Late-night foods being served at pojangmacha market alley in Yeongdo, Busan (Busan Tourism Organization)
First time travels are hard even for avid travelers. Regardless of the amount of time spent planning itineraries on local accommodations and food, spontaneous difficulties arise from the moment one arrives as a stranger to the city.
To relieve solo visitors of some of their burden, particularly female travelers, an online guide book introducing the city’s major attractions was launched by the Busan Tourism Organization on Tuesday.
The three-month project to produce “The Busan Guidebook for Women Traveling Alone,” was assisted by NomadHer, a travel app dedicated to female tourists.
With users in 176 countries, the startup has been developing guidebooks for female travelers since 2019. Busan is the sixth destination covered by the books, with the previous ones about the city of New York, Paris, Lisbon, Seoul and Morocco.
The 50-page guidebook suggests things to do in four themes -- to fully be immersed in nature, to feel the local youth vibe, to take a break and trying new activities.
A view of Haeundae from the Igidae Coastal Walk at sundown (Busan Tourism Organization)
At first glance, readers might find the booklet similar to existing travel guides, but the highlights are on the latter half, which has details on safe accommodation, evening schedules on public transportation and dining services that cater to specific appetites.
Tips and reminders are added for each location, and social media accounts of shops and restaurants are provided to help travelers grasp the place before visiting.
The BTO hinted at the potential of tourism to the city through the 2020 Virtual Female Globetrotter Festival hosted by NomadHer, on September.
“Listening to over 20 panelists actively sharing their journeys, we noticed diverse travel motivations and expectations that differ from standardized tourism patterns in the past,” Sung Hyun-ji, the BTO’s Global Marketing Team manager told The Korea Herald Wednesday. The book was designed to allow solo women travelers to shift travel modes according to their daily moods and physical conditions, Sung added.
Bae So-yeon, head of business at the NomadHer and team manager of the Busan project said that the priority was to look at the city from the lens of a female foreigner traveling to Busan for the first time.
Cover page of the Busan guidebook chosen through an illustration challenge event by NomadHer (Busan Tourism Organization)
“We held an illustration-challenge event for the cover page of the guidebook through our app. Women travelers from 15 different countries participated, and the work of Sheryline, one of our French members, was finally selected.” Bae told The Korea Herald. Safety issues inevitably become a priority when traveling alone, according to Bae. Naming Busan as a city brighter at night with warm hospitality of locals, NomadHer gave it 3 out of 3 stars in its overall rating in the guidebook.
“The Busan Guidebook for Women Traveling Alone” can be downloaded for free at the Visit Busan’s website, or through the NomadHer’s official app.
By Kim Hae-yeon (firstname.lastname@example.org