Armed at Disney World: More tourists caught with concealed guns during pandemic
ORLANDO, Fla. — Planning to go to a firing range later, Mustafa Alameen, an Iraqi immigrant, said he forgot he had 100 rounds of ammunition and a handgun in an otherwise empty stroller when he arrived at Disney Springs this year. The 21-year-old stepped through the security detector and when an alarm went off, he realized his mistake. But it was too late, and he was arrested. Disney World, the biggest theme park resort on the planet, has seen a spike of people arrested and charged with carrying concealed firearms over the past year, despite being closed for months and operating at reduced capa...
Titanic clash pits Florida governor against potent cruise industry as it prepares to restart
The return of operations for one of South Florida's most iconic industries has turned into a battle of the heavyweights. On the one side is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Emboldened by growing approval ratings, DeSantis refuses to budge from a state law he sought that bars the cruise industry from requiring passengers be vaccinated. On the other: The industry, a powerful pillar of Florida tourism, is quietly crafting a work-around for the governor's mandate as it seeks to restore public confidence and restart cruising after a 15-month shutdown that has put thousands of Florida jobs on hold and cos...
Ireland sets reopening date, launches multimillion-dollar tourism campaign
Americans will once again be able to travel to Ireland starting on July 19, and Tourism Ireland has launched a multimillion-dollar campaign to help people get there. According to Reuters, the country has had the strongest restrictions during the pandemic, imposing fines on travelers and two-week quarantines on incoming travelers from more than 50 countries. This next step in reopening will allow anyone with an approved vaccination to travel freely throughout the EU, of which Ireland is a member. Children between ages 7 and 18 who haven’t been vaccinated must test negative for COVID-19 in order...
Wild horse gets stuck in fence on Outer Banks. Tour guides came to the rescue
One of North Carolina's wild horses got itself into a sad predicament this week, when she got stuck at the halfway point while crossing a fence on the Outer Banks. Photos show the young horse lost momentum with her front legs on one side and her back legs on the other. It happened Monday in the Swan Beach area near Corolla, and witnesses say 1-year-old Amelia may have been trapped that way for hours. "She was there long enough for her (family) to give up waiting and wander away," tour guide Craig Young told McClatchy News. "Wild horses have been here 500 years and they get themselves tangled u...
The Charlotte Observer
The tourists have returned to Washington state — but some areas are recovering more quickly than others
SEATTLE — Looking for late-stage pandemic deals on hotels? Consider sticking to the cities. Popular rural destinations west of the Cascades — near national parks, along the Pacific coast — are happy to see tourists, and depend on them for income, but aren’t hurting for customers right now. “Last year was even a little bit busier than 2019, to be honest,” said Tiffany Turner, CEO of Adrift Hospitality, which runs six coastal hotels (in Seaside, Oregon; Astoria, Oregon; Seaview, Washington; and three hotel properties in its home base of Long Beach, Washington) with a seventh currently under cons...
The Seattle Times
Elba Island reopens to tourists in time to celebrate Napoleon
The island of Elba, located off of Tuscany, Italy, is most famous for being the first island that Emperor Napoleon was exiled to more than 200 years ago, and it’s now hoping to draw more tourists this summer and fall with Napoleon-centric events as well as concerts, wine tasting and other fun activities. Those who are interested in learning more about the island’s connection to the French emperor can use the “Napoleonic Passport,” a guide that allows visitors to trace the emperor’s footsteps and explore places where he resided or worked around the island, like the Palazzina dei Mulini, Villa S...
Summer is back: Pandemic-weary tourists about to descend on San Diego
SAN DIEGO — After spending much of last year postponing vacations instead of planning them, Americans are ready to hit the road and board airplanes for domestic trips at a pace that in some instances is exceeding levels in 2019 — long before the arrival of the pandemic. The latest outlook coming from the Automobile Club of Southern California bodes well for San Diego, always a popular destination for summer travelers. Local tourism officials as well are expecting plenty of visitors craving a summer getaway, but even as overnight stays are expected to tick up sharply from last year, a return to...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
NY has lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in country; Cuomo calls on tourists to return
NEW YORK — Once the epicenter of the pandemic, New York recorded the lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in the country this week as Gov. Andrew Cuomo hopes to entice tourists to return to the Empire State. New York’s seven-day coronavirus case rate stood at 0.64%, a major milestone for a state that suffered the worst of the outbreak last year and is now on the cusp of a comeback, the governor announced Wednesday. “Our message is simple. It’s time to reenter society… there’s no place to do that like the State of New York,” Cuomo said during a press event at the recently renovated Jacob Javits Cent...
New York Daily News
NYC temporarily eliminates hotel room tax to boost tourism
With COVID-19 infection rates significantly diminished and most of its pandemic-related restrictions now lifted, New York City is eager to jump-start its economy and rekindle tourism. To that effect, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced an executive order that will suspend the city’s 5.875% hotel room occupancy tax for three months beginning June 1. According to Travel Weekly, a New York City Hall press release stated that the aim is to enable hotels to potentially lower their room prices, which could encourage demand and increase occupancies. The city also disclosed that revenue from hotel room...
Off the beaten path in Argentina
Argentina is a treasure trove for tourists, well known for its cultural attractions, varied landscapes and great diversity of climates ranging from the lush rainforest surrounding Iguazú Falls and the stunning multi-hued landscapes and rich indigenous history of Salta and Jujuy to the grand lakes and snow-capped Andean peaks around Bariloche, and the imposing glaciers in southern Patagonia. Of course, no visit to Argentina is complete without soaking in the culture and sophistication of its capital, Buenos Aires. But Argentina offers far more than these better-known destinations. Following are...