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IDE-Asia Delegates Experience Culture, Cuisine from Korea to France

Alexandria, Va.. Attendees will have the chance to experience three elegant sit-down dining and entertainment events during the course of ASTA's International Destination Expo-Asia (IDE) in Jeju, Republic of Korea, March 25-29, 2007, showcasing the cuisine and culture of two IDE host cities&emdash;Jeju and Lyon.

"Attendees at this year's IDE-Asia will be treated to unparalleled entertainment and cuisine that will give them real insight into Korean culture that they in turn can take back and share with their clients," said ASTA President and CEO Cheryl Hudak, CTC. "Additionally, guests will have a chance to experience a bit of French cuisine, courtesy of next year's IDE-Europe hosts, at the closing gala."

On Sunday March 25, guests will be feted at a welcome dinner, courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization and Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. This welcome event will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for participants to experience traditional Korean performances, delicious food and the great hospitality of Korea.

"All of us at the Korea Tourism Organization are extremely delighted to have the opportunity to host the welcoming dinner for you. This special event, titled 'A Sparkling Night in Jeju,' presents you with the thrill and energy of an entirely new Asian experience. We look forward to your visit and introducing you to Korea's unique and dynamic culture, its pristine nature and its sparkling service," said Jong Min Kim, president, Korea Tourism Organization

Tae Hwan Kim, Governor, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, said: "I am very pleased to invite you to Jeju, one of Korea's most beautiful islands. We, along with the KTO, have prepared a very special dinner for you that will feature very unforgettable performances. These performances will, without a doubt, give you a better understanding of Korean culture and its aesthetic traditions."

Attendees of the event will be treated to performances by the Jeju Provincial Art Troupe, whose Korean traditional-style dances draw from the various aspects of Jeju Island's local culture. For more than 17 years, the troupe has performed throughout the world for numerous dignitaries.

The following night, Se Hoon Oh, mayor of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, invites delegates to experience an "evening gala in Seoul," through a series of dynamic performances meant to spotlight this cosmopolitan city.

Diners will be treated to a performance by the Chongdong Theater Cultural Performers, who will put on the "Korean Traditional Stage," which earned the Grand Prize from the Korea National Tourism Organization in 1999. This performance showcases to audiences the four genres of traditional Korean performing arts&endash;traditional dance, Pung-Mul, So-Ri and musical instrument performance. It has been repeatedly selected as one of the top 10 things to do in Seoul.

Also on the stage will be a non-verbal performance by Nanta, a comedic show which blends unique Korean rhythms with elements of cooking.

Finally, as the 2007 IDE-Asia comes to a close, Lyon, France&emdash;host of ASTA's 2008 International Destination Expo-Europe&emdash;will hold a farewell gala where attendees will enjoy a memorable evening, featuring French cuisine and a wine tasting from the Beaujolais region. On this evening, the Lyon Tourist Office will present the city and its very diverse Rhone-Alps region.//

Go to www.astanet.com/conference/ide07/index.asp  or contact ASTA's Meetings Department at meetings@astahq.com to learn more about ASTA's IDE-Asia.

ASTA's (American Society of Travel Agents) mission is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable, growing and a rewarding place to work, invest and do business.

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