February 10, 2016 By Frank Cole in Doha, Qatar
The 80th Global Congress of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) will take place in South Korea, about 103 delegates together with Executive Committee and Commission members unanimously agreed on Monday 7th February at the five-day 79th conference currently underway at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar.
Prior to the decision being taken, the AIPS Global President Gianni Merlo earlier informed the congress that he had request from both South Korea and Switzerland to host the 2017 congress.
He said that having weighed the options presented by both countries, he had no option but to ‘delete’ Switzerland’s proposal because everything would have to be paid for should the association decide to organise the congress there.
“It was going to cost the AIPS something around two hundred thousand United States dollars if we decide to have the 2017 congress in Lausanne,” Merlo said, adding: “And I think that will be heavy for our budget.”
He said but for South Korea, the package was somehow reasonable.
“The South Korea Airline is ready and willing to give us a 30% discount on tickets and the five-star hotels in that country have agreed to offer us their rooms for reasonable amounts,” said Merlo.
A member of the AIPS global Executive Committee and also the Secretary of the South Korea Sports Journalists, Hee Don Jung, who later presented the bid on his country’s behalf, said that the 2017 congress would take place in two cities which are Seoul and Pyeong Chang.
“We will provide 300 accommodations for the participants from 7 to 12 May 2017,” he said.
Jung reminded colleagues how Seoul played host to 300 participants for the 2011 congress as well noting that the congress five years on was a very big success.
He said participants would be accommodated at both the Lotte Hotel in Seoul and the Alpensia Hotel in Pyeong Chang.
“This is to allow for easy access for participants to visit all the stadiums currently under construction for the 2018 Winter Olympics,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the congress also gave the AIPS boss Merlo the go-ahead with the negotiations with the Abu Dhabi media for the next Sports Pearl Awards.