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Thursday, April 12, 2007


As a passionate fan of Latin America's natural beauties -- from the Mexican beaches of Cancún to Argentina's majestic Perito Moreno glacier -- I was surprised to see that a new ranking of the world's most competitive tourism destinations does not include one single Latin American or Caribbean country among the top 25. To find out why countries such as the United Arab Emirates rank ahead of Bahamas or Mexico in the new ranking of the World Economic Forum, read the full column here, and let us know what YOU think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love going to Mexico because of its proximity and my own personal background. I might not go there this year due to the stupid passport regulaions which require me to have a passport if I fly.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Tampa DUI said...

Mr Oppenheimer,

There are pleny of beaches in the UAE. A simple google image search under "UAE Beaches" will reveal plenty of photos of miles and miles of UAE beaches.

Also in regards to Comment #1 by anonymous, the new passport regulations are a great thing. Every American should have one.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Regulations" are definitely a barrier to tourism these days; too many countries have implemented the same idiotic American "homeland security" measures which requires common tourists now to take off their shoes; their belts ; their watches; their coins and hand over their shampoos and their suntan lotions to uneducated security bureaucrats.

I have seen little girls and boys of 3 yrs old being agressively screened by these security bureaucrats at airports with their teddy bears being agressively yanked out of their little hands and then X RAYED; question is why does the overall population accept this ?

If we invest in security we should invest in professionals who can distinguish between a potential security risk and little children or their mothers and grandmothers.

99,999% of the wold population are decent individuals who respect the law and are not terrorists. The remaining 0,00001% you can screen out by using common sense- this does not require forcing millions of people to take off their shoes or give their suntan lotion to some idiotic security bureaucrat who makes you waste 3 hours standing in some airport line with thousands of others sweating and tired passengers.

The situation has become so extreme that these security bureaucrats now confiscate little bottles of water whereas once you're in the duty free you can purchase 100 Liters of Whisky, Rum or any other high alcohol content liquid. This is absolutely ridiculous - anybody who has cooked in his life can tell you that Whisky, Vodka, Rhum etc are all highly flammable liquids with which a crazed individual could easily start a major fire in an airplane bathroom by sprinkling say an entire sunday newspaper like you would to start a nice asado on a sunday...

Professional trained security personnel should allow the common man and his family to travel uninhindered; they should focus their attention instead on those individuals who fit a certain profile and screen those people in detail; for this you dont need to terrorize little kids and their grandmothers as is the case right now in most airports worldwide.

If these World Tourist Organizations want to do something really useful they should start by dealing with the above because it has become an absolute nightmare to travel by plane these days especially for any citizen making the mistake of wanting to set foot in George W Bush US of A.....

It is also high time for immigration bureaucracies to start processing people inside the airplane; people are sitting in an airplane doing nothing for 10 hours- why can there not be a migration official onboard who checks the passports and the paperwork onboard thereby saving the common citizen the hassle of having to deal with enormous qeues in some hot and humid airport like Miami, Atlanta, London etc.

The technology is fully available today to screen passengers during the flight- its high time that this be implemented to minimize the time that tourists and business people have to deal with inefficient and slow immigration bureaucrats.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Wolfowitz- the neocon president of the World Bank is involved in a major corruption scandal; he arranged an enormous salary increase and promotion for his own girlfriend who works at the same bank.....

All major newspapers are now calling for this right wing neocon to resign immediately from the World Bank.

I would love to see now a major piece from Andres Oppenheimer calling for the head of Wolfowitz- this corrupt neocon has to resign immediately.

Paul Wolfowitz comes from the very core center of the Bush regime; Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice,Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Karl Rove - step by step all of these corrupt criminals are being exposed; lets just hope that our friend here Andres Oppenheimer does the right thing and also calls for the head of the World Bank to resign.

Imagine if the president of the World Bank were a Latin American.... can you imagine what Oppenheimer's column would look like ?

For anybody who missed Oppenheimer's TV show # 4 here's a little reminder.....:


"Oppenheimer Presenta # 4"

"La corrupción. ¿Viene del sur, o del norte?"

"Hace pocas semanas la organización mundial contra la corrupción Transparencia Internacional dio a conocer su nuevo ranking de los países percibidos como los más corruptos del mundo. Una vez más América Latina encabeza del ranking. "

"¿Qué pasa? ¿Somos biológicamente corruptos los latinoamericanos? ¿O la corrupción también existe y se exporta desde el norte?"

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Hey åndêrs, I think there are 2 things that limit Latin American tourism.
First off, how many Americans know of the beauty of Canaima Natinal Park or have even heard of Angel Falls?
yeah, there are fine mountains and glaciers in Chili, but ALL mountaineers see Nepal as the place to go.
And I think crime has a lot to do with it. I think you are safe going on an organized tour of Latin American, but I wouldn't feel safe doing a solo trip by myself. Nor Africa. But I wouldn't hesitate to do a solo in Asia or Europe.
Also, Americans want to see other peoples, new cultures, and we get sick and tired of having Hispanicks trying to force their language and culture on us every single day of our lives.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The column reminds me of a recent New York Times story about an interesting place no tourists visit: the Bronx. I visited what turned out to be another untouristed place earlier this year: Taipei, a city that solo English-speaking travelers can easily navigate, even though there's few English-language guidebooks.

It would be interesting to query a tourism expert. My guess is that areas seeking to attract tourists need to work at it. The Dominican Republic certainly does, while Puerto Rico seemingly doesn't.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Oppenheimer,

You need to take some steps to make your website more high profile; I had a look at the traffic statistics for your website on ALEXA and your page is ranked as # 2,933,227.

Maybe that explains the reason for the lack of posts on this blog - seems like very few people visit this page.

Anyways might be interesting for readers to know that the users on this page come from these countries:

Mexico 40.0%
Colombia 30.0%
Bolivia 10.0%
El Salvador 10.0%
United States 10.0%

Interestingly despite Oppenheimer being Argentine he gets practically no hits from Argentina on his webpage; in addition you will note that despite every column of Oppenheimer including some sort of attack against Venezuela/Hugo Chavez he gets practically no visits from readers based in Venezuela.

Anyways; I find this site very dead with little to no discussion- having seen now the traffic statistics for this site I think we can all agree that Oppenheimer needs to take drastic action to bring some life to his webpage or otherwise its better to just shut down this site.

Detailed traffic analysis for this site can be found at the following link:

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from: Paul Thørsen

Hey anonymous, I love åndêrs' blogs. He always has good things to say, even though I disagree with 90% of what he says.
The thing I respect most about him is he hasn't deleted any of my posts. Hispanicks (who claim they are all for "free speech")are actually very sensitive to criticism and will do everything they can to scare people from saying bad things about them. Instead of trying to be good people, good Americans, so that people will say good things about them. The Hispanick way is to be a jerk, then challenge anyone to say anything about it.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Thørsen,

As I mentioned earlier nobody is reading Oppenheimer's blog; if you want people to react to your insults of all "hispanicks" you will have to post somewhere else because this website is dead.

Try and post on the website of some "hispanick" newschannel in the US- maybe if you post on Univision's website you will get some feedback to your insults.

Good luck and hope to read some of your interesting posts on some other streetcorner in Cyberspace; I have decided to abandon this sinking ship as its simply too dead.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Andres Oppenheimer said...

Dear anonymous blog hit counter: thank you for going through the trouble of checkign this blog's traffic. Frankly, I find the blogs with most traffic to be pretty dumb. So if this blog is a corner of intelligent thought at the cost of less traffic, so be it!

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If Paul Wolfowitz- is a so called neocon then his counterpart must be called a Communist. Give me a Neocon any day vs a Communist!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Ken said...


In response to the comment about lack of's a concern, but should not stop anybody. My wife and I just drove from our home in Carrollton, GA to Costa Rica, where we used to live, and back. We were gone for just under two months and drove 8,269 safe miles. Other than two stops in 30 minutes by Nicaraguan police extracting money for us for "infracciones" that we didn't commit, it was a wonderful trip.

Latin America is a wonderful place to visit, the people are friendly, the roads aren't too bad (even Costa Rica's roads have improved,) and the places to visit fascinating. Maybe our view is tainted after living in Latin America for 18 years of our life.

--Ken MacHarg

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rubén P., commenting on the Spanish-language version, was correct that small European countries can't be properly compared to Latin American countries--especially when places like Argentina and Chile probably have to compete with New Zealand for visitors.

Still, there's obviously a lot of commercial connections between California and the two southern countries.

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The passport regulations are
all right.All need to have one.
I hope all central american
nations demand visas to foreigners as well.It is about time.

6:29 AM  

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