As part of the development of its activities in Latin America, Millennium Destinations took part in the Colombia Nature Travel Mart 2020 and had a series of promising matchmaking meetings with local travel businesses.
The 8th edition of the Colombia Nature Travel Mart was held virtually on Nov. 17 to 20, 2020. It was organized by the Government of Colombia at the head of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and ProColombia, with the support of FONTUR, the National Tourism Fund of Colombia.
Against this background, ProColombia's office in Korea invited Millennium Destinations to participate in the Macrorrueda Colombia Travel Mart (CTM) 2020 as a Seoul-based impact company specialized in business services and solutions for sustainable tourism development and marketing.
From Nov. 18 to 20, Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations met a dozen of Colombian travel businesses, including eco-friendly accommodation providers such as eco-lodges, eco-resorts, glampings, etc. as well as travel agencies, tour operators, hosts of nature-based experiences including bird watching, whale watching, hiking / trekking, etc.
She took this opportunity to introduce the two flagship solutions of Millennium Destinations: Herost, online travel guide and index promoting sustainable destinations, experiences and practices, and Millennium Hikers, global initiative using hiking, walking and outdoor activities as tools for local development and community empowerment. Following those promising discussions, some offerings have already been listed in the Herost platform which has selected Colombia has pilot country.
Sustainable Tourism in Colombia
Whereas sustainable tourism has become a top priority for Colombia, nature tourism has been been developed as a key activity to reactivate the economy. It now stands as the segment with the greatest potential in the country that has the second highest level of biodiversity in the world, after Brazil. "The new tourism points towards responsible nature trips that are respectful of destinations, and that is precisely the offer that Colombian entrepreneurs are going to show international companies in this macro-round,” explained Flavia Santoro, ProColombia President.
The overseas markets that participated in this 2020 edition were Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. And the participating Colombian departments were Cundinamarca, Valle del Cauca, Bolívar, Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas, Magdalena, Quindío, Santander, Nariño, Casanare, Putumayo, Chocó, Atlántico, Meta, Tolima, Amazonas, Huila and La Guajira.
On Dec. 3, 2020, Catherine attended a lecture on the National Park of Chiribiquete by Carlos Castaño Uribe, hosted by the Colombian Embassy in Korea.
Tourism in Colombia
Colombia's National Sustainable Tourism Policy (in Spanish)
On Nov. 11, 2020, eminent representatives of the global tourism community gathered online and shared valuable insights during a forum co-hosted by the World Association for Tourism & Hospitality Training and Education - AMFORHT and the Korean daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo.
Whereas the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the global travel and tourism industry very hard, and especially the MICE (Meeting Incentives Conventions and Exhibition) segment, the 2020 Asian Leadership Conference - ALC exceptionally took place online, on November 11. This 11th edition of the flagship annual event hosted by the Chosun Ilbo was initially planned in Seoul in May 2020, in commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the leading Korean daily newspaper.
Over the past years, the ALC program has included a special track dedicated to tourism. This year, the Chosun Ilbo invited the World Association for Tourism & Hospitality Training and Education - AMFORHT to hold a special webinar on "Practical Solutions for Travel & Tourism in Post-COVID-19 Era". This was also an opportunity for AMFORHT to announce its upcoming 24th World Forum, initially scheduled in May 2020 Seoul during ALC.
Moderated by Philippe FRANCOIS, AMFORHT President, and Young-Shim DHO, Chairperson of UN SDGs Advocates Alumni Group and Former Chairperson of UNWTO’s ST-EP Foundation, the webinar gathered a diverse panel of leaders of the global travel and tourism industry, including:
As the issues of employment and training are high on all agendas, the webinar focused on delivering a message of hope and solidarity to all people who have contributed to the success and health of the travel and tourism industry over the past decades.
In his welcoming address, PARK Yang-woo, Minister of Sports, Culture and Tourism, Republic of Korea, mentioned that: “In order to have sustainable tourism, the technology must be kept active so we can adapt to the new realities, and we have to have a strong support for the tourism industry."
“Keeping abreast with this trend, our Ministry has actively adapted the new technologies, especially the adaption of the new technology and the digital technologists who will secure the safety of passengers and at the same time develop pleasures for the tourists to enjoy. By developing a lot of interesting contents, the Ministry will continue to keep pace with the global changes so that the tourism industry can take leadership in the post-COVID world."
“Crisis can be turned into an opportunity for progress and innovation, and in a sense, I believe that the Asian Leadership Conference will also give us a guiding light for us to move.
The organization of the webinar was coordinated by Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL, Founder & CEO of Millennium Destinations, AMFORHT Delegate for Korea and Secretary-General of the Organizing Committee of the 24th AMFORHT World Forum in 2021.
Concurrently, the Seoul International Travel Industry Fair - SITIF took place offline on Nov. 9 to 12 at SETEC Convention Center with a reduced participation of 140 exhibitors from 37 countries compared to the previous years, while it was decided to hold the Seoul International Travel Mart - SITM online, on Nov. 6 to 27.
On Nov. 10, 2020, Skål International Seoul elected its 2021 Board at its Annual General Meeting.
The Members of the new Board are:
As the first French woman holding a position in the Skål International Seoul Board, Catherine GERMIER-HAMEL took this opportunity to praise Kamala HARRIS who made history as the first female, first black and first Asian-American US vice-president-elect.
Headquartered in Spain, Skål International is the world's largest global network of Tourism Professionals promoting Tourism, Business and Friendship worldwide since 1934. Its members are Directors and Executives of the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality sectors. As of today, Skål International in present in 101 countries and has more than 13,500 members.
The SKÅL International Seoul club was established in 1969 and has been the most prestigious and dynamic travel and tourism club in Korea.
On Nov. 11, 2020, the CEO of Skål International, Ms. Daniela OTERO, participated in a webinar on "Practical Solutions for Travel & Tourism in Post-COVID-19 Era" co-hosted by the World Association for Tourism & Hospitality Training and Education - AMFORHT and the Chosun Ilbo, the Korean leading daily newspaper, during the 11th Asian Leadership Conference.