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Seoul soars to 3rd in top international meeting cities ranking

Seoul has ascended in ranking to become a top three international meeting city. According to the results of the 2015 International Meetings Statistics Report by the Union of International Associations (UIA), released on June 28, Seoul placed third on the ranking for top international meeting cities with 494 meetings, behind Brussels in second and Singapore in first. A total of 1,459 cities were analyzed for this report.

Seoul’s ranking is a leap from the previous year when Seoul placed fifth in the same annual ranking by the UIA. The 494 meetings confirmed by this year’s report was an increase of 98 percent from the previous year’s statistics when Seoul hosted 249 meetings.

Seoul’s strong showing also provided a boost for the nation in the UIA’s ranking for top international meeting countries as South Korea leaped to second place with 891 meetings, behind the United States, among 178 countries. South Korea’s number of meetings for this year marked a 40 percent increase from the 636 meetings that were recorded in the 2014 report.

“After being hit by MERS last year, Seoul remained calm and resolute by immediately working to alleviate concerns while reinvigorating and stabilizing the city’s tourism and related industries,” shared Byungtae Kim, President and CEO of the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO). “Through the measures implemented, such as our expanded support and our 24 Hour MICE Help Desk, we were able to bounce back stronger than before.”

The report’s results come as Seoul has put increased effort and focus into the city’s MICE tourism sector. In 2013, Seoul mayor Park Won-soon unveiled the city’s Master Plan to accelerate Seoul’s meetings industry which included plans to develop new, and expand existing, meetings infrastructure, and create new and improved support services and programs for business events. Seoul had also previously pledged to become a top three international congress destination by 2018- a goal the city has now achieved two years ahead of its expectations.

“Seoul is honored by this year’s results but we will not rest,” said Eui-seung Kim, general-director of Tourism and Sports for the Seoul Metropolitan Government. “We are motivated to work even harder to let everyone know that Seoul is the complete convention city.

The International Meetings Statistics Report is an annual statistical study released by the UIA based on information collected by the UIA Congress Department. Seoul has ranked in the UIA report’s top five international meetings cities for five consecutive years.

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