Here are the best and worst apps selected by foreign travelers in Korea

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A new survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Korea Tourism Organization has revealed some interesting trends in travel app usage by foreign visitors to Korea.

While global apps dominate pre-trip and post-trip planning, foreign tourists heavily rely on both Korean and global apps during their stay in Korea.

The survey, conducted among 1,232 foreign visitors, found a high usage rate of Korean apps (91.7%) while traveling within Korea. Global apps still hold strong with 89.9% usage.

Naver Maps reign supreme in the navigation and route-finding category (56.2%), followed by Google Maps (33.9%).

For translation and interpretation, Papago takes the top spot (48.3%) compared to Google Translate (23.0%).

Social media usage leans towards Instagram (20.2%).

Tourists from Japan and Southeast Asia seem to favor Korean apps more. This preference also increases when exploring areas outside major cities, or using public transportation like buses or walking tours. The detailed information provided by Korean apps, including accurate arrival/departure times and transfer guides, is seen as a major advantage.

When asked about the most satisfying app for their Korean travels, Naver Maps again takes the lead (27.8%), followed by Papago (9.9%) and Google Maps (6.3%).

However, Google Maps also topped the list for most dissatisfying app (30.2%), primarily due to limitations in pedestrian navigation services.

Naver Maps and Kakao T faced criticism for a lack of comprehensive multilingual support (Naver Maps offers 4 languages, Kakao T offers 3).

The survey highlights the convenience, accuracy, and up-to-date nature of Korean travel apps for foreign tourists.

However, areas for improvement include enhancing foreign language service accuracy and simplifying authentication methods that currently require Korean phone numbers.

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