Seoul Metropolitan Government announced the 2014-2018 Seoul MICE (Meeting, Incentive Tour, Convention, and Exhibition/Event) 2014~2018 Master Plan for Tourism/MICE in Seoul as a growth engine with high added value in the expectation that it will increase the number of inbound tourists to 20 million a year.
The master plan announced by Mayor of Seoul Park Won Soon at a meeting of the Seoul International Business Advisory Council (SIBAC) held on October 25 reflects the most recent tourism trends, namely, an increase in the number of individual tourists and rising demand for mobile information. It also points to the need for greater participation from the private sector.
The master plan includes twelve items under the following four major policies: the development of interesting stories about each area of Seoul; the development of cutting-edge technology-based smart tourist information and a rich tourist infrastructure; enhancement of the quality of tourist services; and the linkage of tourism with high-added-value industries.
Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to develop twenty-five strategic tourist destinations that can present their historic resources and dynamism to tourists, as core parts of a city that has served as the nation’s capital for 2,000 years. Local residents will be encouraged to explore stories about Seoul’s 422 local administrative units (dong) that might be of interest to foreign tourists.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will use information technology, one of the country’s most prized assets, to help tourists obtain information on the places they visit and to run a cyber-tour program.
The master plan also focuses on improvement of the basic tourism infrastructure, including accommodation and information centers, and the adoption of unique tourism courses using helicopters, amphibious vehicles, and hot-air balloons.
Measures aimed at improving the tourist service include the compensation of losses incurred by tourists due to storeowners’ profiteering; the operation of tourist complaint handling centers; and the provision of products whose quality has been certified by Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will also develop twenty-four satisfaction-guaranteed tourist courses in cooperation with travel agencies and commercial airlines.
In the area of medical tourism, which attracts many foreign customers, the official Seoul Tourism website (www.visitseoul.net) will establish the relevant information system by early next year. The system will provide information on good-quality medical institutions, along with accommodation, shopping centers, and restaurants in areas close to the medical institutions.
To bring about an epoch-making advance in the MICE industry, Seoul City will strive to expand and improve its exhibition and convention facilities; establish a comprehensive system for the provision of support for the MICE industry; and develop specialty tourism products under the Mice Industry Development Plan, which includes ten core programs. Under the said plan, the number of exhibition/convention facilities will be tripled by 2020; downtown Seoul [DDP (Dongdaemun Design Plaza) + Seoul Station + hotels in downtown + Myeong-dong] will be developed as a downtown convention zone by 2018; unique venues for special events will be developed; and a discount card encompassing sightseeing, transportation and shopping will be developed by 2014 for visitors participating in international conferences and exhibitions in Seoul. …