For the 2018 Winter Olympics, the provincial government is planning to improve its infrastructure across the board, while putting high-speed trains into service and raising accessibility to the area. The international festival will contribute to the province becoming an even better site for MICE events, said Director General Choi, Kab-yeol Head Director of Tourism Marketing Headquarters. BusinessKorea heard from him on the MICE promotion plan in the province. Following are the excerpts from an interview with him.
Q: What is Gangwon Province doing to nurture its meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector?
A: Gangwon Province created a department for it in March and will implement relevant policies from the second half of 2011. The strategies revolve around making the most of the resort facilities and resources it has, targeting the niche market of the industry. Availing ourselves of the already established infrastructure, we will avoid duplicate investments, while attracting small yet significant international events, building know-how and maximizing profits in the future.
We are preparing detailed plans to host conventions related to the key industrial sectors of the province. The province will especially focus on sectors such as the environment, medical convergence, culture, leisure sports, tourism and sightseeing, agriculture and fisheries.
In this context, Gangwon Province will build its own systems in order to reinforce the industry. It will enact ordinances regarding industrial promotion in September and organize a consultative group in December, featuring colleges, hotels, resorts, travel agencies, production agencies, and international conference planners, etc. A convention bureau will also be established during the latter half of this year.
Q: What are the province's overseas marketing strategies to that end?
A: The provincial government has participated in various MICE expos both at home and overseas, and publicized that it is one of the most suitable places for international functions.
The provincial government is also providing incentives to organizations that attract international events and tourists. For instance, it is providing subsidies, up to 40,000 won per inbound visitor, to organizers of exhibitions with 100 or more registered foreign participants staying overnight or longer. Such incentives will soon be expanded to cover meetings with 10 or more participants held by governments, public agencies, academies, associations and corporations.
Q: Please introduce the major MICE functions scheduled here for the latter half of 2011.
A: First of all, the general meeting of the Great Tumen Initiative will take place at the Alpensia Resort between September 26 and 28. It will be attended by over 200 figures from the United Nations Development Program and the governments of Korea, China, Russia, Mongolia and Japan. Inter-governmental conferences and forums for economic cooperation and regional development are scheduled during the event. Gangwon Province, during the period, will run a promotion hall at the lobby of the convention center, providing information on tourism, investment and business in the province.
Meanwhile, another general meeting will be conducted by the International Ski Federation at the High1 Resort from May 26 to June 2, 2012. More than 1,000 people will attend, with the venue of the upcoming World Ski Championship being decided there.
Q: What plans do you have for the province concerning the MICE sector?
A: Gangwon Province is the venue of the 2013 Pyeongchang Special Olympics and the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The two events will raise its international standing as a hub of the global MICE industry.
The former takes place at the Alpensia and Yongpyong Resorts in Pyeongchang City and the ice rink in Gangneung City between January 26 and February 6, 2013. The number of participating athletes and spectators from more than 100 nations is estimated at 2,300 and 11,000, respectively. Some 1,000 marshals will also visit the province at that time.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Winter Olym-pics will welcome approximately 30,000 people from 90 or so countries for 17 days starting February 9, 2018. For the grand stage, the provincial government is planning to improve its infrastructure across the board, while putting high-speed trains into service and raising accessibility to the area.