Travel News: Top Culinary Destination

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Top Culinary Destination of 2017 
Food 52 reports for the sixth year in a row, the World Travel Awards selected Peru as their Leading Culinary Destination of 2017. The South American country has received the designation since 2012. With its fresh take on seafood and a cooking style that remains regionally and seasonally conscious, Peru’s reign comes as no surprise. The country was in the running for this year’s award alongside Argentina, Australia, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and the U.S. This award, it seems, is part of a larger global trend of people paying attention to Peruvian food: Earlier this year, Bloomberg called Lima the “World’s Best Food City” and chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz’s Lima restaurant, Central, was featured on Netflix’s most recent season of Chef’s Table. It’s nice to see attention being paid to countries, regions, and flavors outside the traditional culinary vanguard of France and Italy, since places like Malaysia, Argentina, and Peru have food cultures and restaurant scenes that beg recognition, too. 
 
Princess Plans Largest Canada/New England Season In 2019
Travelwire reports Caribbean Princess will offer its largest Canada/New England deployment in autumn 2019 and the chance to visit Greenland round-trip from New York. The season includes three ships with 16 departures, visiting 16 destinations on seven itineraries. Three late night calls and two overnights in port are featured, along with access to four UNESCO World Heritage sites. The new 16-day ‘Greenland & Canada’ voyage round-trip from New York on Caribbean Princess visits three ports in Greenland and three ports in Canada. Also new is a 24-day ‘Canada & New England’ voyage round-trip from Southampton on Sapphire Princess, with an overnight stay in New York and a maiden call at Rockland, Maine. ‘Canada & New England’ voyages depart Saturdays from New York on Regal Princess, and there will be more departures than ever of the line’s 10-day ‘Classic Canada & New England’ voyages, including one in August. These sail from Québec City and New York on Caribbean Princess, with overnight stays in Québec and scenic cruising on the St. Lawrence River on every cruise. Plus, there will be late-night stays in Boston and Saguenay on every Québec to New York departure. Thirteen-day ‘Canada & Colonial America’ voyages sail both in summer and autumn between Québec and Port Everglades on Caribbean Princess, with overnight stays in Québec. A five-day ‘Canadian Atlantic Provinces Getaway’ will sail from New York on Regal Princess. Passengers will have access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Historic District of Old Québec, Old Town Lunenburg, Landscape of Grand Pré and the Statue of Liberty. Two cruise-tour options visit colonial America or Niagara Falls and eastern Canada. The ‘Historic America’ program includes such important places as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and the Gettysburg Battlefield. The ‘Maple Explorer’ program features cities like national capital Ottawa and French-flavored Montréal with guided tours of the Canadian Museum of History, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A cruise through the picturesque Thousand Islands is included. A reduced deposit of 10% is available for Captain’s Circle member bookings made by Aug. 31, 2018.
 
Robotic Falcons Take Flight At Edmonton International Airport 
Robotic falcons to scare away real birds at Edmonton airport
The latest line of defense in keeping wildlife from flight paths at the Edmonton International Airport is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) called a robird. Painted to look like a female falcon, the robotic bird swoops in with wings flapping up and down. Aerium Analytics, a Calgary-based company which is working with Clear Flight Solutions out of the Netherlands, demonstrated the new UAV technology 
The drones will be part of the existing wildlife management system that includes habitat relocation, pyrotechnics and a live falcon that is brought in to assist in keeping the airport runways safe. Robird UAVs will be part of Edmonton International Airport’s Wildlife Management Plan. It will also be watched closely by NAV Canada and Transport Canada as drone technology is strictly regulated in Canada. All drones must fly in line of sight and have two operators, a pilot and observer on hand. Aerium Analytics sees the robirds as a foot-in-the-door for drone technology in Alberta. The company uses drones for surveying, planning and inspecting workplace sectors like mining, forestry, agriculture as well as the oil and gas industry. 
 
More US Citizens Travel Internationally In 2017
The National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) reported that US travel to overseas markets totaled 2.95 million, up 7% in September and 10 percent for the year (29.6 million). There were 1.676 million travelers to Europe, up 17%, Caribbean-357,000 travelers, down 15%, Asia, 420,000 travelers, up 4%, Middle East, 158,000 travelers, up 2%, Central America, 147,000 travelers, up 1%, South America, 119,000 travelers, down 8%, Oceania, 48,000 travelers, flat, Africa, 30,000 travelers, up 4%, US travel to other North American markets totaled 3.886 million and was up 11%, compared to September 2016. Travel to Canada and Mexico for the year (37.1 million) was up 9%. Mexico, 2.4 million travelers, up 16% in September. Air travel (467,000) was up 4%. Border 1+ nights up 23% and ‘Tourist’ (longer haul) travel up 8% percent. Canada, 1.46 million travelers, up 3%. Air travel (457,000) up 2% September 2017 YTD Market Share. US travel to overseas locations accounted for 44% of US outbound international travel.Europe, a 19% share; Caribbean, a 10% share; Asia, a six% share; Central America, a 4% share; South America, a 2% share which dropped due to declines in non-stop travel to Brazil (-29%), Chile (-8%), Peru (-5%) and Venezuela (-42%); Middle East, a 3% share; Oceania, a 1% share, and Africa, almost 1% share. North American markets received 56% of all U.S. international outbound travel. US travel to Mexico a 38 % share; and Canada a 17% share. For detailed information and data tables visit: http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2017-O-001/index.htm 
 
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Two Ancient Tombs Discovered In Luxor
Egypt has announced the discovery of two small ancient tombs in the southern city Luxor dating back some 3,500 years and hopes it will help the country’s efforts to revive its ailing tourism sector. The tombs, located on the west bank of the river Nile in a cemetery for noblemen and top officials, are the latest discovery in the city famed for its temples and tombs spanning different dynasties of ancient Egyptian history. The 18th dynasty private tombs were already known. But it’s the first time to enter inside the two tombs. The discoveries are part of the ministry’s efforts to promote Egypt’s vital tourism industry, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, that was hit hard by extremist attacks and political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. The ministry said one tomb has a courtyard lined with mud-brick and stone walls and contains a six-metre burial shaft leading to four side chambers. The artifacts found inside were mostly fragments of wooden coffins. Wall inscriptions and paintings suggest it belongs to era between the reigns King Amenhotep II and King Thutmose IV, both pharaohs of the 18th dynasty. The other tomb has five entrances leading to a rectangular hall and contains two burial shafts located in the northern and southern sides of the tomb. Among the artifacts found inside are funerary cones, painted wooden funerary masks, clay vessels, a collection of some 450 statues and a mummy wrapped in linen who was likely of a top official. A cartouche carved on the ceiling bears the name of King Thutmose I of the early 18th dynasty. The Antiquities Ministry has made a string of discoveries since the beginning of 2017 in several provinces across Egypt, including the tomb of a royal goldsmith in the same area and belonging to the same dynasty, whose work was dedicated to the ancient Egyptian deity Amun.
 
Air New Zealand Leads The Way With The Google Assistant
Air New Zealand has become the first airline in Australasia to launch on the Google Assistant, offering customers a convenient, handsfree way to talk to the airline on the go. The airline’s customers are now able to ask Air New Zealand about a range of topics via the Google Assistant, including check-in and baggage limits, using a range of devices. Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says launching with the Google Assistant opens up more options for customers to interact with the airline. “Voice is a growing channel and therefore it’s important that we offer this as an option for customers to interact with us. We see voice as playing a particularly useful role on the day of travel, giving customers who may have their hands full with last minute travel preparations, the ability to check travel information without having to manually look it up on a device.” The airline has been increasingly experimenting with Artificial Intelligence. Its chatbot Oscar has been assisting customers with commonly asked flight, baggage, lounge and Airpoints™ queries since his introduction in February. His performance has steadily improved with every interaction and today he as an average of 900 conversations per day with customers and boasts a conversation success rate of more than 70%. Air New Zealand will look to further develop its Google Assistant capability in the future, including introducing the ability to sign into a booking or Airpoints™ account to enable even more personalized responses. The Google Assistant is available across devices, including on eligible Android 6.0+ and iPhones, Android TVs and smart speakers like Google Home (in Australia).

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