Busan recognized as top incentive tourism destination

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Dec 1, 2016 - 17:28
  • Updated : Dec 1, 2016 - 17:28
As Korea’s second-largest city, Busan boasts a wide array of unique cultural experiences, from hosting the largest international film festival in Asia to offering fresh local seafood.

However, in addition to being a popular place to vacation, the port city is now recognized as a leading incentive tour destination for travel related to meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

In fact, as a result of the city’s proactive marketing efforts, 12 medium-sized to large companies have visited Busan this year for business. This is a 40 percent increase from last year, and above this year’s initial goal of 10 companies, according to the Busan Tourism Organization.

In August, Busan welcomed the country’s largest-ever incentive tour group from All Japan Mutual Aid Association, composed of over 200 Japanese wedding and funeral service providers.

The city is now ranked among the top five international conference cities in Asia and the top 10 in the world, according to recent data from the Union of International Associations.

Located on the southeastern corner of the Korean peninsula, Busan offers easy access to not only its seven beaches, but also the mountains, where visitors can experience all four seasons throughout the year. Additionally, the city’s designated 10-Minute Convention Zone, where over a dozen hotels and 100 restaurants are just a short walk or drive away, acts as a convenient base especially for business travelers. 

Chinese cruise passengers, visiting Busan for this year‘s Busan Fireworks Festival and Busan One Asia Festival in October, enjoy chicken and beer in Busan. (Busan Tourism Organization)

From the annual Busan Fireworks Festival to the Busan International Film Festival, the port city also boasts different cultural experiences.

Offering a one-stop shop for all things Hallyu-related, the city government organized its first ever Busan One Asia Festival this year. For over three weeks in October, the festival brought together K-beauty products, traditional Korean food, the biggest names in K-pop, including Psy, Girls’ Generation, GOT7 and others, and more in one place.

In addition to leading tourism infrastructure and resources as Korea’s largest port city and a popular summer destination, BTO credits its experience in hosting large-scale incentive tourism programs, and collaborating with local MICE alliances, the Korea Tourism Organization and city officials for the city’s rising reputation as a top business travel attraction.

To continue building on its momentum in the MICE industry, Busan hosted the third annual Busan MICE Overseas Road Show in China’s major metropolitan cities -- Guangzhou and Shenzhen -- in November to woo foreign enterprises and buyers. Nearly 200 Chinese business representatives attended some 440 MICE-related consultations during this year’s road shows, BTO reported.

Additionally, the Busan Convention Bureau -- the international marketing and public relations division of BTO -- continues to provide various financial, operational and promotional assistance regarding incentive tourism.

For more information regarding the incentive tourism program, and its supporting programs and services, visit

By Kim Yu-young (