Incentive travel is a very dynamic sector in the meetings, incentives, conventions, and events (MICE) industry. Beyond the usual sightseeing, groups these days seek bolder, newer activities that promote local culture, well-being, and sustainability.
Although visiting ancient royal palaces and making kimchi, Korean traditional side-dish made from fermented cabbage, are still a fun way to spend a day in Korea – the number of returning incentive groups to Korea is gradually increasing and the best way to welcome them is to offer fresh activities to keep their excitement alive.
Read on to discover experiences many groups have never done before, and would likely try, in Korea:
1. Running Man Thematic Experience Center
Hallyu (Korean wave) fans will definitely enjoy this new indoor playground! The center is inspired and designed after ‘Running Man’, a very popular Korean variety show where celebrities compete in solving various missions.
Groups up to 250 people can enter the center at once – the more, the merrier. The rule of the game is easy. Delegates can be divided into three groups. Groups must complete missions and collect as many R-points in 60 minutes. The game is filled with quirky, sweat-breaking missions such as digital rope jumping, mirror maze, and more.
Participants will be happy to receive a “Running Man Certificate” after completing the program, while top performers will be delighted to see their names flashed at the Hall of Fame inside the experience center.
Website:http://running-man.kr/ (Korean only)
Get ready to flex your muscles as you enter the world’s first ‘sportstainment’ theme park. Sportsmonster is a recreational sports venue that has a lot to offer from basketball, rock climbing, 8.5m parachuting, Icarus flying experience, and 26 other activities to enjoy.
With all these energy-boosting games, meeting planners can brainstorm the perfect team building activity for their groups here. The best part is, this arena is located inside Hanam’s luxurious shopping center complete with Korean-style sauna, international restaurants, digital zones, and pet zones.
Website:http://www.sportsmonster.co.kr/ (Korean only)
3. Yeon Hyo Jae
Makgeolli is a Korean traditional alcoholic drink made from rice, through a fermentation process. It has a sweet, slightly pungent flavor and a smooth milky texture – making it an easy favorite among locals, and even foreigners.
Ever fancy making an alcoholic drink? Yeon Hyo Jae is a cultural space offering various programs related to makgeolli. One of the favorite activities for groups is a quick session on making this delicious drink. In addition to that and taste-testing, groups can enjoy making cosmetic products using natural ingredients and, surprise – makgeolli!
Website:http://ynjschool.com (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)
Haenyeo are women divers from Jeju Island. What sets them apart from ordinary divers is that they do not use air tanks to dive as deep as 10m below sea level. They dive to catch fish, gather sea urchins and other edible sea creatures to make a living out of it.
Only a few Haenyeos remain in Korea because of old age, most of them are 80 years old. To keep the culture alive, planners create activities incorporating the Jeju Haenyeo Culture, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Small groups can dive with haenyeo, catch fish, and enjoy a delicious plate of seafood cuisine.
Diving with haenyeosis not only a fun activity, but it is a program that practices sustainable tourism and contribute to the preservation of the haenyeo community.
Website: Jeju CVB
5. Jeonju Hanok Village
This quaint village is home to 800 well preserved hanoks, Korean traditional house, built during the 1920s. Groups can spend a day here simply by walking over cobbled pathways, checking out every nook and cranny, discovering unique handicrafts and tea rooms, and admiring the beautiful design of traditional Korean architecture.
However these days, it transformed into a mecca of Korean street food. Where else can you get a taste of cheese ramyeon hotdog, bacon kimchi, beer-flavored ice cream, and the famous Jeonju Bibimbap? Or have a drink served in dextrose packs?
A fun way to explore this area is to rent a hanok (Korean traditional costumes), divide into groups, and compete in completing a mission of visiting top attractions inside the village (i.e. Gyeonggijeon, Jeongdong Cathedral, Bamboo Forest inside Hongsalmon, etc) and trying at least five street food.
Jeonju Hanok Village is indeed a perfect destination for groups who want authentic, local immersive culture programs for their company retreats.
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