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South Korea wins bids for 16 congresses and incentives

MERS outbreak in June prompts active marketing push, leading to major corporate bookings between 2016-2021

Herbalife last visited Korea in June 2009 for its Asia Pacific Extravaganza. It is now returning for an incentive next year.

Korea will welcome seven international congresses between 2017 and 2021 along with nine major incentive tours next year, following intensive efforts this year from Korea Tourism Organisation's (KTO)  meetings and incentive travel division.

The forthcoming congresses, including the 102nd World Esperanto Congress in 2017 and the 2019 International Bar Association Annual Conference, will bring 22,800 delegates, while the incentive trips will generate a further 40,000. The visiting corporate groups include China Headline News, Herbalife, Kang Ting Cosmetics, McDonalds and Prudential.

The wins come as a result of a strong marketing drive this year, partly in response to the outbreak of MERS in June. Seven promotional incentive roadshows were conducted across the Asia-Pacific, the strongest market, taking in India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam.

In May, the organisation held two Korea MICE Festivals in Singapore, which resulted in next year's Herbalife and Prudential incentive trips, which will bring 10,000 international visitors alone.

Min Hong Min, KTO executive vice president for international tourism, said: “Throughout the past year, we’ve made it our mission to extend Korea’s message of welcome to the entire world, and we’re pleased to report that many have accepted that invitation.

“We will of course continue in our efforts to send that message across the globe: that Korea is both a highly-capable MICE destination for all kinds of events, as well as a fun and dynamic place where there is something for everyone."

Four of the international congresses will take place in the capital Seoul, while Busan will host a further two. The city of Daegu will welcome the 2019 IBRO World Congress, bringing an expected 3,000 participants.

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