Jeju Special Self-Governing Province has joined the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as a Destination Member.

As the largest volcanic island in Korea, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is one of Koreans’ popular destinations due to its unique and beautiful nature and culture, and is most commonly known to Koreans as the best honeymoon destination in Korea. Inbound tourist arrival has been increasing every year since the island was designated as UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in 2002, World Natural Heritage in 2007, Geopark in 2010, and Ramsar Wetland in 2016.

Ms. Jeryang Ko, Head of Jeju Ecotourism Center, expresses her appreciation of GSTC: “Both public and private sectors are working hard to make our island as a sustainable tourism destination. We have confronted with over-tourism issues but we are trying to minimize negative impacts but maximizing positive impacts of tourism through public-private collaborative efforts. Developing Jeju Ecotourism Standard and Certification Program will help us to follow a more sustainable journey. It is an honor to join GSTC that shows the right direction with the global criteria. Jeju has three national ecotourism destinations designated by the Korean Ministry of Environment and many policies support and promote sustainable tourism including ecotourism based on Jeju’s Future Vision set in 2014 in line with the goal of ‘Clean Jeju, where people and nature coexist’.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Jeju Special Self-Governing Province to GSTC,” says Mihee Kang, GSTC Director Asia-Pacific. “Jeju’s Carbon Free Island 2030 Project and strong support for ecotourism development will be great models for other destinations in Asia and the Pacific region. We hope Jeju can share its achievements and challenges of managing three UNESCO sites with other GSTC members through its active engagement with the GSTC.”

GSTC encourages destinations pursuing sustainability practices in the development and management of tourism, to join as GSTC members and apply the GSTC Destination Criteria, which eventually can lead to being certified by a GSTC-Accredited Certification Body.