North Korea poised to compete with Cuba for tourists?
Call it schadenfreude, or delighting in the misfortune of others. Call it slumming, or Hell-diving, or repression voyeurism, or poverty porn, or anything else you want. It's always a banal disgrace, no matter what you call it.
Some denizens of the first world love to visit the world's worst dictatorships, even when tropical beaches and child prostitutes are not part of the itinerary.
Face it: the prospect of gawking at the downtrodden, and of being served by them on a highly regimented tour brings more visitors to Cuba than do the beaches or the rented sex slaves.
Still, one must admit that those who are now flocking to North Korea are true connoisseurs of vicarious woe, and a rare species: the dregs of the morally bankrupt tourist class. Had they been able to do so, they would have certainly toured Nazi, Stalinist, and Khmer Rouge death camps. And if Che had sold tours of his UMAP camps, they would have flocked to them.
Raul and company, watch out. All your phony "reforms" might be taken too seriously by these cretins and -- since these folk have some trouble discerning the difference between ordure and Shinola -- they'll soon stop believing that Cuba is a Cold War relic. And the next thing you know, they'll stop visiting your island prison.
From the Travel section of The Telegraph (UK)
North Korea crisis piques tourists' interest
Britain’s leading tour operator to North Korea has reported a huge surge in interest in trips to the country, despite rising tension in the region.
Kim Jong-un's government has made increasingly bellicose threats to deploy nuclear missiles in a conflict with South Korea that threatens to draw in China and the United States.
But Regent Holidays, the Bristol-based company that pioneered trips to North Korea, has recorded a 400 per cent increase in inquires from people wanting to get an inside take on one of the few remaining hardline communist regimes in the world.
Gillian Leaning, Regent’s Marketing Manager, said that the response showed that whether a country was in the news for good or bad reasons, people become more interested in it.
“Most of the people getting in touch with us are new to North Korea,” she said. “They have heard about it on the news and probably Googled it and have then seen that you can actually go there. It’s not a country that is usually on the travel radar but for some, it is now. People are curious to see how the news is portrayed there.”...
...Regent Holidays has been sending people to North Korea since 1985 and currently sends about 200 people a year. Tours are highly regimented with very little chance for independent exploration and strict rules have to be observed on what can and cannot be photographed.
Read more HERE