Hard not to chuckle at the ill-timing of a Daily Telegraph travel piece that extolled the virtues of Libya as a destination for tourism. The article was posted online on the night of Nov 4/5 and opened: “Tripoli, Libya’s capital, is known for its walled medina and relaxing old-world ambience, and is home to a number of grand mosques, statues and fountains.”
It is home also to several unruly militias. As the article was posted a couple of rival state-sanctioned militias started skirmishing — it lasted for more than 12 hours — in Tripoli, firing rocket-propelled grenades at each other, leaving nearly a dozen wounded and adding to ordinary Libyans’ sense of powerlessness.
The puff piece was part of a PR effort encouraged by the Libyan government to entice tourists to the North African country. A few months ago USA Today ran a similarly premature travel article urging tourists to visit the country.
Question: Do travel editors pay any attention to what is actually happening in a country?