About

us.

Koryo Tours — the experts in travel to rather unusual destinations.

Our mission: to facilitate responsible tourism to the world’s most isolated and least understood countries while encouraging people-to-people engagement through travel, culture, sport and humanitarian projects.

Meet the team

You're in safe hands

Everyone who travels to the DPRK with us gets an extensive pre-tour briefing at our Beijing office from one of our country experts.

History

Koryo’s co-founder, Nick Bonner, was a lecturer at a Beijing university in the early 1990s when he met a DPRK citizen, and took his first trip to Pyongyang. The experience inspired him to set up Koryo Tours in 1993, and he’s been travelling there ever since. Koryo is now the world's leading travel specialist to DPRK (North Korea), and takes more than 2,000 people to this extraordinary destination every year.

Timeline

1993
Nick Bonner and Josh Green, two Brits living in China, found Koryo Tours. The duo leads a group of seven people on the company’s first-ever tour of the DPRK.
1995
The Festival for Peace is held in April. Guests include Muhammad Ali, and over 100 tourists in attendance thanks to Koryo, which arranges for them to watch the WCW’s Ric Flair wrestle Japan’s Inoki in a 150,000-capacity stadium. It’s the first time that Western tourists visit Pyongyang in significant numbers.
2005
Koryo Tours helps facilitate entry into the DPRK for US citizens for the first time in three years, as part of its mission to encourage engagement and mutual understanding through tourism. This is the year when travel to the DPRK really takes off, thanks in part to the Arirang Mass Games, which runs until 2013.
2007
Following the co-production of three successful documentary films about the DPRK, Koryo starts work on a feature-length romcom with Belgian producer Anja Daelemans and DPRK’s April 25th Film Studio. The resulting movie — Comrade Kim Goes Flying — goes on to become the first DPRK film to be shown at a public screening in South Korea, where it is selected for the Busan International Film Festival.
2008
Building on previous work, this is a watershed year for Koryo’s sporting tours, with a cricket, football, and volleyball team travelling to Pyongyang together for a series of friendly games with their DPRK counterparts. The success of these events shows sport to be one of the best ways to interact with Koreans in a non-political way.
2010
After eight years of letters, proposals and meetings, Koryo finally succeeds in its efforts to have restricted areas of the east coast — such as Hamhung (pictured) and Pujon — opened up to its tourists, who become the first Westerners many Koreans in that region have ever seen. Koryo’s mission to engage rather than isolate continues with the 2013 opening of Sinuiju, new routes in the northeast, and much more.
2014
The Pyongyang Marathon has been a popular event for locals since 1981. Koryo Tours manages to organise entry in to this somewhat closed race some 33 years later, and convinces the race's organisers to allow 92 of its tourists to take part. Once this barrier is broken down, there's no turning back, with 203 foreign amateurs joining in via Koryo in 2015, and close to 600 tourists taking part in 2016. Koryo is now the race's exclusive travel partner, and in charge of all overseas amateur entries.

Why Choose Koryo

  1. ACCESS

    We can provide you with unparalleled access to the DPRK thanks to more than two decades spent developing long-running and deep-seated relationships with our local partners in the country. Travel with Koryo Tours and our access will allow you to go farther and see more than you ever imagined.

  2. EXPERIENCE

    We’ve been running tours to the DPRK since 1993 — our staff have made hundreds of trips, and looked after tens of thousands of tourists over the years. We believe it’s important that if you travel to a country as complicated as the DPRK, you do so with people that have proven experience leading safe and successful tours.

  3. INNOVATION

    Koryo Tours facilitated the earliest Western tourism to the DPRK and created the industry as we now know it — and since that first trip in 1993 we’ve been looking to innovate. From opening up new destinations, such as Hamhung, to introducing new activities for tourists, as seen in the country’s first-ever cycling tour, we continue to push things forward to this day.

  4. KNOWLEDGE

    We think the DPRK is one of the world’s most fascinating places. We also think it’s one of the least understood. Our unrivalled access, experience and passion mean that the world’s media often call upon us to share the insights gained through our many trips. But we’d much rather share this insider and expert knowledge with you in person — whether that's simply via email, or on a trip to Pyongyang and beyond.

  5. COMMITMENT

    Koryo Tours is deeply committed to responsible tourism. We take our commitments and responsibilities very seriously, both towards you, and your safety, as well as towards our partners in the DPRK and the country itself. For you, this includes an extensive pre-tour briefing at our office; for the DPRK we’re proud to support a number of humanitarian projects there, and have done so since the ’90s.

  6. PROJECTS

    We're able to run a number of important projects thanks to your backing as someone who travels to the DPRK with us. These projects range from charity work, such as our support of eight orphanages within the country, to key cultural-engagement initiatives, such as our role in bringing architects and artists together from both sides of Korea's divided peninsula for the 2014 Venice Biennale.

Koryo Tours, its staff and its trips frequently feature in the media — whether that be as experts discussing travel to the DPRK, or coverage of one of our exciting tours. Please see below for a selection of stories about what we've been up to.

Press

See our DPRK (North Korea) tours See our other tours

info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
邮编:100027
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