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Lotte wins duty-free license in Cam Ranh

Nov 28,2017

Lotte Duty Free has acquired the sole right to operate duty-free stores inside the new terminal of Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Airport, which serves the popular tourist destination of Nha Trang, the company said Monday.

Cam Ranh Airport’s second terminal will exclusively handle international flights and is scheduled to open during the first half of next year. The existing terminal currently serves both domestic and international flights, but will only accommodate domestic ones when the second terminal is done.

Lotte Duty Free said it will begin operating the stores when the terminal opens. It will be the only duty-free operator inside the terminal until 2028, when its 10-year contract expires.

In total, the shops will take up 1,811 square meters (19,500 square feet) of space. The company estimates sales will reach 700 billion won ($640 million) during the 10-year period.

Cam Ranh Airport currently has the capacity to handle two million international visitors a year, according to a research firm commissioned by Lotte, and forecasts the number will increase fourfold when the new terminal opens.

The airport serves the city of Nha Trang, located on the southern coast of Vietnam and famous for its beaches and coral reefs. About 1.2 million international tourists visited the city last year, and its popularity is rising - this year, the number of visitors has already reached one million during the first six months.

Nha Trang is particularly popular among Chinese and Russian tourists, which have each accounted for 57 percent and 24 percent of all overseas visitors this year.

Lotte Duty Free first entered Vietnam last year with stores in Da Nang International Airport, which also serves a region famous for its resorts and leisure facilities. The company is aiming to become “the largest duty-free brand in Vietnam within the next three years” and has its eye on some of the country’s core cities including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

“Our strategy is to put forward our know-how in services and marketing using Korean celebrities,” said Jang Sun-wook, chief executive of Lotte Duty Free.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]