25 January 2015

Expedia buys Travelocity for $280,000,000.13

I threw in the 13 cents just for fun.  Seems the big guys figure a monopoly is better. See the report on this website. Well not quite, but ever since I used web sites to book travel, I have always used multiple sites to shop and then typically go to the airline to but the actual travel.

The trend is to combine elements of the trip (air, hotel, ground transport) or order to "package" a better price.  While that might occur sometimes, I have found that to not be the case sometimes.  It can be cheaper (and more convenient) to book each piece separately.

Back in 4 June 2012, I wrote about the hassles from using one of these sites.  In my trip earlier this month, I combined air and hotel on the airline site, after exploring multiple airlines, connections, costs, convenience for the air, and several sites for the hotel, including the hotel itself.

One thing that I am really sensitive to is connection times in airports, especially if you need to clear customs.

So I think we got a good price, timed the way we wanted it and when and where we wanted to go.

With the airlines merging and developing partnerships, be sure to include them in the search for travel.

24 January 2015

Nor'easter hits New England

So anyone in New England is now getting something from this weather event.  The "nor'easter" is a very common event that combines several normal weather elements.  Essentially it is a low pressure system.  For us in the mid-latitudes (30-60 degrees north), the prevailing winds come from the west (westerlies to be exact).  The nor'easter means winds come from the northeast.  Winds always are named from the source region.
Since winds spiral toward a low pressure system in a counter clockwise direction (for us in the northern hemisphere) and since the low is moving eastward into the Atlantic Ocean, the low pressure is driven by the cold winds from Canada, and mixing with the wet air from the Atlantic and the result is the snow today.

23 January 2015

U.S. Citizen International Travel Increased 12 Percent in November 2014

TI News: An information service from the National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)
January 23, 2015

U.S. Citizen International Travel Increased 12 Percent in November 2014

U.S. outbound totaled 62.0 million in 2014, up 10 percent for year
Travel to Mexico, Europe and Canada were top regions; Middle East up 11 percent
Monthly % changes 2014/12/12
November 2014/2013 Comparisons
U.S. travel to overseas markets(1) totaled 2.1 million, up almost four percent in November and six percent for the year (28.2 million). Regional results for the month were as follows:
  • Europe, 675,000 travelers, up two percent
  • Caribbean, 514,000 travelers, up seven percent
  • Asia, 364,000 travelers, travel was flat
  • Central America, 180,000 travelers, up one percent
  • Middle East, 144,000 travelers, up 16 percent
  • South America, 134,000 travelers, down one percent
  • Oceania, 53,000 travelers, up seven percent
  • Africa, 22,000 travelers, down six percent
U.S. travel to other North American markets totaled 2.8 million and was up 20 percent compared to November 2013. Travel to Canada and Mexico for the year (33.9 million) was up 13 percent.
  • Mexico, 2.2 million travelers, up 28 percent in November. Air travel (517,000) was up six percent
  • Canada, 595,000 travelers, down three percent. Air travel (238,000) up six percent
November 2014 YTD Market Share
U.S. travel to overseas locationsaccounted for 45 percent of U.S. outbound international travel.
  • Europe, an 18 percent share;
  • Caribbean, an 11 percent share;
  • Asia, a seven percent share;
  • Central America, a four percent share;
  • Middle East, a three percent share;
  • South America, a three percent share;
  • Oceania, a one percent share, and
  • Africa, almost one percent share
North American markets received 55 percent of all U.S. international outbound travel.
  • U.S. travel to Mexico a 36 percent share; and
  • Canada an 18 percent share.
Note1: Easter/Passover occurred ‘later’ in 2014 (April 20) vs. 2013 (March 31).
Note2: U.S. to Mexico (Border 1+ nights) was a significant contributor to overall Mexico performance from March through December.
For detailed information and data tables please visit:
http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2014-O-001/index.html
NTTO reports U.S. outbound travel monthly by all modes, expanding beyond air-only traffic. Total departure travel, inclusive of all modes, to Canada and Mexico is reported in addition to the air-only subtotals. The timing of this report is dependent on receipt of aggregate data from Stats Canada and Banco de Mexico.


U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Website: travel.trade.gov
Email: ntto@trade.gov

21 January 2015

To Tip or Not to Tip

That is the question.  For the debate on this practice, see this link.  Why do we not pay these workers a fair wage.  I traveled to Iceland last year, and while food prices were high (by American standards), in reality, our prices are artificially low.  Restaurant prices depends on slave wages and high profits.  Certainly not a sustainable management practice.

Do we really need the dollar menu?  Is it fair?

20 January 2015

“ZUSAMMENHANG"

For a brief history of geography from a recreation and tourism perspective, check this out.http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/gtr/gtr_nrs-P-14.pdf#page=153

To pronounce this word see http://www.forvo.com/word/Zusammenhang/


19 January 2015

Tourism Geographies

Tourism Geographies has a new website.  Here you can also access the new blog.  In my Travel and Tourism Planning course this semester, we will frequently access this valuable journal.  Classes begin tomorrow!

18 January 2015

Snorkeling and Lionfish

I was pretty clueless last week when I approached this fish with my new GoPro.  I later found out it was a Lionfish from this Reef Guide.  So I combined a few files and have uploaded it to YouTube for your enjoyment.

The USGS has a good info sheet for you, too.