Travel Notes

Article excerpt

THE BIG APPLE has a new attraction: A toll-free number for visitor information, good from anywhere in the United States and Canada.

The 24-hour number - (800) 692-8474 - offers callers several choices, including travel counselors from the New York Convention & Visitors Bureau. Counselors are available to field questions weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. St. Louis time.

Although hundreds of U.S. cities and tourism regions use toll-free numbers for providing tourism information, New York City has never been one of them.

Besides travel counselors, the number also has automated options for event information and ordering brochures. Another feature, New York by Phone, enables callers to choose recorded messages from hotels, restaurants, theaters, attractions and sightseeing tours and then transfer directly to those businesses for further information. Olympic Overflow

Atlanta tourism officials predict that the city's 60,000 hotel rooms won't be enough to handle crowds attending the 1996 Olympics. Some visitors will have to commute from distant cities such as Chattanooga, Tenn. (116 miles), or Birmingham, Ala. (147 miles).

Bill Howard, a vice president of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, said about four times as many rooms as the city has would be needed. A report of his comments in Travel Weekly advised travel agents to book rooms early. Cross The Border

Crossing the U.S.-Mexican or U.S.-Canadian border would cost $1. …