MICE industry in South Korea – Best cities for your next event

South Korea ranked 15th best tourism country in the world, which is 3rd in Asia. During the past few years, the amount of tourists visiting Korea kept rising, and it seemed like the small country in North-East Asia was about to be one of beloved travel destinations beyond the traditional-powered nations; China and Japan.

The global pandemic has changed everything. The lockdowns in every nation in the planet made the traveling illusion, visitors to Korea had dropped nearly 10% in 2020 comparing to the previous year. It also braked Korea’s tourism promotion policies.

Fortunately, Korea acted just like it used to do; quick and trendy. Instead of inviting foreign tourists, the Korean government and local governments focused on digital marketing and producing content. ‘Feel the Rhythm of Korea’ series created by Korea Tourism Organization globally hit more than 400 million views and made a new star ‘Leenalchi’ and ‘Ambiguous Dance Company’.

MICE tourism : Meeting, Incentive, Convetion, Exhibition

On the other hand, they also have tried to expand the boundary of Korean tourism: investment in MICE tourism. MICE is a high-value industry in the tourism, and it is also an industry that represents the level of development in the region and country.

Economically, it’s known that MICE industry generates more than 1.8 times the amount of consumption of ordinary tourists, leads to incidental local economic revitalization through events, and stimulates job creation effects in various places.

In terms of tourism, the number of days of stay increases compared to general tourists along with attracting group tourists and can promote various tourist attractions in the region.

Now, you may say, ‘so, where to be in Korea?’ Here are cities investing to become the Korea’s best MICE city title. Already known for tourists but not so much about their MICE specialty, introducing Korea’s representative MICE cities and recent strategies for your next event.

1. Seoul : Virtual Seoul

Half of the Korean population lives in Seoul Metropolitan Area. Seoul is literally the center of South Korea. That means every infrastructure of the country gathered in the city, and so does MICE tourism.

Seoul has just been known as one of the must-visit cities in Asia, but the city is also famous as a venue for meetings and conferences. Flourishing hotels, outstanding human resources, and the most convenient public transportation in the world make Seoul optimized MICE city. Moreover, one of the biggest convention centers in Korea, COEX includes 3 5-star hotels, biggest underground shopping mall, and world-famous instagrammable spot ‘Starfield Library’.

Seoul took the lead of global events during the pandemic. The metropolis of Korea is one of the fastest in the world which has converted their MICE strategy to hybrid system.

Virtual Seoul’ is the metaverse convention platform. In Virtual Seoul, you can open any kind of event for free. It has 9 virtual event venues that reflected Seoul’s most popular MICE spots such as COEX, City Hall, and DDP(Dongdaemun Digital Plaza). They are not only rendered to 3D graphics, but also showing day-and-nighttime effect as the meetings proceed.

The functions of Virtual Seoul are more convenient than any other platforms. 1-on-1 matching and exhibition can represent the event just like the one offline, and virtual functions such as live-streaming and webinar support (and even exceed) physical limitations.

2. Incheon : SMART MICE

Some people say they have been to Korea but not to Incheon. However, almost every visitor in Korea has been to Incheon. Incheon is the gate to Korea; Incheon International Airport welcomes 72% of visitors to Korea. With its accessibility, the city tries to attract business meetings.

Icheon’s recent prominent achievement as a touristic destination is ‘smart tourism’ The city was selected as the first ‘Smart Tourism City’ of South Korea, which build smart infrastructure through the city for tourists and develop futuristic experience based on smartphone such as AI tour guide or AR exhibition.

MICE in Incheon is also following the smart tourism development called ‘Smart MICE’. They provide data and analysis on the flow of tourists throughout Incheon for MICE event via more than 200 high-tech IOT(Internet of Things) collection sensors.

Songdo Incheon

At Songdo Convensia, Incheon’s biggest convention area, you can experience even more advanced smart technology. Using ‘Incheon MICE Pass’ application, you can see your exact location in the building, find your car, check in and out your luggage, and get tourism information around the city.

3. Busan : One Stop Support

Centum City area, Busan

Busan is the most beloved touristic destination in Korea following Seoul. It is the second largest city in Korea, and has lots of touristic charms unlike Seoul; sea, weather, foods, and people.

The second largest city’s MICE strategy also represents their floral social and tourism infrastructure. With exotic moods apart from Seoul, beautiful beaches, food paradise, and uprising landmarks, there are still more reasons Busan can be one of best cities for MICE in Korea.

BEXCO, the largest convention center in Busan

One Stop Support’, in short, every process about MICE event is taking place at Busan. Convention Bureau in Busan Tourism Organization(BTO) cares each step of the event as the holder customize in; organizing, promotion, and hosting.

The One Stop Supports can be actual help not only for those who are seeking event venue, but also for those who are planning what to do. BTO Convention Bureau supports from hosting an event to transportation, accommodations, tours.