A leading trade show in the hospitality industry, the newly rebranded Korea Hotel Show took place at Coex for the first time from July 14–16, 2021.

Previously known as Hotel Show and organized solely by Hotel & Restaurant Magazine for the first eight years of its existence, Korea Hotel Show became a joint venture project with Coex starting in 2020. This collaboration between Hotel & Restaurant Magazine, the sole monthly magazine focusing on the food service & hotel industries in Korea, and Coex, Korea’s leading exhibition organizer, is expected to not only enhance the overall quality of the trade show, but also generate more high-quality products and services for the local hotel industry.

The Challenge Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Korea was reaching new peaks in the number of incoming visitors, and the tourism, lodging, & hospitality industry was growing thanks to the influence of the Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu. The total inbound visits reached a record volume of 17.5 million, up 4% from 2016's record tourist volume according to reports from Avison Young.

Despite the challenges set forth by COVID-19, Coex and Hotel & Restaurant Magazine forged ahead with the venture, organizing the rebranded Korea Hotel Show while also staying in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions.

“Although the scale of the exhibition was reduced due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Coex and the organizers put forth effort into enforcing strict preventive measures to ensure the safety of all participants and visitors."

Safe Solutions In addition to drastically reducing the size of the show, Coex implemented COVID-19 guidelines set by the event secretariat and in accordance with local government social distancing rules:

- All exhibitors must complete a COVID-19 self-assessment prior to participating in the exhibition.

- All visitors may use the self-assessment kit provided by the organizers in Hall A.

- All visitors must complete a QR code check-in and enter the hall through Coex's sterilization & disinfection gate.

- All participants must practice social distancing when queuing, visiting a booth, or sitting in the conference hall.

- All participants are required to wear masks and vinyl gloves at all times.

- Food tastings are only allowed in the Designated Eating Areas located in Hall B.

Event Overview The main participants of Korea Hotel Show represented hotel room supplies & furniture, technology solutions & electronic equipment, hotel operation system, amenities & toiletries, air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, beverage & liquor, and more.

Korea Hotel Show's concurrent event, the Hotel Industry Expert Conference, tackled the most pressing issues of the industry. Experts touched upon a wide variety of topics ranging from post-COVID human resources management strategy to the latest innovations in room dining services.

In regards to the challenge of taking on a show rebrand during COVID-19 restrictions, Deputy Director of Exhibition Team 1 Sung Won Kim said, "Coex has become accustomed to organizing events while accommodating for the ever-shifting rules and regulations surrounding COVID-19 social distancing levels. Although the conditions are not conducive for holding a large-scale exhibition, we are very proud to be able to pull off another safe and successful event—especially for the hotel industry, which is both at the heart of meetings & tourism and also one of the most heavily affected by the pandemic."

He added, "Although the scale of the exhibition was reduced due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Coex and the organizers put forth effort into enforcing strict preventive measures to ensure the safety of all partcipating companies and bringing together exceptional industry professionals to share their ideas and further the development of the local hotel industry."