Jeju flaunts natural charms

    Country report | April 2012

    The Jeju Olle trails line the outer edges of the island,
    meandering through local villages, lush greenery and
    scenic seasides.
    Photo courtesy of Korea Tourism Organization

    By Karen Yue

    Jeju was designated one of the New7Wonders of Nature on November 11 last year, a list that also includes Vietnam’s Halong Bay, South America’s Amazon Rainforest and Indonesia’s Komodo National Park.

    The destination’s new status did not come as a surprise, as it has an impressive array of natural attractions. Its star attraction is Hallasan, an extinct volcano and the tallest mountain in South Korea. It stands 1,950m above sea level in the centre of Jeju island. The mountain offers various hiking trails on which visitors can marvel at over 1,800 kinds of plants and 4,000 species of animals.

    There are also 368 oreums, or parasitic cones, formed by eruptions along fractures of the volcano.

    Other popular nature attractions are Sanbanggulsa Grotto, Cheonjeyeon Falls, Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak and various scenic beaches along the island’s perimeter.

    Susi Suzana, tour manager of Jakarta-based Intelegensia Anugerah Wisata, told TTGmice that Jeju has been a popular destination among incentive clients who appreciate its natural landscapes and pleasant weather. Her groups typically stay three days in Jeju and a day in Seoul.

    “There is year-round demand for Jeju, as it does not snow in winter and any day is suitable for travel. Our incentive clients also love Jeju for its amazing panorama. There are nature parks and beaches in other destinations, but the views of the sea and nature parks are especially spectacular in Jeju,” she said, adding that hot air balloon rides in summer are often requested.

    Susi Suzana added: “Additional publicity generated by Jeju’s New7Wonders of Nature status will make even more people aware of the destination and create stronger demand.”

    Czech Republic’s Sandra Travel owner, Tatana Souckova, agree, saying that Jeju’s nature attractions would appeal to younger incentive travellers.

    “Jeju is likely to attract more environment-related or eco-friendly meetings from now on,” said Song Min-Young, CEO of MNC Marketing & Communications.

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