On March 24, 2016, the French Tech Hub Seoul was launched at Yello Mobile's headquarters in Seoul, in presence French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc AYRAULT, who was on official visit to South Korea.
The French Tech Hub Seoul initiative had been announced last year during the State visit of French President François HOLLANDE to South Korea in November.
As a business community and a supporting network, the French Tech Hub Seoul will provide practical information to French startups already settled in Korea, and will be aimed at giving more exposure to young French entrepreneurs and startups willing to develop their businesses in South Korea, as well as Korea startups interested in the French market.
During his speech at the launching event, Minister AYRAULT stated that "France and Korea have somehow the same vision of progress. We are closer than some would imagine. […] The mission of the French Tech Hub we are inaugurating today is precisely to support young talents, young entrepreneurs who are engaged in an innovation project."
On the same day, Minster AYRAULT had been received by South Korean President PARK Geun-hye, who has highlighted the French Tech Hub Séoul as a model for cooperation between France and Korea.
This launching ceremony is part of the many events that are organized within the framework of the 2015-2016 France Korea-Year, celebrating the 130th aniversary of the diplomatic ties between both countries.
Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations, attended the launching event, as well as the reception hosted on the same day at the French embassy in South Korea for the French community.
Millennium Destinations is currently organizing the 2016 Seoul Smart Tourism Forum, which will take place later this year.
About French Tech Hub
Established in 2013, “La French Tech” is a public initiative which aims at improving the French startup ecosystem and developing its international attractiveness.
“La French Tech” refers to every action, every effort and everyone working for or with French startups, either in France or abroad. “French Tech Hub” is one of its main initiatives for internationalization.
Only a number of cities abroad are selected as French Tech Hubs, in the most dynamic and promising international metropolitan areas in terms of innovation.
As from March 2016, Seoul will be hosting the French Tech Hub along with New York, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, San Francisco and Moscow. French Tech Hub Seoul aims to create a dynamic community of partners on a free, open and nonbinding basis.
his community will come together online and offline, through an official website, SNS and several networking events.
French Tech Hub Seoul is not just an incubator, nor a program. It is an actual community where the French and Korean players of the startup ecosystem can exchange information, build partnership and even create business!
The goal of the initiative is to create a single window for international partnership to connect the two startup ecosystems.
It will bring together French and Korean partners, both public and private: entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, experts, large groups, media, and officials.
The 9th World Congress on Snow and Mountain Tourism took place in Sant Julia de Loria, Andorra, on 2-4 March, under the theme “Mountainlikers, Sport and Adventure: A Promising Combination”.
Co-organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Government of Andorra, the biennal event is aimed at discussing the challenges and opportunities in snow and mountain tourism as well as evaluating new business models and the needs to incorporate innovative and sustainable practices.
This year, more than thirty experts from Europe, the Americas and Asia, were invited to deliver presentations during six panel sessions covering various topics such as: promoting outdoor and adventure tourism products, hosting sport events, positioning adventure tourism in the global marketplace, etc.
Catherine Germier-Hamel, CEO of Seoul-based tourism consultancy Millennium Destinations participated as panelist in the Session 6 "Hiking: Re-invention of Hiking: An indispensable activity for mountain tourism", and made a presentation of the Millennium HiKes Project: "International cross-cultural hikes between France and South Korea”: exploring new horizons in mountain tourism".
As the boom of outdoor and nature-related hobbies has led to a renewed interest in hiking, the session longed to provide reasons for this recent development and tried to show future implications for mountain destinations.
This last session of the Congress was moderated by Ms. Cathy O’Dowd, inspirational Speaker, adventurer and author from South Africa, who welcomed the audience with a vibrant keynote speech. In particular, Cathy highlighted the importance for children to acquire the taste for hiking from a very young age, and also talked about the power of social media and Instagram stars in promoting mountain and hiking destinations.
Other panelist of the session included:
In particular, Catherine explained how hiking can be developed as as an international tourism product through focusing on cultural experiences and interrelations between hikers and the locals, based on a sustainable development approach. The use of smart technologies was also introduced as a way to enhance hikers' experiences, and to help host destinations to better understand the hikers' profiles, needs and expectations.
This 9th edition of the World Congress was a unique opportunity for the participants to get insights and recommendation on mountain tourism development and promotion, for exemple regarding the life-cycle of mountain tourism products.
Youtube video of session 6 here.
All presentations and conclusions here.