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BUSINESS
January 22, 2013 | By David Colker
If you ever wanted to get completely away from talking on your cellphone, the place to go was North Korea. "It was like there was an invisible wall surrounding the country," said Gareth Johnson, managing director of Young Pioneer Tours, which has been taking tour groups to North Korea since 2008. "You crossed the border into North Korea and your cellphone just died -- you got absolutely no signal," said Johnson, speaking from the tour company's office in Xian, China. But the fanatically strict North Korean policy against cellphone use by outsiders has begun to crack.
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WORLD
September 2, 2012 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
SAINT-CIRQ LAPOPIE, France - The valley of the Lot River as it wends its way through southwestern France is known for its exceptional natural beauty, picturesque villages and historic chateaux. Saint-Cirq Lapopie, however, stands out in every sense of the term. Rising majestically from atop an almost sheer rock bluff, more than 300 feet above the river, the medieval settlement has a commanding view for miles in every direction. It also stands out in the hearts of the French, who, despite a very wide choice of picture-postcard sites, voted Saint-Cirq Lapopie their favorite village in a nationwide television poll in May. Having seen off marauding armies and rival fiefs for hundreds of years, Saint-Cirq Lapopie today faces an invasion of a different kind: tourists, drawn by a newfound celebrity that could prove as much of a double-edged sword as those wielded by ancient assailants.
WORLD
August 21, 2011 | By Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times
When Lebo Malepa decided to rent out his bedroom and another room in 2003, his economist father doubted his son's ambitious vision for tourism in unlikely Soweto township. "Soweto is a township full of energy and full of trendsetters," Malepa said. "When I started my business, I was convinced I was going to make it happen. " Malepa's enthusiasm, hard work and ability to spot a market niche helped Lebo's Soweto Backpackers expand dramatically. He now has 57 bicycles and two tuk-tuks (three-wheelers)
NEWS
April 7, 1989 | From Reuters
Tourists beware. Rome's muggers, pickpockets and purse snatchers are more active than ever. Rome's Il Messaggero newspaper said Thursday that street crimes rose by 35% in the capital last year. Quoting police figures and its own research, the paper said that in 1988 there were more than 56,000 reported incidents, or one every 10 minutes. Areas near the train station and the Colosseum, a tourist haunt where there are many Gypsies and drug addicts, are among the most dangerous, Il Messaggero
NEWS
November 5, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
A car repairman who police said killed his mother-in-law and a friend commandeered a bus carrying 33 Japanese tourists, leading them on a nearly 10-hour odyssey at gunpoint before releasing them unharmed and surrendering to a TV talk show host.
TRAVEL
November 20, 2005
SO Veronica Pinckard asks what savvy traveler would squander $65 for tea ["Putting on the Ritz -- at Our Expense," Letters, Nov. 6]? It's a long-standing tradition in travel that there will always be tourist traps and they will be full of tourists. Who on their first trip to Venice, Italy, doesn't go to Harry's and have a Bellini and a club sandwich, then gag over the bill? Has any tourist to New York City not floated a loan so he could go to the Rainbow Room or Tavern on the Green? It's something you do once, on your first trip, and then you can say you did it. As far as England setting up a separate set of prices to entice tourists, is there anyone left who doesn't realize that Britain is one of the most expensive tourist destinations on Earth?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 9, 1997 | NORINE DRESSER
Question: Which of the following American customs baffle many newcomers and tourists? 1) Taxes on puchased items. 2) Teachers preferring to be called by their names. 3) The belief that "Everybody needs milk." Answer: All of them. In many places outside the U.S., taxes are included in the price. Consequently, when newcomers allot money for purchases here, they are often shocked and short of funds when the bill comes.
BUSINESS
August 6, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
If you seek a monument to the security gains Colombia has made under President Alvaro Uribe's eight-year administration, the newly inaugurated JW Marriott Hotel here is a good place to look. Improved security, the dynamic economy and some tax breaks are attracting the major international hotel chains that for decades shied away from Colombia. Uribe, who leaves office Saturday, officiated at the 264-room Marriott's ribbon-cutting ceremony last week. "I don't have words to express my thanks for the confidence you show in Colombia," Uribe said to executives of Marriott and Grupo Poma, the El Salvador-based firm that owns the new hotel under a franchise agreement.
TRAVEL
September 16, 1990 | Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports.
The influx of tens of thousands of less-than-affluent day-trippers from Eastern Europe this summer has prompted city officials in Venice to institute new laws to cope with their tourist dilemma. As part of a campaign to restore "order and decorum," the city council has introduced fines for picnickers in St. Mark's Square and erected barriers to prevent sitting on the steps of the cathedral.
NEWS
September 6, 1985 | United Press International
The Greek government defended itself Thursday against charges that Greece is unsafe for tourists. "We are convinced that Greece is one of the safest countries and is in the best position to provide safety for tourists," government spokesman Costas Laliotis said. Laliotis made his comments in the wake of charges resulting from Tuesday's grenade attack on a luxury seaside hotel in the suburb of Glyfada in which 18 British tourists were injured. Six of them are still in a hospital.
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