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VisitKorea launches travel itinerary app for travelers to Korea

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VisitKorea, a tourism information service platform operated by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), on July 5 revamped its website and its mobile application, offering new services to help travelers to Korea better plan their trips and navigate the country during their stay.

VisitKorea, a tourism information service platform operated by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), on July 5 revamped its website and its mobile application, offering new services to help travelers to Korea better plan their trips and navigate the country during their stay.

Julie is visiting Korea for the first time in five years from Austin, Texas. She has a sister living in Seoul, and says she’s had enough experience traveling around Seoul and nearby cities.

Next month, she’s taking a month off of work and coming to Korea. During her stay, she hopes to make short trips to other regions in the country she’s never been to before, like Gangneung, Gangwon, on the east coast, of which she has “heard so much about the beautiful beaches and the water activities you can do there during summer.” She is also considering Mokpo and Yeosu on the southern coast, where she wants to try the marine cable cars, and the small islands on the southwestern coast where she can experience the mudflats known as getbeol.

Just in time, VisitKorea, a tourism information service platform operated by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), on July 5 revamped its website and its mobile application, offering new services to help travelers to Korea better plan their trips and navigate the country during their stay.

The platform is split into three main sections: “Plan Your Trip,” “Where to Go” and “Things to Do.”

One of the main features in the “Plan Your Trip” section is the Travel Planner. Upon selecting travel dates and personal interests, it suggests a personalized itinerary with optimized routes. It also provides a list of accommodations and restaurants nearby. Users can also view other people’s itineraries and browse reviews.

Under the “Where to go” section, users can view some 150 itinerary recommendations by picking out a location on the map or by inputting keywords.

One key feature that Julie liked from this section was the itineraries recommended by Korean celebrities. As a fan of Yang Yo-seob from the boy band Highlight, she looked to see what he recommended: It was Gangneung.

“Yang says that he finds Gangneung to be a comfortable place that goes well with his personality,” VisitKorea says as it introduces Gangneung as “Yang Yo-seob’s Pick.”

“Korea’s got a lot of beautiful seas and beaches, but I recommend Anmok Beach in particular. You can get a great cup of coffee and dessert, and there are plenty of souvenir shops and good restaurants near the beach. I personally love walking, and I don’t really make plans when I travel, so I love just walking around and going into shops and cafes that catch my fancy. So I think my personality and Gangneung are a good match,” Yang wrote in his itinerary.

Julie said she had never heard about Anmok Beach or the coffee street of Gangneung, but after reading Yang’s recommendation, Julie said she decided to pick Gangneung as her first destination as soon as she arrives in Korea, and added the beach and the coffee street to her itinerary.

“It’s great that I was able to use this service to plan my trips in Korea,” she said. “I travel around the world a lot, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a convenient service before. I think it’s a must-use service for people who are thinking about visiting Korea. I am really excited to check out the travel destinations recommended by my favorite Korean celebrities.”

While Julie is traveling in Gangneung, she’ll be able to receive discount coupons and vouchers to use around the area, as the VisitKorea app provides location-based services. To promote the new platform, VisitKorea is holding lucky draw events. The second phase of the lucky draw, which started Wednesday, will last until Aug. 2 with prizes including a two-day Incheon tour course, a one-day Seoul tour course, BTS merchandise and more to 150-plus winners. The lucky draw is open to anyone who signed up with the website via its event page at english.visitkorea.or.kr/svc/thingsToDo/event/2023/Renewal.do

To check out the new platform, visit english.visitkorea.or.kr

Here’s how create your own itinerary:


STEP 1. WHEN ARE YOU TRAVELING?  

You can now start planning your trip with Visit Korea’s new Travel Planner.

First, select the dates you have in mind for your trip to Korea. You can select up to seven days. The dates do not need to be exact but are necessary as the Travel Planner will recommend the festivals held around your destination around the time of your visit. You can then select your destination from the map.

Visit Korea currently has 20 cities to choose from, including Seoul, Incheon, Suwon, Sokcho, Gangneung, Cheongju, Sejong, Gongju, Daejeon, Andong, Jeonju, Daegu, Pohang, Gyeongju, Ulsan, Busan, Tongyeong, Yeosu, Gwangju, Mokpo and Jeju Island.

Since Julie is visiting Korea from Aug. 15 to Sep. 11, she’s decided to spend her first weekend, Aug. 18 and 19, in Gangneung.

STEP 2. SELECT YOUR INTERESTS

The next step is to select your interests for a personalized itinerary recommendation. Visit Korea gives you eight options – city, culture, experience and leisure, food, Hallyu or Korean wave, history and tradition, nature and wellness. You have to select at least one.

Julie has heard great things about the seafood on Korea’s west coast, so she clicks “Food.” She also wants to do some trekking in the woods and also enjoy the beach, so she clicks “Nature” as well.

Lastly, she has always been fascinated by Korea’s history and tradition, so she might as well learn about the history and tradition of the area while she’s there and clicks “History & Tradition.”

STEP 3. YOUR ITINERARY

The platform will then provide a map with a personalized itinerary. During a two-day trip to Gangneung, Gangwon, Visit Korea recommends Julie start her trip at Ojukheon House. She learns more about Ojukheon House by clicking on the tab for more information.

Ojukheon House in Gangneung [JOONGANG PHOTO]
Ojukheon House in Gangneung [JOONGANG PHOTO]

It is the house where Yulgok Yi I, a renowned scholar and politician of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), was born. This complex of traditional Korean houses was built during this period and is a designated Korean Treasure. The tab also says the city of Gangneung holds a memorial ceremony here every year in October, but Julie definitely wants to visit the site and take a look as the only other traditional Korean site she’s been to in Korea is Gyeongbok Palace in central Seoul.

Arte Museum Valley Gangneung  [JOONGANG PHOTO]
Arte Museum Valley Gangneung [JOONGANG PHOTO]

The itinerary then recommends Julie visit the Arte Museum Valley Gangneung, just 3 kilometers (2.1 miles) away from the Ojukheon House. It says an immersive media art exhibition is scheduled to take place during Julie’s visit. There is an “Add a site” button where Julie can search for restaurants nearby and add them to the map. You can actually curate your own itinerary from the recommended version by adding or taking out the attractions. She’ll stay the night at the Gyeongpo Beach Hotel.

Gangneung Coffee Street [JOONGANG PHOTO]
Gangneung Coffee Street [JOONGANG PHOTO]

On the second day, she’ll have a relaxing morning at the Anmok Beach and instead of going to the Gangmun Beach as recommended by the itinerary, she’ll erase it and add the Gangneung Coffee Street she saw on Yang Yo-seob’s Pick.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [yim.seunghye@joongang.co.kr]