[IMG=21035-6871]The Moscow Office of the National Tourism Organization of Korea is at the moment elaborating a special program that allows to visit both North and South Korea at once, said Director of the Moscow Office of the National Tourism Organization of Korea, Pak Ben Chjik, at the press-conference held in President-hotel on September 21st.
However, a new tour does not suggest either a ban for crossing the demarcation line or the long-awaited association of South and North Koreas. The tour offers to tourists from Russia to go first to North Korea, then fly to any third country, for example, China or Russia, and finally go to South Korea. Pak Ben Chjik expressed hope that the new tour will engender the tourist flow from Russia. According to the National Tourism Organization in 2005 around 150,000 Russians visited the republic. ‘At the moment high prices for tours owing expensive fuel prevent the increase in demand’, said Pak Ben Chjik . Vasily Lebedev, Director of travel company Otkritie, pointed out that high prices for in-country services also add to the package cost and as a consequence makes traveling to the country impossible for the majority of tourists. ‘Excursion tours are not in demand although the total tourist flow is quite high. The majority of tourists prefer business and shop-tours’, believes Natalia Zhitnaya, Director of Atoll Travel Company.
As for attraction Korean tourists to Russia, threat of terrorism remains the main obstacle. ‘When I come back from Russia to Korea, the first question always refers to safety of foreigners in Russia. Despite Seoul is equally far from Russia and the USA our tourists prefer to travel to the United States’, explained Pak Ben Chjik. Thus, last year 500,000 Korean tourists traveled to the USA, while only 50,000 Koreans preferred Russia for their holidays.
Pak Ben Chjik also emphasized the opening of the new Cultural Center of the Korean Embassy.
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