Local duty-free shops have posted record high sales last year.
According to Korea Duty Free Shops Association, they collectively sold 17-point-two billion dollars' worth of products last year, up by 34-point-six percent on-year.
It marks a continuing upward trend for domestic duty-free retailers. From the three billion dollars logged in 2009, their annual duty-free sales reached ten-point-seven billion dollars in 2016, then 12-point-eight billion dollars in 2017.
The industry attributed last year's sales growth to Chinese independent retailers, who filled the void left by group tourists from China amid Beijing’s unofficial travel ban in retaliation over South Korea's deployment of the U.S. antimissile system THAAD.