Monday, November 28, 2005

G4T #19: Social Impacts of Travel and Tourism

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related postThis week I discuss updates to my show notes page, and the social impacts of tourism and travel on destinations, including both from tourists and from the tourism industry. (Total Length: 29 min, 55 sec)

In the podcast I commented on the Responsible Tourism awards, and I quoted a remark made at those awards about the fact that although consumers are more aware of sustainable (social and environmental) issues today, this is not yet seen as a major marketing advantage by tour companies. Related to this, Scott McCabe of the Sheffield Hallam University in the UK posted this interesting item on an email list today:

From: McCabe, Scott
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 3:29 AM
To: trinet-l@HAWAII.EDU
Subject: RE: Tourism and Local Transportation

Dear all,

just a brief contribution to this debate, i read a brief article in a UK free newspaper the other day that UK consumers are not interested in sustainability issues when thinking about or taking holidays, and that whilst many people do worry about the environment and engage in recycling, energy saving etc in daily life - whilst they are on holiday they want to forget about these issues (i only read it briefly so apologies if i misquote). however - it raises a number of issues pertinent to this discussion:
- perhaps consumers see environmental sustainability as an obligation and holidays are still valid as a means to escape everyday duties like these therefore sustainability should be the preserve of governments and industry to implement and it is wrong to assume that consumers will eventually demand sustainable tourism products
- perhaps what is more important is making consumers aware of unfair/unethical/immoral practices - which is much more likely to effect a more responsible attitude from consumers, and then industry and governments alike?

Here are the links to sites mentioned in this week's podcast:

* Responsible tourism is the way forward (Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market)
* Responsible Travel Forum (online; Feb 21-22, 2006)
* Peace Corp finds renewed passion in volunteerism (full article now requires purchase!)
* World Citizens Guide
* Nude act of foreign tourist at holy place angers residents of Pushkar
** NEW: Inserted on 8 Dec 2005: Guidelines issued to facilitate foreigners’ stay in Indian holy town
* World Tourism Organization - Global Code of Ethics

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

G4T #18: Space Tourism and the Geography of Brazil

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related postThis week's podcast covers Geographic Literacy, The Great Escape/Scavenger Hunt, Space Tourism, and the Geography of Brazil. Quite a mashing of topics! and I am not sure if I pull them all together as well as I had hoped.

My students are studying South America this week, and so my goal was to talk about South America -- in some way. However, in looking through my travel and tourism news sources, I found very little about tourism and travel in South America. For some reason South America does not appear as frequently in the international news travel news as does much of the rest of the world, including Cetral America/Caribbean. While I admit that I have my own personal bias toward events related to Asia, my sources are more general than that. If anyone knows a good sources for travel and tourism news about South America, please let me know.

Getting this week's podcast up was quite a challenge. I have a new condensor microphone. And even know people say it's supposed to be a very good one, I find it tended to pick up the "S" sound very prominently. This is known as "sibilance", and is supposed to be fixed by using a pop filter. Well, I have a pop filter but it does not seem to really help that much. So I went through the entire podcast and I reduced the level of the "S" sound every time it appeared in and annoying manner. This took a couple more hours of postprocessing than I would normally have done. Hopefully I can get this figured out for the next week's podcast.

Please take a few minutes to take my listener survey. The link is on the right side of this webpage.

Here are links to the items mentioned on today's this week's podcasts:

* Geography skills or the lack there of
* AAA travel high school challenge contest offers students more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes
* AAA travel challenge
* Great escape 2005
* Great escapes travel humor
* Space adventures
* Brazil gears up for commercial spaceport

* Brics: the changing face of global power -- a four-part series by BBC News
- New players challenge world order
- Boom times await new powers
- New muscles in the marketplace
- Causes for concern for new hours

Here are a few other Space Tourism news items that may be of interest to potential space travelers:

* BBC: The Space Race: Space Tourism (audio)
* BBC: Space tourist returns to Earth
* BBC: Firm offers $100m orbit of moon
* Virgin Galactic - space flight reservations website (f0r 2008)
* New Voyager News - source for space tourism news

Monday, November 14, 2005

G4T #17: Travel and Tourism In China

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related postThis week's podcast is focused exclusively on China, including all of the news items, and a discussion of the history of the Great Wall of China. [Click on the title above to download the podcast mp3 file.]

Special Thanks to Tek at the 3Minutes in Shanghai podcast, whose podcast on the China National Day 2005 "Golden Week" is included at the end of my podcast (it takes up the last 4 minutes of this week's 33 minute podcast).

Here are links to items mentioned on today's podcast:

* Satellite data reveals Beijing as air pollution capital of world - Guardian Unlimited,12188,1605147,00.html
* China's building boom becomes a frenzy - International Herald Tribune (New York Times)
* China sees substantial increment in its tourism industry during National Day holidays - Travel News Wire
* China witnesses surge in tourism revnue, officials says - Travel News Wire
* Chinese airlines eye nonstop flights between China and Las Vegas - Travel News Wire
* Firm expects outbound Chinese tourists to top 115m - Travel News Wire
* Shanghai Living - photo archive for photographer Hu Yang;jsessionid=418B9141949D5C13447A8014441C570D

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

California #1 for Tourism in the US

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only postTourists Love the Sun/Beach/Coast/Ocean

According to the most recent data (for 2003), that was just released, "California ranked number one overall in terms of total spending by domestic and international travelers , earning nearly $72 billion in expenditures," followed by Florida in a distant second and New York in a far distant third place. Most of the expenditures were from domestic travelers, as 2003 was a down year for international arrivals.

The top 10 were:

$71.56 billion - California
$56.30 billion - Florida
$35.43 billion - New York
$34.60 billion - Texas
$23.00 billion - Illinois
$21.34 billion - Nevada
$16.42 billion - Pennsylvania
$15.65 billion - Georgia
$15.42 billion - New Jersey
$14.30 billion - Virginia

With the major exception of Nevada, these rankings roughly parallel the overall population rank of US states.

Consider that the US $ was worth quite a lot more in 2003 than it is worth today!

"The top five states in terms of travel-generated employment in 2003 were California (818,700 jobs); Florida (734,600 jobs); Texas (518,500 jobs); New York (378,500 jobs); and Nevada (342,700 jobs)."

"Overall, the travel and tourism industry ranks as the first-, second-, or third-largest employer in 29 of the 50 states." Michigan has the most tourism jobs per capita than any other state.

Be sure to see my September 25, 2005 podcast on Tourism Statistics before taking all these numbers as absolute.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

G4T #16: Travel, Tourism and the Environment

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related post-- Click on the title above to listen to this podcast --

Today's podcast focuses on the natural environment: how tourists relate to the natural environment, the impacts of tourism on the natural environment, and closing with a few words on ecotourism.

Ecotourism -- Personally, I prefer to pronounce ecotourism as 'ee-co-tourism' - with a long 'e', which I derive from the world "ecology." Some people (maybe the majority?) prefer to say 'e-co-tourism' - with a short 'e', as in 'elephant'. I assume they are basing this on the word 'ecosystem', which is sometimes (often?) pronounced with a short 'e'. uses the long 'e' pronunciation, so perhaps I am in the majority.

Total Length: 30 minutes, 19 seconds. If you have any thoughts on this feel free to leave a comment, or email me at

Here are the links to items mentioned in today's podcast:

* Australia Garners Friendliest Nation in the World Award - Travel News Wire
* Grand Canyon to Get Glass Bridge - National Geographic News
* City OKs Subsidies for Downtown Hotel - Los Angeles Times
* Cruise Ship Repels Somali Pirates - BBC News (also has a link to a video news clip)
* The Amateur Traveler Podcast

Friday, November 04, 2005

Items Seized at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only postProhibited items consfiscated at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport since June 1, 2005

• Lighters: 92,000
• Sharp objects (including ice picks): 23,000
• Knives/blades less than 3 inches long: 14,000
• Tools: 10,500
• Clubs/bats/bludgeons: 368
• Knives/blades greater than 3 inches long: 350
• Plastic or fake guns: 190
• Box cutters: 185
• Ammunition/gunpowder: 169
• Fireworks: 66

Source: Transportation Security Administration