This Week in Travel News

Florida Pilot To Attempt Record-Setting, Solo Around-The-World Flight
West Palm Beach pilot Julie Wang announced her intention to circumnavigate the globe in a single piston-engine aircraft. The planned route will cover 23,000 nautical miles, mostly over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. If successful, Wang will become the first Chinese to have flown around-the-world solo, and the first Chinese woman to have completed a circumnavigation in an aircraft. Wang is piloting a Cirrus SR22 single-engine, 6-cylinder, 310-horsepower aircraft. She plans 17 stops en route, ending back in Addison, TX, in about 25 days. The trip is promoted by the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) China. Wang, a native of Dalian, China, has lived in Florida for the last six years where she is a Palm Beach-based flight instructor with 1,600 logged flight hours. She said she never considered she would undertake an around-the-world flight when she began flying in 2011. “I had just gotten my private certificate and I had the chance to meet Chen Wei who had just become the first Chinese man to fly around-the-world. I had never dreamed I might someday attempt that kind of journey myself. Wang, a former global advertising strategist, is an Airline Transport Pilot, a certified flight instructor and an FAA-approved chief flight instructor for the Part 141 flight training courses provided by Zulutime Pilot, the Stuart, Florida, flight school where she serves as Chief Instructor.

Italian Cities Limit Tourism With Quotas
Many tourist resorts in Italy are forced to restrict the number of visitors because of their popularity this summer. While the tourism industry in some countries have suffered a setback in the recent times, Italy is being viewed as a safe destination by foreign travelers. Tourists are restricted to fifteen admission intervals at Pompeii, the archaeological site. Meanwhile, only 24 people at a time are allowed every 15 minutes to visit Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “The Last Supper” kept at Milan Museum. The maximum number of people allowed to visit the Colosseum at a time is 3,000. The number of cars that can be parked per day at Oasis of Bidderosa is just 130. Similar restrictions have been imposed on Abruzzo National Park and others. There has been a 5% increase in the number of people visiting Venice this year. Florence has seen a 5.6% increase in tourists, while Capri and Liguria’s Cinque Terre have experienced 9% and 20% increase in visitors, respectively, over last year. This has forced the Italian cities to refrain from welcoming tourists with open arms in order to ensure their safety.

Average US Domestic Airfare Reached Six-Year Q4 Low in 2015
The average fourth-quarter 2015 U.S. domestic airfare dropped 8.3% year over year to $363, its lowest fourth-quarter level since 2010 when adjusted for inflation, the US Department of Transportation reported. Domestic fares were higher than their low of $350 during the recession of 2009, but carriers have lost some of the fare gains they have made since then. Fares in the third quarter of 2015, the most recent quarter for which such data are available, accounted for 75% of total quarterly revenue, down from 87.6% in 1995.

Scenic River Cruises Reduces Ocupancy On Its France Based Ships
Scenic is redesigning its France-based Space-Ships for 2017, reducing their passenger occupancy while keeping the same crew count, and adding features including a cooking emporium for classes. The number of cabins will go from 84 to 78, and passenger capacity from 167 to 155. Two new 510-square-foot Royal Owners Suites will be installed, along with larger wellness centers and a vitality pool. The Scenic Culinaire cooking school will offer immersive courses in the culinary wonders of the Rhône, Saône and Bordeaux regions. The dedicated space will feature cooking stations and a cheese and wine cellar as well as cameras and screens to ensure each participant can see every cooking move in detail. Fresh ingredients will be sourced from local markets and the instructors will introduce travelers to regional recipes based on the itinerary. Plenty of sessions are scheduled throughout the cruise but as class sizes are limited, passengers are encouraged to register their interest early. There is no extra charge for the classes. The ships are Scenic Diamond, plying the rivers of Bordeaux, and Scenic Sapphire, which cruises the Rhône and Saône in the south of France. Plus, new Scenic Enrich experiences include ‘Scenic Rouge,’ a traditional French cabaret performance with the famous can-can, under a big-top in Lyon.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Coming To Disneyland Resort
Beginning summer 2017, guests at Disney California Adventure Park will join in a daring confrontation with one of the most unusual characters in the park’s history: Tanaleer Tivan, the Collector. He has opened his unique collection of fauna, relics and species to guests for a special tour culminating with his latest prized possessions: the Guardians of the Galaxy, themselves! Fortunately, Rocket has a plan to free his friends­ – and that plan includes recruiting Disneyland Resort guests in a sensational rescue effort. This comically cosmic, rocking new adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is the result of a collaboration between the creative minds behind the comic books, the films and Walt Disney Imagineering. The attraction will drop guests directly into the story alongside characters from the comic books and the blockbuster films. Joe Rohde, Portfolio Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, is leading the project. The new attraction will anchor a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time in Disney California Adventure Park. Fans of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will want to experience the attraction from now until its final “drop day,” which will be celebrated in true Disney fashion in early January.

Hotel Check-In By Fingerprint To Begin In Japan
Japan will begin to allow registered visitors to use their fingerprints as form of identification in lieu of their passport to check-in at hotels beginning March 2017. As part of the pilot project 80 hotels and Japanese Guesthouses will enroll for this new method of registering their foreign guests. Visitors to Japan will be able to use their fingerprints instead of passports to identify themselves at some hotels thanks to technology introduced by a Tokyo venture. Liquid will start offering a fingerprint-based authorization system by March in a bid to increase travel convenience. Some 80 hotels and Japanese-style inns in major tourist spots like Hakone and Atami, two hot spring resort areas not far from Tokyo, will be among the first to install the system. More inns and hotels will follow. The ministry will cover part of the installation costs. Visitors to Japan can register their fingerprints along with their passport information in their home countries or at registration spots at airports or elsewhere. To participate as a traveler you will first need to register yourself at a designated enrollment center with the original passport.

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