Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Travelography #111: Euros, Spies, Crime and Tourism

Use the players on this page, or click the title above to listen to this podcast.

The first story today is about the trend for some large tourist cities on the east coast of the US to accept Euros in addition to dollars because of the many Europeans who are going shopping in the US. Reminds me of my recent trip to Cambodia, where they prefer dollars over the Cambodian Riel.

This is followed by a warning from the US State Dept that Americans (and anyone else) going to China for the Olympics (and in fact any other time) need to be aware that their hotel rooms, movements and conversations may all be bugged/monitored by Chinese authorities. So, when in China, smile -- you are on candid camera!

Also in China is a discussion of an increase in crimes againsts tourists, as Chinese theives seem to becom more emboldened. Still on the crime topic, Thailand's tourist police will be issuing whistles to women in "risky spots" (which seems like just about everywhere, in an effort to reduce crime concers following a year of negative publicity over murders and rapes of tourists (mostly females) in Thailand.

A final tourism and crime story comes from Sicily, Italy where a new tourists guide to the Mafia has been published -- again in an effort to reduce tourists fears of visiting the island, and to help them spot Mafiosi on the streets of the city!


Alan A. Lew

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Travelography #109: Hawaii - Tourism Troubles in Paradise

Use the players on this page, or click the title above to listen to this podcast.

Three news stories from Hawaii this week, all oif which are related. First, Hawaii's travel arrivals dropped last year (2007) about 1.2% from the previous year (2006), mostly due to the economic crisis in the US mainland. This year is likely to be flat, as well.

Residents across the islands are complaining about the impacts of illegal vacation rentals on their communities. The second story talks about this issue on Kauai, which is trying to keep its rural character in the face of growing tourism pressures. The third story covers the same issue on Oahu, which banned vacation rentals many years ago.

Photo of rural northern Kauai (by Alan A. Lew).

All of today's stories come from