PYONGYANG, North Korea - The tourism industry has been ravaged by COVID-19 as millions of tourists have stayed home this year. Cruise ships are staying in port for lack of passengers, airlines are laying off pilots by the hundreds. The effects of the global economic slowdown spared none, not even the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has refused to let his country’s tourism industry flounder. In a bold bid to help keep businesses bustling in the capitol, he has personally embarked on an international tour pitching time-shares to vulnerable buyers.
In a sales pitch in New York, the suave North Korean salesman contrasted life in the Big Apple to Pyongyang. “In New York, you cannot leave house. You cannot go to restaurant. You have no freedom. If you buy timeshare in glorious Pyongyang, you will have much freedom. For two weeks a year, you can eat in restaurants and gather in groups. Our government does not even make you wear masks. We do not even make you order food in bars! Right now, you pay only $6,900 for two-week vacation.”
Despite many skeptics, the pitch seems to be working. As a result of the Supreme Leader’s efforts, tourism to North Korea has increased by over 600% this year. 2019 saw a single tourist visit the Pyongyang, but so far six tourists have already visited the capitol in 2020.