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2020 Predicted as the Boom Year for Tourism

  

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In recent years, traveling has not just been as a form of leisure but has become a sort of investment especially among Millenials. Thanks to the influence of digitalization, and globalization, most young adults are trading career and family life to plane tickets and picturesque sceneries. As the decade draws to a close, survey from the United Tour Operators (USTOA) shows that exponential growth and good sales are the expected travel trends for 2020.

 

Seeing The Boom Year 

Based on the association’s survey results, as much as 82 percent of tour operators anticipate growth in sales for 2020. In fact, 45% or almost half of the respondents see it as the “boom year” with expected growth from 7 to 10 percent or even higher. 

 

This positivity might be a result of good sales in 2019 as 69% say that they have seen an increase for this year, with half of the respondents saying they have enjoyed a 10 percent increase in sales or higher. 

 

The growth in tourism also affects all aspects of travel including the airline industry as 67% claimed a steady growth in the number of passengers for 2019. 

 

So what are the key reasons for this exponential growth? 

 

One-third of the respondents said that this might be attributed to better and improved marketing strategies- and in an era of Facebook and Instagram, marketing on a global scale has never been this easy (and cheap!). On the other hand, infrastructure projects, travel agency’s expansion in their portfolio of products, and new programs have also contributed to the sales growth. 

 

 

The Next Top Travel Destination

Based on the survey, the picture-perfect city of Italy remained the most popular destination for travelers in 2020. While the island might expect an influx of tourists for the new year, there are also emerging destinations for those who want to take the off-beaten path. 

 

For travel advisors, the wealth of history in Egypt plays a key role in being named as the top emerging destinations. “Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story. It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years.” Terry Dale, President, and CEO for USTOA said. 

 

Croatia and Columbia also follow as one of the emerging destinations, as well as  Slovenia, Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, and Ethiopia.

 

Meanwhile, the next “hot” destination for 2020 is listed as; France, Spain, Greece, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, Germany, and South Africa.

 

On the other hand, if you are looking for local top spots, respondents list California as one of the most popular destinations, followed by New York, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.

 

Expected Problems 

While there is a steady increase in sales, the next year’s presidential election might have a strong influence on traveler confidence. Another key factor that might affect the tourism industry is the recession, especially with the looming global financial instability. 

 

For the next year, travel advisers see that tourists are not only after visiting places and frequenting gift shops but as well as having that authentic local experience. In fact, local immersion, small groups/small ships and uncharted destinations were identified as the next top travel trend to look out for in the next five years. 


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Destinations

Thai National Park Will Mail Back Litter to Visitors

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Varawut Silpa-archa tells tourists to avoid littering in the Khao Yai National Park. Offenders will receive their garbage back through mail.

The Khao Yai National Park aims to let visitors be accountable for their littering. Anyone who visits the area must remember that throwing garbage within the park is a major no-no. No one likes to have their garbage mailed back to them, right?

The Khao Yai National Park is a popular wildlife destination in Thailand. Situated near Bangkok, the Thai national park is known for its diverse, endemic wildlife and lush vegetation. Established in 1962, the park is home to diverse animal species including monkeys and elephants. The park covers a wide area of more than 700 square miles, as well. Visiting tourists are blamed for desecrating the protected location by leaving behind used cans, bottles, and other empty food receptacles.

Garbage Sent Back as Mail

To counter the problem, Varawut Silpa-archa, Thailand’s minister of natural resources and environment, announces that all garbage found to have been littered by visitors shall be sent back to them via mail. Violators shall also be banned from the place, registered with the Thai police, and be faced with a probable fine or 5-year stay in prison.

To make it more convenient for police to pinpoint offenders, all tourists are required to register their names and home addresses. “Your trash—we’ll send it back to you,” Mr Silpa-archa asserts as he reminds would-be visitors of the possible consequences of littering in the national park. In his Facebook post, he shares images showing the trash collected in the place and the consequent “trash package” to be sent back to the identified violator.

“I will pick up all of your garbage,” his message’s translation states. “Postage back …home as [a] souvenir,” the translation continues.

Reopening of Borders

In June 2020, Thailand approved its plan for the reopening of its borders to select foreign visitors. Consequently, the Southeast Asian nation began accepting international travellers from various countries in July. However, accepted tourists are sternly reminded to uphold the different guidelines imposed. The Khao Yai National Park, for instance, is home to a variety of animals and cleanliness must be strictly maintained. Garbage left by tourists can be highly dangerous to wildlife.

Besides harming the general environment, empty food packages, when not immediately found, are accidentally eaten by the animals. Thus, visitors are strictly forbidden to leave any garbage in the park and remember the consequences of such irreverent practice.  

Adherence to Guidelines

It is important for tourists to follow the guidelines imposed by the Thai government. Littering in the Khao Yai National Park is punishable by law. Aside from receiving their garbage once they get back to their home country, violators may be banned, fined, or imprisoned for 5 years.

Protecting the environment must be upheld, not only in Thailand, but all across the world. The issue of climate change is of major concern. Various natural disasters and emergency health concerns are directly related to the rapid degradation of our natural resources. The massive call for environmental protection and conservation should be answered by all.

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Traveling Across All 7 Continents in a Wheelchair

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For many, traveling across all 7 continents is an ultimate goal. For Cory Lee who is also a traveler, however, it’s his most fervent wish. So, he found a way to reach his dream destinations.

A Traveler with Skeletal Muscle Atrophy

Lee has been using a wheelchair ever since he was 4 years old. Diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disease that causes weakness and skeletal muscle atrophy, Lee was raised by his single mother who was a teacher. He says that he developed his love for traveling because of the numerous road trips they did together across the US.

Visiting Antarctica before Covid Travel Restrictions

Right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee and his mother were able to visit the last continent on his list, Antarctica.

In his interview with “Good Morning America,” Lee shares that the trip “was surreal. There were icebergs, mountains of ice, penguins. It was everything you would imagine and more. I was moved to tears.”

Advice on Travel Essentials

When asked about how he got to execute those trips despite being in a wheelchair, Lee shares that traveling in a wheelchair requires systematic and extensive planning. He adds that his recent Antarctica trip was already booked 2 years prior. He said that each trip needed in-depth research of what various tour companies had to offer including the possible destinations he and his mother could go to and the transportation required to those places.

To help other travelers who may want to visit those destinations, Lee began writing a travel blog, “Curb Free by Cory Lee,” enlisting all the travel essentials based on his travel experiences.

He shares that, out of the 37 nations he visited, Morocco and Antarctica are his best choices. Lee mentions that he did not really have “high expectations of Morocco but the alleyways of Marrakesh, the snake charmers, it blew me away.”

Traveling on a Wheelchair

Lee insists that traveling while using a wheelchair is entirely possible. Doing in-depth research helps people discover the multitudinous conveniences that travel companies have to offer. To further encourage younger travelers to start their own dream destinations list, Lee launches his new children’s book entitled “Let’s Explore with Cor Cor.”

The book narrates the story of a young boy who travels the world using his power wheelchair. Lee asserts that children must not only learn about the different travel destinations but also about those who may be entirely different from them.

Lee’s book was released on 26 July which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) which was successfully passed after he was born.

Limitless Possibilities

In closing, Lee shares that “traveling to all seven continents wasn’t something I was sure was going to be possible, but if you stay determined and keep a positive attitude, the opportunities are limitless.” Indeed, having a disability does not prevent anyone from reaching their goals. Travel restrictions are not solely based on the present quarantine measures practiced all around the world. They can include personal issues that may prevent easy mobility, as well. Nonetheless, Lee serves as a credible inspiration for everyone as he points out that nothing can really stop us if we persevere and continue to reach for our dreams—and our desired destinations.

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8 Tips for Buying Better Boots

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8 Tips for Buying Better Boots

Whether they’re primarily designed as a work accessory or a piece of beautiful fashion, it pays to buy the right boots. But with so many different styles of boots on the market, it’s hard to make the best decision.
How do you begin your search? And how can you tell which boots are perfect for you?

How to Buy Better Boots

Follow these tips if you want to buy better boots for yourself or for someone you love.

  1. Know your goals. Before you visit a store or start looking at different boot options, you should take a moment to think about your goals. There are many types of boots, many different materials, and many different brands to choose from.
    Accordingly, most boots have both strengths and weaknesses. You’re only going to choose the correct pair of boots if you know what your goals actually are. Are you looking for something for work? Something fashionable? Something that will last for decades?
  2. Choose the right material. Next, choose the materials you want for your boot. Leather boots, for example, are known for their durability, ruggedness, and versatility; they look great, they’re resistant to most types of damage, and they’re suitable for a wide variety of applications. Most boots also incorporate other materials; for example, you might find steel in the shank for extra support and protection.
  3. Compare brands. When you know what type of boot you want, start shopping around with different brands. Look at the different styles of boot that each brand has available, and make sure you read critical reviews.
  4. Read the reviews. What do customers have to say about each brand? This can be an excellent source of information, even if there aren’t many reviews to work with. Don’t just look at a star rating or numerical score; look at the specific comments that people are making about each pair of boots.
  5. Examine the sole and grip. Assuming you have the opportunity, closely examined the sole and the grip of the shoe. Does this seem sturdy? Does it provide ample traction?
  6. Test the shank. The shank is a piece of hard material that rests between the layers of the sole of the boot. It provides protection for your feet, so it’s important to get something that resists or prevents most types of damage.
  7. Try them on. Always try on boots before you finalize your purchase. In many cases, it pays to get a half size bigger than usual, in case your feet swell when working or walking. Additionally, boots that are slightly too big are usually more comfortable than boots that are slightly too small.
  8. Get the right socks. This is technically advice for buying socks, not boots, but boots and socks are both important for the best overall experience – and some socks are simply better than others. Buy a pair of socks that provides plenty of cushioning, absorption, and flexibility.

Taking Care of Your Boots

Buying boots is just the first part of the equation. If you want your boots to last, and if you want to get more value out of them, you have to take proactive care of your boots.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Protect your boots. If appropriate, protect your boots by applying a protective spray to the exterior. You could also make sure to store your boots properly, so they aren’t subject to the elements or damaging conditions.
  • Condition your leather. If you have leather boots, make sure you condition your leather. Occasional rounds of leather conditioning can make the leather more beautiful, more durable, and longer lasting.
  • Treat snow and salt stains. Some of the biggest threats to the appearance and longevity of your boots are treating snow and salt stains. If you live in an area that gets harsh winters, make sure to wipe down your boots and treat these stains proactively whenever you come home for the day.
  • Wipe your boots down regularly. Even if you don’t live in an area with harsh winters, you should wipe your boots down regularly. Removing dirt, dust, and debris can help your boots look their best and keep them in proper condition.
  • Watch the sole. The sole of your boot is a great indication of the boot’s current state and ability to function properly. If you notice the sole is being worn down consider making repairs or fully replacing the boot.

Buying boots isn’t always straightforward, especially if you’re picky, but if you follow a consistent strategy and think through your decision properly, you’ll be in a better position to get the boots you’ve always wanted. Hopefully, you won’t have to buy boots often, but having more experience in this area also helps.

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