Yongin city, Inje county, and Tongyeong city named 2023 Smart Tourism Cities to fill “bucket lists” for the Korean tourism sector

Date Mar 13, 2023

Yongin city selected as a Tourist Attraction Smart Tourism City and Inje county and Tongyeong city as Small Giant Smart Tourism Cities... The regions are to receive up to KRW 4.5 billion in subsidies from the government

Use of smart technologies to provide personalized and real-time tourism information and improve transportation experiences


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST) and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) selected three regions for the 2023 Smart Tourism City program to fill out the Korean tourism sector’s “bucket list.”

The “Smart Tourism City Development Program” aims to combine technology with tourism elements to develop unique and attractive tourism resources while organically linking and promoting local tourism destinations so anyone can easily access tourism services.

This year’s call for proposals was issued in two categories: (1) Tourist Attraction Smart Tourism Cities, open to all local governments, and (2) Small Giant Smart Tourism Cities, intended for smaller regions with a high potential to become popular tourist attractions (population of under 150,000 people). A total of 35 local governments submitted their proposals, and three were selected based on their attractiveness as tour destinations, well-organized frameworks for maximizing attractiveness, appropriateness of project themes for the potential visitors, concrete business plans aligned with actual site conditions, and sufficient outcomes and sustainability.


<2023 Smart Tourism Cities>




Target Area

Project Type

Tourist Attraction Smart Tourism City

Yongin city, Gyeonggi province

Korean Folk Village and G-Museum Park

Smart Dadaikseon Yongin and Link & Stay

Small Giant Smart Tourism City

Inje county, Gangwon province

Birch Forest, Wondae-ri

Healing Inje and FO:REST MAGIC

Tongyeong city, South Gyeongsang province


Tonight Tongyeong, the Way to the Island


The selected regions will receive up to KRW 4.5 billion in subsidies over three years (central government to match the local governments’ spending at 1:1 or more), which will be used to build unique and local smart tourism elements.

Yongin city will redesign the Gyeonggi Museum Park (Nam June Paik Art Center, Gyeonggi province Museum, and Gyeonggi province Children’s Museum) and the surrounding areas into the Smart Art Road, which will offer media exhibitions, media façade performance programs in collaboration with the Name June Paik Art Center, and interactive busking. The city government also plans to actively utilize smart mobility technologies to run shuttles connecting Smart Tourism Stops, with the shuttles adapting to changes in visitor traffic flexibly. The government will also use incentives to integrate the system with the public transportation system to ensure a convenient and seamless connection between tourism sites and visitors. As Small Giant Smart Tourism Cities, Inje county and Tongyeong city will connect local tourism sites with high potential to offer more pleasant tourism experiences and develop unique local tourism resources.

Inje county chose the region’s birch forest, famous for its exotic scenery, to offer programs that accentuate the concepts of “rest” and “healing” in the forest. These programs include the Personalized Forest Trail Curation, which suggests optimal trails based on personal preferences and health; Digital Literature Guide, where guests can lose themselves in thoughts while listening to narrated literary classics; the Night Light media Show in the forest, and the Constellation Projection program.

Tongyeong city will focus on the city’s islands to build a platform capable of suggesting personalized itineraries, providing real-time ferry location, weather forecasts, and tourist transportation information, and reserving tables at island restaurants. The platform will help visitors have a pleasant journey, and the resulting data will be utilized to improve the services. In addition, the city will add new tourist attractions, such as an immersive Extended Reality (XR) Observatory, showing Tongyeong’s past and present, and a night tour program focusing on alleyways to become a city where visitors want to stay longer.