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The Growth Potential of MICE City Busan

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In 2023, the MICE city of Busan was able to attract and host various global MICE events, allowing it to grow into a world-renowned MICE destination. For example, the city secured the opportunity to host the Asia Pacific Tourism Association (APTA) Annual Conference 2025 and World Statistics Congress (WSC) 2027, and successfully hosted the 20th International Microscopy Congress (IMC20), in addition to a number of other major MICE events. However, Busan’s efforts to achieve sustainable growth as a MICE city extended beyond just attracting and hosting events.

Choose Busan for MICE Event Success
The BTO CVB spent 2023 attracting new MICE events and preparing to host MICE events scheduled to be held in Busan. The 2023 Human Proteome Organization World Congress (HUPO 2023) and 2023 World Congress on Biosensors, attended by biotechnology professionals from around the world, were held successfully in Busan, cementing the city’s reputation as a top host city for global science and technology events. Busan also hosted the 11th Annual Meeting of the Asian Organization for Crohn’s and Colitis, held in conjunction with the 6th International Meeting on Intestinal Diseases and the Annual Congress of the Korean Association for the Study of Intestinal Disease, the foremost academic exchange on inflammatory bowel disease, attended by over 900 experts from 20 countries, and the 2023 Congress of the International Council on Combustion Engines, attended by over 800 experts from 38 countries. These events made clear the vast potential of Busan as a MICE city that can host a wide range of events in various industries.

The BTO CVB actively promoted Busan as a host city at major MICE events held around the world, which is one way it attracts MICE events to the city. As a result, in 2024, the 5th Session of the UN Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution is scheduled to take place in Busan. The event is expected to provide momentum for Busan’s projects in the marine environment sector, including the formation of clusters for resource circulation. The International Geographical Congress 2024, the foremost international conference in the field of geology, will also be held in Busan next year. The event will undoubtedly help the city’s efforts in having Busan National Geopark registered as a UNESCO World Heritage. The 2024 World Volunteer Conference is another international event coming to Busan. It will be an opportunity for Busan to lead a positive change in the global paradigm of goodwill and volunteer work.

With these major global MICE events on tap in Busan for 2024, the BTO CVS is making the necessary preparations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BTO CVB has made aggressive efforts to attract even more international conferences to Busan. These efforts were able to secure a number of major events, including the Asia Pacific Tourism Association (APTA) Annual Conference 2025, 2027 Korea-Japan Conference on Ferroelectrics, and World Statistics Congress (WSC) 2027.

Play, Work, Live Busan!
In addition to its work at attracting and hosting events, the BTO CVB has also made many other efforts to the lay the foundation for Busan’s continued growth as a MICE city. In 2023, the BTO CVB adopted the motto “Play, Work, Live Busan” to impress upon MICE organizers and visitors the indelible image of Busan as a well-rounded, global MICE brand that is ideal for work, vacation, and living. Under the “Play, Work, Live Busan” slogan, promoters emphasized the city’s mountains, sea, and urban area and the ability to get to anywhere within the city in 30 minutes, along with the area’s appeal as a workation destination.

In 2023, the BTO CVB participated in large international MICE events, such as ITB-Asia 2023 and IBTM World 2023, to promote Busan as an attractive host city for MICE events, keep up to date with the latest MICE industry trends, and make qualitative improvements to Busan’s MICE industry.

The BTO CVB also worked to bring more incentive tourism to Busan. A fam tour for American incentive travel agencies, the fam tour program “Meet in Busan,” and a host of other fam tours were held this year and attended by MICE professionals from multiple countries. While on their tours, visitors were able to directly see and experience Busan’s advanced MICE infrastructure and a wide range of tourism and entertainment offerings as a maritime tourism city.

The BTO CVB also made great strides in ESG management as part of its efforts for the sustainable growth of Busan’s MICE industry. The BTO CVB diligently supported training programs to raise ESG awareness and conducted ESG networking to create solidarity within Busan’s MICE industry for the furtherance of ESG activities, which are increasingly being prioritized worldwide.

Over the last 10 years, Busan’s MICE industry has experienced explosive growth highlighted by its hosting of 100,000 events while drawing over 55 million visitors. There are many spots in Busan that make it an ideal city for tourism and MICE events, including BEXCO, BPEX, the area’s hotels that also double as great MICE venues, and the officially designated 23 Busan Unique Venues. The city also boasts an ideal workation environment. Leveraging its distinctive advantages and successful hosting experiences in global MICE events, Busan is poised for further growth in 2024.

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