A press release announcing the new KTO head.
On July 30, 2009, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) announced that German-born naturalized Korean Charm Lee (55) has been appointed as their new President and CEO. His appointment was based on the Korean government’s decision that he is the most well qualified figure to develop and promote Korea’s tourism resources in the light of a foreign end-user based on his broad knowledge of both Western and Eastern cultures and outstanding insights as a professional CEO.
During the press conference, the President and CEO Lee said “With my extensive understanding and experiences of cross cultures, I will do my best to elevate the Korean tourism industry through such as strengthening overseas marketing and expansion of tourism infrastructures from the perspective of a consumer.”
President and CEO Lee’s appointment has a significant meaning that he is the first naturalized Korean to take a top government post in Korean history. His appointment reflects the Korean government’s willingness to open up a high level government public office to a foreign born individual that possesses professionalism which is in line with the new wave of globalization as Korea becomes more preeminent on the international stage. It is also expected to bring a positive impact on attracting foreign investment to Korea.
The President and CEO Lee took his first step into Korea in 1978. Since becoming naturalized in 1986, he has been actively involved in various fields in corporate management and major media including TV, which has made him a well-known public figure and recently, he has hosted a TV program regarding tourism and globalization of Korean food.