February 16, 2013 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - Somewhere between the Christian and historical Jewish quarters of Old Damascus, labyrinthine alleys lead to a nondescript cobblestone tunnel that opens onto an Ottoman-era home, one of this ancient capital's many boutique hotels. Inside, across a courtyard and along the basalt stone wall, several young artists and musicians sit beneath a tangerine tree chatting and smoking a hookah, or water pipe. One strums a setar , a three-string lute indigenous to the region.
February 14, 2013 |
MALAM JABBA, Pakistan - Boys in tattered coats schuss down Malam Jabba's powdery slope on homemade pine skis. Galoshes nailed to the planks suffice as ski boots. Bamboo sticks serve as poles. A few hundred yards away, jobless men trudge to the top of a snowy ridge to scavenge scrap metal from the mounds of rubble at what was long the country's only ski resort, a posh winter getaway that drew moneyed businessmen and European diplomats to this rugged northwestern region known as "the Switzerland of Pakistan.
February 11, 2013 |
Guidebook author and TV travel host Rick Steves embraces and encourages "thoughtful travel," the idea that how you spend your tourism dollars makes a big difference for countries in crisis. That's why this spring he's traveling to Egypt , Israel and the Palestinian territories, among other places. How do we become more thoughtful travelers? I asked him, and you can too, in person, Feb. 23 and 24 at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
February 9, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - You might be hard-pressed to find the word "Mexico" in some of the advertising for tourist resorts in Mexico. Brands like "Riviera Maya" often eclipse the name of the country where those lush beaches are located. As deadly violence that has haunted Mexico for years threatens tourist zones, government officials and trade executives are scrambling for ways to minimize damage to an industry that is a top income-earner and employer. The rapes last week of six Spanish women vacationing in Acapulco have heightened fear and called into question the government's ability to control crime and attract foreign visitors.
February 6, 2013 |
Despite past assurances that tourists are safe in their country, Mexican tourism officials are again faced with trying to explain away another report of crime against foreign visitors. The latest incident took place in the resort town of Acapulco, where six Spanish tourists on vacation were raped Sunday by masked gunmen. Unlike many crimes involving drug violence in the country's interior states, the rapes took place near the beach, where the tourists were renting bungalows near four-star hotels.
January 18, 2013 |
Wondering where to bed down in Gold Country or where to find the best hot springs near Mt. Shasta? The California Tourism Guide 2013 provides hotel, restaurant and attractions listings as well as maps of the Golden State by region. It's good fodder for road-trip inspiration (there are 32 regional ideas to all parts of the state), a tear-out California map and feature stories that might provide a new take on old haunts. "California Cuisine 2.0" highlights farms and fresh-food restaurants around the state and where to find locally made craft brews; "Bring on the Night" profiles the best roof-top bars and swanky hangouts in L.A. The deal: The guide was created by a partnership between the California Tourism Industry and Sunset magazine.
January 3, 2013 |
A former executive with Hilton Hotels Corp. has been named president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Ernest Wooden Jr., a former executive vice president for global brand management at Hilton, was named by the board Thursday to replace Mark Liberman, who retired last year. Most recently, Wooden has worked in Southern California as a consultant to the hotel industry. Before that, he spent more than a decade in senior positions at Hilton. Wooden is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in management science from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, N.J. "We are very pleased to welcome someone with Ernie's depth of global hospitality branding and operations experience," said Tom Mullen, chairman of the tourism board.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2013 |
USA Baby Care's website makes no attempt to hide why the company's clients travel to Southern California from China and Taiwan. It's to give birth to an American baby. "Congratulations! Arriving in the U.S. means you've already given your child a surefire ticket for winning the race," the site says in Chinese. "We guarantee that each baby can obtain a U.S. passport and related documents. " That passport is just the beginning of a journey that will lead some of the children back to the United States to take advantage of free public schools and low-interest student loans, as the website notes.
November 22, 2012 |
MIAMI - The billboard on Interstate 95, with its azure sea and sugar-colored sand, could have been an ad for any of the myriad tropical destinations hoping to woo travelers abroad. But the tag line might be surprising to some: "Haiti, Live the Experience. " The billboard, which was erected in August by the Haitian government, is the latest salvo in what the country's tourism officials and hospitality industry say is a battle to re-brand a country known more for political unrest and natural disasters than its historical landmarks and natural beauty.
November 19, 2012 |
YANGON, Myanmar - Barack Obama was riding in his motorcade, the first U.S. president to visit long-isolated Myanmar, when he suddenly ordered an unscheduled detour Monday. The Secret Service scrambled. Police raced ahead to clear crowded roads. Tourists were chased away. Soon Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were barefoot in the muggy afternoon. They hiked up a long set of marble stairs and took in the 325-foot-tall Shwedagon Pagoda, which is covered with gilt leaf and topped by a jewel-encrusted spire.