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Few Vacationed in Iceland. Then Things Went 'Bonkers'

Island's population is 332K; the country has seen 1.6M tourists so far this year

(Newser) - Iceland is hot, and no, this isn't a story about global warming. Since the tiny island country in the northern Atlantic began keeping tabs in 1949, the number of visiting tourists has climbed from roughly 5,000 people a year to, in 2010, more than 500,000. Then, in... More »

American Is Japan's First Foreign Ninja

Chris O'Neill back-flipped his way to coolest gig ever

(Newser) - It's yet another first in the odd field of American ninja-dom: A tourism panel in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi has named American Chris O'Neill as the first foreign ninja to find paid work in Japan. The 29-year-old, who lives in Tokyo, was one of 235 people to... More »

Egypt Tour Group Tantalizes Travelers With Hijacking Promo

'Maybe a hijacker will take you to Cyprus!' reads Lions Trips' too-soon promo

(Newser) - The hijacking to Cyprus of an EgyptAir plane flying from Alexandria, Egypt, to Cairo on Tuesday ended relatively peacefully, with everyone on board freed and the suspected hijacker taken into custody. So in the "no harm, no foul" vein, an Egyptian tour company decided to appropriate the incident for... More »

Study: Legal Weed Takes Colo. Tourism to New Highs

Nearly half of tourists surveyed came to Colorado at least in part because of pot

(Newser) - Legal marijuana is taking tourism in Colorado to new highs, if a new study is to be believed. The Denver Post reports a study commissioned by the Colorado Tourism Office found nearly 49% of Colorado visitors between April and September came at least in part because of pot. "I... More »

How Legalized Weed Is Affecting the Booze Biz

The Guardian analyzes the impact in Colorado

(Newser) - So alcohol and marijuana aren't exactly at odds after all. Eighteen months since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana sales, alcohol sales there continue to grow—despite initial fears that weed would drive away booze buyers, the Guardian reports. "We’ve just seen phenomenal growth" at Mr B’s Wine... More »

NY Tourism Office: 'We Give Up,' Go to Florida

Winter in upstate New York is 'ridiculously stupid'

(Newser) - Not even Ithaca's tourism office thinks you should visit Ithaca. Struggling through a vicious winter in New York state, workers at the office started offering unusual advice on Sunday night, the Miami Herald reports. "That's it. We surrender," says the office's website . "Due to... More »

'Horny' Elephant Kills Handler, Kidnaps 2 Females

The elephant went wild in Thailand, south of Bangkok

(Newser) - A bull elephant in a state of "aggressive sexual excitement" trampled its handler and ran away with two female tourists during an otherwise scenic ride past waterfalls in Thailand, the AP reports. Rescuers tracked the elephant for nearly two miles, then shot it with a tranquilizer and rescued the... More »

N. Korea Opens to US Journos for Rare Road Trip

Country opens up for tourism—sort of

(Newser) - Mount Paektu is a "majestic" thing, "with its jagged peaks surrounding a crystal-blue crater lake," writes Eric Talmadge, the AP's Pyongyang bureau chief. Though it would seem fated to be a tourist destination, few foreigners have set their eyes on its natural beauty. This is North... More »

After Murders, Thailand Eyes Tracking Devices —for Tourists

Party curfews could be imposed

(Newser) - With the grisly murder of two British tourists making headlines worldwide, Thailand is considering a tourist-tagging system. Visitors to the country could be given bracelets with serial numbers and the contact details of their hotels "so that if they're out partying late and, for example, get drunk or... More »

Thai PM: Tourists in Bikinis Aren't Safe—Unless They're Ugly

Or, what not to say after 2 tourists are brutally murdered in your country

(Newser) - Faced with the savage murder of two young British tourists on one of his country's most popular beaches, Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha elected to address the topic of tourist safety. Unfortunately, he wasn't entirely reassuring, reports the Independent : "There are always problems with tourist safety. They think... More »

The Friendliest US City Is...

Charleston, SC, wins again

(Newser) - Condé Nast Traveler's annual list of America's friendliest cities is out again, and once again Charleston, South Carolina, leads the pack—one of eight Southern cities in the top 10, Opposing Views reports. The Traveler 's list, determined by a reader's survey, starts off all South... More »

Great White Surge Means Big Bucks for Cape Cod Town

Apparently Chatham tourists are not scared of Jaws

(Newser) - Don’t cue the Jaws theme song just yet. In Chatham, Mass., "cha-ching" is more appropriate. People are flocking to the classy Cape Cod town thanks to an increase in great white shark sightings, and local businesses are making lots of money off the phenomenon, the AP reports. T-shirts,... More »

Antarctica's New Scourge: Tourists

Number of humans is soaring in a fragile ecosystem

(Newser) - The fanny-pack set is now the bane of even Antarctica's existence: A new study published in PLoS Biology is warning that, yes, tourists are threatening the frigid environment of the globe's least populated continent. "Many people think that Antarctica is well protected from threats to its biodiversity... More »

To the Rescue in Tunisia: Stormtroopers?

Country looks to 'Star Wars' to rescue tourism

(Newser) - Imperial stormtroopers are set to march through Tunisia's capital tomorrow as part of a new effort to attract tourists and burnish the image of this North African country. The Tunisian National Office for Tourism has teamed up with the country's own Star Wars fan club to stage its... More »

Detroit's Hot New Economy: Misery Tourism

Step right up and see all the depressing, abandoned buildings!

(Newser) - Detroit's economy is famously not exactly booming, but the city does have one burgeoning industry: Tourism. Since the city declared bankruptcy , hotels tell the LA Times that they've seen more visitors coming intent on gawking at some of the city's roughly 78,000 abandoned buildings. Restaurants in... More »

South Africa Hotel Offers Fake Slum Experience

This 'Shanty Town' has under-floor heating

(Newser) - Well, this is ... interesting: You can now pay half the average South African's monthly salary—or $82 a night—to stay in a slum. Not a real one, as some one billion people worldwide do; instead, Gizmodo reports, South Africa's Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa is offering the... More »

Hawaii Town: No More Tourists, Please

Kailua tired of being overrun with vacationers

(Newser) - Kailua has beautiful white sand beaches, charming bed-and-breakfasts, and is nice enough to be President Obama's chosen Christmas vacation spot each year. But the Hawaiian town would like you to stay away. The neighborhood board of the Honolulu suburb is requesting that a state tourism agency stop pushing it... More »

China's Rules for Tourists: Please Flush, No Spitting

Also don't pick your nose in public, says the Guidebook for Civilized Tourism

(Newser) - China's latest legislative wonder is calling for citizens to please flush, and refrain from spitting. It's all part of a 64-page Guidebook for Civilized Tourism, part of a new tourism law, that seeks to crack down on rowdy Chinese abroad to clean up China's image, CNN reports.... More »

US Is Vietnam's Top Source of Tourism Dollars

Americans spent $100M last year

(Newser) - US troops may have left Vietnam about 40 years ago, but US tourists continue to return in a big way. Americans spent $100 million in the country last year, making it the top source of tourist dollars for the nation, reports the Vietnam News Agency . South Korea ($82.6 million)... More »

Kim to Military: Hurry Up on That 'World-Class' Ski Resort

He wants it finished by year's end

(Newser) - North Korea: repressive regime, would-be nuclear power, and ... swanky tourist destination? Maybe so. Kim Jong Un yesterday issued a national appeal for a planned "world-class skiing ground" to be completed by the end of the year, AFP reports. The Masik Pass resort, located in the country's northeast, will... More »

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