KATHMANDU, Aug 11: The Korea Tours & Trekking Operators Association of Nepal (KTTOAN) and the Embassy of South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual cooperation for strengthening tourism ties between Nepal and Korea and ensuring safety of Korean tourists visiting Nepal.
The MoU was signed between South Korean Ambassador Park Young-sik and KTTOAN President Amar Bahadur Shahi amid a function in the capital on Thursday.
As per the MoU, the two organizations will help enhance the friendly people-to-people ties between Nepal and South Korea and promote bilateral tourism, according to a press statement issued by KTTOAN.
The two sides have also decided to hold a series of discussions for sharing knowledge and other logistics required to ensure safety of Korean nationals coming Nepal for trekking. The two sides will also set up emergency disaster evacuation centers on major trekking routes in Nepal for carrying out rescue operations in the event of accidents.
The two organizations will also work together for developing tourism packages for family members of Nepalis working in Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) to visit Korea and also discourage illegal immigration of Nepalis into Korea.
The two sides have also decided to hold a series of discussions for sharing knowledge and other logistics required to ensure safety of Korean nationals coming Nepal for trekking.
Similarly, the two sides will work together to organize cultural and tourism promotion programs for enhancing communication and understanding between the Korean and Nepali nationals and helping promote Korean cuisine, K-Pop and tourism fairs in Nepal, according to the statement.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Ambassador Park urged the concerned stakeholders in Nepal to develop an online system for the safety of tourists.
Referring to the deaths of eight Korean tourists 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 South Korea. Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is also planning to start flights to Korea.
Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board (NRB) Deepak Raj Joshi said that the new cooperation would be instrumental in bilateral tourism promotion and tourists' safety.
KTTOAN President Shahi expressed hope that the initiatives that will be taken as per the MoU will increase the number of Korean tourists visiting Nepal.