Monday, December 08, 2008

Travelography #138: Travel Now - Save the Economy!

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 1 December 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • TSA says new uniforms calm travelers and make spotting terrorists easier

    the new [blue] shirts project a more professional look and instill a greater sense of calm among passengers. In turn, the agency says fewer nervous travelers now make behavior profiling of potential terrorists more effective.
  • De-icer shortage threatens US flights

    The federal government is warning airlines that flights could face disruptions this winter because of a severe shortage of a chemical used to keep runways free from snow and ice.
  • Australians told to take a break for the economy

    The country's 11 million workers have hoarded about 121 million days of paid-leave entitlements which the government wants to unlock to help stimulate a tourism sector hard hit by the global downturn.
  • 6 reasons we love to travel now

    Turn back the clock just a year and you'll find a dramatically different picture. Travelers were unappreciated -- even exploited -- by unscrupulous travel companies that were flush with profits. No longer. With just one notable exception, it's difficult to find any part of the travel industry that isn't being extra-nice to its customers.
  • Lebanon tourism hits four-year high

    Arab tourists accounted for 54 percent of visitors in October, the ministry said, hailing the "stable political situation since May 2008" when Lebanon's political rivals struck an accord after deadly clashes in Beirut. Lebanon has witnessed a string of political assassinations since the Beirut bomb blast which killed Hariri in February 2005.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Travelography #137: Bummer Week of Travel News

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 24 November 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Budgets Shrink, and Holiday Airfares Follow Suit

    The travel industry is bracing for a painful holiday season as people scale back their discretionary spending. But that is good news for anyone who has yet to book a winter getaway, with hotels, airlines and cruise operators introducing last-minute deals to entice vacationers.
  • Tourism Situation in Thailand - as of November 27, 20:30 hrs. (Bangkok Time)

    TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) is cooperating with the Thai Hotels Association (THA), Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), AoT, and Thai Airways (TG) to set up a Crisis Networking Center on the fourth floor of the Departure Terminal in Suvarnabhumi International Airport in order to facilitate the stranded passengers and tourists until the airport resumes normal operations.
  • Commandos battle room by room to save tourists - Mumbai

    Helicopters buzzed overhead as the commandos, faces blackened, moved into one of the hotels, the Oberoi, where 20 to 30 people were thought to have been taken hostage and more than 100 others were trapped in their rooms. A 15-strong Air France team was among those unable to get out.
  • Thai PM declares emergency at two airports

    Thailand's tourism minister says authorities plan to begin flying thousands of stranded travellers out of one or two military bases in the next 48 hours. Meanwhile, it's the hour of reckoning for thousands of anti-government protesters in Thailand who are trying to force Prime Minister Somchai to resign.
  • In Pictures - Bangkok airport disruption

    Passengers queue in front of check-in desk inside Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand. Thousands of passengers are stranded after Suvarnabhumi Airport had been ordered closed because of a blockade by anti-government protesters.
  • Nearly 80 killed in multiple Mumbai, India shootings, blasts against tourists

    A group calling itself the "Deccan Mujahedeen" claimed responsibility for the assaults on the landmark Taj Mahal and Trident hotels in the south of the city and a number of shooting and bombing incidents elsewhere, the Press Trust of India said. One report spoke of militants taking hostages and demanding US and British passports.
  • Airport Travelers Caught In Thailand Protests

    The takeover "damaged Thailand's reputation and its economy beyond repair." The airport, the 18th-busiest in the world, handled over 40 million passengers in 2007.
  • Crisis in paradise: Economic meltdown creates ghost resorts in the Caribbean

    ...the sprawling Atlantis resort in the Bahamas laid off about 800 workers, citing low occupancy rates. Baha Mar Resorts Ltd. laid off about 40 employees at its Sheraton Resort in the Bahamas and 40 more at the Wyndham Nassau Resort. The Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union has called a demonstration Thursday to demand government aid.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Travelography #136: Holiday Travel Ups and Downs

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 17 November 2008. This podcast is also available at and

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Travelography #135: Responsible Travel and Tourism around the Globe

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 10 November 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Air New Zealand Schedules First Commercial Biofuel Flight

    On December 3rd, Air New Zealand will be the first commercial airline to power one of its jets with a second generation non-food biofuel made from the Jatropha plant. Jatropha is viewed as having a huge potential as a major source of oil for sustainable biofuel production.
  • The Responsible Tourism Awards organised by

    The judges declared New Zealand the overall winner for proving that it is possible to develop a national strategy which uses tourism to help make better places to live and to visit.
  • China’s First Carbon Neutral Hotel wins Accolade

    “By renovating an existing downtown factory, focusing on using recycled and locally sourced materials such as reclaimed hardwoods and old Shanghai bricks, and introducing eco-friendly solutions like passive solar shades, and water based AC systems, URBN hopes to set an example for other businesses and industries in China and around the world,” Mr Krauss said. “We track the total amount of energy (gas, water and electricity) the hotel consumes, including staff commutes, in order to calculate the carbon footprint.
  • Ivory trade thriving in China but signs of decline

    Ivory continues to be smuggled into China despite a ban on imports that dates back to 1991, with the tusks mainly being sourced from Africa, according to the report released by TRAFFIC, a wildlife monitoring organisation. Nevertheless, it said increased enforcement of regulations in China had led to some improvements, with surveys of markets showing that fewer illegal products were on sale.
  • United environmental flight reduces carbon emissions by nearly 33,000 pounds

    ASPIRE United’ reduced fuel burn and emissions by using up-to-the-minute fuel data, priority takeoff clearance, normally restricted airspace around Sydney’s airport, and new arrival procedures – all of which are possible with new technology.
  • Maldives seek to buy a new homeland

    The Maldives will begin to divert a portion of the country's billion-dollar annual tourist revenue into buying a new homeland - as an insurance policy against climate change that threatens to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees,...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Travelography #134: Barack Obama's Travel and Tourism Impact

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 3 November 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Will Obama's holiday habits catch on?

    President-elect and body-surfing fan Barack Obama could break the [previous] trend of White House incumbents by travelling overseas for his holidays. As well as trips to Hawaii to catch a few waves and take walks along the beach with his wife and children,
  • Officials Aim To Use Inaugural To Promote Hawaii

    ...national media already are generating interest in Hawaii sites connected to Obama. It likely won't be long before local tour companies are offering tours of Obama's childhood neighborhood, his grandparents' apartment and where he went to school.
  • For Inaugural, Obama Faithful Say It's Washington or Bust

    Despite some rates surpassing the $1,000 per night mark, rooms are also booking, on average, three times faster than for the last inauguration, according to the travel Web site Many hotels have imposed two- and three-night minimum stays.
  • Thousands clamour to see realisation of dream

    Officials said the crowd could surpass the 1.2 million who attended Lyndon Johnson's inauguration in 1965. Senator Obama's election set off an instant desire to see his inauguration and frenetic efforts last week to be present for what will be a milestone in American history.
  • Barack Obama factor boosts US tourism

    A [UK] Telegraph poll shows that 80 per cent of readers are more likely to visit the US now than they were before the presidential election. Until now many Telegraph readers have said they have been put off the US by its draconian border security arrangements and the foreign policy decisions made by George Bush.
  • Some Truth To An Irish O'Bama?

    Moneygall, a town of 300 on the road between Dublin and Limerick, says that Barack Obama's great, great, great grandfather was born there and hopes for an onslaught of American tourism.
  • Illinois Banks on Obama Buzz to Boost Tourism

    "experience the city the Obamas enjoy." The Illinois Bureau of Tourism plans to launch a three-day getaway promotion featuring Barack Obama sites.
  • Hotel prices, bookings soar for inauguration

    ...a $20,000 "Live Like a President" package. It includes tickets to an inaugural event, replica of an inauguration ball meal prepared by a personal chef, in-room massage and $1,000 shopping spree. There's a sanitizer (to combat germy glad-handing) and lip balm to aid in baby-kissing.
  • Jamaica may suffer ... If US lifts Cuban embargo

    On Wednesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to lift the American trade embargo on Cuba. The vote in the 192-member world body was 185 to three, with two abstentions. The US, Israel and Palau voted no, while Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained.
  • Japan’s hottest new tourist destination: Obama

    “We started this as a joke,” said Yasunori Maeno of the “Obama for Obama” campaign he helped organize. “But as we came to know more about him … and his emphasis on community, the more we liked him. It is important to love the place you are from and to work to promote it.”
  • Obama may mean higher airline labor costs, fewer route auctions

    Obama's mediation board may take steps such as granting quicker releases from mediation, which would let unions start countdowns to possible strikes sooner, said Andrew Steinberg, former transportation assistant secretary under President George W. Bush.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Travelography #133: Crocs, Scales and Greenhouse Gasses

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 27 October 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • 25 Non-Cliché Travel Songs (With Videos)

    Forget the tired tracks you’re used to hearing. Here are 25 inspiring songs that will have you hitting the road. - from the BraveNewTraveler blog
  • Croc terrorises north Queensland, Australia, tourist mecca

    A major north Queensland tourist island is demanding compensation from the state government for dumping a croc on its beach. The government research program that unleashed the crocodile on Magnetic Island will be reconsidered,...
  • Weak Australian dollar not enough to tempt tourists

    Rivals such as Cathay Pacific have been boosting flights into Australia to reduce the impact of falling demand, especially for corporate travel, on other routes....a 34 per cent fall in the Australian dollar against the greenback since July had also offset most of the benefits to Qantas of a recent fall in jet fuel prices.
  • Reach for the sky: aviation emissions in UK Climate Bill

    The UK government has backed down on aviation and shipping, agreeing to include both in the Climate Change Bill's 80% emissions reduction targets. They had planned to let the industry grow as much as it liked while cracking down on other sectors, but changed their mind when faced with a major backbench rebellion. So in theory aviation emissions will have to reduce by 80% - and, as there are no sustainable fuels in the pipeline, that should mean a lot fewer flights.
  • TSA likely to ease restrictions on liquids in 2009

    By the end of 2010, passengers should be able to keep liquids as they go through checkpoints... The restrictions are also likely to be eased in airports of other countries that adopted similar liquid restrictions two years ago after authorities disrupted an alleged plot to bomb trans-Atlantic flights with liquid-based explosives,...
  • Inspections show inaccurate airline scales may cost travelers money

    Some airlines, including Miramar-based Spirit Airlines — whose scales at Fort Lauderdale passed inspection only 53 percent of the time and therefore ranked among the worst performers — allow their ticket agents to waive the fee for passengers with baggage weighing 1 or 2 pounds over the limit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Travelography #132: Travel Downturn Hits NZ and A380 comes to LAX

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 20 October 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Gloomy weather on New Zealand's tourist front

    The financial crisis has hit tourism - one of New Zealand's biggest earners - causing visitor numbers to plummet last month. Statistics New Zealand figures show the number of international tourists fell 6.6 per cent...
  • Cancelled cruises bring loss to New Zealand and Australia

    Celebrity Cruises, the company which owns the 2038-passenger Celebrity Millennium, has cut Australia and New Zealand from its 2009-10 itinerary, choosing to focus on northern hemisphere destinations. High fuel costs and high airfare costs for passengers were reasons for the cancellations,...
  • Recession may mean opportunities to some in the travel industry

    Leading hospitality, timeshare and fractional leaders all across the country express concerns over business during these hard times. However, they believe some sectors will stay afloat and find opportunities in deep recession.
  • First A380 service between Australia and the US west coast begins for Qantas

    The Qantas A380 is configured with 450 seats in four cabins – 14 in First Class, 72 in Business Class, 32 in Premium Economy, and 332 in Economy Class – with interiors designed by world renowned Australian industrial designer and Qantas creative director Marc Newson.
  • Study reveals what we love, and hate, about flying

    89 per cent of Taiwanese, 87 per cent of Americans, 84 per cent of Thais and 83 per cent of British travellers agreed they would appreciate a seat swap if they were less than thrilled with where they were asked to park their posteriors.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Travelography #131: Tourism and The Economic Meltdown - Part 2

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 13 October 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Tibet slashes tourism ticket prices after riots

    In the first half of the year, 340,000 people visited Tibet. That's down 69 percent from the same period last year. Tourism almost came to a standstill after a riot broke out on March 14.
  • Tourists to tip less as they feel the squeeze

    Penny conscious tourists are now refusing to tip waiters, taxi drivers and hotel staff when dissatisfied and 13 per cent say they'll definitely be tipping less and less often, no matter what the service, to make their travel money stretch further this holiday.
  • Travel industry gets flexible to calm clients' money fears

    Under the new rules for fall 2009 cruises, customers will be able to cancel without penalty up to 45 days from sailing date instead of 75 days. They'll also be able to reserve a cabin with a 5% deposit instead of 10%. They'll have seven days to pay instead of three. ... the policy adjustments a "smart move" that can calm clients' nerves about committing to a cruise that can cost up to $8,000 a couple.
  • For airlines, oil is proving a two-edged sword

    While cheaper crude breathes new hope into airlines, it carries other penalties. Oil is down because demand is grinding lower. OPEC just slashed 100,000 barrels a day from its 2009 demand growth forecast, citing shaky financial markets and mounting evidence that the global economy is in recession. Included in the downturn is a drop in travel.
  • Credit crisis threatens New Orleans' recovery

    It's the commercial sector — privately funded hotels, condos and new-business development — that would be waylaid by a contraction of credit. Compounding the quandary: No one knows how badly the $5 billion-a-year, bread-and-butter tourism industry — the metro area's largest employer and generator of an average of more than $250 million a year in tax revenue — will be hit by belt-tightening consumers.
  • OAG revises 4th quarter analysis of global airline activity

    The US domestic market will account for 21.4 million of the cutback in available seats, or 46% of the global decline and a staggering 59% of the global drop in frequencies with 265,000 fewer flights.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Travelography #130: Travel, Tourism and The Economic Meltdown

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 6 October 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Economic woes cause travelers to postpone, cancel trips

    One reason experts doubt travel will rebound quickly has to do with the way many people were financing their travels before the housing market collapsed. ... many people were financing their travels by accessing the equity built up in their homes, which appreciated dramatically in recent years.
  • Ahead of the Bell: Online travel sites

    Orbitz Worldwide Inc. was downgraded and earnings estimates for online travel competitors Inc. and Expedia Inc. were cut Thursday, as analysts pointed to a weaker travel market and a stronger dollar.
  • Credit crunch 'good news for UK [domestic] travel'

    "Consumer behaviour is changing. We're seeing more people taking short breaks close to home and it could be that the recession will be good news for UK tourism. ... Among the new deals being snatched up are city breaks in apartments, couples' breaks in log cabins and holidays with a sporting theme."
  • Airline industry faces 'year of hell'

    The International Air Transport Association, IATA, has estimated that global airline loses will be $5.2 billion this year and $4.9 billion next year due to the economic slowdown and high price of oil. This compares with a combined profit of $5.6 billion last year.
  • Airline woes pinch Arizona tourism expectations

    Fewer seats for sale means airlines can charge more. Tickets for Phoenix flights departing in October are up an average 28% from a year ago, ... At risk: A substantial slice of $19 billion in annual visitor spending in Arizona. This comes after months of reduced numbers in hotel occupancy and airport traffic as people struggle with a plunging stock market, the housing meltdown and other economic woes.
  • The silver [travel] lining in the global slump

    Blame it on “comparative pain.” As bad as things seem in the U.S., they’re even worse in other countries with higher inflation, higher unemployment, and a weaker central bank.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Travelography #129: Airlines Flying Above Financial Crisis

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 29 September 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Low Gas Prices Help Airline Stocks Take Off

    Airlines also attracted investors by retiring older, less fuel-efficient planes and cutting capacity to support higher ticket prices. Passengers seemed willing to pay additional fees for everything from luggage to food to extra leg room, which added millions to airlines' revenue.
  • As International Airfares Soar, Americans Stay in the U.S.

    Growth of international passenger traffic worldwide slowed to a five-year low in July and dropped further in August, according to the International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines.
  • Airlines add service and amenities to Asian routes

    ...996 nonstop flights a week were scheduled in the third quarter of 2008 from the United States to Asian countries, more than ever before. Los Angeles is the most popular departure city from the United States, with 180 flights a week. Narita Airport in Tokyo is the most frequent destination, with 380 arrivals a week.
  • The give and take of travel

    Bargain in good faith The 50 cents you save may give you pride because you "beat down" the salesperson, but you may have also robbed that person of extra food or prevented his or her children from purchasing school books or a mandatory school uniform.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travel Geography #65: A Visit to the Tunis Medina

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related post This is a Travel Geography Podcast related post (click on the title above to download the .mp3 file)

This podcast is part one of my audio diary of a recent trip to Tunisia. In this podcast I talk about two trips that I made to the Tunis Medina. This is the old market area next to downtown Tunis, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I also talk about the conference that I attended near the Tunis suburb of Carthage. (38min 32sec long)
  • A Powerpoint slideshow of the Tunis Medina can be found here.
VIDEO: The Tunis Medina from a Roof Top Terrace

Links to My iTunes U class sites for Fall 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Travelography #128: Economy + Environment Stall Cruise Lines

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 22 September 2008. This podcast is also available at and

Analyst cuts Carnival rating to "Sell"

... $100 a barrel oil and rising shipbuilding costs require the industry to focus on improving returns by raising cruise prices and cutting commissions to travel agents. ... Carnival's $10 billion in ship orders means that the company cannot make this shift for at least four years.

Regulators cite nearly half of the 20 ships that regularly discharge in Alaska waters

Six Princess Cruises ships, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship and a Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship were cited for exceeding limits on wastewater pollution. Last week, a Holland America cruise ship was cited. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has not yet dealt with samples from August and September, and may find more violations.

"How would people of New York feel if they decided to move the Statue of Liberty to China?'' says Karin Noedgaard, the People's Party spokeswoman on cultural affairs. ``This is a catastrophic idea.''

Grounded space tourist wants $21 million refund

Enomoto alleges he was pulled from the flight so Ansari, who had invested in Space Adventures, could fly instead. Ansari also was the primary backer of the $10 million Ansari X Prize awarded in 2004 for the first privately developed manned space flight. In a response filed on Wednesday, Space Adventures' lawyers said Enomoto's contract did not entitle him to a refund if he became medically disqualified.

Plane crazy? New airline launched

Jet Republic bosses are putting their trust in the ultra-rich avoiding the turbulence from the credit crunch as they launch their new luxury service. The company has placed an order worth around £830m for 110 Learjet aircraft, each seating seven passengers. The airline will fly to more than 1,000 airports in Europe, including the UK, from its base in Lisbon, Portugal.

With Economy in Crisis Mode, Leaders Gather at The Lodging Conference

...the next major trend to hit the lodging industry will be green hotels. That trend is being driven to a great extent by increasing energy prices. “In some islands of the Caribbean, energy prices have doubled since last year,” ... “As brands, we need to start requiring green changes.” “In many future developments, you will see more solar and wind technologies,

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Travelography #127: Honey, I Shrunk the Airlines!

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 15 September 2008. This podcast is also available at and

Airline Stocks Fly Through the Downturn

Looking for a safe haven in today's jittery stock market? ... Try the airlines. falling fuel prices may have masked what's really going on in the airline industry, which is that demand has remained strong, despite a slowing economy, and widespread capacity discipline shows no sign of diminishing.

TSA tests scanner for car bombs

TheTSA is running a test at a North Carolina ferry terminal of a 21-foot-high arch-like machine that shoots low-intensity X-rays at cars as they pass through. The photos show whether explosives or drugs might be in the car.

Five ways airline capacity cuts will affect you

1. Flight options dwindle, 2. Packed planes, 3. Schedule changes, 4. Kiss standby seats goodbye, 5. A scarcity of frequent flier tickets

Air fares nosedive amid falling travel demand

Hotel rates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have also fallen over the second quarter compared with the first. Average daily rates in 41 out of 48 cities in the region rose 6.9 per cent year on year in January to March, but by June, average falls of 3.6 per cent were being recorded in 30 cities.

a Dutch man who came to New York as a "graffiti tourist" has been indicted on charges of spray-painting a subway car and leading police on a dangerous chase along the tracks.

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.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Travelography #125: The Trickle Down Travel Contraction

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog
for the week of 1 September 2008. This podcast is also available at and

Hanna-caused detour prompts 'mutiny' on Carnival Miracle

The New York-based ship was supposed to head to the Caribbean... But thanks to Tropical Storm Hanna, the 2,124-passenger vessel ... will be spending Friday more than 1,000 miles off course in -- get this -- Newport, R.I. The drastic change to the ship's itinerary -- no other ship has been forced so far afield by this week's storms -- has cause a virtual mutiny on board, according to passenger posts on cruise-focused websites.

Airline Flight Cuts End Up Hurting Airports and Hotels, Too

The carriers' misery is spreading, or is expected to spread, to virtually every industry they touch in the travel economy: hotels, rental cars, convention centers, websites that book travel, airports and others.

Gas Prices Cause Airline [in Canada] to Remove Life Vests

...all of Jazz's flights operate within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of shore. ... A commercial-style life vest weighs roughly a half-kilogram, meaning 25 kilograms would be saved by removing them from a Dash-8 aircraft with 50 seats.

Australia issues travel advisory warns of high risks for travelers to US

In a fresh travel advisory issued on Sunday, the Australian government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has warmed of "high risks" of terror attacks on domestic and international flights in and to the United States.

Fake Bomb Scare Brings Real $23,000 Fine

She asked an airline employee to make the plane come back with her bag and then asked what would happen if there was a bomb in her bag. Finally, she allegedly said that there was a bomb in the bag.

Somali pirates 'kidnap tourists'

Two French citizens and their sailing boat have been seized by pirates off the Somali coast, French officials say. ... The seas off Somalia have some of the highest rates of piracy in the world. The country has been without a functioning central government for 17 years and has suffered from continual civil strife.

Airbus to extend A380 to accommodate 1,000 passengers

Airbus SAS, the world's largest plane maker, is *considering* an extended 1,000-passenger version of the A380 aircraft...The A380, the world's largest commercial aircraft even in its current form, can carry 555 passengers.

Japan's Mt. Fuji draws record number of summer climbers

Some 247,066 people climbed the mountain in July and August, beating the previous record of 220,277, set in 1987, ... Four people also died from injuries sustained while climbing, marking the first deaths since 2005, ...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Travelography #124: Crime and Mayhem Against, and By, Tourist

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 25 August 2008. This podcast is also available at and

More than 1.5 million international visitors have come to Macau in the first six months of this year, a 46.5 % jump over the same period last year. This does not include the 8.8 million Mainland residents who visited in the same period, according to the Macau Government Tourist Office. The German Foreign Ministry advised its citizens not to resist if they fell victim to any crime in Mexico, because that might threaten their lives. Criminal acts in Mexico have surged considerably recently and "unfortunately," police forces are involved in the violence, said the German government. The Italian government was considering ordering more troops on to the streets Tuesday after two brutal attacks on tourists within three days during an already tough crackdown against crime, according to a newspaper report. "They scream, they sing, they fall down, they take their clothes off, they cross-dress, they vomit," ... "It's only the British people - not the Germans or the French." His anger echoed the frustration felt by the residents of many Mediterranean resorts, who have watched helplessly while their town centres are invaded by hordes of carousing British teenagers. It would be 650 feet high - even taller than the wheel that overlooks London's River Thames. "We hope to attract a great number of customers who will be able to see the whole city and enjoy the restaurants and pools on the ground below,"...
An Indian hacker broke into the IT system of Best Western Hotel Group and stole personal details of everyone who has stayed there in the past 12 months. The details, which included home addresses, phone numbers, place of employment and credit card details, were sold on through an underground network controlled by the Russian Mafia. We have found no evidence to support the sensational claims ultimately made by the reporter and newspaper. Most importantly, whereas the reporter asserted the recent compromise of data for past guests from as far back as 2007, Best Western purges all online reservations promptly upon guest departure.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Travelography #123: Will the Next President Support Travel?

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Stories discussed in this podcast are from the Travelography Twitter Blog for the week of 19 August 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Tourism ads pressure White House hopefuls

    "Democrats, We'll be Watching." A small box of text calls on presumptive Democratic candidate Barack Obama to outline plans addressing everything from "unnecessary waiting lines at airports" to "marketing the U.S. as a premier destination."

  • United pilots tell CEO to Stop Nickel and Diming Their Passengers

    The airline claims that rising fuel costs require these changes, although the real reason may be to enable the airline to further reduce flight attendant staffing, which would make onboard service noticeably worse.

  • Wildlife tourism with kangaroos

    Our aim is to be the flagship of a ‘See Australia’ promotion based around wildlife tourism with the marvellous mob of marsupials - the kangaroos and their kind. Through partnerships with conservation agencies, tourism organisations, operators and ...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Travel Geography Podcast #64: Diving at Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

This is a Geography for Travelers Podcast related post This is a Travel Geography Podcast related post (click on the title above to download the .mp3 file)

This podcast is a series of four audio postcards that I made in May 2008 when I went diving at the Lembeh Strait near the city of Manado on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. This is near the center of the Coral Triangle of Southeast Asia. They were originally published on my travelography 2.0 podcast. Here, I have combined them into a single podcast.

(about 45 minutes long)

Photo: Pygmy Seahorse (copyright Alan A. Lew, all rights reserved)

More photos from thi trip described here can be found on my site.

Photo: Electric Clam, lodged in a crevice in a sea wall (Creative Commons Copyright Alan A. Lew, non-commercial, attribution, share-alike)

The homepage for this podcast is at

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Travelography #122: Las Vegas Spending More Green on Green

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 4 August 2008. This podcast is also available at and

  • Congress: No Cell Phones Mid-Flight

    The committee's action comes as the European Union is moving to allow airline passengers to talk on their cell phones during flight...And some lawmakers worry that domestic airlines might try to get the cell phone ban lifted so they can charge passengers.
  • Delta to offer Wi-Fi on mainline domestic fleet [by mid-2009]

    Several other airlines either offer similar service or plan to, though on a much more limited number of flights.... A flat fee of $9.95 will be charged on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.
  • U.S. Starts Online Screening for Foreigners

    Europeans and others who travel visa-free to the United States can start registering in August for a new online security screening check that will become mandatory in January to enter the U.S.
  • Las Vegas bets on environmentalism

    The projects gunning for LEED certifications include the $2.9 billion Fontainebleau Resort, the $1.9 billion tower addition to Caesars Palace, the $4.8 billion Echelon resort and the $9.2 billion, six-high-rise CityCenter complex.
  • Green China Travel Tips

    If you're in a big city, the idea of a "green hotel" might seem counterintuitive, but even in the heart of Shanghai or sprawling outskirts of Shenzhen, you'll find accommodations that have gone green to one degree or another. International chains like...
  • The 50 Most Inspiring Travel Quotes Of All Time

    “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” - St. Augustine