Tour bookings to DPRK surges post-summit

Update: 16:08 | 02/03/2019
Vietnamese travel companies are launching more tours to the DPRK in the wake of the Trump-Kim Summit in Ha Noi.
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Vietravel expects 1,000 Vietnamese tourists to travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) between March and November this year.

HanoiRedtours said the DPRK tours in March are sold out and it expects the number of visitors to double after the summit. 

HCMC-based Saigontourist said it would organize one tour each from HCMC and Hanoi every month with 15-20 visitors on each trip.

"Trips will be organized regularly until the end of this summer. The price of a five-day, four-night tour is VND29.9 million ($1,284) from Ha Noi and VND32.99 million ($1,417) from Ho Chi Minh City."

A spokesperson for another Ha Noi travel company said the company is researching the possibility of launching tours to the DPRK by train, similar to Kim Jong-un's visit to Vietnam. 

tour bookings to dprk surges post summit
Daily life in North Korea through the lens of a Vietnamese tourist. (Photo: Ngo Quang Minh)

"Currently, you can only fly to Pyongyang by Air China, and the number of seats is limited. If train routes are used, visitors will have more choices, and the number of tourists will increase significantly."

According to the DPRK's government regulations, all tourists are required to buy a tour and cannot travel on their own.

A Saigontourist spokesperson said interest in tours to the DPRK has spiked as a result of the Trump-Kim Summit.

The company used to offer a DPRK tour for VND50 million ($2,146), but suspended it due to safety issues and high prices. However, many other companies are offering tours at half that price. 

Some companies launched promotions before the summit on February 27-28 with discounts of VND3-6 million ($128 - $257). 

Others organized contests on American and North Korean cultures, with prizes being discount vouchers and free trips to the DPRK. 

One company waived service charges for obtaining US and North Korean visas between February 22 and 28. 

The DPRK-USA Summit was held in Ha Noi from February 27–28.

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(Source: Vnexpress)