Without a doubt, the era of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) has arrived as a worldwide trend for sustainable growth throughout industries. Previously, businesses were mainly assessed based on their financial achievements but recently their ESG values are also being scrutinised more than ever by both stakeholders and consumers. This applies to the MICE industry as well. With “Green MICE” much focus was put on accentuating sustainability in relation to eco-friendliness, but now how sustainability is reflected in the social and governance aspects of the MICE industry must also be considered. As such, MICE cities around the world are concerned with resolving the social issues of the MICE industry. In addition to the eco-friendly events hosting, the world’s leading MICE cities are struggling to find ways to solve social problems, contribute to society, and strengthen cooperation with the MICE industry. What plans does Busan, a top-five MICE city in Asia, have in practising ESG?

Busan’s ESG Strategy for MICE

The Busan Tourism Organization (BTO) began implementing ESG management measures in 2022 and has shown a firm determination in practising ESG. A MICE ESG scheme system is being established to develop the “Busan MICE ESG Management Guidelines” according to Busan’s natural environment and industrial structure.

The BTO has taken on the role of an ESG management leader, especially in the environmental field, by launching the “Green MICE Green Busan” campaign with local enterprises and residents in 2020. The organisation is now seeking to determine how it can help preserve the marine environment by fostering the MICE industry in regard to ocean management. In addition, the BTO is actively supporting job creation through the Youth Tourism Growth Ladder Project. The BTO is also promoting mutual growth in the community and working to establish a transparent governance structure by reinforcing collaboration among industry, the private sector, government, and academia.

ESG Management Based on Collaboration

Busan is promoting collaboration among the regional tourism organisations, and industries, in order to plan, operate, and post-manage MICE events with an eye on sustainability. The aim is to establish benchmarks while learning from various practical cases and finding new ideas.

The Korean government is actively supporting the country’s MICE industry to improve its overall capacity to attract visitors, and it plans to distribute the “International Conference Service Standard Contract” and “MICE ESG Management Guide.”

Based on the information, Busan is planning to fully implement ESG in the local MICE industry by 2025, through the development of guidelines and a step-by-step clear-cut process.