Posted : 2014-05-13 17:03
Updated : 2014-05-13 18:22

Hyundai Card opens Travel Library

By Choi Kyong-ae

This is the inside of the Travel Library which Hyundai Card will open in Cheongdam-dong, southern Seoul. The firm said Tuesday that it built the library to offer customers a place to seek information on travel, plan their trips, and book airline tickets.
/ Courtesy of Hyundai Card
Hyundai Card, Korea's second-biggest credit card provider by sales, will open a Travel Library today in a move to attract customers away from its rivals, the company said Tuesday.

The card company planned the library to allow Hyundai Card users to read books on travel, or to book airline tickets, with their cards. The library opens at noon in Cheongdam, southern Seoul.

"We are offering this special space for our existing and potential customers to help them seek information on planned trips or to consider possible trips," Lee Mee-young, senior vice president of Hyundai Card's Brand Division, said in a press conference.

In commenting on why the Travel Library was built in the busy Gangnam area, she said, "It is to give our customers opportunities to take a rest from their daily routines and seek trips through books."

In February, Hyundai Card opened the Design Library in Gahoe-dong, northern Seoul, to provide a place where customers could look up professional books on design.

To gain a bigger share in competition with rivals including the bigger Shinhan Card, Hyundai Card is planning a third library in Hannam-dong, northern Seoul. But it didn't provide any timeframe or budget for the plan.

"The theme for the third library is not fixed yet. But we will put our customers' appetites such as music and food as a top priority when we decide on the next theme," the senior vice president said.

Currently in Korea, Shinhan Card is the biggest card company with 13 million customers as of the end of March. Hyundai Card had a membership of 7 million at the end of December. Hyundai Card, established in 2001, is a joint venture set up in 2005 between Hyundai Motor Group and GE Capital.

Given enhanced awareness in recent years, Hyundai's different approach in marketing seems to be working. There are a steady number of visitors to the Design Library, which became a "hot spot for design-interested people" in Seoul, Lee said.

At the Travel Library, visitors will find several globes, a flight board which is synchronized with the digital board at Incheon International Airport, and chairs collected from various parts of the world.

There are 14,700 books themed into three categories __ Arts Architecture, Adventure and Travel Photography. Moreover, there are entire sets of the 126-year-old National Geographic magazine, and of the world's only tourism geographical journal "Imago Mundi" on the shelves.

The library will be open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. On Sundays and holidays, it will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It will be closed Mondays and the Chuseok and Lunar New Year holidays.

They do not charge admission fees for the first eight visits a month. It costs customers 5,000 won from the ninth visit.

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