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JAN-FEB 2018 55 meetings & conventions • Songdo ConvensiA's new expansion will double its current size to 64,000sqm to 30th place internationally and to 4th place within South Korea by hosting 53 international meetings. Incheon International Airport opened Terminal 2 in January, in time for the arrival of international visitors attending the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The airport's passenger handling capacity will increase to 62 million passengers annually with the new terminal. The airport enjoys international acclaim as a world-class airport, connecting 194 cities in 54 countries, making Incheon a well-connected city that is ideal for global delegates. From Songdo International Business District, it is a 20-minute drive from the airport and a one-hour drive from downtown Seoul, which positions the city as a winning destination for delegates. MORE REASONS TO HAVE FUN Technology aside, Incheon wins the hearts of delegates with good old food and ambience, a combination that has proven to work time and again. This was attested to by the 6,000 delegates from China's Aolan International Beauty Group, who had a chicken-beer party in Wolmi Island. "Incheon is now working on winning over more incentive groups through customised support programmes for these groups, and by expanding our target markets to include Vietnam, Thailand, India and Singapore. "This was the reason for Incheon's success in attracting 40,000 incentive groups in 2017, a significant jump from 20,000 in 2016," says Kim In-Su, director of MICE Industry Division, Incheon City. ENTERTAINING STAYS With hotel openings that have increased room inventory to more than 6,000, planners have more options to house their delegates in hotels that are either a 10-minute walk or 20-minute drive from Songdo ConvensiA. Paradise City, which opened in April last year, is South Korea's first integrated resort, bringing 711 rooms and a unique Korean-style entertainment concept to the city. It is a resort that houses two hotels, restaurants, a casino, an art gallery, theme parks, retail outlets and convention halls for an all-in-one experience that benefits delegates. Meeting facilities feature a Grand Ballroom, which accommodates 1,820 pax theatre-style, two smaller ballrooms for 310-440 pax theatre-style, and five conference rooms for 10 - 90 pax theatre-style. Five minutes away from the airport via the Maglav train and 40 minutes from Seoul by Arex Express, Paradise City's easy access facilitates event logistics planning. For smaller groups and high- profile delegates, the Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon in the heart of Songdo district provides a modern take on cultural charm, sophisticated hospitality by AccorHotels and corporate spaces for meetings. This hanok hotel features 30 guestrooms and suites with private courtyards, all outfitted with the latest modern amenities that contrast with traditional Korean-style bedding. The Gyeongwonru Pavillion, which is ideal for dinners, conferences and meetings. The Yeongbingwan Hall seats 80 while the Grand Ballroom seats 300. In great weather conditions, the pavilion courtyard overlooking Songdo's skyscrapers could be used as a banquet space for 350 seats. Incheon will also be welcoming the Howard Johnson Incheon Airport and Days Hotel Incheon Airport from the Wyndham Hotel Group this year. "With this expansion, the centre will focus on co-hosting exhibitions as well as combining shows with similar themes for large-scale exhibitions..." – KIM HYUN, A CHIEF, SONGDO CONVENSIA.

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