SEOUL -- About 18 percent of South Korean restaurant and accommodation operators used online order and reservation platforms to attract more customers in 2023, data released by the national statistics office showed. Online food delivery and hotel reservation app services became popular in the country during the last decade thanks to the wide distribution of smartphones.
According to a survey of 1,001 South Korean adults randomly contacted through their phone numbers, conducted by South Korean pollster Gallup Korea in July 2023, 97 percent of adults used smartphones. People aged 60 years and more showed a distribution rate of 98 percent while 85 percent of people aged 70 and more used a smartphone.
Thanks to the high smartphone distribution rate, it is common for South Koreans of all ages to use quick food delivery apps or fresh grocery delivery services. Hotel reservation apps are also very popular among consumers who seek to spend their holidays away from their homes.
Such convenient services became essential, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone was grounded. People ate delivered food instead of visiting large stores and restaurants. Hotels across the country were fully booked as international travel was restricted.
Statistics Korea researcher Lee Tae-jik revealed the data during an economics academic forum hosted by the Korea Economic Association on February 1. 17.5 percent of restaurant and accommodation service operators used online order and booking platforms to promote their businesses. 8.2 percent of wholesale and retail operators used middlemen service platforms while 7.1 percent of information and communication platforms used smartphone apps to connect their businesses to consumers.
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