinema, shopping mall, department store, discount store and electronics shop in the mall respectively had 33.6, 48.5, 15.8, 10.6, 19 and 61.5 per cent more sales in April than a month earlier.
The duty free shop alone suffered a 40 per cent sales decrease, due to the Chinese government’s de facto travel ban on group tours to Korea.
As more tourists are expected to visit the tower this week, Lotte has begun to hold various events.
Until next Monday, visitors can enjoy the Sweet Swan public art project at Seokchon Lake. Lotte expects the massive swan family sculptures will boost sales of the nearby shops, as the 2014 Rubber Duck project and 2016 Super Moon project did.
Families with children may enjoy a LEGO festival at a park in front of the tower. Four million LEGO parts will be available to visitors during the festival, so they can participate in making an eight- metre-wide and 12-metre-high flower which will be displayed at the park.
Lotte World Tower is also holding exhibitions and classical concerts during the holidays.
“We hope families, friends and couples visit Lotte World Tower this week,” a Lotte Corporation marketing chief said. “We will continue to hold various events for tourists who visit the tower and Jamsil to enjoy culture and art.”