The Largest International Tourism Exchange in Korea, “2024 Seoul International Travel Mart (SITM 2024)” Opens

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the ‘Seoul International Travel Mart’ commenced with an opening ceremony on June 18 (Tue). The event began with a VR drawing performance showcasing Seoul tourism through the symbol of the Blue Dragon. It was followed by a welcome address from the CEO of the Seoul Tourism Organization, a welcoming speech by Kang Cheol-won, Deputy Mayor of Seoul, and a congratulatory address by Park Jung-rok, acting chairman of the Seoul Tourism Association, all delivering messages of encouragement and support to the domestic and international tourism sectors.

The ‘Seoul International Travel Mart’ offers a variety of programs designed to boost Seoul’s tourism business, such as:

Pre-fam Tour for Buyers: Held on June 17 (Mon), the day before the event, this tour allowed invited overseas buyers to experience the allure of Seoul through activities like traditional cooking, waterfront experiences on the Han River, urban hiking at Bukaksan, and visits to the Blue House.

B2B Business Meetings: The core feature of the event, these one-on-one business consultations between overseas buyers and domestic sellers, will take place over two days, June 18 (Tue) and 19 (Wed), in the Halla Hall and Shilla Hall of the Seoul Dragon City Hotel. Approximately 3,000 consultations are expected over the two days.

Networking Night: An evening event on June 18 aimed at fostering deeper interactions among participants. Held at King’s Vacation, it will see participation from 140 overseas buyers and 40 outstanding sellers, providing more opportunities for active exchanges following the consultations.

Regional Tourism Promotion: Promotion of Seoul and regional tourism content for overseas buyers will be conducted. Lunchtimes over the two days will be used to showcase key tourism content from Seoul, Gangwon, and Daegu.

Seoul Tourism Promotion Booths: Operating for two days in the lobby of Halla Hall, these booths will feature exhibitions from ‘Seoul My Soul Shop,’ which recently opened on the first floor of Seoul Tourism Plaza, and five Seoul tourism startups (Art Soombi, Curzmatic, Modernhan, Rain4Company, and X-Crew Inc.), offering various tourism-related events and experiential services.

This event has attracted a total of 500 participants, including 140 overseas buyers and 360 domestic sellers. Compared to the previous year, the proportion of non-Asian buyers has increased by about 12%, and more than half of the buyers (77 companies, 55%) are new invitees, emphasizing efforts to broaden the buyer base. Additionally, the newly established ‘Networking Night’ is expected to provide direct networking opportunities between buyers and sellers, creating more business prospects for the participants.

To encourage international tourists visiting Seoul to explore other regions, regional tourism information sessions and post-fam tours linked to areas such as Gangwon and Daegu are planned. The Gangwon Tourism Foundation and the Daegu Culture and Arts Promotion Agency will participate in the regional tourism information sessions, with the Daegu Culture and Arts Promotion Agency and Busan Tourism Organization participating in the post-fam tours.

A Seoul Tourism Organization official stated, “The ‘2024 Seoul International Travel Mart’ will serve as a cornerstone for the complete recovery of Seoul tourism.” The official added, “The Seoul Tourism Organization will continue to discover and commercialize attractive Seoul content such as ‘Seoul Dal (tethered gas balloon)’, ‘Seoul My Soul Shop (Seoul goods shop)’, and ‘Seoul Urban Hiking Center’ through events like the Seoul International Travel Mart to achieve the era of 30 million foreign tourists visiting Seoul.”

By Howrad Jungchan Lee/Korea Travel News

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