Jeju Olle Foundation was founded in 2007 by the ex-journalist Suh Myung-suk. Concerned by the centralized mass tourism on her birth island, Jeju, she decided to create a trail around the island.
From the mandarin fields, to the coast, through the forests and the small villages, this long distance trail allows you to visit every corner of the island. Mainly located along the littoral, it also walks you through some of the 368 oreums of the island (weak parasite volcanoes) and historical sites dating from Antiquity and the Modern Ages. The trail is composed of 21 connected and numerated routes, a distance of approximately 16 km each for a total of 422 km. With a minimal impact on the environment, this hike allows for an appreciation of nature and economical help for the rural communities.
This trail has become a major destination on Jeju island. It attracts not only visitors from continental South-Korea, but also international travellers looking for a good hike. Some opt for a short walk, while other decide dedicate a few days to complete the entire trail.
Thanks to its excellent Marketing skills, the foundation has become very popular on the island, and benefits from numerous donation throughout the country. But the Fondation doesn’t stop here! It just opened a new moderne and “fashion” guesthouse, composed mainly of gorgeous dormitories. The guesthouse also included a bar/restaurant, a conference room and a rooftop.
The materials, services and events organized by the foundation are also a source of inspiration:
- Internet Platform with daily updates on the trails
- Weekly maintenance of the trails by volunteers
- Gift and honour certificate for the travellers having completed to complete trail
- Jeju Olle Trail Passeport allowing to stamp each entrance on a new trail
- Nature preservation classes in local schools
- Local and ethical handicraft Jeju Olle Foundation souvenirs
- Special Events: Jeju Olle Festival which unites about 30 000 visitors each year, Clean-Up Days to remove trash from the trails, Family Days…
And lets not forget the different types of accommodations offered to the hikers:
- Grandmas Homestays
- Geo Park, Geo Houses : Pensions with geological themes in which the owners share the cultural history, and help the travellers interact with the villagers and discover the local heritage. The foundation promotes 11 of these throughout the island.
- Jeju Olle Trail Guest-House
With 26 employees and more than 300 volunteers, this concept demonstrates well that with the right marketing and management, durable tourism can gain in remarquable popularity!