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NEWS AND BRIEFS

New York Rates High as an Expensive City

September 23, 1990| Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

This will not come as a surprise to those who live there, but New York--at $282 per day--is the sixth most expensive city in the world and ranks far ahead of any other U.S. metropolis, according to a new survey.

The closest domestic competitor for the dubious honor was Washington, D.C., where a one-day visit for business travelers averages $216, according to a survey of 55 cities prepared by Runzheimer International for Traveler magazine.

A day in town, for the purposes of the survey, meant three meals a day and a single room at the standard rate in a first-class hotel.

Third place went to Honolulu, at $201. Chicago was fourth, at $192, and Boston fifth, at $186. Los Angeles ranks sixth with an average of $183 per day.

Overseas, New York City was outranked by Paris, most expensive in the world at $331 per day, London, at $320, and Stockholm, Sweden, at $312. Fourth was Tokyo, at $303, and Milan, Italy, fifth at $285.

Quick Fact: It takes radio signals sent by the Magellan space craft 14 minutes to travel the more than 155 million miles to Earth from Venus.

Airline Petition: Hundreds of travel agents across the country are petitioning airline passengers at more than 40 airports to support legislation providing for consumer protection against airline bankruptcies.

The trade group is backing federal legislation that would mandate the Secretary of Transportation to require air carriers to develop a plan providing air transportation for passengers holding tickets on airlines that declare bankruptcy.

"Travelers must take action now if they want to protect themselves from financial losses when an airline goes bankrupt," said Susan Tanzman-Kaplan, president of the Southern California chapter of the American Society of Travel Agents.

No Laughing Hyena: The Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the continent's leading wildlife reserves, but sometimes the wildlife gets carried away.

Earlier this month, a hyena wandered into a house in the village of Skukuza inside the park, somehow accidentally locked itself in the bathroom and then tore the room apart and opened the shower tap, flooding the house, according to newspaper reports.

During its 24 hours in captivity, the hyena pulled down curtains, ripped the medicine chest from the wall, smashed the toilet seat, damaged a towel rail and bit into aerosol shaving cream and deodorant cans. It also turned on the shower, causing overflowing water to seep under the door into the rest of the house.

Neighbors saw water coming out from under the front door and alerted rangers, who shot the hyena with a tranquilizer dart through the bathroom window, then later released it no worse for the wear.

Belize Expedition: Hidden amid the undergrowth deep in the jungles of Belize lies what might be the remains of an unexplored Mayan temple.

Then again, it might not be.

In order to find out, a British expedition is setting out on Oct. 6 under the direction of Barry Marshall, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Marshall came across the site on an earlier visit, but lacked the time to explore further.

The three-week expedition will include members of the Belizian Archeological Department, as well as volunteers.

"At best we might discover a temple complex; at worst, a previously unknown farming area," Marshall told The Times of London.

Quick Fact: The tourism promotion budgets for Canada's three largest cities show Toronto spending $9.4 million, Vancouver $5.9 million and Montreal $3 million.

Po-llution: Holiday bookings along Italy's Adriatic Coast dropped off this summer in the wake of 1989's pollution scare that made swimming in the sea impossible for thousands of tourists at such popular spots as Rimini.

The cause eventually was traced to a species of algae that produces an oily substance and turns the water a slimy gray. The problem did not return this summer, due in part to altered weather and sea conditions, but even the possibility that it might do so brought long-needed action from the Italian government on another front.

Alarmed that massive pollution of the Adriatic from the filthy River Po might be causing the problem, the government ordered a $1.8 billion cleanup of the river.

Quebec Quibbling: Tourism officials in the Canadian province perhaps have not put enough thought into the promotional slogans that they have come up with to lure visitors to Montreal during the past two years.

For instance, in 1989, the city's slogan was "Montreal--Minus 50." The idea was to promote cut-rate hotel prices, but would-be visitors took one look, thought about frigid Canadian winters and took a rain check.

This year, the city has done no better, selecting a slogan that reads: "Montreal--An Attitude."

This was immediately blasted by Quebec's English-language media, which said the phrase was likely to convey all the language and political tensions between French- and English-speaking Canadians.

Small wonder that hotel occupancy rates are down between 10% and 20% from last year's levels.

Top 15 U.S. cities:

1. New York, $282

2. Washington, $216

3. Honolulu, $201

4. Chicago, $192

5. Boston, $186

6. Los Angeles, $183

7. San Francisco, $172

8. Philadelphia, $162

9. Atlanta, $143

10. Denver, $135

11. Dallas, $135

12. Seattle, $126

13. New Orleans, $121

14. Las Vegas, $121

15. Miami, $115

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