28 December 2017

Pretty cold here in New England

I was out on the Appalachian Trail yesterday.  Well not really the trail but the National Park Service lands. We are preparing some background info on cultural resource management.  My task is being a Volunteer Steward for the protection of one of these historic sites.  I get to work with some fine people from the local community, the AT Management Team in Massachusetts and the National Park Service.  Much more on this as it becomes a bit more organized. 

Returning home, I stopped by the corridor in Tyringham, trying out the Arc Collector App on my smart phone.  I am still trying to learn how to do this (and do it the same everytime) so this is still a work in progress.

One thing for sure is that it was cold, darn cold and operating a smart phone meant I had to take gloves off.  It was too cold to do this field work.

So, I hiked over to trail to return to the trail head and go home.  Hot peppermint tea was in a thermos.

25 December 2017

Safe Recovery for Tortola

Had a chance to visit Tortola a few years back for a conference for International Small Islands Studies Association.

Organiser Islands XII – British Virgin Islands, 29 May-1 June 2012
“Globalisation: Islands Adapting to Change”
Ms Dana Lewis-Ambrose
H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
Tortola,  British Virgin Islands

I hope to return some day.  I alsohope the island can recover from the 2017 Hurricane season.

23 December 2017

Archaeology and Hiking?

I have always had an interest in history.  Fortunately for me I can see historic features on the landscape when I hike.  Most common in New England are the many stone walls.

On my annual survey of National Park Service Appalachian Trail boundary bushwhacking, I get to check out many stone walls and this old foundation.

From old maps, I believe this is the farm of W. Morrison.

Source: Atlas of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, 1904.

I need to research that a bit more, but given the relative location of the foundation, the NPS property lines and topography, it seems logical.

Here is a short video of the details.

22 December 2017

Industrial Archaeology

Industrial Archaeology: Protection of Heritage Sites in Parks and Protected Areas


Parks and Protected Areas across the globe offer numerous opportunities for tourism.  In the United States, the one-hundred year history of the National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for many of these resources.  Within these parks we find thousands of archaeological and cultural resources.   While the more popular and well known sites are protected, thousands of smaller, lesser known sites are not. The management and protection of these valuable assets is imperative to insure these smaller, yet significant archaeological sites are preserved in our history.  The challenge facing managers is how to do this with limited funds and staffing.  This chapter offers guidelines for the protection of archaeological sites in parks and protected areas using a team of trained volunteer stewards.

Keywords: Industrial Archaeology, Heritage Tourism, Stewardship, Parks and Protected Areas

Manuscript under review.

Kiln number 4 and 5.

21 December 2017

Happy Winter Solstice

Enjoy this day.  Darkness will be decreasing now and we will have more sunlight.

See where it is dark and light right now and live.

10 December 2017

Travel behaviour influenced by projected climate change

See Travel behaviour substitution for a white-water canoe race influenced by climate induced stream flow.

L’Organisation mondiale du tourisme, le Programme des Nations unies pour l’environnement et l’Organisation météorologique mondiale ont identifié qu’une des conséquences du changement climatique est la modification du régime des précipitations. Cette étude analyse les variations dans les habitudes de déplacement des participants et des spectateurs d’une course annuelle de canoë, telle qu’influencée par la variation du débit de la rivière. Comme le débit de rivière varie selon les saisons, on peut anticiper un déclin ou un déplacement des loisirs aquatiques, advenant une réduction permanente du débit. À partir de données recueillies lors de deux éditions de la Annual Westfield River Wildwater Races, des entretiens ont été réalisés dans la zone de préparation tandis que les participants étaient dans la file d’attente. Des spectateurs de la course ont aussi été interrogés. Les deux échantillons annuels correspondent à une saison de faible débit et à une saison de débit normal et l’échantillon total est constitué de 142 éléments. Au cours d’une année de faible débit, qui devrait devenir la norme selon les modèles sur le changement climatique, les experts pagayeurs se sont déplacés sur de grandes distances, ce qui est caractéristique de la caractéristique de substitution de la destination, tandis que les spectateurs ont réduit leur distance de déplacement, ce qui suggère une baisse d’intérêt pour l’observation des courses.


The World Tourism Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization have identified one of the consequences of climate change is an interference of normal precipitation. This research investigates the changes in travel patterns by participants and spectators at an annual canoe race as influenced by variable stream flow. Given that stream flow varies seasonally, one might hypothesize that should a permanent reduction of water flow take place in the future, a decline or shift in water-based recreation might be expected. Using data collected over two years at the Annual Westfield River Wildwater Races, interviews were conducted at the staging area as participants waited in the queue. Observers of the race were also interviewed. The two sampling years represent a low flow season and a normal flow season and yield a sample of 142 parties. During the low flow season, one that is projected to become the norm under climate change models, expert paddlers travelled a greater distance characteristic of destination substitutability while spectators decreased travel distance and this suggests a reduction of interest in observing the race.

08 December 2017

Tourism warning

yes, anyone who has travelled has been someplace that tourism hurts the local environment.

This list of people and physical harm is long......

In the Caribbean, recent reports recognize the harm.

12 November 2017

Geography Awareness Week 2017

Yep, it is that time of the year when we celebrate Geography.   I mean, we celebrate it every day but some people need to be reminded.

So click on this link to get some more info.

05 November 2017

International Travel Warnings....to the US

Sure we know about travelling to Niger, Venezuela and Sudan.  But about to the US?

In the UK, travelers are warned against visiting the US, due to firearms and domestic terrorism, natural disasters and health risks!  Health related threats are also found in Canada's travel page.

And Germans are cautioned about "There is an increased threat of terrorism and extremist violence worldwide and this should be borne in mind by Irish citizens living and working in the USA. The USA has also witnessed a number of mass shootings in recent years."

Think it is dangerous to travel abroad?  Think again.

29 October 2017

Pretty Lame Hallowe'en Movies on TV

Nothing good on the cable channels so I am streaming this documentary called "The Wild World of Ted V Mikels" on Filmon.  I found it on YouTube if don't have a Roku device.  Good stuff.

Mr. Mikels passed last year, so if you don't know anything about him, try this link.

25 October 2017

Fear and Fright Tourism

What kind of fears do people have?  Do you think people who visit haunted attractions are fearless?  Or do they know (believe) that the haunted house will be scary but ultimately safe.  Last Hallowe'en we asked that question to visitors to Demented FX in Holyoke, MA.

Fear N Mean SD
Crime (Murder, rape, theft, fraud) 171 5.80 2.86
Government (Corruption, privacy, immigration, trust, control) 170 6.07 3.22
Human-caused Disasters (Climate change, terrorism, war, environmental disaster) 171 7.01 2.53
Natural Disasters (Earthquakes, droughts, floods, hurricanes) 169 5.87 2.70
Personal Phobias (Tight spaces, darkness, insects) 166 5.42 3.17
Personal Health (Death, illness, injury) 166 5.33 3.04
Financial Future (Running out of money, loss of jobs, housing) 167 6.72 2.90
Technology (Artificial intelligence, invasion of privacy, cyber terrorism, drones) 167 4.50 2.98

Note: Scale 1-10 with ten most frightful.

22 October 2017

Themed sessions in Recreation, Tourism and Sport so far

RTS Sponsored AAG 2018 Sessions:

1. Sports Geography
2. Tourism, Communities and Development
3.  Regional evolutionary economic geography approaches to destination evolution
4. Field School / Travel Dynamics
5. Periphery and Emerging Tourism Destinations: Challenges and Opportunities
6. Revisiting Tourism in Sustainable Development
7. Travel and Transportation in Parks and Protected Areas
8. The dynamics of anti-tourism
9. Tourism, Digital Technology and Geographies of Urban Inequality
10. Authenticity Discourses in Nature-Based Tourism
11. Tourism analytics: social media, spatially distributed data and data mining in tourism research
12. The tourist crowd
13. Accessible tourism
14. Urban parks & green spaces as a panacea? Challenges and opportunities for urban greening

15 October 2017

Kanopy rocks

Forget Netflix.  I mean, the streaming choices on Netflix are beginning to look like the choices we used to have in the Mom and Pop video stores of the 1980 and 90s.  Most films on Netflix Streaming, seem to be the direct to video choices.  You know, the titles that nobody wants and ended up in the Bargain Bin selling for a buck.

Kanopy, on the other hand is great and FREE!  You sign up via the local library, and since I have a university account, I have access.  Talk about choices!  More than the public domain stuff you get on other streaming services and NO COMMERCIALS.  Oh yeah, tons of documentaries and educational titles too.

Wow.  Maybe I will watch Eraserhead today.

13 October 2017

NERR 2018

2018 National Environment and Recreation Research Symposium
Annapolis, Maryland      April 8-10, 2018

The 2018 National Environment and Recreation Research (NERR) Symposium offers an unparalleled opportunity for individuals representing governmental, academic, private, and non-profit sectors to share research findings, management experience and techniques, in order to advance knowledge in recreation and tourism management.

Location and Venue:  The Loews Hotel in historic Annapolis, Maryland. Discount early registration is based on established government per-diem rates. Access is convenient through Washington DC area airports, with BWI just 30 minutes driving time to Annapolis.

Abstract Submission: Deadline November 17, 2017.

Types of Sessions

Traditional Research Presentations:
Oral presentations will be 15-minute presentations, with 5-minute Q&A, grouped by topic.

Posters will be presented at the designated poster session on Sunday evening, April 8th.

Management Roundtable Sessions:
Management roundtables are 60- to 90-minute workshop sessions focusing on applied or theoretical research or resource management issues.

Potential Topics for Oral Presentations, Posters and Roundtable Sessions include, but are not limited to:

Ø  Natural resource management
Ø  Travel and tourism
Ø  Environmental quality
Ø  Climate change and recreation
Ø  Outdoor and adventure recreation
Ø  Policy development
Ø  Management applications
Ø  Measurement and forecasting
Ø  Historical/cultural resource management
Ø  Methodological and theoretical development
Ø  Emerging and existing trends
Ø  Urban parks and recreation
Ø  Human dimensions of natural resources
Ø  Sustainable tourism and development
Ø  Park/recreation/tourism planning
Ø  Ecotourism

Student Scholarships:  NERR Symposium student scholarships will be available. Scholarship application information will follow in a separate announcement.

06 October 2017

Will Las Vegas become the latest dark tourism attraction?

The area of the American terrrorist attack this past week will like attract some tourists, at least to offer some brief moment of silence.  I remember seeing the Viet Nam memorial in DC and it left me speechless.

Anyway, maybe the NRA should build a monument?  Hopefully Americans will rise up and work together to reduce the senseless murdering of people from people with guns.

02 October 2017

Fright Tourism and 9 Billion Dollars

Americans are expected to spend over $9 billion on trick or treats this year.

Sweets are the popular treat, while Hallowe'en decorations follow.  Costumes will be purchased by 69%.  (I saw stores starting to sell this stuff back in August!)

All this info comes from the press release of the National Retail Federation.  to get you in the mood, see this little clip of a haunted Maple Sugar House catering to the leaf peepers.

30 September 2017

Martinique spared....so far

Some of the French Caribbean got hit by hurricanes while other islands were spared.  Guadeloupe is on my list to visit, so I may need to wait a bit.  Martinique, on the other hand seems to be open for business. I suspect tourism will increase for this island, as folks scatter from the islands hardest hit so far this season.

Docks in Le Marin, Martinique.

Diamond Rock.

Oh yeah, still have another month of Hurricane season.

29 September 2017

Caribbean Hammered by Hurricanes Updated

The New York Times reported the devastation of several popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean this past week.  The most alarming fact reported however is the large disparity between the islands and the dependence on tourism.

Puerto Rico's electrical grid was destroyed, so the impact is felt across the island.  Yet only 7% of the jobs are in the tourism sector and tourism only contributes only 8% of the the GDP in 2016!

But take Tortola and the other British Virgin Islands to the east where 84% of the jobs and 94% of the GDP is in tourism.

Shame, I was hoping to return to Tortola in the winter to attend one of the full moon celebrations, not the one at the Bomba Shack however!

Instead, we would attend the the Trellis Bay option.

Another report came in last night and gives an update on conditions.  Seems tourists are fleeing to other islands to seek sun and sand.

27 September 2017

World Tourism Day (27 September)

World Tourism Day is today!

Find out if you are a responsible traveler at the World Tourism Organization WTO.

22 September 2017

Happy Fall and helping our neighbors

I hope this note finds you and yours happy.  So take some time to help others who may not be happy by donating time, money and/or goods to help those affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, hunger or poverty.

Since the Caribbean has been hit hard and many depend on tourism to their income, consider taking some of that vacation money to help our neighbors out.  The Red Cross is one of many organizations that you can use.  And Nuestras Raices in Holyoke, Mass, is collecting for Puerto Rico.

17 September 2017

Travel and money

Back when I first traveled abroad it typically was not a big deal.  After all, it was Canada.  While the currency was different it was still dollars and dimes and pennies.  Depending on the exchange rate at the time, it might be good for Americans or it might be good for Canadians.

Reaching across the big pond a couple of decades ago, I figured to use American Express Travelers Cheques. It meant for example that you had to find someone to cash it and if no one would do it, you had to go to the bank.  You know about Bankers' hours.  I guess they were protected, but it was certainly hard to cash sometimes.

Next came credit cards.  The challenge here was whether or not the vendor's credit account was in the same network.  Look at the back of the card to see what I mean.  This is not the bank that issues the card, but the international network they communicate in. Think NYCE or STAR or Cirrus for examples.

Debit cards started being used in the States about 50 years ago but not widely used until the 90s.  When my credit card did not work in Paris (the network issue) I broke out the ATM, slide into the machine and bought tickets for the elevator in the Eiffel Tower.

I found out later that I needed to know the PIN for the credit card, something I never used in the US.

Today, the US caught up with the rest of the world and added the chip in our plastic.  A PIN is needed and it will probably work anywhere.  The network issue should not be a problem, but I always call my credit card company before travelling and let them know what countries I may be visiting.  I also let me debit card bank know, since it was a pain to have to call the bank from Iceland so I could use the ATM!

 Lastly, I do try to have some cash on hand, maybe equivalent to $US 20 at least.  In some places that doesn't buy much, but in others you can feed a family of four at a decent restaurant.  Since plastic is basically used everywhere, cash is becoming less important.  But I have yet to buy a cup of coffee with plastic (except my cell phone app from Starbucks).

16 September 2017

Golf Revenue for Golf down in Blue States

A report in the New York Times notes the decline of revenue for many Trump Golf Clubs in the states that voted for Clinton in 2016.  On the other hand, in the red states, where members can afford $25,000 initiation fees, the Trump clubs are doing well.

It goes to show that the name "Trump" may have an economic impact, at least in the States.  Trump workers in Dubai however, would like to paid on time.

12 September 2017

Help the recovery

Sure Irma's path in Florida is a mess. Millions without power, clean drinking water and for that matter communication.  But we need to look a bit south to those island nations that are less affluent.

Since many of these islands depend on tourism, the recovery must be quick in order to meet the winter demand for tourism. (like me who wants to escape the New England weather, sit on a beach and each Fresh fruit and vegetables).

Oh yeah the All Inclusive Beaches Resort is still closed for business.

So as I said earlier, always anticipate hurricanes in the late summer in the Caribbean before travel plans.  You do not want to be part of the problem. Stay home.

10 September 2017

Why Human Coverage of Irma?

Why do we need embedded actors covering Hurricanes?

Why can't we set up some remote cameras and have a voice over cover natural disasters?

Why do we put these people at risk, and those who may have to rescue them?


07 September 2017

Hurricanes 2017

I won't say I told you so, but ......

My blog back in July alerted tourists of the risk about travelling to the tropics during hurricane season.  Florida seems to be listening to the warnings. But Barbuda and Antigua got slammed yesterday, Puerto Rico, and then TCI tomorrow?

Keep informed by official weather reports and not the beautiful people on the W Channel.

Check out this loop for Puerto Rico.

And of course, after Harvey and Irma comes Jose.  Oh yeah, Katia heading for Mexico.

02 September 2017

How to pick corn

It burns me to see people peel back the husk of corn before buying it at a farm stand (and in the grocery for that matter).  But getting good corn simply takes a gentle rub on the husk to feel any soft spots or indentations.  Ninety nine point nine percent of the time this will deliver a really good ear of corn.

And you don't dry out the corn, essentially making it unsalable.

Be corn conscious and don't peel the husk please.  And I am not the only one to recommend this greener approach,

30 August 2017

Open Space Blog

Sponsored by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) here is a really neat blog about open space.

21 August 2017

Eclipse as viewed in Westfield, MA

Here is some footage of the Solar Eclipse as viewed this afternoon at 42 deg, 6 min, 7 sec North and 72 deg, 46 min, 23 sec West.

20 August 2017

Banana Sun

Well, forget all the science stuff.  This site explains it so well, that even this guy can understand the Eclipse.  It has a neat countdown clock too.

19 August 2017

Hiking History

Found this neat little article on hiking history that you can read while you are waiting for the eclipse to arrive on Monday.  enjoy.

13 August 2017

Eclipse Tourism

Forget Trump Slump, the hottest news in travel and tourism this summer is the Solar Eclipse.  There is a boat load of info on the web, so let me start with some links my colleagues at Westfield State have shared.

The American Astronomical Society has this one.  A commercial site from France has a cool map.

Now if it is a cloudy day, visibility will be poor.  So just like you need to have cloudless days to the Aurora Borealis you will need the same for the eclipse.  So check out the US government site for cloud cover on the day.

Last Sunday (6 August 2017) the New York Times has a special section on the eclipse.  You can probably find a copy in your public library.

Best places to see the eclipse?  Think West, where the skies will be clearer and less pollution.  Casper Wyoming might be a good spot.  SIU at Carbondale (Illinois) will open the stadium and enjoy the longest duration of 2 minutes 41.6 seconds (don't you love the precision mathematics of astronomy).  For us on the eastern seaboard the eclipse will rock the skies at 2:40 pm, while Salem Oregon it will darken the skies at 10:20 am.

Remember your glasses.

Cloudy or too far away?  Watch it on TV.

For a night time video on a lunar eclipse, check my entry here.

11 August 2017

Airshow this Weekend in Westfield Mass.

I wonder how many tons of carbon are dumped into our air this weekend.  Bring your O2!

The EPA reports "EPA Determines that Aircraft Emissions Contribute to Climate Change Endangering Public Health and the Environment."  Add to that the thousands of tourists driving into Whip City, the human impact is deadly.

Now, to be fair, the bulk of aviation is commercial traffic and not the War Games this weekend.

But just  yesterday our NOAA reports that 2016 was the hottest on record!!  Be patient seems everyone on the planet wants to read how we are destroying the planet.  From the report:

For more visuals from the report.

Need information about the airshow?  Otherwise steer clear of Interstate 90 and 91 this weekend.  If you must, use your Waze App or see MassDOT.

10 August 2017

Cultural Resource Monitoring on the AT

Did some field work today on the Appalachian Trail.  We are trying to protect historic resources on the AT and need to create a volunteer cultural resource monitor handbook (a project for the fall).  Today we did some field work in the Lee / Tyringham area of the AT then moved south to Sheffield to do an early assessment of the historic resources there.  Shays'  Rebellion is perhaps one of the more famous sites.

 The AT committee stabilized the monument last summer (2016) and now there is a need to do more.

09 August 2017

Godzilla RIP

Well not exactly Godzilla (ゴジラ or Gojira), but the actor who played the building crunching monster. Haruo Nakjima passed away at age 88.   To learn more about this 60 plus year franchise see the Wikipedia link.

07 August 2017


Watched an interesting documentary last night called Icarus.  Suggested by the NY Times, it is a fascinating expose in cycling doping that moves into perhaps the largest corruption in Olympic sports. Filmmaker Bryan Fogel is fortunate that Netflix picked up the distribution.  Don't have Netflix?  Try a one week free trial and include this title in your binge watching.

04 August 2017

Hurricane Update for Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

Yucatan Peninsula is in for some nasty weather as well as the Lesser Antilles over the next week.  This is where that vacation insurance comes handy.  While you are waiting to make the final call to cancel your trip, use the tracking maps and make this a learning experience.

Keep an eye on the weather in Martinique and the RADAR they provide.  A long range forecast is found here (in French).

03 August 2017

Charlies Bunion

Great hike for this weekend?  Try Charlies Bunion in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

28 July 2017

Trump Slump Update

July 19, 2017 (my highlights in Red)


The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that 6.0 million international visitors(1)(2) traveled to the United States in December 2016, down slightly (-294,733 visitors) from December 2015.

In December 2016 the top inbound markets continued to be Canada and Mexico. Non-resident visits from Canada grew 0.5 percent while visits from Mexico decreased 9.6 percent. The United Kingdom (-5.8%), Japan (-4.4%), and the People's Republic of China (excluding Hong Kong) (+13.9%) rounded out the top five. Only one of the top inbound overseas regional markets(3) - Asia - posted increases in non-resident visits in December 2016, with Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, South America, Central America, Oceania, the Caribbean, and Africa all posting declines.


U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

26 July 2017

How do you like your Oysters?


How is that for a cheer.  read about oyster restoration in Maryland here. And I will wait for an "r" month even though oyster farming permits consumption year round.

19 July 2017

Brexit tourism

Educational tourism is nothing new, but consider joining this tour during the fall or next year to learn more about Brexit and this historic vote.  For more into, check out The New York Times Journeys.

18 July 2017

RIP George Romero

A classic figure in horror media passed this past weekend.  George Romero, best known for the living dead series of films died in his home town Toronto.

I wrote about being a fright tourist when I visited the cemetery where the opening scenes were filmed back in 2010.  If you don't have this film in your video collection, you can watch it on archive.org.  Pretty tame by the standards today, you might even find it on the Disney channel, but back in the sixties it shocked the world.

My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.  I want to thank Mr. Romero for his creative writing, directing and producing in the horror genre.

15 July 2017

Traveling to Caribbean this Hurricane Season?

Be sure to know the emergency shelters available to you when you visit the islands.  For example, if you plan a trip to the Turks and Caicos this season, see this news report for your shelters.  You can also get advice from Tripadvisor.Com.

Plan ahead by checking the National Hurricane Center.

Or better yet, make your travel plans at the last moment.

14 July 2017

Another new island to visit

Earlier I suggested that we all visit the new island in North Carolina.  But what about a new island the size of Delaware!!!

As predicted in the Scientific American, and announced in the mainstream media like Time, this Delaware size iceberg is HUGE.  After all it is a trillion-ton iceberg!

11 July 2017

TCI Crime Update

It has been several weeks since the American tourist was shot in Grace Bay, Providenciales, TCI.  According to one online TCI newspaper (the Turks and Caicos Sun).  There was a lot of misinformation distributed in the initial hours of the shooting. Yet a different view is expressed by the competing news paper, the Turks and Caicos Weekly News who argue that the Government is not doing enough to fight crime.

I am not going to argue one news paper's reporting against the other, but anyone in the States know news is presented differently when Fox or CNN reports on something.

10 July 2017

Spiral Jetty

Read Heidi Julavits' piece titled "The Art at the End of the World" this weekend.  As typical when I learn about some new place, I check it out in Google Earth. This form of virtual tourism is always enhanced when I can "see" the landscape from above, and from the frequent ground images photographers offer for viewing.  There are also several 360 images that let you spin around and look at the land.

If you can't visit it in person at least check it out by searching "Spiral Jetty, Box Elder County, UT" in Google Earth.  Fascinating.

28 June 2017

New Island to visit?

Shelly Island is brand new.  If you have a chance to visit this new island, do so.  You never know how long it might be around.  Imagery from February 2017 in Google Earth shows the sand bar (look for "cape point north carolina").

UPDATE: check out this comparison imagery from the Earth Observatory.

27 June 2017

Robbery and shooting in Providenciales, TCI

I have been following this crime story for a few days to see how it played out. I still get news feeds daily from the Turks and Caicos Islands so it is still in media attention.

Well an American tourist was shot during a robbery in Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.  Not sure where exactly but since I know the area well, I can only suspect his 143 A.M. Friday morning walk was in the commercial area and he was heading back to his hotel. (Google this to get more info)

Long story short, after triage in Provo, he was transferred by air ambulance to the States to get the needed treatment for the gun shot.  He is recovering and will likely be transported to his home in Alabama for his needed rehab.

This sad news is nothing new. Crime and tourism is still common, and despite the relative crime-free TCI, the State Department reports "Crime in TCIS is low but increasing."

The point here is that we shouldn't put our guard down when travelling for vacation.  Some research has even found that domestic tourism and international tourism are rated the same as far as safety is concerned (Floyd et al., 2004).

The second point here is an economic one.  The TCI is not inexpensive.  The average summer price (off-season) for hotels in Grace Bay is probably $500 a night.  Consider that when you pick up a local newspaper and see job advertisements offering $6.50-$7.00 US for general labour or housekeeping positions.  What, don't read the local paper while on vacation?

Let me conclude this by saying I hope the gentleman recovers from the crime and that they capture the individual responsible.  But in order for crime to be reduced, we must adopt a more equitable policy in tourism.  The United Nations World Tourism Organization reports:

"Tourism is one of the strongest drivers of world trade and prosperity. Poverty alleviation is one of the greatest global challenges. Despite turbulent times for the world’s economy, these basic facts are unlikely to change. Focusing the wealth creating power of tourism on people most in need remains an immense task and opportunit(y)."

Source: Floyd, M. F., Gibson, H., Pennington-Gray, L., & Thapa, B. (2004). The effect of risk perceptions on intentions to travel in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 15(2-3), 19-38. 

26 June 2017

Glacier Retreat and Climate Change Evidence

I have travelled to Iceland twice in recents year (2013 and 2015) and plan to return in 2018 for another conference.  During these trips I did the touristy kinds of sightseeing in south Iceland.  We saw some spectacular landscapes including  waterfalls, geysirs, the Northern Lights, seascapes and volcanoes.

The  one thing that blew me away was Sólheimajökull.  Not knowing that I would be returning two years later, I have tried to compare the glacier between the two years using the photos I took during the two trips.  Since I hiked different routes over the two trips, I did not get before and after photos, BUT I did overlap video and pictures taken from the same place.  While the video is not georeferenced like  the  still  camera that has a GPS, I still  believe the images reflect the changes over time.  Here is a comparison.

Next I do have a still from 2015 that you can compare to a video from 2013 from the exact same point.

So what is your take on the glacial retreat?  Maybe 150 meters in 2 years?

25 June 2017

Water Temperatures along the coasts

Summer time means beach time.  So where can you find ocean temperatures that won't freeze your @#$% off?  NOAA to the rescue.  Sixty-eight degrees F at Woods Hole, and a balmy 76 deg F at Ocean City Maryland.  And of course 84 in Miami.  But take that with the air temps and humidity too.

For a global view, see this.  Notice how North Carolina changes the Gulf Stream.

24 June 2017

Google Earth Fun

It is fun to explore the planet from a plane and Google Earth.  Here is a short video on finding the Happy Face on Earth.


21 June 2017

What in the world is this?

I like to explore the planet using Google Earth.  I use it before trips (the anticipation stage, see Clawson and Knetsch 1966).   And I use in the recollection stage as well.

When I fly I also like the window seat to watch the land beneath.

So anyway, I was playing around with Google Earth retracing a flight from Europe where we flew over Eastern Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador and discovered this.

SW of Labrador City, near Fermont

What the heck in the red stuff?  See it for yourself.  Well it is the waste from a mine.

20 June 2017


On my tour of Iceland, how about a video of Seljalandsfoss.

Sorry, but the file limit in the blogger website meant I had to convert to a MPEG2 file from the higher quality original.

18 June 2017


Waterfalls are always an a great tourist attraction.  I think it is essentially just our interest in seeing running water that amazes us so much.  No matter how big, just take a few minutes and watch one.

There are several good websites for Gullfoss, so check this one out.

16 June 2017

Count Arthur Strong

The best comedy on TV (IMHO) is Count Arthur Strong.  Now unless you are in the UK, the only way I know to watch it is to use your Acorn TV account streaming. (get a one week free trial and binge watch it).  Or use Youtube.

The Count has a website too, where you can purchase a t-shirt (I did!).

14 June 2017

NY Times 360

Check out a really cool virtual reality link found at the New York Times. It changes everyday!

In fact view this news report from a Red State.

13 June 2017


If you recognize this statement, you know it is Doomsday Clock.  "2017: For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink."

What does this mean for tourism?  Like last chance tourism, better see it now.

12 June 2017

Greece Earthquake

A 6.3 quake hit the Greek islands today.  Lesbos, close to the coast of Turkey was the site. It was a pretty serious one and at least one person has died.  For technical details see one of the many sites monitoring conditions.  Best to steer clear until an assessment can be made about the damage.

06 June 2017

Hurricane update

So it is still early, but I posted a hurricane update a last year that links to YouTube  video earlier.  Still no activity this year, but it is still early.  Best not to make travel plans, or if you do, do it one week out.

In the meantime, check out  the weather in Europe.  (at the time I wrote  this, there is a serious low over eastern UK.)

05 June 2017

Summer "Official" Forecast

I think we will fire up the wood stove tonight since it is rainy and cool (58 deg F).  And this is June?

Yet for June, July and August, NOAA is predicting warmer than average for the east coast.

And normal precip in the same area.  Who knows?

And what about next year?

04 June 2017

Hurricane Season Prediction 2017

Late summer and early fall is a popular time to travel.  But if you are heading to the Caribbean, you should pay attention to the NOAA prediction.

So pay attention to the weather forecast before travelling into the area.

01 June 2017

Bad weather lately?

Six years ago I wrote about the Western Mass Tornado.  Seems last night we have some serious hail too.  Here are a couple shots to show the pea size hail and damage to our Rhododendron last night.

 Too bad.

31 May 2017

Weather and northern lights

Two things are necessary to see the Northern Lights:

Clear weather and atmospheric activity.

The University of Alaska offers this prediction information.  And for the picture in Iceland, I used the website for Aurora Forecasts.  On that evening, the forecast looked like this:

So the green means the probability of Aurora activity, and the skies were clear.

On the evening this was shot, the skies were clear enough to take this 30 second exposure.  It appeard silver to us on the ground but the photo shows green!

So what will be the chance tonight?  Check out NOAA.

30 May 2017

Timber Line

As you hike up mountains, sometimes it gets high enough that the temperature (and climate) gets cold, as if you traveled poleward away from the equator.  This elevation is called timberline or treeline.  Think Mt Washington, or Baldy Mountain.

Much of the Knife Edge Trail in Baxter State Park is above the treeline.

29 May 2017

Heating Degree Days

Chilly today.  And this is Memorial Day, the unofficial first day of summer.  Well not today.  56 degree F....brrrr.

I know something is wrong when I hear the furnace fire up.


That brings me to the subject of Heating Degree Days, and for normally this time of the year, Cooling Degree Days.  For a formal definition try this link.

28 May 2017


Can't make it to the UK to see the solstice next month at Stonehenge?  Try NYC this year on May 29th at 8:13 PM or May 30th at 8:12 pm according to the NY Times. For more info on this unique opportunity, see the page.

It is all about the earth's tilt with respect to the sun.  Cool stuff.  See Sunpath diagrams to to find how to track sun movement across our skies.

25 May 2017

May is Preservation Month in Massachusetts

Sorry I just found out about this.  But it is now Preservation Month 2017.  Still time to enjoy it though by taking a hike (or drive) to Bascom Lodge on Mt Greylock.  So check out:

Mount Greylock State Reservation, Visitor Center, 30 Rockwell Rd, Lanesboro, 413-499-4262
For information call 413-499-4262. Visitors can drive or hike to the summit of Mount Greylock, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Summit includes the Commonwealth’s official War Memorial Tower, Bascom Lodge, Thunderbolt Shelter and a recreational landscape, all fine examples of the rustic design and craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The 90 foot tall tower is topped with a beacon that shines in remembrance of the state’s fallen soldiers. Visitors can snack, stay or dine at Bascom Lodge (www.bascomlodge.net).

Bascom Lodge Saturday, May 27th, 12pm-6pm. Doors Open

Celebrate the season’s opening weekend with events and programs including live performances and demonstrations. Visit www.bascomlodge.net for more information. Parking fees apply.

Visitor Center at 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough. Open Daily 9am – 4pm

Most Excellent Majesty exhibits and orientation film. Before driving to the Summit, stop at the Visitor Center to enjoy interactive exhibits and a short film highlighting the splendors of Greylock.

War Memorial Tower Sunday, May 28th, 1pm-2pm.

Join DCR staff for a walk around the Greylock Summit to learn about the history of the War Memorial Tower, the Commonwealth’s tribute to veterans of war. A two-year rehabilitation of the Tower will be nearing completion at the end of May--a major effort to preserve its unique architectural character and protect it from the elements. The program will include the reading of excerpts from the original 1933 dedication, and details on some of the innovative aspects of the recent construction work. Meet at the summit. The walk is a 60 minute, easy stroll along paved pathways with frequent stops. Bring water and sunscreen.

22 May 2017

United States projected to lose $1.3 billion in travel-related expenditures in 2017

Well, that is what is reported here.

"Using first quarter ticketing data from the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), publicly available travel data and GBTA’s economic research and models, GBTA developed an ‘uncertainty forecast’ for 2017 showing the impact this mounting geopolitical uncertainty is having on the economy. There is no question that uncertainty is bad for business travel and bad for the global economy. - See more at: https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/united-states-projected-to-lose-13-billion-in-travel-related-expenditures-in-2017#sthash.OXI7MNHH.dpuf"

Time will tell so you might want to check out the info from Global Business Travel Association GBTA.

18 May 2017

Commencement Tourism

If your college commencement is this weekend, good luck trying to find a decent hotel nearby.  For our graduation you can check this link for places to crash.  Or try the local state parks?

14 May 2017

Fun in the Woods

Here is another blog on Blogspot that might be of interest to you hikers that want to know how you can help manage the Appalachian Trail.

The mission?  A blog about volunteer trail maintenance on the Appalachian Trail in Massachusetts.

11 May 2017


One of my neighbors decided to dine at my neighbors' bird feeder the other night.  (S)he finally ran off when I disturbed the meal.  Oh well.

Oh yeah, the US Postal Food Drive is this Saturday.  Donate to help others (and not bird seed)!

09 May 2017


A fitting close to Travel and Tourism Planning at Westfield State.  Let us all celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week!

Check out the factsheet.

250 Billion for Food?

08 May 2017

Westfield River Fish Ladder

Tour the Westfield River fish ladder Sunday, May 21 this year, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Sponsored by the Westfield River Watershed Association  this annual event is fun for all.

07 May 2017

Connecticut River fish Ladder Open in Holyoke

The annual migration of the Atlantic Salmon can be observed at the Robert E. Barrett Fishway in Holyoke MA.  Open to the public and free the viewing continues until 11 June 2017.  Tours are available weekends at 1:30 PM.  For more info visit the Holyoke GE site.

02 May 2017

Abraj Kudai, the largest hotel in the World?

With 10,000 rooms (yes 10k), this hotel is expected to open this year and will have 70 restaurants and five helipads.  Ten of the towers are intended to provide four-star accommodation while the remaining two will offer luxurious five-star amenities. Catering to the needs of tourists, the city receives around 2 million pilgrims for the annual Hajj. And another 20 million the rest of the year.

Seems since these tourists are not permitted to enter the US, tourism in Saudi Arabia will boom!

30 April 2017

Leave No Trace

There are many reasons to Leave No Trace and as folks prepare for the hiking season, besides ticks, we should be reminded about minimizing our impact.  See the LNT website for an EXTENSIVE bibliography of related information.

26 April 2017

Travel and Tourism Videos

Since everyone has a video camera, or at least a smart phone, travel videos are widely available on the web.  So besides Youtube and Vimeo, this site looks promising.  I also like the GoPro videos.

18 April 2017

Overbooked Flights

Seems this topic has been the topic around the water cooler lately?  What, no water cooler, well then what about the coffee maker?

Well anyway, PBS republished report last week just for you and me.

Further, a quick little google search will find tons of sites discussing this very common hassle at teh airports.  See this one for instance.

The only time we had to deal with this was on a flight to Orlando for vacation.  Instead of the 6 am flight, we flew a 10 am flight, first class and started our vacation a bit later.  No big deal.

Open Air Airport.  Our flight from Puerto Plata got cancelled since New England was snowed in.  So we flew to San Juan, PR and spent the night there.  Our return home trip took 48 hours!

17 April 2017

Paper accepted in Leisure/Loisir

Here is the abstract of our paper accepted in Leisure/Loisir.  Leisure / Loisir is the official publication of the Canadian Association for Leisure Studies/Association canadienne d’études en loisir ( CALS). While Leisure / Loisir is based in Canada and offers a primary outlet for individuals affiliated with Canadian institutions, the journal encourages international submissions.

Travel behaviour substitution for a white-water canoe race influenced by climate induced stream flow

The World Tourism Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization (UNWTO-UNEP-WMO, 2008) have identified one of the consequences of climate change is an interference of normal precipitation.  This research investigates the changes in travel patterns by participants and spectators at an annual canoe race as influenced by variable stream flow.   Given that stream flow varies seasonally, one might hypothesize that should a permanent reduction of water flow take place in the future, a decline or shift in water-based recreation might be expected.  Using data collected over two years at the Annual Westfield River Wildwater Races, interviews were conducted at the staging area as participants waited in the queue.  Observers of the race were also interviewed.   The two sampling years represent a low flow season and a normal flow season and yield a sample of 142 parties. During the low flow season, one that is projected to become the norm under climate change models, expert paddlers travelled a greater distance characteristic of destination substitutability while spectators decreased travel distance and this suggests a reduction of interest in observing the race.

Keywords:  Climate change, water-based recreation, substitution, travel behaviour, streamflow