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 Blubrry.com and Travelgeography.info.

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 Blubrry.com and Travelgeography.info.

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 Blubrry.com and Travelgeography.info.

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 Tripadvisor.com, Lonely planet.com and VirtualTourist.com. ... 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 Blubrry.com and Travelgeography.info

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, ...