The First Annual Travel Blog Awards

We were fortunate enough to be nominated for the first ever Best Travel Blog Award. If  you like and feel we are worthy, give us a vote. But more importantly, visit the other sites and learn what other travel blogs are out there.

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Other Travel Blogs Nominated

Airline Catering Companies Loses 30 Percent of Sales Since 2000

The airline  industry has had many  changes, but the cutting of meals on the flights has had a major impact on the airport catering operations. The industry has had to re-trench and lay off thousands of employees. Interesting watching how an industry can change so rapidly.

The drop in meal service has forced the caterers to re-trench. Worldwide employment at LSG Sky Chefs, a division of German airline company Deutsche Lufthansa, has tumbled 29 percent to 29,000 in five years. The number of kitchens it operates has dropped from 205 to 190.
In the U.S. market, the number of airline meals prepared by LSG Sky Chefs fell by more than half from 2000 to 2004, the most recent period for which figures were available.
Worldwide revenue at Gate Gourmet, meanwhile, dropped 34 percent from 2000 to 2004, to $1.85 billion. Gate Gourmet, owned by the private investment firm Texas Pacific Group, has cut its employment by more than 15 percent over the same period, to 22,000 today.
The company also shuttered nearly a third of its U.S. kitchens. And in another effort to further lower its costs, Gate Gourmet last month secured a 6.5 percent cut in wages from its U.S. workforce.
Another side effect of reduced in-flight dining is a spurt in sales at airport food concessions, as passengers stock up before boarding. With increased airport security prompting travelers to arrive hours early, there’s plenty of time to buy food. via IndyStar.com.

‘Da Vinci Code’ tourism boost – Eurostar to Partner with Film Company

Davincicode2006 is going to see a new wave  of set jetting, as it is expect that there will be a tremendous amount of people traveling to see the locations the movie “Da Vinci Code” was filmed in. So much travel is expected between the England and France, Eurostar is a major partner with “Da Vinci Code”.

Revealing its status as a global partner of the blockbuster film, due for release in May, Eurostar said it would work with the tourist industry in England, France and Scotland to promote travel between Britain and France.

“Eurostar will work with VisitBritain, Visit London, VisitScotland, as well as Maison de la France, to encourage tourists to take their own Da Vinci Code trail and follow in the footsteps of the books hero Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks in the film,” Eurostar said in a statement.

The Da Vinci Code delves into a series of high-profile murders behind a Vatican plot to conceal the true meaning of the Holy Grail. Much of the action takes place in London and Paris.

“The Da Vinci Code has had a major impact on the numbers choosing to travel with Eurostar to London and Paris and so it makes sense for us to be at the heart of the film release of 2006,” said Paul Charles, director of communications at Eurostar.  via USATODAY.com

Augustine Volcano Disrupts Air Travel In Alaska

 Augustine VolcanoThe eruption of the Augustine Volcano has caused disruption for flights in and out of Alaska between Anchorage and Fairbanks. The ash plume makes it difficult to fly, and very dangerous to fly at night.

Alaska Airlines canceled 28 flights on Friday, a major cargo carrier diverted flights from Anchorage to Fairbanks and the Alaska National Guard moved several aircraft out of the city Friday as Augustine Volcano sent ash plumes miles into the sky.

State and city emergency services responders activated operations centers and planned to monitor the volcano’s activity over the long holiday weekend. Several government agencies urged employees to shut down their computers and cover them before leaving their offices. Via Anchorage Daily News

To learn more about the Augustine Volcano eruption, visit the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Hemingway’s Bahamas Bar Destroyed By Fire

Ernest hemmingway museumA landmark in the Bahamas has been destroyed, The Ernest Hemingway museum was destroyed by fire and the historic bar The Compleat Angler in the same fire. These structures were on the island of Bimini, and were frequented by Hemingway in the 1930’s during his many fishing trips to the island.

The early morning blaze leveled the wood structure in Alice Town and destroyed photographs and Hemingway memorabilia, police said.
The destruction of the tiny island’s biggest tourist attraction is the second major blow to hit Bimini in a month. On December 19, 11 residents were among 20 people killed when a Chalk’s Ocean Airways seaplane plunged into the sea in Miami’s shipping channel.
Hemingway drank at The Compleat Angler between fishing trips in his vessel Pilar in search of marlin, wahoo and sailfish in the pristine waters around Bimini. via CNN.com

Ernest hemmingway museum 2And a brief description of the bar and museum:

Pictures and stories of “Papa” Ernest Hemingway adorn the Hemingway Museum. They tell stories of how he made Bimini one of his favorite getaways. He frequented the Complete Angler, a local bar where the Museum is located. Visit one of his homes and see where he wrote a good portion of his books, To Have and Have Not, and Islands in the Stream. At the museum we learned that one of the main reasons Hemingway loved this island is because Bimini has long been know as the big-game-fishing capital of the Bahamas. Deep-sea anglers find bliss here, for in its waters roam great warriors such as marlin, swordfish, giant tuna, wahoo, sailfish, and bonefish. via Tropical Adventure dot com

Top 10 Travel Stories for 2005 by the NBTA

The National Business Travel Association did a survey of  their membership on the top stories for  2005. They decided bankruptcy was the top story, with hurricanes coming in second.

  1. Airlines Seek Shelter from the Storm; U.S. Airline Bankruptcies
  2. Mother Nature Scorned; The 2005 Hurricane Season
  3. The Explosions Heard Around the World; The London Terror Bombings
  4. Coming to America… With a Passport; Passport and Border Crossing Requirements
  5. Plenty of Room at the Hotel California? Not this Year; The Rebound of the Hotel Industry
  6. Hard-Fought Victory; The Registered Traveler Program
  7. Are the New Kids on the Block Changing Travel Distribution?  GDS New Entrants
  8. Preparing for the Day after Tomorrow; The Avian Influenza
  9. More Complication in the Air Market; Airfare Simplification
  10. Business Travel is Not a Sin; The Proposed Air Security Fee Increase

The full report is available here.

United Airlines Stock Option Plan Refused By Creditors

In a swift and abrupt turnaround, United Airlines has scrapped a plan that would have turned over ownership of 15 percent of the newly issued stock to managers. This plan caused a huge upheaval of ill will to management by the line employees and would have been a bad precedent for future airlines coming out of bankruptcy.

United Airlines has agreed to scale back a management stock-ownership plan and make other changes to its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The moves have won the support of the committee representing unsecured creditors, who Thursday withdrew their opposition to the strategy.

The carrier originally proposed to give about 400 top executives and managers 15 percent of United’s new stock when it emerges from Chapter 11, then scaled that back to 11 percent before finally agreeing to 8 percent.

The management compensation proposal was among the issues that threatened to delay United’s exit from bankruptcy protection.

The committee unanimously backed the revised plan, said Fruman Jacobson, the unsecured creditors’ attorney.

Chicago Tribune | United reduces stock payments to management.

Delta may offer more U.S.-Mexico flights – 2006-01-12

DeltaDelta is following through with their plan on International expansion announcing a big push into Mexico. The combination of increased tourism and business travel makes this a smart move for Delta.

• Atlanta to Acapulco (April 5), to Merida (Feb. 26) and to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa (April 12).
• Cincinnati to Cancun (June 1) and to Los Cabos (Feb. 18).
• Los Angeles to Cancun (June 3) and to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa (April 15).
• New York-JFK to Acapulco (March 11), to Cozumel (June 3), to Los Cabos (April 8) and to Puerto Vallarta (March 4)
• Salt Lake City to Mazatlan (March 8).

via Cincinnati Business Journal

New Look at the Hotel Hotsheet – New Holiday Inn Select IPod Alarm Clock

First of all, congrats to Megg Mueller at the Hotel Hotsheet over at USA Today. Beautiful layout and an outstanding site. Congrats!

Now for the tip I found over at the Hotsheet. Holiday Inn Select is rolling out an Ipod Alarm Clock for t

Holiday Inn Select hotels is looking to further entice Gen-Xers by appealing to the iPod crowd. Wait. That’s just about everyone, isn’t it? Anyway, the brand is putting the iHome iH5, an all-in-one docking station, charger and clock radio, into its guest rooms.

Go visit the post and take a look at the clock. I have one like it next to my bed, and it is outstanding! Bet Holiday Inn Select will be willing to sell you one too, if you are lucky enough to be at a property that has it.

Also, say hi to Megg, and congratulate her on the new look. Someday the Travel Bloggers will have a site that looks that good… Someday…

American Queen Cancels 2006 Season

American_queenIt looks like the Hurricane Katrina has hurt another segment of the New Orleans tourism business as the steamboat cruise business is still hurting. Typically New Orleans is the starting or the end point to the Mississippi cruises. That is a large amount of hotel rooms that will not be filled during 2006.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. said the American Queen’s 2006 schedule will be cancelled “due to conditions in New Orleans and along the lower Mississippi River system.”

The vessel has been privately chartered through January, and possibly beyond that time, according to Delta Queen President Bruce Nierenberg.

The company said in a statement that it has seen strong positive momentum in bookings” in recent months and hopes this trend continues. But it is apparent that the upriver itineraries would have a difficult time supporting a three-boat operation” for the whole 2006 operating year.

 

The Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen are slated to operate with “minimal” schedule changes this spring. via Travel Weekly