Written by by Staff Writer, CNN
When crowds begin to dwindle in North Korea, in 2021, will Americans be able to return to tour there?
Probably not. Although tourism to North Korea by Americans is forbidden, it’s largely ignored by American reporters and more than 200,000 Americans take a trip there every year without government-approved tours.
While the US State Department doesn’t track Americans’ efforts to travel to North Korea, travel companies are keeping track of the number of tourists as more and more people try to gain permission to cross the border.
Consultants, book publishers and tour groups report that Americans make up the majority of those turning up to visit North Korea. This, however, hasn’t discouraged the region’s tourism industry from developing, as companies hope visitors will expose North Koreans to outside culture.
The World Bank estimates that $70 million is generated from tourism in North Korea each year, and while in recent years Chinese visitors have overtaken American ones, companies are optimistic that even more Americans will try to tour North Korea in the years to come.
The list below includes countries where foreign travelers can still legally travel and are stepping up security to deter others from entering.