Supporting the industry or just consuming leisure? The case of industrial festivals and events in Jeonju, South Korea

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Title

Exhibitions, trade fairs and industrial events


Routledge / Taylor & Francis

Place of Publication



School of Business and Law




Park, E., & Kim, S. (2017). Supporting the industry or just consuming leisure? The case of industrial festivals and events in Jeonju, South Korea. In W. Frost & J. Laing (Eds.), Exhibitions, trade fairs and industrial (pp. 161-172). Routledge. Available here


Cities have recently utilised festivals and events as a locus for international and domestic visitors and as a means of place marketing. Intangible heritage such as traditions and industrial heritage is widely used for developing new festivals and events. Jeonju in South Korea, a second-tier city and once a representative city for the country’s arts, cuisine, customs and traditional paper industry, had suffered from lack of external investments and central government support. Since late 1990, Jeonju has made a great effort to revitalise traditional industries by means of festivals and events. There are currently many annual festivals and events taking place in Jeonju such as the Jeonju Film Festival, Hanji (i.e. Korean traditional paper) Cultural Festival, International Sori (i.e. sound art in English) Festival, Bibimbap (i.e. a regional traditional signature dish) Festival, International Fermented Food Expo and Nectar Festival. However, it is apparent that not all the above-mentioned festivals and events are rooted in the intangible heritage and traditional industries of the city. Rather, they are aiming to provide a new type of leisure for communities and potential tourists, thus maximising economic and commercial benefits. Consequently, such frequent festivals do not differentiate the identity of Jeonju as a distinctive place possessing strength in a particular industry, for example Hanji and Bibimbap. Using the case of Jeonju, this chapter will contemplate the issues associated with the functions of commercialised industrial festivals and events, and discuss the limitations and challenges of hosting those newly developed industrial festivals and events.

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