Soon travel pundits will reflect on year-to-date industry happenings and issue their “2010 top travel stories” lists. They’ll talk about airline fees, dissect TSA regulation changes and recap mergers and acquisitions.
We’ve sprinkled some of these items into our own top 10 list, but we’re all about the sensational stuff – the stories that shocked you and rocked you.
From a monotone musical instrument’s rise to global stardom to one very teed-off Jet Blue employee, 2010 was certainly a year chock-full of stories that made us say “whoa!”
Hotels Hail the Return of Luxury: Luxury hoteliers breathed a sigh of relief at the start of Q1 when data released by Smith Travel Research showed the segment had seen a 17 percent sales increase over the same period in 2009. The increase didn’t necessarily translate to huge profits, as rates continue to remain relatively low, which meant consumers got great value on luxury hotel purchases in 2010. The positive indicators also prompted luxury brands to add cool new amenities to rooms, like The Berkley in London, which added iPads to select suites earlier in the year.
Megaships Change the Cruising Game: In 2009, Royal Caribbean launched Oasis of the Seas – the world’s largest cruise ship. This year, Allure of the Seas - its sister ship – set sail, officially giving Royal Caribbean’s competitors a one-two punch and changing the cruise game for good. Whereas cruising used to be all about visiting multiple ports of call, megaship passengers are more concerned with the ship’s plethora of attractions and activities, all of which couldn’t possibly be experienced in one trip.
Chilean Calamity turns into Tourism Boost: It’s not often that a story about 33 miners trapped a half-mile underground for 69 days ends well. Fortunately for Chile, theirs did. The triumphant rescue catapulted the country into the global spotlight as the unanticipated media exposure put Chile at the tip of everyone’s tongue. Tour operators are already citing an increase in Chile vacation sales.
Travel Sample Sale Sites and Location-Based Social Media Tools Take Over: Once upon a time, if you wanted a good travel deal you called your travel agent. Until recently, you’d also search a few travel websites. Nowadays, the resources are limitless. From Vacationist.com to Gilt Group’s Jetsetter.com (the site that started it all in 2009) and “Gilt City” – a localized, upscale Groupon-esque daily deal generator, travel-related “sample sale” offers are the new black. And with the rise of location-based social media tools like Foursquare (and the impending rise of Facebook Places), travelers can snag additional retail, service and dining deals along their jaunts.
Eyjafjallajökull and Friends Get Antsy, Stalls Flights: The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, a virtually unknown landmark prior to April, got a bit antsy last spring. Although its eruptions were subtle, its ashes caused the largest flight disruption since World War II. Since then, rumblings in other volcanoes like Shiveluch, Russia; Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island and (the latest) Mt. Merapi in Indonesia are making us think – have we done something to upset you, volcanoes of the world?
Introducing the Vuvuzela: Cultural symbol – yes. Fad – definitely. Musical instrument – say what? Soccer fans’ initial disdain for the incessant buzzing of vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup games quickly transformed into an obsession once the media became fascinated by the mysterious noisemaker with the catchy name. Soon enough, everyone wanted one and Juilliard-trained vuvuzelist Donald Frederick Gordon even got some free publicity out of the deal.
United and Continental Get Married; Have Very Big Baby: As if the Delta-Northwest 2008 merger wasn’t enough to catapult the consolidation of the airline industry, United Air Lines and Continental joined forces in October to become the world’s largest carrier. The resulting impact on the industry continues to be higher flight prices, which is pushing consumers to rely on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for the best air travel deals.
Full-Body Scanners: Now, Someone Can See You Naked: Travelers weren’t quite sure whether to be relieved or unnerved when the first full-body scanners hit U.S. airports in March. Some praised the TSA for its heightened security measures, while others complained the device is a privacy violation. After all, their naked x-ray pictures are essentially being scrutinized by an unknown person in a secret room. What’s worse, we learned that if you refuse to use the scanner, you’ll endure the most intricate pat-down you’ll probably ever receive.
BP Destroys Coastal Treasures with Largest Accidental Oil Spill in History: We’re still not sure whether we were more shocked about the fact that almost 5 million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, eventually spanning the coastlines of four states, or about the fact that, for three months, the multi-billion dollar oil company that caused it just couldn’t seem to stop it.
Jet Blue Flight Attendant Does What We’ve All Been Dreaming of: Every fed up worker in America who has fantasized about flipping a rude customer the bird and sauntering off their work premises (permanently) cheered when Jet Blue flight attendant Steven Slater gave an unruly passenger a piece of his mind and disembarked the plane like the fearless divo he is – via emergency exit with two beers in-hand. Steven, we salute you.
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
Venice Salute FestivalComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
For Venetians, the 21st of November is an important date. It’s the day the city celebrates the Madonna della Salute festival, which commemorates the founding in 1630 of the church of Santa Maria della Salute (“Madonna of Health”). The church is more commonly known as Salute, as is the festival as well. During the festival, the area around the church is beautifully lit by thousands of candles brought by the many people going to pray to the Virgin Mary with vendors lined up along the way to the church selling candles and a variety of sweets....read more
5 Smoke-Free U.S. Cities to VisitComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
As a parent, I appreciate places where I can bring my kid without having to worry about second-hand cigarette smoke. Smoke-free cities have no-smoking laws that apply to restaurants/bars, workplaces, public buildings/grounds and city parks (as well as other areas around the city). The cities on this list also have extensive anti-smoking campaigns, as well as programs to help people stop smoking. In celebration of The Great American Smoke-Out, here are five of the most smoke-free U.S. cities to add to your list of places to visit....read more
3 Winter Festivals To Attend in Puerto RicoComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Puerto Rico might be on your radar for sunshine and palm trees, but it shouldn’t be counted out for a winter getaway. There might not be snow softly falling on pine trees, but the island gets into the spirit of winter with a number of celebrations. If you are in need of a winter escape, try Puerto Rico, specifically to attend one of its lively winter festivals....read more
5 Fascinating New Zealand MuseumsComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
There are plenty of reasons to visit New Zealand – the natural beauty, diverse cultures, and unique cuisine being a few of them. New Zealand is also home to world-class museums where visitors can learn more about art, history and even sheep farming! Here are five to check out....read more
A Dinner Table Mouthful! How to Say 'Bon Appétit' in 15 Languages Across EuropeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
The French phrase, “Bon appétit,” is often used as a substitute for the lack of an English phrase of the same meaning. While you might hear, “Enjoy your meal,” Bon appétit is one of the most common ways of greeting someone before they chow down. As most of the country gets ready to have a Thanksgiving feast, in case you have a few at your table who don’t speak English or French for that matter, it is useful to know how to wish someone a good meal in some of France’s neighbors. Here’s how to say essentially, “Good appetite,” in 15 European languages....read more
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2014 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.