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1330 call service still soaring in popularity

The use of travel call service number 1330, a 24-hour help line for local and international travelers, has jumped 27 percent in 2010 from the previous year, the Korea Tourism Organization said Wednesday.

According to the KTO, the number of 1330 calls dialed by both foreigners and Koreans soared to nearly 170,000 in 2010 from 133,000 in 2009, following an increase of 32 percent year-on-year growth in 2009.

To help foreign travelers remember the number easily, the KTO recently launched its brand name as “TT Call,” as in “Thirteen Thirty Call” or “Travel Tip Call.” 
An employee of the Korea Tourism Organization’s 1330 TT Call Center talks with a user on Jan. 27. (KTO)
An employee of the Korea Tourism Organization’s 1330 TT Call Center talks with a user on Jan. 27. (KTO)

The TT Call service provides not only travel information but traffic updates, on-spot interpretation services, cultural events and festivals information and accommodation details, in four languages ― English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

The number of 1330 calls dialed for English language service more than doubled to 99,800 in 2010 from 49,000 in 2008, while the number of calls serviced in Korean inched up to 48,000 in 2010 from 41,000 in 2008.

Calls in the Chinese language also jumped to 11,200 in 2010 from 5,300 in 2008. The number of Japanese calls increased to 10,100 in 2010 from 5,400 in 2008.

The 1330 call is also linked with 1345 general information call center for foreigners and 119 rescue call center so that international travelers and expatriates could get one-stop help services, KTO officials said.

The TT Call can be reached from any landline in the nation by dialing 1330 without an area code.

However, if calling from a mobile phone, the local area code must be dialed before 1330. For example, the TT Call can be reached by dialing 02-1330.

Overseas users should dial Korea’s country code, 82, the area code without zero and 1330. For example, the local Jeju branch can be reached at 82-64-1330 from overseas.

The KTO said it will keep improving the expertise of call center employees to provide detailed public services.

The number of foreign visitors to Korea is estimated to have jumped 12.5 percent to 8.8 million in 2010 from a year earlier, according to the KTO.

Japanese tourists are the largest group of visitors, taking up about 34 percent, followed by Chinese with 21 percent.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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