TOURISM: The Rush to Stay at Home

With Mardi Gras only a week away, Frank Fullmer should be both busy and prosperous. His 53-room Bel-Air Motel (heated swimming pool, free color TV in every room) on a major highway into New Orleans is strategically located to catch the annual stampede of carnival-bound tourists. This year, however, fully one-third of his rooms are empty. "We ought to be filling up about now," he frets. "I guess people just don't want to take a chance this year."

Like thousands of other proprietors of motels, restaurants, travel agencies, airlines, resorts and ski areas from New Orleans to Nice, Fullmer is a...

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