No exchange number required; service available to Koreans, too
Launched in September 1999 by the Korea Tourism Organization, 1330 is a telephone number for tourist information.
The telephone service was launched because various regional tourism information telephone services differed not just in working hours but also in service quality.
1330 is a national tourist information service. One does not have to dial the area code or exchange number from any part of the country.
The information at 1330 is available in four languages Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese courtesy of certified tour guide-interpreters 24 hours a day. In addition to tourist information, tourist guide can also offer interpretation services, receive tourist grievances, and make accommodation reservations.
“I never fail to mention special events such as festivals,” said Yun Jeong-hui , a manager at 1330. According to him, fees and charges change. “I check with the relevant agency before I talk to the caller about them. Sometimes, I organize a foreign tourist’s entire tour course,” she added.
Foreigners are particularly taken aback when they have their valuables stolen or they get physically hurt. 1330 helps foreigners in distress get emergency aid in collaboration with 120 (Seoul Call Center, Dasan 120), 110 (Government Call Center), 119 (Fire, Emergency, and Ambulance), telephone number of the consul concerned (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and 112 (Police).
The daily average number of calls is 900. Calls by foreigners account for approximately 45%.
Overall, the number of calls is increasing sharply year after year.
Most foreign callers are FITs (free independent travelers).
The consensus is that the quality growth of tourism in Korea requires a greater number of free independent travelers. Thus, 1330 services need to be expanded.