Homepage / Asia / North Korea is attracting thousands of vacationers every year. So who are they?
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election

Asia

North Korea is attracting thousands of vacationers every year. So who are they?

When a brutal, communist dictatorship is able to attract tourists, the most obvious question is: Who?

North Korea was isolated further Friday as the United States that it will ban its citizens from visiting the country. Given the worrying headlines that consistently swirl around the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, common sense suggests that you’d be hard pressed to find a vacationer willing to take a trip there. But international tourists do visit — and in the thousands.

Tourists range in age from students to the retired, Simon Cockerell, Beijing-based general manager of Koryo Tours, one of the largest international operators of trips to North Korea, told CNBC via telephone. Cockerell detailed that it was “very common to have people booking alone.”

Lupine Tours, a British company that offers trips to North Korea, told CNBC via e-mail that roughly 75 percent of its clientele are male.

For Koryo Tours, U.S. and U.K. nationals each make up 20 percent of its customer base. The rest comprises of travelers from northern and western Europe, as well as Australians, Canadians and those from Middle Eastern countries including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The non-Chinese tourist market is currently 4,000-4,500 per year, down from a high of 6,000 in 2012, according to Cockerell.

But Chinese ultimately make up the lion’s share of North Korea’s tourists — 95 percent, Cockerell said. He added that most commonly, this comprises of less wealthy Chinese crossing the border for a day trip, often seeking nostalgia for China’s own, pre-industrialized past.

The U.S. announced Friday that it would implement a Geographical Travel Restriction on U.S. nationals traveling to the country. According to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, in a statement seen by CNBC, this was “Due to mounting concerns over serious risk of arrest and long-term detention” of U.S. citizens. A notice will be published in the Federal Register this week, with the restriction going into place 30 days afteward.

As yet, no other countries have announced similar measures. According to Reuters, North Korea is the only country in the world U.S. citizens cannot visit.

“If the U.S. government says Americans cannot come to this country, we don’t care a bit,” senior North Korean official Han Chol-Su told Agence France-Presse Tuesday.

Two experts who spoke to CNBC said the U.S. measure was a response to American student Otto Warmbier’s recent death following a visit to North Korea. In March 2016, Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labor after allegedly trying to steal a political slogan from a hotel. He was released in June this year and returned to the U.S. in a coma, dying that month.

Tensions in the Korean peninsula have amped up recently, with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un continuing to test nuclear weapons — thought to be capable of reaching U.S. soil – despite United Nations sanctions.

Koryo Tours said that military tension does not deter tourists, though the Otto Warmbier case had caused U.S. visitor numbers to drop off.

There is no U.S. consulate or embassy in North Korea, but limited services are provided to U.S. citizens through the Embassy of Sweden.

North Korea does promote itself as a tourist destination. Its DPR Korea Tourism website suggests that as well as visiting the capital Pyongyang, tourists can also ski and surf in the country.

Isaac Stone Fish, senior fellow at the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, told CNBC via e-mail that the U.S. travel ban “comes as the Trump administration is looking for other ways to punish Pyongyang for the death of Warmbier and North Korea’s frequent missile tests throughout 2017.”

Fish, who has visited the country twice on organized tours, added that “Visiting North Korea is a rare opportunity for Americans to humanize North Koreans,” beyond the national stereotype of a “cartoonishly evil leader, nuclear weapons, and rows upon rows of goosestepping soldiers.”

Jonathan Pollack, senior fellow at the Center for East Asia Policy at the Brookings Institution, said that: “This decision is both appropriate and overdue.”

“It’s about protecting American lives … I see extremely limited prospects under prevailing circumstances for any meaningful improvement in US-(North Korea) relations,” he added.

Source: cnbc china
North Korea is attracting thousands of vacationers every year. So who are they?

Comments are closed.