London suffers Olympics tourism slump
The wettest summer in a century compounded the problem, with some sites attracting 60 per cent fewer visits during the Games than during the same period last year, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA).
Some individual attractions suffered such a significant drop in visitor numbers during the Olympic Games – which ran from July 27 to August 12 – that they asked officials at ALVA to hold back full details until the entire report is released next year.
Outdoor sites suffered the worst fall, with visitors to the garden and leisure sector – which includes Kew Gardens and London Zoo – falling by an average of 21.3 per cent.
Tourist Safety in Vietnam’s Famed Bay Questioned
By the time Michael Chai spotted the other boat bearing down on his craft, it was too late to shout a warning to the captain, and the vessels collided. Within a few seconds, he and 17 other Taiwanese tourists were plunged into Vietnam’s Halong Bay, without life jackets, fighting to survive.
Five people in the party of tourists drowned in Wednesday’s accident, trapped under the hull of their capsized boat, raising fresh questions over safety standards in one of Vietnam’s most visited attractions.
“I love this country, but I am worried about safety,” Chai said in a telephone interview Friday from Halong Bay. “The government should be responsible for this.”
Each day, up to 10,000 tourists from around the world sail Halong Bay, a UNESCO heritage site three hours east of the capital, Hanoi. For many, it’s the highlight of their trip to this scenic Southeast Asian country. But at least four deadly accidents over the last 10 years and many more alarming safety incidents recounted on travelers’ blogs have led to allegations that tour companies are cutting corners.
Your hotel room can be hacked with a ‘dry erase marker’
One of the nice things about traveling is staying in a hotel—assuming you pick the right hotel. You get a nice comfy bed, perhaps some free breakfast in the morning, and people to come in and tidy up everyday. One thing you probably don’t expect, though, and wouldn’t appreciate, is having an unauthorized visitor enter your room while you’re not there.
Well, depending on what type of key system is used at the hotel you’re staying in, it might be possible for someone with a “dry erase marker” to bypass the door key system and walk right in. No, you can’t circumvent hotel door security with an actual dry erase marker, but security researchers recently demonstrated a tool disguised as a dry erase marker, which can be used to access some hotel door locks.
The locks in question are used in more than four million rooms, found in 22,000 hotels around the world. Is your preferred hotel chain one of them? Perhaps. The manufacturer of the affected lock system has promised to fix it ASAP.
Emirates airlines allows in-flight cell phone chatting
Love it or hate it — cell phone use is now making its way onto airplanes while in flight.
According to All Things D, the Dubai-based airline carrier Emirates is now allowing its A380 aircraft passengers to chat on their mobile devices while in the air. The first call was made last week by using the airline’s Wi-Fi service called OnAir.
Emirates is known as a tech savvy airline. In 2006, it announced that it would start letting passengers use cell phones during flights, along with e-mail and text messaging. At the time, the technology to make this happen was fairly clunky because cellular signals had to be operated through a satellite system. Presumably, using OnAir’s technology now makes cell phone use a bit more seamless.