New Zealander Becomes Honorary Citizen of Seoul

      November 02, 2009 07:19

      When Adrian Slater was a boy of six in Auckland, New Zealand in 1975, the family home was bustling with guests from Korea because Slater's father, who was running a textile business, had partnership with a Korean company. That was how Adrian got familiar with Korea and gradually developed interest in its culture and people.

      Today, Slater is the general manager of the Park Hyatt Seoul. "My father and I often guided Korean guests to tour the downtown Auckland," he recalled. Slater was granted honorary citizenship by the Seoul Metropolitan Government last Wednesday. "Seoul is a great place to live. I'm honored and moved by the fact that I am a full member of this dynamic city," he said.

      Slater joined the Hyatt Regency Auckland in 1987, and since then he worked in various places including Dubai, Australia and Saipan. He came to Korea in 2002 and worked in Hyatt hotels in Incheon and Jeju, becoming general manager of the Park Hyatt Seoul in May 2007. 

      Adrian Slater /photo by Kwon Ki-eun

      Despite his busy schedule, Slater is also president of SKAL International Seoul, a group of tourism professionals. Founded in 1934, SKAL is the largest private organization of tourism in the world with 22,000 members in over 90 countries. The major reason why Slater became an honorary citizen of Seoul was because he ran the 38th SKAL Asia Congress in Incheon in May, boosting Korea's status in the global tourism world.

      Slater's next goal is to host the SKAL World Congress in 2012 in Seoul. "If we get to hold the SKAL World Congress, at least 1,500 members around the world will visit Seoul with their families. It's a wonderful opportunity to promote Seoul to tourism experts in the world," he said.

      Slater said Seoul is "a city full of tourism resources as it has beautiful old palaces, the Han River, and great network of public transport." "I'm a foreigner, so I explore many places in Seoul that have a unique charm. Now is the time to develop the city as a world-famous travel destination."

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