Seoul to Captivate G20 Visitors
Tuesday 9, November 2010
Lively Korean capital offers cultural grandeur, technological wonders and warm hospitality
This week the eyes of the world will be on Seoul for the G20 summit. The historic event marks the continuing rise of the city on the global stage. Seoul is proud to the first Asian capital to host the prestigious gathering. It is a city with top infrastructure and numerous attractions that is drawing large numbers of luminaries, business travelers and tourists.
Seoul is sure to fascinate summit visitors with both ancient heritage and the latest modern technology. On the one hand, the city features dynamic modernity with state-of-the-art transportation networks, abundant world-class accommodations and ubiquitous access to broadband services. Yet at the same time, Seoul is a showcase for splendors of antiquity. The city that served for over 600 years as capital of the Joseon Dynasty is home to five royal palaces, numerous temples and many other picturesque sites where history comes alive. In honor of the G20, two of the main palaces, Gyeongbokgung and Deoksugung, will be open until 10pm on Nov. 9-12, with a one-hour performance of traditional music at Deoksugung each day at 7pm.
The city also offers summit visitors a wide range of cultural activities. From bustling traditional markets and thrilling performances to enticing culinary delights and exciting nightlife, the city is full of energy. The offerings include annual festivals such as the Seoul Lantern Festival, held Nov. 5-14 at the Cheonggyecheon Stream which runs through the center of the city. The large colorful lanterns in such forms as traditional dancers, exotic animals and iconic landmarks amid the rushing waters are a delight for photographers and visitors.
Those arriving in the capital this week will find Seoul at the center of “Visit Korea 2010-2012”, the country’s largest tourism campaign in over a decade, whose three themes are design, green tourism and Korean cuisine. Design is a main focus as Seoul has been named as “World Design Capital 2010” due to its contemporary yet culturally sensitive approach. G20 visitors can find many modern buildings with stylish exteriors and interiors, some designed by world-renowned architects, as well as traditional Korean one-story structures with exquisite motifs. Artworks such as paintings, photographs and sculptures are displayed in museums, galleries and even public areas like subway stations.
Delegates who take a stroll through the city will also find that the capital is emphasizing green growth, endeavoring to transform itself into an environmentally-sustainable metropolis. As in the case of the Cheonggyecheon, whose restoration was completed in 2005, Seoul is undergoing an environmental renaissance including the upgrading of green areas along the Hangang River, the transformation of islands into public areas, and the creation of parks.
G20 visitors should take advantage of their stay to try delectable Korean cuisine, a treat for the eyes and taste buds: from savory barbecue and hearty stews to sweet rice cakes and sublime teas. Korean food also includes many vegetarian options such as Buddhist temple cuisine. Those who seek to indulge in other cuisines have many restaurants to choose from as well.
With its traditional beauty and modern conveniences, Seoul offers G20 visitors an intriguing encounter with the past while stepping boldly into the future. The city is ready to show the world that it is becoming one of the premier destinations for meetings and tourism.
The Seoul Tourism Organization is a joint public/private 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, represents Seoul’s meetings industry and business tourism interests.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.