Wanted: Serious Tourists

Gary Bowersox (a.k.a. “the Gem Hunter”), president of GeoVision, Honolulu, Hawaii, has announced two programs that will provide economic aid to Afghanistan.

The first is a buying trip for cutters and suppliers. Bowersox recently escorted one Brazilian buyer to purchase kunzite rough for his cutting factory and wants to expand this service by providing other buyers the opportunity to purchase tourmaline, emerald, ruby, and lapis directly from Afghan miners. “This way, the people working in the mines will benefit directly and the owners will be better able to control the expansion of their businesses and the hiring of new workers,” writes Bowersox.

Bowersox is also organizing tours of Afghan gem mines for scientists, business people, and “serious tourists,” beginning with a three-week excursion in August 2004. The estimated cost is $6,700 (round trip, New York to Afghanistan), which includes all transportation, food, hotels, guides, and lectures. The group will be limited to 20. Information is available at www.gems-afghan.com under “guided tours.”