Korea will debut a new international event – the Yeosu World Island Exhibition, to be held in 2026. The decision was announced after the exhibition passed the screening process by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
Located in Korea's island-filled south coast, the city of Yeosu is a coastal retreat which served as the host city for the 2012 World Expo, attracting an estimated 7 million visitors from around the world. Since the expo, the city served as incentive tourism destination, attracting large-scale incentive travel groups from Infinitus and Amway in 2014. The city is also in close proximity to Suncheon, home to the new UNESCO World Heritage, 'Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats'.
The ‘2026 Yeosu World Island Exhibition’ will be held in Yeosu’s Dolsan Jinmo District from July 17 to August 16, 2026, under the theme ‘Connecting the Island, Sea and the Future’. The exhibition will feature eight permanent exhibition halls showcasing the future, culture and ecology of the island as well as special tours including the Yeondo Bridge Tour and Healing Island Tour.
The city of Yeosu anticipates more than 2 million visitors from 30 countries to attend the Yeosu World Island Exhibition, and the event is estimated to create over 6,000 jobs and create an economic ripple effect of more than 400 billion won. With official approval from the government, Jeollanam-do Province and Yeosu City will begin preparation for the exhibition, including content development, establishing organizing committees, and domestic and international promotion.
Kwon O-bong, Mayor of Yeosu City, stated, “The Yeosu World Island Exhibition is the world’s first festival for countries with islands to gather and share the history and culture of islands. We will use this opportunity to develop Yeosu into a world-class marine tourism resort city.”