Hooked on Hiking
Who does not like hiking ? Don't answer "me", we know what you did last summer (or even last weekend)!
That's a fact, the past years have seen a growing (or renewed) interest in outdoor activities across the world. Interestingly, the younger generations, and particularly Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) seem to drive this trend.
For example in Korea, where 70% of the land is covered with mountains, hiking has long been part of the culture and the national identity. Every weekend, almost all year round, the country's numerous trails have been crowded by millions of avid hikers, mostly in their 40s or 50s. However, young Koreans have traditionally not shared the same appetite as they basically viewed hiking as a social and professional obligation and therefore a chore.
The situation changed when hiking became a popular Instagrammable experience and "outdoor" became synonymous with "escape" and "relief" in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This recent fondness is not specific to Korea and in many countries, hiking is hip, as well as biking, camping, etc.
We can only praise the increasing popularity of outdoor recreational activities due to their many benefits for the mind and body. However, we should keep in mind that they may also have negative impacts on the local populations and environments if not properly supervised and controlled. Indeed, massive flows of hikers can not only be detrimental for the flora and fauna but also be a source of disturbance for the locals who may not be prepared to welcome crowds during off-peak season. On the other hand, hiking can be an engaging tool to promote responsible behaviors and sustainable practices.
Millennium Hikers promoting Inclusiveness
On October 3rd, 2021, Millennium Destinations organized a special hiking event in Dobong mountain (aka Dobongsan), located in the northeastern section of Bukhansan National Park in Seoul, South Korea.
This international event was aimed at celebrating the 2021 World Tourism Day and 개천절 (Gaecheonjeol), the National Foundation Day of Korea.
This year, WTD's theme was "Tourism for Inclusive Growth" and this hike put it into practice through making sure no one was left behind (unless they wished it).
The hike gathered a very diverse group of Millennium Hikers from Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Korea, Morocco, Vietnam and the US.
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Sustainability in motion
Millennium Hikers is a global initiative promoting local sustainable development and community empowerment through responsible, intercultural outdoor experiences such as hiking and walking, in a wide variety of environments.
Millennium Hikers is also an international community of hikers and walkers committed to have a positive impact on people and the planet.
In 2021, Millennium Hikers was registered as a French association (loi 1901).
Millennium Hikers is a project of the One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme, a multi-stakeholder partnership that promotes knowledge sharing and networking opportunities to better implement sustainable consumption and production in the tourism sector.
Would you like us to organize YOUR Millennium Hikers event?