New & Coming Soon to South Korea
• As of July 1, 2021, the country is granting quarantine exemptions for some fully vaccinated
travelers. Visitors arriving for specific purposes — including business,
academic and extradition — can avoid the mandatory two-week quarantine that
others must complete. Quarantine exemption is valid for visitors who’ve fully vaccinated
— with brands including Pfizer; Janssen; Moderna; AstraZeneca; Covishield;
Sinopharm, and Sinovac —at least two weeks before arriving in South Korea. Planners
and attendees should be sure to verify the latest details before travel, and
should note that the exemption doesn’t apply to people from some countries with
large numbers of COVID-19 cases, including South Africa and Brazil. The Korea
Tourism Organization can provide planners with the latest updates.
Korea is home to countless unique event venues. The Korea MICE Bureau
has just made it easier for planners to find them with a new marketing campaign
that highlights the updated Korea Unique Venue program. Since its launch, the program has provided planners with a list of recommended venues, each showcasing the nation’s culture, history and traditions in
unique, group-friendly settings. A video and microsite are among the new features of the program, which has now covers 39 venues.
• A new, high-speed train line is making it even easier for groups to explore more of this fascinating nation. The KTX-Eum line links the capital city of Seoul with Andong, a historic destination with deep roots in ancient Confucian culture. KTX is the highest-class service operated by Korail, South Korea’s national railway operator, making it perfect for comfortable group rides to Andong. Among the most popular attractions in the area are the Woryeonggyo Bridge, South Korea’s longest wooden bridge, the lush Nakgang Mulgil Park and Andong Hahoe Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Known for its sophisticated high-tech offerings, Seoul has just upped the ante by upgrading its public WiFi. In May, major tourist attractions and parks launched Kkachi On, a public WiFi service that the government boasts is quadruple the speed of the previous service. Visitors can connect to the “SEOUL_Secure” network anywhere in the city to be automatically connected whenever they visit a location with the free WiFi service. The Smart Seoul Map, available in English, Chinese and Japanese, provides a complete list of Kkachi On service locations.
• Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel,
marks the debut of The Luxury Collection brand in South Korea. The 254‐ room
property, set in a building that dates to 1914, is located in Seoul’s popular
Gangnam neighborhood. It offers 10,451 square feet of event space, including
three event rooms, and five food and beverage venues.
• A new mixed‐use complex has debuted in Seoul’s Yeouido District, a popular neighborhood for the finance and banking industries. Parc1 includes two high‐rise office buildings, as well as the new, 326‐room Fairmont Ambassador Seoul, the first Fairmont hotel to open in South Korea. The property has 6 meeting rooms, business center, restaurant, fitness center and spa. Also in the complex is the Hyundai Seoul, a major new retail shopping center that incorporates indoor green space and the largest department store in Seoul.
• The 550‐room Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas has completed an 11‐month renovation project. The property now sports a renovated Club InterContinental Lounge and refurbished guest rooms from the seventh to 33rd floor, as well as a revamped exterior with reinforced glass. Renovated guest rooms have new smart televisions measuring at least 55 inches, and 20 guest rooms are now furnished with two queen beds, in response to demand for more family‐friendly accommodations.
More South Korea Meeting & Event Venues
• The 212‐room JW Marriott Jeju Resort &
Spa is set to open on Jeju island in late 2021. Featuring eye‐catching
architecture that incorporates volcanic stone and slate, the hotel will
more than 9,600 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as eight
outlets and multiple recreational facilities. The new property will
the existing, 572‐room Jeju Shinwa World Marriott Resort,
which has more than 22,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
• Korea’s newest convention center, Ulsan Exhibition and Convention Center, has opened in the metropolitan city of Ulsan, home to Korea’s largest automotive-assembly plant and shipyard. The 462,848‐square‐foot facility has an 86,111‐square‐foot exhibition hall and 12meeting rooms and is just a 10‐minute walk from Ulsan’s train station, which links the destination with Seoul and other cities via the high‐speed Korea Train Express, known as KTX.
• Attendees can view a wide array of marine life in Korea’s newest aquarium, Aqua Planet Gwanggyo. Located in the Suwon MICE complex in Gyeonggi Province just outside Seoul, the aquarium opened in January 2021. The new venue — which is the fifth aquarium in the Aqua Planet brand portfolio — is home to 30,000 marine and land creatures representing 210 species, including sharks, penguins and jellyfish. The venue is steps away from the Suwon Convention Center, the 288‐room Courtyard by Marriott Suwon, the Galleria Gwanggyo shopping mall and various offices.