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Tourists Encourage U.S. War on Syria

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (SP) — With the sharp downturn in the number of Americans abroad during the war on Iraq, tourists from other countries are encouraging a widening of the conflict to include Syria — as a way of keeping American tourist numbers reduced. The World Tourism Organization, while leery that Americans' staying at home might mean losses for the industry, is betting that fewer Americans at resorts will in fact lure more than enough tourists from elsewhere to make up the difference.

Betsy Higbottom of Birmingham, England, on vacation in Punta Cana, claimed that her trip was much more pleasant without quite so much "y'all" and "huh". Fritz Spothelfer of Zurich, Switzerland said he was sure resort staff appreciated not having so many people ask, loudly, "Don't you speak English?"

Canadian tourists seemed less certain the absence of Americans was a good thing. "Before, when you'd hear a group of overweight people talking loudly in a nasal North American accent, you'd just safely assume they were from the U.S.", said Samantha Wong of Kitchener, Ontario. "Now you listen more carefully, think they still must be American, and then notice the flag patches — it's like, they're Canadian! Makes you realize how similar we actually sound. And act and stuff. It sucks they're not around anymore to make us look better by comparison."

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