|Vietnam's tour bookings to the DPRK surged following the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in late February. Photo by Pixabay.
Hanoitourist and the Korea International Travel Company (KITC) recently signed a memorandum of understanding at the North Korean booth at the Vietnam International Tourism Mart (VITM) held March 27-30 in Hanoi.
Le Hong Thai, deputy director of Hanoitourist, said both parties are working on promoting tours to the DPRK via charter flights.
Tourists will soon be able to fly from directly to Pyongyang in about 4 hours, instead of taking a 3-hour flight to Beijing and then an hour flight from Beijing to Pyongyang.
"The transfers were inconvenient for our customers. If the charter route proves convenient, the number of passengers will increase.
"We expect we will fly the first charter flight in June. The price of the tour will remain the same - less than VND30 million ($1,300) for a 5-day trip but the flying hours will be shortened," Thai said.
The North Korean tour is one of Hanoitourist’s three new products introduced at the VITM this year.
It is also one of the most heavily discounted tours and popular with fair goers at the booth of another Vietnamese travel firm HanoiRedtours. Currently, the company's 5-day trip to the DPRK costs VND26.9 million ($1,160), a 40 percent discount, with Air China being the carrier and tourists having to transit in China.
Nguyen Cong Hoan, director of HanoiRedtours, said that the price is the result of negotiations between three parties, including KITC, to bring more opportunities for tourists to explore what is said to be one of the most mysterious countries in the world.
According to North Korean government regulations, all tourists are required to purchase tours and cannot travel on their own.
Vietnam's tour bookings to the DPRK show noticeable surges following the second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi in late February, according to many travel agencies including HanoiRedtours and Saigontourist.