Busan, a large port city in South Korea, has adopted the tagline “Busan MICE Must Go On”, and is keen to let the world that it is ready to host both domestic and international business events as software and hardware upgrades are nearing completion.
The Haeundae Centum area (Centum City-Bexco-Nurimaru APEC House-Haeundae Beach), which was designated an international conference complex by the city government, will soon be completed. This comprises the Convention Ten Minute Zone, where in a 10-minute-radius, delegates will be able to easily access a convention centre, banquet hall, accommodation, shopping, and tourist attractions.
The Busan Tourism Organization (BTO), initially had a support fund that went towards hosting international conferences, but this has since been expanded to include virtual and hybrid meetings. For instance, for events where 10 per cent of the participants attend in-person, the event will still obtain 100 per cent support.
In addition, BTO is also offering to cover costs for hybrid events to help reduce the burden on event organisers. This support covers various conference technology such as video conferencing platforms, participation registration platforms, conference equipment, and event management software. For offline events, BTO will provide support via venue rental and consumable expenses (facial mask, hand sanitiser, and thermal imaging camera, etc.) to ensure the business event runs smoothly and safely.
The Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO) has also beefed up its portfolio, and now boasts 10 video conference rooms, rooms for studio-type shoots, a video conference transmission system, as well as digital marketing support. There is also a MICE Information Center in BEXCO’s Auditorium, which provides foreign delegates with necessary information.
Past large-scale international conferences Busan has hosted include the ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit and World Diabetes Federation General Assembly. Through these efforts, Busan was ranked 13th in the world and fifth in Asia in the International Conference MICE Host City announced by the Union of International Associations in 2020.
The city of Busan has also been selected as an International Tourism City by the Korean government, where the project aims to attract foreign tourists to local areas; and foster and support a tourism base city beyond the domestic market.