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LGBT Travel After Orlando

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2016, 12:45 PM

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, which took place at a gay bar and appears to have been motivated by homophobia, the New York Times spoke with several leaders in LGBT tourism to see what effect the massacre is having on the willingness of gay, lesbian, and transgender people to travel this summer. What they found: a mixture of nervousness and resilience. The consensus seems to be that while...

Southwest Unveils New, Wider Seats

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2016, 12:15 PM

You might find a little more legroom on Southwest Airlines flights by the end of the year. The carrier has announced that it's installing what the company calls the "widest economy 737 seat" available on 28 of its 737-800 planes as part of a redesign of cabin interiors. Upholstered in blue composition leather, the slimline seats feature adjustable headrests and reconfigured seat-back pockets, t...

United's Plan to Boost Revenue: Slimmer Seats, More Chances to Upgrade

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2016, 12:15 PM

United Airlines, which has been struggling since a merger with Continental in 2010, outlined yesterday its plan for boosting revenue. The big news for price-sensitive travelers: by the end of the year, the airline will introduce "basic economy" entry-level fares, similar to a program Delta offers (American Airlines is expected to add basic economy fares soon, too). United hasn't yet explained ...

Chinese Village's Tourism Plan Turns Into Monkey Trouble

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/21/2016, 12:45 PM

A village in China has a monkey on its back—or, to be precise, 600 monkeys. In a scheme to attract tourists, residents of Xianfeng in the country's Sichuan province lured about 70 macaque apes from the mountains in 2003. The idea was to entertain visitors as at Mount Emei, another tourist destination famous for its primates. But in 2014 the Xianfeng project's main funder died and the attractio...

Senate Panel OKs Cuba Travel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/21/2016, 12:15 PM

Easier travel to Cuba got one step closer on Thursday as a key Senate panal approved several provisions in line with President Obama's effort to restore ties with the island nation. Under the committee's recommendations, US citizens would no longer have to declare one of 12 reasons for visiting Cuba (tourism isn't among them), thus essentially lifting the travel ban. The move comes fast on the...

New York Passes Anti-Airbnb Bill

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/21/2016, 12:00 PM

New York State has approved a bill that would ban users on sites like Airbnb from posting listings for short-term rentals lasting fewer than 30 days. Violators could be fined up to $7,500. Having passed in New York's house and senate, the bill now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Supporters of the legislation—including landlords, housing regulators, and the hotel industry—say that Airbnb and sit...

Airbnb Vows to Root Out Racism, but Blocks Ability to Sue

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2016, 12:30 PM

Airbnb has responded to complaints from some users that they've had trouble booking rooms on the popular online vacation-rental site because of their race. The evidence isn't just anecdotal, either; in December, Harvard University (PDF) researchers found that guests with African-American-sounding names had a difficult time renting rooms through the site. Now Airbnb vows to weed out hosts w...

Walking in Memphis: That'll Be $10, Please

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2016, 12:00 PM

It'll cost you $10 to enter Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday nights for the time being. Following a spate of violence along the beloved thoroughfare lined with blues bars, barbecue joints, and dance clubs, the city has introduced the entrance fee as a way of keeping out underage drinkers and troublemakers. The cover charge applies only on Saturday nights after 10 p.m.—in other w...

An End in Sight for Hidden Resort Fees?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/17/2016, 12:45 PM

You know when you see a hotel rate online and then later during the booking process you find out you're going to have to pay a mandatory "resort fee" not included in the advertised rate? Makes you feel kind of cheated, doesn't it? Well, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could be coming to the rescue. Sources tell the Washington Post that the consumer protection agency is looking for ways ...

Disney Comes to Shanghai, the Watergate Reopens, and More: Your Travel Briefing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/16/2016, 1:15 PM

Merchandise at Shanghai Disneyland (Mooshuu/Flickr) Your Daily Travel Briefing is our new daily roundup of travel-related news and information gathered from all over. Check this space each weekday for fresh updates. Here's what's going on in the world of travel today. * SHANGHAI DISNEYLAND OPENS TO THE PUBLIC (Chicago Tribune). And reports indicate the park is a stunner—colossal i...

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