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Daily Transporter: Great Wall of China

great wall

Chinese authorities are getting creative in combatting graffiti at popular tourist sites. At the Great Wall, they've designated specific areas where graffiti is permitted. And at the famous Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, visitors can leave their mark on large electronic touchscreens.

See the Great Wall in World’s Most Amazing Views

Editor’s Picks: China
See China in World’s Coolest Rental Homes
and World’s Most-Visited Ancient Ruins
and New Wonders of the World

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Tobago

tobago beach

The 5th annual Tobago Jazz Festival runs April 19-27 with a wide range of jazz and non-jazz attractions that includes Earth, Wind & Fire, Keyshia Cole, and John Legend. Don't miss next Tuesday’s Buccoo Goat and Crab Races, an 89-year-old tradition.

See Tobago in Best Affordable Caribbean Resorts

Editor’s Picks: Trinidad and Tobago

Best Caribbean Islands for Foodies
Beautiful Beach Photos
World’s Top Revolving Restaurants

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Airlines Grapple with Social Media This Week

It's been a rough week for airlines on social media.

After a Dutch teenager jokingly tweeted a bomb threat to American Airlines—she has since been arrested—the air carrier is now fielding dozens of other fake bomb threats over Twitter.

Meanwhile, U.S. Airways, is in crisis mode after it accidentally included a pornographic picture in one of its tweets. Even though the airline deleted the Tweet soon after, the image had already gone viral, with thousands of responders mocking U.S. Airways.

One bright spot: Southwest Airlines had a hit with its stand-up comic flight attendant delivering one of the coolest safety briefings we've ever heard. (Watch video above.) If you're going to go viral, that's the way to do it. 

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

 

 

CheapAir Becomes First OTA To Introduce Railway Reservations

Cheap Air

I’ve long loved Rome 2 Rio as a transportation guide: it tells you every possible way to get from Point A to Point B, and offers in-line prices and itineraries. Since I started using it, I’ve realized just how efficient train travel can be—factor in security lines and early airport arrivals, and the train can take less time than flying, depending on where you’re going. For the first time, an OTA is in agreement, as CheapAir has announced today that it will be integrating Amtrakrailway reservations into its flight search system. Now, when you search for routes connecting, say, New York and Boston, you’ll see airfares interspersed with train routes, so you can compare prices and schedules. Better yet, you can mix and match airfares and train reservations, so that you can capitalize on a discounted international flight that leaves from a city a few hours away. 

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Hotel Tonight Introduces Look Ahead for "Planned Spontaneity"

HotelTonight

Weary of the unpredictability that comes with a last-minute vacation booking? You’re not alone. But HotelTonight, the always pioneering app for travel procrastinators, is coming to the rescue with a new feature called Look Ahead, intended to facilitate so-called “planned spontaneity.”

Debuting in a handful of the app’s major cities—New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and half a dozen others, with many more rolling out soon—the feature will offer a seven-day estimate of inventory and prices in a particular market, using a proprietary algorithm that factors in local events, weather, and historical data from HotelTonight and other booking engines.

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Daily Transporter: Lonely Islands

faroe islands

Were Vikings the first humans to settle the Faroe Islands on their voyage across the Atlantic to North America? Archaeologists recently found evidence that unidentified settlers were cutting peat and cooking with non-indigenous grains on here 400 to 500 years before the Vikings arrived.

See World's Eeriest Abandoned Places

Editor’s Picks: Adventure Travel Trip Ideas
Europe's Secret Beaches
25 Secret European Villages
World's Most Mysterious Buildings

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Video: Chile Wildfire Causes Evacuations in Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Local reports say there are 12 dead, 2,000 houses destroyed, and more than 10,000 people have been evacuated from Valparaiso, a UNESCO world heritage site. Watch the video for details.

Related Links:
Fastest Disappearing Natural Wonders
The World's Most Pristine Forests
World's Most Colorful Cities

Daily Transporter: Coachella

glowing hula hoops

Coachella, the 15-year-old music festival that runs this weekend and next, has inspired a 30-day diet and workout regimen to help you endure the rigors of the desert as well as the revealing clothing necessary for concert-going. Can't find the perfect skimpy/glam/gypsy get-up for this year's event? Catch the live stream of the proceedings from your non-judgmental sofa instead.

See Coachella in 25 Selfies You Have to Take this Year

Editor’s Picks: Palm Springs
See Palm Springs in America's Coolest Desert Towns
And Best Places to Travel in 2014
And Best Spring Break Getaways

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Google Brings Room 77 Into Its Fold

Yesterday we found out that Google has brought Room 77 into its portfolio of travel tools—and we think it’s big news. While the deal may not be the largest of the company’s partnerships or acquisitions to date, it’s a sign of what’s to come: As far as we can see it, Google is positioning itself to disrupt the travel sphere. Simply consider the acquisitions already in its portfolio, including travel search tool ITA—a $676 million buyout four years ago—Zagat, and Frommers (though the latter no longer belongs to Google, its content was integrated back in 2012). What it all adds up to is a growing arsenal of travel tools ready to be unleashed—the only question is when.

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Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

New Las Vegas Ad Targets Gay Couples...Almost



A new ad for Las Vegas targets gay couples...almost.

The clip, released this week and scheduled to air nationally, portrays a straight couple checking in to their Sin City hotel. The woman leaves to freshen up just as another man shows up to the front desk, at which point a receptionist asks whether the two gentlemen are ready to check in. A quick, knowing glance at each other and both men nod yes, queueing the iconic slogan, "What happens here, stays here."

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