Thanks to improving political relations between the two Koreas and a successful PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, business event stakeholders in South Korea are expectant of better business ahead.
Kim Baeho, director, MICE planning & coordination team, Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), who led a MICE roadshow to Singapore last Thursday, told TTGmice in an interview: “Last year, South Korea received 1.8 million foreign MICE visitors. (Recent events) show that we are in the mood for peace, and it will definitely create the image that South Korea is safe. Visitors were worried about the political situation and nuclear weapons, but now it’s getting better.”
Additionally, Kim noted that the Pyeongchang games have lifted “awareness about South Korea as a mega-events destination”.
To capitalise on this popularity, KTO intends to promote sites like the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and hold more “post-Olympic projects” in Gangwon province which Pyeongchang is part of, such as the upcoming Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Summit in Gangneung.
As well, KTO will soon unveil a new support programme for South-east Asian groups. It will incorporate Korean pop culture into incentive events and meetings, such as arranging exclusive concerts for large corporate groups.
Solène Lecoq, operations assistant manager, AJU Incentive Tours is upbeat about South Korea’s appeal for business events. She said: “Incentive groups used to want to stay only in Seoul, but now they want to explore other interesting areas (farther away), like Gangwon, Gyeongnam, Busan and Gyeongju.”