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Coming and Going: Swine Flu, 2010 World Cup, Gay Weddings
As for whether South Africa's persistent crime problems might affect soccer-loving tourists, Nhlapo pointed out that after the Indian government declined to provide security for this year's Indian Premier League cricket tournament, the games were moved to South Africa. Nhlapo said Monday that the cricket tournament and Confederations Cup "will give us the chance to deal with all sorts of situations, give us time to correct anything that might be needed and provide a secure World Cup."
The World Cup, which is played every four years in different countries, has never before been held in Africa. On the heels of the 15th anniversary of the fall of apartheid, the soccer extravaganza will be a major boost to South Africa's tourism industry, because 350,000 to 400,000 people are expected to make the trip next summer.
The first phase of ticketing ended in mid-April, but the second one begins Monday. Visit http:/
DEPT. OF EMERGING MARKETS
We might be entering mountain-out-of-molehill territory here, but the travel industry, sorely in need of good news these days, apparently has identified one new source of revenue: gay honeymoons.
"Gay and lesbian newlyweds are saying, 'This is my time,' " says Jeffrey Ward, owner and founder of Savvy Navigator (http:/
"Straight couples might spend a lot on that big dress," he says. "But among my people, we see smaller weddings and more spending on honeymoons." And ready to meet their needs is Ward, whose company helps couples and others plan trips to gay-friendly destinations around the globe, among them, well, South Africa (where Ward and his partner spent their honeymoon, in 2004).
"There's such a diversity of offerings," Ward says, "and when they wrote their new constitution, they actually codified equal rights for gays."
Ward says he personally inspects all the properties he books, ensuring that the amenities are customized for his clientele (his and his bathrobes, etc.), and he clearly loves being in the honeymoon business. "That's the one time that couples are willing to completely splurge," he says. "It's an interesting trend, and I'm excited to be a part of it."
BARGAIN OF THE WEEK
Delta is offering sale fares on summer flights to Europe. Sale is out of New York's JFK, but tickets from Washington are also lower. For example, round-trip fare from BWI Marshall to Zurich, connecting in New York, starts at $546, including taxes; fare is $440 from New York. Other airlines are charging at least $731 out of Washington and $597 from New York. Travel dates and blackouts vary by city. Book by May 4 at http:/
Reporting: Carol Sottili, Christina Talcott, Scott Vogel
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