Tours to DPRK expected to boom after US-DPRK Summit

Leaders of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) say Vietnam could become a transit center that connects people who want to travel to DRPK.

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After the first US-DPRK Summit in June 2018 in Singapore, some Vietnamese travel firms provided tours to DPRK after a long period of interruption.

The second US-DPRK Summit held in Hanoi once again kicked off travel to DPRK.

A HCM City-based travel firm confirmed that tours to DPRK in March have all been booked. 

Other firms also said the number of travelers asking information about the tours to DPRK is ‘surprisingly high’. Vietnamese booked tours to DPRK in March partially because of the discount rate of VND6 million.

“We have organized five outbound tours to DPRK and travelers all have positive feedback about the trips,” said Vu Dinh Tuan from Saigontourist.

The travel firm plans to organize two tours to DPRK each month throughout the summer. Each tour includes 15-20 travelers on average.

Hanoi Redtours, TransViet and Vietravel have also begun providing tours to DPRK again. 

Nguyen Cong Hoan from Hanoi Redtours said his firm brought five groups of travelers to DPRK last year and now plans to organize two tours to the country each month.

The average tour fee is VND30 million instead of VND50 million as before. Analysts note that those choosing tours to DPRK are mostly people who travel to enjoy experiences and discover new places. They have been to many regional countries such as ROK, Japan, Singapore, as well as the US and Europe.

They cited a VNAT report as saying that about 300,000 Vietnamese travelers visited Japan last year. 

Just two or three years ago, a tour of South Korea cost VND20 million or more, and the cheapest tour to Japan VND30 million. 

But nowadays, a tour to South Korea which lasts five days and four nights, for example, costs VND11.5-12 million only.

A senior executive of the Hanoi branch of a travel firm said the activities of the travelers in North Korea were under strict supervision. However, this was loosened recently. Vietnamese citizens can obtain visas within 7-10 days after they submit valid documents.

Ha Van Sieu, deputy general director of VNAT, said that Air China is the only carrier which provides flights to Pyongyang.

Vietnamese travelers have to fly to Beijing first and then to DPRK. There is only one flight a week, with departure time on Friday and return the next Tuesday.

Vietnamnet

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