Samoa’s Consul in South Korea looks at developing tourism and air routes

Samoa’s Honourary Consul General for South Korea Ms. Daisy Park in Apia for the annual Tourism Exchange

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 02 MAY 2018: Despite the longstanding diplomatic relationship between Samoa and South Korea, Samoa never had a diplomatic representative in Korea until yesterday when Ms. Daisy Park was appointed as Samoa’s Honourary Consul General in South Korea.

This was confirmed by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Maliegeaoi during his weekly program with Talamua Media yesterday.

“I have just appointed a Samoan Consul General to South Korea today, and her duties include promoting Samoa and assist Samoans who would be visiting South Korea,” said Tuilaepa.

Speaking to Talamua Media today, Ms. Daisy Park said she was excited and honored to represent Samoa in South Korea. She is currently attending the Samoa Tourism Exchange program 2018.

She has worked in the tourism industry for 13 years, as former Chief Executive Officer for the South Pacific Tourism Authority at the age of 23, and as a promoter for Samoa for five years.

“As Consul General, I intend to work not only in promoting, but help assist in finding funds for developing projects in Samoa,” she said.

She said South Korea does not have much information about Samoa, something she hopes to change.

Historical relationship
Daisy Park believes that given the historical relationship between Samoa, American Samoa and South Korea, she hopes to bring in more airlines linking Samoa to South America.

Daisy Park in Samoan traditional costume

There are currently 300 South Korean business people in neighbouring American Samoa and Daisy Park says the connection goes way back to the Second World War when the military planned to evacuate South Korean soldiers to Samoa.

The plan and vision now is to establish air routes to develop tourism. “Our plan is to design a new airline route from South Korea to Samoa via Lima, Peru in South America,” she said.

Her vision is to bring people that would stay longer in Samoa to learn about English and Samoan values.

“Korea is a stressful society whereas Samoa, with the fa’a-samoa and sharing in a respectful way is perfect. Samoa is very different from the Korea society,” she said.

She also pointed out the milestone reunion between North and South Korea could be a benefit as Samoa will become a friend of the United Korea.

South Korea is already investing in the Pacific and have put aside $US1.5 million for developed projects, and come August 2018, part of that fund will go into the tourism development in the Pacific.

Daisy Park is a writer and has contributed to 20 media outlets around Korea and believes her writing will help in promoting Samoa as a destination.