News and Deals: March 22, 2012 – Foreign tourists to US hit record in 2011, South Korea to push tourism near tense border with North, Watchdog: Co-pilots don’t meet new standards and US issues travel alert on sleeping sickness

Foreign tourists to US hit record in 2011

More foreign tourists than ever came to the United States last year, and spent a record amount along the way, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

The number of foreign tourists hit a record 62 million last year, up 4 percent from 2010, the department said in a statement.
Foreign visitors spent a record $153 billion in 2011 on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services, up from more than $130 billion the year before, the statement said.

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South Korea to push tourism near tense border with North
‎Montreal Gazette

Gun-toting soldiers patrol guard posts overlooking North Korean territory beyond a barbed-wire fence. Hundreds of red flags with a skull motif dot roadsides, warning of mines.

This is the area which South Korea hopes to turn into a major eco-tourism attraction.

Untouched by developers for six decades due to the military standoff, the scenic areas surrounding the world’s last Cold War frontier have paradoxically become a peaceful haven for wildlife.

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Watchdog: Co-pilots don’t meet new standards
USA Today

Three-quarters of the co-pilots at two regional carriers visited recently by federal inspectors didn’t have enough hours to meet new training standards the Federal Aviation Administration proposes for them, a Senate subcommittee was told Tuesday.

Calvin Scovel III, the Transportation Department’s inspector general, told the Senate transportation subcommittee on aviation that the co-pilots fell short of the 1,500 hours of flight training that the FAA says they should have starting in August 2013.

And, he said, neither of the airlines had plans for meeting the new requirement that the FAA proposed last month in response to orders from Congress following the crash of a Colgan Air plane near Buffalo in February 2009 that killed 50 people.

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US issues travel alert on sleeping sickness
Daily Nation

The US has issued a travel advisory to tourists visiting the Maasai Mara, cautioning against the risk of contracting sleeping sickness.

The disease, also called trypanosomiasis, affects both human beings and animals, and is transmitted by the tsetse fly, which is found in parts of Kenya and other African countries.

The advisory issued last week by the country’s principal health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), came after two European tourists contracted the parasitic disease during a holiday in Kenya, which included a two-day trip to the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

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By: Matt Long

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