On 26 November 2007, Yeosu won the organisation of the 2012 international exhibition by 77 votes to Tangiers' 63.
After Taejon in 1993 (Expo'93), Expo 2012 is the second international exhibition to be held in Korea, with the theme: "For Living Coasts and Oceans".
The exhibition will start on 12 May.
In economic terms, this exhibition is the largest international event in Korea's history. It has cost nearly 11 billion dollars and hopes to attract 12 million visitors.
The site chosen for the exhibition, with a surface area of 1.74 million m2, is located near the new port of Yeosu which is currently being transformed.
300 shows will be organised by the participating nations and organisations, as well as by the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions). With 106 countries and 7 international organisations participating, Yeosu Expo 2012 features a variety of exhibits and unique experiences on ocean themes.
There are 3 main attractions:
- The digital gallery, which is located between the exhibition halls and offers a unique virtual reality show thanks to high definition LED screens. For example, the illusion of walking on the ocean floor or looking at a sky full of stars.
- The Sky Tower, the largest organ in the world at 55 metres high, plays music using the power of wind and water.
- Finally the Big-O, the symbol of the 2012 Yeosu Expo. The O represents the first letter of the word "ocean" as well as the number 0 symbolising the beginning. This attraction features a sound, light, fire, and water show with a partially submerged stage in front of it hosting different artists to create a unique show.