Travel During Wartime

Travel Blog  •  Frank Bures  •  08.28.06 | 6:59 AM ET

War may not be so good for children and other living things, but it sure clears out the tourists. So writes Kevin Rushby in The Guardian. Rushby is the author of the fantastic travel book, Eating the Flowers of Paradise, about the khat road though Ethiopia and Yemen, which I read when I was reporting on the drug’s use in the U.S. “The unfortunate truth about fear, tension or fighting,” he wrote in last week’s Guardian, “is that there are benefits to be had in neighbouring areas. That may be as simple as having few fellow visitors at great sites like Iran’s old Persian capital of Persepolis, or Jordan’s rose-red Petra -both badly affected by current troubles.”

Or it might be something like saving a lot of money. “The current crisis in Lebanon—plus perhaps more general fears about terrorism—is certainly having an effect on regional tourism. Bookings for Jordan are down—Cox & Kings is reporting a 17% fall—while for Syria they are non-existent.” That means many hotels are slashing prices. As for the ethics of it, I’m with Rushby: “While some might think it wrong to talk of benefits from disasters, the truth is that the affected communities are usually glad to see visitors. The presence of an intrepid tourist can be a huge boost for local people when the rest of the world seems to have abandoned them.”

Frank Bures is a contributing editor at World Hum, where his stories have won several awards. More of his work can be found at

5 Comments for Travel During Wartime

redjade 08.28.06 | 5:02 PM ET

Not exactly ‘tourism’ but the good people at XXX often travel to places like Iraq, Palestine and now Lebanon to witness, show solidarity with, and assist the people of those countries.

American, Farah Mokhtareizadeh (and three others) today are in Lebanon - she sent Indymedia Ireland a photo series reportback…

Lebanon Photo Series:
Refugees, Rubble and Resistance

redjade 08.28.06 | 5:03 PM ET

oops - sorry ‘XXX’ shoudl have been ‘Voices for Creative Non-Violence’

I wish this website had a preview function :-P

Vova 08.28.06 | 6:08 PM ET

Sometimes its better to munch instead of saying something…
<a >Google</a>

Frank 08.28.06 | 8:39 PM ET

I totally agree. Munch.

lotem 02.22.08 | 3:34 PM ET

israel is amazing place , i am recommend to visit at isreal

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