31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

Let's make 2014 a peaceful one.

End the wars, stop road rage, and if you can't be a friend, at least don't be mean.

30 December 2013

Mall visit

So, I visited the local mall yesterday to buy some luggage.  Wow, the place was still busy this many days after Consumer Xmas.

Well two inventions need to be applauded.

Rolling wheels, especially the 360 degree kind, and

the hand grip that makes it work.

Happy New Year.

10 December 2013

U.S. Citizen International Travel Experienced Little Growth in July 2013

News from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries

U.S. travel to overseas markets (1) totaled 3.1 million, up almost two percent in July and one percent for the year (17.6 million). Regional results for the month were as follows:

Europe, 1.3 million travelers, up three percent
Caribbean, 730,000 travelers, down one percent
Asia, 366,000 travelers, no growth
Central America, 279,000 travelers, up three percent
South America, 165,000 travelers, up six percent
Middle East, 139,000 travelers, up six percent
Oceania, 48,000 travelers, no growth
Africa, 36,000 travelers, down six percent

U.S. travel to other North American markets totaled 3.8 million and was down one percent compared to July 2012. Travel to Canada and Mexico for the year (18.7 million) was down one percent.

Mexico, 1.9 million travelers, down three percent; however, air travel (587,000) was up seven percent
Canada, 1.9 million travelers, up two percent; air travel (505,000) up 10 percent

09 December 2013

Pot Tourism

Seems Breezy is quite busy in Jamaica. According to an Associate Press report earlier this fall (and just published locally here?), ganja tourism is hot, hot, hot.

The report notes this website and while a bit slow, perhaps from all the current hits, you can find out more info.

Finally, before taking of the tours, you will need to smoke a spliff to prove you are not a cop.

06 December 2013

Snow this weekend

According to our campus meteorologist, we are expecting some of the white stuff this weekend.

Get out the shovels!

02 December 2013

another form of Toursism

I think I want to travel the world to check out these Mythical Lake Monsters.  But wait, there is more!  I like this site since you can search by type (ghost towns) or geographic location (Italy).

28 November 2013

Thanksgiving and Sports

yes, an American tradition on this important holiday.  And of course I am talking about Curling.  I am watching the team trials for the Olympics when I should be raking leaves.

Let us all be thankful today, and live peace!

27 November 2013

Thanksgiving and Flying

In my opinion, this is not the time to travel.  When we first moved to New England, we tried to drive to family on the East Coast and every trip took at least twice as long and frequently was disrupted by by weather.  Today is likely going to be the same for those who need to go to "Grandmas."

Track the flights on this website and put in your local air[port code.

Safe travels!

25 November 2013

Curling at the Olympics

I can't wait for the Winter Olympics.  I will root for any team in Curling, since that is my favorite event in the winter games.

Go Curling! 

23 November 2013

Dr. Who

Yep, watched the world simulcast of Dr. Who this afternoon and preparing to rewatch it to pick up on clues I may have missed.

It is a Dr. Who kind of day.

22 November 2013

World Tourism Organization Survey

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is currently working with Norwegian Accreditation, an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Norway, on a report assessing the feasibility of incorporating guest reviews into hotel classification systems.
We need consumer views on this and would very much appreciate you taking a minute of your time to complete our short survey.

10 November 2013

Cold and Flu

So today, since I am still under the weather, instead of raking that are piling up, I have so far, watched 3 movies.

The first, a second watch for me was "The Way" (2010).  This is a must see film by Emilio Estevez.  A far departure from Repo Man (that I must have watched 20 times), it is highly recommended.

Using the Netflix option to show similar films, my second film was "One Week", (2008) good and also a tear jerker.

So after this emotional period of 4 hours, I figured I would check out the incredibly popular "The Hunger Games" (2012).  I left this film a bit underwhelmed since I saw a very similar film called Battle Royale (2000).  The original title is Batoru rowaiaru and is a grim Japanese film, that has teenagers killing each other off.  Get my drift?

Seems the Wall Street Journal noticed it too.

I wonder what will be next on Netflix....

05 November 2013

SERR 2014

Yu-Fai Leung (NC State U)  invites your participation in the 36th Annual Southeastern Recreation Research (SERR) Conference scheduled for March 30th through April 1st, 2014 in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. Graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, agency planners, land managers, and researchers are all encouraged to attend the conference and submit a proposal for an oral or poster presentation.

Presentation Proposals: Abstracts (consisting of a cover sheet and a 500 word abstract) for oral and poster presentations at the 2014 SERR Conference are now being sought.  Abstract deadline: January 10, 2014.

Presentations should be of an empirical, conceptual, or theoretical nature related to the following topics:
Outdoor Recreation & Education
Management of Leisure Programs and Services
Natural Environment-Based Travel and Tourism
Recreation Economics or Policy
Natural Environment Management & Planning
Aspects of Leisure Behavior

Additional information can be found at:  http://www.serrconference.org. Thanks for your attention and interest.

31 October 2013

Halloween and GIS

ESRI, the GIS folks have a cool interactive map at this site.  Called the Geography of Horror, I suspect it really should be called the Geography of Horror Movies, so not to confuse it with reality.

But anyway, Happy Halloween!

And instead of pigging out on the left over candy, donate it to a shelter or pantry in your community.

30 October 2013

Planning a downhill ski resort

So, we are planning to build a small downhill and x-c ski center on campus. In this exercise for Site Planning Studio, we are working with the area we call the North Campus, downhill and north of the new dorm.

This area was the site of the former Sheraton Inn and a public swimming pool when our Foundation purchased the property some 10-15 years ago.

Since the slopes (ski runs) face generally a northerly direction, why not put in some ski trails?  The north slope will have shade.  We can use one of the many sunpath diagrams to identify the solar path and impact on the snow cover.  Try this one for size.

29 October 2013

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

This year, like every Halloween, I show one of my 16mm prints to celebrate the holiday and collect food for the local food pantry.

This year, I will show Night of the Living Dead (1968 Directed by George Romero).  Set for the bewitching hour of 7 pm TONIGHT (29 October 2013) in the WSU Ely Campus Center, the show will take place.

Can't make it but want to see the film?  Check out Archive.org.

Since it is public domain, it is easy to find.

22 October 2013

weather interpretation

So, everyone has an opinion about the weather.  While waiting in line at the grocery, you might talk about the good (or not so good weather) with the others in the queue.

Try this for size.  Or my paper here.

18 October 2013

Fall in New England

This fall has been incredibly beautiful.  The fall foliage and clear sunny weather provided a picture perfect opportunity for leaf peepers.

This is a shot found along my morning commute.  It is the Little River from the Granville Road Bridge.

15 October 2013

where to get data when the government is shut down

Hi, I got this from my trinet listserv and edited it down for you:

University of California, Berkeley

United States Census Bureau on Internet Archive

Leonard Library
San Francisco State University Library

Knowledge Center

Eastern Michigan University Library

got any others?

10 October 2013

Innovative Business Practices

See Chapter Sixteen

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria: An International Perspective on Restaurant Sustainability Model Development

Ian Jenkins and Robert S. Bristow

09 October 2013

Europe Locations

Black Sea, Iberian Peninsula, Baltic Sea, English Channel, Danube River, Pyrenees, Corsica, Sardinia, Jura Mountains, Palma de Mallorca

08 October 2013

Dog Parks

More and more dog parks are appearing on the landscape as humans realize that dogs need parks as much as people.  Find your local park by visiting this site.

For example, in the Boston MA area you can find these parks.

Now, would you deny this pup a park?

06 October 2013

red sky at night ....

You know the old sayings, right?  Well this site is a pretty good place to start to read about more of them.  After all, a site called Granny-Miller can't be all bad?

See also this one and this one.

02 October 2013

Volunteer Land Management STOPS

All Volunteer work on the Appalachian Trail has been ordered to stop due to the Government Shut-down.

The Appalachian Trail National Park is CLOSED.  See the NPS website for details.

I wonder how many hours and days of lost "free" labor will be lost due to the careless actions of a few GOP Representatives.


01 October 2013

Irony and Yosemite

It is ironic that Google is celebrating Yosemite National Park's 123rd Anniversary on the first day of the US Government shut down.

And all about American's lack of willingness to provide health care for everyone.

What a shame.

23 September 2013

3-D animations can be for virtual tourism

3-D animations have been around for nearly 20 years on the web.  Used for virtual tourism and other applications, I am sure you have seen good ones and some no so good.

Want to know how fast and what direction is best?

Check out this paper from the University of Southampton.

22 September 2013

Classic Cold Front

If you catch this early enough, you can see the line of clouds along the frontal boundary:


Other wx sites are good too. This is why I never rely on just one site.  I rotate around to get different views of the weather.  The European Weather sites are pretty accurate too.

Try this one for size:

can you name some others?

17 September 2013

time for a bit more on Weather

So, I last posted that cooler temps were in the forecast and boy was that correct.  Nearly frost temps over night and very nice day time conditions make for a pleasant late summer (yes it is still summer) week.

Another favorite site for weather, at least for the US is the American Meteorological Society DataStreme Site.

It is good since if provide data.  Check it out.

11 September 2013

Today 90's and 30 degrees cooler by Saturday?

There is a saying often heard in New England about "if you don't like the weather just wait  a little bit".

Seems today's heat wave will break shortly and the daytime temps might drop 30 degrees F, by the weekend.  Check out this link from wearther.gov.

08 September 2013

Hitchcock on TCM Sundays

Now, one of my favorite directors in Alfred Hitchcock.  North by Northwest is my favorite film of his but on Sunday's this month, when I should be reading, Turners Classic Movies is showcasing "Hitch".

While the ever popular films are to be shown like The Birds, Psycho, Rope, The Wrong Man, also found are his other films that are less frequently shown on TV.

Today, for example, you could have caught or catch, depending on when you read this Blog, Under Capricorn, Stage Fright, Saboteur and of course, North by Northwest.

Later this month check out Lifeboat, Number 17, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Family Plot, The Lady Vanishes, Torn Curtain, Topaz, The 39 Steps, Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train, Suspicion and many others.

Enjoy these classics!

05 September 2013

Glendi 2013

Every September we look forward to Glendi held in Springfield Mass.  So for the weekend we all become Greek.  Good food, music, dance and just a great all around fun time.

Something for the whole family.  check it out this weekend!

31 August 2013

Fall tourism in Northeast?

Getting ready for my Saturday morning errands that includes listening to Car Talk, and I caught this news on WAMC website.  The article describes the anticipated traffic across the US and Canada border.  It reminds me of a casual conversation with someone it a store this week that raised the concern for the need of passports for her family to cross into Canada.  Four passports, the time and cost to acquire them was seen to be a deterrent to local cross border tourism.

While the exchange rate is still comparable between the US and Canada with $1.00 Canada equal $0.949 US, I wonder how much tourism is list due to the Passport requirement?

It would be a good thesis.

20 August 2013

Exporting conch shells banned in TCI

Opps....I have exported Conch shells from TCI and Cayman Islands.  I am lucky I did this before the law changed.  Read this report from the Sands Resort:

Here is a shot of a harvest back in 2011 off of Water Cay, TCI.  On a previous trip I saw a "wall of conch" that must have held a 1,000 shells!

17 August 2013

Planetizen's Top 10 Websites - 2013

See the link for Planetizen's Top 10 Websites - 2013.  It represents the "annual list of the 10 best planning, design, and development websites represents some of the top online resources for news, information and research on the built environment."

I am sort of partial to Park Score.

Information is a valuable tool.

14 August 2013

Virtual Tourism: Trek with Google Maps

Google continues to blow me away.  I know about street view, but now there is trail view.
See the link.

I wrote about how the Internet would create a virtual tourism experience and Google just raised the bar.

My paper, published in Tourism Geographies last century, can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616689908721311#.UgvAQrJlRcQ

Bristow, R. (1999). Commentary: Virtual tourism — the ultimate ecotourism?
Tourism Geographies,  Vol. 1, Iss. 2, pp. 219-225.

06 August 2013

Life is good

1-Aug-13 16:06 San Jose - Costa Rica Shipment picked up
1-Aug-13 19:49 San Jose - Costa Rica Processed at San Jose - Costa Rica
1-Aug-13 20:48 San Jose - Costa Rica Processed at San Jose - Costa Rica
1-Aug-13 20:51 San Jose - Costa Rica Departed from DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
1-Aug-13 21:17 San Jose - Costa Rica Arrived at DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
1-Aug-13 21:19 San Jose - Costa Rica Processed at San Jose - Costa Rica
2-Aug-13 6:13 San Jose - Costa Rica Departed from DHL facility in San Jose - Costa Rica
2-Aug-13 11:11 Miami, FL - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Miami, FL - USA
2-Aug-13 11:13 Miami, FL - USA Clearance processing complete at Miami, FL - USA
2-Aug-13 12:32 Miami, FL - USA Processed at Miami, FL - USA
2-Aug-13 19:57 Miami, FL - USA Processed at Miami, FL - USA
2-Aug-13 21:34 Miami, FL - USA Departed from DHL facility in Miami, FL - USA
3-Aug-13 3:28 Cincinnati, OH - USA Arrived at DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
3-Aug-13 3:31 Cincinnati, OH - USA Processed at Cincinnati, OH - USA
4-Aug-13 12:38 Cincinnati, OH - USA Processed at Cincinnati, OH - USA
4-Aug-13 21:35 Cincinnati, OH - USA Departed from DHL facility in Cincinnati, OH - USA
5-Aug-13 7:53 West Hartford - USA Scheduled for delivery
5-Aug-13 9:15 West Hartford - USA With delivery courier
5-Aug-13 16:45 West Hartford - USA Shipment delivered

05 August 2013

and the question is ....

Streams which flow for only a part of the year are ________.
A hot spring that water is known as a ________.
Caves are found in most parts of the world where there are thick ________ deposits under the surface.
At its maximum extent, ice covered almost ________ of the Earth's land surface.
Hills rounded and sheared off by glacial erosion are called ________.
The maximum extent of a glacier is marked by a ________.
A huge boulder resting on a completely different type of bedrock in glacial zones is a(n) ________.
The largest scale among the following representative fractions is ________.
The main component of the lower atmosphere by total volume is ________.

30 July 2013

Westfield River flood two years ago

Except for the stupid commercial in the beginning, there is some good footage from the youtube clip about the Westfield River flooding back in 2011.

And of course, there is my clip that highlights the impact to Ashley Brook, a tributary in the Westfield River watershed.

28 July 2013

25 July 2013

Fun in the Woods

Another Blog I read is called "Fun in the Woods" and found at this link.  It showcases the volunteer work on the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.

Check it out.

22 July 2013

Iceland Geologic Features 2013

Here is a short (five and a half minute) video I posted on Youtube that showcases some of the landscape in this country.


21 July 2013

Glacier studiess

I am preparing a lab for Physical Geography.  Now, I am not a glacier expert, but as a geographer, I am pretty fascinated by glaciers.  We have lots of glacial features around the area like cirques, erratics, drumlins and others.  And even in the Big Apple you can find some interesting features.

So for lab, I am going to explore a couple of glaciers I have visited.  After returning from Iceland for a conference I am currently reading about Sólheimajökull Glacier.  I have a masters thesis from the University of Iceland written by Bjarki Friis that is really good.  Google the name.

20 July 2013

Cold fronts bring cooler weather for recreation

So the US has been blistering hot this past week.  While not a record, Westfield, MA had 98 degrees F yesterday afternoon for a high!  Add to that high humidity and it is pretty uncomfortable.

So today, we are expected a cold front to pass through the area.  Notice the station model data from this report from the AMS Datastreme Project.

You can see winds are coming from the south for New England whereas in Canada, the winds are coming from the west since the cold front has already passed the area.

Cooler air (from the west and northwest) are coming to New England!

19 July 2013

Sustainability and Eco-health tourism

This chapter highlighted some of the consequences facing health tourism today.  While not comprehensive in all the positive and negative impacts of the industry, an attempt has been made to highlight two of the more pressing issues: health care equity and bio-hazards. 

Bristow, R. (2013) Sustainability and Eco-health tourism. In Sustainability in Tourism. Chapter 4 in Jenkins, I., and Schroder, R., eds. Gabler, Wiesbaden, Germany, pp. 67-82.

Available from Amazon or Springer Gabler.

18 July 2013

got rain?

Well, the current radar for the states show some spots of precip.  Why rain at these spots?
Some of it is frontal lifting, whereas the rest is just convective.  Where air rises, if it cools to due point, we can get clouds and then precipitation.

The National Weather Service Enhanced Radar Image is a good site to see precip.

Looks like we will be dry in the northeast except for the humidity.

16 July 2013

High Pressure along East Coast

A virtual sauna bath is what USA Today called the weather along the I-95 corridor today.  And I thought it was hot yesterday.

So drink plenty of water, or seltzer in my case, and minimize outside physical labor.

A high pressure means sinking air, where it then sprays out along the surface drawn toward a low pressure.  There are two mainland lows in the US: one in Nevada and one in southern Texas.

You can get some pretty neat (and detailed) weather analysis at the AMS Datastreme Atmosphere Project.

Here is the current isobar (lines of equal pressure) map.

14 July 2013

Weather Sayings

There is a lot of truth with weather sayings.  For example:

Red skies at night, sailors delight.
Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.

These refer to the fact that the sun rises in the east (morning) and sets in west (night).  The color of the sky with the sun shining through tells us a little about the clouds and other atmospheric conditions.  And for us in the mid-latitudes, weather travels west to east due to the westerly wind flow and the pressure belts.

What other sayings of weather have you used?

12 July 2013

Sun Path Diagrams and travel

Want to know what time and in what direction the sun will rise where you are?  What about where you might  travel.
Well, you can use a sun path diagram to help you answer that question.  An explanation of what the diagram does is found here.

(source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/90/Sun-path-polar-chart.svg/300px-Sun-path-polar-chart.svg.png)

This complicated graph plots the movement of the sun across the sky from sunrise to sunset, what azimuth (compass direction) and what altitude above the horizon.

Got it?

10 July 2013

Hurricanes and tourism

Ever wonder why the best deals for the Caribbean occur late summer and fall?  Hurricanes!

I would not book a trip to the Caribbean anytime from July to November until a week out.  Since these tropical storms move slow, say 15-20 mph, and the general direction of the path can be predicted a few days out, it is best not to risk it by "early birding" a trip months out.

For conditions in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific visit NOAA.

08 July 2013

Google Earth and Physical Geography

Google Earth is fantastic.  I have blogged about the usefulness of Google Earth for tourism but it is also great for just plain geography.

If you don't have it on your computer or smart phone, get it right away.  Not only can you see areas from above, but ground based pictures are also available.  A great way to study the Earth.

For example, next week I will be in Maryland and might be able to see this haunted landmark.

Use Google Earth to explore!

05 July 2013

Sustainability in Tourism: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Ian Jenkins reports:

We would like to let you know of this new publication.  This is an Anglo-American/German collaborative approach to sustainability.  A good reader for your bookshelves and your summer hols!

We hope you enjoy it!


04 July 2013


Goit an email from ESRI to check out a new website.  Considering the world is going wireless now, it might be a good site to check out.

See http://pro.arcgis.com/ for details.

02 July 2013


A very popular sport and activity is biking.  Locally you risk your life biking in Westfield, so hopefully these videos will help educate people about biking safety.

See this link.

30 June 2013

Let the Geography Begin

On to Monday 1 July 2013, my online course in Physical Geography will start.  So I hope to include lots of good physical things on the blog, should any of the students make their way to this site.

I'll have a boatload of cool pics from Iceland to share, and some are already online at Panoramio.

In a country that has steam venting from hillsides north of Hveragerð , this is one exciting place.

23 June 2013

ISSRM 2014

While I missed ISSRM 2013 in Colorado earlier this month (I was in Iceland for NGM 2013)
the ISSRM 2014 meeting is set.  I will put it on my timeline.

11 June 2013

Iceland 2013

For the next week or so I am going to write about this place called Iceland.  A surreal landscape greeted us at KEF airport last night (early this morning) and then a drive downtown.  Took a round about way to get to the hotel, but finally found the place.  Local time 1 am, my time 9 pm.  I can't imagine making this drive after a red eye.

The airport was hopping and many hit the duty free shops upon arrival to buy booze.  We just wanted to find the car rental.

06 June 2013


Geocube, a European way of looking at Geography is found at this site.

They note:

Geocube is an attractive online resource about Geography. Geocube is based on the principle of the Rubik Cube with six faces and 54 topics. It is a virtual and easily accessible website which is available online for free. Move the Geocube around with your mouse and explore the faces and topics. Geocube provides an accessible way to read, see and watch what Geography is and geographers do. This is a European initiative developed by HERODOT, the European Network for Geography in Higher Education and is available to anyone who is interested in Geography.

Looks like a real find for geography education!

05 June 2013

Nordic Geographers Meeting 2013

The NGM is a biennial meeting of Nordic geographers, taking place in turn in one of the Nordic Countries.

The 5th Nordic Geographers Meeting will be held in Reykjavík, Iceland, at the University of Iceland, 11 – 14 June 2013. Previous meetings include: Lund, Sweden (2005); Bergen, Norway (2007); Turku, Finland (2009); Roskilde, Denmark (2011).

The theme of the NGM 2013 is Responsible Geographies.

We are presenting research on the carbon impacts of the Westfield River Canoe Races.

While most people think that a canoe race does not significantly to carbon emissions, especially when compared to auto racing, air travel or just about any motorized event, our research found about 33.6 pounds of carbon were emitted per vehicle in 2012 and 32.5 pounds in 2013.  From our group sample over the two years (n=142), this meant that each group having 2 or more cars to shuttle the canoes the average emissions per group was closer to 62.6 pounds in 2012 and 66.2 pounds in 2013.

Research has found that tourism activities contribute about 5% of the global emissions and of that figure 75% is from transport costs.

So a little canoe race in Western Mass, does have an impact.  See the abstract in the Nature Conservation and Tourism session.

Here we are navigating through Hill and Dale Rapids!

01 June 2013

Tornado Chasing .... for fun?

The Midwest has been getting hammered with severe weather over the past few weeks, and even the weather stars from the Weather Channel may be over their heads.

We wrote a paper on recreational storm chasing a while back that might be of interest.  http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/19699

Tours devoted to tornado storm chasing have become popular in recent years, especially with the emergence of many profit and non-profit storm chasing organizations. While most literature in risk recreation has been directed toward rock climbing or other high-risk outdoor recreation activities, tours devoted to storm chasing are quite unlike these traditional activities. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of these organizations from information collected in a mailed survey. Areas to be discussed are specific tour details for each company, basic demographics of tour attendees, and other areas of tour requirements.

My hope that the tourists don't get in the way of public safety!

30 May 2013

Bangkok tourism

The AAG sent out this feed and it is pretty interesting.  Check out tourism info.

Note the quote "A map of global tourism spending is really a map of people and money."

28 May 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Let's not forget our canine vets out there.  After all, dogs have been our companions for thousands of years.  Here is a shot of Biscuit who, between begging for scraps at the picnic yesterday, wants to honor our canine vets around the world.

25 May 2013

Hurricane Season for Atlantic predicted to be big

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, the Atlantic Ocean is expected to have a busy Hurricane Season this year.   The Pacific is expected to be more calm.

On a related note especially since Super Storm Sandy slammed the east coast last fall, Tornado victims in Oklahoma may not get the badly needed help since their own representatives believe the US should not help victims from disasters.

From the Washington Post:

Oklahoma has one of the most conservative congressional delegations of any state: seven Republican men, including fierce advocates for cutting federal spending.
Five of those seven voted no in January on a bill to provide $50 billion in disaster funding for states hit by Hurricane Sandy.
On Tuesday, the disaster was Oklahoma’s instead, a deadly tornado that swept through the town of Moore on Monday afternoon. So those representing Oklahoma all faced the same question: Would they support an influx of new funding — if necessary — for disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma?

20 May 2013

Weather sites for travel

I have my favorites around here, you know wunderground.com, intellicast.com and the old standby weather.gov (not the commercial one).

But what about overseas?  Sure you can select one of the others, but usually better info can be had from the government sponsored site, like this one for Iceland (http://en.vedur.is/).  Even if in a foreign language, Chrome can translate the pages.

Always check to see if one is local at your travel destination!

10 May 2013

Ray Harryhausen RIP

A true artist. Ray Harryhausen passed away earlier this week.  See his website for details.  I met him briefly at the Monster Bash Conference a decade or so ago, and I am glad to have had the opportunity!

08 May 2013

History and Tourism

There is a good historical review of tourism prepared by Towner and Wall (1991).  The basic premise is "The historical perspective is described and a chronological survey of historical tourism research is presented, with emphasis on the ancient and medieval worlds, the Grand Tour era, and spas and seaside resorts."

I believe it is an essentially reading for all tourism students.

07 May 2013

Five Themes of Geography

I have blogged about the five themes of geography before (link)  (link), so this is nothing new.  For teachers, there is a lesson plan from the National Geographic Society.  Another good site is the about.com one.

So how does one use "movement" in a exploration of Tourism?

06 May 2013

Miscellaneous Themes in Tourism

Check out these Tourism themes:

Adventure tourism, Atomic Tourism, Backpacking, Culinary, Dark Tourism, Film / TV , Last Chance Tourism, Literary tourism, Pilgrimage, Slum/ghetto tourism.

For example, Dark Tourism can be defined as the act of travel to sites associated with death and suffering.

And Last Chance Tourism is where tourists explicitly seek vanishing landscapes or seascapes, and/or disappearing natural and/or social heritage.

Which have you done?

03 May 2013

Sierra Club's Dangerous Trails List

Want to have a high adventure?  Check out these trails.  I would have added the Lion's Trail on Mt. Washington, the Mt. Lafayette Range or any exposed mountain trail on the east coast when the weather changes.

Gosh, even Mt. Monadnock, the northern terminus of the M&M Trail can be nasty in the winter.

Time to get ready for National Trails Day 2013.

30 April 2013

Is eating out cheaper than cooking in?

The report from gobankingrates.com raises this question and I am not totally convinced.  The report states;

"The cost of food at home has risen drastically over the past decade. According to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the monthly cost of food for a family four under a low-cost plan has jumped by 38 percent from $601.50 in February 2003 to $830.30 in February 2013.

But is that adjusted for inflation?  
Is the dollar meal good for you, the environment and does it provide funds for a living wage for the restaurant employees?   I think not.  And how many people are still hungry?

Consider the price of food as part of the total household budget.  Back in caveman days, (cavepeople), the average family probably spent 75% of their time (or budget) for food.  Today it is probably 20%.  So food is cheaper today, right?  See this report noting cost of food over time.

Consider this timeline for the US.  Prices vary but it was a simple time....

20 April 2013

Westfield River Canoe Race today

We were up at the races this morning survey participants in the novice race and the expert race.  Another team hit "Hill and Dale" rapids to talk to spectators.  We did this study last year during a drought so we came back this year since the river was flowing well.  Check out the stream gauge data here.  While it rain last night, the sudden surge was the result of a controlled release on the river.  Back up on this site to see river flows across the country.  Thanks to James, Forrest, Jim, Mike and Sarah for helping me collect the data!

15 April 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing

My thoughts go out to the victims, and their family and friends of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon today.

It is a shame that an athletic event that attracts people from around the world has become another site of insensitivity.

The Boston Globe is jammed with visitors so check out the Washington Post of Cnn.com for the latest.

14 April 2013

Sustainability and Eco-health tourism

Sustainability and Eco-health tourism

Robert S. Bristow

Over the millennia, travel to foreign lands to soak in mineral waters has been popular for the privileged (Bookman and Bookman, 2007; Connell, 2011; Mitman, 2003; Reisman, 2010; Towner, 1996; TRAM, 2006). Long sought for their medicinal values, mineral springs have attracted visitors for thousands of years. And access to these resources has been possible through advances in transportation and a growing middle class that fuelled further interest in the experience of the holiday to escape the urban environment (Gilbert, 1949). The travel continues today as evidenced by the popularity of the historic mineral waters found at Saratoga Springs in the USA, Bath, England and Baden-Baden, Germany.

Yet today these tourists are seeking not only a bath and massage, but may also want cosmetic surgery or a knee replacement (Goodrich and Goodrich, 1987; Goodrich, 1993a; Hall, 1992; Hall, 2003). Fed by the interest to improve oneself, be pampered, or address some health concern, health travel is likely to continue in the future. Lunt and others (n.d.) found four consequences for the emergence of the international health market: large numbers of people travelling for treatment, the shift of tourists from more developed nations to less developed ones, the rise of information via the Internet, and public and private infrastructure development to promote tourism.

Health Tourism is the umbrella term for all tourist aspects of health, wellness and medical care (Smith and Puczkó, 2009). For example, Hall (1992) notes that health tourism may be appropriately viewed on a continuum from a sun and fun vacation to the need to seek a major medical operation. Progressing along this continuum the number of tourists decreases (Hall, 2003).

introduction of paper to be published in 

Sustainability in Tourism: A Multidisciplinary Approach, edited by Ian Jenkins & Roland Schröder, Springer Gabler July 2013.

09 April 2013

Nordic Geographers Meeting in Iceland this June

The NGM is a biennial meeting of Nordic geographers, taking place in turn in one of the Nordic Countries.

The 5th Nordic Geographers Meeting will be held in Reykjavík, Iceland, at the University of Iceland11 – 14 June 2013. Previous meetings include: Lund, Sweden (2005); Bergen, Norway (2007); Turku, Finland (2009); Roskilde, Denmark (2011).

The theme of the NGM 2013 is Responsible Geographies. Both human and physical geographers are encouraged to participate under this broad heading.

We will be adding to our data base by collecting data on the next Westfield River Wildwater Races.  Our abstract follows:

Rural Tourism: Challenges of Carbon Impacts

Robert S. Bristow
Department of Geography & Regional Planning
Westfield State University

Ian Jenkins
Les Roches – Gruyere
University of Applied Sciences

According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, CO2 emissions generated directly from the tourism sector account today for 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions.  In many cases, especially in the ecotourism sector, tourists may believe their impact is minimal as they try to travel green.  This misconception needs further examination since ecotourism is often touted as a green alternative to conventional mass tourism when in fact, the impact may be spread over a larger natural area.  The purpose of this research is to identity the carbon footprint generated by a whitewater canoe race from both the participants and the observers. 

The Carbon Footprint is one measure of the tourism impact of human activity related to leisure pursuits. According to the World Tourism Organization changes in the availability of water, loss of natural habitats, reduced to the visual landscape, altered agricultural production, and other factors will all impact tourism as a result of climate change.

Data for this study were collected by a survey administered on the date of the 2012 Westfield River Wildwater Races, a river with Class III rapids.  The sample represents 153 novice racers, 36 experts and 100 spectators yielding a total 289 respondents.  Calculating total emissions was based on the type and year of vehicle driven to the event, total round trip miles and calculating a per mile carbon emission for each party.  Based on this sample, it is estimated that a total 8558.98 pounds of carbon were emitted into the atmosphere for this tourist event.

Keywords:  Carbon footprint, rural tourism 

03 April 2013

NERR 2013 this weekend

2013 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

Sunday, April 7 - Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Otesaga Resort & Conference Center
Cooperstown, NY

program and details are found here.

02 April 2013

yesterday's post was fake

My annual April Fools Day Prank.  After all, it is more likely the NRA would give assault weapons to kids, right....

01 April 2013

NRA to give gifts to visitors in Parks

In an attempt to reach out to the non-gun owners in the country, the Nationalized Rifle Association is planning to give families visiting National Parks free gifts this fall.  Orange colored vests will be given to every adult visiting the parks, spokesperson Colt Wayne reporting in a Press Release on Easter.  "We want our visitors to stand out in the park, and the orange vest will do just that."

Also part of the give-away, will be animal shaped raincoats for baby strollers.  Shaped like deer, bunny rabbits and squirrels, these designs are meant to keep the toddlers happy during there time in the park lands.

The press release coincides with another NRA announcement to permit assault weapon hunting in our parks.  The huge capacity guns are encouraged since it is will likely ensure a good hunt and minimize injured animals during the hunting season.

27 March 2013

Travel Planning

Based on the Recreation Phases of Clawson and Knetsch (1966) model of the recreation experience, they proposed 5 stages:

Anticipation:  here I am planning a trip.  Looking at guide books, travel websites, Google Earth and so on.

Travel to:  Here we are driving, flying, taking a train or what ever to get from Home to our final destination.

On site:  This is the vacation or business trip at some other location.

Travel back:  Often tired, broke and full of memories, typically just want to get home to my own bed and Biscuit.

Recollection:  Ah the memories, photos, video and all those memories.  I typically will try to edit down video and photos and such into a 10-15 minute DVD clip to share with family and friends.

Think about your travel planning.

Citation:  Clawson, M., and Knetsch, J. L. 1966. Economics of outdoor recreation. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Press.

26 March 2013

Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation

A recent report from the Outdoor Industry Association highlights the economic impact of OR in the fifty United States.  Find out how much occurs in your state from this link.  Jobs, tax revenue, wages and consumer spending are summarized.

22 March 2013

Annual Westfield River Symposium

2013 Westfield River Symposium

Our Urban Watershed

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Westfield State University - Scanlon Banquet Hall

8:00-8:30 Registration Exhibits available for viewing from 8:00 to 12:15

8:30-9:35 Welcome Brian Conz, WRWA Vice President
  Keynote Address Mark Cresotti (City Engineer, Westfield)
Search for the Holy Grail

9:45-10:30 Concurrent Sessions I
Streams Behaving Badly: Martha Naley (US Fish & Wildlife Service)
The West Parish Water Filtration Plant - Filtering the Water Supply for Springfield and Beyond: Thomas LeCourt (Springfield Water and Sewer Commission)
The Columbia Greenway: Past, Present and Future: Joe Giffune (Friends of the Columbia Greenway)

10:40-11:25 Concurrent Sessions II
Municipal Stormwater Management: Casey Berube (City of Westfield, Water Resources Dept.)
Maintaining River Quality in Difficult Times: David Billips (City of Westfield, Water Resources Dept.)

11:30-12:15 Viewing of Exhibits and WSU Student Posters
Confirmed Exhibitors:

Concerned Citizens of Westfield
Friends of the Columbia Greenway
Friends of the Keystone Arches
Friends of Robinson State Park
MA Div. of Ecological Restoration
MA Div. of Fisheries and Wildlife
Massachusetts Forest Alliance
Naturalists' Club (Springfield)
Nature Pods
Western Massachusetts Fly Fishing Association
Westfield River Watershed Association
Westfield River Watershed Invasive Species Partnership
Westfield River Wild & Scenic Advisory Committee
Wilderness Experiences Unlimited
Winding River Land Conservancy
WOW Express (USFWS)

For more Info, see http://www.westfieldriver.org/symposia/symposium19.html

16 March 2013

KLM To Use Biofuels To Power Transatlantic Flights

Gosh, if KLM partners with McDonalds, it might put Exxon out of business?

But see the press report about "KLM Royal Dutch Airlines says it will begin operating weekly transatlantic flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Amsterdam’s Schiphol using a biofuel mixture consisting of 25 percent cooking oil and 75 percent jet fuel."

Is Exxon worried?  Well, probably not since Exxon and others are investing heavily in biofuels.

But it might make the Big Apple smell like french fries.

07 March 2013

Westfield River Canoe Race 2013

Mark your calendars for the annual Westfield River Wildwater Canoe Race.  Saturday 20 April 2013 in Huntington Massachusetts.

See this link for details.

This is the Bristow / Young Team heading through the Hill and Dale Rapids.

05 March 2013

World Economic Forum and Tourism Competitiveness

From the website:

Tourism competitiveness is an important economic indicator. It is a major element in economic stimulation packages. Tourism is among the largest employers in most countries and also a fast-lane vehicle into the workforce for young people and women. Encouraging travel boosts consumer and business confidence, it strengthens two-way trade and promotes export income.

You can download the report from here. And you can watch a YouTube clip here.

Now, there is some dispute about this report, but no matter what you may think about it, the report does provide a common framework to compare and contrast a countries ability to address tourism.

26 February 2013

Airlines raise fares aimed at business travelers

Air fare is expected to increase.  The deregulation of airlines in the 1980's led to lower fares but at the expense of a sustainable business model.  

Gone are the $99 fares, except of course at the last moment as airlines attempt to fill every seat on the sardine cans called planes.

USA Today reports "Airlines raise fares aimed at business travelers".

Even the en vogue Conde Nast Traveler reports "The total cost of air travel will rise, even if air fares don’t."

Stay tuned.

22 February 2013


TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)
February 22, 2013


Travel and Tourism Industry Buoys Record U.S. Export Figures for 2012
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration today released the December 2012 data on international travel and tourism to the United States, which shows that exports in this sector hit a record $168.1 billion in 2012.
Travel and tourism exports represent the largest service-export industry within the United States. In 2012, travel and tourism accounted for 8 percent of all U.S. exports and 27 percent of all service-exports, which themselves hit a record in 2012, reaching $632.3 billion. International travel and tourism also helped contribute to the record surplus the U.S. holds in services exports, which hit $195.3 billion in 2012, and the overall record U.S. export figure of $2.2 trillion.
“International visitors to the United States are an increasing part of our export success story, which not only continues to reach record levels, but support millions of American jobs,” said Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. “The Obama Administration is committed to support these positive trends by taking concrete steps to attract and welcome international visitors to the United States, which is boosting local economies from San Diego to San Juan.”
For 2012:
  • Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $128.2 billion in 2012, an increase of more than 10 percent when compared to the previous year.
  • These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
  • Fares received by U.S. carriers and U.S. vessel operators from international visitors markedly rose in 2012. When compared to 2011, U.S. passenger fare exports increased appreciably (9 percent) to $39.9 billion for the year.
The importance and impact of the travel and tourism industry will continue to grow as Brazil, China, and India see record amounts of newly formed middle class citizens vacationing around the globe. These countries represent more than 40 percent of the world’s population and, by 2016, the number of travelers from Brazil, China, and India is expected to increase by 274 percent, 135 percent, and 50 percent respectively.

For more information, click here.

17 February 2013

Meteor Tourism

Just about every news event creates a demand for some kind of tourism.  And the recent astronomical event in Russia is due to create some influx of tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the impact or even a fragment of  "space rock".

A quick Google Scholar search on "meteor crater tourism" found this interesting paper.  Some neat maps too!

I mean, we will typically hang out in the darkened backyard to watch for shooting stars!  Not that I want one to zoom over the house and blow out all the windows, but if one was nearby,  I might just need to check it out (and take my camera).

11 February 2013

got 38 seconds for NEMO

First of all, what's with NEMO?  The Weather Channel now sees fit to name storms?  I realize the Winter Storm of February 8-9, 2013 is not sexy, but how about Fred or Wilma?  The Flintstones would make for a good set of names.

So if you were trying to get out of the Northeast (or to NE) this weekend, this time lapse video shows why:

08 February 2013

International tourism rebounding from global economic crisis

According to the United Nations News Centre

International tourism rebounding from global economic crisis.

 "According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourist arrivals surpassed 1 billion for the first time in history in 2012, up from 996 million in 2011, with demand holding well throughout the year and concluding with a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter." 

 See the news report at this link.

Let us hope the travel is peaceful.

04 February 2013

How good is your Tourism Website?

Ever get frustrated on a website?  Can't find what you are looking for?  Pop-ups keep popping up for unwanted material or information.  Don't you hate it?

We have all experienced bad website.

I found this cool little Tutorial called "Initial Assessment of My Website" found in the Tourism e-kit produced by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.  Available at this link, the site has a lot of good information relevant to the topic of tourism marketing.

Check it out.

30 January 2013

Community Preservation Act interest level

The interest should be better. After all the CPA provides matching funds for Open Space and Recreation, Affordable Housing and Historic Preservation.  And these make a community a better place to live or visit.  See the news report in this morning's paper.

Wrote a paper on the CPA a few years back to compare and contrast the socio-demographic characteristics of communities accepting (or have yet to vote) the Community Preservation Act.  It is titled "The Massachusetts Community Preservation Act: factors influencing acceptance" and is available at this site.

In New England, urban sprawl creates a need for protecting open space. In 2002, residents of Southwick, MA, voted to accept the Massachusetts Community Preservation Act (CPA), which helps communities implement smart growth by providing funds for affordable housing, open space protection, and historic landmark preservation. This paper summarizes the findings of a survey administered before the town-wide CPA vote. Survey and demographic data from Southwick and other Massachusetts communities are compared in order to anticipate additional acceptance of the statewide initiative. The data suggest that communities that have higher median household incomes and more extensive housing stock are more likely to adopt the CPA.

Has your town adopted a Smart Growth strategy?

27 January 2013

United States Travel and Tourism Exports

TI News: An information service provided by the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries
From my newsfeed from (http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/)
January 25, 2012
United States Travel and Tourism Exports: November 2012
Year-to-Date U.S. Travel and Tourism Exports Already Exceed Annual Record
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international visitors spent an estimated $14.1 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the month of November - nearly $1.3 billion more (10%) than was spent in November 2011.
  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $10.8 billion during November, an increase of nearly 11 percent when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel.
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased 7 percent to $3.3 billion for the month, following an increase of 2 percent in October. U.S carriers have received more than $36 billion from international visitors through November 2012, the strongest year-to-date performance on record.
International visitors have spent an estimated $153.8 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through November), an increase of nearly 10 percent when compared to the same period last. In fact, U.S. travel and tourism exports through November have already exceeded the record-setting annual total from last year.
Americans ave spent more than $108.5 billion abroad year to date (up 8%) - resulting in a $45.2 billion balance of trade surplus for travel and tourism through November 2012.

25 January 2013

Zusammenhang and Tourism

According to http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zusammenhang

Ein Zusammenhang ist die Beziehung (Relation[1]), die zwischen miteinander verbundenen Teilen besteht. Diese Teile können sein:
materielle Gegenstände
gedankliche Gegenstände – etwa Begriffe, Aussagen, Theorien oder Normen
Eigenschaften dieser beiden Arten von Gegenständen.
Der ursprünglichen Wortbedeutung (vgl. „zusammenhängen“) kommt der physische Zusammenhang am nächsten. Davon abstrahiert sind gedankliche Zusammenhänge oder ein allgemeiner Bezugsrahmen; darüber hinaus existieren beispielsweise emotionale Zusammenhänge, Zusammenhänge von sozialen Gruppen und sprachliche Zusammenhänge.
In Abgrenzung zu physischen Zusammenhängen werden jene des gedanklich-sprachlichen Bereichs je nach konkretem Fall als Kohärenzen, logische Zusammenhänge oder als Kontext bezeichnet. Kausal hingegen können Zusammenhänge in beiden Fällen sein. In der Religion, aber auch in der Intuition der meisten Menschen wird die Welt als zusammenhängendes Ganzes betrachtet. In dieser Hinsicht spricht die Philosophie von einer Korrespondenztheorie der Wahrheit: Zusammenhänge zwischen Gegenständen, Eigenschaften und Prozessen seien die Grundlage für die Kohärenz von Begriffen, Denkprozessen oder Aussagen.

got it?

24 January 2013

Five Themes of Geography Applied to Tourism

Found this good link about using the Five Themes of Geography to a tourism example.
What are the 5 themes of geography in Orlando Florida?

Here is an example from one on my PowerPoints:

No matter what you think about the 5 themes, it is still a decent way to think geographically.

22 January 2013

Thomas Cook and tourism

Travellers outside the US probably know about Thomas Cook.  We got our AAA and American Express and so on, but Thomas Cook has been planning tours since 1841.  A chronological history of Thomas Cook can be found on their website.

They are also addressing Sustainability and the logo "Travel the World, Without Costing the Earth" is noteworthy.  Also several data tables are available about their impact.