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Published on : Thursday, December 3, 2015
North Korea is emerging as an adventure destination for Western and Chinese tourists. It has been focusing on its tourism since 2013 and tourists since then are observing a surprisingly broad array of options.
Helicopter rides over the capital, offering a glimpse of scenic eastern coast. Tourism is in its high in the winters as the newly opened luxury ski resort near the city of Wonsan is waiting to welcome its fresh flow of tourism. Though the number were far from encouraging in the previous year, as fears from Ebola had kept many tourists at bay, but this year the authorities are seeking better turn outs.
The government has adopted a pro tourism stand offering concession to foreign tourists. However, despite all these efforts from the government, tourists see security as a primary concern as tourism though being treated as a potential industry is yet to touch the priority list of the country. The country has many restrictions and rules that make tourists somewhat uncertain about visiting North Korea and it will take some more time and effort on the government’s part to present a more convincing picture for tourists.
For those visitors who do break the rules, the risks of detention, arrest and possibly even jail sentences are real enough, especially if the offender is from the United States. The U.S. State Department recently updated and expanded its already blunt warning against North Korean travel.
With so many do’s and don’ts it s difficult for tourists to actually decide on what may be right and what may keep them from falling into trouble. Those that opt for carefully orchestrated tours by major industries who specialise in travel to North Korea have to keep certain tips in mind to see themselves safely out of the destination after their holiday is over.
There is immense searching at the airports starting from newspapers in English Language that are available in most flights, if the face of the leader Kim Jong Un is mistaken defaced by any passenger then it is a serious crime. Passengers are made to go through rigorous checking of books, laptops and tablets to see if there is any content or image that offends the law of the country. This includes pornography as well. Also anything pro-South Korea is also a crime. Also once you are in the country, you have to roam about with an escort. It is a good idea to not get too friendly with the locals as it might land you into trouble. Also there is no privacy and your mobile phone conversations become public in North Korea.
However travellers are being allowed to travel to 8-9 province and there is a wide range of activities available to tourists. There is much to see with restrictions. So if you’re in mood to brave the restrictions then North Korea is one unchartered zone that allows a memorable holiday feel.