ADVISORS FROM North Korea -the most isolated country in the world – recently visited the Costa Blanca to examine its tourism offering.
North Korea is aiming to emulate and replicate a ‘costa-style’ beach resort within its own nation for the North-East seaside town of Wonsan in order to increase its number of foreign visitors.
The delegation of North Koreans examined both Barcelona and Valencia, but only had eyes for the Costa Blanca, reported to be ‘amazed by the dimensions’ of Benidorm’s tower blocks and holiday parks.
At the North Korean Embassy in Madrid, a spokesman told the press that they would be ready for its first tourists by mid-2018.
Matias Perez, one of the trip organisers, remarked that ‘it’s positive that they want to stop being the most hermetic country in the world.’
The trip was a part of North Korea’s tourism plans to increase the number of foreign visitors from just over 100,000 to 1 million people annually.
The country’s tourism ambitions are shown by their plans to develop Wonsan town into a resort.
Architectural designs by Hong Kong based firm PLT reveal plans to build a $200 million (€175 million) airport in Wonsan and an underwater hotel, flower park and stadium within the town.
Yet, these plans will require high investment, in a state that struggles to feed its own population. According to the World Food Programme, 70 per cent of its population live with ‘food insecurity’ and chronic malnutrition.