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Approximately 2,000 parasitologists from 100 countries are heading to South Korea for the 14th International Congress of Parasitology (ICOPA). The event will take place in Daegu city from August 19 (Sunday) – 24 (Friday). After Japan, Korea is the second country in Asia to host this event.

The Korean Society for Parasitology and Tropical Medicine (KSPTM) and the World Federation for Parasitologists (WFP) are the organizers of ICOPA 2018. Its theme “Parasites: Harms & Benefits to Animals & Humans” will discuss pressing issues, and exchange knowledge ranging from parasitic diseases, preventive drugs and vaccines, to recent industry developments.

Korea is preparing ways to improve its image as a meetings destination, ensure delegates a satisfying experience, and promote Korea tourism and culture through the event. For instance, the Korea MICE Bureau (KMB) will place digital signboards in Incheon International Airport to welcome delegates. Also, at the special MICE information desk, KMB will greet and assist delegates with their transfer to the host city Daegu.

At the event, delegates can experience several cultural activities such as wearing hanbok (Korean costume) and making buchae (traditional Korean fan). KMB has also prepared eight tour programs that will take delegates and their accompanying persons to popular tourist attractions including World Heritage Sites, industry tours (i.e., Samsung Creative Campus Tour, Daegu Textile Complex, etc.), and nature parks.

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“Hosting the ICOPA is a great opportunity for Korea to strengthen its competitiveness in the MICE industry, and foster strong relationships between international conferences and local knowledge hubs,” Jo Deok Hyun, Executive Director of Korea MICE Bureau remarked. He added that the event is expected to create a positive impact on the local economy through expenditures and job creation.

WFP chose Korea as the host city due to its strong background in the field of parasitology. In 2008, Korea hosted the 17th International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria which left a legacy of eliminating parasites. KSPTM has engaged in a variety of international knowledge exchanges over the last ten years. More so, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and other NGOs provide medical care to combat parasites in developing countries. Most notably, Korea is the only country among WFP beneficiaries which developed into becoming a donor in the fight against parasites.

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