If you’ve heard the rumors about Amazon’s new travel site, you’re not alone. Buzz is big surrounding the e-commerce company’s aggressive appeals to hotels across the nation. But Amazon’s plan isn’t to compete with TripAdvisor or Expedia. Instead, the changes are a part of a massive build-out of the burgeoning Amazon Local.
Bermuda will be flaunting its sea legs on the world's stage, as it will play host to the 2017 America’s Cup. It was announced Tuesday that the island nation beat out San Diego for the honor, which has hosted the yacht sailing race three times before.
German-Jewish designer Diane von Furstenberg recently announced she will help launch a $12 million project to restore Venice's Jewish Ghetto.
She joins real estate investor Joseph Sitt and the Venetian Heritage Council, the philanthropist group funding the restoration. Once completed in 2016, the area will also become a UNESCO World Heritage site, which coincides with the ghetto’s 500th anniversary.
The Southern California community of Dana Point, just a few miles down the road from Laguna Beach, is putting on a massive, radiant display of holiday light sculptures.
Dana Point's Illuminoceanfeatures 18 oversized sea-life sculptures as well as moving light tunnels. Altogether the show has over 500,000 LED bulbs to enjoy, and is free for the public—travelers and locals alike—to view through January 4th, 2015.
In January, we first reported on chikungunya, a “rare viral disease” spreading in the Caribbean, with around 100 confirmed cases in the region. Flash forward eleven months, that number is up to over 16,000 confirmed and 874,000 suspected cases. Should Caribbean-bound beachgoers be worried? Here’s what you need to know:
What is it, and what are the symptoms?
Chikungunya is a virus transmitted to humans from mosquitos. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people infected with the virus will experience fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms could include muscle pain, headache, and joint swelling. Confusingly, many of these symptoms overlap with dengue fever.
Last year on my honeymoon to Southeast Asia, I was lucky enough to meet Andy Booth, the founder of the Siem Reap-based tour company ABOUTAsia (and a member of the T+L A-List). A 2013 Global Vision Awards winner, it donates 100% of profits to local schools, buying them uniforms and supplies, digging wells, and providing training and fair wages to teachers. The tours themselves—to the temples and surrounding villages—are perfectly crafted and designed to avoid the crowds; we were always going opposite traffic and even had a few of the smaller temples of Angkor completely to ourselves (an impressive feat for a popular tourist destination).
This month, while we all give thanks for our full plates and second-helpings, the philanthropic granola bar, This Bar Saves Lives, is partnering with Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Southern California to bring the campaign against world hunger to the next level. The resort’s interactive “Giving Wall” allows guests the chance to trade grateful, hand-written notes for an all-natural, gourmet snack bar. In exchange? This Bar Saves Lives donates a life-saving nutrition pack to a child in need.
Each year, T+L travels to the Phocuswright conference to hear about the latest in travel technology. This year’s gathering took place in Los Angeles at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live, where the crowd heard from major industry players as well as startups. The first day of the conference—the Travel Innovation Summit—is when some of the most intriguing new players present their new ideas and products, some of which are so fresh they’re launched at the show.
One of the most interesting takeaways? An increased focus on offline travel agents—either by building your itinerary and sending it to a live agent to price out (Going Somewhere), or, as TripScope is doing, letting users video chat with an agent to collaborate on a trip plan in real time.
If you love Thanksgiving (who doesn’t?), consider planning trips through Chicago’s Midway Airport and Las Vegas’s McCarran International airport next year. Why? By the end 2015, the two airports will experience Thanksgiving-like congestion every single day. (So no more alone-time suitable for Celine Dion sing-alongs).
That’s the latest from the U.S. Travel Association and research firm Cambridge Systematics, Inc. who looked at the 30 busiest American airports in their annual study. A steady increase in demand combined with an equally steady underinvestment in infrastructure is making Thanksgiving-level congestion the new normal.