Not every tourism board video posted on YouTube can boast nearly 1.3 million views in less than two weeks, but then, few of them have the same gentle, openhearted feel of Visit Japan's "Discover the Spirit of Japan" clip (above). As Talking Travel Tech's Kevin May noted just after the video was posted earlier this month, one secret of the clip's success may be that it focuses on Japanese people, not their country's destinations, cuisine, or activities: "The idea is to showcase the culture, traditions and history of Japan from the perspective of its population rather than simply a fancy cascade of traditional tourism hotspots such as Mount Fuji and Tokyo skyline," May wrote.
Whatever its secret, the clip is working. It's been viewed over a million more times since May wrote that on March 17. And if you read the YouTube comments—"amazing!" "Japan is amazing country with great people and great culture"—it's clearly connecting with viewers.
Yesterday morning, at I had the pleasure of meeting Spain’s most celebrated chef, Ferran Adrià. Since I’ll probably never get the chance to eat at El Bulli—his widely adored Catalunya restaurant-turned-culinary-institute, (which now no longer accepts reservations, though they were near impossible to get even when it did)—I consider it an accomplishment just to shake the man’s hand. Though, alas, I suspect that his was not the hand that prepared the cookies and Starbuck’s coffee on offer during the break...
I confess: I’m a fan of The Donald. The swagger, the money, the hair, the catch phrase. My interest in The Apprentice, however, has waned, and I missed the TV show’s introduction of Donald Trump Jr. So, when the opportunity arose to chat up Donald 2.0 about the new hotel he’s overseeing (with his sister and brother)—the Trump SoHo, which opened Friday in New York—I couldn’t resist.
We met in the hotel’s library, a masculinely decked out space with deep chairs, thick tables, and books no one will ever read. Besides being well-coiffed and well-clad, DT Jr. is: • Confident. (“People said, ‘Isn’t it horrible they changed zoning code because of what you did?’ That’s the dumbest question I’ve ever heard.”) • Affable. (“What drives me? My father calling at 5 a.m. asking why I’m not in the office!”) • Self-deprecating. (“I’m probably the only graduate of the Wharton School of Finance to move to Colorado to work in a bar.”) Ok, kind of self-deprecating.
If you’ve read the October issue of Travel + Leisure, you may have noticed the debut of a new column, "The Scoop," penned by our preeminent hotel guru, Shane Mitchell. I’ll leave out the details on the new and exciting properties we’ll be covering next, but I will let you in on my own "Must Meet," a hotel staffer with an unusual story.
Jimmy Fisher, 85-year-old bellman at the Lenox Hotel (doubles from $189) in Boston’s Back Bay, has been working at the family-owned boutique hotel for 60 years. When I visited the glamorous address last month, I asked him for his expert tips.