Leisure in South Korea has become competitive.
According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the South Korean government is spending US$10 million to encourage hikers to slow down and relax. In an overworked economy where the average Korean works 20% longer than their American counterpart, it is proving difficult for people to unwind during their leisure time. This is especially true for the popular past-time of hiking the Korean peninsula’s mountainous terrain, where a leisurely sojourn into nature frequently becomes a competitive race to the mountain’s summit.
Tourpreneurs intent on capitalizing upon the South Korean penchant for hiking may want to piggy-back on the South Korean government’s campaign by promoting the calm and meditative trails in their region. Or, maybe they wish to fly in the face of the ‘Slow Hiking’ campaign and taunt South Korean hikers with images of mountain summits captioned with:
당신이 얼마나 빨리 하이킹을 할 수 있습니까?
(How Fast Can You Hike This?)
Considering that the South Korean government’s campaign is designed to alleviate some of the country’s societal ills brought on by a fast-paced culture by encouraging more relaxation, the ethics of enticing South Korean tourists to continue rushing through their vacation might be questionable. However, considering that they probably won’t be sharing your regional hiking trail with a couple million of their countrymen, they may just slow down on their own volition.