The Korea Tourism Organization announced that Korea’s international business events calendar has been largely unaffected by the recent MERS outbreak. As of July 13, there have been 186 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 33 of the sufferers are currently hospitalized. All confirmed cases of the infection have been limited strictly to within hospitals, with no documented external transmission of the virus. In addition, there have been no reported cases of the infection amongst foreign visitors, including international congress attendees.
According to the KTO, no major international congresses scheduled for 2015 have been canceled, while events such as June’s International Council of Nurses (ICN) 2015 Conference took place with strong attendance at the height of the scare, showing global confidence in Korea’s safety as reflected by World Health Organization and state-level agencies worldwide advocating normal travel advisories for the country throughout the incident.
Korea’s congress schedule for the second half of 2015 remains sturdy, with September, for example, welcoming to Pyeongchang - host of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics - the 6th International Wildland Fire Conference, while November will bring to Seoul the 2015 World Road Congress. Meanwhile, in October, Busan will celebrate the 20th edition of the Busan International Film Festival, which anticipates a total audience of about 220,000 persons from 79 countries, including global buyers for the annual BIFF Asian Film Market.