Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tourism examined in the context of war, faith

This article from USA Today examines the current state of tourism in Iraq, which is dismal for obvious reasons. Important shrines such as the shrine of Imam Ali have been the sites of attacks and are in embattled cities that don't draw visitors now. The head of the Iraqi tourism board says "We depend on religous tourism...There is no other tourism here."

The article doesn't describe what happens on a pilgrimage, or why the devout will take the risks of going on one, but rather focuses on the possibility of developing the nation for Western tourists. This will take a while, as the tourism head notes that right now "Tourists need protection from kidnapping."

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