While there are around 60,000 tourists from the Middle East who visit South Korea each year, the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) is aiming to increase the figure by over 66% to reach 100,000 visitors by end of 2012, in line with the KTO’s ongoing ‘Visit Korea’ campaign.
GCC countries are particularly important growth markets for South Korea’s tourism industry, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which witnessed a 52% increase in tourists to Korea during the first six months of 2011 in comparison to the same period in 2010. UAE’s tourists to Korea also increased by 16.9% during the same timeframe, while the number of Kuwaiti tourists in South Korea was up by 15.7%.
MIK 2012, which will run from May 21 to 23, 2012, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), has been widely anticipated as a key networking platform between Korean and Middle East businesses that want to capitalise on the strong bilateral relations and rapidly expanding economic cooperation between the two regions. Tourism has been a particularly important focus area as tourist traffic between South Korea and the Middle East has significantly improved in the last few years with the opening of new direct flights between Korea and various cities in the Middle East.
Faisal Al Raisi, Managing Partner at Ideal Idea Events, organisers of MIK 2012, said, “Over the past several years we have witnessed a growing number of South Korean businessmen and investors travelling to the Middle East, taking advantage of the region’s tremendous potential for foreign trade and investment. Tourism is another strategically important area of cooperation as it complements the strong economic relations between South Korea and Middle Eastern countries by building goodwill and promoting cultural understanding between the people of both regions.”
“Made in Korea 2012 is therefore strongly committed to cultivate stronger ties among key stakeholders of the tourism industry in South Korea and the Middle East, while creating new channels of cooperation and interaction by providing a dedicated business-to-business networking platform for key players in the tourism industry. Moreover, in cooperation with senior tourism officials and leading travel companies, we have prepared the widest selection of holiday destinations and value-added tourism services that will surely help generate greater interest and consequently increase travel between the Middle East and South Korea,” added Al Raisi.
Tourism in South Korea has been a major revenue source for the national economy with 8.7 million foreign tourists visiting the country, establishing South Korea as one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations. South Korea tourism authorities projected tourist receipts to exceed $10bn in 2011.
MIK 2012 will gather at least 300 high-profile Korean exhibitors from a wide range of industries including tourism, automotive, engineering, metal, hospitality, textile, electrical, chemicals, rubber & plastics, power, healthcare, ICT, media, construction, furniture, fashion and even sport. Representatives from Korean government agencies and regulatory authorities will also be present to meet with their counterparts from various Arab countries. Organisers also expect over 25,000 visitors during the three-day exhibition.
MIK 2012 will also host a series of conferences featuring prominent international speakers from both countries. The event, which will cover 14,000 square meters of exhibition space, will also host various competitions such as a “Poster Design Competition”, and the “Catwalk: Costume Designing Challenge”.
Ideal Idea Events, an Emirati exhibitions & events company and the organiser of MIK 2012, is powered by a team of exhibition professionals with extensive international experience in developing, marketing, selling and organizing events and exhibitions. Specialising in concept designing and exhibition management, Ideal Idea Events regularly conducts detailed studies to have an in-depth understanding of visitor profiles and the required event layouts, policies and regulations, which is crucial in helping exhibitors achieve their business goals and corporate objectives.
Tuesday, February 14- 2012 @ 14:17 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.