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Laos opens Vietnam war caves to tourists

Laos has opened up a remote wartime hideaway, 30 years after the end of the Vietnam war. The secret cave city hidden deep inside the mountains of northern Laos was home to revolutionary leaders who survived nearly a decade of US bombing.

NYC tourism campaign expands with more tips

NEW YORK - New York City is expanding a welcome campaign for foreign travelers with more insider tips from celebrities and local experts. Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb, MTV fashion VJ Coltrane Curtis and musician Itzhak (itz-HAHK) Perlman are among the famous New Yorkers who have joined the effort.

Dengue fever blunts Brazil’s tourism boom

Brazil is booming. The currency is soaring, people are buying houses and cars at a record pace, global financiers are keen to invest and tourists keep arriving. The country seems poised to acquire official First World status.

China says Tibet to be reopened soon for foreign tourists

Beijing - Tibet would reopen to foreign tourists in the "near future", an official said today over a month after the Himalayan region was sealed to quell the most violent anti-China protests in two decades.

Far East tourism push reaping success, says Bartlett

MINISTER of Tourism Ed Bartlett says that his swing through Asian powerhouses China and Japan, in an effort to not only reverse the recent downturn in visitor arrivals from those countries but also to significantly boost them, as well as to open up new markets in Asia and the Middle East, has met with success and he expects that the tangible results should be evident"very soon".

Tourism riding surfing wave

Every year international surfers of the calibre of Kelly Slater quietly enter the island and surf some of best breaks here. In addition, every November, world-class surfers and international camera crews take over the east coast. It's sports tourism surfing-style, and the president of the sport's governing body feels Barbados stands to reap the benefits.

Bats are tourist attractions in Negros Occidental

They may look hideous and symbolize darkness in the movies, but bats are tourist attractions here in Mambukal Resort in Murcia, Negros Occidental. The province has three species of bats –the Philippine Flying Fox (Philippine Giant Fruit Bat), the Negros Naked-Back Fruit Bat, which is critically endangered, and the Little Golden Mantled Flying Fox, which is already endangered.

Brazil considers Amazon tourist permits

Brazil says it is considering requiring foreigners who visit the Amazon to apply for special permits in order to control their activities in the region. Justice Secretary Romeu Tuma says Brazil wants to end outside interference and attempts to remove the riches of the Amazon.

Egypt eyes $12 bln in tourism earnings by 2011

CAIRO — Egypt hopes to boost its tourism earnings by 26 percent to 12 billion dollars by 2011, the official MENA agency reported on Saturday. According to a plan launched by Tourism Minister Zuheir Garana, Egypt hopes to welcome some 14 million tourists in 2011, requiring a capacity of 240,000 hotel rooms, compared with 11 million in 2007, MENA reported.

Natural wonders await tourists to Yemeni islands

SOCOTRA, Yemen - Evolution has run riot on Yemen's windy isles of Socotra, whose dizzying cliffs, jagged peaks and exotic plants entice the imagination to do the same. Here be dragons, or at least Dragon's Blood trees, prized for their red medicinal sap. Fearsome gales blow beaches up hillsides. People speak an obscure language older than Arabic.

When in Rome eat as the Romans eat

In a city deluged with throngs of tourists year round, it is often hard to find a meal that feels genuine. Many restaurants in the center have transformed themselves into McTrattoria’s, mass market Italian fare with plastic menus catering to tourists. They have neither the charm nor the food that makes Rome dining unique.

Taiwan goes on spending spree to woo China tourists

TAIPEI - Taiwan will spend T$30 billion ($991 million) on infrastructure as it prepares to open its doors to millions of tourists from political rival China under a plan to boost the economy, the president-elect said on Wednesday.

‘White tourists fare better than blacks, browns in India’

Jaipur - Skin colour matters as far as visitors to India are concerned, says a fourth generation South African Indian who claims to have faced “racial discrimination” himself, particularly in the country's northern parts.

Hainan looks to be tourist mecca

After being the biggest special economic zone for 20 years, the island province of Hainan is now focusing on developing its tourism industry. In a written reply on Wednesday to Hainan's blueprint for developing itself into an "international tourism island", the State Council requested all ministries and central government agencies to provide strong support.

Cambodia eyes lucrative European, Chinese tourist markets

PHNOM PENH, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia will seek to increase direct flights from China and European Union (EU) nations to boostits booming tourism industry, the Mekong Times newspaper reported Tuesday. "Cambodia needs more flights from the big cities in southern China and they need to be daily," Tourism Minister Thong Khon was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Savvy farmers open the gate to agritourism

How rich is the smell of fermenting manure on Joel Salatin's Shenandoah Valley spread? A thousand bucks for a few whiffs. That's what Salatin, 51, the second-generation owner of Polyface Farm, commands for a two-hour, personally escorted tour of what may be the most famous family-owned pastures in America.

Guatemala fights violent reputation for tourists

Standing among rows of coffee beans drying in the sun, Jorge Santizo gestures towards the azure depths of Lake Atitlan and the three towering volcanoes dotting its shore. With such stunning natural beauty, he says, Guatemala should be one of the world's leading tourist destinations, not a country shunned by visitors fearful of its reputation for violent crime.

20 mega destinations to attract tourists to India

JAIPUR - India is developing 20 places, including Agra - the home to Taj Mahal, as short-halt destinations to attract more foreign tourists at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore.

Gadget to bring back Berlin Wall for tourists

BERLIN — Tourists in the German capital disappointed to find little of the Berlin Wall left will from next month be able to have it reappear before their eyes with a gadget unveiled Monday. A handheld multimedia device, available for rental from May 1, will allow visitors walking through the city to see what the Cold War barrier looked like at the spot where they are standing.

Sshh, minister tells muezzins, you’ll wake the tourists

A Moroccan minister has provoked uproar by suggesting that, to avoid waking tourists, muezzins should make less noise when calling the faithful to prayer at dawn. Nouzha Skalli, the 57-year-old family minister, called for a cut in the volume of loudspeakers amplifying the chant of the muezzins. She also suggested that the call to prayer, a daily ritual all over the Muslim world, be truncated.

Central Vietnam’s biggest eco-tourism area to open

Central Vietnam’s biggest eco-tourism area in Quang Ngai Province is expected to welcome its first guests on April 30, the project’s backer said Sunday.

25 Gibraltar monkeys to be culled after causing havoc with tourists

MADRID, Spain - A renegade group of Gibraltar's Barbary apes, the only non-human primates to live in the wild in Europe and a popular symbol of the quirky British colony, has annoyed locals so much that authorities have decided a cull is inevitable.

Costa Rica sees tourism’s environmental dark side

Playa Grande, Costa Rica - On a quiet night in February, when winter temperatures plummeted below zero in North America, leatherback sea turtles the size of golf carts lumbered onto this tropical beach to lay their eggs. Yet just a sandy stroll away, in the booming surf town of Tamarindo, runaway tourism development is turning the sea into an open sewer.

Tourists stranded on train for 13hrs

Passengers are irate after they were forced to wait onboard the Indian Pacific tourist train for about 13 hours while it was stuck two kilometres outside Broken Hill. About 200 people were on the train, waiting for work to be completed on rail tracks in Broken Hill, in far western New South Wales.

New Hampshire uses gas vouchers, discounts to lure tourists

CONCORD, N.H. — A tank of gas goes a long way in New Hampshire, particularly for tourists who take advantage of new discounts being offered this spring and summer. "Everybody's concerned about the high cost of gas, so we're looking for ways to make it easier on visitors and residents of the state," said Tai Freligh, spokesman for the state's Division of Travel and Tourism Development.
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