With 891 meetings in 2015, South Korea is ranked amongst the top two MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition), second only to the USA, according to a recent report by Union of International Associations (UIA).
Korea has been ranked amongst the world’s top two destination for global meetings hosted in 2015, according to the latest International Meetings Statistics Report, released this week by the Union of International Associations (UIA). The findings show Korea achieving second place behind the USA with 891 meetings – a 40 pc increase over the previous year. This also places it first in Asia and accounts for 7.5 pc of all meetings held worldwide across the same period. The results reflect continued interest in Korea, helped by the rise of its diverse regional Korean meeting destinations.
Seoul, the nation’s capital, also improved its long-standing top-5 UIA city ranking, moving from fifth to third place with 494 meetings held in 2015; a 98.4 pc increase over the 249 meetings hosted in 2014. Meanwhile, Busan, Korea’s second-largest city, attained a global city ranking of 11 with 150 meetings, while renowned UNESCO World Heritage resort island Jeju accounted for 112 of the year’s meetings, achieving a global city ranking of 19.
Korea’s MICE competitiveness can be attributed to nationwide infrastructure growth in recent years. This also includes expanded facilities in future Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics host Gangwon Province, and ongoing expansions to recent Korea MICE Expo host Songdo Convensia in Incheon’s International Business District. Brand-new regional convention facilities include the new Asia Culture Center in southeastern city Gwangju and Hwabaek International Convention Center (HICO) in the southwestern UNESCO capital of Gyeongju.
Korea’s annual convention profile regularly includes various international congresses, each of which benefit from a wide range of support programs specifically catering to large-scale meetings from the Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) division of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). This includes complimentary city tours for delegates, airport welcome messages, customised event banners and souvenirs, on-site cultural experience booths, and many other enhancements. Recent major events that have utilised KMB assistance include 2015’s ICN Conference & CNR, 7th World Water Forum, and 25th World Road Congress Seoul, and last month’s Rotary International Convention, attended by 50,000 participants, 21,000 of which came from overseas.
According to Byungsun Lee, director, KTO, “We will of course continue to work actively to make Korea a highly-competitive MICE destination. South Korea is a country with a wealth of destinations all featuring their own unique attractions and venues for the MICE visitors. With our strength in infrastructure, we are positive to list our position amongst the top and most preferred MICE destinations of India as well. ”