Published on : Tuesday, April 4, 2017
According to the head of a United Nations-affiliated organization, tourism is an important instrument that can alleviate chronic poverty in underprivileged and underdeveloped countries and lay the foundation for economic growth. To quote Dho Young-shim, the chairperson of the Seoul-based U.N. ST-EP Foundation, “The tourism industry can provide livelihoods for 2 billion people in the world who are living in absolute poverty at the moment. It gives them jobs as souvenir sellers and tourist guides. It can really be a driving force that brings changes in their lives.”
Dho Young-shim was the former ambassador of tourism and culture under the Roh Moo-hyun administration. She is all set to bring her initiative forward as a tourism expert, and she has been endorsed by the South Korean government to compete for the position of upcoming UNWTO Secretary-General.
Dho has spent greater part of her career working for U.N.-affiliated bodies advocating tourism and sustainable development. To quote Dho, “I thought Korea was ready to do something for the underprivileged nations, as a country that once had a per capita income of US$69 in the 1960s, which has since developed into one of a few countries that hosted both the Olympics and World Cup. I told the government at that time, ‘Let’s do something about sharing’ our experience.”
If Dho gets elected as the next UNWTO Secretary-General, she’ll be the first Asian and the first female to take over the helm of the global body in its 91-year history.