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South Korea Boosts Tourism with QR Codes


Seoul, South Korea is now using quick response codes to attract more tourists. The streets of the capital city are literally teeming with QR codes.

The two-dimensional matrix bar codes are not really new to Koreans. In fact, they’ve been using these for years as part of their mobile marketing strategies. Remember the first ever QR coded supermarket?

Now, however, QR codes take on a new role as they help Seoul promote itself in the field of tourism. Particularly in helping provide tourists with directions through some high-profile neighborhoods within the city.

QR Codes in Pavements

The QR codes are embedded in the pavements, most of them found in the Gangnam district (yes, the one you’ve heard of from Psy’s famous song, Gangnam Style). These codes can be scanned using a smartphone or any mobile device equipped with a QR code reader application. These codes aim to help Seoul visitors find directions around it as well as to provide them with the local information they need so they don’t get lost and other info relating to the other neighborhoods. This info actually emphasizes the major sites or attractions that Seoul has to offer its tourists.

QR Codes in Public Transit Guides

Aside from the QR codes embedded in the pavements, they can also be found in the Seoul Subway Travel Guide. The Korea Tourism Organization has published a new edition of the Travel Guide and included the codes to offer tourists information about the city’s transit system. Visitors to the city will also learn more about the various tour services they can avail of.

This guide, by the way, has been published in four different languages to make it more tourist-friendly.

South Korea as Testing Ground

South Korea has become a trial venue for new initiatives related to QR codes. Take for example the Tesco virtual store, wherein consumers merely have to scan a QR code associated with a particular product in order to purchase that item and then have these purchases delivered right to their doorsteps.

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