The UN debate on Tourist Industry development in member countries produced a few unusual offerings. Abdi Jimale Osman of Mogadishu opened.
‘Somalia is full of wonderful tourist attractions that no one knows about. The sun shines constantly on hundreds of miles of sandy beaches; you can dine on lobster on the roof of the Sharmo Hotel which commands a splendid view of the capital. There hasn’t been a single official tourist kidnapped now for almost twenty years. Most people are friendly. Why don’t the tourists come?’
‘But how many tourists have you had since the Eighties?’
‘Well, none actually.
Perhaps the kidnappings put them off!’ he admitted.
‘But tourists could still go and see the former beautiful sights, only they’re all totally destroyed.
Except for the Cathedral. What’s left of it is still very attractive. But you must be careful not to step on a landmine.
You could visit our national parks, though they’re in the hands of the rebels. Unfortunately they’re not the attraction they used to be since we ate all the animals from them.
The Sharmo Hotel advises guests to hire at least ten armed guards to escort them from the airport.
For extra protection you can buy hand grenades in the market for $10 or a howitzer for $20000,’ the minister for tourism concluded reassuringly.
He was interrupted by the tourist minister of Columbia, one Ms Ratina Curare.