BENIDORM is constantly promoting itself as a tourist destination. People knock the place, but keep coming. It’s not an easy promotion, but then in life everything is relative. So spare a thought for Mohamed Ahmed Noor, the new Mayor of Mogadishu, capital of war torn
Mr Noor last week told the
“On a bad day in
With that in mind I checked internet tourist information on my resort of choice. Oddly enough it was sparse. Basically there were two entries. Bakara market, now known even by the locals as “Black Hawk Down” after the Tony Scott film of that name about the US military helicopter crash and rescue, and “Shanghai Old City”, which actually isn’t in Shanghai, but is one of Mogadishu’s “most scenic spots”, yet unfortunately “controlled by Warlords” and “not open to tourists”. Shame.
Never mind I thought, forget culture and concentrate on that famous Horn of Africa tan. The sunny Saharan weather and beaches that stretch inland as far as neighbouring
It does have an Admiral, Mr Farah Ahmed Omar, who has been in charge since 1982, but hasn’t himself been to sea for twenty three years, and admitted that the navy hasn’t actually had any boats since 1991, when the nation descended into anarchic violence. Yet like Mayor Noor, Admiral Omar remains positive. It must be a Somalian trait. Denied ships and sailors, Admiral Omar has used his spare time productively in setting up his own University, and is now a professor of economics.
Suddenly Benidorm didn’t seem so bad. Perhaps a relative merits campaign could be set up by the mayor. Forget tapas and castanets. Push the other positive aspects. Benidorm’s lower daily-death rate is an attractive feature when compared to other hot spots around the world, and we haven’t seen rocket launchers on the streets for quite a while. One can para-glide and enjoy a hairy banana ride off the Levante beach without fear of some heavily armed men in an inflatable hoving into view and inviting you to join them for a few months. All in all Benidorm’s got a lot going for it.
When researching holiday choices people look for different things. Some want good weather, others culture etc, but unless you are the adrenalin junkie, bungee jumping type, the risk of being murdered whilst tucking into your all-inclusive buffet breakfast is a yardstick that all us tourists can relate to- me included – and is a situation that most tourists actively avoid. There is even a word for this type of person …. “Sane”.
Death rates and kidnap statistics shouldn’t figure in travel brochures. Unless you are really from a different planet you’ll already know that Rio is a murderous place, and
Admiral Omar should have studied marketing instead of economics, he then could have advised Mayor Noor on a better promotional tag. Maybe research relative tropical disease statistics. How about “
By Paul Deed