The South Korean capital is gearing up to welcome 55 heads of state and international organizations next month for the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. The event will be held at Seoul’s top convention center Coex, which has also served as host for the 2010 G-20 Seoul Summit. Similar to the positive response following the G-20 Seoul Summit, the successful conclusion of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit is expected to showcase the city’s meetings infrastructure to the world and bolster the city’s reputation as the world’s number five convention destination.
Seoul’s meetings industry was put to the test during the 2010 G-20 Summit, as over 20,000 summit-related visitors flew into Seoul that week for summit-related business. Also, security considerations for each head of state required significant last-minute changes for hotels and meeting planners. The city passed the test with flying colors, and has since added more top hotels such as the Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel and the Conrad Seoul. This puts it in a strong position for the influx of visitors expected for the Nuclear Security Summit, which is expected to exceed the figures for the G-20 Seoul Summit.
The growing profile of large and high-profile international events in Seoul has been noticed by meeting planners, and last year Seoul was ranked 5th place in the world for number of international congresses hosted by a city, according to the 2010 Annual Statistics of the Union of International Associations (UIA). A proven track record for service excellence and rapidly increasing interest in Seoul also helped the city win the ‘Best BT-MICE City’ award at the 22nd TTG Travel Awards last fall.
Even with its strong infrastructure and meetings industry, Seoul is still an undiscovered city for many meetings professionals. This makes Seoul an attractive ‘new’ destination, and yet one that can be chosen with confidence.
According to the Seoul Convention Bureau’s database, in 2012, Seoul will be host to several large international congresses such as The 73rd Skal International Congress (1,000 participants), The 12th International Congress on Mathematics Education (5,000 participants), The 16th International Congress of Oriental Medicine (16,000 participants), and The 43rd World Intellectual Property Congress (4,000 participants).
The Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB), a division of the Seoul Tourism Organization, is the official government-sponsored body representing and promoting the city overseas as a prime venue for meetings, conventions and exhibitions. The SCB is in charge of international marketing and public relations for Seoul as a convention city. The Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) is a joint venture launched by the city and private enterprises