The Seoul Metropolitan Government and Seoul Tourism Foundation (CEO Lee Jae-sung) held a ‘Seoul Tour Theme Contest’ to create and develop Seoul tour packages suited to the Covid-19 era.
There were over 115 applications from various domestic and international travel agencies, from which a final 20 were selected and given funding (5 million won) for product development.
The contest was designed to identify and prepare new strategies for the tourism market that has changed significantly with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The aim was to develop products to enhance Seoul tourism and carefree travel whilst protecting public safety.
Product criteria included: novelty, feasibility, sustainability, representative of Seoul, compatible with Covid-19 daily life , contribution to Seoul Tourism.
Among the ‘History & Culture Tour’ products was “City Walk Tour via AR (Augmented Reality) Application.” The product provides history lessons, games and the ability to explore with safety via use of personal AR. The product’s novelty stems from its potential to shift from guide-oriented tourism to a service that utilizes digital technologies.
Another selection, “Become INSSA (Insider) Korean Tour Challengers!” organized 2-day + 1-night premium car tour, an alternative trip experience that minimises contact with others. The tour features visits to scenic, cultural destinations as well as fun experiences and popular K-Drama filming sites: Namsan Fortress trail, Han River Yacht Ride and Picnic, Seoul Forest, Seokchon Lake etc. Tour destinations comprised mostly open, outdoor spaces, minimising risks further.
A judge on the evaluation committee said, “we have seen the possibility of Covid-19 and Seoul Tourism co-existing, as these unique products have shown.” Another judge said, “I hope that the contest will serve as an opportunity to realize sustainable tourism and to become a global model tourism city in the future.”
The final selection of the products will be posted on the Seoul Tourism Foundation official website (https://korean.visitseoul.net/partners-kr/Seoul-Quality) via e-books.
Hwang Mi-Jung, head of the Seoul Tourism Foundation’s industrial cooperation team, wrote, “prolonged social distancing measures is causing the travel industry to suffer greatly. In the era of Covid-19, a trip to Seoul bears risk to public safety, as well as how enjoyable that trip can be. We will continue to listen to the voices of the travel industry and actively support in making a new leap into the new normal.”