The sixth edition of the Korea International Boat Show (KIBS) will be held 30 May – 02 June 2013 at the Korea International Exhibition and Convention Centre (KINTEX). Within the Seoul Metropolitan Area and in close proximity to both domestic and International airports, KINTEX provides one of the world’s most modern and convenient exhibition sites.
Set in parkland close to the Han River the architecture is both 'wow' eye catching and practical. Large glass atriums connect the exhibition and convention halls. Everything needed for both visitors and exhibitors is on site. Transport links and access to both city and airport are fast, convenient and efficient. First opened in 2005 and extended in 2011 the exhibition area now totals over 100,000 sq m and is Korea’s number one exhibition centre and the fifth largest in Asia.
Over the last half-dozen years or so the Korean government has strongly supported plans to create a leisure boating culture in South Korea. A Korean Coast Guard (KCG) report notes that just five years after the opening up of coastal regions for recreational use, 15 new marinas have been completed, 4 are under construction and a further 27 are planned to provide 6,500 berths by 2015 and over 10,000 by 2020. Already there are 8,000 leisure boats on the KCG Register, and the number is forecast to rise to 11,000 (2015) and then exceed 25,000 by 2020. Boat users must have a drivers licence. 63,000 have been issued to date and new applications are running at circa 4,000 per year.
Last year saw the opening of the Gyeonggi Ara Waterway, connecting the Han River which flows through the centre of Seoul to the Yellow Sea on the west coast of Korea near Incheon. Part flood control scheme and part marine recreational facility, the 17km canal has once again made Seoul a maritime city. There’s a brand new 120 berth marina at the inland Han River, creating an opportunity for city dwellers to enjoy both inland and coastal cruising. All the building blocks are in place to stimulate the development of boating, sailing and yachting in Korea.
Tim Coventry, Special Adviser to the Governor of Gyeonggi Province, believes that the move to KINTEX will be a major step for not only the growth in the domestic market but also to establish Korea as the centre of the emerging boating industry in northeast Asia. ‘Korea has strong established trade links to all the key regional markets, and is already a hub for industry and commerce. KIBS will become the core B-to-B marine industry event for northeast Asia, linking key emerging markets. Regional industry visitors will now be able to make a day trip to KIBS using the airport connections to KINTEX. The easy access that KINTEX provides to the 22 million people in the affluent Seoul and Gyeonggi Province Area will bring a huge step change for interest in boating’.
At Jeonggok Port on the Yellow Sea coast – site of KIBS for the past five years - the marine festival and on-water activities will continue to coincide with the Boat Show now to be held at KINTEX. The Festival has been a major influence in helping to generate awareness of the boating and marine leisure, attracting massive visitor numbers to experience both traditional cultural activities and hands-on try-boating rides, as well as providing some entertainment for diehard sailing visitors in the shape of the AWMRT Korea Match Cup.
Kim Moon-Soo, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, the principal promoters of KIBS said, ‘The move to KINTEX combined with the continuation of our Festival will provide the platform to offer both industry and public the best possible proposition. Jeonggok will be a centre for sport and recreation, and KIBS will now grow into a multi-activity event featuring all aspects of marine leisure to showcase the opportunities available to go boating. We will have diving, fishing and active outdoor features, and our central theme will be expert-led knowledge centres to help the public understand and access boating’.
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by Sail-World Asia
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1:26 AM Wed 24 Oct 2012GMT
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