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2014 MICE Destinations 2. Growth Strategy and Major Projects for Busan MICE Industry

In 2014, a lot of cities of the world have striven to grow their MICE industry and thereby create added value for them. As a result, a lot of cities have turned out to have registered steadily improving performance in the international ranking as disclosed by Union of International Association (UIA) or International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Among them, Busan, a Korean city, has cut a figure in MICE among Korean cities through the year by registering a total of 261% for the last five years in accordance with UIA statistics by hosting major international conventions such as ITU Plenipotentiary Conference and ASEAN-Republic of KOREA Commemorative Summit. In its turn, London has grown 100% for the last five years based on ICCA statics through hosting strategic conventions that rapport with the flagship industries of the region. So, for this issue, we have taken a closer look at the MICE industry and other major business projects in Busan and London, respectively, that have registered an outstanding performance in the Korean MICE market in 2014.


1. Major Performance from 2014 Busan MICE Industry
2. Growth Strategy and Major Projects for Busan MICE Industry
3. Major Performance from 2014 London MICE Industry
4. Growth Strategy and Major Projects for London MICE Industry

2. Growth Strategy and Major Projects for Busan MICE Industry

1) Building MICE Infrastructure

Expanding BEXCO subsidiary facilities and pushing to designate BEXCO as an international meetings multiple district
With a view to satisfying the domestic and international demand with regard to MICE events, Busan Metropolitan City is planning MICE?related infrastructure. First of all, the city is going to develop a site for BEXCO’s subsidiary facilities by 2018. The floor area of the specific subsidiary facilities, to be built in 6B and 37F, gross floor area to 140,273.13㎡. With the goal of opening the facilities in 2018, the construction will seek authorization and then start its implementation in 2015. Busan Metropolitan City expects that the facilities will create 3,633 jobs. Moreover, Busan Metropolitan City, which is going to put in all efforts for its designation as an international meetings multiple district, is implementing efforts to upgrade its competitiveness and generate added value through integrating MICE facilities such as hotels, restaurants, shopping and cultural facilities close to BEXCO. For this purpose, an amendment of International Conference Industry Promotion Act, which focused on development impact fees, local tax reduction or exemption, and floor area ratio, was proposed in May 2013, and it is expected that the law and enforcement regulation will be amended in the first half of 2015.

2) Upgrading the Competitiveness of Busan’s MICE Industry

Strategy for fostering regional MICE companies including support for overseas marketing and certificate training
In 2015, Busan Metropolitan City is going to provide financial support for twelve (yet to be finalized) private exhibitions with regard to their domestic and international marketing costs, installation cost, and rental fee. And about international conventions, the city will subsidize the marketing and event costs for international conventions newly developed by Busan-based PCO, international conventions with minimum 10 foreigners participating from minimum 3 countries, and events minimum 50% of whose total project budget excluding subsidies is independently paid. Additionally, the city is going to subsidize the international marketing for the region’s MICE companies (air fare, visa fee, traveler insurance etc.) and support joint domestic and international marketing (for 6 international event organizers, 6 international road show companies, and 18 companies working with Korea MICE EXPO). Besides, Busan Metropolitan City will conduct training in Certificated in Exhibition Management (CEM) for 10 employees who have worked minimum 3 years in regional event-organizing industry and pay 80% of the training cost, which will be supervised by Association of Korea Exhibition Industry (AKEI).

Fostering the region’s promising conventions & exhibitions such as Silver Expo and IT Expo
Effort are also being made to foster regionally specialized conventions and exhibitions. In conventions, Busan works in partnership with “regionally specialized conventions” of Korean Tourism organization to give supporting fund for promotion cost, costs for hosting international exhibitors and buyers, and event operating costs for international meetings minimum 10% of whose participants are foreigners and international conventions coming with exhibitions. Meanwhile, for exhibitions, Busan provides strategic support for two or three exhibitions which have been held for over three years and have growth potential. In 2014, the beneficiaries exhibition organizers are included Busan International Senior Expo, IT Expo Busan, and Busan International Money Show. At the same time, Busan Metropolitan City is working hard to hold and discover new, regionally specialized exhibitions in areas of maritime leisure sports, Airport Korea, and international port management. Also, the city will hold Busan MICE Content Development Competition and provide preferential treatment for business projects possibly created on ideas selected through the event, and thereby strengthen the competitiveness of the region’s MICE industry.

Operating a program for nurturing MICE specialists and supporting employments
A program for education and job landing program will be provided for youths, students majoring in relevant areas and graduating soon, and women whose career has been curtailed with the view of fostering Busan’s MICE specialists. Hosted by Ministry of Employment & Labor, supervised by Busan Metropolitan City, and implemented by Busan Tourism & Convention Forum, the program aims to churn out 40 specialists in convention & exhibition planning and hotel services management and 40 specialists in room attendant and tourism & MICE convergence (outcome in 2014 : 74 persons completed the specialist training course and 32 out of them got a job). In addition, MICE Job Fair will be held in partnership with MICE festival, while job presentation by expert, job counseling, aptitude test, and on-the-spot job interview will be implemented. Furthermore, for the purpose of nurturing college MICE talents, the city will provide college students of campus MICE clubs and students enrolled to departments related to MICE with an opportunity to experience the field, volunteer for international events, and tourist information and tourism promotion.

3) Reinforcing MICE Hosting Ability

Reinvigorating MICE-Related Organizations Working-Level Promotion Committee
To increase its MICE hosting ability, Busan Metropolitan City will form MICE Industry Fostering Council (with maximum 15 members) chaired by Vice Mayor for Economic Affairs and seek advice from it on drawing up MICE industry fostering plan, projects, and promotion. The city will also reinvigorate MICE-Related Organizations Working-Level Promotion Committee (created in March 2013 with 12 persons from Busan Metropolitan City, BTO, BEXCO, hotel, PCO, and PEO).

Busan’s Solo Int’l Roadshow
Based on the MICE Industry Fostering Council and MICE-Related Organizations Working-Level Promotion Committee, Busan Metropolitan City will hold in September 2015 the 3rd Busan’s Solo Int’l Roadshow. The roadshow will proceed for 5 days in one or two Chinese cities with participation of 100 persons (60 buyers, 20 persons among translators and VIPs, and 20 persons on the delegation).

Various efforts designed to reinvigorate incentive events
Meanwhile, Busan Metropolitan City will also put in various efforts to reinvigorate incentive events. For this purpose, it will hold familiarization tour for people of incentive companies targeting people from local branches of multinational companies to provide an opportunity to figure out scheduled incentive events and present Busan tourism spots and support program. Moreover, the city will collect information on meetings with foreign companies in Korea and Asia-based headquarters of major multinational companies and information on travel agents specializing in Asian regions and DMC for the purpose of surveying incentive market and creating a related database.

Reinvigorating the operation of BEXCO, Busan’s representative MICE facility
Also, efforts will continue to reinvigorate the operation of BEXCO, Busan’s representative MICE facility. First of all, the city will seek to flesh out long fostered exhibitions and revitalize trade by increasing hosted buyers, through reinvigorating BEXCO’s own exhibition and convention project. Also, Busan city will deploy different marketing strategies tailored to the characteristics of meeting facilities. For example, for oratoriums, large international conventions and performances will be hosted and the size of the existing meetings will be enlarged and Nurimaru will host ranking corporate meetings and international meetings including dinners, while Hall 5A on 3F of Exhibition Hall 2 will host large international conventions during the peak season. Furthermore, efforts will be made for joint marketing through developing catering hotels and package products for international meetings held at Nurimaru.

4) Upgrading the Brand Value of Busan MICE

Various events made available to ensure Busan’s rebirth as a key MICE city
Busan is going to stage various events and activities in order to upgrade its MICE brand. One single major event is 2015 Busan MICE Festival, which is hosted by Busan Metropolitan City, Busan Tourism Organization (BTO), BEXCO, and Busan Convention & Tourism Forum and will unfold for three days in June 2015 around the Metropolitan City. Its major programs include MICE hosting presentation, MICE city people tour, college students’ mock international convention, and MICE alliance seminar. In August, 2015 Exhibitors Convention will be held at BEXCO Conventional Hall. Hosted by Korea Exhibition Organizers Association and Busan Metropolitan City, the Convention will be attended by about 200 MICE industry specialists and present various programs such as lectures, exhibitors’ night, and post tour. And for nine overseas exhibitions, the city will push for participation jointly with Korea Tourism Organization (in China Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings Expo; CIBTM) and singlehandedly (in America Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings Expo; AIBTM), while eighteen regional companies will jointly participate in Korea MICE Expo while running a Busan promotion hall.

Long-term efforts designed to upgrade the brand value
In addition to the events described above, Busan is working to upgrade the city’s brand value in the long run. For example, the city wants to create a network and discover MICE hosting source by actively participating in the events for international MICE organizations such as UIA statistics council and convention, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress, and UFI Annual Congress. Also, the city will conduct a survey with participants of major MICE events held in 2015 in Busan to check the city’s preparedness for accommodating MICE and analyze economic spillover effect.


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