The Korean stop was noted with a huge X on our calendar. We even had to change our initial plans last July so that we could be here beginning of October. The reason: two major conferences on responsible tourism in Asia were planed on these dates. An opportunity to communicate our initiative, but also to fill up our contact books in order to facilitate the rest of our trip on the continent.
The first conference was organized by GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council), a burgeoning label created by the United Nations with the participation of worldwide leading organisations in conservation. This organism’s objective is to promote responsible tourism through different standards of a governmental range.
More than 100 important personalities, mainly from the tourism industry, were united to exchange on different thematics of responsible tourism during a dense program of 4 days. The experience was enriching, as we were covering the production of interviews of the main participants, but also in charge of social media during the entire conference. This was a great opportunity to learn more on certain ongoing and futur projects/initiatives, but also to share the Hopineo initiative. The return was very positive, and numerous actors are now willing to collaborate with us.
The 2nd conference, SSTF (Smart & Sustainable Tourism Forum), ended yesterday, and was a major meeting for our HopTour. We were on the program on the 1st day so that we could present Hopineo and our HopTour in Asia. Catherine Hamel-Garnier, the director of Millenium Destinations (a company uniting a panel of experts in sustainable development) and organiser of the event, gave the opportunity to young start-ups in responsible tourism to access the podium.
The conference also encouraged networking and exchanges between the participants, and included a bonus of Buddhist food degustation, meditation session at the temple, and local rice wine tasting: the event was a great success.
It is now time to get back on the road for Jeju, a small island located at the south of the country. We will be welcomed by the leader in eco-tourism on the island, who is determined to show us all the responsible initiatives put into place locally: visits of the indigenous villages, protected swamps, natural medicinal tour in the forest, local cooking classes, etc.
This HopTour started only 7 weeks ago, but we already have the feeling of having accomplished and learned enormously!