Touted among the most spirited and colourful countries around the world, the Republic of Korea, or South Korea, effortlessly fuses its unique culture, immersive experiences, and innovative technology with great balance.

Why South Korea should be your next travel destination for business and leisure (Photo by Twitter/BaSnorkel)

Bustling city streets aglow in neon hues, dramatic landscapes dotted with hills and forested trails, a burgeoning food scene, and deep artisanal culture that takes you 5,000 years back in time–South Korea is every intrepid traveller‘s dream come true. Add to it hypermodern architecture dominating the glittering skylines, safe and sustainable convention locations, global connectivity and an impressive range of government-led initiatives for smooth operations together make this East Asian nation an exceptional destination for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

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“Korea offers a unique blend of modern infrastructure and rich cultural heritage, making it an ideal destination. From state-of-the-art convention centres to historical venues, the nation caters to all your MICE needs with exceptional facilities and seamless connectivity. The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is committed to providing unparalleled support to Indian companies. We offer comprehensive assistance before, during, and after your visit, ensuring a smooth and successful MICE experience,” assures Myong Kil Yun, Regional Director, India & SAARC Countries, KTO.

When it comes to business travel, the country’s strategic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, unique venues, and vibrant K-culture make it an irresistible choice for Indian companies seeking to host MICE events. So, wherever work takes you in South Korea, expect pleasure to tag along! Here’s why:

* Strategic Location and Connectivity

South Korea’s geographical positioning is enough, for starters, to place it high on the MICE travel map. Situated at the crossroads of Northeast Asia, it offers convenient access to major Asian markets–thanks to a total of eight international airports nationwide, five cruise terminals, and seven domestic airports. Incheon International Airport, which is only a 45-minute train ride away from Seoul, has flight connections to 58 countries and 189 cities across the globe. Flights from India to South Korea are available from multiple cities with several airlines. The airport is well-connected through direct flights from Delhi as well as has numerous one-stop flight options on offer, ensuring seamless travel between the two countries.

Additionally, there are transport services including the AREX airport express train line, KTX–the country’s flagship bullet train line, as well as Korea Tour Card, Discover Seoul Pass, SAFEX (luggage storage and delivery card), Let’s Korail (rail pass), and more to ensure that visitors in South Korea can travel freely and conveniently.

* World-Class MICE Infrastructure

Whether you’re headed to Seoul for a conference or fancy working from Incheon, South Korea’s outstanding MICE infrastructure makes sure your business trip is a breeze. KTO India extends complete support to Indian MICE groups travelling to South Korea, by offering a smooth end-to-end experience–from visa facilitation to logistical assistance. Further, the country ranked second in the Union of International Associations (UIA) Global Meetings Statistics in 2021, attributed to its large-scale convention centres, luxury hotels, and super-fast global internet connectivity with 5G technology. There are a total of 19 regional entities specialised in MICE and 17 cutting-edge convention centres with international accreditation.

As the largest exhibition centre in the country, Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX) in Goyang has 40 meeting rooms and 10 exhibition halls that span 1,08,556 square metres. The capital city Seoul is home to the COEX Convention and Exhibition Centre, one of Asia’s largest, with over 36,000 square metres of exhibition space, luxe accommodations, shopping malls, and cultural attractions. The Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre (BEXCO) is known for its impressive facilities and scenic coastal location. The eco-friendly Songdo Convensia in Incheon is another premier venue, designed to host large-scale conferences and exhibitions. With the cobalt-blue Northern Pacific stretching on the south and towering Hallasan Mountain in the north, Jeju Convention International Centre (JCIC) is the perfect pick if you are on a lookout for a scenic convention location.

* Unique Venues

KTO has been fostering the Korea Unique Venue program since 2017, offering 52 handpicked spaces, where you can feel the distinct concept of the city hosting your MICE event, while enjoying the indigenous charms of the region. These are not your typical MICE facilities like a convention centre or a business hotel, but a selection of unique venues–ranging from museums, temples, to folk villages, islands, and culture parks–that allows you to not only immerse in Korean tradition and culture, but also experience art, leisure sports, Korean Wave, natural scenery and more.

* Unforgettable Experiences

Sure, work trips mean serious business, but after long days of work, it is only fair to make some time for putting your feet up, slowing down, and exploring your destination du jour. And South Korea, a land of dynamic contrasts and unique experiences, is the perfect place to find the balance you seek on your business trips.

From visiting the K-star road at Gangnam in Seoul to a BTS Hybe Store tour to Hologram K-pop concerts, there’s a lot to do in case you wish to immerse in the global phenomenon of K-pop culture. If that’s not your thing, spend your days immersed in 5,000-year-old culture–stay in a temple or a traditional hanok guest house, visit all 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, or wear traditional hanbok and saunter around at your own pace in a historic monument or village. Once done, stop by a Korean-style spa for some much-needed R&R through dips in a hot spring and healing therapies.

* Delectable Cuisine

A major hotspot for food tourism, South Korea is the perfect place to experience the true authentic flavours of Korean cuisine that go beyond just kimchi and bibimbap. Korean cuisine, Hansik, is getting popular among gastronomes, including India, thanks to its delicious flavours, health benefits, and aesthetics. From the traditional gujeolpan (platter of nine delicacies), to the pop-culture inspired chimaek (chicken and beer) and Korean BBQ–make sure to indulge wholeheartedly. Also, with more than 100 Indian-friendly restaurants and a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options, there’s something for everyone in South Korea.

Designed to effortlessly cater to all your MICE requirements, South Korea’s diverse offerings and immersive experiences promise to help you make the most of your business travel from India. Contact Korea Tourism Organization India (New Delhi) at [email protected], or visit the official website of Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) for further information.