Romantic Road of Korea
On 20 July 2009, the “Romantic Road of Korea” was opened in Gangneung on the Korean East Sea, by the governor of the Gangwon province, Kim Jin-Sun. Among the 1000 guests who attended the opening ceremony were Jürgen Wünschenmeyer, director of the Romantic Road Germany, Kousi Abe, director of the Romantic Road Japan and representatives of the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation.
The project, a promotional cooperative venture between six cities and counties as well as Gangwon province, was created at the suggestion of Prof. Dr. Peter Jurczek, economic geographer and professor at Chemnitz Institute of Technology. In the past five years Professor Jurczek has been cooperating closely with the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation Korea on the subject of regional planning in the inner-Korean border region. The Romantic Road of Korea covers a length of 240 km from the border with North Korea in the divided county of Goseong to the southern end of Gangwon province in Samcheok. With funds of around KRW 80.6 billion (around EUR 45 million) from Gangwon province, Goseong county, the provincial city of Sokcho, Yangyang county, the provincial city of Gangnung, the city of Donghae and the city of Samcheok, a tourist route was created that connects the beauties of the Korean East Sea (Sea of Japan) with the mountainous landscape on the coast. Bizarre rock formations projecting into the sea, magnificent beaches tempting travellers to take a swim alternate with mountains and their fragrant pine forests and undulating paddy fields. Temples and pavilions along the wayside invite the traveller to take a rest. Small fishermen’s villages offer respite from the hustle and bustle of big Asian metropolises like Seoul. The idea of a possible cooperation between the different counties was developed during study trips organized by the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation, in which Kim Jin-Sun, the governor of Gangwon province, took part, as well as officials of the province and of the municipalities involved, and also during a research project by the Gangwon Development Research Institute, another partner of the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation. The Korean concept was modelled on the German Romantic Road. Jürgen Wünschenmeyer, director of the Romantic Road Germany was a discussion partner very much in demand with the Korean tourist planners at the planning stage …