South Korea is basking in the afterglow of international attention around the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.
Post-Olympics, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) – MICE Bureau is looking to host several international conferences including the PATA Annual Summit – with 500 attendees – in May in Gangneung.
Also a big win for KTO was the International Bar Association Annual Conference (IBA 2019), expected to welcome 6,000 legal professionals to Seoul. The South Korean capital also scored Unicity International’s 2019 incentive trip that will receive 15,000 employees across a three-day event.
“Among its Asian neighbouring countries, Korea is the third most preferred destination based on the latest ICCA Meetings Statistics report,” said Melanie Adan, marketing manager, MICE planning team, KTO.
However, this hasn’t always been the case for South Korea. Last year, KTO faced difficulties attracting business events due to political tension between South and North Korea. But amicable efforts shown by both countries during the Olympics have worked in the favour of South Korea.
Subsequently, KTO leveraged on this rare display of unity to showcase South Korea as a safe country for international associations and groups.
“Following the successful hosting of the Winter Olympics, along with the reconciliation of North Korea and South Korea – this is probably the best time to familiarize the American and European market on Korea,” said Kapsoo Kim, MICE Bureau Executive Director, KTO.
The organisation is also riding the wave by initiating a series of roadshows across the US and Europe from March to April. The delegation includes officials from the Korea MICE Bureau, representatives of several regional convention bureaus, selected venues, hotels, travel agencies and DMCs.
Attendees can expect activities such as destination presentations, B2B meetings, gala dinners, and offer opportunities to establish potential partnerships and create wider networks with over 200 MICE buyers invited to participate in this program.
To take advantage of South Korea’s beloved cuisine, the roadshow in Vienna will be held in Kim Chingu, a Korean-style dining space. Meanwhile, shows in New York, Washington, and London will invite local celebrities and Winter Olympic medallists to share their travel experiences in Korea.