The government of Seoul will be providing an additional 10 billion won (US$8.74 million) to assist the city's development of its business events sector in 2017.
Officials from Seoul Tourism Organisation have confirmed that the city has drawn up a five-point plan and will be lending its support to the See You In Seoul special event, designed to make the city more attractive as a destination for business events.
Seoul's Myeongdong shopping and entertainment district
Under the proposal, more conventions and exhibitions will become eligible for financial support, while a new range of promotion packages will be created. Other initiatives include the creation of new programmes designed to give participants a hands-on experience of Korean culture, arts and entertainment, while additional efforts will also be made to improve cooperation between the public and private sectors to raise the city's competitiveness.
The injection of funds is timely – given the geo-political differences that have caused a rift between China and South Korea and are spilling over into the economic sphere, in particular the travel sector.
Unhappy at Seoul's decision to deploy a defensive anti-missile system to deter North Korea, Beijing is pressuring its domestic travel agencies to curtail the number of Chinese travellers heading to South Korea.
The number of incentive travellers alone from China was up an impressive 33 per cent in 2016 to 123,410 arrivals, although that figure is likely to be drastically reduced this year.
In an effort to counteract the shortfall, city officials said more efforts are going into attracting business travellers and events from South-East Asia, India and Japan.