KOREA’S eastern Gangwon province has revealed plans to build an international convention centre in the area that hosted the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Gangwon officials want the proposed venue to help the province rise from Korea’s fourth-ranked convention city to one of country’s the “Top 3” convention destinations, which currently consists of Seoul, with Coex; Gyeonggi (Kintex), and Busan with Bexco.
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics raised Gangwon’s international profile and showed its capability in hosting large-scale events, according to Korea MICE Bureau. The province is also due to host the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics.
Another Olympic legacy has been better connectivity between major cities with the high-speed KTX railway reducing the travel time between Gangwon and Seoul to less than two hours.
Plans for the convention centre include a 54,200 sqm site on Hajungdo island, off the city of Chuncheon, where a Legoland is being built and set to open in 2022. The theme park will be the brand’s 10th worldwide and the first in Korea.
Gangwon’s coastline faces the East Sea and its ski resorts feature international hotels. PyeongChang, Gangneung and Chuncheon are the province’s major cities.
If given the go-ahead, the venue will have a total floor area of 36,900 sqm and is estimated to cost 149 billion won (about US$133m).
Gangwon’s Winter Olympic venues faced a cash crisis following the games but officials have stepped in with plans to repurpose the facilities.