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Tempting tourists back when the bombing stops is never easy, but war-weary Asian countries are planning new treats for travellers in a bid to cash in on a "peace dividend".
When government forces claimed victory against Tamil Tiger separatist rebels in May, Sri Lankan tourism chiefs set to work, launching a campaign called "Sri Lanka: Small Miracle", to polish its post-war image.
One of the new activities designed to sell the country on top of its beaches, tea plantations and religious sites is whale watching. The giant mammals frequent the island's shores between December and April.
Dileep Mudadeniya, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau's managing director, estimates the promotional campaign will help raise tourist arrivals by at least 20 per cent to 500,000 visitors in 2010.
The number of travellers to Nepal slumped during a 10-year civil war between the army and Maoist rebels which ended in 2006. But last year a record 550,000 people visited the Himalayan state after foreign governments relaxed their travel warnings.
Tourism authorities say they hope to attract a million visitors by 2011 and are focusing on some of the less developed areas of the country, where few foreigners have ventured.
One plan involves creating a "Himalayan Trail", taking trekkers to some of the remotest parts of the country. The trail would link paths already used by local people to transport goods and livestock, and would take three months to complete - with most visitors expected to walk it in stages.
"We need time to (change our image)," Ho Vandy, co-chair of Cambodia's tourism working group told AFP. The government last year launched an international "Kingdom of Wonder" campaign promoting the country's eco-tourism and culture.
More than 20 islands have been designated for development while a new airport in seaside Sihanoukville is expected to open later this year. Other plans include a game park for well-heeled hunters in the remote jungle-covered northern Ratanakiri province and several luxury golf courses around the country.
Tourists are returning to Indian Kashmir, once described by a 17th-century visiting emperor as a "paradise on earth", as militant violence in the Muslim-majority region subsides to its lowest level since 1989.
In 1988 more than 700,000 tourists visited Kashmir, but the number declined sharply as the insurgency intensified. Now the tide appears to be turning again, with more than 380,000 visiting in the first seven months of 2009. AFP
From TODAY, Traveller – Thursday, 17-Sep-2009