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Research team from Korea tour Okinawa Convention Center

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-05-29

Three representatives from Chejudo, Korea visited Okinawa from May 18 until May 20 to view and gather information on the Okinawa Convention Center. The trio will use their research work to help construct a new convention center in Chejudo, scheduled to open in January 2003. Mechanical and Electrical General Manager Chun-Soo Kim, along with Planning and Marketing Manager Young-Hong Im and Architectural and Construction Manager Che-Kook Ko, were met by Kyoko Shimura, Coordinator for the Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau and Youichi Seki, Deputy Director of the Okinawa Convention Center. The three men were provided with a tour and detailed explanation of the Okinawa Convention Center's facilities and its technological capabilities. "We want to construct a convention center that will be very easy to use. I think Okinawa has this type of Convention Center," commented Young-Hong Im. "We're looking for a place where everything is convenient: rest-rooms, eating facilities, and accommodations."

The Cheju International Convention Center (CICC) will feature the latest technology to provide international customers with very sophisticated conference facilities, including an exhibition hall that can seat up to 3,500 people. Planners have conveniently located the area within 30 minutes by car from Cheju International Airport, and just next door will be the ocean-front Chungmun Resort, which will feature an aquarium and the largest indoor botanical garden in East Asia. An 18 hole golf course and picturesque coastline are expected to help boost the business potential of the convention center. The CICC is focusing on marketing their facilities in conjunction with tourism, hoping that Chejudo will economically benefit from both business sectors. "Cheju is a resort island like Okinawa, so we are planning on having a large event hall, which will be multi-purpose. There will be plenty of meeting rooms for different size groups," explained Young-Hong-Im. Currently, the proposed site is still under excavation, but construction is expected to begin shortly. The design was conducted by Nihon Sekkei Co. Ltd, and covers a space of over 64,000 square meters. The project is being funded by the Provincial Government, Korea National Tourism Organization, and the residents of Cheju Island.

In comparison to the Okinawa Convention Center, the facilities in Chejudo will be larger. Both Okinawa and Korea representatives said that they are hoping for cooperation between the two resort islands once the convention center in Chejudo is finished. As part of their tour the CICC team also visited Hong Kong's Convention Center and is scheduled to see the Tokyo Forum in mainland Japan. All three members expressed their gratitude towards Okinawan officials and remarked about the outstanding design and functional uses of the Okinawa Convention Center. The trip by the three Korean officials marked the first time a research team has come to inspect the Okinawa Convention Center from outside of Japan.

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