▲ A speaker from last year's event. Photo courtesy Jeju Olle Trail
Three days to cover two main topics about one idea. Trails.
The island will host the second annual World Trail Conference – slated for Nov. 7, 8 and 9 – in and around the Seogwipo area.
According to the literature, the conference has a threefold purpose. First, it will distribute information and experiences amongst the participants related to current trail issues. Second, the event will find a way to “invigorate and develop Green MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions).” Last, the conference will help to build an international network for experts in the trail industry.
Aside from Jeju Olle, there will be 12 trails from 11 different countries represented. Three of the most prominent around the world include Canada’s Bruce Trail, Germany’s Romantic Road, and the United States’ Appalachian Trail. Others, by region, are from Australia and New Zealand, Europe (England, France, Spain and Switzerland), Japan and Lebanon.
During the three days, two main discussion groups are scheduled, along with two guest speakers, Lonely Planet’s Tony Wheeler, and Korean travel writer Biya Han.
The first discussion topic (Nov. 7) hits upon the ideas of trail development, repair, maintenance and management.
As Jeju Olle marches into the future, this question, according to the conference, will be locally pertinent, “Are trails the advance guard points for environmental protection or principal offenders in environmental destruction?” Also, case studies, techniques and shared local community efforts will be examined.
The 2011 Trail Conference is hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and Jeju Leading Industry Development for Economic Region. It is organized by Jeju Olle Foundation and the Jeju Tourism Organization.
The second discussion topic (Nov. 8) will focus on an operational system and fundraising, such as volunteer service programs and corporate sponsorship. Regarding the final idea, could it be “medicine or poison?”
Last year’s inaugural World Trail Conference was also held on the island, at Haevichi Resort Hotel in Pyoseon. Repeat trail attendees are from Australia’s Parks Victoria, Canada’s Bruce Trail, England’s Cotswold Way, France’s Federation Francaise de Randonne, and Japan’s Organization for Promotion of Tourism in Shikoku.
Important ideas from the first conference centered on ecotourism, ecology, walking ethics, and how culture is infused to various trails.
As Jeju Olle is a greenhorn in the industry, it will benefit from established and proven successes of its trail brethren. The 2011 World Trail Conference is another step in the right direction for improvement.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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