In 2019, the MICE industry in Seoul achieved remarkable results. The city succeeded in attracting a total of 186 global MICE events including the general assembly of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and hosting the International Bar Association Conference with the participation of some 7,000 lawyers from all around the world. The number of members of SMA (Seoul MICE Alliance), the private-public consultative group forming the basis of the MICE industry of the city increased (from 260 as of 2017 to 299 as of 2018). Most of all, Seoul accomplished the splendid feat of being selected as the “Best Mice City” for five consecutive years and ranked third as a host city of international conferences for four consecutive years.
Seoul will reinforce the support system by increasing the fund that is given to societies, organizations, associations, institutions, and corporations that host or attract international conferences in Seoul from KRW 150 million to as much as KRW 250 million. Particularly, in order to actively attract middle- and large-scale MICE events (with the participation of over 1,000 individuals including more than 500 foreigners), the city has established a special support package to back up specialized tourism programs and usage of unique venues.
Support for corporate conferences and incentive tours that have people stay in Seoul longer than two nights, for a total of 100 nights (cumulative stays of all participants), will be increased from as much as KRW 100 million to as much as KRW 200 million and tailored tour packages reflecting the characteristics of corporate events will receive additional support. Plus, visitors will enjoy a welcome service by being offered the Seoul Welcome Kit and greeted with a welcome message at Incheon International Airport along with taking part in special experiences in Seoul thanks to company-tailored events, such as company story performances and video shooting with snapshots.
Seoul will also become the first local government to conduct joint MICE marketing by associating the tourist attractions of other cities and provinces with its MICE industry. MICE events with the participation of over 300 foreigners that include programs associated with other cities or provinces will receive funds and the welcome service from Seoul. Seoul will contribute to the win-win development between regions by expanding the ripple effect of the city’s MICE industry to other cities and provinces through MOUs with Gangwon-do and Gwangju-si and by conducting joint promotions.
In June 2019, the Seoul MICE Industry Support Center was established within the Seoul Tourism Organization in order to comprehensively and practically support the management of MICE companies to reinforce their capabilities.
Pilot projects of the Seoul MICE Industry Support Center include ▲ consultation of experts on legal, labor, and personnel affairs, ▲ counseling on companies’ difficulties associated with corporate support programs of Seoul, and ▲ “four major legal compulsory education” at no cost for workers of MICE companies.
The autonomous management of MICE companies is encouraged by the effectuation of the managerial regulations of the SMA (Seoul MICE Alliance) that aims at the expansion of private-public governance.
Additionally, Seoul MICE Human Resources Bank, the institution to foster talented individuals who desire to work in MICE companies, will expand its internship program (from two months to four months) to address the mismatching phenomena in the MICE industry and cultivate professional human resources.
Seoul will also go ahead with the establishment of the (tentatively named) “Leading City Council of the World’s MICE” of international organizations, in which important MICE cities will participate in order to build a global tourism cooperative system that is befitting to Seoul’s status as the world’s third best city for international conferences.
The city has announced the Seoul MICE Medium- and Long-term Development Plan and will prepare detailed action plans to take a leap to become the world’s best MICE city, going beyond being the third MICE city for three years in a row.
The city will also intensify overseas marketing on its MICE industry by participating in foreign MICE exhibitions and fairs and Seoul tourism presentations and conduct active promotion using various online media.