Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

NORTH Korea attempts to attract Russian tourists dodging Western sanctions to its nearly empty £21m ski resort.

The country’s broadcaster posted footage of welcoming a delegation from Primorsky Krai, Russia to the resort near Wonsan.

EPAKim desperately tries to attract Russian tourists to his nearly-empty £21 million resort[/caption]

X / twitter/@nknewsorgRussian holidaygoers have less options due to western restrictions on their passports[/caption]

North Korea plans to establish new travel routes to Russia to boost tourismAFP

Russian Far East authorities say North Korea wants to establish new travel routes with their neighbour.

They also announced that they are working on projects to promote tours for children and adults, according to the press release.

DPRK proposed new rail, sea and air routes between countries in a desperate attempt to boost tourism.

North Korea expressed interest in establishing regular train service from the Russian Far East city of Ussuriysk to the DPRK’s Tumangang and Rajin near the border.

The DPRK state airline Air Koryo is prepared to “arrange additional flights” when the number of visitors increases.

Air Koryo currently conducts regular flights to Russia twice a week after resuming travel in August.

Some experts told NK News that the grandiose plans might work as Russian passports are increasingly restricted in other parts of the world.

Russia and North Korea already have mechanisms in place that allow for easier and smoother currency exchange.

But Koryo Tours general manager Simon Cockerell is skeptical about the success of this endevaour.

He told NK News: ” The Russian population in the Far East is small compared to China.

“These Primorsky Krai officials can promise anything and can offer to promote tourism.

“But in the end people choose their own holiday destinations.”

Kim Jong Un’s virtually deserted winter sports resort failed to attract large numbers of international tourists since its opening in 2013.

The despot planned to improve his hermit state’s struggling economy by attracting overseas visitors.

Kim’s ski resort – built by the army – needs 5,000 skiers a DAY to pack its slopes to break-even.

But dirt poor Koreans can’t afford the £30 day pass to the resort.

Let alone hiring equipment or £100 a night hotel room.

The huge resort spans over 1,400 hectares and has 70 miles of slopes to explore.

The hotel has a sauna and karaoke facilities, a swimming pool and a 9th floor bar with a lovely view.

A restaurant at the summit of Mount Taehwa offers panoramic views though the 40-minute ride on three sets of rickety chair-lifts bought second-hand from China may put some off.

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