What countries tourism industry would you expect to be heavily impacted by COVID-19? Greece, France, Smaller island nations even, however one country many people would not expect is North Korea. Yesterday an article from Forbes was posted explaining how North Korea’s tourism industry has been affected by COVID-19. The article explains that North Korea has seen large revenue gains from over 350,000 Chinese tourists visiting the country in just 2019 alone. Typically Chinese tour operators would bring nearly 1,000 visitors a day to the “forbidden kingdom” in 2019, sites shown during the tours included Pyongyang, the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas, shops, and even a ski resort. However since the end of January, these tours have stopped due to the coronavirus, and there is no date to restart operations again. Although North Korea is one of the few countries that have no reported cases of coronavirus tourism has shut down to mitigate the spread even more. The earliest predicted time for tours to start running again is summer however there is some speculation that it could even last until 2021. This closure has forced companies to lay off workers and give refunds to people who have already signed up to go on tours in North Korea. Although tourism isn’t the largest industry in North Korea there will still be significant effects on North Koreans working in the tourism industry with some loss of income and the continuing struggle to market North Korea as a tourist destination.
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