Here is the phrase which I am reading

As a result, for years, it’s been a quiet destination for Northerners looking for jobs, schools and business deals.

What does "quiet destination" mean? I searched for it on google but found no answer.

  • Based on the context you provided I'd interpret it as characterized by an absence of disturbance; a place that provides or allows relaxation.
    – Yuri
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 21:56
  • Reading it in the context of the article, I'd say that's not a normal English usage. It doesn't look like they're calling it what I would call a "quiet destination".
    – Rob K
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:52

3 Answers 3


As a result, for years, it’s been a discreet destination for Northerners looking for jobs, schools and business deals.

"Quiet," Definition 2 Synonyms, Google

"Death, diplomatic spat could cost North Korea a rare friend," Associated Press

If you look at the original context, as provided by Vekzhivi in his answer, this is about the relationship between Malaysia and North Korea.

And the article is saying that while other countries, such as China, Singapore, Russia, Syria and Cuba are friends (my wording) of North Korea, Malaysia was only "sort of" a friend ("Death," AP).

Which means that they weren't not friends, since Malaysia allowed North Koreans to enter without a visa and so "you can find North Koreans studying in Malaysian universities, working in Malaysian mines and managing computer systems for Malaysian companies" (Ibid.).

And so, while the two countries had been friends-not-friends, it was a sort of "off-the-record," "between you and me," quiet relationship ("Quiet," Google).

  • Teacher KSHuang: I like your answer much better than mine. It gets my upvote! I believe that "discreet" is the perfect synonym here. And btw, I am a "he."
    – Vekzhivi
    Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:13
  • @Vekzhivi, thanks! Actually, I had upvoted yours as well :D. If I hadn't found discreet, little-known is what I would've used, too! And I've edited my answer to reflect your gender. Thanks :)! Commented Mar 1, 2017 at 18:25

"Quiet destination" isn't really a unique term that means something different than the combined meanings of the two component words. "Quiet" is added to "destination" to describe it.

What makes the phrase a little unique is that the meaning is ambiguous in a beneficial way. "Quiet" has many related definitions. Among them, it refers to characteristics like calm, enjoyed in peace and relaxation, free from noise or uproar, and secluded (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quiet).

In this case, it isn't a specific selected definition that is applied to "destination". Instead, "quiet" leads people to associate a number of the meanings to paint a mental picture. It's a great marketing expression because each reader personalizes the phrase by projecting their own conceptualization onto it.

Each person's mental picture will be a little different, but the general meaning of the phrase "quiet destination" is basically the opposite of the noise and hustle and bustle of the big city. It's a bit like the marketing adjectives used in the real estate business. The terms aren't intended to have a precise meaning. They are intended to elicit a positive emotional response and cause the reader to imagine what is attractive to them.

"Quiet destination" may be used in other contexts than marketing, but it doesn't have a rigidly defined meaning. It's somewhat ambiguous, conveying anything that falls under the general concept of "quiet".


I looked up the AP article about North Koreans' unique relationship with Malaysia....


In this context, the phrase has nothing to do with marketing a given locale. Here it simply means little known, or not publicized.

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