International visitors to Korea can now discover the best of the nation’s culture all in one place at the new “K-Style Hub” education and experience center, located in Seoul. Designed to be the city’s main tourism promotion facility for the nation, the center offers a range of hands-on programs, especially food-related, that make it ideal for visiting incentive groups and congress participants.
The centerpiece of the K-Style Hub, the Korean Culinary Center, invites overseas visitors to not only try traditional Korean fare, but to also learn how to make it themselves. Examples include Korean staple kimchi, sauces frequently used in Korean cooking, and Jeju heukdoeji, or black pork. An initiative of the Korea Food Foundation, Korean Culinary Center programs can accommodate up to 40 participants at a time; groups of more than 20 are eligible for a 10% discount.
The Culinary Center’s opening comes at a time of rapidly-growing interest in Korean cuisine, with 2016 a landmark year for corporate incentive visits from nearby nations keen to dine on local favorites in situ. In March, Chinese health firm Aurance treated 4,500 of its employees to a chimaek (portmanteau of ‘chicken’ and the Korean word for ‘beer’) party. This was followed earlier in May by the arrival of 8,000 employees of Chinese firm Zhongmai in Seoul to enjoy samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup), a dish traditionally associated with replenishing body minerals during summer.
Other areas of the K-Style Hub contain a variety of information centers and interactive exhibits on subjects including medical tourism, recommended travel destinations across the peninsula, and hallyu, or the ‘Korean Wave’. Originating in China, the term hallyu refers to the wide-scale popularity of Korean culture through various overseas exports, such as film and television, fashion, cosmetics, and more recently cuisine.
Center exhibits are brought to life utilizing a rich blend of cutting-edge technology, including 3D, holography, and virtual reality. A notable example are the virtual reality goggles offering the wearer an interactive experience of a ski-jump; part of the K-Style Hub’s efforts to promote the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, scheduled for February 9-25 of that year. Located near central Seoul’s popular Myeong-dong district, the center is well-placed for business visitors on tight schedules interested in sampling Korean culture, as well as event planners interested in learning about potential activities for their groups. More information is available at the official K-Style Hub website. Those interested in utilizing the center for MICE and corporate group-based activities can email the Korea MICE Bureau at [email protected]