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The Ten Strangest Jobs in the Travel Industry
By Ann Tatko-Peterson, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

January 30, 2009 -

Not your everyday job

Top 10 Strangest Jobs in the Travel Industry, according to Travel + Leisure.

--Hotel Falconer, Biltmore Four Seasons, Santa Barbara -- walks falcon around pool to shoo away seagulls.

--Airport Hunters, Zurich Airport, Switzerland -- chase off wild animals near runways.

--Coconut Safety Engineer, Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas -- picks ripened coconuts before they fall.

--Karaoke Taxi Drivers, Helsinki, Finland -- drive karaoke-singing riders.

--Duckmaster, Peabody Hotel, Memphis -- cares for five mallard ducks who live and perform at hotel.

--Tourism Ambassador, Japan -- role currently held by anime character Hello Kitty (pictured).

--Sewer Guide, Paris -- boat tourists through Museum of the Sewer under Paris' streets.

--Lego Professional Gluer, Legoland California, Carlsbad -- glues toy bricks based on designers' plans.

--Monkey Men, Amanbagh Resort, Rajasthan, India -- keep native monkeys from stealing guests' cookies.

--Manners Police, Venice, Italy -- keep unruly tourists in check.

Unique take on fresh flowers

Go big is certainly one way to grab attention when opening a new hotel.

Last week, Hotel Indigo London Paddington mounted the world's largest hanging basket from the side of its building.

The basket measures 20 feet by 10 feet and weighs more than a quarter of a ton. It took a team of designers, engineers and gardeners three weeks to construct and fill the basket with more than 100 varieties of seasonal plants and flowers.

The staff chose this particular gimmick to illustrate the hotel's emphasis on matching its decor to the changing seasons. Details: www.hotelindigo.com.

Louvre welcomes comic strips

Move over, Mona Lisa. Comics have arrived for the first time at the Louvre museum in Paris.

"Small Design: The Louvre Invites Comics" opened in late January with six comic strip authors on display. Included is Bernar Yslaire, whose comics are brought to life digitally. His latest comic strip, "The Sky Above the Louvre," is set at the museum.

-- Ann Tatko-Peterson

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To see more of the Contra Costa Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.contracostatimes.com/.

Copyright (c) 2009, Contra Costa Times, Walnut Creek, Calif.

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