Exploring South Korea, the ultimate MICE destination

Enthralling view of a remarkable fusion of heritage and modernity at the Songdo International City

MERGING business with fun? South Korea is definitely the place to do it.

The country offers a unique blend of business opportunities and dynamic leisure experiences, making it an ideal destination for corporate retreats and annual meetings.

A recent update from the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) highlights a substantial growth of 28.7% in the arrival figures of incentive and corporate meeting travellers from Malaysia, recorded a sum of 4,860 Malaysian participants from January to May 2024, in comparison to the same period in 2023.

This confirms South Korea's increasing popularity as a meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) destination among Malaysian corporate entities post-Covid-19 pandemic.

Secondary cities promotion in South Korea

Promoting secondary cities as tourism destinations is an effective strategy to diversify the tourism sector, relieve pressure on over-visited areas like Seoul and Jeju Island, and stimulate local economies.

This approach involves highlighting the unique cultural, historical and natural attractions of these cities to draw both domestic and international tourists.

Thinking about hosting a retreat or corporate meeting in the secondary cities? Destinations like Busan is an excellent choice for such programmes as the city offers various 5-star and 4-star hotel accommodation choices like Park Hyatt Busan and Signiel Busan for the luxury category, and Fairfield by Marriott Songdo and Shilla Stay Haeundae for the cost-effective category, surrounded by historical and trendy tourist attractions for your post-meeting tour programmes.

With many attractions to showcase, get ready to be amazed by the spectacular largest drone show, Gwangalli M Drone Light Show at the Gwangan Bridge, and the ‘Machu Picchu’ of Korea at the iconic Gamcheon Culture Village.

Busan also offers experience programmes that you can easily integrate corporate social responsibility elements into your own, such as kimchi making and farming experience for donation initiatives to the local community.

Experience the stunning view of Haeundae Beach with the Sky Capsule and Beach Train at the Haeundae Blueline ParkExperience the stunning view of Haeundae Beach with the Sky Capsule and Beach Train at the Haeundae Blueline Park

Apart from its great Busan Exhibition & Convention Center meeting facility, the city is well equipped with various unique venues like the trendy Busan X the SKY venue and the P.ARK venue for a pleasant networking event experience.

As of 2024, there are 52 unique venues all across Korea that have been specially curated by local MICE professionals for corporate event hosting.

KTO also promotes other regional cities like Gangneung, Jeonju, Mokpo and Andong as part of the new Tourism Hub Cities promotion.

Discover an inspiring sight of industrial tour in the regional cities

South Korea also stands as a global economic powerhouse renowned for its technological advancements and industrial prowess.

The country offers valuable insights into its innovative industries, cutting-edge technologies and efficient manufacturing processes.

From automotive giants to semiconductor leaders, South Korea's industrial landscape showcases excellence and innovation.

Ulsan metropolitan city

Visit the Hyundai Motor Company's Ulsan Plant, one of the world's largest automotive manufacturing facilities, to witness the entire automobile production process, from stamping and welding to final assembly.

Hyundai's emphasis on automation and quality control demonstrates the meticulous attention to detail that underpins South Korea's automotive industry.

A glimpse of the mega-scale Onsan National Industrial Complex (Image courtesy of Ulsan Metropolitan City)A glimpse of the mega-scale Onsan National Industrial Complex (Image courtesy of Ulsan Metropolitan City)

Apart from the automotive tour, the country also boasts a sophisticated refining sector, with several major refineries operated by companies like SK Energy, GS Caltex and S-Oil.

These refineries in Ulsan process crude oil imports into various petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and petrochemical feedstocks.

Hwaseong city and Icheon city, Gyeonggi-do Province

Participants can gain insights into Kia’s manufacturing techniques and sustainable practices at Kia Motors' Hwaseong Plant.

The plant's state-of-the-art facilities highlight South Korea's commitment to environmentally friendly production methods and energy efficiency.

Gyeonggi-do Province is also home to SK hynix's memory semiconductor manufacturing facility in Incheon.

Get a comprehensive understanding of memory chip production and explore SK hynix's efforts in research and development, and conclude the facility tour with a discussion on the future trends and challenges facing the semiconductor industry.

Gumi city, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province

Head out to Gumi, home to Samsung Electronics' semiconductor fabrication plant, commonly known as Samsung Semiconductor Complex.

Participants are able to witness the intricate processes involved in semiconductor manufacturing, from silicon wafer production to chip packaging.

Samsung's commitment to innovation and continuous improvement underscores its position as a global leader in the semiconductor industry.

Combining business and leisure programmes is the best way to get the most benefits from a trip in South Korea.

The country offers a comprehensive overview of its diverse and dynamic landscape of both industrial and tourism attractions.

Whether exploring historic landmarks in Seoul or envisioning fascinating outcomes from an industrial tour in Ulsan, Korea's diverse attractions are sure to leave a lasting impression.

*Interested business travellers are advised to engage with a Korean service provider for the facility inspection reservation procedure with the respective company, at least two months prior to the visit.

The KTO will be hosting the 2024 Korea Tourism Roadshow in Kuala Lumpur city at the EQ Hotel Kuala Lumpur on June 14.

KTO welcomes all corporate companies and MICE planners to visit and network with its tourism event providers to successfully plan events in South Korea.

The Korea MICE Bureau provides support for international MICE events, incentive travel and corporate meetings hosted in South Korea.

For more information, email marketing.ktokl@gmail.com or visit the website www.koreaconvention.org

Interested parties can register here.

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