SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS October 2007 One of the world's most technologically advanced countries, South Korea is the third-largest international meetings destination in Asia and is ranked by the Union of International Associations as the 16th-largest meetings destination in the world. The convention and meetings industries are pillars of the national economy, and a convention promotion law was enacted in 1996 to foster still further development. Four convention cities have been designated for government support: Seoul, Busan, Daegu, and Jeju.
Essential Tool Box
Convention Centers: COEX (Seoul), 4.6 million sf of dedicated space. Busan Exhibition & Convention Center, 337,580 sf of dedicated space. EXCO (Daegu), 208,230 sf of dedicated space.
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Daily Business Costs*:
Seoul: Hotel $215 F&B $161
For More Info:
Korea Tourism Organization
*Business Travel News 2007 Corporate Travel Index
The Big News
Construction on the Republic of
Korea's newest convention center is wrapping up in New Songdo City, a free-trade-zone area located near the western coastal city of Incheon and 40 miles southwest of Seoul. The project's $125-million Phase I, scheduled to open in 2008, will offer a 301,392-sf facility comprising two boat-shaped halls as well as a ballroom and smaller meeting rooms.
Eventually, the facility is slated to more than triple in size to include eight boat-shaped halls. The entire project could cost nearly half a billion dollars in total. The entire International Business District project, which includes the convention center, is being built according to LEED Neighborhood Development certification for green urban design, one of only three such developments in Asia and by far the largest project of its kind outside North America.
The Korea Tourism Organization this year has launched a new marketing campaign to entice visitors, called "Sparkling Korea."
* The capital city, Seoul, has announced a five-year plan that includes a new $5-million convention center and strategies to attract more business meetings.
* A new railway linking Korea's two largest airports opened on March 23, after six years of construction. The 23-mile line links Gimpo Int'l Airport and Incheon Int'l Airport.
* Incheon Int'l Airport, in its sixth year of operations, was named the number-one airport in the world last year in a survey conducted by the Int'l Air Transport Association and the Airports Council Int'l.
* Hollywood movie studio MGM has signed an agreement to open an amusement park in the southeastern port city of Busan. MGM Studio City will be located in the city's Kijang district.
Korea's largest island, Jeju, dominated by the snowy slopes of the now extinct Mt. Hallasan volcano and spotted with stunning waterfalls, sandy beaches, and ruins that date back to the ancient Tamna Kingdom, was the site of this year's annual International Destination Expo of the American Society of Travel Agents, which was held March 25-29 and attended by 1,300 travel professionals from 41 countries. It was the first IDE to be held in Asia.
The ICC (International Convention Center), located within the Jungmun Tourist Resort complex, opened in 2003 and offers 54,000 sf of convention halls, conference rooms, and restaurants. More than 24,000 guest rooms are within an hour's drive of the center, including the 500-room Lotte Hotel Jeju, the 512-room Jeju Grand Hotel Ora Country Club, and the 224-room Namseoul Plaza Hotel & Casino.
Meeting spaces within the center feature movable wall partitions to allow up to 11 subdivided rooms. The main meeting spaces include: Halla Hall, with a capacity of up to 660 people; Samda Hall, divisible into two areas that can accommodate up to 300 attendees in total; and VIP rooms furnished with remote video connectivity and other high-technology.
The center is located 40 minutes from the island's airport. Nearby fishing villages offer the opportunity to experience local culture, and Mt. Hallasan is Korea's tallest point.
Jeju Island offers golf, scuba diving, paragliding, sea fishing, an arboretum with four-season gardens, and the opportunity to see the only waterfall in Asia that drops directly to the sea.-CD