Kyushu to pay royalties to copy Jeju Olle Trails

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Kyushu to pay royalties to copy Jeju Olle Trails

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Jeju Olle Trails founder Suh Myung-sook, right, shakes hands with Ooe Hideo, head of business operations at the Kyushu Tourism Organization on Tuesday at Poonglim Resort in Jeju Island. [JoongAng Ilbo]


A sister version of the popular Jeju Olle Trails will soon open in neighboring Japan as its founder Suh Myung-sook signed a contract on Tuesday to export the road system to Kyushu.

Suh agreed on a partnership to establish Kyushu Olle Trails with Ooe Hideo, head of business operations at the Kyushu Tourism Organization.

“Olle” is word taken from the regional dialect of scenic Jeju, meaning narrow alleys. The trails were created by Suh, a former chief editor of the weekly Sisa Journal. She said earlier that she had been inspired by Camino de Santiago after visiting the famous Spanish pilgrimage site.

The Olle Trails are now a popular hiking destination. There are 21 routes now but more are planned. The tourist magnet has also created a ripple effect, causing other hiking trails to suddenly spring up in different parts of the country.

The latest agreement with Japan states that Kyushu will pay 1 million yen ($12,992) a year to use the name “Kyushu Olle,” Suh said. “But the most significant fact is that Kyushu Olle will be using the image of ‘Gan-se’ [the name of the pony that represents Jeju].”

Suh has been moving to broaden the Olle brand portfolio since September last year, when she signed a pack with the Swiss government. Under the deal, the 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) “Wine Route” of Switzerland’s Leman Lake will be linked to the 10th route of Jeju Olle Trails by an imagined “Road of friendship.”

She promoted another “Road of friendship” with a 5.5 kilometer course in the Cotswolds, in west-central England. Another is planned with Canada next month.

But the Kyushu deal marks the first opportunity for Jeju Olle to earn royalties from its overseas expansion. Under the terms of the agreement, Kyushu’s tourism board plans to develop four hiking routes by November. The contract will be renewed annually and the royalties subject to review.

“After Hyundai Construction first won a contract to build a highway in Thailand [half a century ago], which was Korea’s first road-building project overseas, Jeju Olle and its ‘anticoncrete’ ethos is heading to Japan,” she said.


By Son Min-ho [estyle@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
제주올레, 로열티 받고 일본 첫 수출 … 규슈올레에 이름·간세·리본 그대로
서명숙 이사장, 규슈 측과 코스개발 등 업무협약 체결


제주올레가 일본에 수출된다.

서명숙 (사)제주올레 이사장은 23일 제주도 서귀포 풍림리조트에서 일본 규슈(九州) 관광추진기구 오오에 히데오(大江英夫) 사업본부장과 ‘규슈올레’ 조성을 위한 업무제휴 협약을 체결했다. 협약은, 앞으로 1년 동안 ‘규슈올레’ 이름 사용과 코스 개발 지원 등의 조건으로 100만 엔(약 1400만원)을 받는다는 내용이다.

서 이사장은 “100만 엔은 업무 제휴비 명목이지만, 규슈올레가 제주올레를 상징하는 간세·리본·화살표 등 표식을 사용하기로 해 사실상 ‘올레’라는 브랜드를 사용하는 로열티”라며 “올레길이 로열티를 받고 일본에 수출된다는 사실이 중요하다”고 말했다.

서 이사장은 지난해부터 올레 해외 진출 사업을 추진해왔다. 지난해 9월 스위스 레만 호수 와인길(11㎞)과 제주올레 10코스를 ‘우정의 길’로 맺는 협약을 스위스 정부와 체결했으며, 영국 내셔널 트레일의 ‘코츠월드웨이∼더슬리 스틴치콤 언덕길’ 5.5㎞ 구간과 제주올레 3코스도 ‘우정의 길’로 선포했다. 다음달에는 캐나다와 협약을 맺을 예정이다.

그러나 제주올레가 돈을 받고 해외에 진출하는 것은 규슈올레가 처음이다. 협약에 따라 규슈 관광추진기구는 오는 11월까지 규슈올레 4개 코스를 개발할 예정이다. 계약은 1년씩 연장되며 로열티 액수는 해마다 별도로 책정된다.

서 이사장은 “1965년 현대건설이 태국 고속도로 공사를 수주해 최초로 해외 도로 건설에 진출했는데 반 세기 가까이 흘러 이제는 ‘안티 콘크리트’를 추구하는 제주올레가 일본에 수출됐다”며 “제주 방언 ‘올레’를 외국에 붙이게 돼 기쁘다”고 소감을 밝혔다.

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