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  • Seoul aims to draw 300,000 tourists for MICE industry in 2010

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    If a convention with more than 2,000 participants is held in Seoul, the city will provide as much as 100 million won (US$86,467) to the convention’s organizers. In addition, if a global conference affiliated with the G20 summit in November is held in Seoul, the city will offer a ‘G20 incentive’ to the conference’s organizers. For foreign participants attending the conference, the city also plans to provide them with a booklet called ‘Seoul Golden 20 – 20 Things to Do in Seoul.’ The projects were included in the ‘2010 MICE Industry Promotion Plan’ unveiled by the city. Throughout the projects, Seoul City said it aims to draw 300,000 tourists for the meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry in 2010.

    What’s the MICE industry?

    The MICE industry refers to a type of tourism covering meetings with corporate executives, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions. Each country is aggressively promoting MICE tourism as a new growth engine because it is lucrative and helps significantly increase the global image of a city with opinion leaders from various fields visiting the city.

    With the goal of becoming one of the world’s top five convention cities in 2010, Seoul is pushing to promote MICE tourism by actively attracting corporate meetings, incentive travel and exhibitions as well as conventions.

    Accordingly, Seoul City plans to provide as much as 100 million won to organizers who hold a large-scale convention in the city. By offering a variety of support, the city also plans to help organizers successfully host their convention in terms of prestige and scale. When high-ranking officials from international organizations visit Seoul, the city will allow them to meet the mayor of Seoul under a program called ‘Site Inspection’ to emphasize the city’s warm hospitality.

    In order to lure international conferences affiliated with November’s G20 summit to Seoul, the city plans to provide a ‘G20 incentive’ to the conference organizers. The ‘G20 incentive’ includes subsidies to hold a conference, lunch and dinner meetings organized by Seoul City, customized tour programs and souvenirs of Seoul. What’s more, for foreign participants for the G20 summit in November to help enjoy the charm of Seoul, the city plans to publish a booklet titled ‘Seoul Golden 20 – 20 Things to Do in Seoul.’ The booklet will be also available on a Web site.

    Finally, Seoul City plans to launch a campaign to attract corporate meetings as top executives of multinational companies and global intellectuals are expected to visit Seoul in the wake of the G20 summit in November. If a foreign company decides to hold a corporate meeting in Seoul by December 2010, the city will provide the foreign company a variety of incentives, depending on the scale of the meeting.
    Also, the city will set up a corporate meeting hotline for foreign firms to assist them with their meeting in Seoul. As for support measures for exhibitions, Seoul City plans to select three large, local exhibitions that could represent the city and then provide as much as 100 million won in overseas marketing costs to each exhibition to nurture them into global exhibitions.

    In the wake of the G20 summit in November, the ‘Visit Korea Year with Seoul’ and the ‘World Design Capital 2010,’ Seoul is expected to draw attention from around the world this year. So, Seoul is in a good position to increase the city’s image as an ‘optimal place for the MICE industry.’ Accordingly, the city plans to strengthen its efforts for global marketing and advertising by inviting MICE-specialized journalists and holding explanatory sessions about the city in Europe and Asia to showcase the city is well prepared for the G20 summit in November.

    “If 300,000 business tourists visit Seoul, it will create consumption worth some 1.6 trillion won,” said an official at Seoul City.