"Many nations around the world have been hit by influenza A, but Korea is the only country to have taken such measures," KTO President Lee Charm said.I'm not so sure how much tourism from overseas would be affected by the cancellation of an event in, say, Chindo or Kwangju. I mean, the mountains, the palace, Myŏngdong shopping, and the DMZ are all still there, right? My understanding is that the events in question are more local affairs for provincial residents, and it is a sense of community, not the bottomline for tourism-related businesses, that will be hard hit.
He made the remarks at his first official press conference since taking office 70 days ago.
"We looked into cases in the United States, France, Japan, China, Thailand, Hong Kong, etc. None of these countries instructed their local governments to cancel cultural or tourism plans as a countermeasure to the flu," he said.
"Simply avoiding crowded places is no solution. No one tells us to stop commuting on public transportation."
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security issued a set of instructions last week, urging local governments to "basically cancel large events lasting more than three days with over 1,000 participants."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
KTO head not happy about event cancellations
Lee Charm, the new head of the KTO (Korea Tourism Organization), is ticked off about recent cancellations of local events that might have an effect on tourism. In short, H1N1 prevention is not a good reason for doing so:
By the way, I have met Lee Charm in a professional capacity, back when he was Lee Hanu, and I'd say he's a pretty nice guy. I wish him well in his new capacity, but if he quits, I'd like a crack at his job. I've got some good ideas (and no, none of them involve copying Germany's newest campaign).