Chinese health firm Aurance Group recently made Korea their ultimate party destination when they rewarded 4,500 of their employees with a chicken and beer feast in the coastal city of Incheon. The unique gathering formed part of an even larger incentive trip to Korea for 6,500 Aurance company members that took place from March 27 – April 2.
So satisfied were the revelers that Aurance has already signed an agreement of business cooperation with Incheon Metropolitan City to make the regional capital their annual holiday destination for the next two years.
Held on March 28, the party took place in Wolmido Island, a popular weekend destination among locals for its “Play Hill” theme park, seafood restaurants, and live street performances. The culinary centerpiece of the party, known locally as chimaek – a portmanteau of ‘chicken’ and the Korean word for ‘beer’ – became massively popular among Chinese everywhere following its appearance in the 2014 smash-hit television drama, My Love From The Star.
The concept for the party was created by Aurance, inspired by a scene in the series in which the female lead character, played by Jun Jihyun, expresses her enthusiasm for chimaek. Korean-style fried chicken has long been a delivery-food item of choice among locals, and more recently a firm favorite of overseas visitors.
Both Jun and fellow lead Kim Soo-hyun are especially popular in China, with their on-screen activities influencing Chinese consumption of Korean products in everything from food to fashion and cosmetics. As Incheon featured prominently in the series, the group was also treated to a special tour of the various film sites utilized across the city.
The large-scale incentive group, which visited various sites of interest in both Incheon and Seoul, is also notable for being the largest-ever group of tourists to be flown into Korea by airplane. A total of 158 flights from 24 Chinese cities were required to bring everyone together. In addition to the Wolmido event, participants attended a two-day business conference and participated in various city tours.
2016 is shaping up to be the year of inbound incentive travel for Korea, with large-scale corporate groups continuing to select the country as a reward destination for exceptional performance. The first quarter of the year already saw over a million employees from China McDonald’s, Zhulian Malaysia, and Kasikorn Bank engage in their own creative reward trips across the country.