Austria: Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Vienna to denounce the inclusion of a far-right party in the new national government, and Austria began feeling a tourist backlash. Last weekend, at least 150,000 protesters gathered peacefully at Heroes' Square in the capital to oppose the Freedom Party's entry into the right-wing coalition government. On Feb. 5, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse anti-rightist rioters who were throwing rocks and bottles near Vienna's historic Stephansplatz. Tourism, vital to the Alpine country's economy, has slumped after a rash of cancellations by European tourists at the height of the ski season. The Freedom Party's leader has been accused of being a racist and Nazi apologist. Washington has temporarily recalled its ambassador, and Austria's neighbors have imposed diplomatic sanctions.
Spain: A coastal region near the tourist-heavy Costa del Sol witnessed nearly three days of anti-immigrant rioting earlier this month. In several towns around Almeria, residents chased Moroccan and other immigrants through the streets, shouting racist slogans and trashing foreign workers' cars and shops.
Haiti: An American tourist was shot to death last month on a highway north of Port-au-Prince by men who stole the sport-utility vehicle she was driving. Three days later, more than 10,000 people marched in the southern Haitian city of Jacmel to protest the Jan. 12 slayings of a 53-year-old Frenchman, his 17-year-old daughter and their Haitian driver by assailants who stole their rental car. Outside Port-au-Prince, tourism facilities are "virtually nonexistent," the State Department advises travelers. No areas should be considered safe. Among the trouble spots are the Port-au-Prince airport, where criminals sometimes follow arriving passengers to their local addresses, and the airport road, Route Nationale No. 1, both in the port area and in Cite Soleil, where carjackings often occur.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday March 5, 2000 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 6 Travel Desk 1 inches; 16 words Type of Material: Correction
Travel Advisory--Due to an editing error, the location of Senegal was incorrect (Feb. 27). Senegal is in Africa.
North Korea: Travelers visiting North Korea as part of a tour program sponsored by South Korea's Hyundai conglomerate are quickly introduced to police-state hospitality, according to a Los Angeles Times correspondent's report. Visitors are forbidden to photograph the port city of Chang-jon, where the tour disembarks. When a visitor from Pasadena took a photo of the North Korean identification card he had been issued, he was fined $100 and his camera was confiscated. When a Swedish tourist arrived carrying a pair of binoculars that authorities deemed too powerful, they were also confiscated, and he had to pay $20 to get them back on his departure. Although U.S. passports are valid for travel to North Korea, the two countries have no diplomatic or trade relations. The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang tries to provide basic consular services.
Senegal: Separatist guerrillas ambushed two tour buses, killing two soldiers and two tour guides and injuring about 20 European tourists, Senegalese newspapers reported last week. The attack occurred at Kaliane village near Ziguinchor, the capital of the southern region of Casamance, where rebels have fought a 16-year war for independence. The Casamance region, about 150 miles south of the capital of Dakar, is a popular resort area.
Briefly. . .
Israel: Acting on warnings of terrorist attacks, Israel two weeks ago strengthened security nationwide, especially beefing up police in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The State Department, in an announcement effective until May 12, advises Americans in Israel to be careful in crowded areas and around public transportation sites and to be wary of suspicious packages or objects.
Hot spots: The State Department has dropped Ivory Coast from its list of places considered risky for Americans. Remaining on the travel warning list: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo (formerly Zaire), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Yemen.
The U.S. State Department offers recorded travel warnings and advisories at (202) 647-5225; the fax line is (202) 647-3000. Internet address is http://travel.state.gov.