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June 23, 2006

Day 1:Korea MICE Expo LIVE

The Korea MICE Expo (KME) opened on Tuesday 28th June for three days at the Coex Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of Southern Seoul. 205 domestic and 100 international buyers are taking part. A combined 175 Korean and Japanese exhibitors are also in attendance.

The Expo offers a neat layout of everything South Korea has to offer. Booths are brightly lit and inviting, and friendly chatter can be heard from booths in all directions.

The South Korean capital, Seoul, is obviously in the limelight. Seoul's booth is placed strategically next door to the KTO booth, and participants are greeted by the sight as soon as they enter the exhibition hall.



Martin Kim, Assistant Manager at Seoul Tourism Organization's Promotion of Exhibitions and Conventions, Publicity Preparation and Creation team, tells MEETINGS:review with a pleased look on his face that Seoul has recently been placed 5th for the number of international meetings in 2010 according to the recently released Statistics Report by the Union of International Associations (UIA). Mr. Kim added that the target to be placed within the top five has actually been achieved earlier than STO's original target, which was for the year 2015.

It seems the city's efforts have paid off, and along with this proud new ranking Seoul will also soon see two new major convention and exhibition venues which will help take care of the overflowing demand the capital is experiencing.

The Seoul Station Exhibition and Convention Center is slated for opening in the year 2014. This gem is set to be the city's largest convention centre yet, and the project involves transforming Seoul Station into a diverse hub of culture, history, tourism and transportation.

In addition, Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park is also set to greet the MICE world on 5th April 2013, and will cover approximately 83,000 square metres of area and consist of four floors above ground and three under ground. The Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park is being created with an environmentally-friendly theme in mind, and will be set in an open green space.

Of course, MICE delegates anxious to plan their events need not wait until then. For the Floating Island is set to open this August. In addition to being part of an aim to revitalize Seoul's waterway, it will also offer an entertainment complex including a convention hall.

Four new hotels will also be unveiled over the course of this year and next. The Sheraton Seoul D-Cube City is scheduled to open this August, with an area of 43,087 square metres and 269 rooms. The Stanford is to open in October, covering 26,569 square metres and with 251 rooms. The Lotte City Gimpo is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2011, covering an area of 13,094 square meters and with 200 rooms. 2012 will see the Conrad Seoul opening, with an area of 87,791 metres and 446 rooms.

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