Korea to host world island event

SEOUL, 24 August 2022: South Korea will debut a new international event – the Yeosu World Island Exhibition, to be held in 2026 following screening and approval by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance earlier in August.

Located on Korea’s southern coast, Yeosu, a scenic coastal destination, served as the host city for the 2012 World Expo, attracting an estimated 7 million visitors from around the world.

Since the expo, the city has served as a popular incentive tourism destination, attracting large-scale incentive travel groups from Infinitus and Amway in 2014. The city is also in close proximity to Suncheon, home to the new UNESCO World Heritage, ‘Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats’.

The ‘2026 Yeosu World Island Exhibition’ will be held in Yeosu’s Dolsan Jinmo District from 17 July to 16 August 2026, under the theme ‘Connecting the Island, Sea and the Future’.

The exhibition will feature eight permanent exhibition halls showcasing the future, culture and ecology of the island, as well as special tours including the Yeondo Bridge Tour and Healing Island Tour.

The city of Yeosu anticipates more than 2 million visitors from 30 countries to attend the Yeosu World Island Exhibition while creating an estimated 6,000  local jobs and generating income for the city of more than SKW400 billion.

With official approval from the government, Jeollanam-do Province and Yeosu City will activate preparations, including content development, establishing organising committees while launching domestic and international promotions.

Yeosu City mayor Kwon O-bong stated: “The Yeosu World Island Exhibition is the world’s first festival for countries with islands to gather and share the history and culture of islands. We will use this opportunity to develop Yeosu into a world-class marine tourism resort.

Yeosu is a port city on South Korea’s East China Sea coast. A breakwater links the port to Odongdo Island, home to red camellia blossoms and a lighthouse with an observatory. On Dolsando Island, Dolsan Park has views of Dolsandaegyo Bridge. It also has the Maritime and Fisheries Science Museum, with an aquarium of turtles and at the island’s southern tip is the clifftop Hyangiram Hermitage, an ancient Buddhist temple.

Geographically the city and surroundings cover a peninsula bordered by the sea, Suncheon, Suncheon Bay, and Namhae. It also includes 317 islands, although only 49 are inhabited.