Korean food is quickly becoming a global phenomenon. Nearly everyone has heard K-Pop, well, at least Psy’s Gangnam Style. With LG, Samsung, Hyundai and Kia household names, Korea has touched nearly all of us. Think of Korea and most would now attest to Korean leadership in technology and entertainment.
Couple this with their proven ability to host large conventions and major events offers a multitude of sound business reasons for meeting in Korea. Beyond Meetings, as the strapline suggests, Korea is also a perfect destination for incentivising staff, and certainly a destination less well travelled.
Land of Wonders
Korea’s location in the Far East makes it the perfect hub in Asia from which to do business, with 88 airlines flying direct from 183 cities, and 1/3 of the world’s population within a three-hour flight. However, do not expect to land, immediately, into a world of temples, hanbok (traditional Korean dress) and paddy fields; yes they are all there, but much of Korea is a developed and modern landscape.
International architects flock to see the Seoul cityscape, boasting a range of unusual and modern architecture, such as the Dongdemun Design Plaza, designed by Zaha Hadid, hovering, like a spaceship, just above the ground. Arrival at the multi award winning, Incheon International Airport, is no less of a wonder. Created on reclaimed land named after Incheon Metropolitan city (South Korea’s 3rd largest after Seoul and Busan) it borders Seoul.
Within 28 minutes the KTX high-speed bullet train whisks you into the capital, and onwards to the south east or south west of the peninsula in under 3 hours, offering excellent access to Busan, Daegu and Gwangju. There is also an extensive road and air network including flights every half hour from Seoul’s second airport, Gimpo to the New 7 Wonders of the World, UNESCO heritage, Jeju Island. This facilitates activities within an hour of the capital and further afield.
Of course traditional Korea is very much in evidence. Juxtaposed with the modern landscape, hanok buildings (traditional houses), sit nestled amongst the metropolis. Seoul boasts five palaces, Buddhist and Confucianist temples. Further on ‘slow cities’, Korea’s traditional thatched villages, still preserve the ways of life that are centuries old. The country showcases twelve UNESCO world heritages and the latest to join the list is ‘Baekje Historic Area’.
Wifi & Assistance
The Koreans are renowned as technologically advanced, and the country boasts the fastest mobile broadband speeds anywhere. Hotels offer excellent wifi for accommodation and meetings.
From 1st October the eagerly awaited Four Seasons Hotel Seoul offers 317 bedrooms, seven restaurants and bars, daylight function spaces and an architectural cool, now synonymous with Seoul. A 'must experience' venue, it has excellent meeting facilities including a 740sqm grand ballroom, a 470sqm second ballroom and 7 additional function spaces. And Korea offers plenty more international four- or five-star hotel chains from Hyatt, Hilton, IHG, Accor, as well as its own Lotte and Shilla brands.
Korea MICE Bureau can assist event planners with a one stop shop: advice on venues, ideas for incentive activities, team building, offsite reception and dinners. For qualifying events there is support for international meetings and incentive support starts from just 10pax.
Korea has four distinct seasons, with festivals throughout the year to welcome spring blossoms, cool off in summer, harvest festival – Choesuk - and ice festivals in the snow. The Pyeongchang Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will take place in 2018, offering further reason to visit this country of contrasts.
Korea MICE Bureau, Appointed Representative
Tel +44 1628 52618
Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organisation
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