April 21, 2006
The Alaska Explorer Visa Program will minimize paperwork and speed the visa appointment process through the use of 12 participating tour operators in Korea. Alaska-bound travelers will get a 30-day open appointment to allow them to apply for a visa on the day and time of their choice.
"One impediment to spending a vacation in Alaska is the perceived difficulty in obtaining a U.S. visa," said Governor Frank H. Murkowski. "The Anchorage Airport and Alaska Trade Rep. K. S. Kim did an excellent job working to open doors to Alaska and we look forward to welcoming more Korean tourists to our great state."
"I am pleased to help introduce the great natural beauties of the State of Alaska to Koreans. Increasing travel to the United States is an important initiative of the embassy and we are pleased that we were able to enlist the help and support of the State of Alaska, its government and its representatives as well as private businesses to create and implement the Alaska Explorer Visa Program," said Consul General Michael D. Kirby.
"The Alaska Explorer Visa Program will make Alaska more accessible for Korean visitors this summer. Alaska offers so much that Koreans find enjoyable including fresh air, open spaces, beautiful glaciers, towering mountains and an abundance of wildlife. We are pleased to work cooperatively with the U.S. Embassy Seoul, Korean Airlines and selected travel agencies in bringing more Korean visitors to our wonderful state," said Ron Peck, ATIA president & COO.
The signing ceremony was held in Seoul, Korea on Friday, April 14. Linda Close, marketing director for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Ron Peck signed the agreement for the State of Alaska. Ms. Helen Hwang, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs and U.S. Consul General Michael D. Kirby signed the agreement on behalf of the U.S. Embassy Seoul.
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