How Dubai is paying the price for letting in tourists

You may think life is back to normal in Dubai. Recently, the bustling city has been a sparkling attraction for tourists, especially from Europe, trying to escape the brutal winter and strict coronavirus lockdowns. But as tens of thousands of visitors flocked there during its peak year-end season, the virus inevitably caught up with the city despite precautions aimed at …

Canada extends cruise ship ban to 2022. That’s bad news for Alaska tourism, too

People hoping to cruise the northern waters of North America this summer will have to place their travel dreams in dry dock for now. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Canada has extended its cruise ship ban until February 2022. That affects popular voyages in Canada, including the St. Lawrence River and Maritime Provinces on the Atlantic side to British Columbia …

Hurt by the pandemic, a small town in California will pay tourists to visit

When California’s governor announced a second statewide lockdown in December, businesses across the state braced for more economic hardship. For one small town, it was a wake-up call to develop a plan to help the local businesses. The result was the “Visit Santa Maria Valley” program, which will pay tourists 100 dollars to travel there and stay for a minimum …

COVID-19 forced many hostels to close

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many small, independent hostels have had to close their doors temporarily, while some were forced to close permanently. Unfortunately, Singapore’s Mitraa Inn fell into the latter group, shutting its doors in June after 15 years in business. Co-owner Viji Jagadeesh told how she’d resorted to pawning her jewelry to raise enough money to refund canceled …

Canceled plans due to the pandemic

The Broke Backpacker blog founder Will Hatton, who runs backpacker adventure tours to Pakistan, Iran and Kyrgyzstan, was setting up a digital nomad co-working hostel in Bali before COVID hit. Over the past year, he’s had to cancel his planned 2020 adventure tours, issue refunds to customers and provide financial assistance to local partners “on the ground.” He shared, “It’s …

The origin of Taiwan’s night markets

Taiwan is synonymous with night markets — an informal congregation of peddlers that once upon a time relied on the magnetism of temples. A tradition carried over from dynastic China, people would congregate at temples on a regular basis. Opportunistic vendors would swarm in from all directions to sell their wares on shoulder poles or simple push carts. It’s here …

Spain launches low-cost bullet train between Madrid and Barcelona

Like many destinations around the world, Spain has been pretty much stopped in its tracks by COVID-19. But the ambitious expansion of the European country’s high-speed rail service appears to be going full speed ahead this year. Spanish state operator Renfe’s low-cost service Avlo will whisk passengers the 500 kilometers between Madrid and Barcelona in just two and half hours, …

New Zealand tells tourists to stop copying other people’s travel photos

New Zealand is really bored of your Instagram posts. The country has launched a new tourism campaign, urging travelers to stop mimicking photos they see online and “share something new” instead. The call was made in a two-minute video, starring comedian Tom Sainsbury as a member of the “Social Observation Squad.” The official follows tourists to some of the country’s …