In the past, tours to North Korea were often avoided due to high costs, political conflict, and a lengthy, strict visa procedure.

According to Tuoi Tre, in the wake of the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi, many Vietnamese tour operators are looking forward to capitalizing on the renewed interest in visiting North Korea.

“We had taken tourists to the nation but the numbers were quite modest back then,” Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink, told the news source. “As Vietnam-North Korea relations are becoming better following the summit, more Vietnamese tourists are taking an interest in North Korea.”


Credit: Reuters / Jorge Silva

A man in Hanoi holds a painting of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, Feb. 27, 2019.

Saigontourist also shared that they will start organizing two tours per month from Hanoi and Saigon to North Korea after the summit.

Vu Dinh Tuan, the director of Saigontourist's international travel branch, said that his company restarted tours to North Korea last October. They have organized five tour groups, and the general feedback has been very positive, he told Tuoi Tre. Truong Thi Thu Nga, Viettravel's deputy marketing director, also shared similar insight.

Tuan also said that after the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore and Hanoi, the cost for North Korea tours decreased and the visa procedures were shortened, which has helped to contribute to the trend.

A typical tour to North Korea requires traveling to Beijing, as Air China is currently the only aviation company with a flight route to Pyongyang.

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The News Lens has been authorized to republish this article from Saigoneer, an English-language digital platform covering urban development, history, food, culture and the arts in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and throughout Vietnam. The original can be found here.

TNL Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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