tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Djibouti Calling

Although this is a few months old, it nonetheless caught the Tuque Souq's attention: The tiny nation of Djibouti is pitching its nascent tourist industry to Canadians. The Tuque Souq is sold!

An official delegation led by the Djiboutian Minister of Sports, Recreation & Tourism Hassan Farah Miguil visited Ottawa and Montreal last winter.

[Fast facts Djibouti: Located on the horn of Africa between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somaliland; Population 500,000; Independence from France in 1977; Member of the League of Arab States; Governed by a very delicate power share between ethnic groups; Canadian exports in 2006 totalled $2.8m; And since 2001 home to a US Naval Base.]

"Tourism is one of our economic priorities and we are investing heavily in its growth by building strong partnerships with the private sector," said Omar Moussa, Pesident of Djibouti's International Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Djibouti has a solid tourism infrastructure and our airport is one of the best in the region."

Apparently the jewel of Djiboutian tourism is the Djibouti Kempinski Palace Hotel [PICTURED], the first 7-star hotel in Africa.

According to the above article from the Africa Trade Association, Ottawa and Montreal are home to communities of the "Djibouti Diaspora." The Tuque Souq will try to investigate - any Djiboutians out there?

No numbers are readily available as to how many Canadians have holidayed in Djibouti. Air Canada's website does not recognize Djibouti as a destination. According to Expedia.com, you can get to Djibouti from Toronto via London and Addis Ababa in a little under 30 hours for $2500.

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