The 2023 Suncheonman (Bay) International Garden Expo will be held for seven months from April 1 to October 31 under the theme of “Live in the Garden.”
On March 2, the Suncheonman International Garden Expo Organizing Committee held the 2023 garden fair D-30 press day with local journalists at the Suncheon Bay International Wetland Center and shared the preparations for the fair.
This press day was designed to share the overall preparation for the event and enhance citizens' understanding of the fair as of 30 days before the opening ceremony, starting with an on-site inspection of the fair presided over by Noh Kwan-kyu, chairman of the organizing committee.
The press day was filled with a question-and-answer session where Baek Un-seok, head of the organizing committee, briefed on the process of major facilities at the fair, preparations for various cultural events, ticket sales, and visitors' performance.
According to the organizing committee, the overall process rate of the garden fair currently exceeds 90%, leaving only some flower decorations and stage production at the opening ceremony.
The "Garden Dream Ship," which will run the national garden waterway and carry tourists, has begun a safety inspection, and the world's first "Garden Stay," where visitors will spend a sweet night in a 600,000 pyeong garden, is also expected to open pre-booking from March 10.
"Secret Garden," where you can meet the future garden at a glance with solar mining technology, has passed the civil engineering stage and entered the final stage of firefighting and interior design.
In addition, the facility construction of "National Botanical Garden," was finished last week and the construction of an indoor garden was started, and it is scheduled to start a pilot operation in mid-March.
The "Green Island" and "Ocheon Green Square," which will be used as exhibition halls and opening ceremonies in the city center, have also reached the final process. Ocheon Green Square will soon begin trial driving after completing the construction of night scenery, floor fountains, and playgrounds that will capture the night of visitors. Green Island, a green liberation zone for citizens, will also start preparing for the opening ceremony.
The foundation for a large-scale landscape garden of 355ha, which will make the entire downtown of Suncheon a "city in forests and flowers," has also been built and seed-sowing work has been completed.
When spring flower planting is completed around mid-March, three areas, except for Hongnaedeul, where non-art will be created, will bloom into colorful flower fields in time for the opening.
The construction of a total of 12km-long Eoshing Road in Suncheon Bay Wetland, National Garden, and the city center has also been completed, leaving only environmental maintenance such as photo zones and chair installation. The organizing committee plans to complete most of the construction within March 10 and increase the completeness with continuous rehearsals.
High-quality opening events and various cultural events are prepared and directed to raise expectations.
Expectations are also rising for the opening ceremony, which will embellish the seven-month fair journey on March 31.
The opening ceremony, which will be held around Dongcheon, Green Island, and Ocheon Green Square, will be held with about 30,000 people, centering on the largest water stage in Korea.
Major participants include Dr. Ko Jung-hee, who gave the hint of a garden fair 10 years ago, installation artist Kang Ik-jung, who designed the bridge of dreams, experts in ecology and ESG, and COVID-19 medical staff.
There will be 1,500 special guests, and more than 500 foreign guests will attend, including AIPH chairmen, Ramsar Wetland City officials, and ambassadors from 30 countries in Korea.
Currently, the recruitment of the cast of the pre-event is in the final stage, and it is expected to focus on preparing large media facade art that will be directed as a theme performance and forming a lineup of K-pop.
In addition, the organizing committee plans to provide citizens and visitors with the best cultural and artistic content in Korea by holding permanent theme performances and parades, street performances and issue-type festa, and invited performances by famous domestic and foreign artists throughout the year.
We earned 4.5 billion won in ticket sales and secured visitors through all-round promotional activities smoothly.
The fair, which will be the only domestic event to be held on an international scale in 2023, is also continuing all-round promotional activities to secure 8 million visitors
As a result of about 400 hosting activities, including visit briefing sessions and fam tours, the pre-sale revenue for tickets has secured 4.5 billion won, and 410,000 people have expressed their intention to visit with advance reservations.
In particular, the donation revenue exceeded 1 billion won with the participation of more than 120 individuals and organizations, achieving 150% of the original target.
The organizing committee has so far completed explanatory meetings by visiting 17 education offices and 176 education support offices. We have signed formal business agreements with five organizations, including the Korea Travel Industry Association, the National Council of Superintendents, and KORAIL, to prepare invitation events for some organizations.
In addition, in order to secure overseas visitors to reveal the fair as an international event, we have attracted 150,000 people, close to 50% of the target (320,000) by attracting students from domestic universities, international students, and various foreign institutions, including foreign ambassadors to Korea.
In addition to offline visit activities, various media (media, broadcasting, new media, etc.) are used to focus national attention on the fair.
The D-50 Press Day held in Seoul was reported not only by daily newspapers but also by foreign media.
Suncheon City Mayor Noh Kwan-kyu, chairman of the organizing committee, is also serving as an ambassador for the fair by appearing in various interviews and broadcasts across the country.
The organizing committee has completed recruiting entertainment programs such as "Running Man" and "Begin Again," and is also planning to collaborate with influencers in the travel sector that are in contact with Suncheon and the fair concept.
Suncheon citizens' enthusiasm for the successful hosting of the fair is also hot. More than 2,000 volunteers, 116 SNS supporters, and 34 citizen PR team, "first-class planners" are voluntarily promoting the fair.
The organizing committee and Suncheon City are responding to these citizens' support and devising various strategies to attract visitors to the city so that all citizens can enjoy the speciality of the fair.
"Safety is the first priority, and from construction to closing, it will be carried out without accidents."
Baek Un-seok, head of the operation headquarters who oversaw the briefing, said, "Most of the work on creating key facilities and flower garden has been completed.
He said, "We will prepare to welcome 8 million visitors without a hitch while compensating for the deficiencies found in tests and rehearsals before the opening."
He also mentioned the recent accidents at the fair, saying, "We are taking the series of accidents that occurred during the recent work process with a serious mind."
"From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, not only the department in charge of each facility, but also the entire staff of the Department of Environment and Safety are stationed at 10 facilities subject to key safety management. We will thoroughly establish safety management measures in each field."
Meanwhile, Mayor Roh Kwan-kyu also said in an on-site inspection on Feb. 26, "Mannheim City that I visited in Germany on a field trip, decided to hold the fair eight years ago and prepared for six years, while we were given less than two years for preparation."
He emphasized safety to employees, saying, "We will increase the level of completion until the end through close inspections and feedback, but we hope you always work with safety first."
Meanwhile, the 2023 Suncheonman International Garden Expo, which will be held for the first time in 10 years, will be held for seven months from April 1 to October 31 under the theme of Live in the Garden.
The 193ha fair, which extends to the city center, is armed with completely different content from 2013, and is expected to be a venue for festivals to showcase standard models of future cities to people around the world.