Hosts & Co-Organisers      Supporting International Organisations         

H.E.Mr Choi Kwang-Sik - Minister of Culture, Sports & Tourism, Republic of Korea


H.E. Dr Young Sook YOO, Minister, Ministry of Environment



H.E. Dr Taleb Rifai - Sec.-General  - World Tourism Organisation - UNWTO (Invited)



Hon. Mr Xu Jing, Director, Asia and the Pacific Regional Programme, UNWTO


Governor Kim Moon-Soo, Governor of Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea



H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Kingdom of Cambodia (Invited)




Important Notices:

Airport Reception Counter #36
All registered delegates arriving on 1st and 2nd September at Incheon Airport, please proceed to Airport Counter #36 where officials from Gyeonggi Tourism Organisation will be arranging for hosted transfers to hotel. The counter will operate from 7:00am to 9:00pm only. Should you have any problems, please contact the Secretariat anytime using the contacts below.
For delegates with confirmed private transfers, please ignore this.

Airport Transfers
Please note that the airport coaches are not able to stop right in front of official hotels and there is a short walk (5 min or less) to the hotel.

In the event that you miss the airport transfers, you may take taxi (at your own cost) to your hotels. Assistance is provided at a hospitality counter located next to Gate 6. The taxi fare from airport to Millennium is about KRW55,000 (about USD55) including highway toll charges. To Stanford Hotel is about KRW45,000.

Please note that the Secretariat has been translocated to South Korea and the local hotline is +82 (0)10-8659-5204. If you are making an international call the "0" in brackets is dropped. Our office contact number will not be used for WEC2012 enquiries anymore.

Mobile Phones in Korea
Please note that if your mobile phone is using a GSM system, it will not function in South Korea.
In order to continue receiving calls to you, you need to rent a phone and insert your SIM card. You may rent the phone at the airport arrival hall. There are a few options eg SK and Olleh. The charges vary between KRW1300 (about US$1.3) to KRW3000 per day.

Communication with Secretariat
Local Hotline No: +82 (0)10-8659-5204
SMS, Viber and What's App: +6016-6321188 (Yvonne Lim)

Collection of Delegate Badges
For fully registered, confirmed and paid delegates staying in official hotels, you will receive your delegate badge upon check in. All other delegates, please collect your delegate badge from Ms Yvonne Lim at the Secretariat, located in front of Grand Ballroom Level 3, starting from 2nd September to 4th September 2012.

Conference Venue
The conference venue is at KINTEX 1 Grand Ballroom Level 3, Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX), Ilsan, Goyang City, South Korea. There will be coach transfers between Stanford Hotel and KINTEX (20 min distance) in the morning and evenings. Delegates staying at Millennium can walk to KINTEX which is a mere 10 min walk or less.

Weather Conditions

The weather is cloudy with intermittent rain. Umbrellas and raincoat are recommended. Temperature is around 30C and falling to as low as 21 at night,



"The total number of international tourist arrivals is expected to reach one billion for the first time. We need to work together with tourism administrations to ensure that governments give priority to tourism as part of national policies to stimulate growth and employment."- Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General in the wake of financial turmoil in Europe.

"Travel has become one the great forces for peace and understanding in our time. As people move throughout the world and learn each other's customs and to appreciate the qualities of individuals of each nations, we are building a level of international understanding which can sharply improve the atmosphere for world peace." - President John F. Kennedy

"I know of no political movement, no philosophy, no ideology, which does not agree with the peace parks concept as we see it going into fruition today. It is a concept that can be embraced by all. In a world beset by conflicts and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future. Peace parks are a building block in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world."- Dr. Nelson Mandela

... more



2nd Ministerial Round Table on Ecotourism


Goyang Declaration on Transboundary Ecotourism Initiatives for Conservation and Peace



The Ministerial Round Table is convened to recognise and promote transboundary initiatives around the world including the development of the Korean DMZ as a transboundary ecotourism belt.


To support initiatives to tap the full ecotourism potential of the DMZ, Ministers and senior officials from Asian and African countries will meet on 3rd September 2012 in conjunction with the 4th World Ecotourism Conference at KINTEX, Gyeonggi Province, to convene the Ministerial Round Table of the South Korean DMZ transboundary Ecotourism Initiative.


The proponents of the Initiative are the Asia Pacific Ecotourism Society (APES), the Gyeonggi Tourism Organisation - DMZ Division (GTO), Ecotourism Korea (EK), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and participating countries of Heart of Borneo, Coral Triangle Initiative, Kavango-Zambezi transboundary Conservation.



KEYNOTES  :  Ecotourism for Global Peace


The dynamism and energy of travel knows no borders or dimensions. Every journey is an awakening of life and its diversity. Every place on earth is a destination waiting to be explored. It contributes to cultural understanding through the sights, sounds, colours and taste of cultures and communities.

The massive movement and interaction of people in over 200 countries and sovereign states play an important role in promoting international understanding, friendship and peace. The establishment of transboundary conservation or protected areas (peace parks) between neighbouring countries supports ecotourism for sustainable economic development, conservation of biodiversity and regional peace and stability.


SESSION 1  :  The Power of Ecotourism

Tourism creates jobs and economic growth but beyond the economics, tourism nations are true purveyors of peace allowing free and peaceful flow of citizens across borders distributing social and economic benefits as global ambassadors. However with the power to travel, comes responsibility. The responsibility to respect the cultural and political sensitivity of the peoples, the sustainability of places and destinations, the conservation of nature and wildlife and the safety and security of tourists. With good governance based on principles of global sustainable tourism and ecotourism, sustainable development and international goodwill is achieved.

SESSION 2  :  Ecotourism Initiatives and Success Stories

"Knowing is not enough, you must apply. Willing is not enough, you must do". You will have the rare privilege to learn from tourism policy makers and natural resource managers the initiatives they took to address challenging issues in ecotourism development, management and marketing.

Practitioners and professionals will present the lessons learned, practical solutions and success stories in their ecotourism based endeavours to achieve financial and ecological sustainability in 4 scenarios - place, destination, region and global. 

SESSION 3  : Market Trends and Innovation in Ecotourism

Is ecotourism and conservation a paradox? Is urban ecotourism an oxymoron? Does the definition of ecotourism actually promotes green-washing? Ecotourism trends have transformed in the last 10 years, from viewing pristine nature to engaging "living cultures"; from tourist travellers to volunteering visitors; from ecotourism travel to sustainable tourism planning and from place-based regulations to responsible travel.

Innovation is said to be the key driver to success. Can innovation emerge on the back of changing trends and advancing technologies in renewable and clean energy, sanitation and communications? Would market trends and innovation be the keys to mainstreaming ecotourism?

SESSION 4  :  Ecotourism Best Practices and Recommendations

Set within the context of the UNWTO's 12 Aims of Sustainable Tourism, and building on UNWTO's knowledge and leadership in ecotourism, a study was initiated utilising the established Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC) to illustrate the practical application of ecotourism principles to ecotourism business operations.

Drawing on the practices and experiences of ecotourism organizations and private companies in the Asia Pacific region and national ecotourism initiatives, this session provides specific case studies demonstrating ecotourism in practice and illustrates how tourism operators are aiming to meet the principles of sustainable tourism, as benchmarked against the GSTC.

Ecotourism Practitioners - Opportunities to Present Your Business Case

(Close on 15 July 2012)

The forum brings together the real players in the ecotourism supply chain and discuss on the issues and challenges of ecotourism marketing in competitive market areas. Topics will cover current and relevant concerns from marketing channels to revenue streams and from branding to mainstreaming. It will be an interactive and informative forum between panellists and delegates.

Find out more from the successful entrepreneurs and operators in this enlightening and dynamic business forum. 

More information

Call for Papers - (Peer reviewed)

(Close on 15 July 2012)


Paper Review Committee:
Dr. Victor Teplyakov, Professor, Seoul National University (Chair)
Dr.Younghyun Hwang, Professor, Dong-A University
Dr.Wonhee Lee, Senior Researcher, Korea Culture & Tourism Institute


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As ecotourism is championed as a panacea for sustainable travel and tourism in natural areas, WEC 2012 will provide the platform for the academic fraternity to take centre stage and showcase new development paradigms, best practice and groundbreaking solutions that have been hatched through years of painstaking and laborious research.


In a nutshell, the presence of academics and researchers at WEC 2012 will be a testimony to their past, present and future role not only in the intellectual capacity but more importantly as the moral and ethical custodians in ensuring the sustainable development of ecotourism.


The following research themes are relevant to the objectives of WEC2012:

Facilitation of ecotourism for peace in Transboundary Protected Areas (TBPA)

Meeting the needs of local communities through ecotourism

Contribution of ecotourism for green growth

Adaptations between ecotourism and biodiversity


I look forward to your abstracts and to welcome you at the World Ecotourism Conference 2012 in Korea.



Dr Mihee Kang

Ecotourism Korea


(Sponsored by Asia Pacific Ecotourism Society (APES) and mandated under the Vientiane Declaration on Ecotourism for Developing Countries, this is a special session to draw on the best research and development studies on ecotourism that will provide the edge for policy makers, public sector administrators and entrepreneurs to hone on key issues.)



More Information    

Online Submission

Summit meeting of members of the ecotourism fraternity in the Asia Pacific region


Represented in 38 countries,  APES with provisional membership of 328 has grown from strength to strength since its formation in 2009. An annual congregation of ecotourism proponents, practitioners, researchers, consultants and policy makers to meet, and work together for mutual interests. The Board of Directors welcome interested individuals to apply and existing members to participate in this annual event.




H.E. Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organisation UNWTO's Commitment to Ecotourism: 3rd World Ecotourism Conference, 3-5 October 2011, Cambodia from UNWTO on Vimeo.

Ecotourism Policies in Korea

Prof. Kim Seong-il, Chair of Ecotourism Korea explains ecotourism policies of Korea in the years to come (broadcasted by Arirang TV Korea) 


Related links/stories:

Ecotourism in Koreas' DMZ?

South Korea to push ecotourism near tense border with North

Environment Ministry Strives to Revive Four Rivers and Attain Green Growth



Mr Joon-Kee Hwang, CEO, Gyeonggi Tourism Organisation, Republic of Korea



H.E Mr Seong Choi, Mayor, Goyang City, Republic of Korea








Dear Delegates and Friends,


Welcome to WEC2012. The World Ecotourism Conference endorsed by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is an excellent opportunity for the ecotourism fraternity to collaborate, connect and contribute with fellow eminent ecotourism players and more importantly to represent your country and lend your voice in this world conference. 


We encourage delegates and volunteers to speak, interact and exchange information as the event is not just for learning but sharing and contributing to a green economy with session discussions centred around policy, business, research and advocacy.


WEC seeks to empower and inspire emerging public sector leaders, private sector entrepreneurs and young professionals in the tourism and environmental industry to facilitate sustainable transformation towards varying scales of ecotourism developments based on sound sustainable principles and best practices.


WEC2012 also provides opportunities to maximize marketing and business development efforts by ecotourism industry players and we invite you to be part of the  our global network. This event belongs to you and the ecotourism fraternity, and every effort will be made to support the industry that you belong to.


Discover new products and services from vendor displays at the World Ecotourism Exhibition (WEE) at the Korea International Exhibition Centre (KINTEX) and network freely with other practitioners and professionals from across the globe. 


The opportunity to interact with the some of the best in the industry around the world is indeed worthy of your time to be with us in South Korea.


The hosts of WEC2012, Gyeonggi Tourism Organisation and Ecotourism Korea, together with the support of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Ministry of Environment have prepared an event that will introduce you to 2 iconic ecotourism sites in South Korea - the DMZ near the border of North Korea and the Bukhasan National Park in Seoul. So don't miss the registration and I hope to meet you personally in Korea.


With best regards,

Lee Choon Loong

Convenor, 4th World Ecotourism Conference 2012



The Korean Demilitarised Zone


Last transboundary protected area for ecotourism & peace?


The Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) was created by the armistice at the end of the Korean War in 1953 in order to keep a safe and protected distance between the South Korea and DPRK. For almost 60 years, this 250 km- long strip of land has been "untouched by human hands" and as a result, became a safe haven for more than 2,700 species of plants and animals.


The Korean Presidential Council on National Competitiveness has announced that South Korea is planning to develop the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) into an eco-tourism area.


In cooperation with nine government agencies such as the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Unification, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Environment, it will create an ecological peace belt along the southern part of the 4 kilometer-wide, 248 kilometer-long zone, extending from the western island of Ganghwa to the east coast city of Goseong,


Under the plan, bike roads, an ecological peace park and a vacation center will be built in the area. Ten villages near the inter-Korean land border will be turned into cultural tourism villages open to visitors. An observation centre with high technology equipment will also be set up to watch and monitor the natural wildlife in the zone.



Related stories:

Ecotourism in Koreas' DMZ?

South Korea to push ecotourism near tense border
with North


Daily Highlights

sep, 2012

Pre- Technical Tours

DMZ and Pyeonghwanuri Park


sep, 2012

Opening Ceremony

Keynote Addresses

Plenary Session

Welcome Dinner

sep, 2012

Plenary Session

Parallel Sessions

Research Symposium

Business Forum

APES Annual General Meeting


sep, 2012

1) Transfer Gimpo Airport to Jeju
 Island for World Conservation
Congress (WCC) and Jeju Island
Post -Technical for WCC registered
delegates (optional)


2) Hosted Bukhasan National Park



Volunteering Opportunities

"Helping others reach for a new day rejuvenates us in more ways than another vacation, more stuff, a fatter resume, or a nice house. We want to feel good "inside". We want to feel useful. We want to find meaning. We want to feel this alive and on fire with possibility."

Susan Skog


We know the best initiatives are those that can benefit everyone. This is why we're committed to presenting the best ecotourism practices for governments and businesses. It's not an obligation. It's an opportunity for us to do the right thing for the environment and communities we care.


Volunteering at the not-for-profit World Ecotourism Conference (WEC) will be a lifetime opportunity for many when it is held in your country or near to yours. It is an opportunity to experience first hand of the workings behind a world conference that will make a difference to people, nature and environment. Be with the "movers and shakers" of the global ecotourism fraternity represented by Governments, private sector, academics, NGOs as well as individuals with a deep passion for ecotourism. We welcome you to lend your hand for a better future.


All volunteers would be internationally recognised and awarded with a Certificate of Appreciation and Meritorious Service.



Volunteer  Information

Register as Volunteer


The World Ecotourism Conference is an ambitious initiative to bring global ecotourism players together to network, collaborate and share their experiences, best practices and technologies for the betterment of nature conservation, nature/environment protection, preservation of local communities/culture and consequently the advancement of ecotourism around the world.

This non-profit event is made possible by generous sponsorship from the public and private sectors as well as kind contribution of leading speakers/presenters.


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