These are the best compact cameras for travellers in 2022


A stalwart of this article is the Olympus E-M1 series. This camera series has always impressed me with the sheer number of features it provides. Yes, you have a smaller size 4/3 inch sensor, but this allows for ultra-compact long lenses. The E-M1 Mark III brings various superlatives to the list: best ergonomics, best weather sealing, smallest super-telephoto lenses, and the best stabilisation system in the still camera industry.

These highlights are coupled with outstanding new special features such as hand-held high-res shooting (you can take 50 MP images out of a burst of 16 frames) and the Live-ND filter, which simulates a neutral-density filter. In addition, computational photography for handheld shooting emulates some tripod-based long exposure shooting (for example, blurred water of a waterfall). The slightly updated 20 MP sensor from the previous generation E-M1 camera leads to a small increase in sharpness and clarity. The pro line lenses have a high-quality build and sport features such as integrated lens hoods, smooth zoom and focus rings, and round bokeh visualisation (background blur). 

The fantastic ergonomics, excellent image stabilisation, all-weather durability, high-speed performance, and easy-to-use small lenses add up to a potent wildlife photography kit that won’t weigh you down. Note: The firm that bought the Olympus imaging division seems to be keeping its promises of continuing lens and camera development, so I can confidently recommend the brand. For more: Olympus  

Tip: The best lenses include the Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO (24-200mm kit lens), 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO (80-300mm pro zoom), 7-14mm PRO (wide-angle zoom), and 300mm F/4 IS PRO (600mm F4 equivalent). 



Source link

HomeToGo Releases 2022 Travel Trend Predictions | National News


LUXEMBOURG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 24, 2021–

HomeToGo SE (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: HTG), a marketplace with the world’s largest selection of vacation rentals, today unveiled its predictions for the top travel trends of 2022.

HomeToGo, a marketplace with the world’s largest selection of vacation rentals, today unveiled its predictions for the top travel trends of 2022. (Photo: Business Wire)

With the increase in vaccinations globally, the demand for tourism in 2022 remains optimistic. New insight from HomeToGo reveals how travelers across the globe are scaling up their plans in anticipation of the year ahead, with notable increase in travel spend and length of stay compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 and compared to pre-pandemic on a global scale, the vacation rentals marketplace has recorded a global ~+54% increase in average booking value for vacation rental spending and longer trips worldwide with a ~+9% increase in the average length of stay

Dr. Patrick Andrae, Co-founder & CEO, HomeToGo: “Travel has entered a new era and alternative accommodation will continue to reign as the new zeitgeist in 2022, especially with travelers who have traditionally booked hotels but tried and enjoyed vacation rentals during the pandemic. As a marketplace with the world’s largest selection of vacation rentals, we are prepared to help every traveler find the perfect accommodation for their 2022 trip and beyond – whether it’s escaping the winter for a sunny workation at an airy island bungalow or going on a relaxing staycation in a rural cabin just a two hour journey from home. These new structural trends, along with the pent up demand for travel after lockdowns, have led to long-term tailwinds for the alternate accommodation market that will continue into the new year.”

Three Types of Trips Emerge as Clear Winners for 2022

Based on search demand and a global survey of 4,000 travelers, HomeToGo has revealed the three types of trips that will reign in the new year. In 2022, tourists are looking forward to relaxing on sun-kissed islands, traveling safely to known regions , and discovering hidden gem destinations in their own backyards with a continued preference for domestic staycations:

Trend #1: Prioritizing Relaxation and Private Escapes

With 63% of participants in a recent HomeToGo global consumer survey listing relaxation as their main travel motivator, search insight now reveals that travelers will be heading to islands to find their zen next year. 2 Island destinations have seen significant growth in demand for short-term rentals in 2022, with Bali (+611% search increase), Sanibel Island (+567%), and Saint Lucia (+560%) taking the lead as the top three destinations growing in global search demand. 3

Trend #2: Resurgence of Touristic Regions

While the pandemic-influenced trend of rural travel still remains popular, touristic regions are set to regain popularity in 2022 around the globe, too. Among HomeToGo’s most-searched touristic regions, some well-known destinations are gaining additional interest in the coming year. As the majority of travelers prefer to walk on well-known paths, regions like Florida in the U.S. (+70.23% search increase), Sardinia in Italy (+57.40%), Majorca in Spain (+36.29%) and the Baltic Sea area in Germany (+23%) will be ones to watch as ever trending escapes. 3

Trend #3: Domestic Travel Continues to Rise

Building on the boom of 2020/2021, HomeToGo forecasts the rise in domestic travel to continue into the new year as a key trend. Amongst American travelers, searches for 2022 stays within the U.S. have seen an increase of +23%. 4 Elsewhere in the world, HomeToGo’s survey saw 28% of U.K. travelers aim to travel more within their country, even after travel fully reopens. 1 Amongst German tourists, the share of travel accounted for by domestic trips is forecast to see an uplift of +62% in comparison to 2019. 4

HomeToGo was founded in 2014 with a vision to make incredible homes easily accessible to everyone. To pursue this vision, HomeToGo was able to build and constantly grow a trusted and easy-to-use technology platform that brings together property suppliers with travelers from all across the world.

HomeToGo operates a marketplace for alternative accommodation that connects millions of travelers searching for a perfect place to stay with thousands of inventory suppliers across the globe, resulting in the world’s most comprehensive inventory coverage in the alternative accommodation space.

HomeToGo’s marketplace is beneficial to both of its customer groups: Consumers who visit HomeToGo’s websites gain access to the largest inventory in one place, and supply partners who use the platform’s reach and technology solutions are better able to serve a wide range of customers and generate more high-quality demand.

While HomeToGo SE’s registered office is located in Luxembourg, HomeToGo GmbH is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. HomeToGo operates localized websites and apps in 23 countries.

HomeToGo SE is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the stock ticker “HTG”. For more information visit: www.hometogo.com/about

1 Findings are based on observed global bookings made through HomeToGo with a check-in date for 2021 and compared with a check-in date for 2019. Data was collected on 19 November 2021.

2 Research conducted by HomeToGo among a sample of 4,000 respondents in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and the United States, with a confidence level of 95%. To participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 or older. The survey was carried out online between 26 – 29 August 2021.

3 Based on searches made for accommodation via HomeToGo’s websites hometogo.com, .co.uk, .de, .es, .fr and .it with following parameters:

Search-Period 1: 1 January 2019 – 20 October 2019 with any check-in in 2020

Search-Period 2: 1 January 2021 – 20 October 2021 with any check-in in 2022

4 Based on most searched destinations in U.S. via HomeToGo.com, in UK via hometogo.co.uk, and in Germany via hometogo.de that are among Top-300 most searched destinations per market with the following parameters:

Search-Period 1: 1 January 2019 – 20 October 2019 with any check-in in 2020

Search-Period 2: 1 January 2021 – 20 October 2021 with any check-in in 2022

KEYWORD: NORTH AMERICA UNITED STATES EUROPE GERMANY LUXEMBOURG

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: TRANSPORTATION VACATION LODGING CRUISE DESTINATIONS TRAVEL

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 11/24/2021 02:04 AM/DISC: 11/24/2021 02:04 AM

Copyright Business Wire 2021.





Source link

5 Best Weighted Stuffed Animals for 2022


According to a 2016 national parent survey, 6.1 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives. Of these children, approximately 3 in 10 also experienced anxiety. To help with their ADHD and anxiety, approximately 3 in 4 of these individuals received behavioral therapy or medication.

While there’s lots of research on ADHD, one type of treatment that’s less well-documented is the number of individuals with ADHD that use weighted stuffed animals to help alleviate and cope with symptoms.

Weighted stuffed animals generally look like the popular children’s toy, but tip the scales at somewhere between 2 and 5 pounds. They may have longer arms for hugging or include features to aid with fidgeting. They’re available in a wide range of styles and sizes.

Doctors and therapists specializing in grief and loss have been using weighted teddy bears for years to help their clients.

While more research into this area is needed, there has been a little research done into weighted blankets, which offer a similar type of support. One small study on weighted blankets found that 63 percent of participants reported lower anxiety after using it and 78 percent found it to have a calming effect.

The general theory behind weighted blankets and stuffed animals is that added weight can offer deep pressure touch, which is thought to calm the nervous system and trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. Using a weighted blanket or stuffed animal may also improve sleep, which can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and ADHD.

Adults might be hesitant to appear in public with a large stuffed animal, but their cute appearances make these nonthreatening for young children. They also typically come in a variety of shapes and colors that appeal to children’s unique interests.

When it came to choosing which products to include, we looked at a variety of factors like:

  • Size. Some individuals love a larger animal they can really wrap their arms around while others prefer something a little smaller and more discrete, so we tried to include a variety of size options.
  • Material. Because this stuffed animal is going to get plenty of use, those that can be easily washed and dried stood out.
  • Price. We know that finances can vary, so we tried to include a range of options for diverse budgets.
  • Customer reviews. There’s nothing like an actual user to let you know how a product feels and holds up after continual use. We highly valued this information, and know it matters to you.

Here are some of the best weighted stuffed animals you can buy online.

Best weighted neck wrap

Intelex Warmies Animal Wrap

Craving a neck hug? The curve of this stuffed animal wrap allows it to lay smoothly across the neck. (It can also double as a travel pillow!)

It’s filled with all-natural grain and dried French lavender to provide a soothing scent. Fully microwavable, it can be used for hot and cold therapy. As an added bonus, this therapeutic wrap is available in a variety of animal shapes and meets U.S. safety standards for all ages.

Best warming lap pad

Sensory4U Panda Bear

This lap pad designed to look like a panda bear stretches 17 x 22 inches. It has a 4-pound removable glass bead-filled inner pad that can be removed and heated in the microwave to create a warm, soothing pad.

One thing to keep in mind is that it is recommended to hand wash the exterior, and with white fabric it can quickly become dirty.

Best lightweight Teddy Bear

Wild Baby Weighted Plush Pal

This 10-inch stuffed animal weighs in at less than 1 pound making it perfect for young children. It’s also ideal for travel.

Each animal is filled with natural clay beads and dried lavender to offer a relaxing smell. It can be fully heated in the microwave, and the removable therapy pack can be used as heating pad or frozen for cold therapy.

As an added bonus, the company offers free returns within 30 days.

Best for multiple senses and aromatherapy

Intelex Warmies Marshmallow Bear

This teddy bear offers a lavender scent — lavender has been associated with relaxation. This plushie weighs just under 2 pounds and is filled with grain and dried lavender.

The entire toy is microwavable for those who prefer a warmer touch. It can also be placed in the freezer for using with bumps or bruises.

Meeting the U.S. safety standards for all ages, the company makes a variety of different animals, so you can choose one that fits your personality.

Best weighted lap pad

Huggaroo Puppy

  • Price: $$$
  • Weight: 3.6 pounds

This lap pad comes designed as either a puppy or a lamb. Made of 100 percent polyester fabric, the pad is filled with hypoallergenic, odorless, food-grade, polypropylene (plastic) pellets.

The pad’s soft, plush fabric can be stroked for grounding and is soft enough to sleep with. While not so large to make travel impossible, this is a larger weighted animal.

Stretching 29 x 8 inches, both the outer cover and inner weighted insert are washable. It weighs in at 3.6 pounds.

Weighted stuffed animals not for you? Like your stuffed animal, but want to try other things, too?

  • Sniff some lavender. Whether you rub on some lavender scented lotion, take a lavender scented bath, or use a diffuser with essential oil, the smell of lavender can help to lower your blood pressure.
  • Take time to meditate or journal. Even young children can benefit from mindfulness and breathing exercises.
  • Talk to friends. There’s nothing like a good heart-to-heart. You may even want to join a class or group related to one of your interests to connect with some new people.
  • Talk with professional counselors. Sometimes we need the ear and advice of a person trained with approaches and ideas to help us sort through and manage our needs. Whether it’s a specific concern, short-term goal, or you don’t know where you’d start or what to talk about, there are different ways to access a therapist to talk to.

Even talking with your general physician or family doctor, who you’d see for physical concerns, can be a great thing. They may suggest support groups, talk therapy, or medication.

Stuffed animals aren’t just for small children. They can be useful for calming nerves, grounding, and meeting your hug needs, especially in times when you may be more isolated, and whether or not you experience ADHD.

Finding the perfect weighted stuffed animal can take a bit, but there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re struggling with a place to start, you might consider taking a closer look at a few of the ones on our list!


Catherine Crider, CD/PCD(DONA), CLEC, CBE, JD, MEd, has worked with children for the past decade as a trained elementary and special education teacher, and finds special joy in supporting blossoming families and their infants. She enjoys educating new parents and parents-to-be about their different options as well as the current best practices in baby care. Catherine writes for various websites and teaches full-spectrum childbirth and postpartum education in several locations in California’s North Bay Area and Peninsula.



Source link

Southern Vermont makes Fodor’s Travel ‘GO List’ of 2022 destinations


Fodor’s Travel has chosen southern Vermont for its “GO List of Destinations to Visit in 2022.”

The longtime guide-book publisher and online travel site picked the southern part of the state as one of its 49 options for its “GO List” for next year. Southern Vermont is one of only nine sites chosen for the Northeast, a list including Bar Harbor, Maine; the North End of Boston; and Asbury Park, New Jersey. All of the sites on the “GO List” for 2022 are within the U.S.

The premise of the article is that travelers have been cooped up since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020. “While the pandemic closed borders, forced lockdowns, and complicated travel planning, it gave us plenty of time to imagine all the wonderful places we’d like to visit after the plague recedes,” according to Fodor’s.

Traveling for Thanksgiving?: Here’s the weather expected in Vermont.

One of those wonderful places is southern Vermont. “The Green Mountain State’s modesty is no match for the myriad charms bursting around every bend in this southern stretch,” according to the Fodor’s article.

More: This Vermont dining experience ranks among Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants in America’

Fodor’s recommends Brattleboro because its “charming Downtown hosts a smattering of excellent restaurants (including the hyper-seasonal TJ Buckley’s housed in a vintage dining car for added ambiance), an owner-operated arts supply store Zephyr Designs to ignite dormant creativity, and Galanes Vermont Shop for all your local VT needs.”

Wilmington, according to Fodor’s, “will have you stumbling upon a 19th-century bedside lamp at Chapman’s Antiques or a sumptuous wool Scottish blanket from Quaigh Designs.”

“After you explore Brattleboro and Wilmington, it’s just a 10-minute drive to another darling VT town, West Dover,” Fodor’s writes. The site recommends wings and beer at the 1846 Tavern; skiing, snowboarding or mountain biking at Mount Snow; and pastries and cappuccino at Sticky Fingers Bakery.

“Best accessed by vehicle,” Fodor’s “insider tip” notes, “Southern Vermont’s darling towns encourage Sunday driving with ample time built in for spontaneous stops at roadside stands and country markets along the way.”

More: Snow Republic Brewing Co. gives a Vermont ski town a lift

Contact Brent Hallenbeck at [email protected]. Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.





Source link

Hawaiian Cruises Won’t Happen Until at Least 2022




Source link

11 Tips For Visiting Yellowstone In 2022


No matter when you visit, Yellowstone National Park is a pretty special place. But in 2022, you can expect everything in the park to be amazing. That’s because Yellowstone is celebrating its 150th anniversary and everyone’s invited to the party.

It’s no wonder that this spectacular spot became the very first national park, not just in the United States but the entire world in 1852. This incredible natural habitat includes bison, elk, wolves, and raptors, and other-worldly geothermal features including geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, travertine terraces, and mud pots. The home of the famous Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone attracts millions of people each year and 2022 is promising to be a banner year. If you want to celebrate the park’s big milestone, here are some tips for planning your visit.

Yellowstone’s 150th birthday is going to be chock-full of events. To keep up to date on all the announcements and possible changes of plans (for instance, if a trail shuts down for maintenance), monitor the park’s social media accounts. You can find Yellowstone National Park’s list of social media platforms here.

Campsite in Montana's portion of Yellowstone
Campsite in Montana’s portion of Yellowstone (heychli / Shutterstock.com)

2. Plan On Visiting Three States

While Yellowstone is considered an iconic Wyoming destination, the park is technically in three states. Ninety-six percent of the park’s territory is located in Wyoming but 3 percent is in Montana and 1 percent is in Idaho. Why does this matter? I have a sneaking suspicion that all three states will plan special celebrations for Yellowstone’s big birthday, so it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on their respective state tourism board social media accounts to see what might be announced.

I have to say, I have a soft spot for the Montana section of Yellowstone. On my first visit, I drove in through Montana and the West Entrance and I was instantly smitten. The scenery, as you might expect, is spectacular but what really stayed with me was how incredible the air smelled. It was so crisp and clear and even smelled a bit like cinnamon. What a way to start a trip!

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel at Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (Ronnie Chua / Shutterstock.com)

3. Book Your Accommodations Early. Super Early!

This is the kind of tip that applies to any National Park at any time: Book your accommodations early, especially if you want one of the highly in-demand historic park lodges. Now take one of the most popular parks around and add in the fact that 2022 is an extra special anniversary and you’ve got a scenario that equals really high demand and limited availability. You don’t want to book early. You want to book super early! (Feel free to hop over the park’s reservation page right now. We’ll wait).

Thankfully, there are plenty of amazing choices within the park. Yellowstone National Park Lodges operates nine lodges (both hotel-style and cabin-style) in the park with more than 2,000 rooms. All are open from late spring through fall, but only two are open in the winter: Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

4. Know The Cancelation Schedule 

Many rooms book a full year ahead of time but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a room if you aren’t an early bird. You can try checking availability 30 days or so before your visit. Those with existing reservations get a full refund if they cancel with at least 30 days’ notice. Another good benchmark for checking is at 8 days pre-trip. Summer guests lose their full deposit if they cancel with 7 days or fewer remaining before their trip. If a last-minute cancelation is going to open up, chances are it’s at the 8-day mark.

Backcountry campsite in Yellowstone National Park
drewthehobbit / Shutterstock.com

5. Last-Minute Travelers Might Luck Out For Camping

If you’re a last-minute kind of traveler, you’ll appreciate that three of Yellowstone’s 12 campgrounds are first-come, first-served. As well, there are 300 backcountry campsites. Yep, that does mean you’ll have to trek to get there! But it also means getting a tiny corner of the iconic park entirely to yourself, for just a few dollars a night. You can read all the details of what backcountry camping entails here

Another flexible option if the backcountry doesn’t appeal to you is the newly renovated Fishing Bridge RV Park. It’s slated to reopen in late May 2022. It will offer 172 revamped sites for hard-side RVs ranging from 40 to 95 feet, plus upgraded electrical service and additional shower and laundry facilities.

The Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming
Steve Cukrov / Shutterstock.com

6. Consider Booking Outside The Park

While it’s hard to argue with the convenience of staying within Yellowstone (to say nothing of how cool it is to experience the historic lodges), accommodations just outside the park might be a better deal. As things book up rapidly for the 150th anniversary, you might not find the availability or prices you were hoping for within Yellowstone’s boundaries. The hotels and inns of the gateway towns usually offer better prices and don’t book up as quickly. The Irma Hotel in nearby Cody is a good choice for anyone who wants something nearly as old as Yellowstone itself (the hotel was established in 1902) and plenty of legends (it was founded by Buffalo Bill himself.)

A landscape shot of Yellowstone National Park
Oomka / Shutterstock.com

7. Plan On Pacing Yourself

All parks promote wide open spaces but Yellowstone is a bit more wide open than most. It’s the second-largest park in the lower 48 states. Only Death Valley National Park is bigger. There are approximately 3,500 square miles to cover. There are people who’ve spent their whole lives exploring Yellowstone and haven’t come close to experiencing it all. So plan on pacing yourself. Expect drives to take longer than you expect, thanks to frequent stops to view wildlife and the resulting traffic accumulation.

The Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park
The Old Faithful Inn (f11photo / Shutterstock.com)

8. Try To Hang Out During Non-Peak Times

Yellowstone is beautiful any time of day but it’s especially lovely in the early morning and evening. That light is a photographer’s dream! And an extra nice perk is that there will be fewer people around. 

I was once so keen to visit on off-peak hours that I arrived super-early, only to crash mid-day when the combination of jetlag and a pre-dawn wake-up hit me. So I did what any sensible person would do: I took a nap in my car in a parking lot! The only thing I missed was the post-lunch crowds around Old Faithful and I promptly went inside the Old Faithful Inn to visit the tiny coffee kiosk that’s tucked away on the mezzanine level. One latte and a treat later and I was ready to go!

Bison walking on road in front of traffic
SL-Photography / Shutterstock.com

9. Don’t Be Finicky About Rental Car Prices

Unless you’re on an epic road trip (lucky you!) and have your own vehicle, you’ll need a rental car to explore Yellowstone National Park. There’s no comprehensive public transit system to rely on. Unfortunately, rental car prices just about everywhere are on the rise. When the COVID-19 pandemic began and travel all but stopped, most car rental companies sold a significant portion of their fleet in order to make up for lost revenue. Now travel is back, but these companies still haven’t regained their old stock levels. My best advice is to book your rental vehicle now and don’t hold off just because the choice of vehicles isn’t what you envisioned. Right now, getting a large sedan instead of an SUV might seem like a letdown but you could be stuck with a tiny compact car — or nothing at all. Take what you can get now but keep looking. Having something set up is better than nothing.

Hiking path in Yellowstone National Park
Focused Adventures / Shutterstock.com

10. Plan Out Some Paths

There are more than 900 miles of trails in Yellowstone National Park, ranging from short, easy, accessible paths to epic multi-day challenges. While you certainly don’t need any special training to tackle the majority of the park’s most popular routes, 2022 is shaping up to be an extremely busy year. If you want a path to yourself, you might have to go, well, not off the beaten path per se, but certainly along the road less traveled. Having a list of hikes that match your interests and abilities means you’ll always have a backup plan should your first choice be crowded.

11. Download All Your Plans

If you’re like me, you might email your travel plans to yourself or bookmark certain web pages and social media posts for easy reference when you travel. Alas, such clever plans don’t exactly work out in Yellowstone because much of the park has no reliable cell signal. That means no quick email checks! As such, download your travel plans before you enter the park and include some maps and driving instructions as well. Happily, Yellowstone National Park has its own app that you can download and use offline.

Read more about Yellowstone National Park in these articles:



Source link

National Geographic reveals ‘Best of the World 2022’ travel list


Now that coronavirus restrictions around the world are beginning to ease up, it’s time to start thinking about travel again. 

On Thursday, National Geographic revealed its annual “Best of the World” list for 2022, showcasing some of the best places to travel in the upcoming year. 

The list of 25 global destinations — which include locations such as Procida, Italy, and Caprivi Strip, Namibia — are split into five categories: Culture, Sustainability, Nature, Adventure and Family. 

IS IT SAFE FOR AMERICANS TO VACATION TO CANCUN? WHAT TRAVELERS NEED TO KNOW

“Travel options kind of vary right now,” George Stone, National Geographic Travel’s executive editor told Fox News. “So we have a whole bunch in North America, some that some people can even drive to. And then we have a handful that are quite far away for some of us, but are closer to our international partners.”

Tent camping under a rising Milky Way in Voyegeur's National Park in Minnesota.

Tent camping under a rising Milky Way in Voyegeur’s National Park in Minnesota.
(Photograph by Steve Burns, Getty Images)

“Things we highlight include new trails, new experiences,” Stone said. “We definitely dig into conservation aspects and sustainability partly, because I think that in this time away from travel, people are reflecting on how they want to be, you know, a more responsible traveler in the future and what that might mean.”

THE BEST SCENIC DRIVES FOR FALL COLOR IN AMERICA AND WHEN TO GO

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, National Geographic’s list features 10 UNESCO-designated destinations including Hokkaido, Japan; Parque Nacional Yasuni, Ecuador; Lake Baikal, Russia; the island country of Palau; and Lycia, Turkey. 

Guests enjoy the highest Via Ferrata in North America at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, topping outat 12, 999 feet, located in Summit County, Colorado. July 2021.

Guests enjoy the highest Via Ferrata in North America at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, topping outat 12, 999 feet, located in Summit County, Colorado. July 2021.
(Photograph courtesy Ian Zinner, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area)

The list also features several U.S.-based destinations such as Atlanta, for its strong cultural identity and the Arapahoe Basin, Colorado, for its adventurous mountain trails that are accessible even to “average outdoors people,” Stone told Fox.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

“With this time off from travel, people are going to be making much more conscientious choices about where they’re going,” Stone said. “And so we wanted to meet that with specific ideas about what is a unique, revealing and a safe destination for the year ahead.” 

For more of National Geographic’s Best of the World list, visit NatGeo.com/BestoftheWorld.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER



Source link

U.S. Travel & Tourism Rebounds in 2021, May Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2022


LONDON, Nov. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The latest research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector could experience year-over-year growth of 35.6% in 2021, significantly outpacing the year’s overall global tourism recovery.

The outlook is even more rosy for 2022, with the travel sector in the U.S. expected to grow by another 28.4%, reaching nearly $2 trillion of the U.S. economy for a contribution exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

By comparison, in 2019, the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP represented nearly $1.9 trillion (8.6% of the U.S. economy). However, in 2020, when the pandemic brought international travel to an almost complete standstill, the contribution to the sector dropped 41% to just $1.1 trillion (5.3% of the U.S. economy).

WTTC TRAVEL RECOVERY SURVEY SUMMARY
Based on the latest research from the WTTC – which represents the global Travel & Tourism sector – produced in partnership with Oxford Economics, below is a summary of key findings for the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector for 2021 and 2022:

U.S. Travel & Tourism – GDP Contribution and Growth

  • In 2021, the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector can expect a year-over-year growth of 35.6%, representing an increase of $393 billion, for a total contribution of nearly $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP. In comparison, the global economy is set to receive a 30.7% year-over-year increase from the travel & tourism sector in 2021.
  • At the current recovery rate, in 2022, the U.S. could experience a further year-over-year growth of 28.4%, representing an increase of $425 billion and bringing the sector’s total contribution to the U.S. economy beyond pre-pandemic levels at over $1.9 trillion.

Travel Spending

  • The nation’s economy has benefited from a rise in domestic travel, with spending set to increase 40.4% ($261 billion) in 2021, with a further year-over-year rise of 22.9% expected in 2022.
  • Although international spending by travelers in the U.S. is set to grow by a mere 1.9% this year due to prolonged travel restrictions throughout the year, recent changes to international travel restrictions will provide a significant year-over-year boost of almost 228% in 2022, representing an increase of $98 billion and total contribution of $141 billion.

Jobs

  • After the U.S. travel sector’s loss of more than 5.5 million jobs last year, employment is set to rise by 26.2% in 2021, representing an increase of 2.9 million jobs and total contribution of nearly 14 million jobs. In comparison, 2019 contribution represented more than 16.5 million jobs.
  • In 2022, employment is set to increase a further 19.7%, representing a year-over-year increase of 2.75 million jobs and bringing total jobs across the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector above pre-pandemic levels at 16.72 million jobs.

“Our research shows that while the global travel & tourism sector is slowly beginning to recover, the U.S. is recovering faster than many other regions,” said Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO. “Last year, the pandemic decimated more than five million Travel & Tourism jobs across the U.S.; however, due to a predicted rise in international and domestic spend this year and next, both jobs and GDP are on the rise.”

Simpson added: “The U.S. opening its borders and easing restrictions to major source markets such as the UK and the EU will provide a massive boost to economies on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the long-term recovery of the sector in the U.S and around the world depends on the U.S. border remaining open to international visitors and making travel easier.”

MEASURES TO BOOST GDP AND JOB GROWTH
According to the research, the sector’s contribution to the U.S. GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next, especially if governments worldwide put the measures below in place to facilitate global travel. These measures include:

  • Allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination.
  • The implementation of digital solutions that enable travelers to easily prove their COVID status, in turn speeding up the process at borders around the world.
  • For safe international travel to fully restart, governments must recognize all vaccines authorized by WHO.
  • Continued support of the COVAX/UNICEF initiative to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.
  • Finally, the continued implementation of enhanced health and safety protocols, which will underpin consumer confidence.

THE FUTURE COULD BE BRIGHTER FOR THE U.S.
If these five measures are followed before the end of 2021, research shows the impact on the economy and jobs across the U.S. could be considerable.

Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP could rise by 40.9% (more than $450 billion) by the end of this year, followed by a year-over-year increase of a further 30.9% ($480 billion) in 2022. This would equate to a $165 billion increase in contribution to the U.S. economy compared to pre-pandemic levels.

International spending would also benefit from government action, and experience a growth of 5.4% this year, and a significant boost of 253% in 2022.

The sector’s growth could also have a positive impact on employment, with a 31.1% increase in jobs in 2021.

However, with the right measures to support Travel & Tourism, the number of those employed in the sector next year could surpass pre-pandemic levels in 2022, with a year-over-year increase of 22%, reaching more than 17.7 million jobs.

WTTC SURVEY METHODOLOGY
Please visit the WTTC website for the full methodology report.

About the World Travel & Tourism Council
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global travel & tourism private sector. Members include 200 CEOs, Chairs and Presidents of the world’s leading travel & tourism companies from all geographies covering all industries. For more than 30 years, WTTC has been committed to raising the awareness of governments and the public of the economic and social significance of the travel & tourism sector.

According to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, during 2020, a year in which it was devasted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Travel & Tourism made a 5.5% contribution to global GDP and was responsible for 272 million jobs.

SOURCE The World Travel & Tourism Council



Source link

COP26 draft deal calls on countries to boost emissions cuts by end of 2022. Here’s what else is in it


Typically draft COP agreements are watered down in the final text, but there is also a chance that some elements could be strengthened, depending on how wrangling between countries pans out.

The document “recognizes that the impacts of climate change will be much lower at the temperature increase of 1.5 °C compared to 2 °C and resolves to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.”

Scientists say the world must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in order to avoid the climate crisis worsening and approaching a catastrophic scenario.

A key analysis published on Tuesday said the world is on track for 2.4 degrees of warming. That would mean the risks of extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, catastrophic sea level rise and food shortages would increase dramatically, scientists say.
Key takeaways from Tuesday at COP26: On track for 2.4 degrees of warming, and is America really 'back?'

The British COP26 presidency’s overarching goal was “to keep 1.5 alive,” so this firmed-up language is what it and other climate-leading nations were hoping for.

Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Brazil and Australia, have shown resistance to this change at various meetings over the past six months in the lead-up to COP26.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday in which they “discussed the importance of making progress in negotiations in the final days of COP26,” a Downing Street readout of the call showed.

“The Prime Minister said all countries needed to come to the table with increased ambition if we are to keep the target of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive.”

The draft also recognized that achieving this shift means “meaningful and effective action” by all countries and territories in what it calls a “critical decade.”

It “recognizes that limiting global warming to 1.5 °C by 2100 requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century,” using language that is in line with the latest UN climate science report.

Net zero is a state where the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere are no greater than those removed, whether through natural means like planting more trees to absorb carbon dioxide or capturing gases with technology.

“It is important that this agreement recognizes the importance of the 1.5 degree goal,” as well as the science that shows deep emissions cuts are needed over this decade, said William Collins, professor of meteorology at the University of Reading.

But he added: “The current pledges in Glasgow are not even close to meeting these cuts by 2030. If countries do not start straight away on a path towards these 2030 emission levels it will be too late to update them in 2025,” he said, referring to the next time countries are obliged to revise their targets.

“The hope was that this level of ambition could have been achieved in Glasgow; if not, countries will need to be brought back to negotiations again next year.”

On countries’ emissions plans

To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, every country needs to have a plan that aligns with that goal.

The most notable line in the draft is one that urges signatories to come forward by the end of 2022 with new targets for slashing emissions over the next decade, which scientists say is crucial if the world wants to have any chance of keeping warming below 2 degrees and closer to 1.5.

World is on track for 2.4 degrees of warming despite COP26 pledges, analysis finds

David Waskow, director of the International Climate Initiative with the World Resources Institute, welcomed the 2022 target as progress.

“So this is crucial language because it does set the time frame around when countries need to come forward with strengthened targets in order to align with Paris,” he said, referring the 2015 Paris Agreement, which set a global warming limit of 2 degrees, with a preference for 1.5.

Although that was agreed six years ago, many parties’ emissions plans do not align with that goal.

He warned that there were “certainly parties who have been pushing back on that,” naming Saudi Arabia and Russia as nations against new commitments by the end of 2022. CNN had reached out to those countries on the same issue on Tuesday and is seeking new comment.

Some experts like Waskow are welcoming this progress, as it requires countries to make new plans before 2025.

But after the UN’s climate science report in August showed climate change was happening faster than previously thought, some countries and groups had hoped for a rise in ambition more quickly.

“This draft deal is not a plan to solve the climate crisis, it’s an agreement that we’ll all cross our fingers and hope for the best,” Greenpeace International executive director Jennifer Morgan said in a statement, pointing to a recent study by Climate Action Tracker that shows the world is heading for 2.4 degrees of warming, even with the new pledges made ahead of COP26.

“The job of this conference was always to get that number down to 1.5C, but with this text world leaders are punting it to next year. If this is the best they can come up with then it’s no wonder kids today are furious at them.”

WRI’s director of climate negotiations, Yamide Dagnet, said it was climate-vulnerable countries that pushed for the stronger language on 1.5, but said what they wanted was for the agreement to set stronger obligations for particular nations. They are also seeing the 2022 goal as difficult for them to achieve without a bigger boost in funding.

“For them, it’s going to be very difficult … to come back home and to say, after all of your efforts … you have to do another adjustment effort within a year,” she said.

On fossil fuels

The draft agreement asks governments to “accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels.” This seems obvious as phasing out fossil fuels is necessary if greenhouse gas emissions are to decline. But the inclusion of specific language on this is a big step forward, since previous agreements haven’t mentioned coal and fossil fuel subsidies specifically.

The language is likely to be opposed by major fossil fuel-producing nations.

Humanity needs to ditch coal to save itself. It also needs to keep the lights on.

There are a couple of caveats though on phasing out coal and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

“It doesn’t give a date for either of these and for both it just says ‘accelerating the efforts’ to do so,” WRI President for Climate and Economics Helen Mountford said in a briefing.

COP26 chief Sharma had said before coming to Glasgow that a firm exit date on coal was one of his priorities.

There are also questions being raised over whether the clause on fossil fuels can even survive the next two days of negotiations.

“It does mention fossil fuels and everybody saying that’s amazing, but it doesn’t say that the world has to actually phase out coal as soon as possible, and then decarbonize by removing both natural gas and oil,” Mark Maslin, climate scientist at University College London told CNN.

So the problem here is that suddenly we have a statement that acknowledges that fossil fuels are the issue, but doesn’t actually say in a strong terms that this is what we have to get rid of … and this is the actions of countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia and Australia, who are basically sort of agitating from the background to make it weak,” he added.

There has been some progress on fossil fuels in Glasgow. Twenty-eight countries so far have signed on to an agreement to end the financing of unabated fossil fuel projects abroad by 2022. Unabated projects would be those that do not capture greenhouse gas emissions at the source before they escape to the atmosphere, which is a good start.

Dozens of new countries signed up to phase out coal at COP26, but the end date was the 2030s for developed nations and 2040s for developing countries — a decade later than Sharma and climate leaders had hoped for. The world’s three biggest emitters, China, India and the US, did not sign up. They are also the biggest coal users.

On who should pay what

The draft makes some strong points in a long section on the need to deliver on the promise made by the world’s richest countries more than a decade ago to provide $100 billion a year in climate financing to the developing world. That target was supposed to be met in 2020 but has been missed. It is supposed to go to helping developing countries reduce their emissions but also so they can adapt to the impacts of the crisis.

While countries wrangle over who should pay for the climate crisis, a community on Lagos Island is being swallowed by the sea

The developed world is historically responsible for far more emissions than the developing world, but many of the countries on the front line of the crisis have made little historical contribution to climate change. There is an understanding that the rich world needs to pay for some of the energy transition and adaptation.

“[The conference] notes with serious concern that the current provision of climate finance for adaptation is insufficient to respond to worsening climate change impacts in developing [countries],” the draft says, using fairly strong terms.

But it makes no movement on when the $100 billion should be delivered, pointing to 2023, which is three years past the deadline and currently what it is on track for. US climate envoy John Kerry and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were hoping for a 2022 date last week.

However, the draft does not give any specific details, reflecting the fact that the US, the European Union and other big players have been pushing against the idea.

“It is fuzzy and vague. The missed deadline for the $100 billion promise doesn’t get acknowledged — and this is a key ask from vulnerable countries,” said Mohamed Adow, director of the climate think tank Power Shift Africa.

But for the first time, the draft agreement also includes more specific language on “loss and damage” financing for the developing world, which is essentially financial liability for climate crisis impacts. Some of the countries most affected by the crisis are asking for more money to deal with the loss and damage they are already experiencing because of global warming, which is essentially the idea behind climate reparations.



Source link

Finnair confirms Asia expansion for summer 2022 | News


Finnair has unveiled plans to serve nearly 100 destinations in Asia, the US and Europe during the summer season, which begins on March 27th.

Finnair will open new long-haul routes to Busan in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda, Dallas in the US, and will also have Sapporo as a summer destination for the first time.

“We look forward to the world continuing opening again,” said Ole Orvér, chief commercial officer, Finnair.

“Before the pandemic, Japan was our single largest market outside our home market Finland, and we look forward to returning to all our five destinations in Japan.

“We are also opening a new route to Busan in South Korea, demonstrating our continuous commitment to offering the best and most sustainable connections between Europe and Asia via our Helsinki hub.”

“We are also pleased to strengthen our network in the US by adding Dallas as a new destination. Our customers will be able to enjoy great connections to other cities in North America through the extensive network of our alliance partner, American Airlines,” says Orvér.

If travel restrictions allow, Finnair will resume service to all the five destinations in Japan it served before the pandemic – Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo – and launch a new service to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Altogether, Finnair will fly up to 40 weekly flights between Helsinki and Japan in summer 2022.

Finnair flies daily to Tokyo Narita and Haneda, offering a total of 14 weekly frequencies to the capital of Japan.

The carrier also flies daily to Nagoya and Osaka and will introduce double dailies to Osaka in June. 

Finnair’s Sapporo route will be introduced for the summer season for the first time with two weekly frequencies, and Fukuoka in Southern Japan is served with three weekly flights.

Finnair connects customers to key Asian megacities, flying to Shanghai and daily to Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok.

Finnair offers daily flights to Delhi as of June.

The new Busan route in South Korea will be launched in March with three weekly frequencies.

In North America, Finnair will fly to Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, and open a route to Dallas as a new destination.

Dallas will be added to the network as of February 7th and will be operated four times a week, with excellent connections to Finnair’s partner American Airlines’ network.

As intercontinental traffic grows, Finnair will also strengthen its European network from Helsinki with smooth connections to more than 70 European cities, including new destinations Zagreb and Larnaca.

Finnair offers double daily flights to cities like Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Vienna, Zürich, Gdansk and Milan, and even more daily frequencies to Paris, London, Berlin, Warsaw, Brussels, St Petersburg as well as the Scandinavian and Baltic cities.

“We look forward to being able to serve more customers in a more personal way. I also look forward to updating you on some additional destinations and routes within the coming weeks,” concluded Orvér.





Source link