A country that succeeds in attracting global tourists by activating city brands is also successful in attracting investment from the world. That is the power of city brands as invisible assets. With its goals to attract 20 million foreign tourists per year and to become one of the world’s top 3 global MICE (corporate meetings, incentive tourism, international convention and exhibition & events) cities, Seoul has been growing into an international city which has caught the world’s interests. In order to make a new leap forward, however, it was critically necessary to raise Seoul’s competitiveness more and create its city brand to be a new growth engine of Seoul.
The brand ‘Hi Seoul’ that was created in 2002 played a big role in introducing Seoul to the world, but there were many critics who said “there is nothing more to the story other than saying hello.” A brand should involve dreams and visions for the future while expressing the past and the present. If the Seoul brand contains only the dreams of the future regardless of the past and the present of Seoul, nobody would acknowledge Seoul’s dream. If the Seoul brand embraces only the history and the current status tied down in the past and the present, it will be a city without a future in spite of the recognition of such association.
So, Seoul decided to create a unique city brand that contains both the past and the present of Seoul, and it became a new foothold to leap forward in the world.