Sep 27, 2009
Travelers will soon have the chance to donate USD 2 or more to help fight AIDS in developing countries when they buy an airline ticket. The money will go to the Millennium Foundation, which is working with the United Nations to fund health goals, including fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. They're calling the donation effort MassiveGood. This is the first big fundraising effort by the Geneva-based Millenium Foundation, founded in 2008 to find innovative ways to finance UN health goals. It's working with UN-funded UNITAID, which supplies low-cost drugs to the developing world. The three major ticket distributors N Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre Holdings Corp. N announced on Wednesday that they've agreed to make the donation an option for ticket-sellers and buyers starting early next year. It's optional for everyone involved, including online travel sites, travel agents and corporate buyers such as American Express Business Travel. Business travel manager Carlson Wagonlit Travel confirmed on Wednesday that it intends to offer the donation through its systems, though it's still working out details. However, it remains to be seen how often travelers will encounter the pitch to make a donation. Tickets sold directly through airline Web sites aren't part of the program. And it's not clear whether companies will allow the donations on corporate travel purchases. Sep 23, 2009
World's most over-rated ancient and historical sites 1. Stonehenge, UK : Famous for its astonishingly huge stones. The summer solstice ceremony held by druids and New Agers confirm it as a cathedral to mystical paganism. Reality: Tourists canOt touch the stones, canOt walk inside the area, canOt wander about its space and have to pay an entrance fee to see it. 2. Petra in Jordan : It rises out of rose-red sandstone in a hidden valley. Firmly featuring on the itinerary of every traveller to the Middle East since the days of the Grand Tour, Petra is one of the most visited sites in the Middle East. Reality: The tourism village that has grown up around Petra now threatens to outsize the ancient city itself. 3. Colosseum in Rome, Italy : A breathtaking sight for tourists. Reality: The sight is often crowded and usually has long queues. The entire building is a traffic roundabout and the interior is too precious to host concerts. Then, there is the danger of tourists falling victim to pickpockets. 4. Machu Picchu in Peru : It is South AmericaOs most-promoted destination. It has held the top spot for travellers eager to see the majesty of the Inca for several years. Reality: The journey to Machu Picchu is not pleasant, and the entrance fee has risen to more than 25 pounds. 5. Angkor in Cambodia : It boasts of some of the most jaw-dropping Buddhist monuments in Southeast Asia. The dozens of spectacular temples here are crowned by the peerless Angkor Wat - the siteOs largest monument - in a memorably atmospheric setting among gnarled jungles and glass-like paddy fields. Sep 21, 2009
Hotels in London, until recently one of the world's most expensive cities to visit, are slashing prices as they compete for a dwindling pool of overseas visitors. Average room prices in the capital are GBP 10 lower than in 2008 and could fall by as much again this year as competition intensifies, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Hotel prices in the UK dropped by 8.1 percent in 2009 [ETH] worse than the falls of almost 6 percent in 2002. Deep price cuts are being offered by hoteliers despite a weaker pound already making travel to London better value than it has been in many years. Research by the investment bank UBS last month suggested London had fallen from the second most expensive city in the world to the 22nd most costly. Sep 21, 2009
There are 585 hotels, amounting to 94,259 rooms, in the European pipeline, according to the STR Global Construction Pipeline Report. Duane Vinson, vice president at STR, said: "We continue to see growth in much of Europe. "By the end of this year, we expect another 123 properties to open. Upscale chains such as NH Hoteles and Courtyard by Marriott are dominant in the major markets." www.strglobal.com Sep 21, 2009
When it comes to "gotcha" fees, the cell-phone industry makes travel companies look like rank amateurs. Take what happened to P. Morgan Brown when his wife decided to take a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Indonesia. Her Verizon bill came to a staggering USD 8,000. Text-messages home cost an astounding USD 2.50 each, and the meter was running at an eye-popping USD 1.75 a minute for phone calls. Stories like his are becoming more common, according to cellular industry experts - despite some governments' best efforts to contain these exorbitant fees. "The main reason is that people are using their phones more for data than voice calls," says Azita Arvani, a wireless industry consultant based in Los Angeles. With a conventional call, users can gauge the cost per minute and adjust their talk time. But gauging data use isn't as straightforward. An e-mail, Web site or video can gobble up a lot more bandwidth than you'd think. Sep 21, 2009
Accor Hospitality will inaugurate two units of its Ibis brand for 2011. One of the establishments will be placed in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro and the other in Santarm, Par. It is estimated that both establishment will demand the investment of 28 million Reales. Sep 23, 2009
TourCrafters is offering a five-day/four-night Alitalia Supersaver Package that costs USD 799 and covers the round-trip flight from New York on Alitalia, fuel surcharge, accommodation in four-star hotels, four breakfasts, an...