On April 4, 2018, Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations had a meeting with Sophia PARK, Senior Manager at the Glocal Empowerment Department of the Governors Association of Korea (GAOK).
Together, they evoked twinning projects and agreements between French and Korean local authorities, and how sustainable tourism development could add value and bring benefits to local communities within this framework.
As of today, 13 twinning / sister cities agreements have been signed between French and Korean cities and regions/provinces: Rouen (Normandy) and Jeju cities (2004), Nice (Côte d'Azur) and Daejeon Cities (2005), Limoges and Ichon Cities (2015), Aquitaine Region and North Gyeongsang Province (2011), Alsace Region and North Gyeongsang Province (1999), Megeve Commune (Auvergne- Rhône-Alpes) and Taebaek City (Gangwon Province) (2008), Evian Commune (Auvergne- Rhône-Alpes) and Muju County (North Jeolla Province) (2010), Ile-de-France Region and Gyeonggi Province (2016), Versailles (Ile-de-France) and Gyeongju (North Gyeongsang Province) Cities (1987), Issy-lès-Moulineaux City (Ile-de-France) and Guro district (Seoul Metropolitan City) (2005), Paris and Seoul Metropolitan Cities (1991), Nantes (Pays de la Loire) and Suncheon (South Jeolla Province) Cities (2009), and Sanary-sur-Mer City (Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur) and Hongcheon County (Gangwon Province) (1986).
GAOK was established in 1999 to contribute to the balanced development of regions nation-wide as well as foster healthy local autonomy through promotion of mutual exchange and cooperation among metropolitan cities and provinces, discussion on matters of common interest and support on local government international affairs.
On the occasion of the Fête de la Francophonie, the annual celebration of French language around the world, Seoul-based international hiking group Millennium Hikers organized the second edition of its « Francophonie en Mouvement », or “Francophonie in Motion”, an urban hike aimed at promoting a dynamic practice of French language in the context of sports and outdoor leisure.
The event was also an opportunity to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inspire action through the message “Leaving No One Behind”.
Amb. Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of the ST-EP Foundation and UN SDGs Advocate, supported this initiative through her International Charity Foundation headquartered in Seoul.
Other supporters included Geeum Architects, GreenBIM Engineering, PlayForest and Yec'Hed Mat French restaurant.
The hike took place in Namsan Park, located in the geographic center of Seoul, on March 25, 2018.
Millennium Hikers was launched in 2016 by Millennium Destinations as an initiative aimed at promoting sustainable and smart hiking while fostering positive social, environmental and economic impacts of on hiking destinations, and sharing sustainable, intercultural hiking experiences between local hosts and their guests.
Facebook Group of Millennium Hikers: www.facebook.com/groups/993624007387265/
A delegation of the Korea Forest Service - KFS undertook a mission in Indonesia on March 4 to 8, 2018, as part of its bilateral cooperation activities.
The 8-member delegation of KFS, an independent agency specializing in forestry that is overseen by the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was led by Mr. Ki Yeon KO, Director General of the International Affairs Bureau of KFS. It included two participants from the private sector, Ms. Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Seoul-based Millennium Destinations, who participated as Ecotourism / Community-Based Tourism Expert, and Mr. KIM Hyungsoo, CEO of social enterprise TreePlanet. Mr. CHO Baeksu from the Korea Forest Welfare Institute, a public organization affiliated with KFS, was also part of the delegation.
On March 6, 2018, the delegation, together with representatives of the Korean embassy in Indonesia and the Korea Indonesia Forest Center (KIFC), attended the opening ceremony of the TWA Gunung Tunak Community-Based Forest Recreation - Ecotourism Center, located in the Southern part of Lombok island, in Mertak, Central Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara Province.
250 people attended the ceremony, including high-level officials representing the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and local authorities.
Tunak Center Project was designed in 2015 within the framework of the bilateral cooperation between KFS and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, following the signature of a Letter of Intent in July 2013. In this LoI, both parties agreed (between others) to make joint efforts to enhance cooperation in the field of ecotourism, and to encourage a better relationship through exchange of relevant experts and officials in ecotourism.
In October 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding on Forest Recreation and Ecotourism was signed in the presence of the Presidents of the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Indonesia, on the occasion of a state visit commemorating 40-year diplomatic relation between both countries. As a continuation, a basic plan for establishing a forest recreation and eco-tourism center and conducting a capacity-building program (2015~2018) was developed.
Unlike its neighbor Bali, Lombok has been relatively preserved from mass tourism, although it has gained increasing popularity over the past few years.
Located in the same region as Tunak Center, the upcoming opening of Mandalika Resort in Kuta Bay should contribute to bring even more domestic and foreign tourists. The resort has been designed to promote sustainable tourism and will include an eco-park. It will also be a center for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions). Also see: What Experts Are Saying About Lombok’s $3B Mandalika Project
Due to its abundant forest resources, biodiversity, and cultural assets, Lombok offer a suitable environment for ecotourism. As poverty levels are high in the island, and particular in the Southern part, local communities would directly or indirectly benefit from forest recreation tourism / ecotourism development. The population of Mertak represents around 8,000 people, mostly farmers and fishermen, living in 21 villages.
Through this bilateral cooperation on forest recreation and ecotourism between KFS and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, several ecotourism programs and experiences will be developed over the next months, with the main purpose to bring tangible and intangible benefits for the local community.
Tunak Ecotourism Park / Center has the potential to be developed as a model for forest recreation tourism, ecotourism and community-based tourism in the region.
On March 7, a visit was organized for the representatives of Millennium Destinations, Tree Planet and the Korea Forest Welfare Institute at the Sentul Eco-Edu Tourism Forest center in Bogor, West Java, 60 km away from Jakarta, or 1.5 hour drive.
The SEETF opened in July 2013 and covers an area of 630 ha. It is managed by Perum Perhutani, which assigned a manager with 10 staffs. The project was implemented under the supervision of the Korea Indonesia Forest Center. More details here.
On Feb. 28, 2018, Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations, attended a tourism conference organized by the Korean city of Goyang and Loudoun County in the American State of Virginia, together with selected travel and local development professionals in Korea.
Ms. Beth M. H. Erickson, President & CEO of Visit Loudoun gave a presentation titled "A Little Bit of Loudoun, Virginia", and introduced the various experiences and benefits the county can offer to visitors before announcing that a fam tour would be organized in October 2018.
Loudoun county, DC's Wine Country, has a Sister City partnership with Goyang City, as well as Gangneung City in Korea. Gangneung has hosted Olympic competitions during PyeongChang 2018.
Also read: Loudoun delegation heading to the Olympics to promote tourism, business opportunities
The last Green Drinks Seoul (GDS) took place on Feb. 27, 2018.
For its first session of the year, the green networking event focused on eco-construction and the integration of biodiversity into real estate projects.
After opening remarks by GDS co-organizers Hortense SERRET, Postdoctoral Researcher at Ehwa University, and Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations, Mr. Seong-Hun KIM, Korean Architect & Urban Planner delivered a presentation on a New Eco-Village Concept. Mr. Louis HAAG, GDS Co-organizer and Director of Seoul-based GreenBIM Engineering introduced the green building rating system LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, in connection with this innovative and sustainable project.
The event gathered over 60 professionals involved and/or having an interest in sustainability and environmental issues, and was organized with the support of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea - ECCK and the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Green Drinks Seoul page: www.greendrinks.org/Seoul
Facebook Group: GreenDrinksSeoul
For more information, feel free to contact us: email@example.com
GDS organizing team:
Se Jeong KIM
TCEB introduces Thailand as a Unique Bleisure Destination and launches ‘Meet by Design’ Promotional Campaign for the Korean’s Meetings and Incentives Market
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Meetings & Incentives Department, undertook its strategic Sales Mission once again in South Korea last month, and Millennium Destinations was in charge of organizing it.
The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Meetings & Incentives Department, undertook its strategic Sales Mission once again in South Korea last week.
On January 30th, 2018, TCEB hosted a business seminar in Seoul in close collaboration with Team Thailand in Korea, including Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airway International, branded as “Thailand CONNECT Korea: Your Vibrant Journey to Business Success” which gathered over 40 key Korean MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Convention and Exhibition) agents interested in expanding their business events in Thailand.
In her welcoming speech, Ms. Supanich Thiansing, Senior Manager representing the Director of the Meetings and Incentives Department, highlighted TCEB’s intention “to build on the strong and long-standing relationship between the Thai and Korean MICE sectors” on this special occasion.
As TCEB identified Korea as a key Asian MICE market because of the growth of inbound MICE visitors, an inaugural Korea Sales Mission took place in February 2016 to build on the bureau’s focus on Korean business events market, this networking event was an opportunity for TCEB to unveil its brand new 2018 promotionalcampaign“Meet by Design” comprises three components: MEET NOW, MEET SMART and MEET MEGA, each offering a tailored menu of incentives and support for groups bringing their events to Thailand.Other members of the Team Thailand, the Seoul offices of the Tourism Authority of Thailandand Thai Airways International, also had a chance to introduce their product and support schemes to the audience.
To showcase “Unique Bleisure (business + leisure) Experiences”, several Thai-themed activities have been prepared to entertain and engage the participants,including a storytelling performance on bleisure travel, cooking demonstrations and shoulder massage and a lucky draw with prizes offered by Team Thailand, including a return ticket from Seoul to Bangkok.
Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) - the government leading edge agency - has been the key to success for a wide range of global & regional business events since 2004. With our key strategic model, Growth Driver; TCEB works as your strategic business partner, delivers creative ideas, and provides solutions from our capable resources for every scale and various customised business events.
TCEB has formed numerous collaborations and networks linked to open up grand new chapters of business opportunities, and to strategically enhance every business success with special care that will spur lasting advancement and achievements. Our goal is to equipping business events industry at national, regional, and global stage for continuous development, long-term growth and sustainable success.
TCEB, 독특한 블레저 목적지로 태국을 소개하고 한국의 미팅, 인센티브 시장을 대상으로 한 'Meet by Design' 프로모션 캠페인 공개
지난주, 태국컨벤션전시뷰로 (TCEB)의 미팅 & 인센티브 부서는 또 한 번, 한국에서 전략적 세일즈 미션을 시행했다.
2018년 1월 30일, TCEB는 태국관광청, 국제타이항공 등 '팀 타일랜드'와 긴밀한 협업 하에 서울에서 "타일랜드 커넥트 코리아: 비즈니스 성공을 향한 활기찬 여정"이라는 주제로 비즈니스 세미나를 개최하였으며, 태국 내 비즈니스 행사 개최에 관심 있는 한국 마이스 (미팅, 인센티브, 컨벤션 및 전시) 업계 주요 관계자 40여명이 참가해 자리를 빛냈다.
미팅 & 인센티브 부서의 수파닛 티엔싱 (Supanich Thiansing) 부장은 부서 총괄이사를 대신한 환영사에서 TCEB가 이번 행사를 맞아 "태국과 한국의 마이스 산업 간의 견조하고 오랜 파트너십을 앞으로도 꾸준히 가꿔나가겠다"는 의지를 밝혔다.
마이스 관련 한국인 인바운드 방문객수가 증가함에 따라 TCEB는 한국을 아시아의 주요 마이스 시장으로 선정하고 한국 비즈니스 이벤트 시장에 집중하고자2016년 2월, 최초로 한국 세일즈 미션을 단행하였다. 이번 네트워킹 행사에서 TCEB는 2018년도 신규 프로모션 캠페인인 "Meet by Design"을 공개했는데, 본 캠페인은 크게 MEET NOW, MEET SMART, MEET MEGA 등 세 가지 내용으로 구성되어 있다. 각 프로그램을 통해 TCEB는 태국에서 행사를 개최하는 그룹들에 맞춤형 인센티브 메뉴와 다양한 지원 내용을 제공한다. 팀 타일랜드의 일원인 태국관광청 서울사무소와 국제타이항공 역시 본 행사를 통해 참가자들에게 자신들의 상품과 지원 내용에 대해 설명하는 기회를 가졌다.
"독특한 블레저 (비즈니스 + 레저) 여행"을 선보이기 위해, 태국 블레저 여행 경험담 스토리텔링, 쿠킹쇼, 태국 마사지, 서울-방콕 간 왕복 항공권을 비롯해 팀 타일랜드가 준비한 푸짐한 경품 행운권 추첨 등 태국 테마 프로그램이 다채롭게 준비되어 참가자들에게 유익하고 즐거운 시간을 선사했다.
태국컨벤션전시뷰로 (TCEB)는 선도적 정부기관으로, 2004년 이래로 다양한 국제 & 역내 비즈니스 이벤트의 성공적인 개최에 중추적인 역할을 수행해 오고 있다. 주요 전략 모델, 성장 동인을 바탕으로 TCEB는 전략적인 파트너로서 창의적인 아이디어를 제공하고 뷰로의 역량과 재원을 활용하여 다양한 규모의 비즈니스 행사에 맞춤형 솔루션을 제공하고 있다.
TCEB는 다채로운 협력관계와 네트워크를 형성함으로써 새로운 사업 기회를 창출하고, 지속적인 발전을 위한 전략적 지원활동을 통해 모든 행사의 성공을 담보하고 있다. TCEB의 궁극적인 목적은 비즈니스 이벤트 업계를 국내, 역내, 해외 무대에서 계속해서 발전시켜나가고, 장기적 성장과 지속 가능한 성공으로 이끄는데 있다.
Media contact: 언론 담당자:
TCEB 미팅, 인센티브 부서| + 662 694 6000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
캐서린 게르미어-하멜|PR 컨설턴트| + 82 10 9497 0343 | email@example.com
By Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL
(edited on Nov. 3, 2017)
Last month, I was invited to take part in a bird watching fam tour organized by Ecotourism Taiwan 台灣生態旅行促(President: Victor YU) with the generous support of the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration, Taiwan Tourism Bureau (Director: Cheng-Neng HSU), as a representative of PlayForest, a Seoul-based collaborative travel platform specialized in nature-based experiences.
As a travel enthusiast and a nature lover, I was particularly looking forward to discovering Taiwan, one of the many islands that are at the top of my wish list. I was equally excited at the prospect of exploring Formosa's culinary diversity. On the other hand, I was not really keen on spending my whole time watching birds since I had always considered this activity to be quite restrictive and obsessive, if not boring. I had even resolved not to bring binoculars (which I had not anyway) even though I was convinced they would have made my birding experience much more enjoyable. But then again, as a tourism marketing specialist, what interested me most was in fact watching bird watchers, and understanding better their different motivations, attitudes, behaviors, and backgrounds.
Our tour group was composed of bird watching enthusiasts from eight Asian countries, namely China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam (although being French I was technically representing Korea), including tour operators, travel agents, bird guides, reporters and media representatives. While all of them obviously shared the same passion for birds and birding, they had many different ways of expressing them. I believe, and I was told, that Asian birders have different profiles and approaches than Western birders. I need to do some research to really fathom what this means but I assume that Westerners have long been THE birdwatchers, which suggest that they have set birding standards they view as universal, and may therefore think they are entitled to some "ownership".
Additionally, and based on what I heard, it appears that some Asian birders are very competitive and more focused on performance and the number of birds they succeed to watch and shoot (with their expensive photographic equipment). More than a simple hobby, birding sometimes appears as a luxury activity and a marker of social status. All members of the group had a Smartphone (well, we live in the 21st century) and a standard camera, which tend to replace the traditional binoculars, but some group members were also equipped with impressive (although I pretended I was not really impressed) lenses. I mean, you almost need a wheelbarrow to carry them (in my case).
The trip lasted 5 days (Oct. 25 to 30, 2017) and led us to many different birding spots on the Treasure Island, including Dasyueshan (Great Snow Mountain) National Forest Recreational Area, Taichung, Aogu Wetlands, Budai, and Alishan in ChiaYi county, Yushan National Park, the Black-faced Spoonbill Ecology Exhibition Hall and Conservation and Management Center in Tainan, as well as Xindian and Sanxia Districts in Taipei. Needless to say that without the highly professional support of our two local bird guides Mei Fong LIAO and Greg GUH, together with the exceptional skills of our bus driver (we had to have a lot of bus during that trip), it would have been impossible to locate the best places to watch the famous, endemic Mikado Pheasant, Swinhoe's Pheasant, or Yellow Tit, and the legendary Black-faced Spoonbill, just to name a few. Check here for more birds in Taiwan.
Although my bird watching experience had been quite limited so far (and it still is, Taiwan had so many things to offer than it is difficult to keep focus on birds only), I truly enjoyed this fantastic adventure, and I mostly took pictures of anything around me, and especially birders, but birds. In some ways, I feel that I am in some ways a member of the Asian bird watching community.
This tour was also an opportunity to attend in Tainan the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2017 Taiwan Birdathon organized by the South West Coast Scenic Area. For 24 hours, a total of 25 teams from Taiwan from Yulin, Chiayi and Tainan. and 5 countries joined this annual international bird watching race with Taiwan birdwatchers. It was very encouraging to see many young people and families with children among the participants.
Stunning landscapes, luscious nature, energizing mountains and hot springs, intoxicating seaside, delicious local food. What else? A little more culture would have been the cherry on the cake but the programme was already quite intense. Most important, I will never forger all the wonderful moments I have shared with my lovely Asian birders who truly welcomed me as their peer.
Eventually, I may have caught the bird watching bug. I am convinced birding can be a fun and inspiring experience to be offered to all tourists and not only crazily passionate birders, as long as it is properly guided and interpreted and accompanied with other (ecotourism) activities. The role of local guides should be highlighted and more training and capacity building should be carried out so that they can accommodate the needs of visitors form overseas. How about starting an Asian Bird Guide Academy?
So the next step will be to get binoculars and attend the 8th Asian Bird Fair to be hosted in Ulsan, South Korea, on November, 17-21, 2017. And in 2018, the Asian Bord Fair will take place in Taiwan.
All pictures can be found here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4UOIUbbOzC5fwo1A2
Birdwatching Tourism and Wild Bird Protection in Taiwan, by Victor YU, President of Ecotourism Taiwan
Asia Pacific Ecotourism Trends & Sustainable Tourism Development by Gaia Discovery’s publisher Mallika Naguran.
Based on the assumption that tourists can be considered as temporary yet increasingly engaged citizens, and considering the importance of culture in tourism growth and its contribution to the congestion of many tourist destinations, I was very eager to attend the City Conference which took place on Oct. 31, 2017 at the Seoul Citizen's Hall under the theme "Arts and the City", within the framework of the Connected City project.
This very informative and captivating conference was hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Design Foundation, and was organized by Producer Group Dot, the Urban Regeneration Center of Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Walk, and the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
Through gathering Korean and British speakers - creators and curators - working together to connect local communities in the city, the conference was aimed at sharing experiences and views on the rapid changes affecting urban environments, their impacts on the daily lives of the citizens, and how the arts should (or could) reflect this constant evolution. The event also intended to discuss the role played by the arts and technology in the development and culture of a city, and how they can invite citizens to think about the city in more diverse, different and inclusive ways.
Whereas the Sustainable & Smart Tourism Forum is about to become a full-fledged organization, with chapters in Korea and China, the City Conference was a great source of inspiration. However, I have noticed that the words "smart" and "sustainability" have not been often used during this conference, suggesting they may not have been really assimilated in the cultural and artistic spheres. Talking about public art in Seoul, one of the speakers suggested that artists are not taught about global issues.
The programme of the conference included two parts:
The first part was titled Five Ways to Explore the city and was moderated by Mr. Ilwoo Joo, Publisher and Director of Eum Books. It featured five presentations:
1. Culture in Cities - Why does it matter? by Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor, Culture and Creative Industries, London.
During her presentation, Justine reminded that culture is all about human connections, whereas technology gives the illusion of connectivity. She introduced the case of London, as a leading creative capital, and the most Googled city for culture. Culture is actually the number one reason for people to visit London. Culture gives the distinctiveness and creativity of the city, as well as its diversity of people and ideas. According to her, culture offers solutions through the creative economy and contents will be the key (I guess they already are). Creative jobs are jobs of the future and artists will play a strong role. She quoted Albert Einstein: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
Justine founded and is chair of the World Cities Culture Forum, an influential network of 35 global cities championing the pivotal role of culture.
2. Seoul Biennale, or Committing to Place, by Hyungmin Pai, Director of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. After declaring that places are created not by buildings but by human commitments, Hyungmin introduced the Biennale and its innovative concepts and projects, and how they can be part of a place-making process. He stated that commitment to a place is not confined to those who take permanent residence.
He cited the examples of the Pyongyang Sallim, an accurate recreation of a typical apartment in North Korea's capital city, introducing the daily life of ordinary people in the North Korean capital, the Sewoon basement project, an exhibition located under the new Sewoon Shopping Center that has been opened in September 2017, as the regeneration of the once mecca of Korea’s electronics industry, or the Donuimun Museum Village that has been open on the occasion of the biennale.
"The Seoul biennale is not only an exhibition about the fixed spaces of the contemporary city but also a testing ground for the commons. It is not only about the commons as an entity but also a small but intricate part of the process of "commonning".
Hyungmin Pai, a historian, critic, and curator, is profesor at the University of Seoul.
3. Different Approaches for Development of Cultural Identity in the City by Kyu Choi, Creative Director of UK/Korea 2017–18, British Council
Choi evoked different approaches for development of cultural identity in the city, highlighting that "over the past few years, [Seoul] has pursued various policies that have evolved from 'growth and development' to 'sharing, coexistence and cooperation'". He insisted on the importance sustainability to change the city in a healthier way, and the necessity for the role of artists to change to become communicators and innovators, while taking more risks and using more their imagination.
He also evoked the need to engage in grassroots activities, and to move from outer space to inner space.
Choi mentioned three points to consider when approaching the city as a creator: diversity, inclusiveness, and sustainability, and also evoked the different challenges and long-term problems to overcome that are often linked to one-sided, top-down policies.
4. Arts and Public realm – The Illuminated River by Sarah Gaventa, Director of the Illuminated River
Gaventa introduced the Illuminated River project and stressed the necessity to listen to people and to reach a consensus between all stakeholders involved in such complex project, adding that it has encouraged "new thinking and more partnership working, unlike many cities which only have one public body to consult."
5. Future of Public Arts in the City of Seoul by Kyuchul Ahn, Professor, Korea National University of Art.
The presentation of Prof. Ahn focused on public art in Korea, and the need for new imagination. For him, there are too many public artworks in Seoul, and some of them are actually rejected by the citizens since they are not proposed but imposed and constantly exposed. The issue is getting even more controversial when those pieces are financed by taxpayers. According to him, "we should quell our desire to put our name in order for public art to not be just an unnecessary appendix added to the city, we must imagine a new public art as a public space for the next generation, as a place where public life can unfold." Prof. Ahn called for more storytelling.
This first part was concluded by a discussion and Q&A session.
The second part featured Creatives' Views of the City, with presentations by artists, producers and curators from Connected City, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism and Busan Inter-city arts projects, who shared their experiences, perspectives, visions and sometimes challenges and frustrations.
This session was moderated by Jisun Park, Creative Producer of Connected City.
Su-in Yang, Curator of Walking the Commons, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Hilary O'Shaughnessy, Producer of Playable City
Suna Choe, Producer of Maker City – Seogyedong
Nick Luscombe, Producer of Musicity
Miryoung Oh, Producer of Storytelling City
Seungwook Lee, Director of Busan-Sheffield Inter-city Arts Project.
This second part was followed by an open discussion between the presenters.
During this conference, it came to my mind that overtourism often happens (and/or is felt) in places of cultural and artistic significance, and particularly UNESCO-listed sites, where it seems there is a clash over ownership between the locals and the visitors. Being overexposed, such sites are therefore threatened. But can we really blame tourists for willing to enjoy our common world heritage ?
Through creating new artistic and cultural attractions in less visited neighborhoods, in collaboration with local citizens and without disturbing their daily lives or displacing them, it might be possible to divert the excessive flows of tourists and visitors while revitalizing some declining areas. The main purpose is not necessarily to gentrify or even beautify, but to give more exposure to places that have been been kept in the shadow of more popular and appealing landmarks, and to generate new income and job opportunities for them. Leading tourist to the outskirts or even the countryside (think about land art) by the means of cultural / art sites and routes, permanent or temporary, can also be an option. And of course, quality over quantity should be the driving principle.
As a foreign resident of Seoul since 2005, I have witnessed many urban development / renewal projects that made me react more or less enthusiastically or sarcastically, according to the mood of the day. Cheonggyecheon Stream, Gwanghwamun Plaza, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul 7017, Seoul 20, etc. All in all, I believe those alterations or constructions have been planned for the best interests of the city (if not the financial interests of its citizens), and are now part of its heritage (and not only a legacy for the mayors).
In total contrast with Paris where I lived during three years before being relocated to Korea, the capital of Korea did not strike me at first sight with the beauty or the majesty of its architecture and monuments, but it rather amused me with its "Legoland look", its colorful cacophony of structures, and its heterogeneous mix of old-fashioned and avant-garde buildings. I was actually quite amused by this playground for adults dotted with a plethora of kitschy public art creations.
Very quickly, I had resolved to explore the streets of Seoul (together with its belly) and take pictures of those artworks located at the foot of almost all buildings. Even more rapidly, I gave up this Herculean initiative due to the magnitude repetitiveness of the task. Not only these pieces were ubiquitous but they were also boringly similar, to the point I assumed they were the products of only a handful of artists. I had called this project "Seoul 0.7", corresponding to the percentage of the construction cost to be allocated by the building owners to artworks for public view. See article about Public Art in Korea here and "a few" pictures below.
Having said that, I have barely complained about new additions in the Seoul landscape, in spite of some controversies sparked among my fellow citizens, foreigners included. Not only I did not have enough information about the background and budget of such projects but also I was just satisfied to notice how Seoul was becoming an increasingly livable, eco-friendly, and "aesthetically acceptable" (well according to my personal tastes) city. In many ways, I believe foreign tourists and visitors have different perspectives than local residents about culture and art in the city. And in spite of having taking roots in Seoul for over a decade, it took me many years to abandon my tourist mindset, which probably helps me keep a fresh perspective of Seoul urban development.
More info about Connected City here.
Also read the Creative Responses to Sustainability report published by the Asia Europe Foundation - ASEF
On Oct. 18, 2017, Millennium Destinations was invited to a familiarization tour hosted by Gastro Tour Seoul 서울 가스트로 투어 to experience its newly launched culinary expedition, the Seoullo 7017 - Joongrimdong Circular Tasting Tour.
This tour is one of the three courses designed by Gastro Tour Seoul starting from one of the 17 sections of Seoullo 7017 or 서울로 7017, the new "green" pedestrian walkway around Seoul station.
Inaugurated in May this year, Seoullo 7017 was designed as an inclusive and participatory project aimed at transforming a disused overpass dated from the 70s into a tourism and leisure area connected to several local neighborhoods.
The tour included 6 food stops with hearty tasting portions of yummy food, prepared by local restaurants with local ingredients such as: fried pork and jajangmyeon (black sauce noodles), budae jiggae (army base soup), fried rice with mussels, fried dubu (tofu), nato, assorted jeons (pancakes) and marinated crab, sashimis and grilled fish.
This tour will also offer you the opportunity to discover the charming Jungnim-dong district, and have a look at its traditional shops, blooming coffee shops and eateries, and fascinating gentrification process.
More about the Seoullo 7017 project: http://seoullo7017.seoul.go.kr/
Book the Gastro Tour Seoul here
More pictures of the fam tour here
Millennium Destinations proudly supports the "Beyond the Great Horizon" initiative, aimed at raising awareness of the contribution of tourism to the global development agenda, though this quite enthralling audiovisual creation.
Caution: watching this video repeatedly can lead to benign addiction.
Pacific Asia Media release - October 2017:
BEYOND THE GREAT HORIZON
Travel. Enjoy. Respect.
As part of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (IY2017), a new video with a focus on Asia Pacific has been released to help convey the message of how tourism can contribute to the complexity of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Tourism as a pillar in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It can contribute to all 17 Goals through its impacts on fighting poverty, promoting decent jobs, improving gender equality and the livelihoods of young people or the fight against climate change.
The short (3.5 minutes) video was the concept of Steve Noakes, a leading advocate for sustainable tourism in the Pacific Asia region and Dr. Ong Hong Peng, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia. In his new role as Chairman of the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage, (ASWARA) Malaysia, DrOng was able to draw upon the creative and technical skills of the Kuala Lumpur based academy.
The idea evolved from the 11th UNWTO Asia Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy organized in collaboration with the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority from 20 to 23 of March in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The theme of the four-day training program was "Sustainable Tourism for Development", in support of the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The training program involving senior executives from some 18 Asia Pacific nations was led by Steve Noakes and Dr. Ong Hong Peng.
Steve Noakes said: ‘While in some key parts of the travel and tourism industry progress has been made towards more sustainable, cleaner and low carbon development of the sector within its complex supply chains, there remains much more to accomplish.’
He considers that in most destinations, there needs to be a wider understanding and uptake of more sustainable approaches in planning, policy and implementation in tourism design and operations.
He added: ‘There’s also the opportunity to engage consumers in actively promoting the shift towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns’
For further comment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org".