Seychelles Are a Hot Tourist Destination

Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports

Travel to the Seychelles is booming. Tourism officials predict that a record 100,000 people will have visited the Indian Ocean archipelago by the end of this year, and that the number of visitors will climb to more than 140,000 a year by 1995.

To cope with this influx, Air Seychelles is planning to buy a second aircraft to supplement its only large plane, a Boeing 767, which is operating at 95% capacity on its three flights a week to and from Europe.

The Seychelles, which depend on tourism for most of their foreign exchange earnings, also are linked to Europe by two British Airways and three Air France flights each week.

Travel Quiz: What do the Great Wall of China and the Amazon River have in common? (Answer below.)

North to Alaska: Dana Brockway, the director of tourism in Alaska, believes that the state's most famous highway has a bad reputation and that something should be done about it.

"We need to soften the harsh image of the Alaska Highway," Brockway said. "Few people know it's virtually all paved and that there's more to do along the way."

Look for more such comments in the future. State tourism officials already are beginning their drive to promote independent travel to Alaska in advance of 1992's 50th anniversary of the building of the Alaska Highway.

Quick Fact: The wingspan of a 747 jumbo jet is longer than the Wright brothers' first flight--195 feet 8 inches compared to 120 feet.

Right Off Her Head: Visitors to Switzerland might soon be able to see a lock of hair taken from the head of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France who was guillotined in 1793.

The lock was purchased by an unidentified Swiss museum at an auction of historical items in Munich, Germany, earlier this month. The cost? $1,750.

Air Lines: If the crowds at the airport (any airport, it doesn't matter) seemed even worse than usual this Thanksgiving weekend, they probably were. And industry analysts believe such crowding will be the norm for everyday travel within a decade.

Air travel over the holiday was expected to hit a peak today, with a total of 1.7 million passengers on the move. That figure is about 30% above the 1.3 million daily average.

"Air travel at the turn of the century will look much like today's peak holiday periods," Drew Steketee, executive director of the Partnership for Improved Air Travel, said in calling for increased expenditure on airport facilities to counter the expected congestion. "In just 10 years, some 2 million passengers will be flying on an average day."

Quick Fact: Gasoline costs more in New England than any other place in the nation--an average of $1.45 per gallon for self-serve regular unleaded.

Yes, More Turkey: The United States and Turkey have signed a new aviation agreement that the Transportation Department says will eliminate some restrictions and lead to increases in passenger travel and air cargo trade between the countries.

Major provisions of the accord allow each country to designate one or more airlines to operate between the United States and Turkey, and state that neither country may unilaterally restrict capacity, frequency or type of aircraft used.

But Can They Read? Despite the allure of today's high-tech toys, books are holding their own in popularity among children, according to a recent survey.

The Hilton Report on Children and Travel, a national survey of 300 children ages 6 to 12, revealed that nearly 3 out of 4 children (71%) would take a book along with them on vacation in preference to anything else.

Cheers: A total of 177 million bottles of cognac were produced in France last year.

A Tasteful Museum: Travelers to Korea soon learn that kimchi is the country's national dish, but visitors are sometimes hesitant to sample the spicy blend of vegetables, garlic and red pepper, fearing that it might be too hot.

Now, foreigners can receive a thorough introduction to kimchi by visiting the Kimchi Museum, near the Chung-muro subway station in downtown Seoul.

The museum explains the entire kimchi story. There are history and preservation rooms, an information and material room, a buffet restaurant and a tasting room. About 50 types of kimchi can be sampled, along with 15 other traditional foods. The tasting fee is nominal, about $3.75 per person, and there is no admission fee. The museum is open daily.

Kitchen tools and standard ingredients are displayed, with explanations in Korean, English and Japanese. Teaching sessions are held on Wednesdays, and students experience kimchi preparation.

Traditionally, kimchi is prepared after the autumn harvest to preserve cabbage and other vegetables through the winter, and there are as many kimchi recipes as there are kitchens in Korea.

Quick Fact: There are 157 billionaires in the world.

Silver Arch: The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and its record stands. It is still the tallest structure in the city, rising 630 feet above the Missouri River. By law, no St. Louis building is allowed to be taller than the Arch.

Quiz Answer: Both are 4,000 miles long.

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