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PATA reports on North Korean tourism

The Pacific Asia Travel Association DPR Korea Task Force Report will be officially released at…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association DPR Korea Task Force Report will be officially released at the 53rd PATA Annual Conference on Jeju Island in Korea (ROK), April 18.

The report was written by a five-person PATA Task Force that travelled to DPR Korea (North Korea) in September 2003 to study the country`s tourism potential.

The PATA Task Force gained an overall understanding of the country`s tourism products and paid particular attention to marketing, air access, ground operations, infrastructure and the modernisation of flag carrier, Air Koryo.

The PATA DPR Korea Task Force drew upon PATA`s 30 years` experience in sending task forces to work with new and developing destinations.

Tourism in the DPRK is, in volume terms, in its early stages, said Task Force Chairman, Mr. Neil Plimmer.

The country has been welcoming tourists for many years but this has not been adequately publicised. It offers an intriguing holiday, rich in unique experiences, and a safe environment. The potential for tourism growth, with all its social and economic benefits, is high.

He added: We believe North Korea should, at its own pace, join the booming world of Asia Pacific tourism.

Mr. Plimmer`s Task Force colleagues — Mr. Paul Casey, Mr. Laurent Kuenzle, Mr. Charles Leong and PATA Director, Mr. KC Sim — brought with them expertise from across the private and public sectors of the travel industry in Asia Pacific.

Mr. Sim said: The DPRK remains one of Asia`s best-kept secrets, a country that possesses a wealth of historical, cultural, natural and man-made attractions.

PATA President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong, said: This is a first for the travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific and signals DPRK`s apparent willingness to open its doors to the fastest growing industry in the world`s fastest growing region.

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