Egypt Sees A 20 Percent Rise In Tourist Visits This Year Despite Insecurity
Egypt projects a rise of about 20 percent in tourist numbers this year, the tourism minister said on Wednesday, despite outbreaks of violence after last year’s Arab Spring.
The uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last February and political instability since then have stopped millions of potential visitors to Egypt’s beach resorts and ancient sites.
Tourism accounted for more than a tenth of Egypt’s gross domestic product before the 18-day revolt that was driven by widespread anger at poverty and high-levels of corruption. The country’s large cities are still prey to unrest.
Zimbabwe tourism: putting Mugabe’s house on the map?
Having survived a decade of national economic meltdown, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is working at getting back on the world map. On Thursday its premier travel and tourism event Sanganai/Hlanganani kicks off in Harare, with officials reporting an increase in the number of foreign exhibitors from 24 in 2011 to 85 this year.
The big boost is from Chinese exhibitors, reflecting the marketing push to attract vistors from Asia. But will adding Robert Mugabe’s old residence to the tourist trail help?
Air Canada flight helps rescue Australian sailor
A lucky sailor is back on dry land after passengers and crew on a commercial flight from Canada helped find his crippled yacht adrift in rough seas hundreds of miles off the Australian coast, rescue authorities said.
The Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney was one of two diverted on Wednesday to look for solo yachtsman Glenn Ey, who activated an emergency beacon after his 11-metre (36 foot) yacht flipped and was dismasted.
The Boeing 777 dropped down to 5,000 feet and cut its speed while the crew peered out using binoculars borrowed from passengers.
Hotel of Doom, Alcatraz of Fun: North Korea’s finest tourist stays
Should you decide to join the small but growing contingent of Western tourists visiting North Korea every year, you will probably spend most of your time in Pyongyang, and that means staying in one of the few approved hotels. Like most things on the tightly-controlled, propaganda-heavy tours, lodging in North Korea is said to be a uniquely bizarre, but perhaps revealing, experience.
Most tours, which are shepherded by government minders at all moments except while inside the hotel, put visitors up at the Yanggakdo. It’s enormous by North Korean standards, 47 stories, the top of which is a revolving restaurant. Like the thousand or so rooms, the restaurant is mostly empty, all of it an elaborate show of prosperity that doesn’t exist. The hotel is on an island in the Taedong River, which runs through the middle of the city. This allows guests a rare freedom of movement, as minders will allow guests to wander the island unguided. Although, as Lonely Planet‘s guidebook cautions, “don’t even think of crossing the bridge into the city.” This has earned it the nickname among guides, “Alcatraz of Fun.”