Monday, February 16, 2009

Travelography #144: Business or Pleasure in Vegas, and Fleeing Tibet

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 9 to 16 February 2009. This podcast is also available at and

  • Sin City worries its image hurts business travel : NPR

    Born of carefully crafted slogans — "What happens here stays here" — and smiling, sequined showgirls, the image of a 24-hour adult Disneyland with free-flowing booze and casino chips is making the tourist destination seem radioactive to companies keen on not appearing frivolous as they seek government bailouts.
  • Tower Rising in Las Vegas but Now, Not So High

    But because of what it is billing as structural defects, MGM Mirage announced recently it has decided to shorten a hotel-condominium project it is building on the Strip to 28 stories instead of the planned 49. Architectural experts say they cannot recall such a drastic midconstruction downscaling,
  • Canadian passenger bill of rights will make airfares soar

    "The last thing, in this economic context, that airlines want to do is pass on that cost to passengers but they will have no choice. There is no way airlines could absorb that," said George Petsikas, president of the National Airlines Council of Canada.
  • US airlines face sharp drop in international demand

    he now expects U.S. airline revenue to fall 11% for the year, compared to his prior outlook of an 8% decline. Hardest hit would be the lucrative international routes, particularly those of American parent AMR Corp. and Continental. Mainline international revenue could fall 12% for 2009, versus a prior forecast of a 6% decline,
  • Tibetan Areas Closed to Foreigners

    Large swathes of Gansu, Sichuan and Qinghai provinces — home to large ethnic Tibetan communities — are now off limits to foreign travelers, local officials confirmed Thursday. Last year, protests to mark the anniversary spun out of control, with deadly riots breaking out in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.
  • Chinese migrants may flee Tibet as tourism stalls

    Many workers and traders from other ethnic groups who moved to the remote region in search of a better living said they were considering leaving for good, driven away by the tourism slump and icy anger of local Tibetans.
  • Nepal seeks way to promote tourism between Nepal and China

    "China would tide over this phase of financial turmoil and come up as a much bigger player in the world economy, we, very close neighbor of China, hope that Nepal will also benefit from the strength of the Chinese economy,"
  • Travel Industry: This Is No Time to Check Out

    "We've got to get away from the symbolism of corporate fat cats smoking a big cigar on a golf course and instead think about the symbolism of people meeting and thinking together and creating ideas and building their cultures,"
  • Mayor to Obama: Your comments are harmful to Las Vegas

    Obama said during a town hall meeting this week in Indiana that companies shouldn't take trips to Las Vegas or go to the Super Bowl at taxpayers' expense.
  • Downturn hits international travel; flights from USA cut

    With demand for international trips in free fall, most U.S. and foreign airlines are cutting international service to and from the USA. They're reducing the number of scheduled flights or parking big jets and putting passengers on smaller ones to avoid flying money-losing, half-empty flights.
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