Incheon’s Songdo hosts largest-ever Korea MICE Expo

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Incheon’s Songdo hosts largest-ever Korea MICE Expo

Organisers claim that up to 3,000 visitors attended the 17th Korea MICE Expo (KME), held 9-10 June at Songdo ConvensiA in Incheon’s international business district.

First held in 2000, the Korea MICE Expo brings together international buyers and media with the nation’s top travel, convention, and exhibition service providers.

The schedule provided delegates with opportunities to network, discover Korea’s MICE assets, and sightsee, the latter including a visit to the future home of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.

This year’s event brought together 250 domestic sellers across 421 booths, along with 245 buyers, 170 from overseas, particularly China and Southeast Asia.

Currently experiencing a boom period for inbound incentive travel, Korea has welcomed some large corporate groups this year, including China McDonald’s, Aurance, and Kasikorn Bank.

According to the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO), an estimated 1,720,000 people are expected to visit Korea for MICE-related purposes in 2016, reflecting an increase of almost 10% over the previous year.

“This event was a great opportunity to showcase the excellence of South Korea’s MICE industry,” said Kwak Sangseop, director of the incentive travel team at the Korea Tourism Organisation. Sangseop also added that the KME was a good springboard for KTO’s plans “to proactively support marketing activities for MICE tourism in regional provinces.”

Delegates also took part in several pre- and post-tour programmess. Among the highlights was a visit to Muuido Island, the Tesco Homeplus Academy – a zero-carbon meeting facility used for off-site training programmes, and major Korean UNESCO World Heritage sites in the cities of Gyeongju and Andong.

Concurrently, a separate tour for global MICE media was alsoconducted by the KTO, offering a broader view of Songdo IBD, and a chance to see the latest developments in the run-up to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

KME 2016 was hosted by the KTO and the Incheon Tourism Organisation, and sponsored by Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and Incheon Metropolitan City.