Warmbier’s death makes tourists hesitant about North Korea
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Warmbier’s death makes tourists hesitant about North Korea

Megan Lacina took a photo in the capital Pyongyang in April. Photo: Facebook

Megan Lacina, 28, living in Los Angeles, USA, went to North Korea to participate in a marathon in April. However, she said if it were now, she might not have made that decision.

​The death of American male student Otto Warmbier has made Lacina and many tourists rethink about setting foot in one of the most mysterious countries in the world, according to BBC.

Warmbier died on June 19, nearly a week after being released by North Korea.

Lacina said North Korean people are `timid and reserved but not unfriendly`.

`I’m glad I was there. But in the meantime, after the death of Otto Warmbie, if I leave next week, I don’t dare to imagine what my trip will be like,` Lacina wrote.

She expressed sympathy when she learned that Warmbier was arrested for stealing a banner from the hotel.

Travel companies once praised and described North Korea as `a hidden and magical country` or `one of the remaining pristine destinations in the world` or `a surreal experience`.

However, after Warmbier’s death, most travel agencies expressed reluctance to respond to the press because they were worried that any information they revealed could affect their business.

Travel company Young Pioneer Tours (YPT), founded in 2008 in China, regularly organizes trips that are not for the faint of heart.

In an interview with NHK News, a YPT representative believes that North Korea is still a safe destination if tourists are carefully prepared.

Warmbier's death makes tourists hesitant about North Korea

After Warmbier’s death, will tourists turn away from North Korea?

Cycling tour in Pyongyang

However, YPT announced on June 20 that it would temporarily stop sending Americans to North Korea because of concerns that the risks were too high, according to SCMP.

The US State Department warns citizens not to travel to North Korea and is considering issuing a ban.

`North Korea lures Americans to their country through tours operating in China, they advertise online that no American has ever been arrested while traveling there and that it is a safe destination,`

The tourism industry brings significant revenue to North Korea.

With increasing tensions in relations between the US and North Korea, people fear that US citizens will become more likely to become targets of Pyongyang.

`Whenever tensions between the US and North Korea increase, we see the number of tourists booking tours decrease. After the US showed a tough attitude, declaring that it could launch a military attack, people are naturally hesitant to book tours to

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