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Experts Discuss the Future of MICE Talent

A forum on building a people-centered industry and more MICE jobs

2018-August

On July 12th, the 'Forum on the Cultivation of the MICE Industry and the Creation of Jobs' - co-presented by the Democratic Party of Korea's Special Committee on the Development of Tourism and the Korea MICE Association - was held at the National Assembly of South Korea in Yeouido-dong, Youngdeungpo-gu, Seoul. The forum was attended by major organizations such as the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Employment and Labor, Korea Tourism Association, Korea Hotel Association, and the Korea Tourist Guide Association. The role of the MICE industry - which is taking the lead in trying to resolve the Moon Jae-in administration's youth unemployment issue - and the development of relevant talent were discussed.

Under the theme of 'A People-centered Industry, Measures to Create More MICE Jobs’, the forum was organized with the aim of creating MICE-related jobs in order to solve the rising social issue of the youth unemployment problem. The topic of Korea ranking in the No. 1 spot worldwide for the number of international meetings held was of great interest; there is also a growing interest in the fact that working within the MICE industry makes it possible for people to enter into a high-income bracket. Although there is an urgent need for institutional support in the area of human resources development, Korea's MICE industry is currently still in its infancy, and the supply of manpower is not smooth. At the forum, which drew participation from the private, public, and academic sectors, a variety of measures were suggested that would cultivate a 'people-centered' MICE industry and promote continuous development while simultaneously inspecting laws and institutions.

The presenters for this day included researcher from the Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, Kim Hui-su, and professor at the Hallym University of Graduate Studies, Yoon Eun-joo. Researcher Kim Hui-su spoke on the topic of ‘Creating Jobs through the Public-Private Cooperation in the Tourism Industry', while professor Yoon Eun-joo spoke on the topic of ‘A Proposal to Create New Jobs from the Structure of the MICE Industry'. According to Kim Hui-su, “As we can expect an increase in jobs through the expansion of public services, there is a need to strengthen the cooperation between the public and private sectors. There is a need for the provision of business consulting support to owners of small tourism businesses, revitalization of tourism businesses, operation of overseas internships, easing of restrictions on the sale of tourist hotels, installation of tourist information centers in tourism hotels, and an establishment of joint public-private funds for tourism businesses.”

During the forum that followed, a variety of opinions regarding the topic of ‘What is Needed for the Creation of Jobs in the MICE Industry?' came from the experts in attendance including Choi Won-il, head of the Convergence Tourism Industry Division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Kim Bu-hui, head of the Youth Employment Division of the Ministry of Employment and Labor; Jae-sung Rhee, president and CEO of the Seoul Tourism Organization; Kim Eung-su, president of the Korea MICE Association; Han Sin-ja, co-CEO of EZ pmp Co., Ltd.; and Heo Jun, professor at Dongduk Women's University.

The panelists agreed that public-private cooperation within the MICE industry is critical. They discussed what is currently lacking when it comes to the creation of MICE-related jobs in the public and private sectors, as well as where support can be provided and what measures could be taken for mutual cooperation.

President and CEO of the Seoul Tourism Organization, Jae-sung Rhee, said, “More jobs can be created if the MICE industry is expanded by linking up with sporting events and culture and arts events.” He added, “To make this happen, there needs to be an effort to change the direction of the MICE industry's ecosystem so that it can head down the path of sustainability. I hope all of the MICE industry experts take this forum as an opportunity to contemplate over this matter.”

“Many are worried that there is currently a lack of manpower in the MICE industry. I believe that we need to strengthen our promotional efforts when appealing to university students in order to overcome the MICE industry's low profile,” said Kim Eung-su, president of the Korea MICE Association. He went on to say, “I believe it will help recruitment to bring the MICE Academy and employment internship programs closer together, and I hope that there is an increase in the areas where the private and public sectors can work together.”


 

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