Busan Metropolitan City and Busan Tourism Organization (BTO) declared 2022 as the first year to become a global MICE city in the post-COVID-19 era and accelerated its sustainable MICE projects, including ESG management. The view of Busan Port, where the 2022 International Federation of Freight Forwarders. Expectations are high for this year as there are a number of international conferences scheduled where thousands of foreigners will participate.
Entering the third year of COVID-19, the MICE industry in Busan is expected to move as vigorously as before the pandemic. To gradually recover the MICE industry, Busan has built a MICE infrastructure optimised for hybrid online and offline events and completed its vision of a “super-connected hub of the MICE industry.”
Along with the “Busan! Again” campaign, Busan will establish an internal and external consultation system and actively attract and hold small-scale VIP events and mid-to-large-scale hybrid MICE events. In addition, it will focus investment and support on the sustainability of the Busan MICE industry (ESG management). They plan to hold briefing sessions and joint campaigns so that organisers and participants can take part in ESG management.
Starting from this year, the Haeundae International Conference Complex (HAEVENUE) is expected to improve travel convenience between integrated facilities by expanding accessibility, such as linking eco-friendly personal means of transportation, as a hub for MICE in Busan. A number of improvement and support projects for HAEVENUE are waiting in line. From this year, the Busan MICE Alliance (BMA), a consultative body of MICE institutions and companies that aims to become a driving force of Busan MICE, will change drastically.
Previously, MICE-related companies, organizations, and institutions located in Busan were able to join without any sort of process, but starting in 2022, the minimum verification criteria for actual operational capabilities, such as a capacity for holding MICE-related events, must be satisfied. The purpose of introducing the minimum verification process, such as evaluation and approval of the operating committee, is to strengthen the practical networking of BMA and to create new synergies with domestic and overseas MICE-related organisations.
The MICE support programmes have also been reinforced to provide more practical benefits to the organisers and participants in the pandemic situation. The programmes include three areas: international conferences, corporate incentives, and tourism. Hybrid online and offline international conferences are also supported for international conferences if more than 10% of total participants participate offline. For corporate incentives and corporate conferences, up to 50 million won will be provided to attract and host an event. For tourism, up to 3 million won for actual expenses will be supported, which includes tour buses and interpreters for international conferences with 10 or more foreign participants.
Some international conferences have already chosen Busan as the “optimal MICE destination.” The organisers of the conferences postponed due to COVID-19, such as the 2022 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the 2022 International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) World Congress, as well as the mega-scale conferences, including the Asian Patent Attorneys Association Council Meeting 2022 and the 2022 International Council of Combustion Engines (CIMAC) Congress, have started to prepare for the event in Busan in full swing.
The IAU and FIATA World Congresses scheduled to be held in Busan in 2020 and 2021 (more than 3,000 participants from 100 countries each) switched to a hybrid-type event this year due to prolonged COVID-19.
In addition, seven large international conferences with more than 1,000 people are scheduled to be held in Busan in 2022: the 18th IFSES World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery, the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) Council Meeting 2022, and the 2022 International Council of Combustion Engines Congress. Associations (FIATA) World Congress will be held.
An official from BTO said, “As the landscape of the MICE industry at home and abroad has been changing rapidly for the last three years of the COVID-19 crisis, it is necessary to support not only the conference and exhibition infrastructure that can be used both online and offline, but also tourism resources such as Unique Venues. From the year 2022, entering the post-COVID-19 era, Busan is expected to take an opportunity to make the first year of MICE innovation its own and emerge as one of the world’s top MICE destinations.”