2023 World Tea Culture Industry Conference

Oct 12, 2023

The World Tea Culture Industry Conference took place on 13 and 14 May 2023 at the Changwon Convention Center in Changwon City, South Gyeongsang Province, Republic of Korea. Additional events were held on 15 and 16 May at Hadong Ssanggyesa Temple.

Culture Masters, Inc. cooperated with several organizations to help ensure that the meeting was a success. The staff and leadership of the following bodies helped make the event possible:

  • Korean Tea Culture Association (Host)
  • World Tea Culture Industry Conference Organizing Committee (Organizer)
  • Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism;·Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs;·Ministry of Food and Drug Safety Rural Development Administration; and South Gyeongsang Province, and Changwon Special City (Sponsors)
  • Seven City Korea (Operations)
  • Dong-A Ilbo LG Hellovision (Media)


Representatives from Australia, China, Japan, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, Vietnam presented in person or via video. For the first day, representatives focused on tea culture as an industry, focusing mostly on its current state and development strategies for the future. On the second day, the focus shifted more toward tea as an intangible cultural asset, and the speakers talked more about tea in relation to cultural events and rituals, especially with a concentration on some of the social aspects surrounding tea as a cultural element. Download the rapporteur notes.

Although the combination of industry and culture may initially seem unconventional, this unifying theme lays the foundation for developing a multinational nomination file to register tea culture on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. As a culmination of the conference, the Changwon Declaration on Promoting World Tea Culture was signed by five key figures: Seong-Bae Ko (Korea Tea Culture Association), Alisher Ikramov (International Institute of Central Asian Studies), Seong-Yong Park (Culture Masters, Inc.), Eok-Kung Kim (International E-Sports Committee), and Nguyen Duc Tang (Center for Research and Promotion of Cultural Heritage). The declaration outlines the relationship of tea to communities as well as tea’s influence on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which are essential foundations in building a nomination dossier for UNESCO. 

A special session in the morning of the second day. The discussion primarily revolved around the importance of tea as a cultural element that can promote cultural tourism. In particular was the talk about possibly co-producing a Chinese-Korean drama based on the love story of King Gongmin and Princess Noguk during the thriving era of tea culture in Goryeo dynasty