The Amended Enforcement Decree of the International Conference Industry Promotion Act Will Take Effect from Aug 2
Date Jul 28, 2022
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST) announced that the amended Enforcement Decree of the International Conference Industry Promotion Act, which includes eased requirements for designation as an international conference complex and international conference cluster facility, would be implemented from August 2 (Tue) to revitalize the MICE industry affected by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
The international conference industry is a representative high added-value sector that has considerable ripple effects on related industries, including hotels and shopping. It also creates jobs through the attraction of overseas tourists and contributes to elevating national prestige. In this context, MCST and local governments have designated and operated five international conference complexes and 26 cluster facilities on the premises of these complexes in Incheon, Goyang, Gwangju, Daegu, and Busan since 2018.
Pursuant to the previous Enforcement Decree, designation as an international conference complex is determined by the presence of specialized conference facilities, number of non-Korean attendants of international conferences, presence of at least one international conference cluster facility (accommodations, large stores, performance venues, etc.), convenience facilities such as public transport and transport guidance systems, and total area of no larger than 4 million ㎡.
However, due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the number of non-Korean attendants of international conferences has plummeted over the past two years. As such, many have pointed out that most local governments preparing for the designation of an international conference complex within their jurisdiction are having difficulties fulfilling the related requirement.
It has also been pointed out that, as the types and sizes of cluster facilities are limited, facilities capable of making substantive contributions to the staging of international conferences are not being included as cluster facilities. Thus, MCST amended the Enforcement Decree with provisions that ease regulations.
The eased requirements include the following. First, if a crisis alert of Level 3 or higher is issued due to the spread of an infectious disease such as COVID-19 pursuant to the Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety, the number of non-Korean attendants of an international conference for designation as an international conference complex is flexibly adjusted. When calculating the number of non-Korean attendants as defined in the amended Enforcement Decree, the weighted value determined by MCST through notifications shall be applied.
In addition, the eligibility requirements for designation as an international conference cluster facility have been eased. For four-star and five-star hotels among tourist accommodation facilities, the number of rooms required has been reduced to at least 30 from at least 100. For performance venues, the number of required seats has been decreased to at least 300 from at least 500. MCST minister will have the authority to separately determine those facilities, which need to be designated as cluster facilities for the promotion of the international conference industry, through notifications.
MCST said, “The amendment of the Enforcement Decree has been achieved as one of the five key regulatory innovation tasks of MCST in consideration of its urgency and the public’s need. It is particularly significant in that the frontline policy demands have been promptly reflected in the form of institutional improvement. As a follow-up measure, the Ministry will rapidly finalize the weighted values and conditions for designation as an international conference complex and international conference cluster facility to enact and amend related notifications. It is planned to expand local international conference industry hubs through open public contests for the designation as a complex and cluster facility within this year.”
 Article 13-2 (1) 2 of the Enforcement Decree: The number of non-Korean attendants of conferences held within the area of the candidate international conference complex should be at least 5,000 for the previous year or at least 5,000 in yearly average over the last three years.
 Number of non-Korean attendants of international conferences [2020 MICE industry statistics]: 790,949 in 2019 → 28,244 in 2020 (decreased by 96.4%)
 Subparagraphs 1 through 3 of Article 3 of the Enforcement Decree: Tourist accommodation facilities (at least 100 rooms), large stores, performance venues (at least 500 seats)