World Travel Market welcomes its secretive state
It has a notorious reputation as the most secretive state in the world under the dictatorship of Kim Jong-Un. But now leisure trips to see the isolated communist country of North Korea are being promoted at the World Travel Market in London next week.
If you want to run in the Pyongyang Marathon next April, ski on North Korea’s uncrowded mountain slopes or visit ancient temples, it’s likely that Experience North Korea can offer right the holiday. Founded three years ago, Experience North Korea already works with travel agencies and operators around the world.
Shanghai-based Nathalie Armengol, managing partner of Experience North Korea, will be exhibiting at WTM to meet travel buyers and challenge perceptions about the country. She first visited North Korea as a tourist herself, following a friend’s recommendation.
“We have to admit we were a little bit hesitant at first, but we were blown away,” she said. “We always joke and say that going to North Korea is like going to another planet. So, effectively, it’s the cheapest trip to outer space you can buy.”
She ran in the 2014 Pyongyang marathon, describing it as “the closest I’ll ever get to participating in the Olympics”, as the event included an opening and closing ceremony in a stadium filled with thousands of cheering North Koreans.
[pictured: Kaesong city centre, North Korea; photo by Btxtsf]