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The World Trails Network brings trail associations together from around the world to foster global collaboration and networking. The World Trails Network encourages: care for the environment; sustainable development practices; sharing best management practices and trail research; as well as promotion of cross-marketing opportunities.

American Trails serves as a proud member of the World Trails Network and is happy to include information about its member countries and organizations on the American Trails International webpage.

 

photo of Jeju Olle Trail logo

 

 

 

4th World Trails Conference held in Jeju, Korea

From the Jeju Olle Foundation

 

Highlights of the 4th World Trails Conference, January 15-17, 2014

 

The Jeju Olle Foundation hosted the 4th World Trails Conference, where major trail organizations from all around the world gathered to discuss sustainable growth and enhanced network. Fifty trail institutions and organizations from 18 countries were present for the three-day-long conference in Jeju, Korea.

The World Trails Conference is one of world’s leading events for trail staff and supporters to convene and discuss the strategic direction for the trail industry. As part of "Meeting, Incentive Tour, Convention, and Exhibition (MICE) Business of Jeju’s Traditional Cultures," the 4th World Trails Conference was held at International Convention Center Jeju and Jeju Olle Trail route 20.

photo of over 100 people with banner

Attendees at the 2014 World Trails Conference

This year’s conference was especially notable as 12 major trail organizations from Korea, China and Japan came together to launch Asia Trails Network (ATN). ATN will have Myung-sook Suh, President of the Jeju Olle Foundation, serve as the first chairwoman and with its headquarters set in Jeju Island.

ATN’s vision is to "Improve the Quality of Life with a Trail that Cares for the Environment and Local Community," and is expected to share knowledge with others, plan and execute projects to encourage trekking around Asia. These include Asia Walking Festival and Asia Trails Network Passport program. The official launch of ATN is expected to demonstrate tremendous influence on the fast growth of the long-distance walking and hiking culture, by having cross-border hikers from Korea, China and Japan.

The 4th World Trails Conference was also the main stage to present refined establishment of the World Trails Network. The World Trails Network Committee has been organized in November 2012 to found an international trails institution. The World Trails Network Committee had rewarding moments at the 4th World Trails Conference: they presented the strategic direction of the World Trails Network and the plan to build regional hubs, discussed benefits for participating organizations (securing network, knowledge sharing, etc.), legislated the general principles of ethics, opened website, launched newsletter and shared promotional ideas for the spread of the walking and hiking culture.

There currently are 12 trails organizations from 10 countries in the World Trails Network Committee: Rim of Africa Trail, American Trails, Appalachian Trail, European Rambler’s Association, The Bruce Trail, Korean Trails Association, the Jeju Olle Foundation, Tottori Walking Resort, Paths of Greece, Lebanon Mountain Trail, Turkish Culture Routes, Bibbulmun Track, and Munda Biddi Trail.

In addition, a full line-up of remarkable programs, including small-size workshops ("The Role of Education in Trail Preservation" and "Trail’s Tourism Value"), Jeju’s traditional shrine culture experience, and 2014 Jeju Island Myth & Culture Festival, drew a lot of attention at the conference. Case study presentation of Seuil’s Program to correct behaviors of those at juvenile detention centers and Junko Tabei’s narrative of how she took the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake trekking to help them recover proved to the world the trail’s healing potential and the need to invest more in it.

Ms. Suh said in her closing remark, “We got to take a step forward and improve the global trails network at this year’s World Trails Conference, as we had the great opportunity to launch the Asia Trails Network and declare refined establishment of the World Trails Network. Let’s make full use of this great global network to build a trail that does well for the people, environment and community and create a healthy walking and hiking culture.”

The conference is organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology, Jeju Institute for Regional Program Evaluation, hosted by the Jeju Olle Foundation and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Tourism Association and sponsored by Leaders in Industry-University Cooperation (LINC) at Cheju Halla University, Starbucks Korea and J-creation. The opening ceremony and featured lecture were supervised by the Jeju Olle Foundation, Jeju Institute for Regional Program Evaluation and LINC at Cheju Halla University.

 

RESOURCES

aoorw Download the 4th World Trails Conference Source Book (pdf 37.1 mb)

aoorw Read more about the 4th World Trails Conference

aoorw Read about the Second World Trails Conference

aoorw Visit the Jeju Olle Foundation (click in the black oval in the upper right corner to select the English language option)

aoorw Visit the World Trails Network

 
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