Photo via Flickr (Stefan Schinning)
Interested in taking a Communist destination trip this summer? Lucky for you, Kim Jong-un is making a big effort to boost North Korea tourism. The so-called “tourism drive” comes after the super-secretive country lifted its four-month ban to all foreigners in March over fears of the Ebola virus.
Kim Jong-un’s focus on tourism stems from two main reasons: economic value and the country’s reputation. “Tourism can produce a lot of profit relative to the investment required, that’s why our country is putting priority on it,” he said recently in the country’s capital Pyongyang, according to the Telegraph. Looks like he’s finally picking up on the Caribbean’s secret. He expanded by saying, “many people in foreign countries think in a wrong way about our country. Though the economic sanctions of the US imperialists are increasing, we are developing our economy. So I think many people are curious about country.”
North Korea welcomed 100,000 tourists last year, and it hopes to lure two million by 2020. Most North Korea-minded travelers currently come from neighboring China, and though the new tourism boost is aimed at similar travelers, the government also wants to attract Western wanderlust millennials. It plans to be about so much more than low standards of living and censorship. For instance, it’s both a surf and ski destination. Tourist sites in Pyongyang so far include a high-tech shooting range, an equestrian center, a water park, and an amusement park complete with a roller coaster. As for it being a culinary destination, many new restaurants have opened along the city’s beachfront area.
Tourists can reportedly expect severe repercussions if they “step out of line” and are subject to constant monitoring. We’ll just settle our sights on Cuba for now.