Tourism boost to North in works
Celebrating its ninth anniversary, Hyundai Asan Corporation said yesterday it aims to draw over half a million tourists to its recently opened North Korean tourist resorts this year.
“We are focusing on developing various tours and fee systems for the Kaesong project and a construction infrastructure for the Mount Paektu project,” Yoon Man-joon, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Asan, said in a ceremony held in Seoul.
“By expanding the existing Mount Kumgang tourism project and activating the Kaesong and Mount Paektu projects, we will open an era that will bring 550,000 tourists to North Korea and 500 billion won ($530.8 million) of sales,” he added.
The number of tourists to Mount Kumgang tallied 350,000 last year. The North Korean tour unit of Hyundai Asan hopes to pull the number of visitors up to 430,000 this year, 10,000 of whom would head to Kaesong, which began tours in December, and 15,000 of whom would visit Mount Paektu, with tours slated to start in May.
Hyundai Asan had marked annual losses from 1999 until it made profits in 2005. Its 2007 profits totaled 10 billion won.
By Moon So-young Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]