Seoul to participate in CIBTM 2009, Setting sights on China's MICE market

"Seoul's convention marketing efforts expands into China"

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the Seoul Tourism Organization(STO) will participate in CIBTM (China Incentive, Business Travel & Meeting Exhibition) 2009 from September 8th to the 10th. Seoul plans to make a strong entrance into China’s convention industry and develop new MICE markets. China's rapid economic expansion and its geographical proximity to Korea has made it a challenging new target market for Seoul.

Participating in its second Chinese exhibition this year, following the IT&CM (Incentive Travels & Conventions, Meetings China, organized by TTG Asia Media) held in Shanghai in April, Seoul plans to attract international conferences and corporate incentive travel to Seoul by expanding its foothold in the Chinese MICE market seeking out new buyers and partners. As part of these efforts, representatives from Seoul will distribute "Meeting Planners' Guides" to organizers interested in holding events in Seoul. The new guide contains accurate and detailed information on Seoul's infrastructure and services, providing a valuable asset for international conferences and corporate meeting marketing efforts.

In 2009, as part of its diverse range of projects aimed at developing Seoul's MICE industry, the STO has shifted its organizational goals and operational paradigm from traditional conventions to developing the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions) industry, expanding its overseas marketing efforts aimed at attracting corporate meetings and incentive tours, in addition to conferences and exhibitions. According to recent figures published by the UIA (Union of International Associations), Seoul held 125 conventions in 2008 to become the 7th-largest convention city in the world, climbing two steps in ranking from 2007. The city also ranked 3rd in Asia in the number of conventions held, and aims to reach the 5th position in the world by 2010. A spokesperson for the city of Seoul explained, "The Seoul Convention Bureau was created as part of the Seoul Tourism Organization, which oversees all tourism and related initiatives in Seoul, in order to enhance the competitive capabilities of our city as a convention destination as well as to attract major global events, strengthen overseas marketing efforts, and develop a top-quality trained workforce."

With over 3,000 visitors and 300 buyers attending, the CIBTM is similar in scale to IT&CM that is held each April in Shanghai, China. However, the former event is noted for being the first convention and exhibition exposition to be organized in China by the Reed Travel Exhibition, a premier international exhibitions specialist, as part of the company’s plans for expansion into the Asian market. As the organizer of such major global events such as AIME, GIBTM and EIBTM, the Reed Travel Exhibition reorganized and expanded its former CBITM exhibition that was held in 2005 and 2006 into the newly-branded CIBTM in 2007.

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