Will North Korea be open for tourism in 2020? While nothing can be taken as a given, all information points to North Korea being unlikely to be open to tourists in 2020.
Through chats with our partners in the North Korean tourism industry, who themselves are in touch with their partners in the DPRK the general consensus now from both inside and outside of North Korea is that it will be unlikely to letting in tourists during the calendar year.
This may seem like quite a broad statement, bot for anyone who has been following the global pandemic that is coronavirus, it is also far from unexpected.
North Korea were the first country to enact a border closure, as well as the most restrictive of quarantines in the world. Now whilst this might be anecdotal at best, it should be remembered that during the Ebola crisis, not only were North Korea the only country to close their borders, bit it happened for 5 months.
This if course is much more serious on a global scale than Ebola every became, and therefore the seriousness that the DPRK will take on this should not be underestimated.
North Korea still reports no cases of COVID-19 despite numerous rumours and innuendo (link too KIA blog), now whilst there is zero reason not believe there have been no cases this does present a unique set of affairs.
China, the main trading partner of the DPRK, and of course main tourist entry point for the country may be wary of allowing travel between the PRC, and the DPRK if there appears to be any sort of a lack of openness about the state of affairs in the country.
And then of course there are the official statements of North Korea, who have stated they will not be opening borders until there is a vaccine. It is one thing finding a sacred vaccine, and of course it is a whole other thing producing it at an affordable level, and then implementing it on a global level, particularly in the DPRK.
It is important to remain optimistic, but when push comes to shoves realistic always makes more sense.
And yes that means as we said no Mass Games in 2020, at least for tourists anyway.