The tourism industry overall is staggering as the aftershock of COVID-19 on travel agencies, accommodations and airlines grows bigger day by day. Above all, the MICE industry that had created high value added by attracting large global events, such as international conferences, incentive tours and exhibitions, is facing a state of shutdown experienced never before.
As most events have been canceled or postponed since February 2020, the climax of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies of the MICE industry are facing serious financial difficulties. The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announced that the city will pursue the Seoul MICE Industry Crisis Coping Project with the budget totaling KRW 2.5 billion.
First, the SMG will provide 500 MICE companies with KRW 5 million as business expenses. It is intended to support MICE companies, which are technically in operation, but practically without any business, with at least the bare minimum to preemptively prepare for the changed MICE trends after the elimination of COVID-19 and to hold events again as soon as possible.
The SMG will leave no stones unturned, making sure to include as beneficiaries of the support project not only the core MICE companies that plan international conferences and exhibitions, but also companies that provide partial MICE services, such as performances, transportation, shipping, exhibition design installation, exhibition services and unique venues.
Selected companies will be provided partial business expenses necessary for the preparation of holding MICE events, including sustainable planning and development of such events. The SMG will provide them with support after sorting out eligible companies through a separate screening process.
Additionally, the SMG will provide online capacity-building education for workers in the MICE industry. As many of them are put on prolonged furlough, the SMG has prepared diverse online programs, including professional MICE courses and performance development programs. A total of 1,000 MICE workers will benefit from the SMG’s programs, of which a maximum of 10 workers at a company can take up to 100 hours.
The Seoul MICE Industry Crisis Coping Project holds even greater significance as five MICE-related associations participated from the outset of its planning. Each association will be the first to promote Seoul’s support measures to its member companies and check the extent of damages within the industry.
For more detail on the Seoul MICE Industry Crisis Coping Project, you can visit the websites of the SMG (http://www.seoul.go.kr) and the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) (http://www.sto.or.kr). The application period is May 4-15. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, application will be available online only. For other inquiries, please contact the STO Call Center by phone (+82-3788-8100) or via email (email@example.com).
Eligible beneficiaries are Seoul-based companies that fall into the following categories with a history of longer than two years in the MICE-related industry.