Concern grows that legal US travel to Cuba could be in jeopardy
Over the last five decades, U.S. travel to Cuba has been anything but easy, with a longstanding trade embargo that has all but eliminated most Americans from visiting the island country legally.
But in 2011, when the U.S. government eased travel restrictions to include “people-to-people” exchanges, which focuses on cultural and educational travel, thousands of people took advantage and went to Cuba with government-licensed tour operators.
Now, however, the future of those trips is unclear. As originally reported in the Detroit Free Press￼, hundreds of tour operators and travel service providers, or TSPs, applied for tour permits or renewals in 2012, but only a handful has been approved so far by the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, which enforces sanctions on Cuba.
Egypt’s tourist guides protest security vacuum at country’s monuments
Egypt’s tour guides demonstrated Sunday, protesting that they are attacked by souvenir vendors and unlicensed competitors at famed sites like the Valley of the Kings tombs in Luxor or Cairo’s medieval citadel.
The turmoil reflects the crisis in Egypt’s vital tourism industry, which has suffered from the country’s internal unrest since the 2011 uprising that forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down.
Tourism officials said revenues and the number of tourists dropped by about a third in 2011. Official guides, unlicensed competitors and souvenir salesmen vie for the attention of small numbers of tourists — and the licensed operators have had enough.
See Lady Gaga’s meat dress at D.C. museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is opening a national tour for an exhibit about pioneering women in rock ‘n’ roll, tracing the evolution of women artists and their impact on music. It opened Friday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Curator Meredith Rutledge-Borger told The Associated Press the exhibit, “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” is inherently political, in part, as it highlights many “first ladies of rock” who have spoken loud and clear on women’s rights, gay rights and other issues through their music.
Dreamliner debut has devotees atwitter
As far as fetish parties go, this one will be rated G: Airline enthusiasts are strategizing to book seats on the first domestic U.S. 787 Dreamliner service this fall.
Boeing’s innovative long-haul jet is built of composite fiber materials that make it lighter than traditional metal airplanes, thereby offering reduced fuel burn. United Airlines has 50 of the planes on order and will be the first U.S. carrier to fly the jet, which is equipped with larger windows and cruises with higher humidity than on other planes, which can lessen fatigue on long flights.
The airline has begun an elaborate marketing campaign around its newest airplane, which will take flight on a Sunday morning, Nov. 4, at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport when United Airlines begins its 787 service with a 7:25 a.m. flight to Chicago.