Monday, December 20, 2010

National xmas trees around the world

New York City prides itself on its luminous Christmas trees. But these spruces from around the world gives the NYC dazzle a little holiday spirited competition.

Christmas Day is famous as a major festival and public holiday in countries around the world, including many whose populations are mostly non-Christian. In some non-Christian countries, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration (e.g. Hong Kong); in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to watch the holiday. Countries such as Japan and Korea, where Christmas is admired despite there being only a small number of Christians, have adopted many of the secular aspects of Christmas, such as gift-giving, decorations and xmas trees. Notable countries in which Christmas is not a official public holiday include People's Republic of China, (excepting Hong Kong and Macao), Japan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Thailand, Nepal, Iran, Turkey and North Korea. Christmas celebrations around the world can vary clearly in form, reflecting differing cultural and national traditions.

The National sparkling Christmas tree is lights up in front of the Obama's eyes near the White House in Washington, DC.

Monday, December 6, 2010

South Africa says World Cup tourists will come back

The 2010 World Cup introduced South Africa to mostly first-time visitors, and 90 percent of them said they would believe returning, the country's tourism minister said Monday.
Tourists spent a total of 3.6 billion rand ($521 million), typically on shopping, and stayed for an average of 10 nights.
September tourism figures already raised 12.9 percent compared to the same month last year, Marthinus van Schalkwyk said. But experts say it is premature to say that the raise is sustainable.
"To say it's creating a sustainable base may be stretch because the point in numbers has already faded quickly," said Andrea Saayman, a tourism economics professor at South Africa's North-West University.
More tourists were from the U.S. than any other country, followed by neighboring Mozambique and Britain. Van Schalkwyk said 92 % of North American attendees were first-time visitors to South Africa.