Home shop­ping chan­nels of­fer US-NK sum­mit tour pro­gram

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Nam Hyun-woo namhw@ko­re­atimes.co.kr

Global at­ten­tion on the sum­mit be­tween U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Sin­ga­pore has prompted home shop­ping chan­nels here to plan tour pack­ages fea­tur­ing venues of the his­toric meet­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to GS Shop, Thurs­day, the home shop­ping com­pany’s travel mer­chan­dis­ers are try­ing to block-group air tick­ets to Sin­ga­pore, which is a con­di­tion be­fore re­leas­ing a tour pro­gram.

This means re­serv­ing air­line seats but not pay­ing for them im­me­di­ately, which is usu­ally done by travel agents for group tourists.

Se­cur­ing a bloc of seats is the key task be­fore es­tab­lish­ing the tour pack­age, a GS Shop official said. “When we suc­ceed in block­ing air tick­ets to Sin­ga­pore, air­ing such a tour pack­age would be a mat­ter of time,” she said.

Though GS Shop is yet to fix tour sched­ules, tour pro­grams will likely in­clude vis­its to Sen­tosa Is­land and the Capella Ho­tel, the sum­mit’s lo­ca­tion; the St. Regis Sin­ga­pore Ho­tel, where Kim stayed, and the Shangri-La Ho­tel, where Trump stayed.

Also in­cluded could be the land- mark Ma­rina Bay Sands Ho­tel, which Kim vis­ited be­fore the sum­mit, and sev­eral other sites of in­ter­est in Sin­ga­pore.

“Sin­ga­pore has not been our fa­vorite tour pro­gram so far, while most of our prod­ucts are travel pack­ages to Eu­rope or South­east Asia,” the official said. “Af­ter the U.S.-North Korea sum­mit, in­ter­est in Sin­ga­pore is in­creas­ing among do­mes­tic con­sumers, which gives us a good chance to be­gin tour pro­grams fea­tur­ing the key places of the sum­mit.”

Ri­val Lotte Home Shop­ping has aired a Sin­ga­pore tour pro­gram twice this year and plans to broad­cast the pro­gram again, while Hyundai Home Shop­ping is also pre­par­ing to ini­ti­ate tour pro­grams to Sin­ga­pore. Do­mes­tic home shop­ping firms have been sell­ing tour pro­grams in line with trend­ing TV shows.

Tour pack­ages to Que­bec be­came pop­u­lar af­ter the TV drama “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” hit its stride. Travel re­al­ity shows “Grand­pas Over Flow­ers,” “Sis­ters Over Flow­ers” and “Youth Over Flow­ers” have led home shop­ping firms to es­tab­lish Euro­pean tour prod­ucts, while TV shows on South­east Asian travel are also pop­u­lar.

Reuters-Yon­hap

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump strolls with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Capella Ho­tel on Sen­tosa Is­land in Sin­ga­pore, Tues­day.

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