Post # 54 – From VISIT KOREA – KTO NEWS on FREE RENTAL SERVICES: To resolve travelers’ reluctance of having to buy and carry travel items necessary for a one-time convenience, Korea Tourism Organization’s Tourist Information Center (TIC) will be offering FREE item rental service to individual travelers.

Starting in February 2018, visitors will be able to rent portable power banks, adapters, selfie tripods, portable reflectors, camping chairs, folding mats, and umbrellas. The participating Tourism Information Center – TIC must be able to verify visitors’ duration of stay and receive a deposit before renting out items. Adapters, power banks, and umbrellas can be borrowed for the whole duration of stay, whereas other items must be returned within the day.

TAKE-KR MAGAZINE - Cyeonggyecheon Stream
TAKE-KR MAGAZINE – Cyeonggyecheon Stream

The TIC offering rental services is centrally located in Seoul, in close proximity to Myeong-dong, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Insa-dong, and other major tourist attractions, and conveniently accessible via public transportation. Besides renting items, visitors can inquire about their travel needs, try on traditional hanbok, experience traditional arts and crafts, and get a tour of major attractions via VR for free. In addition, a prayer room is also prepared to accommodate the increasing number of Muslim tourists.

Start date: February 1, 2018 (Thursday)
Address: Tourist Information Desk, 2F, Korea Tourism Organization Seoul Center, 40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Directions: Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 5. Walk approx. 2 min. Or, Eujiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2. Walk approx. 5 min.
Operating hours: 09:00-18:00 / Open all year round
Fee: Free
Process: Verify duration of stay -> Register rental request form -> Pay deposit -> Rent item -> Return within the day
(Adapters, portable power banks, and umbrellas can be rented out for full duration of stay)
Deposit fee: 50,000 won (Umbrellas, adapters, and folding mat requires deposit fee of 10,000 won). If an item is not returned after one week, the deposit fee will be donated to a charity organization.
Inquiries: +82-2-729-9497, 9498, 9499
Related page: Tourist Information Center

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

TAKE-KR Comments

This unique  FREE RENTAL SERVICE was announced on the KTO website and should be soon running out of the Information Center near Chyonggyechon Stream. What is so amazing about this service is that it is free (with a refundable deposit). It is not meant to add a new source of revenue for the entity, since the deposits from items not returned go to charity.  Only in Korea!

Burdening ones suitcase with adapters, chargers, umbrellas, etc. is inconvenient. Some of these items such as umbrellas are inexpensive but discarding them at the end of the visit is wasteful. This is a good compromise to have what you need, and TRAVEL LIGHT. Great idea!

Plus, the Info Center lets you put on a hanbok for a badly needed selfie, and shows you in virtual reality the places you want to see but ran out of time. They even have craft-making and super friendly travel advisors. And prayer rooms are also available for Muslim visitors.  I wish more people would know about these centers and services.