Showing posts from March, 2020

Travel Agency MisterFly Slams Airlines for Delayed or Denied Refunds

Travel Agency MisterFly Slams Airlines for Delayed or Denied Refunds Nicolas Brumelot, co-founder and president of Misterfly, poses at the Paris headquarters of his online travel agency. Source misterfly MisterFly

Skift Take: Everyone in the travel industry is frustrated right now with much of the world frozen up. But Nicolas Brumelot, the co-founder and president of travel startup Misterfly, speaks for many agencies frustrated by alleged delays in refunds by some airlines. — Sean O'Neill Read the Complete Story On Skift

Phone data on social distancing

Phone data on social distancing In a world where just about everything is traceable, it does not come as a surprise that Americans’ cell phones are now a great way to track who is self-isolating and social distancing. Unacast, a company that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data, just revealed its “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that shows which residents around the country are actually abiding by the behavior encouraged by health officials.
Unacast compared current location data to data collected on a typical pre-pandemic day, and noted changes in distance traveled, time spent around the house, and activity clusters.
States in which residents are excelling in social distancing are colored in blue while those needing improvement are colored orange.
Photo: Unacast
According to data collected from millions of cell phones recently, Alaska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, DC, are currently doing the best at following social distancing protocol. North Dakota, South Dako…

Virtual field trips to take online

Virtual field trips to take online We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home lately, and for some, this new reality is tougher than others. After two weeks you may have already binged every Netflix show that piqued your interest and are desperately looking for new sources of entertainment — especially if you have kids. The Caroline County Public School District is trying to make it easier to entertain the whole family over the coming weeks and months by providing a thorough list of virtual field trips. While virtual excursions are never a truly satisfying replacement for the real thing, they can help keep boredom at bay and be a fun way of spending the afternoon with the young ones.
No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find a virtual excursion that works for you. For animal lovers, there are live cams at the San Diego Zoo, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Houston Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, and a panda cam at Zoo Atlanta. There’s also a virtual farm tour available for 11 different farms, …

Expedia Prepares to Lay Off Thousands and 10 Other Top Digital Stories This Week

Expedia Prepares to Lay Off Thousands and 10 Other Top Digital Stories This Week Expedia CEO Barry Diller wasn't joking around about tightening up the company — thousands of staff are set to be axed. JD Lasica / Wikimedia Commons

Skift Take: Expedia Chairman Barry Diller is delivering on his promise to tighten up the company, with recently announced plans to lay off 12 percent of staff. Plus, the short-term rental market is one to watch as it continues to grow, with some predicting a new category to emerge that distinguishes between professional and host-run rentals. — Danielle Hyams Read the Complete Story On Skift

What to do in Belize beyond beaches

What to do in Belize beyond beaches Belize is well known for its lush jungles, crystal-clear Caribbean water, and pale-sand beaches. But travelers are now beginning to discover the country’s many other charms, as well. Belize beckons with its rich blend of cultures, caves, wildlife sanctuaries, fascinating Mayan relics, and incredible historical destinations. You just have to make the effort to get to them. Even then, the effort isn’t too great as most places you’ll want to visit are accessible by bus within a couple of hours.
Experience Kriol culture and wildlife in Crooked Tree
Photo: jack_photo/Shutterstock
After landing in Belize City, one of the first things you’ll notice is its unique blend of cultures. The largest ethnic group in Belize, known as Kriol, is made up of the descendants of West African slaves captured and transplanted to the region to work field, farm, and forestry. This tragic past is evident in the music, language, cuisine, and folklore of its people. Your first s…

Never Miss a Super Bowl Club

Never Miss a Super Bowl Club Under the watchful eye of the man who coached the NFL’s only perfect team, a group with an even more impressive streak is holding court.
In a photo-filled dining room at Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club in Miami, the Never Miss a Super Bowl Club is hosting its annual luncheon a couple of days before Super Bowl LIV. And its three remaining members are reveling in the brief fame they get every year before the big game.
“Eh, they bring us out for two weeks, then put us back to bed,” groans Don Crisman, 80, who’s traveled here from Maine. He’s joined by Tom Henschel, 78, from Tampa and Greg Eaton, 84, from Lansing, Michigan. Each of them has attended every Super Bowl since the first NFL/AFL World Championship Game in 1967. And they’ve become as much a Super Bowl fixture as lavish parties and Buffalo wings.
Once upon a time, getting to the Super Bowl was easy.
“I was working in Colorado, and I had some friends who worked for a bank, and the bank got tickets from the…

Downloadable Seattle backgrounds for Zoom

Downloadable Seattle backgrounds for Zoom
Chances are, you are confined to your home like the rest of us as we all adjust to this crazy new normal of social distancing that is sweeping across the nation. Chances are, you are using Zoom as a way to connect with co-workers, friends, and family – anybody, really. Chances are, you wouldn’t mind hiding your personal space from those on the other side of the camera. And chances are, you would rather be anywhere else but your home right now anyway.

Have no fear – we have you covered. We have created a selection of Seattle-themed Zoom backgrounds that you can download for your virtual conference calls, happy hours, and family reunions. Who knows? It might just make you feel like you are out and about in Seattle, if only for the duration of your call.

To save the backgrounds to your computer, click the image to open it in another tab, then right click to save the image to your computer.
To add a Virtual Background to Zoom, go to User Settings …

Puerto Rico virtual experiences

Puerto Rico virtual experiences If a trip to Puerto Rico was on your spring break itinerary, those plans were probably derailed thanks to the coronavirus outbreak. Even though you can’t visit Puerto Rico in person, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t take a virtual trip. It’s no replacement for the real thing, but it might be just enough to tide you over until travel is safe again. Discover Puerto Rico is launching a virtual Puerto Rican cultural experience this weekend, March 27-29, bringing the island’s traditions right into your living room.
According to a press release, Discover Puerto Rico wants to “extend an important part of our culture — our salsa music and dancing, our mixology and our delicious cuisine — to uplift people during these challenging times. We encourage travelers to daydream about our Island now and consider a visit later, when the time is right. In the meantime, we’re excited to join them in their living rooms for this virtual getaway.”
Over the course of three…

Impact of virtual drinking trend

Impact of virtual drinking trend Life changed slowly in the beginning of 2020, and then all at once when the realities of COVID-19 set in. Restaurants and bars that were filled in February were shuttered until further notice by mid-March. Thousands of hospitality workers lost their jobs, and small-business owners had to make the tough decision to stay open for takeout, close for now, or close for good — decisions that will shape cities around the world for years to come. It’s impossible to know what’s going to happen next, but it’s pretty clear things aren’t going back to how they were.
“Things started changing in my neighborhood about a week ago,” Natalia Cardenas, the Miami brand ambassador for Woodford Reserve, says. “Slowly every day, the rules of normal engagement became more and more strict. Day after day, the freedoms that we once took for granted were slowly disappearing. The freedom to connect to friends, strangers, and bartenders.”
A new way to connect has arisen as we all e…

Should Venture Capital Be Betting on Travel Now? New Skift Research

Should Venture Capital Be Betting on Travel Now? New Skift Research Empty hotels, like the one pictured here, are the challenge for venture capital investors deciding whether to keep investing in the travel sector. Wendy Li / Adobe

Skift Take: Travel is a long-term megatrend because all across the globe people appreciate the value that it brings to their lives. This holds true across a vast range of human differences — cultural, geographical, religious, historical, generational, and more. — Seth Borko Read the Complete Story On Skift

Travelsky Puts On a Brave Face as Chinese Flight Demand Slowly Rebounds

Travelsky Puts On a Brave Face as Chinese Flight Demand Slowly Rebounds A China Southern aircraft. All Chinese airlines use travel technology firm TravelSky's systems to manage their domestic businesses. China Southern

Skift Take: Travelsky, China's travel technology giant, said it will weather the coronavirus-related plunge in air travel without needing to lay off workers. Remarkably, in January it added a tool to its popular flight app that alerts a traveler if another passenger is later tested and found to have coronavirus. — Sean O'Neill Read the Complete Story On Skift

Separating Hype From Emerging Tech’s Real Shortcomings Post-Crisis: New Skift Research

Separating Hype From Emerging Tech’s Real Shortcomings Post-Crisis: New Skift Research Conference attendee tries using the latest VR goggles in Munich, Germany Stephan Sorkin / Unsplash

Skift Take: Not all tech is worth the hype. But then again, the current crisis will likely accelerate the adoption of some worthwhile emerging technologies. It’s important to know how this will impact the travel industry. We’ve set out the most important technologies to help you burst that hype bubble. — Wouter Geerts Read the Complete Story On Skift

12 books by black authors to read

12 books by black authors to read Just when theBlack Travel Movement was gaining so much speed, we now all find ourselves confined to our houses. While the onset of COVID-19 has put the entire world on the no-fly list, we don’t have to pass this time idly. Instead, we can use these weeks we’ll be grounded to absorb the work of the legends that paved the way for us to be able to lead our nomadic lives. If you have been previously unfamiliar with the work of black travel writers, you’re in for a treat: Black travel writers can offer a perspective on cross-culturalism that you may not find elsewhere. If you’re unsure where to start, here are 12 exceptional examples of travel memoirs and other books written by black authors.
1. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica by Zora Neale-Hurston
Photo: Harper Collins
As published in the Guggenheim Foundation’s annual report for 1935-36, Zora Neale-Hurston was awarded her fellowship that year for “the gathering of material for books on…