The purpose of this exploratory study is to identify the mobile phone applications (apps) used by foreign tourists visiting South Korea through a pilot study using focus groups and individual interviews. Concentrating on tourist mobile app use in a smart tourism environment and categorized through a taxonomy of mobile applications lays the framework and determines the factors boosting tourism smartphone app trends by foreign tourists visiting South Korea. Researchers collected data through ethnographic methods and analyzed it through qualitative research to uncover major themes within the smart tourism app use phenomenon. The researchers coded, counted, analyzed, and then divided the findings gleaned from a pilot study and interviews into a taxonomy of seven logical smartphone app categories. The labeling and coding of all the data accounting for similarities and differences can be recognized and are logically discussed in the implications of the apps used by tourists to assist tourist destinations. More specifically these findings will assist smart tourism destinations by better understanding foreign tourist smartphone app use behavior. Tourists visiting South Korea interviewed in this study exhibited significant mastery of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, craved free WiFi access, and utilized smartphone apps for all facets of their travel. Findings show major concentrations of app use in bookings of accommodations, tourist attractions, online shopping, navigation, wayfinding, augmented reality, information searching, language translation, gaming, and online dating while traveling in South Korea.