“When you visit Myeongdong or the Jeju Islands in Korea, all you hear is Chinese.” The number of inbound travelers from China to Korea has risen to 6.1 million, a 41% growth year on year. The exponential growth contributed to record tourist income of US$18.1 billion. However, travel satisfaction has often been low, often due to travel agencies providing monotonous itineraries, looking around famous (and busy) spots, then heading to the shopping mall.

To solve this problem for free independent travelers (FIT), who book their own flights and hotels, MyRealTrip connects travelers to a local guide who speaks your mother tongue and then tailors the trip around what you want. Founded in 2012, the company has become the best outbound service in Korea, operating 780 tours in 218 cities around the world. Revenues have grown year on year, and increased over fivefold times. Named as a market-proven Korean startup expanding into the global market, the company was chosen to participate in K-TECH last year and pitched on GSIIP Demoday last month after going through a three-month acceleration program.

Today, the company launched a new Chinese platform ‘AiyouHanguo’, targeting inbound travelers from China. Based on Chinese travelers’ three main travel purposes in Korea, the service offers three themes: ‘Korean traditional culture’ (contemporary and historical sites), ‘Korean wave trip’ (TV and K-Pop broadcasting sites), and ‘Seoul fashion & trends’ (shopping spots and must-see restaurants). For each theme, the local guide will independently come up with creative route, while travelers can communicate with the local guide on their preferences. The company recently has signed a partnership with Qunar to provide travel packages for Chinese tourists within its platform.

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com