Friday, September 12, 2008

Travelography #126: Tourism Challenges All Over the Globe

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 8 September 2008. This podcast is also available at and

Thousands stranded by XL collapse

Chairman Phil Wyatt said he was "totally devastated" by the failure which has grounded XL's 21 planes. The company flies to about 50 destinations. There are 67,000 stranded who booked directly with XL, and another 23,000 who booked via other companies.

XL Leisure Group Plc [including XL Airways] goes into administration [bankruptcy]

My kids are sat at the TV crying -- Taking a holiday to Greece this weekend and I have just told them them that we will not be now.

Caribbean Islands Assess Damage From Hurricane Ike

According to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, thousands of pink flamingos on the island of Great Inagua were unharmed when their breeding colony — the world's largest — took a direct hit from Ike. All the country's hotels and other tourist facilities are open.


Far from causing a tourist boom, the Beijing Olympic Games actually caused a drastic fall in the numbers of visitors to the Chinese capital. ... In August, hotels in Beijing welcomed a total of 708,000 guests from other areas in China, 47% less than last year.

Rain washes away £200m on tourism [in SW England]

Britain had its wettest August since 2004 with Devon and Cornwall getting 179% of the 1971-2000 average and Cornwall 157% say the Met Office. Malcolm Bell, chief executive of South West Tourism, said: "Tourism is a massive industry for Cornwall, it's worth about £1.5bn.

Tourism Authority of Thailand issues situation update

TAT has also participated in several online travel forums such as, Lonely and ... As part of Thailand’s tourism recovery plans, TAT will be hosting a “Thailand Invitation” mega familiarization trip (‘fam’ trip) for over 800 media representatives and travel operators from around the world.

Infamous Abu Ghraib prison gets a museum makeover

Abu Ghraib, which housed about 2,000 inmates, of which the prison's U.S. commander estimated 90 per cent were innocent, was closed in 2006. There's no mention in the announcement whether the abuses by U.S. soldiers will be covered in the museum's exhibitions.

Italy's Tourism Hits Defining Moment

Though plenty of visitors flock to Italy's cities, beaches and countryside all year round, over the past three decades the country has lost its primacy as a tourist destination to France, Spain, the U.S. and -- more recently -- China.

Spanish tourism feels pinch of economic downturn

After 50 years of uninterrupted growth, Spain's overbuilt and relatively expensive resorts seem ill-placed to cope with a downturn, at a time of increasing competition from cheaper, less-crowded destinations like Croatia and Turkey.

The ice melts quickly, generating polar disputes that may fester for decades

Among the trends that concern them are reports that fishing fleets are venturing farther north in search of new grounds as stocks become depleted at traditional fishing sites. Cruise ships are also making headway into Antarctica and the European and Canadian Arctic, raising concerns over the negative ecological impacts of ship discharge and solid waste disposal.