New Conrad Seoul to alleviate room crunch

THE IMPENDING inauguration of Conrad Seoul on November 12 is expected to offer MICE organisers some relief from the room crunch in the South Korean capital.

The 434-room property, situated in the Yeouido Business District, will also add 12 meeting rooms and six banquet halls to the capital’s MICE product lineup.

Conrad Seoul will open just in time for the September/November high season, a period during which the travel trade has been experiencing elevated pressure for rooms – due to the closure of the five-star The Shilla Seoul for renovations on January 10. The Shilla Seoul is only expected to complete its revamp by July 31 next year.

Seoul-based US Travel CEO, Dooyoun Hwang, said: “There are enough meeting rooms and ballrooms in hotels (in Seoul), but where do you (house) the people? Many organisers insist on (accommodating) their group in the same hotel. Our biggest challenge is meeting their needs when groups consist of 200 people or more.”

Washington-based DC Affairs director, Esther Chandran, who has noticed growing demand for South Korea among US meeting planners, told TTGmice e-Weekly that Conrad Seoul’s opening would be timely, as there had not been a new luxury hotel brand in Seoul for “quite awhile”.

She added that Korean Air’s Washington-Seoul flights were helping to draw American meeting planners who had previously brought their events to South-east Asia, and who were now looking for new destinations.

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