North Korea opens door to rich Chinese

Featured - July 17th, 2012

North Korea will open more tourist routes for wealthy Chinese visitors, in a move to obtain foreign currency, Asahi Shimbun reports.

Travel packages last year included train tours to North Korea’s rugged northeast, taking in scenic spots such as the Chongjin and Mount Chilbosan. Another tour allowed tourists to visit the port city of Rason. Several Chinese travel agencies handle package tours to North Korea, with direct flights from Beijing, Shenyang and Harbin to Pyongyang. Tourists can also travel by train, private car or even walk across the border. North Korea expects that it will see more Chinese tourists. A travel agency representative in Harbin told the Asahi Shimbun that “the response has been good because we receive about 20 to 30 inquiries daily,” including those for business trips.

Alongside new tourist routes, North Korean government officials begun marketing studies into tourism. North Korea also allows the use of yuan, the Chinese currency, but is extremely expensive for visitors.