Monday, March 30, 2009

Travelography #149: Dark Tourism, East Africa, Vegas and the TSA

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Travel and Tourism News Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 23 to 30 March 2009. This podcast is also available at, and

  • Cambodia - He was one of the greatest mass killers of the 20th century, but that doesn't stop the hopeful from praying at Pol Pot's hillside grave for lucky lottery numbers, job promotions and beautiful brides. Nor does it stop tourists from picking clean the bones and ashes from the Khmer Rouge leader's burial ground in this remote town in northwestern Cambodia.
  • Residents of a small southwest Nebraska town have a question for state officials: You’re not doing anything with that old electric chair, are you? The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled last year that the state’s use of the electric chair was unconstitutional because it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. Some people in McCook—population just under 8,000—think “Old Sparky’’ could be a tourist attraction and have offered to take it off the state’s hands.
  • The East African Community (EAC) has agreed to start a single tourist visa for the region, ... the EAC members were discussing a protocol to create and market the region as a single tourist destination. Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda make up the EAC.
  • The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says that the information could mislead the public and its release could prompt some airports and others not to report incidents, but the proposal is drawing sharp criticism from bird safety experts and public records advocates.
  • critics want stricter standards for deciding who goes on the watch list. The list is based on "nominations" from intelligence and security agencies, such as the CIA and FBI, which use a "reasonable suspicion" standard to decide whether a person's suspected links to terrorism are strong enough to put him in the database. "No one wants to be the person who was too cautious about nominating names … so every name ends up on the list when only a handful should be,"
  • On Monday Dubai World's Infinity World subsidiary filed a lawsuit against MGM Mirage because of its concern about the viability of their $8.6 billion joint venture project under construction on the Las Vegas Strip. The 67 acre project is under a cloud after SEC returns filed by MGM indicated it may breach its debt repayment obligations. MGM Mirage is currently saddled with $13 billion of debt.