SANAA (Reuters) - Gun-wielding tribesmen. Al Qaeda attacks. Kidnappings of Westerners. Yemen has long conjured up images of wild badlands, fit only for the intrepid traveler.
But as its oil dries up, this ancient land on the Arabian Peninsula hopes a makeover will put it on the tourist trail.
"Yemen was harmed by the kidnappings and terrorist attacks and this gives us a bigger challenge, but we want to change people's view," said Tourism Minister Nabil Hassan al-Faqih.
"Incidents happen repeatedly all over the world, more than they do in Yemen, but ... people focus on these issues and overlook the hospitality of the Yemeni people."
Yemenis joke their country is so hospitable that hostages complain only of being forced to drink too much tea. One -- apocryphal -- tale runs that a German tourist kidnapped in Yemen made friends with the captors and later returned to visit them.
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