The Jeju Story, which operates oreum hiking programs in Jeju with private commentators, will add English, Japanese, and Spanish services for foreign tourists.
According to a survey of foreign tourists by the Korean Statistical Information Service (KOSIS) in 2019, Jeju Province was rated the second most satisfying travel destination in Korea. Out of the travel activities, enjoying natural scenery was ranked at the top. This emerging trend signifies the importance of customized services for foreigners in Jeju’s natural tourism products.
The Jeju Story’s Jeju oreum experience is a program where participants hike up the oreum while listening to an “oreum docent,” a private commentator with expert knowledge on the topography and culture of Jeju. The agency is now launching docent programs in foreign languages to accommodate the needs of foreign tourists.
Docents are qualified commentators with expertise in the field who provide guidance and explains to visitors at museums and art galleries. Expert oreum docents at The Jeju Story are selected through a rigorous qualifying process, from completing the oreum commentator and cultural tour instructor training courses to field practice and public demonstration.
The Jeju Story covers four oreums in Jeju: Darangshi Oreum, where you can see Jimibong Peak, Seongsang Ilchulbong Peak, and Udo on a fine day, as well as Wangime Oreum, Geum Oreum, and Ttarabi Oreum. Two oreum are in the east, and two are in the west of Jeju. The natural environment and sceneries that you can experience at each oreum are different, but they are all easy to hike as they have moderate slopes and low altitude.
In particular, their volcanic oreum courses are easy enough for even children and the elderly to join. It is an excellent educational opportunity for children because they can explore oreum in detail. The program is also popular among young people for the various photo spots along the way up and ample time to take as many photos as they want.
The Jeju Story explained, “we hoped that in addition to domestic tourists, foreign tourists could also have a proper chance to learn the real story of Jeju.” They added, “we didn’t want to place a lower priority on them by merely translating what the commentators say in Korean.”
The Jeju Story has two English, one Japanese, and one Spanish-speaking commentators. To apply for their foreign language service, request the language of your choice by phone before or after making a reservation.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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