Holiday in North Korea? - Al Jazeera English

Holiday in North Korea?

Still considered one of the world's most closed-off nations, North Korea aims to expand its tourist industry.

Fredrik Brogeland Laache, Axel Storen Weden | | Human Rights, Politics, Asia Pacific, North Korea

Pyongyang, North Korea - After the country, which some describe as the "hermit kingdom", was shut off to tourists in late October due to fears of the Ebola epidemic spreading there, the North Korean regime is now determined to further develop the impoverished nation's tourist industry and aims to welcome two million tourists by 2020.

While the majority of visitors come from neighbouring China, a growing number of Western tourists are arriving in North Korea, joining carefully coordinated package tours.

Today, several tour companies founded by Westerners offer a broad range of itineraries inside North Korea, ranging from "Surf'n Beach" tours to "Business Interest" tours.

The most common tour is the one-week "See-It-All" trip in and around Pyongyang.

Despite the heavily monitored nature of the often hectic and polished tours, one is still exposed to the hardships suffered by the vast majority of the North Korean population.

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