Today's travel intel

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--Cool new guidebooks are hitting stores.A new generation of guidebooks is out to prove that they don't have to be dull and bulky. Instead, they come with glossy photos, slick prose, and streamlined designs.

Case in point: Luxe guidebooks are about the size of bookmarks but a bit thicker. These accordion-style guides cram in plenty of info, along with blunt advice: "Avoid the area of Kuta like you would cholera," the Bali one says. This month, a guide for New York City debuts. Buy it here for $9.

Meanwhile the design gurus at the magazine Wallpaper* are producing handbooks small enough to fit in your back pocket, filled with the most handsome hangouts in 20 cities, with 40 more due in 2007. Tabs make it easy to flip between sections like Shopping and Escapes. A new guide to Tel Aviv debuted a week ago. Buy it here for $9.

Related: Learn about other slick new guidebooks by reading senior editor Brad Tuttle's recent story, here. For advice on how to pick a guidebook for your next trip, click here.

--About 300,000 travelers worldwide are on the Feds' terror watch lists. When you include duplicate names for individuals, the tally tops 500,000, according to this post on ABC News's website.

Earlier: If your name is mistakenly on a federal list, you should ask to have your reputation cleared. Details here.

--Hurricane Katrina disaster tours are a big hit in New Orleans. About half of the tourists taking city tours of the Big Easy are requesting disaster tours, reports the AP in this story. Grey Line was the first to offer coach bus tours that offer lectures on what happened. (Tickets cost $35 per adult. Details here.) Another tour company, Tours by Isabelle offers a post-Katrina review of the city, too. (Tickets cost $58 per person. Details here.)

Earlier: Is "poverty tourism is educational or exploitative? Details here.

--Dubai buys the QE2. The emirate of Dubai has purchased the good ship Queen Elizabeth 2 and plans to turn it into a floating hotel. Story here. [AFP via Yahoo.]

Related: If you're curious about how to visit Dubai on a budget, see this story here.

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