Conferencing in South Korea
South Korea evokes the right blend of MiCE through its suited cities. Jae-sung Rhee, President & CEO, Seoul Tourism Organization, reveals the essence of the sector
Brief us about South Korea’s major MiCE cities, convention centers and venues?
South Korea's major MiCE cities include Seoul, which ranked 3rd in UIA's top international meetings city report with 526 meetings held in 2016, as well as Busan, Jeju, and Incheon, which came in 14th, 17th and 30th, respectively. Seoul's premier convention facility is the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center. The city's main event venues are the 61 ‘unique venue', members of the Seoul MICE Alliance. The most representative of our venues include the traditional Samcheonggak, the modern DDP, and the iconic Han riverside venue, Some Sevit.
In August 2018, Seoul will host the large-scale 38th Congress of the Société Internationale D'Urologie, which is expected to witness participation of some 2800 people. Seoul will also be hosting the 22nd World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) World Conference, with participation of 5000 people.
Kindly enumerate Seoul MICE Alliance.
The Seoul MICE Alliance, also known as SMA, is a partnership between the city of Seoul, the Seoul Tourism Organisation, and privatesector organisations, including airlines, hotels, convention centers, and entertainment services. It aims to promote the city's meetings infrastructure and advantages to international buyers.
We work in concert with SMA members to carry out overseas marketing activities, such as roadshows and meeting industry exhibitions, bidding activities, such as site inspections. Also, through PLUS Seoul,
In August 2018, Seoul will host the large-scale 38th Congress of the Société Internationale D'Urologie, where some 2800 participants are expected
the city's brand of event support, SMA members offers discounts, upgrades, and much more. By working as a cluster, Seoul's MiCE industry is competent and attracts world-class events easily. Seoul also offers subsidies to groups using SMA member services. This extensive alliance helps to vitalise businesses, because with more international MiCE participants, brings in sufficient revenue while building a robust economy.
How does Seoul connect with India through air routes?
Currently, there are direct flights by Korean Air between Incheon and Delhi, five times a week, and by Asiana, the frequency is five times a week. In addition, there is a direct flight route between Incheon and Mumbai operated by Korean Air, three times a week.
How many Indian MiCE participants are visiting Seoul and Korea? How long is their average stay? The total number of Indian tourists (not exclusive to MiCE) in 2017 was 123,416. In the future, we will work to bring in more Indian
visitors. The average stay for a MiCE participant in Seoul is approximately seven days.
Which is the largest MICE group that you have had from India so far?
In February 2017, an incentive trip for a Mumbai-based life insurance company brought 462 visitors from India to Seoul.
What kind of benefits are given to incentive and business meeting groups? In 2018, if an event has international participants that stayed over in Seoul for at least a total of two or 100 nights, the business or agency (including PCOs, event planners, DMCs) can qualify for the following support: Starting from 2018, basic financial support will be 20,000 KRW per person.
If the business group uses at least three Seoul MICE Alliance members (paid services), Seoul provides a 'Seoul MICE Card' worth a value of 10,000 KRW per participant.
If the business group uses more than one of the six experience courses designated by Seoul, the city will provide another 10,000 won in financial support for your event.
What kind of technological tools do your convention centers have for easy access and seamless functions?
In Seoul, in general, you can experience some of the fastest Internet speeds, both wired and wireless. And with city-wide Wi-Fi coverage, visitors can be connected online from anywhere in the city.
The COEX Convention and Exhibition Center is equipped with the latest AV equipment, event information screens, online registration kiosks, and on-site technical support. The entrances of the newly renovated conference rooms have small digital displays– a technological tool that can reduce event disruptions for the client.
According to you, which country sends the most MiCE participants to Seoul?
Most MiCE participants arrive from China and Southeast Asia. India is a new market for us, but one which we plan to more actively engage with, in the future.
What kind of leisure activities/entertainment can delegates look forward to unwind? Seoul is a shopper's paradise. The city is home to numerous shopping malls, department stores, duty free shops, and
Starting from 2018, basic financial support will be 20,000 KRW per person. For 3 SMA paid members, a 'Seoul MICE Card' worth a value of 10,000 KRW is provided
traditional markets, such as the streets of Gangnam, Cheongdam, and Sinsadong Noryangjin fish market are available, while Insadong and Namdaeumn sell more locally made, traditional crafts. Coex Mall, Myeongdong, and Dongdaemun are the city's most popular shopping spots for international visitors. Visitors can find all the options of what a shopper wishes to include in their wishlist, while unwinding themselves after their business meet. In addition, Seoul offers a wide range of cultural entertainment offerings such as performances like ‘The Palace: Tale of Jang Noksu' at the historic Jeongdong Theater, movies, plays, and musicals.
Finally, there are amassing, affordable food options for visitors in Seoul. Korean food is nutritious, healthy, and delicious, and in Seoul, one can get a wide range of highquality restaurants and street food representing diverse cuisines from around the world.