Alitrip, an online travel arm of Alibaba Group formerly known as Taobao Travel, announced on Tuesday a strategic partnership with Korea’s biggest travel agency, HanaTour, to bring more Chinese outbound tourists to South Korea.

Chinese tourists account for the largest portion of foreign tourists visiting Korea. HanaTour has maintained first place in the Korean market in terms of sales of foreign tourism products and plane tickets.

“Korea has been a preferred travel destination for Chinese visitors and we are excited to work with HanaTour to broaden the scope of travel products and services that Korea has to offer,” said Duan Dongdong, Vice President of Alitrip.

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The partnership will offer Chinese tourists discounts and coupons for duty-free products. Alitrip also launched an Alitrip page for Korea destination travelers to give direct access to a range of Korea travel products and services including shopping, hotels and entertainment.

The South Korean government has recently launched a range of incentives to attract Chinese travelers. President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye jointly designated 2016 as the year of Chinese visitors to South Korea. As part of the program South Korea has waived visa fees for Chinese group travelers as well as adding six new air routes between the two nations.

Korean Startups are also increasingly catering to the needs of Chinese tourists. ZaiSeoul gives travelers budget offers on travel packages and cosmetics, while Aidibao offers delivery services for Chinese tourists who want to send heavy shopping bags to their hotels. TNDN helps Chinese tourists find recommended restaurants and deals when traveling on Jeju Island.

Image Credit: Alitrip

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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