As if its gorgeous seaside locale weren't enough, Busan's cutting edge technology and world-class convention facilities make it an obvious choice for meeting planners. A center for international conventions, Busan is no stranger to hosting large-scale events. In fact, the city played host to the 2002 Asian Games and the APEC Summit 2005, and since 1995 has annually hosted the popular Pusan International Film Festival. Korea's largest port city, Busan beckons visitors from every corner of the globe.
Easily accessible, Busan's Gimhae International Airport is just 40 minutes from the downtown district. Seeing over 462 flights per week on 21 different airlines, it is one of South Korea's busiest hubs. In addition to air travel, Busan lies on a number of rail lines that connect it with other major Korean cities including Seoul, Daejeon and Daegu. Once in the city, public transportation opportunities abound with buses, subway trains and even taxis that cater specifically to international guests. Busan's transportation system is about to get even more convenient with the addition of a new light rail system, scheduled for completion in 2010.
When it comes to meeting venues, the premier convention facility in Busan is the Busan Exhibition and Convention Center (BEXCO). Built in 2001, this massive facility is both beautiful and practical, capable of accommodating simultaneous conventions of up to 5,800 people. Busan tradeshows and exhibitions also find plenty of space in its 26,508-square-meter exhibition hall, which spans the equivalent of three soccer fields. A state-of-the-art facility, BEXCO offers numerous amenities including simultaneous translation in eight languages, on-site catering, a cafeteria, restaurants and even a shopping mall.
Beyond BEXCO, Busan offers a number of smaller alternative venues that offer groups a chance to experience a unique taste of Busan. Host a meeting amidst a backdrop of dance, music and art at the Busan Cultural Center. Enjoy the city from a new vantage point while aboard the Tiffany 21 cruise ship, which can accommodate parties as large as 300 guests. Or, immerse convention guests in an underwater adventure at the Busan Aquarium, home to 35,000 colorful sea creatures and perfect for receptions and events.
When the day is done, Busan welcomes tired visitors with over 9,000 hotel rooms that rate at three stars or higher. These hotels can also serve as a convenient all-in-one meeting options, as they offer top-notch meeting space in addition to luxe guest rooms. In downtown Busan, the five-star Busan Lotte Hotel offers 11 banquet rooms for everything from dinners of 60 people to grand galas of 2,500 guests. Or, plan a conference, seminar, or even a fashion show at the Westin Chosun Hotel, boasting over 1,300 square meters of event space.
As the 5th largest seaport in the world, Busan's economy is embedded in transportation and shipping. The city is also home to a number of colleges and universities including Busan National University, Busan National University of Education, Dong-A-University and Busan Arts College.