April 2010 TSI Indicates Recovery of Travel Industry
Since inception of Traveler Sentiment IndexSM (TSI) in March 2007, the index exhibited various peaks and valleys. However, it never crossed base score of 100 (March 2007) until April 2010 travel horizons SM TSI was revealed. In October 2008, it was the lowest at 78.2. The index zoomed up to90.2 in February 2009 and remained steady until April 2010 (90.4), indicating likely recovery of the travel sector. (Source of Data:U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership)
TSI evaluates attitudes of the U.S.adults toward leisure travel every quarter. The index takes into account six factors: affordability, available personal finances and time, interest in travel, quality of service and safety of travel.
About 500 Casualties in 5 Major Plane Crashes
Ethiopian Airlines plane, carrying 90 people from Rafik Hariri International Airport, Beirut, Lebanon to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, crashed into the Mediterranean after taking off. One of the media reports said that pilot was responsible for the crash in which all 90 people died.
The Polish Air Force plane hit trees while approachingSmolensk Airport,Russiain thick cover of fog as the pilots ignored advice to redirect the plane to a different airport. All 97 people aboard, including the Polish President and other VIPs, were killed.
Afriqiyah Airways plane crashed while approachingTripoli airport,Libya and all people aboard (104) except a Dutch boy were killed. It flew fromJohannesburg,South Africa. No technical faults were found during preliminary investigations.
Pamir Airways plane, carrying 44 people, took off from Kunduz forKabul,Afghanistan and crashed at4,100 meter in Shakardara district. Neither search and rescue team found any survivors nor investigators dwelt on causes of the crash.
Air India Express plane overshot the runway atBajpeAirport,Manglore,India, went into ravine, killing 158 people.
In the first five months of 2010, five major aviation accidents occurred, killing about 492 people from different countries. Over 300 people perished in 3 major crashes that took place in May 2010. Preliminary investigations confirmed that terrorists did not play any role in these crashes and three accidents happened due to human errors but investigations are not yet complete. There is a need for fair and quick investigation to identify the causes and chalk out effective strategies to avoid accidents in future.
Canadians Prefer America, Europe for International Holidays
According to Statistics Canada, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics (http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/ARTS37A-eng.htm), 50% of top ten international travel destinations visited by the Canadians during 2006-2008 are located in Europe, 40% in North and South Americas and 10% inAsia. Between 2004 and 2005, share of the European destinations was 60% and that of Asia was zero. However, the United States of America topped the list for entire period (2004-2008), Dominican Republic retained its 6th position and China displaced Spain from the list in 2006. The United Kingdom was the 2nd favorite destination between 2004 and 2005 whereas Mexico replaced it during the remaining three Continue reading
More peaks in Ladakh welcome climbers, trekkers
The Government of India (GoI) opened over one hundred more mountain peaks in Ladakh region, which were earlier in restricted area. All the opened peaks are either located on Indo-Chinese border or on the border between Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (POK) andIndia. The opened peaks include
- Lalung-I (6243m), II (6157 meters) and III (6126 meters),
- Kangyassay I (6401 meters),
- Kangyarrag (6210 meters),
- Hagshu-I (6515 meters),
- Chiling- I (6349 meters) and II (6253 meters),
- Shafat-I (6800 meters), -II (6302 meters), and -III (6155 meters),
- Photoksar (6080 meters),
- Techafarka (6495 meters),
- Lingsarmo (6955 meters),
- Teram Kangri-I, II and III,
- Ghaint I and II,
- Apsaras I, II and III.
For scaling these peaks, permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is sufficient, but the Army-approved routes should only be followed and a liaison officer must accompany the expedition. Like earlier, permission from home and defense ministries are not required.
Adventure Market Competitiveness Pillars: Scope for More Components / Indicators
The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and The George Washington University have jointly developed The Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI) that ranks nations based on ten pillars of Adventure Market Competitiveness.
The pillars are divided into three main categories:
Safe and Welcoming
1. Sustainable Development
3. Natural Resources
7. Cultural Resources
10. Adventure Resources
ATDI covers a comprehensive range of factors affecting adventure tourism but it requires some more indicators, including tourist behavior, adventure activity-specific components and availability of equipment for rent.
Since maintaining adventure resources without tourists’ and travelers’ help is quite difficult, destinations shall also be appraised vis-à-vis tourist behavior. For instance, mountaineers do not bring back the waste from the peaks. A garbage trail on the Everest is an overt secret.
Only two indicators- Protected Species and Forests, Grasslands, Drylands- are used to define Adventure Resources pillar. However, it has scope for adventure activity-specific components such as number and altitude of peaks (mountaineering), number and types of rapids (whitewater rafting).
Many adventure activities require bulky and expensive equipment. However, if quality equipment can be rented at the destination itself, time and cost of transporting the equipment from point of origin to the adventure destination could be saved.
Visits to Wilderness Can Revive Self-Esteem of Teens with Terrifying Past
Nature in raw state or wilderness is enthralling despite challenges it throws to people wishing to enjoy its beauty. Many people have dared and learned to survive it and health benefits of spending time within a wilderness area are well known. However, the U.K.-based Wilderness Foundation organizes trips to natural environments and wilderness areas for reviving self-esteem of teens with disturbing and frustrating past. Jo Roberts, chief executive of the foundation, has rightly pointed out (“Wilderness treks helping troubled teens in U.K” by Louise Tickle) that nature cannot be changed so we have to learn how to endure it. We can neither negotiate nor be angry with nature.
The Sport and Exercise Science Department of Essex University is testing the theory that taking disturbed teens to natural environments could act as a catalyst for a complete personality change.
Adventure Offering Trends: 2008 vs. 2009
The “2009 Trends in Adventure Offerings” by Xola Consulting, Inc. and the “2008 Adventure Industry Research Roundup” by Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) show that customized and family adventure offerings are growing rapidly.
Xola observed that some of the “specialty” adventure companies are opting for geographic and activity-based diversification. More number of adventure companies are developing multi-activity holiday trips- rafting, biking, kayaking and/or hiking combo packages.
ATTA reported an increase in sea expeditions toAlaska, Galapagos andArctic, women-specific trips and dedicated measures taken to cut down environmental impact and carbon imprint. “Frequent traveler programs” were launched to win customer loyalty. Read full reports at
Full Body Scanners: Majority Air Travelers Ready to Compromise on Privacy
During the UK based Skyscanner Ltd’s poll, two third travelers favored the use of full body scanners at the airports for improved security. But 30% travelers disapproved the use considering privacy and health (radiation) issues. And another poll conducted by the USA Today/Gallup, based in the US, also concludes that more than 75% air travelers are in favor of using the scanner despite privacy issues.
Economic Downturn Takes Its Toll on Long-haul travel
Tourists are opting for short-haul trips near home instead of long-haul to holiday within their budget that was badly affected by recession. In Europe, short haul trips recorded a decline of 6% whereas the long-haul registered a drop of 12%. Read full report at http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/Internet/Internet/www.itb-berlin/pdf/Publikationen/worldttr_2010.pdf.
Olympics of Tourism 2010: Disparity Between Upper Age Limit for Men and Women
Hungary deserves kudos for starting Olympics of Tourism (http://www.olympicsoftourism.com/) that is exclusively organized for travel and tourism industry professionals. However, the organizers should reconsider the upper age limit of 45 years for female participants, unlike 55 years for their male counterparts. In today’s world, women have come forward and showed exemplary courage and their skills in almost every field. For instance, the Polish woman mountaineer Anna Czerwińska climbed Everest at the age of50 in 2000. Why can’t woman of 50+ age group participate in other sports?