Home' micenet eMag : micenet April 2018 Contents KOREA | GRAEME KEMLO
There are some points we can leverage
from the PyeongChang Winter Games.
Firstly the safety problem. You know
that last year Korea had a difficulty
about the North Korean and American
political situation and we actually lost a lot of
chances to get international events to Korea.
People all over the world were worried about
the safety situation in Korea, but from the
Winter Olympic Games, North and South
Korea are working together now and all of
the world can see that”.
On infrastructure, he said, “After the
Olympics, it is important to use existing
facilities rather than build new ones. One of
the Olympics’ main legacies is the
development of infrastructure.”
Apart from the additional accommodation
facilities, several modes of transportation
have been added to make the trip to
Gangwon quicker and more convenient. This
includes the new Incheon Int'l Airport
Passenger Terminal 2, the 250 kph KTX high
speed rail and new expressways. Hopefully,
these various transportation options will
attract more tourists to visit Gangwon and
stay longer in the area using the available
More than 2500 new hotel rooms were
added to the existing 6000 rooms in the
province, including Lotte Resort Sokcho (392
rooms), Golden Tulip Skybay Gyeongpo (538),
Saint John’s Gyeongpo (1091), AM Hotel (364)
and Park Roche (204).
Post-Olympics he said it was important to
use existing facilities rather than build new
ones. One of the Olympics’ main legacies is
the development of infrastructure. Some of the major Games infrastructure, such as the opening
and closing stadium and media centre would be demolished in a pragmatic decision to save on
ongoing maintenance costs, with other infrastructure converted to events venues.
Four season incentive destination
South Korea is already a very popular incentive tourism destination to North Asians, primarily
due to the popularity of Hallyu (Korean Wave) and K-pop. For Southeast Asians, Gangwon is
popular for winter and for North Asians it is popular all year round. The East Sea beaches near
Gangneung attract leisure visitors but shoreline hotels can host smaller meetings.
“It is a four season destination and could become another Jeju,” – a popular island hot spot
to the south of the Korean peninsula – “but it is not as developed as Jeju yet”, Mr Yang said.
Gangwon also has numerous film locations that feature in TV K-dramas, which are especially
popular with Chinese incentive groups. In February Gangwon hosted a Millionaire Club
Indonesia incentive for 1150 delegates.
KTO believes that the market for business meetings and conventions in Gangwon will be
smaller than the incentive market, but the Korean government has a plan to continue to invest in
the province as a MICE destination. KTO and the Gangwon Local Government will host the
PATA Annual Summit expecting 500 delegates this May in Gangneung.
Ranked #1 for global congresses
In 2016 South Korea hosted 997 meetings and was ranked #1 destination for global
congresses by the Brussels-based Union of International Associations (UIA). With a successful
Winter Games behind them, Mr Yang said Korea was determined to maintain competitiveness
as a global MICE destination.
“In 2015 we did a survey with more than 300 overseas MICE event organisers and we asked
them about Korea as a MICE destination and they said firstly it had modern events technology
and secondly it was a new destination. So we are trying to get more events related to those
technology, science and medical sectors,” he said.
“Overseas buyers think Korea is a new destination so we need to develop more awareness of
Korea as an Asian MICE destination. In our survey respondents ranked known MICE
destinations as Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan then Korea, but we are now working hard to
move up from being a new destination to being recognised as Asia’s #1 MICE destination.”
KTO recently established a Korean MICE Ambassadors program to boost its association
meetings business, an initiative that has already won the International Diabetes Federation
Congress 2019 to Busan for 15,000 participants. Commenting on the Australian market, he
said, “We participate at AIME and have been working to develop the Australian market. And
although we have not yet reached our potential, the Australian market is starting to develop.” m
With the Winter Olympics just completed, Kyung Soo Yang, Director
Convention Team, Korea MICE Bureau, believes the games provided
significant opportunities to build the country’s MICE business.
FOR SOUTH KOREA
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