Korean Embassy, KTTOAN ink memorandum of understanding for safety of tourists

Kathmandu, August 10

The Korea Tours and Trekking Operators Association of Nepal (KTTOAN) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (RoK) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on mutual cooperation for boosting tourism ties between Nepal and Korea and ensuring safety and security of Korean tourists visiting the Himalayan nation.

The MoU was signed by the Ambassador of RoK to Nepal Park Young-sik, and KTTOAN President Amar Bahadur Shahi, amidst a ceremony organised here on Thursday.

As per the MoU, the two organisations will help enhance the friendly people-to-people ties between Nepal and Korea and contribute to promoting bilateral tourism, as per a media release.

The two sides will hold a series of discussions, share knowledge and material resources and devise safety and security measures for Korean nationals visiting Nepal for the purposes of trekking. The two sides will establish and operate the emergency disaster evacuation centres on major trekking routes in Nepal and carry out rescue operations in case of accidents in the mountain region.

The two organisations will also work together for promoting the RoK as a tourist destination among Nepalis and organise tours for family members of workers working in Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) to Korea and discourage illegal immigration of Nepalis to Korea.

Similarly, the two sides will work together for enhancing communication and understanding between Korean and Nepali nationals and organise cultural and tourism promotion programmes and help promote Korean cuisine, K-Pop and tourism fairs. They will also extend cooperation to third parties for activities aimed at invigorating and promoting bilateral tourism.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the Korean ambassador suggested that Nepal should also plan on developing a software for safety of tourists along with constructing hotels and other infrastructure.

Stating that eight Korean tourists lost their lives while travelling to Nepal this year, he called for taking necessary measures for ensuring safety and security of visitors.

In 2017, as many as 34,000 Korean tourists visited Nepal. Currently, Korean Air operates four weekly fights between Nepal and RoK. Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is also planning to start its flights to Korea.

Saying the MoU is a good initiative, Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Deepak Raj Joshi said that the new cooperation would be instrumental in bilateral tourism promotion and safety of tourists.

KTTOAN President Shahi said that the number of Korean tourists visiting Nepal is increasing annually, with this Himalayan nation being their favourite destination.

“Through this MoU, we are hoping to make their journey to Nepal much easier, safer and memorable,” Shahi said.

In the meantime, the RoK Embassy, in association with KTTOAN, has assigned a total of 11 lodges from various trekking regions of Nepal to help Korean tourists in case of emergency situation, the release adds.