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September 14, 2015

Asia: Korea Tourism Organization Commits to Recovering Tourism Numbers

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South Korea is adding more sweeteners to its marketing and promotions aimed at the ASEAN region and China to salvage the MICE market which was nearly halved during the June and July MERS scare.

Underway are a series of roadshows, fam trips and promotions such as subventions, free vouchers, discounts for leisure and business tourists, with even more generous perks and incentives than in the past, revealed Keehun Kim, executive director of Korea MICE Bureau.

The CVB is also dangling the ongoing grand sale in South Korea, with 30,000 shops offering generous discounts till October 31.

Kim told TTGmice e-Weekly that many international MICE groups had cancelled in June and July, but business post-MERS is recovering fast and groups are starting to return this month.

A positive development is the confirmation of two huge international events for May next year: the Rotary International Convention with 50,000 participants, including 22,000 from overseas; and Nanjing, China’s Chung Mai multi-level marketing group with 15,000 participants.

Business events account for eight to nine per cent of total arrivals in South Korea, which plunged 41 per cent in July and 53 per cent in August from a year ago. Total arrivals dropped by some 20 per cent in August.

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