Travel News: February 16, 2018

Bartolome, Galapagos

Luxury hotels are giving free weddings to couples named Meghan and Harry
Business Insider

If you and your partner have the names Meghan and Harry, chances are you’ve already received a bit of slack from your pals – but it could be about to pay off.

The Sheraton Grand London Park Lane has revealed a package for one lucky couple called Meghan and Harry.

If your names happen to match those of the royals and you are engaged also, you could win their five-star luxury wedding service package – complete with use of their art deco ballroom for the reception and their prestigious Grand Suite to stay in on your wedding night.


Southwest Airlines reveals five new routes as it extends schedule into fall

Southwest Airlines announced five new non-stop routes Thursday as the carrier extended its booking schedule through Oct. 1.

Several of the new routes will put Southwest into highly competitive markets. Its new Atlanta-Nashville service, for example, will go up against Delta’s 11 daily round-trip flights on the route. Southwest’s Denver-Cincinnati route also will face competition, with four other carriers offering either seasonal or year-round service between the cities.

Southwest did not discontinue any year-round non-stop routes in its latest schedule update, though service was significantly reduced on several city-pairs.


Airbnb Is Set to Launch a New Tier of Select Properties

Airbnb is close to announcing its newest product, Airbnb Select, perhaps as early as next week, Skift has learned.

And it’s good news for those who have always longed for more quality assurance or control in the Airbnb accommodation experience.

Last month, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky tweeted that on Feb. 22, the company would share  “our biggest changes to our platform in our 10-year history” and it’s a good bet that Airbnb Select is one of those changes. On Tuesday, the company would not confirm what it plans to announce on that date.


Galápagos fights temptation of mass tourism
Deutsche Welle

Who wouldn’t want to go to a white sand beach and soak up some sun alongside a lounging iguana, or surf in waters with those lumbering tortoises swimming beside you and a rainbow of tropical fish below?

But in order to protect the flora, fauna and ecosystems of this Pacific archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, Ecuador is in the odd position of having to turn away perhaps millions of would-be tourists each year.

Keeping a tight lid on tourism is the way the South American country has preserved this volcanic string of 19 large islands, dozens of islets and rocky outcroppings. Authorities wage this fight as world tourism grows and grows – it was up seven percent last year – and they must resist the temptation to let in hordes of visitors, their pockets bulging with dollars. “The Galápagos are the crown jewel, and as such, we have to protect them,” Tourism Minister Enrique Ponce de Leon told. “We must be drastic in caring for the environment.”

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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