The 2016 Sustainable & Smart Tourism Forum (2016 SSTF) successfully took place in Seoul, South Korea, on October 10 and 11, 2016, under the theme “Co-creating Life-Changing Experiences".
The 2016 Sustainable & Smart Tourism Forum (2016 SSTF) was designed and organized by Seoul-based consulting firm Millennium Destinations, as a platform and a "playground" for gaining and sharing information and knowledge, skills and good practices in the fields of sustainable and smart tourism, as well as smart cities / destinations.
Under the theme “Co-creating Life-Changing Experiences”, the Forum gathered a global audience of around 100 professionals, CEOs, entrepreneurs, members of academia, government officials, diplomats, representatives of international organizations, NGOs, and other stakeholders involved in the travel, tourism, hospitality, and IT sectors, as well as urban planning, environmental management, Human Resources Development, etc.
During this two-day journey focused on creativity and diversity, which was marked by a significant presence of women and young people, participants were offered various opportunities to get a better understanding of issues related to smart and sustainable tourism, to explore new perspectives and trends in tourism innovation and marketing, and to discuss practical solutions to promote sustainable tourism production and consumption.
The first day of the 2016 SSTF featured three interactive sessions on “Sustainable & Smart Tourism: Markets, Opportunities, and Strategies”, “Sustainable & Smart Tourism Connecting People: Collaborative and Interactive Experiences”, and “Sustainable & Smart Tourism Destinations and Products: Exploring New Territories”.
2016 SSTF Speakers included entrepreneurs, managers, professors, promoters, movers, shakers, change makers, and influencers from the tourism, environmental engineering, and IT sectors, mostly Koreans and foreigners living in South Korea.
In order to reduce the environmental impact of the event, the 2016 SSTF was held right after the Global Sustainable Tourism Conference, in Suwon, South Korea, on Oct. 5 to 8, 2016, in order to maximize the benefits and optimize the impacts of attending both events.
Storytelling techniques, animations and short videos have been used to enhance the experience of the audience.
The sessions were followed by a round table about “Sustainable & Smart Tourism Standards, Labels, and Good Practices: Promoting Responsible Consumption & Production”, with contributions of the CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and the President of the World Association for Hospitality and Tourism Education & Training (AMFORHT), the main supporting organizations of the 2016 SSTF, among key panelists related to this topic.
At the end of this very intense and inspiring day, participants enjoyed a friendly networking cocktail.
The second day of the Forum started with a workshop on “Sustainable & Smart Trails”, with presentations about the “Wonhyo Pilgrimage Trail”, and the “Millennium Hikes” projects, both focusing on developing and promoting innovative mountain tourism products in South Korea and overseas. The program continued with field experiences, such as such as temple food lunch and temple stay activities, sponsored by the Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism.
Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations, mentioned that “organizing an international event with limited resources is a challenge, but if you adopt a smart and sustainable strategy, and if you focus on people, passion, and professionalism, you can make it happen.” She highlighted that “the 2016 SSTF is a compact event concentrating a lot of positive energy. Its main mission is to engage, entertain, and enlighten people who care about their environmental, societal and economic impacts, and who want to play an active role in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism values, and practices.”
Millennium Destinations made a point to invite small businesses and organizations, including startups, to participate actively in the Forum, not only as speakers and attendees, but also as members of the organizing team, for example Arirang Storytelling and Gastro Tour Seoul.
The even was also organized in preparation of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism, which has been declared by the United Nations (UN), and will be organized and implemented by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), “in collaboration with Governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations System, other international and regional organizations and other relevant stakeholders”.
Future editions of the Forum will be planned in connection with other tourism events.
Check the programe and titles of presentations here.
Get access to the presentations here
Facebook Page: 2016 Sustainable & Smart Tourism Forum
"Congratulations on a very successful and worthwhile conference!", Randy DURBAND, GSTC, CEO
"Thanks for inviting me to your first edition. I know how much time it takes to put something like that together, especially when you want to create something different that makes an impact. I very much enjoyed the content and the interaction", Jens THRAENHART, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, Executive Director
"Thanks for having taken the initiative to create this forum and all your support and deep investment in this very important part of our industry", Frédéric TAMBON, Atout France (France Tourism development Agency) Office in Korea, Director
"Thank you for organizing this very interesting forum. I hope it was the first of many to come", Louis HAAG, GreenBIM Engineering, Co-founder & CEO
"Thank you for this necessary and refreshing event, and for the opportunity to meet with people who care for a sustainable future. Looking forward to seeing you all at 2017 SSTF!", Stéphane MOT, SeoulVillage, creator
"Thanks again for this perfect organization, I really appreciated, and I also feel that something great is ongoing", Jean-Baptiste MATHIEU, Goodeos, CEO
About Smart and Sustainable Tourism
In order to strengthen their competitiveness and attractiveness, while optimizing the use of their human, cultural, and natural resources, tourism destinations are increasingly combining innovation and technologies with sustainable development strategies.
Particularly in Asia and Europe, sustainable and smart destinations have emerged to shape tomorrow’s tourism, through delivering enhanced experiences and interactions for the tourists, and maximizing the economic, social, and environmental benefits for the locals.
Due to its transversal and multidimensional dimensions, the tourism sector can contribute greatly to the smart revolution as a worldwide laboratory where innovative tools and experiences are co-created and co-evaluated.
The 2016 SSTF intended to provide a better understanding of the concept of sustainable & smart tourism, while exploring ways of maximizing its societal and business impacts.