New app designed in Novosibirsk offers dazzling images and travel advice on this 'Stalinist' country.
The Siberian team (l to r) Kirill Bulgakov, Alexander Anisimov, Nikolay Selin, Dmitry Potapov, Ksenia Purtova. Picture: Magora Systems
The project highlights an evident bid by North Korea to gain a larger slice of the lucrative tourist market. The tourism app was developed by British travel technology company Uniquely.Travel working with Siberian specialists Magora Systems.
Users will see 'corners previously thought to be strictly off limits to foreigners'.
The app has raised concerns over human rights issues in a state called the most repressive on earth. Others say that the more foreign visitors travelling to the reclusive country, the more it might open.
Marina Stokoz, marketing manager of Magora Systems, told The Siberian Times: 'It was a proposal from Uniquely.Travel to participate in this project.
'They found us on Elance platform where customers can locate developers, designers or software engineers.
'We won the tender and began to work.
'We dealt only with the technical side, developing, page-proofing, and testing. All the content was given to us by the customer.'
Every year, North Korea is visited by 3000 - 4000 tourists from Western countries and interest is growing. Pictures: Magora Systems
Magora Systems is 'a trusted global software, mobile and web development company. Since our 2006 founding with only two engineers, we have grown to become a large company which challenges norms, strives for excellence and adheres to a robust delivery model. Today, we are the preferred IT-outsourcing partner of many prominent organizations worldwide.'
The app 'features the most comprehensive scope of information about North Korea. It includes entries on over 350 individual places of interest, carefully geo-tagged and photographed to allow users to accurately and confidently plan their trip.
'The application also reflects North Korean history, has an ethics guide and even a phrasebook to help tourists during their visit.
'A custom tour-finder and tour-builder will assist visitors in their plans. The North Korea Travel app is compatible with devices supporting Apple's iOS and the Google Android operating system. It features customized graphics for tablet and cellular devices.'
'We treat the end-user experience with utmost importance and all our projects go through a rigorous technical analysis and review prior to their launch.
'Our process is more exacting and more quantitative than the competition, which is what truly sets us apart from others.'
Nikolay Selin, account manager, said: 'Every year, North Korea is visited by 3000 - 4000 tourists from Western countries and interest is growing.
'The application takes previously vacant niche and will definitely be in demand among tourists interested in this country.
'Maybe it will inspire people to go to North Korea. Thanks to his love for travelling and working on this project, our CEO Vladimir Potapenko already plans to go there'.
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