SEOUL, South Korea, May 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — HOTEL LOTTE, which has been leading the development of Korean tourism industry after its foundation on May 5th, 1973, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
HOTEL LOTTE is a global culture and tourism content company with three business units: LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS, LOTTE DUTY FREE, and LOTTE WORLD. Currently, LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS has 33 properties globally, including SIGNIEL SEOUL and LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE. LOTTE WORLD runs five businesses including LOTTE WORLD ADVENTURE, Aquarium, and SEOUL SKY. LOTTE DUTY FREE operates total 21 stores including Guam and Brisbane Airports.
– Heralding the start of HOTEL LOTTE’s 50-year history (1970s)
In 1970, former Korean President Chung-Hee Park entrusted hospitality business to Kyuk-Ho Shin, the founder and former chairman of LOTTE Group. Despite the investment requiring huge capital, Chairman Shin established Hotel LOTTE on May 5th, 1973. After investing 150 million dollars over six years, he presented LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL, which was the largest luxury hotel in Asia at the time, marking the beginning of Korea’s tourism industry.
– Transforming Jamsil, the suburban into a tourist destination (1980s)
In the 1980s, HOTEL LOTTE turned its attention to Jamsil, which was then a suburban of Seoul, and began planning for the country’s first indoor theme park. A total of 454 million dollars were invested over five years, and opened in July 1989 as LOTTE WORLD Adventure. Even ranking as the world’s largest indoor theme park at the time in the Guinness Book of World Records, the total number of visitors since the opening has exceeded 210 million, making it one of Korea’s representative tourist attractions.
During the Seoul Olympics in 1988, HOTEL LOTTE opened LOTTE HOTEL WORLD in Jamsil. Followed by the opening of LOTTE DUTY FREE in January 1989, HOTEL LOTTE made the neighbourhood a tourist destination.
– Establishing the foundation for economic recovery (1990s-2000s)
Even during the IMF financial crisis of the 1990s, LOTTE DUTY FREE continued to build its infrastructure by opening its flagship stores throughout the country, contributing to economic recovery through tourism. In 1999, the duty-free opening at Gimpo Airport Terminal 1 and 2 was the first in the industry to emphasize brand identity through red uniforms and signage, enhancing the country’s image.
– Spreading K-brand with Korean wave (2010s)
In the early 2000s, LOTTE DUTY FREE launched a campaign to promote Korean tourism by incorporating shopping, tourism, and culture with Korean Wave. The company has been actively engaging in entertainment tourism marketing such as holding customer invitational ‘Family Concerts’ featuring top Korean artists such as Super Junior and BTS, and creating the ‘Star Avenue’, a space full of handprints, photos and videos of celebrities. The Family Concert has attracted a total one million audiences since 2006, promoting K-Brands to tourists worldwide.
In 2017, LOTTE WORLD opened observatory, ‘SEOUL SKY’ in LOTTE WORLD TOWER, which was then the world’s third tallest building (555m), serving as a landmark of Korea.
– Becoming an internationally acknowledged brand with global expansion strategy
Based on the heritage of HOTEL LOTTE in Korea, LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS is the biggest hospitality group in Korea that has globally expanded its businesses initiating with the opening of LOTTE HOTEL MOSCOW in 2010. LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS has received consecutive international awards, such as the five-star rating in the 2023 Forbes Travel Guide for LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE, New York City’s cultural heritage built in 1882, as well as LOTTE HOTEL SEATTLE, LOTTE HOTEL ST. PETERSBURG, and more. The brand value of LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS has been recognized to the extent that it has hosted international events, including the UN General Assembly and the US-Korea Summit. It also has been chosen by former US presidents such as Barack Obama and Donald Trump for their stays at LOTTE New York Palace, and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at LOTTE HOTEL SEOUL.
LOTTE DUTY FREE has also opened five locations in Oceania, and in Jakarta Airport in Indonesia for the first in Korean duty-free industry. LOTTE DUTY FREE Melbourne Airport is scheduled to open in June, and LOTTE HOTELS & RESORTS’ L7 WESTLAKE HANOI and LOTTE WORLD AQUARIUM HANOI, are also set to open in August.
Wan-Shin Lee, the CEO of LOTTE Group Hotel HQ said, " HOTEL LOTTE has been together with the Korean tourism industry’s history over the past 50 years by developing into a global company operating hotels, duty-frees, and theme parks," adding that "based on the heritage built up to now, we will keep offering contents to enhance customer experience in order to continue to grow as a 100-year company."