Seoul has become a magnet for international conventions and each year continues to grow its MICE offering. By the end of 2015, plans should be unveiled for a giant underground shopping mall and exhibition facilities adjacent to the COEX Convention & Exhibition Center in Samseong-dong in southern Seoul. The COEX facility already includes 33,000 sf of meeting space in an exhibition hall and 54 meeting rooms. On the hotel front, the big news is the October opening of the 317-room Four Seasons Hotel Seoul in the city’s central business district. For meetings, it will have two ballrooms and seven event spaces that can accommodate from 10 to 500 attendees, along with 25 private rooms in its various restaurants.
There will be significant investment by the Wyndham Hotel Group over the next three years, with 26 new hotels throughout the South Korean peninsula, including Seoul, Pyeongtaek and Jeju Island. Hyundai Motor Group has submitted plans and will establish offices, a hotel and a convention center in the heart of Gangnam, Seoul, across from the World Trade Tower and COEX. The project is slated for completion in 2020.
Plans were also just announced for a new multipurpose cultural facility in Seoul where visitors can experience traditional Korean culture. The “K-Experience”will be located next to Gyeongbok Palace, and feature Korean artisan studios, cafes, a theater and an exhibition hall. Details are still preliminary and it is expected to open in 2017. The government is also investing in the re-creation of Seoul’s Olympic Park into a 15,000-seat outdoor performance hall, also opening in 2017.