Guidebooks to undeveloped countries with recent civil conflicts are hard to find, but Ulysses Travel Publications has just introduced guides for two of them: Nicaragua and El Salvador. “Ulysses Due South Montelimar, Nicaragua!” ($5.95) and “The Ulysses Travel Guide - El Salvador” ($14.95) are available in bookstores or from Seven Hills Book Distributors, (800) 545-2005. The Nicaragua guide is a pocket guide; the El Salvador book is a full-fledged guidebook.
Open for business
Bolivia has opened a tourism office in New York, its first U.S. office, in a push to promote travel to the Andean country. In 1993, tourist arrivals in Bolivia totaled 241,000, according to the government, and officials are hoping that figure will grow to 400,000 by 1998. The new office is at 97-45 Queens Blvd., Rego Park, NY 11374; phone 800-265-4842. The French Government Tourist Office in New York has a new address: 444 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022; phone 212-838-7800. Tourism information requests can go to that location or to France-on-Call, 900-990-0040, a service that costs 50 cents a minute.
Through May, more than 90 participating Ramada hotels in mid-America (Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, North & South Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas) are offering discount room rates, complimentary breakfast, one free day car rental from Alamo Rent A Car, and in most places, free or discount admission to a local attraction. Call (800) 2-RAMADA.
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is scheduled to open in March in Las Vegas as the first rockand-roll hotel and casino. The complex next to the Hard Rock Cafe will be 11 stories high and have 340 rooms.
See the whales
Baja Discovery is organizing a variety of trips through March 23 offering opportunities to visit the gray whales of San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California. Five-, seven- and nine-day trips for up to 18 guests include camp accommodations, boat excursions to visit the whales and the expertise of naturalist guides. Prices range from $955 to $1,720, double occupancy, including travel from San Diego. For more information, call (800) 829-2252.