North Korea tourism alive and well, say agents

Agents specialising in North Korea say business is brisk
Travel agents specialising in North Korea say business is good, despite harsh new sanctions set to be imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations.
According to South Korean media, the north’s tourism agency has dramatically reduced the price of transportation and accommodation for groups from China, its largest source market.
The cost for a four-day trip to Pyongyang has dropped from 7,000 yuan (US$1,078) to 3,000, for example. But even so, few Chinese are crossing the border for a vacation.
An agent from China told Chosun Ilbo newspaper that despite the falling prices, the number of Chinese visitors to North Korea is now one-tenth the previous year’s figure.
But Sabrina Wong, spokesperson of Explore North Korea, based in the border city of Dandong, said there “is not much difference in prices or in the number of Chinese travelling to North Korea”.
Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours, said: “Sanctions have no relationship whatsoever to tourism, and the sort of people who want to go to North Korea are not the kind who check UN sanctions lists before making a decision on whether to go or not.”
TTG Asia


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