MICE Seoul



The economic value and significance of the MICE industry in Korea and abroad



In response to increased interest in the value of business events, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) proposed a guideline to analyze the MICE industry’s economic impact. Countries like the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom have used this guideline and presented the economic effects of the MICE industry by country. Following this trend, the U.S.-based Events Industry Council (EIC) recently enlisted the services of Oxford Economics to analyze the economic impact of the worldwide MICE industry, and the findings were announced through a report titled “Global Economic Significance of Business Events.”

Although there have been analyses done of the economic significance of the MICE industry by country, this is the first time that the global impact of the industry has been presented. This report presents the results of the MICE industry in the top 50 countries, which includes Korea. The report uses “Business Events” in place of the term “MICE” but covers the areas detailed the UNWTO guideline: corporate/business events, conventions/conferences/congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, and incentive events.

According to the report, the direct impact of the global MICE industry in 2017, that is, the direct expenditure by event organizers, participating companies, and attendees was $1.071 trillion. Total GDP contribution was $621.4 billion, and 10.3 million direct jobs were created. The total number of participants was 1.52 billion people, representing 180 countries from around the world. What is the magnitude of the direct spending impact of the MICE industry compared to that of other industries? The report also provides comparisons with other industries, and it shows that the direct spending impact of the MICE industry is higher than that of the medical/dental manufacturing industry ($839 billion) and the consumer electronics industry ($407 billion). This is also the first time that the economic effects of the global MICE industry have been compared to those of other industries. The results of the comparison provide an opportunity to publicize the economic value of the MICE industry.

In addition, indirect impacts and induced impacts of the MICE industry totaled $2.526 trillion. The total GDP contribution was $1.495 trillion, and the total job impact was 25.9 million jobs. If you compare the total GDP contribution of the MICE industry to the GDPs of countries, the MICE industry would rank 13th, as its GDP is higher than Australia’s GDP (approx. $1.379 trillion) and lower than South Korea’s (approx. $1.530 trillion ). In other words, the GDP impact generated by the global MICE industry is roughly equivalent to the GDP of the world’s top 10 countries.

What is the economic impact of the South Korean MICE industry? According to the report, the direct spending impact of the Korean MICE industry was $10.1 billion, 14th highest among analyzed countries. The direct GDP contribution was $7 billion, 83,000 jobs were created, and the total number of MICE participants was estimated to be 18.1 million people. In addition, the Korean MICE industry’s total economic impact, which is the sum of indirect and induced impacts, was $22.8 billion, which puts Korea in 15th place. The total GDP impact was $15.9 billion, and the estimated total job impact was 216,000 jobs.

In Korea, the Korea Tourism Organization and the Association of Korea Exhibition Industry separately calculate the economic impact of the MICE industry and the exhibition industry. The statistics of the exhibition industry, in particular, show a big difference in terms of the methods of data collection and analysis. In a situation where an overseas agency has already calculated and presented the economic impact of the Korean MICE industry, it is necessary for Korea to analyze and present its MICE industry statistics and economic impact via a more reliable method through mutual agreement between the two organizations, and the significance of such results needs to be clearly conveyed to the public.


[Seoul MICE Press Corps]Seoul MICE Press Corps cover 2018 Seoul MICE Week
Discover beautiful Seoul with discover Seoul pass