A five-person PATA DPR Korea (North Korea) Task Force arrived in Pyongyang yesterday on a seven-day mission to study the country`s tourism potential and make recommendations to the National Tourism Administration of DPR Korea.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong, said: “This is a first for the travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific and signals North Korea`s apparent willingness to open its doors to the fastest growing industry in the fastest growing region of the world.”
While in DPR Korea, the Task Force will assess the following areas: current and potential tourist attractions; development of tourism infrastructure; air access; destination branding; marketing; and policies affecting tourism.
Task Force Chairman, Mr. Neil Plimmer, said: “Tourism here is in its early stages and we are working together with North Korea to look at ways to build the industry from the ground floor up. North Korea is rich in natural, historic and cultural attractions. The potential for tourism growth, with all its social and economic benefits, is high.”
Mr. Plimmer is working with fellow Task Force members who bring expertise from across the private and public sectors of the travel industry in Asia Pacific: Mr. Paul Casey, Mr. Laurent Kuenzle, Mr. Charles Leong, and PATA Director, Mr. KC Sim. The findings of the Task Force will be available mid-November.
Drawing on PATA`s 30-year experience of sending task forces to work with new and developing destinations, the PATA DPR Korea Task Force is taking a long-term perspective. “We believe North Korea should, at its own pace, join the booming world of Asia Pacific tourism,” Mr. Plimmer said.