Korea is seeing a sharp increase in business visitors from Taiwan in 2017 in response to active marketing and support programs at home and abroad by the Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) division of the Korea Tourism Organization. Some 30,000 Taiwanese corporate travelers are currently enjoying incentive travel-based visits to Korea throughout the second half of the year, just over a month after business events roadshows successfully conducted by the KMB in the island nation’s largest cities.
More than 10,000 employees of a major Taiwanese catering firm are presently enjoying 5-day visits to Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi Province between August and November, in groups of about 2,000 persons per trip. Also visiting are 27,568 employees of one of Taiwan’s largest financial groups. The event will have them exploring the south of the Korean peninsula, with groups of about 1,000 taking 5-day trips to Busan, Sunchon, and Yeosu between August and October.
Highlights for both parties include stays in prominent Korean business hotels, trying local delicacies, and exploring popular Korean attractions. This includes discovering samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) – a popular dish with past Chinese incentive visitors, trying on hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) in Seoul, riding on scenic rail bike courses, and sightseeing at Camp Greaves, filming location of smash-hit TV drama Descendants of the Sun.
The KMB is providing various forms of support to enhance each visit, including free or discounted admission for certain venues or rental equipment, complimentary cultural performances, and more. Additional support for transportation and accommodation is being provided by local provinces and cities. A wide range of KMB support programs are regularly made available to incentive visitors to Korea based upon party size and visit duration – more information can be obtained at www.koreaconvention.org.
In 2016, 883,465 Taiwanese persons visited Korea (up 60.8% from the previous year), making it their 4th most-visited overseas destination behind China, Japan, and the US. In July, around 300 Taiwanese business events and tourism industry leaders had the opportunity to chat with their Korean counterparts at two special roadshows hosted by the KMB; the first in Taipei on July 11, the second in Kaohsiung on July 13th. Along with networking and presentations, each night featured Korean-themed dining, entertainment, and cultural experience programs.
Speaking at the roadshows, KMB Executive Director Kapsoo Kim said, “I encourage Korea’s meetings industry to respond to our regional neighbor’s interest by developing more local MICE products based on local [Korean) names and traditional cultural experiences for our many visitors.”