In a bid to counteract tourist saturation in major cities around the world, Airbnb is opening a new global Office of Healthy Tourism. The move is designed to bring the economic benefits of tourism to small businesses and local residents in destinations off the beaten track, while lessening the burden on popular holiday hotspots.
The office will be tasked with finding new ways to use technology to create new travel destinations, and will build on the work of similar, previous initiatives. Last year, for example, the company launched a program to promote 40 villages in Italy. Speaking to Fast Company at the time, Airbnb CEO Brain Chesky said, “If I could summarize the major problem with travel, it’s millions of people are going to see a few things, rather than millions of people going to see millions of things.”
United Airlines will have its first international premium economy cabins in the air during the summer, chief revenue officer Andrew Nocella said.
The product, called Premium Plus, won’t be available for sale until late this year or early next year, Nocella said at the carrier’s earnings call Wednesday.
But they’ll debut on aircraft in the summer, with seats available as upgrades.Thus far, United hasn’t provided details on the width of seats and the space between rows in Premium Plus.
Los Angeles Times
At last, the Queen Elizabeth 2 has a home. The storied Cunard ocean liner that retired in 2008 is opening Wednesday as a luxury hotel permanently docked at Mina Rashid in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
It’s been a long journey for the stylish ship that launched in 1967 and logged more than 800 transatlantic crossings.
Dubai’s government bought it in 2008 with the idea of converting it to a hotel. Plans fell through with the country’s economic slump, and the QE2 fell into disrepair.
The plan was revived and now the ship has been restored it to its 1960s-era glory. An Associated Press story puts the cost at more than $100 million.
The New Indian Express
China will give visa free entry to tourists from 59 nations to its southern island province of Hainan from May 1, but countries from South, South East Asia and Africa do not figure in the list.
Under the new policy, announced today, a group of or individual tourists from 59 countries, including Russia, Britain, France, Germany, US and mostly European, Latin American and Gulf countries, can visit Hainan visa-free and stay there for up to 30 days on condition that they book their tour through travel agencies.