The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister Hwang Hee) and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO, President Ahn Young-bae) appointed Dr. Jerome H. Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) as Honorary Ambassador of Korean Tourism on November 25. As international tourism is slowly recovering from COVID-19, meetings, incentives, convention and exhibitions (MICE) and business tourism is expected to precede casual tourism. and Dr. Kim will promote Korea as a MICE tourism destination as Honorary Ambassador.
Dr. Kim is a renowned figure with high prestige in the field of vaccines. He has been serving as Director General of IVI since 2015. Established in 1997 as an initiative of the United Nations Development Program, IVI is the first organization headquartered in the Republic of Korea with a mission to discover, develop and deliver safe, effective, and affordable vaccines for global public health.
Dr. Kim, though being a U.S. national, is the grandchild of the Korean independence movement activist Kim Hyun-koo, who campaigned for Korean independence in the United States during the Japanese occupation of Korea. With such background, Dr. Kim accepted the appointment as Honorary Ambassador with deep affection for his grandfather’s home country. As Honorary Ambassador, Dr. Kim will carry out activities including the promotion of Korea’s tourist attractions and safety through interviews with MICE-focused media, which will highlight his experiences from life in Korea.
The appointment ceremony was held at the IVI headquarters in Seoul on November 25, with Dr. Kim and KTO President Mr. Ahn Young-bae in attendance.
“Korea is well positioned to become a global tourism and MICE powerhouse. When we have controlled the pandemic through vaccination and other interventions, I anticipate the Korean tourism and MICE industry will grow robustly – driven by the discovery of Korea, Korean culture, and Korean creativity during the pandemic with movies, shows and K-pop gaining global stature. I am committed to play a part to help make it happen,” said Dr. Kim during his acceptance speech.
“As a renown public figure, Dr. Kim’s promotional activities will add much weight and credibility to safety in traveling Korea,” said Mr. Lee Young-geun, head of the MICE planning team at KTO.
About the International Vaccine Institute (IVI)
The International Vaccine Institute (IVI) is a nonprofit inter-governmental organization established in 1997 at the initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). IVI has 36 countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) on its treaty, including the Republic of Korea, Sweden, India, and Finland as state funders.
Our mandate is to make vaccines available and accessible for the world’s most vulnerable people. We focus on infectious diseases of global health importance such as cholera, typhoid, shigella, salmonella, schistosomiasis, chikungunya, group A strep, Hepatitis A, HPV, TB, HIV, MERS, COVID-19, as well as antimicrobial resistance. For more information, please visit https://www.ivi.int.