A few weeks ago, we told you about a new book put out by the creator of the Titanic Awards, which celebrates Travel's most dubious achievements. This week comes a video. Click play for the worst baggage handlers, roughest cruise, most insane intersection, and seriously questionable tourist attraction. You may just want to stay home!
“What’s your sign,” may be the oldest (and cheesiest) pick-up line in the book, but according to travel website Tripbase.com, the stars can offer more than just a love match. The site, which uses artificial intelligence to match travelers with their ideal trip, is now applying its algorithms to the stars and “offering celestial guidance to travelers who know they need a vacation”—from Aquarius (go hiking and get physical this month!) to Sags (put on your party shoes and glam it up in another city!). Check out Tripbase.com/travelhoroscope for your on-the-go monthly chart.
June Tripbase Horoscopes
Gemini: Techie Geminis hate to part with their gadgets...even while on vacation. Hold off on that camping trip for another month. This June, head to a bustling metropolis where you post photos and blog about your adventure right from your mobile phone.
Summer is officially here, so if you haven’t started planning a vacation yet, we ask, what are you waiting for? This week, hotel offers from Vacationist, a venture between Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com, include a little something for everyone—island, jungle, and far-flung.
Spotlight sales this week:
St. James’s Club & Villas in St. Paul Antigua and Barbuda: From $244/night – 55% off
Riad Fes in Fes, Morocco: From $149/night – 34% off
Rancho Pacifico in Uvita, Costa Rica: From $178/night – 30% off
Our advice? Act now—there are only 6 days left to take advantage of these great prices. And in case you want to keep things closer to home, vacationist is offering rooms at the Gansevoort Miami Beach for just $141/night at (over 40% off standard rates!) until June 7.
Photo courtesy of Rancho Pacifico
The situation in Bangkok appears to be changing by the minute. T+L's Asia correspondent, Jenn Chen, suggested just yesterday in her post that the reality on the ground in the Thai capital had taken a turn for the worst, but today's news brings the official surrender of anti-government protesters—as well as fires and a city-wide curfew. Not surprisingly, a travel warning for the region remains in effect.
Voice of America | The Thai government has declared an overnight curfew for the capital, Bangkok, as violence swept across the capital after military operations brought an end to a two-month long, anti-government protest in in the central part of the city. At least 6 people were reported dead in the latest violence, including an Italian photojournalist, the second foreign reporter to die since the protests began in mid-March.
Leaders of the anti-government protesters, known as the Red Shirts, surrendered to police and told demonstrators they were ending the extended rally in order to avoid further bloodshed. Some of the anti-government leaders fled the area as the military moved in. Amid the chaos, arson attacks broke out across Bangkok at power stations, malls, media outlets and other buildings. Rioters also commandeered public buses.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the US Airways’ miracle landing in New York on the Hudson River. Veteran pilot Captain Sully is a full-fledged national hero, and the incident in which all 155 passengers survived is a now fuzzy memory. But, the cause of the crash—Canada geese in the plane’s engine—has not gone away.
A new government report claims that the tally of bird-plane collisions (or "bird strikes") could reach as high as 10,000 for the first time ever. Some incidents caused serious damage, even death. And annual damages in the U.S. alone have been estimated at over $400 million.
We just learned that award-winning airline Dubai-based Emirates throws new sales every Tuesday at Emirates.com/spotlight. This week it’s discounted roundtrip economy-class tickets purchased (via the website) by $100.
After five years in the making, the Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe finally opened its doors to the public today. (Lucky first guests/skiers at the 170-room property were treated to a fresh snowfall.)
Just in time for Caribbean travel season, JetBlue today kicked off service between New York’s JFK and St. Lucia. We’re big fans of the blue airline, so it’s exciting to see their destinations expanding. It’s even more exciting to see the kickoff deal: only $129 each way. Sure, there are strings attached: you have to act fast (book by this Friday) and travel between November 2 and February 8, 2010 (yeah, Valentine’s Day is going to cost more).
Is luxury a dirty word? That’s the question T+L Publisher JP Kyrillos just posed to the audience and an expert panel that includes:
Javier Barrera, EVP of Grupo Posadas
Erik Blachford, Chairman and CEO of Butterfield & Robinson
Marcus Samuelsson, Chef/Owner of Aquavit
Lisa Sun, Associate Principal of McKinsey & Company
The response was an unequivocal “no.” But, says Sun, it’s important for companies to communicate the value and authenticity behind the word. Companies like American Girl and The North Face have built premium products but have achieved success by creating a sense of value behind the products.
Samuelsson added that a new sense of luxury will come out of this downturn. People, he says, are getting back to the value of time—time spent together and the experiences they share.
And, says Blachford, that’s exactly what companies like his are trying to do—deliver value even if it comes with a high price tag.
JP also posed the following questions to the audience and asked them to indicate their answers by holding up either a green (“yes”) or red (“no”) index card:
- Do you believe in advertising in a recession? Green cards went up all around.
- How about discounting in a recession? A mix of green and red.
- Is the economy on a rebound? Lots of green, but a few reds.
- And is Twitter here to stay? Most people said no.
And as he closed the presentation, he asked, “Did everyone have fun today?” A sea of green cards filled the air.
"Snotty, phony, pretentious is over," says Nancy Novogrod. "The new paradigm is all about real experiences—both exotic trips and inner journeys. It’s a time for re-invention and a return to values.
New sites like Kujabi.com, and companies like Pure Life Experiences are looking to help travelers get into the spirit of a place, as are new spas from Connecticut to Austria.
Restaurants, too, are returning to comfort; dishes like burgers and fried chicken are being reinvented as well. And destinations like St. Lucia are re-inventing themselves; the island has hired a team of international planning experts to build a new sustainable tourism industry.
T+L is reflecting this sensibility as well. Our mission, of course, is all about authentic experiences, and the magazine’s January trends issue will focus on connecting to people and place."