The port city of Yeosu-si in South Jeolla Province once hosted the World Expo 2012. (studiojh/Getty Images)
SOUTH JEOLLA - South Korea has earmarked the southwestern province of Jeollanam to developed as a MICE destination.
Jeollanam province, also known as South Jeolla, is flanked by an impressive 6,100km of coast and is known as a nature retreat for its numerous mountains, coastal areas and islands. Yet to be frequented often by tourists, the province still retains its off-the-beaten track charm and is home to just under two million people.
The province's Gwangju city also houses one of South Korea's main convention centres, the Kimdaejung Convention Center.
The province has plans to brand the destination as a nature and wellness destination for small- and medium-sized events under the tagline "Creating Business through Rest, Relaxation and Recharging of Mind". What it lacks in way of large-scale MICE infrastructure it makes up for in terms of rich nature ecology, history and culture.
Five attractions showcasing the province's nature and wellness tourism are being highlighted.
These include sports and leisure-based Mokpo International Football Center, healing-based Gwangyang Baegunsan Recreational Forest, Gokseong Gangbit Village & Shim Cheong Hanok Village, Boseong Jeamsan Recreational Forest, and Glory International Retreat Center.
The province also plans to expand its MICE infrastructure and develop new experiences for MICE groups.
"There are new opportunities in the MICE industry with growing interest in small- and medium-sized cities, as well as the 'bleisure' trend which combines business and leisure," said Kim Myung-Sin, director of tourism of Jeollanam-do.
"We will establish Jeollanam-do as a representative MICE tourism city by nurturing our province's unique MICE offerings."
South Jeolla province encompasses some 2,000 islands, one of the world's best-preserved reed bays and green tea fields.