North Korea Tourism

DeltaForce103

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Somehow I feel that the chances of a snowball surviving in hell, is slightly better. The last thing a closed country like North Korea needs are citizens who have open minds. It's closed minds which keep them in power.
Read the original article here. They've built a lavish 1,600 hectare ski resort and have announced plans to increase the number of overseas tourist per annum from 200,000 to 1 million by 2016.

Let's speculate about their motives here. Why the sudden shift to tourism? To generate revenue for the corrupt leadership and prop up the struggling economy, of course. Will it benefit the population? Not directly, but we can hope that at least some of the increased economic activity it brings will. Will this initiative work? I think most likely yes, North Korea is bound to generate interest from curious international tourists. As it used to, even before they decided to close the borders.

But they'll have to build much more infrastructure and form a variety of industries to cater to this influx of tourists. This means hiring working class North Koreans to work in these industries, not only that, but some of these people will need to speak English. As much as they might try to limit it, cultural exchange will happen. You can keep an eye on a couple of thousand foreigners, but what happens when it is a million and over? Rules against bringing foreign media and interacting with the locals will have to be easened, or ignored.

Once the tourism industry has developed, it will become the lifeblood of the NK economy, to the point that the leadership will have to choose between losing centralized rule of the economy or losing the prosperity they've achieved. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, hence the usage of the word "hope".
 

musicmonster

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Read the original article here. They've built a lavish 1,600 hectare ski resort and have announced plans to increase the number of overseas tourist per annum from 200,000 to 1 million by 2016.

Let's speculate about their motives here. Why the sudden shift to tourism? To generate revenue for the corrupt leadership and prop up the struggling economy, of course. Will it benefit the population? Not directly, but we can hope that at least some of the increased economic activity it brings will. Will this initiative work? I think most likely yes, North Korea is bound to generate interest from curious international tourists. As it used to, even before they decided to close the borders.

But they'll have to build much more infrastructure and form a variety of industries to cater to this influx of tourists. This means hiring working class North Koreans to work in these industries, not only that, but some of these people will need to speak English. As much as they might try to limit it, cultural exchange will happen. You can keep an eye on a couple of thousand foreigners, but what happens when it is a million and over? Rules against bringing foreign media and interacting with the locals will have to be easened, or ignored.

Once the tourism industry has developed, it will become the lifeblood of the NK economy, to the point that the leadership will have to choose between losing centralized rule of the economy or losing the prosperity they've achieved. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, hence the usage of the word "hope".
It is all really fishy for me. They have isolated their country from the world for so long, and now they are doing this? Something is up. They have been in poverty for the longest time and still wanted isolation. Plus they do hate the US. So I don't know what their deal this time.
 

DeltaForce103

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It is all really fishy for me. They have isolated their country from the world for so long, and now they are doing this? Something is up. They have been in poverty for the longest time and still wanted isolation. Plus they do hate the US. So I don't know what their deal this time.
It could be as simple as the North Korean leadership having decided to experiment with opening up the country, it seems that in the past few years they've been hit with sanction after sanction. The US has just now announced sanctions on North Korea, after accusing it of orchestrating the Sony hacks, which in my opinion, was not an accusation based on any evidence. These sanctions, especially the recent one, do affect North Korean officials and leadership and not the poverty stricken population.
 

Gabriel

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I'm not sure why any one would like to go on holiday there. I have quite a few South Korean friends who have no interest at all. There is also the moral side, why would you help financially support a repressed regime to thrive? That's the ethical side and how could one relax knowing that you actions and behavior will be monitored and restricted?
 

Peachdejour

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This just makes it more interesting haha. But in all seriousness, I'd really rather not go. It could be a trap. Who knows what their "great leader" has in mind really. I won't risk it.
No, everything over there just seems a little too unstable for my liking. I will stay here with my dog, daughter and garden for now.
 

diprod

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Sounds more like an exercise in public relations than an exercise in commercial tourism to me. North Korea is a closed country. It is basically one big prison. Open up a prison for sight-seeing tours?
I see it like a prison too and it is scary to just go there knowing they are not an "open" country. They could arrest anyone they want for whatever reason they want. It is hard to be on their soil. I'll be paranoid most of the time that I'll be there.
 

kittyworker

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As interested as I am to see inside North Korea, It will be a massive risk to go without some form of embedded tracking device and combat training. Even then who's going to come and pull you out and you get trapped?
 

d4rk3n

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The more I think about this country, the more funny it seems.
It seems like Kim actually doesn't want people to come to North Korea, but may be desperate for tourism money.
It kind of shows in their tourism website.
A tourism page for foreigners in a language no one understands?
Right in your face! Common sense.
XD
 

missbishi

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Maybe the website exists as some sort of smokescreen - to make out to the North Korean masses that our lil' man is doing his best to encourage people to visit so therefore cannot possibly be an evil dictator. Certainly, the lack of language options on the site prohibits virtually everyone from reading it.
 

d4rk3n

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Maybe the website exists as some sort of smokescreen - to make out to the North Korean masses that our lil' man is doing his best to encourage people to visit so therefore cannot possibly be an evil dictator. Certainly, the lack of language options on the site prohibits virtually everyone from reading it
If that's what the citizens really think, then I doubt there's anyone left with even a little reasoning power in North Korea.
However, given the earlier posts, and seeing how these citizens are brainwashed, this is a possible reason.
 

Peachdejour

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It could be as simple as the North Korean leadership having decided to experiment with opening up the country, it seems that in the past few years they've been hit with sanction after sanction. The US has just now announced sanctions on North Korea, after accusing it of orchestrating the Sony hacks, which in my opinion, was not an accusation based on any evidence. These sanctions, especially the recent one, do affect North Korean officials and leadership and not the poverty stricken population.
There had been rumors that Kim Jung Un hadn't been seen as often and was babying a bad case of gout and that his sister was doing much of the day to day business in his place. Maybe the younger rulers feel the isolation is a bad thing for the country and are trying it out on a trial basis. They can slap the border shut just as quickly as they open it.
 

Stims

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Personally i would love to visit North Korea... i think it's more of being intrigued to see just what it is like.. which is stupid because no tourist will ever get to see that.
 

ally79

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This was the blog entry I had found about tourism in North Korea. It's a pretty interesting read. I don't think that North Korea would be willing to open themselves up in the way that they need to for tourism to be hugely successful here, but there always be those who want to "see what it's like".
 
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Wait, North Korea is actually allowing visitors in the country for tourism? Seriously? I honestly don't see why that would be appealing for someone, unless they were trying to do something like visit every country in Asia or the world or something like that. I couldn't see someone saying "Oh my gosh I wanna visit North Korea so badly!" Not how the country is at the moment!
 

ProShell

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From what I recall, there is an amusement park on neutral territory between North and South Korea, that is open to both sides. Other than that I can't imagine that there is very much else to explore in North Korea, besides mountains and valleys.
 

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