Banwol Island at the south-east of Jeollanamdo, in Shinan County, widely known as “Purple Island” has been designated as one of 44 Best Tourism Villages by the UNWTO on Wednesday, Dec. 2nd in Madrid. Along with the Purple Island, Ungok Village in Gochang, North Jeolla Province was chosen as well.
The villages were evaluated based on a set of nine criterias, including social and environmental sustainability and Health, Safety and Security.
The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.UNWTO, Dec. 2nd, 2021
This award is proof of the efforts made by the local and provincial government of Jeollanamdo to boost tourism and revitalize the region. The project began in 2007 when the island suffered from issues created by an aging population. Inspired by the local purple bellflowers, the roofs of buildings and bridges connecting the island were painted in purple. In addition the local government planted 30,000 asters and 21,500 square meters of lavender fields to make Banwoldo a truly Purple Island.
By now, The Purple Island is one of Jeollanamdo’s must-visit places and attracts around 5,000 visitors each weekend, according to Shinan County.