North Korea's Goal of 2 Million Tourists is Adorable
North Korea, the hermit country that recently banned the near entirety of the human race from its borders over an Ebola fear, is happy to announce it will one day accept two million tourists.
The Telegraph’s Hugh Morris reports that despite long odds and sound reason the country is determined to increase the number of tourists within its borders to two million by 2020.
Morris breaks down the lofty tourism numbers: “The country currently welcomes 100,000 tourists a year, the majority of which come from neighboring China. But in a tourism drive sanctioned by Kim Jong-un, this figure will reach one million by 2017 and two by 2020.”
Now there may be some conjecture as to the number of tourists that actually flood the isolated nation.
In July 2014, Al Jazeera had this to say on the paltry numbers of visitors: “According to estimates by travel operators, North Korea receives around 6,000 tourists a year. In comparison, the continent of Antarctica over the same period receives over six times that.”
Also consider that Greenland, a country that often resembles Hoth or the back of your freezer had over double that number in one month, July, last year.
Now perhaps that number considers those from western countries and not those, like China, that make up a sizable portion of North Korea’s tourism numbers. What we do know is that the influx into the country is hardly an influx and more akin to the trickle of water from a slightly faulty faucet.
This is, after all, a country whose tourism website went live just this past December, which illustrates how outrageous these marks will be to hit. And really, truth is at a premium when it comes to details and statistics from North Korea.
But to garner millions of visitors it will first have to get out word that the country is in fact open for business.
Remember that just this March the country that was previously closed to tourists for fear of Ebola reopened its borders. This is like finally getting an Evite to that party you had no intention of going to anyway.
However, Morris quotes a rather optimistic leader in Kim Jong-un: “Tourism can produce a lot of profit relative to the investment required, so that’s why our country is putting priority on it.”
The leader continued, “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 our country.”
But the curious don’t always get a clear picture of the true North Korea as a 2014 Vice video showed.
The following illustrates how the country might more resemble the back lot of a fanciful Hollywood movie than an authentic country that puts its issues at the forefront:
So the uphill battle towards a lucrative tourism model includes human rights issues, an extremely volatile relationship with neighboring South Korea and lack of some things tourists from across the globe take for granted like, oh, Internet.
As The Washington Post reported recently, a lack of Internet may have actually helped the country sidestep a cyber attack of its own.
So in all we would like to congratulate North Korea for putting forth grandiose numbers, because it’s important for one to have goals.
With that we launch our own initiative to usurp LeBron James as the NBA’s best player by 2019. We will be out back working on our jumper if you need us.
More by Gabe Zaldivar
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
Airlines & Airports