A new travel agency specializing in tours to North Korea was officially launched on Thursday, at a news conference held in Moscow.
The President of Russia’s Travel Agencies Union Sergey Golov and Kim Sung Hoon from the North Korean embassy in Russia attended the announcement of the launch of NKOREAN.
“I hope that the NKOREAN company will make a breakthrough,” Golov said at the news conference. “For our tourists, for the consumer, this is very important. There’s great interest.”
“I think that the development prospects are quite good, because until you are in the country, until you look at it from the inside, you will not get the right impression of North Korea.”
Also present at the conference were Julia Mukhtasipova, Director of Sales for NKOREAN, Victor Voronytsev, the company’s Director for Development, and En Ir Kim, a representative of the Korea International Travel Company (KITC).
“NKOREAN is the first company that is specialized in tourism in the DPRK,” Voronytsev said. “Before that, all other companies offered DPRK tours among many others. We are engaged in this region exclusively.”
“Thanks to this, we will be able to achieve certain success working with PR, working with social media and promoting this region.”
The company was reportedly established this year, but the specific date is unclear.
The company’s official website showed the logos of Russia’s Federal Agency for Tourism and the Korea International Travel Company (KITC), and says that tour packages are available in Russian, English, French, and Mandarin, but that the services can be provided in German, Italian and other languages depending on the preference of travelers.
Prices of tour packages are displayed in rubles or euros. On its website, NKOREAN says it offers group tours for up to 10 people, and that the purpose of the tours was to “show the travelers the multifaceted life of this most closed of countries in the world.”
The travel agency also works with “many international tour agencies and companies,” according to its website.
The company provides two types of tours: classic and special. The classic tour provides four different products, from a five-day to a 15-day tour program, with prices starting at 58,902 rubles (USD$995).
Customers purchasing the special tour program, however, get more options, with 18 tour packages varying from four to 12 days with prices starting at 51,220 rubles (around USD$866).
The most expensive tour is a 15-day “full immersion in the culture of North Korea” trip, for which prices start at 118,090 rubles (USD$1,997)
The travel agency says it provides a product which is “completely ‘tailored’ to the budget and the wishes of the customer.”
NKOREA also has an extensive social media presence, and is headquartered at the Omega Plaza Business Center in Moscow.
The launch of the new tour company comes as Moscow and Pyongyang enhance bilateral cooperation in the tourism industry.
In early August, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang announced that North Koreans and citizens from 17 other countries can now visit Russia’s Far East area using a free electronic visa, with tests for the registration of e-visas having been available on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs since August 1.
The DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) also reported on May 17 that North Korea had begun operation of a ferry route between the country’s Rason port and Vladivostok.
KCNA reported that the “Rajin-Vladivostok international tourist liner Mangyongbong would be operated by common efforts.”
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: NKOREAN
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 577 words of this article.