North Korea set up a stand at a Swiss travel fair hoping to sell itself as a holiday destination to tap into the tourism industry and generate new revenue. The nation's beaches and mountains form part of the sales pitch by the North Korea tourism representative, Ri Yong-bom, but perhaps the biggest pull for Westerners is the chance to catch a glimpse behind the last remaining Iron Curtain state as it battles international pressure over its human rights record and feared nuclear weapons programme. Tourism has been an increasing source of revenue for the impoverished state, particularly as its arms trade gets pinched under United Nations sanctions imposed for its missile and nuclear tests. "Mostly, they are interested to see our system, how it works, how the people are living and what the present situation is," Berlin-based Ri said at North Korea's sparsely decorated stall at the four-day event in Berne, the Swiss capital. The country does not publish tourist numbers, but travel agencies have estimated as many as 6,000 Westerners visit the country each year. The vast majority of tourists to North Korea are from neighbouring China, North Korea's main ally. North Korea has attended Berlin's ITB tourism trade fair for several years, but Globetrotter Group Chief Executive Andre Luethi, who first had the idea for North Korea to come to Berne, said this was the first time it had attended a consumer-facing event. If the Berne fair is a success, Ri hopes to make presentations in other Swiss cities. Various countries strongly advise their citizens against going to North Korea, including the US and Canada. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has an association with Switzerland. He studied in Berne under an assumed name and is believed to have gone on school ski trips in the Alps. Kim has sought to expand the country's tourism industry, personally directing the construction of a ski resort. North Korea approached several Swiss companies to provide chair lifts and cable cars, but the Swiss government added luxury sporting equipment to its list of goods banned under UN sanctions. The US has expanded sanctions against North Korea after blaming it for a hacking attack on Sony and Ri said some tourists have been put off visiting the country amid the controversy. The Swiss section of Amnesty International organised a small demonstration outside the exhibition hall to ensure that potential tourists are aware of the criticisms against North Korea. "Inside they're showing the highlights for tourists," Amnesty International spokeswoman Alexandra Karle said. "We want to show how it really looks there."