I’m usually cynical about most travel marketing, which often emphasizes self-indulgence and cheap prices. Can’t it ever be uplifting, meaningful, and warm-hearted without being maudlin? Apparently, the answer is yes, it can. The new ad campaign for Colonial Williamsburg, the well-known historical restoration in Virginia, is all that and more. It just launched last week, and although I’ve seen only two of their commercials, if the rest of the campaign is up to that same quality level, it should win not only some awards, but some new visitors as well.
Daily Mail | Air passengers who refuse to submit to controversial full body scans will be barred from boarding their flights.
The technology—which has been strongly condemned by civil liberties campaigners—began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports yesterday. Birmingham will follow suit later this month before the anti-terror devices are rolled out nationally....
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said: 'In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning.
'If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.'
Travel Weekly | While airlines continue to rack up even more revenue by charging higher checked-baggage fees, Southwest remains resolved to let bags fly free, saying it has enabled the carrier to capture market share from its competitors.
And a recent report analyzing the baggage-fee bonanza suggests that while Southwest might be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate cash, the low-cost carrier’s strategy promises to pay off in the long run as fed-up passengers make the switch to avoid paying the extra baggage charges. (Read more.)
In other Southwest Airlines news, the Chicago Tribute reports the carrier is adding WiFi to its fleet:
Southwest Airlines finally has decided to wire its Boeing 737 fleet for wireless Internet service after dabbling with the concept for two years.
The big question: Will the discounter offer its Wi-Fi service for peanuts?
Texas-based Southwest said Friday that it plans to begin outfitting its aircraft to handle Row 44 Inc.'s satellite-based broadband service by the second quarter.
Southwest initially will install equipment on about 15 aircraft per month and gradually increase that rate to 25 planes per month. It estimates that Wi-Fi will be available on the more than 540 planes in its fleet by early 2012.
The Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa opened today off of Florida's West Coast, outside of Tampa. The West Indies-inspired beachside resort features 250 suites with full kitchens. Clearwater guests will also be able to enjoy themselves at an eco-friendly spa, a 24-hour gym, and an eighth floor pool deck with 20 air-conditioned poolside cabanas, in addition to a pool and hot tub on the 16th floor Sky Terrace.
Well, maybe not glam, but Burger King’s new "Whopper Bar" in South Beach, Miami—an industrial-chic, “boutique” rendition of the distinctly unglamorous orange-themed fast-food chain—will grill you up something called a “Black & Bleu Steakhouse XT” (oh la la, beyond-fries French).
Care to wash down that seven-ounce, flame-broiled beef patty with a nice cold beer? The Whopper Bar offers a selection of artisanal American brews, serving everything from, uh, super-hip Budweiser to luxe Miller Light.
New York Times | DENVER — In the last two weeks, more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park’s strange and volatile geology on alert.
Researchers say that for now, the earthquake cluster, or swarm—the second-largest ever recorded in the park—is more a cause for curiosity than alarm. The quake zone, about 10 miles northwest of the Old Faithful geyser, has shown little indication, they said, of building toward a larger event, like a volcanic eruption of the type that last ravaged the Yellowstone region tens of thousands of years ago.
If this is the fifth dirtiest hotel in America, things may be better than they seem. The Quality Inn in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, found itself on the worst sort of list recently: TripAdvisor's 2010 Dirtiest Hotels in the United States. Reporters at the local newspaper, the Pocono Record, showed up with a video camera the next day and posted the results on You Tube. It's hard to discount the numerous bad reviews about the hotel found on Tripadvisor.com; some of the specific complaints are positively disgusting. Yet when you view the video, you wonder how the images could be so vastly different from the Tripadvisor user comments.
Mark Orwoll is Travel + Leisure's international correspondent.
Bloomberg | California will get $2.3 billion and Florida $1.3 billion to help build high-speed passenger-train service, the biggest winners among 31 states sharing $8 billion in rail grants from the U.S. economic stimulus package.
President Barack Obama will be in Tampa today at an event to announce the awards, most of which will go toward developing or laying the groundwork for 13 new high-speed rail corridors across the country, the administration said in a statement...
“There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains,” Obama said yesterday in his State of the Union speech, citing Florida’s rail development. “There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation’s goods, services and information.”
- Bed made...check! - Guestroom cleaned prior to arrival...check! - Mini-bar fully stocked...check! - Wireless internet working...check! - Hotel staff member warming bed...ch—wait, what?
One of the more notable traits of a worthwhile hotel is its attention to details. Whether it's a personalized welcome letter from the G.M., goodies for your accompanying canine companion, or just the personal touch that comes with staff greeting you by name when you walk through the lobby, it's the little things that really entice guests to keep coming back again and again.
But Holiday Inn is taking that attention to detail just a little bit further....In a new campaign, three of the hotel's some 1,300 properties—two in London and 1 in Manchester, England—are offering their guests the option to have their beds warmed up prior to arrival. Not by heated blankets. Not by hot bottles of water. But by willing staff members outfitted with fleece...onesies!