Business at the Yew Tree Farm bed-and-breakfast in England's Lake District hadn't exactly been booming lately - with the region still struggling to recover from last year's foot-and-mouth disease epidemic. So hosts Joe and Hazel Relph were understandably pleased when their phone rang and the voice at the other end of the line inquired about a double room. Thus, a reservation was entered, and on the appointed day, Prince Charles arrived to use the 18th-century dwelling as his base of operations for a minivacation. It was his first B&B experience. His office said he wanted to show support for the local economy.
Even in a long-distance race - i.e., 50 miles - a horse will beat a man, right? Maybe most other men. But not Tom Johnson. The US record-holder over 65 miles last week edged al-Buraq, an Arabian ridden by fellow American Jennifer Nice by 10 seconds at a track in Abu Dhabi. What's more, he isn't apologizing for running nonstop while the animal was required to pause twice for veterinary exams. After all, it was broiling hot and he had to climb hills and dodge stray camels. "I'm quite delighted," Johnson said.
A cooling in international tourism turned into a deep freeze in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, with the Middle East, the Americas, and South Asia hardest hit, according to preliminary statistics from a survey by the UN's World Tourism Organization. In all, 689 million tourists ventured outside their homelands in 2001, down from 697 million in 2000. France remained the most popular draw, while the US slipped to third place. The top five destinations, according to the WTO, with the number of foreign visitors to each (in millions):
1. France 76.5
2. Spain 49.5
3. US 44.5
4. Italy 39.1
5. China 33.2
- Associated Press