BUSAN, 21 March 2022: 2022 is expected to be the year of high growth for Busan’s MICE industry after two years when the global MICE market stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Busan in South Korea has been preparing for the post-Covid-19 era by introducing an online and hybrid infrastructure and progressing the Haeundae International Conference Complex (HAEVENUE) to the completion stage.
Through the global exhibition held offline, they did not stop operating a PR booth to communicate with people around the world. As a result of pushing through adversity, Busan MICE is confident that it will open up a new horizon by leading the reorganized global MICE cities in 2022, the year with-COVID-19 predicted by people around the world.
Throughout the pandemic, under the slogan of ‘Busan is SURE!’. Busan has organized the entire field of the MICE industry into BleiSURE (International Conference), PleaSURE (Incentive Tourism), and TreaSURE (Unique Venue). The recent completion of HAEVENUE instils confidence in the Busan MICE.
These achievements, which are attracting attention in the global MICE market, came from courageous actions and bold choices (BRAVE, BUSAN MICE). It also can be seen as the result of overcoming the unprecedented crisis of a pandemic.
Busan pioneered a new path while other global cities went through a chaotic year due to the pandemic last year. In fact, Busan participated in ‘IMEX America 2021’ and ‘IBTM World 2021’, MICE representative global exhibitions held in the hybrid (on-offline parallel) format last year to promote Busan MICE to the world. This is the only achievement among local governments in Korea. In particular, IMEX America 2021 held in Las Vegas in November 2021, was the only city in Korea that participated in an offline event and drew the attention of the world.
An official of the Busan Convention Bureau said, “Despite the pandemic, Busan laid the foundation for the competitive bidding for the time when the COVID-19 is alleviated by discovering incentive tours and conference information from various countries through participating in online and offline exhibitions.” Busan has developed Smile Holiday, a MICE product linking Jakarta-Hong Kong-Busan, and has succeeded in attracting and discovering a conference for 3,000 people from the Americas.
The spread of the coronavirus is expected to be dampened due to the Omicron variant this year which will be the watershed for the MICE industry in Busan. It will be a busy year. Busan Tourism Organization will participate in seven MICE exhibitions at home and abroad including △IMEX Frankfurt(Frankfurt, Germany, May 31-June 2), △IT&CMA(Bangkok, Thailand, Sep. 20-22) △IMEX America(Las Vegas, USA, Oct. 11-13) △ITB-ASIA (Singapore, Oct. 19-21) △IBTM World (Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 29-Dec. 1).
In particular, it plans to conduct aggressive marketing activities with Busan MICE Alliance (BMA) at various exhibitions. Through consultations and luncheon briefing sessions for buyers from different countries, they will discover and attract new MICE events, as well as promote the MICE city, Busan. In addition, in preparation for the prolonged pandemic, BTO established a plan B: holding a hybrid briefing session to create a new business. By thorough preparation, they have prepared several alternatives.
This year, Busan will prove why Busan is a global TOP MICE city. Busan plans to expand opportunities for local industries to participate in MICE exhibitions, and hold MICE briefing sessions linked to exhibitions more than three times. An outdoor team-building program under the pandemic will be developed. The international conferences that have been postponed for the past two years will be reorganized for full swing by focusing on hosting rather than postponing.
The 2022 FIATA World Congress, scheduled to be held in BEXCO from September 13 to 19, is a representative example.
The FIATA World Congress, originally scheduled to be held in Busan in 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19. For the successful hosting of the 2022 FIATA World Congress, the Korea International Freight Forwarders Association held a meeting of the organizing committee last year and is thoroughly preparing the event. The organizing committee of FIATA World Congress, led by the co-chair of the organizing committee (Busan Metropolitan City Mayor Park Hyung-Joon and Korea International Freight Forwarders Association Honorary Chairman Kim Byung-Jin) with about 70 members, is established as a cooperative system among industry, academia, research institutes, government organizations. Various events such as various forums, ancillary events, job fairs, and exhibitions will be held for the event, and more than 3,000 logistics experts from 150 countries will participate as an undisputed ‘International Logistics Olympics’.
The brave challenge to instil ‘Busan is SURE!’ into the world has already begun.
This is reflected in the promo video recently released by the Busan Tourism Organization through the official YouTube channel, VISIT BUSAN. The video expressed the courageous and confident energy of Busan even in a situation of COVID-19. In particular, ‘EyHey Ma Hamo’ which is repeatedly mentioned in the video, means “Don’t worry! It will be fine” in the Busan dialect. It’s the belief that ‘Busan is okay, and Everything will be fine in Busan’. It has the same meaning as ‘Busan is Sure’ and has a similar meaning to ‘Hakuna Matata’ in Swahili or the magic spell, ‘Abracadabra’ You can watch the video by accessing the link below.
An official of the Busan Convention Bureau (CVB) said, “This year, Busan MICE will not be frustrated by the COVID-19 and will move forward bravely and confidently as it has done so far. Please continue to support and pay attention to Busan MICE, which keeps pushing forward.”
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(Your Stories: Busan CVB)