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Volcano Hots Up Economy of Philippine's Poor Province
Volcano Hots Up Economy of Philippine's Poor Province

Volcano Hots Up Economy of Philippine's Poor Province

Volcano Hots Up Economy of Philippine's Poor Province

The erupting Mayon volcano is sparking a local business boom in an impoverished region of the Philippines where tens of thousands of others have fled for their lives. Albay Province has built its image around the cone-shaped Mayon volcano whose periodic activity offers both boundless opportunity as well as enduring misery. Since Mayon began shooting out lava two weeks ago, restaurants and hotels just outside a nine-kilometer "danger zone" have enjoyed an off-season tourism bonanza, AFP reported.  The volcano's rumblings are a spark of inspiration for tourism-oriented businesses, which have fashioned spicy menus while prominently displaying volcano photos and logos. A bestseller at a local restaurant is the "Mayon Hot Lava"—Mayon-shaped ice cream scoops topped with bits of chili and spicy syrup. High-end hotels provide live TV streaming of Mayon's eruption, while out-of-town journalists and tourists are also corralled into "volcano-view" rooms with windows looking out onto the slowly unfolding disaster. Albay saw a 10% growth in tourist arrivals this month from a year earlier, the local tourism office said, as travel agencies and tour guide services cashed in on what is normally a slow period after Christmas.

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