Monday, April 27, 2009

Travelography #153: Mexico and Thailand's Tourism Challenges, and more...

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

Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 21 to 27 April 2009. This podcast is available at, and

  • Canada is one of the few remaining countries that hasn't been granted "approved destination status," known as ADS, by the Chinese. As a result, the Canadian tourism industry cannot actively market Canada in China, and Chinese travel agents can't advertise and promote Canadian trips. But that may be about to change.
  • Tourism was hit particularly hard by recent street violence in a long battle between royalists, the military and urban Thais who back the current government and supporters of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra whose power base was mainly drawn from the millions of rural poor. "The combination of the impact of the slowdown of the global economy and the social unrest domestically means that we're anticipating tourist arrivals, originally forecast at 14 million, to be something closer to…
  • “With passengers voting overwhelmingly for a ‘fat tax’ we are now asking them to suggest which format the charge should take. The above four points seem to us to be the simplest, fairest and administratively easiest to apply. In all cases we’ve limits at very high levels so that a ‘fat tax’ will only apply to those really large passengers who invade’ the space of the passengers sitting beside them."
  • By a show of hands citizens of the tiny canton (state) of Appenzell Inner Rhodes voted overwhelmingly at their traditional open-air annual assembly to impose a 200 Swiss franc ($176) fine on violators. Only a scattering of people on Sunday opposed the ban on the back-to-nature activity that took off last autumn when naked hikers — primarily Germans — started showing up in eastern Switzerland. RT @markwilliams
  • Given the circumstances (Tijuana's 843 murders last year doubled 2007's), it takes moxie to launch a [tourism] campaign. Number one on the list: "Take a picture with the famous Tijuana zebra donkey." Number 75: Get out of town by "Flying direct to Narita, Japan, from Tijuana Airport." Delusional thinking or marketing optimism?
  • The ID cards are embedded with an image of the traveler's eye that is used to verify his identity. Industry groups say the program will encourage travel to the USA by reducing the hassles of clearing customs.
  • "The revenue from tourism could drop 35 percent... to only 350 billion baht from 540 billion baht in 2008," ... The kingdom's tourist-friendly image was dented by a nine-day seizure of Bangkok's airports at the end of last year that left thousands stranded, and was further affected by rallies held by rival demonstrators last week.