Russian tourists divert to North Korean ski resorts amidst EU entry barriers
For many years, affluent Russians have been enjoying winter holidays at Alpine resorts. However, this changed after sanctions were imposed in response to Russia's aggression towards Ukraine. Russians face difficulties in obtaining visas that would permit them to enter European Union countries. Additionally, the cost of airline tickets has surged due to the interruption of direct flights from Russian airports, necessitating stopovers in Dubai or Istanbul.
In light of this, Russian vacationers have begun seeking alternatives to the Alpine resorts. Some opt for significantly cheaper trips to Serbia, Kazakhstan, and Georgia. There is also a novel destination. As reported by "Rzeczpospolita", the first group of Russian tourists embarked on Friday, February 9, to a North Korean resort. According to Alexey Starichkov, the head of the International Co-operation Agency of the Primorsky Krai, a group of nearly 100 people took flight to Korea.
The plane carrying the tourists departed from an airport in Vladivostok, landing in Pyongyang. The itinerary for the trip includes touring the monuments of the North Korean capital. Attractions include the Triumphal Gate, the Juche Idea Monument, the Monument to the Founding of the Korean Workers' Party, and Kim Il-sung Square.
"After visiting Pyongyang, tourists will proceed straight to the Masikryong ski resort", Alexey Starichkov reported.
A short Russian trip to North Korea might lead to dissatisfaction
The excursion of Russian tourists to a ski resort in North Korea is not notably long-lasting, scheduled for merely 4 days and 3 nights. The fairly rigid timetable of the tour might leave Russian skiers feeling discontented.
The journey to the Masikryong resort is priced at $750. This price includes a tourist visa to enter North Korea, the flight, and accommodation for one night in a four-star hotel, plus two nights in a five-star hotel. Russians must pay separately for ski slope use and equipment rental.
Russian vacationers will have access to ten multi-level trails, an outdoor ice rink, a field for snowball fights, and sledding tracks.