Seoul supports the 2018 Winter Olympics
Thursday 21, July 2011
Seoul congratulates the city of Pyeongchang over its successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, an event expected to bring widespread economic gains to the nation as a whole and to the South Korean capital as the country’s principal tourism destination.
Seoul anticipates a steady growth in inbound tourism over the coming decade as a result of the Olympics, not only due to its position as Korea’s entry-point, but also for its many tourism attractions, accommodation options and position as a high-speed transport hub for the entire region.
Seoul’s extensive transport infrastructure will see additions to its high-speed rail network with the new Seoul-Pyeongchang link scheduled to open ahead of the Winter Olympics. The new line will whisk travelers to the snow-covered resorts of Pyeongchang in 50 minutes, giving Olympic tourists staying in Seoul easy access to sporting events and more time to enjoy Seoul’s attractions. Early 2011 saw the completion of the Incheon International Airport-Seoul Station line, able to bring inbound visitors to downtown Seoul in 40 minutes, and making Seoul a key stopover for Olympics-bound travelers.
Visitors to Seoul can expect a selection of tourism packages in connection with the Winter Olympics, offering deals on accommodation, transport and benefits from other participating businesses. The Seoul Metropolitan Government and domestic travel agencies have already begun preparing packages involving both cities during 2018.
Seoul, a former host of the Summer Olympics, has enjoyed a growing profile as an ‘all-in-one’ tourism destination for those seeking to experience the many facets of Korea’s entertainment culture. Today, it is a key destination for a growing subsection of inbound tourists interested in Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, a term describing the global popularity of Korean pop culture. Visitors increasingly flock to Seoul, home of television dramas, music acts, and celebrities popular overseas, such as stadium-draw singer Rain. The city is also a focal point for its eclectic nightlife, shopping options and many tourist attractions, including ancient temples, refreshing waterways, and theme parks. Lotte World, the world’s largest indoor theme park, attracts 500,000 overseas visitors alone each year.
The city is served by an extensive, citywide range of accommodation options to suit a full spectrum of budgets, from fully-furnished ‘innostels’ (a midpoint between guest house and hotel) to globally-recognized tourism hotels, and 5-star business hotels. According to the Seoul Tourism Organization, the rapid growth in Seoul’s meetings industry has helped spur the development of premier business hotels, including the Conrad Seoul (2012) and Sheraton Seoul D-Cube City Hotel (2011), and an increase in convention facilities, such as the forthcoming Dongdaemun Design Plaza(2013) and KORAIL Convention complex (2014).
The Pyeongchang win is the latest in a long line of high-profile international events held in South Korea. In 2010, Seoul successfully hosted the 5th G20 Summit, which reflected the city’s strong commitment to the meetings and events industry and helped it gain global recognition as a major convention city. Currently Seoul ranks 5th worldwide for the number of international meetings held, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA).
The Seoul Tourism Organization is a joint venture launched by the city and private enterprise in February 2008 with a core mission to promote Seoul as a convention and tourism destination. The Seoul Convention Bureau, a division of the STO, is the official government-sponsored body representing and promoting the city overseas as a prime venue for meetings, conventions and exhibitions. The SCB is in charge of international marketing and public relations for Seoul as a convention city.
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