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Korea Prepares to Launch 2012 Korea Convention Year

Since the turn of the century, Korea has achieved enormous growth in the meetings industry by ranking eighth in the number of meetings and conventions by Union of International Associations in 2011. In recognition of the value of the meetings and convention industry, the Korean government has been nurturing and fostering this sector as one of strategic and new-growth industries. In order to boost the country as one of the top five convention destinations in the world, the Korean government has declared the upcoming year as the 2012 Korea Convention Year.

Various programmes by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization in cooperation with seven MICE Alliances in regional convention destinations have been planned with the goal to provide better services and support to MICE participants and organisers. In addition, the 2012 Korea Convention Year has been strategically scheduled to overlap with the final year of the Visit Korea Year 2010-2012 campaign to boost the number of inbound tourists to Korea.

During the 2012 Korea Convention Year, government support and incentives for events held in Korea will increase up to twofold for qualified meetings, conventions and incentive tours. Convention centers and hotels will offer discounts on meetings venues up to 30 percents off the published rates. Hotels will offer up to 40 percent discounts on rooms, complimentary room upgrade and welcome amenities for designated guests. Complimentary site inspection trips may also be arranged for qualifying organisations and special discounts for the organiser of the meetings and conventions as well as their participants are also available on the two flag carrier airlines: Korean Air and Asiana Airlines. Incentives like traditional performances tickets, souvenirs, tour programmes and more may also be provided for qualified events.

In addition, the 2012 Korea Convention Year joined forces with the Korea MICE Alliance, which a union of regional convention bureaus, destination management companies and professional congress organisers, so that each city’s unique incentive plans are maximized for participants in any of the nine convention destinations all across Korea. On a national level, Korea Tourism Organization will increase financial subsidies to the organisers of MICE events.

To qualify for the Korea Convention Year’s incentive programme, conventions should meet the Union of International Associations (UIA) meeting standards while incentive tours and corporate meetings should have more than 100 participants. The event, which may take place between 2012 and 2015, is required to confirm that Korea will be its host country during the year 2012. Events with more than 500 participants from the Asian region only or those with more than 1,000 international participants may qualify for airline discounts.