The Seoul Metropolitan Government’s mobile tourism app “i Tour Seoul” received the grand prize in the public service category of the 2011 Smart App Awards, presented by the Korea Internet Professional Association. Introduced in 2009, “i Tour Seoul” is the first mobile tourism app introduced by a metropolitan or provincial government in Korea.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been operating a Seoul tourism website (http://www.visitseoul.net) in five languages (including Korean, English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese) since 2001 in order to provide tourism information on Seoul and enhance the convenience of tours in the Korean capital. Owing to the increase in the use of smartphones, the City Government expanded the service by launching a mobile app in December 2009 and the mobile web in April 2010, effectively positioning the sites as an essential service for tours in Seoul.
The Seoul Tourism Mobile App (i Tour Seoul) offers more than 20,000 contents that are useful for tours in Seoul, including information on accommodation, best restaurants, transportation, recommended tour courses, and shopping, free of charge.
In order to promote the best restaurants, which are essential for tours in the city, the service provides information “Proud Korean Restaurants,” which are selected by the City Government yearly through a strict screening process, thereby enhancing tourists’ convenience.
Additionally, the app automatically traces the user’s location and offers directions and public transportation information, enabling the user to conveniently navigate with the support of the app, which was newly upgraded this year. Users can also easily access information on hotspots, best restaurants, and shopping in nearby areas via an augmented reality function.