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[KTO] [HQ]Tourism Technology, KTO's New Tourism Strategy
KTO (CEO, Kim, Jong-min) has recently realigned its organizational structure and established Tourism Technology Division to creatively adapt to the fast-changing tourism environment. The Tourism Technology Division, headed by Vice President for Tourism Technology, consists of six departments.

The convergence of industries has forced people to create new terminology such as information technology, biotechnology, ubiquitous technology and even cultural technology to explain new, frequently talked about topics. “Tourism technology” is a term created by the Korea Tourism Organization to encompass all social, cultural, managerial skills, and value-adding activities of the tourism industry required to develop the travel and tourism industry. The words “tourism technology”, occasionally used in the current travel industry, is very limited to the application of information technology such as on line booking system.

Tourism technology, initially based on the concept of cultural technology, is a more comprehensive catchall term covering tangible and intangible knowledge and know-how used to add to the value of tourism products on a micro level and the management of value chains of the travel and tourism industry on a macro level. New tourism products are also the end result of tourism technology combining with other industries. These include medical tourism, educational tourism, agricultural tourism, marine tourism, and the application of information technology to the travel and tourism industry.

The term “technology” can easily call to mind scientific achievements, computer graphic skills, special effects and other engineering-related images. However, tourism technology encompasses the integrated fields mentioned in the previous paragraph, statistics, managerial and socio-cultural know-how and skills that the tourism industry can adopt to design, produce, and market various tourism products. In addition to coordinating various aspects of human resources in the travel and tourism industry, tourism technology describes a comprehensive field containing but not limited to such widely referred to subjects as entertainment technology, contents technology and creative technology.

To help understand tourism technology, here are a few examples of successful activities carried out by the KTO.

1) Improvement of market surveys and development of high-value added tourism products. The KTO conducted an in-depth market survey of Asian outbound travelers and successfully launched a 3-day tour package priced at US $3,000. Normal tour packages cost about US $500.

2) Development of experience-based tourism attractions and sites. The popularity of Korean television dramas and movies are sweeping the Asian continent. Daejanggeum (Jewel in the Palace) is one of these hit dramas. The KTO developed new tour products with intriguing experiences of storytelling. The storytelling has become an essential part of the tour product, and it is the story and the combined experience, not the filming locations that attract tourists.

3) Convergence with other industries. Successfully applied products include: development of medical tour products in cooperation with the medical industries of Korea; implementation of agricultural and spiritual tour products such as farm-stay and temple-stay in cooperation with agricultural industries and religious organizations; and educational tour programs in cooperation with the educational industry.

4) Application of advanced information technology. Taking advantage of Korea’s advanced information technology, the KTO is providing tourist information services via car navigation systems, mobile phones and PDAs.

5) Application of the animation technology. KTO has launched a new tourism campaign, tagged with “Fantasy Korea” – a flash animation version designed by a famous Korean animation artist. The theme of the flash-animation is B-Boys (hip-hop dancers) introducing the culture and tourist attractions of Korea.

For further information about Tourism Technology, please contact Deokhyun Jo at deokhyun@mail.knto.or.kr.
Date 05/04/2006