From Around the Travelsphere

The walkway Benjamin Franklin used to get to Market Street from his house.

The end of Harry Potter’s run in print and on the silver screen doesn’t have tourism officials worried in Scotland, where, International Business Times reports, 1 in 5 tourists come to Scotland to visit locations seen in the movies. Some experts have predicted that tourism to the country will drop when the curtain closes on the final movie next year.

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Indonesian officials are making plans for immediately reviving tourism in Yogyakarta once Mt. Merpi, which has erupted on and off since late October and claimed 275 lives, stabilizes. Yogyakarta is Indonesia’s second most important tourist destination next to Bali and is the center of Javanese culture.

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Filipino wunderkind Manny Pacquiao – world champion boxer, Congressman, diplomat and philanthropist – may be tapped to be the face of the country’s beleaguered tourism industry reports GMA News in the Philippines. An August hostage crisis involving Hong Kong tourists and a slew of late October travel advisories from western countries have spurred a noticeable decline in travel visa applications. Pacquio, who has won 10 world titles in eight different weight divisions, said he’s open to helping promote tourism. In the mean time, the boxer, elected to Congress earlier this year, is also on tap to be a peace negotiator between the government and several rebel groups.

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Tourism officials in Kenya hope that Prince William’s proposal to Kate Middleton in the foothills of Mount Kenya will boost the country’s prestige as a romantic getaway. Already, notes Interntional Business Times, travel agencies have begun offerring romantic Kenyan holiday packages. About 600,000 foreigners visited Kenya last year.

Dancers in Love Park, Center City, Philadelphia

Amsterdam’s famed cafes, which offer high-grade, low-cost marijuana, may soon be off-limits to tourists. The proposed policy was drawn up by the Justice Ministry at the request of a new conservative government. At least 200 coffee shops are licensed to sell 5 grams of cannabis per patron per day. According to the Sydney Times, many of the coffee shops, which attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to the city each year, will be forced to close.

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A convention industry boycott of Arizona in response to a harsh immigration law that took effect earlier this year cost the state $141 million, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. However, hotel occupancy among leisure travelers climbed 8.3 percent last year.

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A loosely organized Internet protest called National Opt-Out Day is urging for a boycott of full-body scanners on Wednesday, the biggest travel day of the year. The protest threatens to cause major delays at airports around the nation, because passengers who opt-out of a full-body scan are then patted down, a far more time-intensive procedure. The new scanners and enhanced pat downs have sparked considerable controversy with some calling the invasive measures illegal. Last weekend, President Obama voiced his support for the new measures.

1 Comment

  1. David says:

    Great article, great pictures

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