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China Daily | Updated: 2010-11-28 09:23

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Israel chalks up record numbers

Israel's Tourism Ministry says 2010 will be a record year for tourism, with visitor arrivals already higher than the 3 million record set in 2008.

The ministry said Monday the increase is partly thanks to the improving security situation over the last few years.

The ministry said there was a drop in tourism last year because of the global financial crisis and the Gaza war. Some 3.4 million visitors are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

Departure Gate

Paris at the Philly Flower Show

The annual Philadelphia International Flower Show will boast a Parisian theme during its run from March 6-13. Visitors will enter under a life-sized replica of the Eiffel Tower. Floral exhibits will represent all aspects of Paris, from the romantic and opulent to the artistic and avant-garde, said design director Sam Lemheney.

The event, billed as the nation's largest flower show, also aims to be more interactive in 2011. It will feature painters, strolling musicians, cafes, wine-tastings and cabaret dancers.

The event is generally welcomed as a herald of a new spring season with all its accompanying blooms.

World's largest water show

The House of Dancing Water, a spectacular extravaganza billed as the greatest show on earth, has opened its doors at the City of Dreams resort in Macao in southern China.

A total of 258 automated water fountains have been installed in a dedicated theater that includes a stage pool equivalent in size to five Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to the Macao tourism office. The state-of-the-art theater is capable of seating 2,000 spectators and provides the setting for an epic love story and spectacular journey through time, based on the teachings of the Chinese sage, Confucius.

Bear with us at Baerenpiste run

The Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis ski region in Tyrol, Austria is offering the newly designed Baerenpiste ski run from the mountain station of the Alpkopfbahn down to the new meeting point of the Ski School, the so-called Bear Meeting Point at the Bear's Hut. Numerous obstacles made out of wood and plastic have been placed on the course, such as the Bear's Throat, Bear's Stomach and Bear's Trap, which can all be ridden through or overridden by skiers.

Departure Gate

Wear a fig leaf at the airport

It's a special kind of underwear - with a strategically placed fig leaf design - and a Colorado man says it'll get you through the airport screenings with your dignity intact.

Jeff Buske says his invention uses a powdered metal that protects people's privacy when undergoing medical or security screenings.

The men's design has the fig leaf, while the one for women comes in the shape of clasped hands.

It's unclear whether it would lead to an automatic, more intrusive pat down by federal Transportation Security Administration officials.

Celebrating the Christmas tree

Riga celebrates a special anniversary this winter. According to legend, the Latvian capital is the birthplace of the Christmas tree decorating tradition. In 1510, children first decorated a fir tree in the city's town square. Special events have been organized from Nov 28 all over Riga with brightly decorated Christmas trees displayed on squares, outside heritage houses and shopping malls.

Airline news and deals

New route opens between Guilin and Beihai: Hainan Airlines is to open a new daily route between Guilin and Beihai on Dec 1.

The new flight is expected to take off from Guilin at 9:05 pm and land at Beihai at 9:55 pm and the return trip is from 10:40 pm, landing at 11:30 pm.

Chinese stewardesses on Air France: Air France is considering hiring Chinese staff for all its flights connecting to Chinese cities.

Since April, Air France has enjoyed more than 90 percent capacity on its flights to and from Chinese cities as more Chinese travel to Europe on business and for leisure.

China Daily - Associated Press - Deutsche Presse-Agentur

(China Daily 11/28/2010 page16)

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