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MICE Industry Summary


1. MICE: High Value-adding Industry
  • MICE Industry has been recognized as a high value adding business worldwide and many countries are committed to strengthening and enhancing the infrastructure to accommodate internationally renowned events at a national level.
  • This is a multifaceted business, in which convention and exhibition centers, specialized facilities, tourism, trade, and distribution operate systematically in generating revenue.
  • The expenditure of a MICE-related visitor exceeds that of the general tourist. This industry creates jobs and increases exposure of the host country, which in turn impacts the economy significantly. Many countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, and United States have already recognized the benefits of this industry and have planned strategically to foster it on a national level.
2. MICE: Seoul’s New Engine
  • On January of 2009, Korean Government officially identified the MICE Industry as one of the “17 New Growth Engine Industries.” This decision was made measuring the nation’s competitiveness, job creation, and green growth.
  • In March of 2013, the government presented its “2013 Direction on Economic Policy,” which plans to foster Creative Service Business along with tourism and MICE.
  • Tourism and Convention business was included along with other new emerging     industries to strengthen Seoul’s competitiveness and in turn to develop it into a global city.
3. Definition of MICE Industry
  • MICE stands for Meetings, Incentive tours, Conventions, and Exhibitions mostly within Asia and it is widely used to describe the overall meetings and convention industry.

International MICE Industry Trends

1. Recent Trends: Increase in the International Conference Market

  • Based on Union of International Associations, the number of international conferences has reached 1 million per year.
  • For the past 6 years, the growth rate of international conferences reached 19.9% but  in 2007, the difference in growth rate has decreased.

2. New Trends in the International MICE Market

Intense competition
  • The European and North American nations such as, the United States, Germany, as well as, the Asian nations; Hong Kong and Singapore continue to promote the construction of convention centers.
  • The rate of the international conferences held worldwide are slowing down and due to this occurrence, it is inevitable for intense competition to arise among countries wishing to gain more market share.
Industry concept expanded: “BT MICE”
  • MICE Industry now includes Business Travel as one of its components.
Partnerships enforced with other international cities by forming alliances
  • In 2000, “Best Cities Global Alliance” was officially launched in Melbourne. Currently there are ten member cities: Berlin, Cape Town, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore and Vancouver. The alliance builds partnership and networks among the leading convention bureaus, and seeks for shared growth in the market. As such, international alliances and partnerships are increasing in numbers. 
  • In 2010, Seoul Tourism Organization founded FCCI (Future Convention Cities Initiative) with the convention leaders from Sydney, London, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, Toronto, and Durban. 
Crucial need for national support
  • Through “Event Britain” strategy, Great Britain receives a number of varied support from its governing body, to attract and host new events. Singapore also works closely with the government and business enterprises to strengthen the convention industry and support the convention industry through global marketing on a national level. There is a crucial need for support on a national level.
Expansion of environmental management
  • An implementation is set for green growth by various means such as reducing the usage of electricity by utilizing natural light, actively promoting its Green Campaign, extensive recycling, raising awareness of eco-friendly food, and reinforcing green marketing.

3. Rapid Growth Rate in Asia Market in comparison to the Global Market

  • For the past 6 years, the growth rate of Asia Market has increased 133%, which in comparison to the Global Market’s rate (19.9%), Asia is a clear leader.
  • Singapore as well as Japan, Korea, and China have shown steady growth and are being recognized as new emerging players in the global market.


UIA International Meetings (Asia Pacific)

  • Singapore : 919
  • Japan : 598
  • Korea : 469
  • Australia : 329
  • China : 236
  • Singapore : 952 (▲)
  • Japan : 731 (▲)
  • Korea : 563 (▲)
  • Australia : 287 (▲)
  • China : 155 (▲)

KOREA/ SEOUL MICE Industry Status Report

1. Domestic MICE Market Size

  • Republic of Korea has hosted large-scale key events, such as G20 Summit (2010), UNWTO General Assembly (2011), and has been recognized as a strong international MICE destination.
  • Based on UIA International Meetings Statistics Report released on 2013, Singapore topped the ranking with 952 meetings held in 2012, Japan on second for 731, U.S. on third with 658, and Belgium on fourth with 597 meetings. Following Belgium, Republic of Korea ranked 5th with 563 meetings and in terms of the city ranking, Seoul ranked 5th for the third consecutive year.

2. International Conference (Convention) Trends

  • According to Korea Tourism Organization, there were 298 meetings held in 2003, based on its criteria and statistics on international and domestic meetings. In 2011, the number of meetings more than quadrupled to a total of 1330.
  • There was also an increase in the number of international participants. In 2003, 34,467 were international participants and by 2011, the number has grown 9 times with 219,859 visitors participating in international conferences.

[picture2] International Participants in Domestic/International Conferences international Participants - 2003-34,467/2004-41,233/2005-69,941/2006-79,177/2007-88,294/2008-120,011/2009-112,906/2010-160,173/2011-219,859/ Number of Conference - 2003-298/2004-302//2005-306/2006-420/2007-456/2008-634/2009-1,057/2010-1,070/2011-1,330

3. Incentives Trends

  • The domestic incentive market is increasing in general. The demand has been growing in the Asia Pacific regions.

[picture3] Increase in incentive Travelers by Region/ ASIA OCEANIA 2006-22,965/2007-34,309/2008-50,001/2009-47,223/2010-69,021 /GREATER CHINA REGION 2006-12,737/2007-10,744/2008-21,846/2009-26,338/2010-36,769 /JAPAN 2006-4,821/2007-8,754/2008-14,103/2009-13,132/2010-6,976 /EUROPE/AMERICAS 2006-0/2007-0/2008-0/2009-515/2010-639

4. Exhibition Trends

  • There is a steady increase in the number of exhibitions held domestically. In 2011, 533 exhibitions were held with an average annual growth of 9.3%

[picture4]Number of Domestic Exhibitions Number of Exhibitions : 2005-336/2006-353/2007-354/2008-409/2009-422/2010-479/2011-553 / Growth Rate :2005-12/2006-5.1/2007-0.3/2008-15.5/2009-3.2/2010-13.5/2011-15.2

Development of Korea/Seoul MICE Industry

1. Comparison from Key Global Cities’ Convention Centers

  • Seoul’s exhibition and convention center globally ranks 20th, in terms of its size.
Existing 66,787㎡
  • COEX(47,130㎡)
  • SETEC(8,787㎡)
  • aT Center(8,497㎡)
  • DDP
  • Convention Center at Seoul Station
  • COEX Extension
  • SETEC Extension
Long-Term(2020 and beyond)
  • Yeong-dong Region(MICE Complex)

2. Seoul’s Convention Center: In Need of Large Scale Convention Facilities

  • The total size of Seoul’s Exhibition & Convention Center is 64,414㎡ (The size of facilities for exhibition is 52,002㎡, and for meetings and conferences is 13,450㎡.)

Seoul’s Convention Centers

  • Convention & Exhibition Halls : 47,130㎡
  • Exhibition Halls : 36,007㎡
  • Conference Halls : (Convention Hall - 7,000 person , Meeting Rooms - 54)
  • Convention & Exhibition Hall : 8,787㎡
  • Exhibition Halls : 7,948㎡
  • Conference Halls : 839㎡(Convention Hall - 300 person , Meeting Rooms - 4)
aT Center
  • Convention & Exhibition Halls : 8,497㎡
  • Exhibition Halls : 7,422㎡
  • Conference Halls : 1,075㎡ (Convention Hall - 400 person , Meeting Rooms - 6)

Foreign Investment Required for Development of MICE Industry

1. Infrastructure Expansion for MICE Industry

  • Short and long-term plan for expansion of MICE facilities

2. Future MICE Infrastructure Development Plan

Convention Center at Seoul Station (Northern Region)
  • Location : Junggu Bongraedong 2ga 122 Area (Size : 55,535㎡)
  • Duration : 2009~ 2017 (Licensing Process 4 years, Actual construction 5 years)

Development Plan for the Yeong-dong Region

Yeong-dong Region

  • 2013 : MICE Complex development plan preparation (International Tendering)
  • 2013.3~06 : Civilian/Professionals Competition for Ideas
  • 2013.3~10 : MICE Complex Planning through International Competition for Ideas
  • 2014.1~  : Business and Execution Plan (Establish District Unit Plan)
Current View

Current View

Aerial View

Aerial View