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Showing posts with label Travel Trends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel Trends. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Where Americans Can't Go This Summer

Americans are pariahs, even in their own country. While the much-whined-about EU travel ban on Americans has been in the headlines recently, lesser known is the fact that U.S. residents from states 1 through 48 (based on entry to the Union) are also personae non gratae in states 49 and 50.

For several months, Hawaii has been requiring Americans from the mainland to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. That is set to change on August 1, when all travelers arriving in Hawaii will be required to get a valid COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their trip, and to show proof of a negative test result at the airport, to avoid the 14-day quarantine. The FDA-approved PCR test from a certified laboratory will need to be done prior to arrival. No testing will be provided at the airport. 

Alaska currently has similar rules in place. Americans arriving from the Lower 48 have to quarantine 14 days upon arrival in the state unless, according to the State of Alaska website, "They have proof of a negative molecular-based COVID-19 test result obtained 72 hours before arriving in Alaska. Travelers with a negative test within five days of arriving in Alaska will be retested at the airport and should minimize interactions with others until the results of the second test are available."

Of course, several states on the mainland are enforcing their own 14-day quarantine rules against travelers from states with high rates of COVID-19 infection. However, those quarantines are more challenging to enforce than those of Hawaii and Alaska, because people can cross continental state lines undetected when traveling by car, bike or foot.

So, where can Americans go this summer if they want to get out of Dodge? Most Caribbean islands are welcoming U.S. citizens, just in time for hurricane season. Many islands, however, do require negative COVID tests or testing upon arrival. 

The Caribbean beckons

Some fly-to destinations in Mexico, like Cancun and Los Cabos, are welcoming Americans, but not all tourism facilities in those areas are open. Americans can also fly to Dubai. For those who want a Europe fix, Serbia is currently welcoming Americans without restrictions. England and Ireland say Americans can come, but they have to quarantine for 14 days. Other European Union countries, plus non-members Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, are putting American inbound travel on ice for the foreseeable future.

Norway is among the European countries saying
no way to Americans this summer

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Travel Trends for 2017

2017 is going to be the year of the experience. Now that travel to places that were once considered exotic has become somewhat pedestrian (oh yeah, I’m heading to Easter Island tomorrow--you?), it’s the search for the ultimate experience that may reign supreme...no matter where it takes place. That said, experiences need to be one-of-a-kind and indigenous to the place visited.

For example, during a recent trip to Italy, I bypassed Rome and Venice and focused on making gelato in Bologna and truffle hunting near Alba.

Tasting the fruits of my gelato-making efforts
at Gelato University in Bologna

Searching for truffles with
Igor and Rocky

A fjord in
Northern Norway

2017 will also be the year when people are looking chill out and escape from reality. This means that instead of heading to the world’s great cities, they may be prone to head to the outer reaches of familiar countries. Iceland has been a very popular place for the past several years. This year, there may be a fjord in your future, as seekers of calm and isolation may head above the Arctic Circle, exploring Nunavut in Canada, Lapland in Finland and Northern Norway. In all of these places, visitors can experience the Midnight Sun, giving them more daylight to lap up adventures. In Northern Norway, those adventures include riding horses, hanging ten at the world's northernmost surfing school, or French kissing with wolves.
Getting Intimate with Wolves
at Norway's Polar Park

In the United States, the desire to get away from crowded spaces will also predominate. National parks will continue to be popular escape routes. Rural states like Nebraska and the Dakotas may also see an upswing in tourism. 

Also, so-called secondary cities will experience a renaissance. During the past few years, places like Richmond, VA; Cincinnati, OH; and Boise, ID have become beacons of urban cool. Young chefs, priced out of major markets, are opening restaurants in these smaller burgs, while uber-cook, cutting-edge lodging brands, like 21c Museum Hotels and Aparium, are focusing their efforts in these under-a-million cities.

Art at a 21c Museum Hotel

A room at The Modern in Boise, Idaho

Monday, May 18, 2015

CNN Coverage of Wellness Trends

Marijuana and forest bathing: Wildest new trends in the wellness world

(CNN)Walking in the woods, cannabis day spas and rolling around in sand.
These are just a few of the hottest trends in wellness according to SpaFinder Wellness 365, which claims to be the world's largest spa media and marketing company.
But which trends will turn out to be fads and which will stick?
Strange as they sound, it's worth remembering that some pretty odd wellness practices have come and gone through the ages.
Cleopatra indulged in milk baths and mud treatments -- variations of which can still be enjoyed today.
For some reason, though, bloodletting and leeches didn't manage to survive the test of time.
Distinguishing a useful practice from snake oil is a far easier exercise in today's wellness world.
    "Science is now able to analyze wellness practices to prove which can be helpful and which are not," says Dr. Mark Liponis, corporate medical director for Arizona-based Canyon Ranch.
    "As a result, there will be a greater adoption of therapies when science confirms their value."

    Marijuana day spas

    Liponis points out that numerous studies are being conducted on the benefits of marijuana, such as its usefulness in stress management and symptom alleviation.
    SpaFinder's 2015 Report on Global Spa and Wellness Trends notes that cannabis wellness is experiencing a high.
    For decades, Amsterdam, with its "coffee shops," has been Cannabis tourism central.
    A recent visitor survey noted that 16.5% of visitors admit that coffee shops/soft drugs is one of the main reasons for visiting, although marijuana use is a legal gray area in the Netherlands.
    Given recent decriminalization laws in the United States, cannabis tourists may be trading out a Dutch treat for a Rocky Mountain high.
    Colorado has been ahead of the pack in terms of legalizing recreational usage, to the point where "bud and breakfast" inns, luxury cannabis tours and the "the world's first cannabis day spa" have sprouted up.
    Although state tourism officials deny the correlation, Colorado has been experiencing an increase in tourism since the law was enacted.
    According to SpaFinder, a 2014 study discovered that out-of-state visitors account for 44% of marijuana sales in larger cities and up to 90% in mountain resorts.

    Forest bathing

    Forest bathing, an import from Japan, has nothing to do with water and you don't have to get naked to do it.
    Basically, it's a wander through the woods, with all senses keenly open to the sights, sounds and smells therein.
    The Japanese government coined the term in 1982 ... a translation of "shinrin-yoku," meaning "taking in the forest atmosphere."
    Since then, the government has funded forest-therapy studies, showing impacts ranging from lowering blood pressure to alleviating depression.
    Research like this has made forest bathing a pillar of preventive medicine in highly urbanized Japan.
    But now, walking in the woods for wellness is taking root around the world.
    According to the SpaFinder study, South Korea is developing a multimillion dollar National Forest Therapy Center.
    In Canada, the Trout Point Lodge (189 Trout Point Road, East Kemptville, Nova Scotia; +1 902 482 8360) is a center for forest bathing, as is Armathwaite Hall in England (Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, Cumbria; +44 17687 76551).
    Um, didn't this used to be called hiking?


    Middle Eastern and Islamic health traditions date back more than two millennia.
    The hammam experience is the ritual the world knows best.
    The deep-cleansing practice of scrubbing, soaping and pummeling is now gaining steam beyond its traditional borders.
    For example, there's an authentic hammam circuit at the Hammam & Spa Oktogon in Bern (Weihergasse 3, Bern;. +41 31 311 31 01).
    In South Africa, guests can experience a Turkish-style hammam at Oyster Box Spa in Umhlanga, Durban (2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban; +27 31 514 5000).
    The latest Middle Eastern trend to go West is psammotherapy.
    This is the therapeutic application of warm sand to alleviate aches and pains.
    As far back as 1000 AD or so, the Persian philosopher Avicenna wrote about sand's anti-inflammatory properties.
    Back in the day, people just dug a hole in the sand and enveloped themselves in it.
    Nowadays, it's done with less messy sand tables.
    In August 2014, Spa Nalai at the Park Hyatt Manhattan (153 West 57th St., New York; +1 646 774 1234) became the first place in New York City to offer psammotherapy sand table massages.

    Silent treatments

    Silence may be golden, but its value is largely underrated these days.
    "In the past, luxury was defined by cushy bathrobes and the thread count of sheets," says SpaFinder chief brand officer Mia Kyricos.
    "But today's noise-saturated world, silence, solitude, space -- these are the true definitions of luxury."
    Finland is tapping into the rising demand for quiet with an entire tourism campaign centered around the tagline "Silence, please."
    Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland are even studying ways to make silence a tourism asset in the sparsely populated North Karelia region.
    Finland is far from the only place where silence is a virtue.
    Fogo Island Inn (Joe Batt's Arm, Newfoundland; +1 709-658-3444), which opened two years ago in Newfoundland, Canada, proudly promotes silence in its marketing material, boasting of "miles and miles of blissful nothingness."

    Sleep helpers

    Of course, silence is just one element in getting a good night of sleep.
    Staying well means sleeping well.
    But in today's 24/7 world, something's gotta give, and that something is usually sleep.
    At Canyon Ranch (8600 E. Rockcliff Road, Tucson, Arizona; +1 520 749 9000) in Arizona, there's an actual lab where visitors can be monitored with sensors to diagnose sleep patterns.
    Still, most places promoting "sleep therapy" are not hooking snoozers up to machines.
    It's more about comfort, environment and special lighting.
    For example, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas; +1 702-891-1111) are specifically designed to enhance rejuvenating sleep.
    Features include blackout shades; energizing light therapy, which exposes guests to short periods of blue-shaded lighting to increase energy; and a dawn simulator, which gradually awakens the body through light and sound.
    Clearly, there's a yawning gap in the sleep market in Vegas.
    Due to demand, Stay Well at MGM Grand has quadrupled its room count from 42 to 171 in less than two years.

    Journalist Laura Powell was one of CNN's original travel reporters. Her focus is on international travel news and trends. Read more of her work at www.dailysuitcase.com. Twitter: @dailysuitcase.