A Russian travel agency is promoting what seems to be the inaugural tour to North Korea since the country sealed its borders in response to the Covid pandemic. The agency is offering a “family-friendly” skiing excursion to a luxurious resort located outside the capital, Pyongyang.
Similar to many other nations, North Korea implemented stringent anti-epidemic measures and closed its tightly controlled borders when the global spread of the pandemic commenced in early 2020.
For a fee of $750, Russian tourists now have the opportunity to become the first documented travelers to revisit the country on a four-day journey to the Masikryong Ski Resort, as detailed in the advertisement on the website of the Russian travel agency Vostok Intur.
Prior to the onset of Covid, the country provided mysterious, yet meticulously planned tours for individuals intrigued by glimpsing into the world of the most secluded nation, long governed by its leader Kim Jong Un and his predecessors, his late father, and grandfather.
First North Korea Trip Since 2020 Border Closure: Insights
Simon Cockerell, the general manager of Koryo Tours, highlighted that the upcoming trip would mark the first entry into North Korea since its borders closed in January 2020.
While he considered it a “positive sign,” Cockerell urged caution in assuming it indicated a broader resurgence of North Korea’s pre-pandemic tourist industry.
Cockerell, whose tour company faced challenges after the border closures, cautioned against prematurely anticipating a general reopening to all tourists.
Despite the absence of an official announcement regarding the resumption of tourism, the state news agency KCNA reported a meeting between Pyongyang’s External Economic Relations Minister Yun Jong Ho and Moscow’s governor of the Maritime Territory Administration Oleg Kozhemyako in December.
The discussions reportedly focused on elevating inter-regional economic cooperation between the two countries.
CNN has sought comments from the Russian travel agency Vostok Intur, which, according to its website, regularly organizes tours to China, with the North Korean trip being its latest addition.
The advertised journey to North Korea is set to commence from the Russian port city of Vladivostok on February 9.
The offered package includes round-trip flights from Vladivostok to Pyongyang and a bus transfer to the Masikryong ski resort, situated atop the 1,360-meter Taehwa Peak, approximately a 3.5-hour drive east of Pyongyang.