News wrap: Hurricane Irmaa s path of destruction, the Trump slumpa is real and more
From Hurricane Irmaa s path towards US shores, the possible location of the secret to happiness and the negative impact Donald Trump is having on US tourism, herea s your wrap of travel news that has people talking this week.
Hurricane Irma set for US landfall
Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, has this week torn through Barbuda (whereA 95% of properties are reportedly destroyed), Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Barts, the US and British Virgin Islands, and is set to hit Florida this weekend. Irma, the most powerful stormA everA recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, has led to at least 13 deaths and left thousands of people without homes. In Florida, ita s already causing travel disruptions and evacuations across the state.
Though the exact path of the hurricane is tricky to predict, ita s heading towards northern Cuba at the time of writinga having just raged through the Bahamasa and still has Florida in its sights.A The GuardianA is keeping track of theA hurricanea s path,A CondA Nast TravelerA has detailedA how the storm will affect travel plans,A andA TheA Washington PostA has published aA comprehensive explainera including safety tipsa for those who may find themselves in the path of the hurricane. It cannot be overstated that Hurricane Irma is extremely dangerous, reportsA WP.
The Trump Slump is real
Despite reports earlier this year claiming that the Trump Slumpa a the negative impact of Donald Trump on US inbound tourisma was overstated,A the most recent research is far more pessimistic. The US Travel Association this week warned of major storm clouds for the inbound international travel market, based on findings that international visitors to the US were down for four of the first seven months of 2017.
The secret to happiness lies in a Scotland?
The UKa s annual wellbeing survey declared Scotlanda s Outer Hebrides the happiest place in the region, with respondents giving higher marks for the question, How happy did you feel yesterday?a than anywhere else. George MacKerron, a University of Sussex lecturer who studies links between environments and happiness, toldA BBC TravelA writer Kathryn MacleodA in a story this week:A We find that people are happier in the moment in natural environments, and all natural environments are happier than cities. Macleod goes on to mention the importance of community and social tiesa both of which are apparently available in abundance in the Outer Hebrides. We cana t help but wonder if the surprising abundance ofA great Scottish snorkeling spotsA plays a big part, too.
US travel ban to North Korea takes effect
US citizens hoping for a quick sojourn to North Korea are unfortunately out of luck, as theA ban on tourism to the countrycame into effect last week. The ban, part of a wider ploy to increase international pressure on the country, follows the recent death of US student Otto Warmbier who was jailed during a tour in North Korea last year. Nicholas Burkhead, a US tourist who arrived home from North Korea on the last flight out of the country before the ban, said: I was surprised at how friendly everyone was. It was very relaxinga beautiful scenery and they fed us very well in the restaurants there, but the exchange rate wasna t too good.
Unseen Australia looks A+ from above
This week, aerial imagery company Nearmap celebrated its upcoming 10-year anniversary byA unveiling 10 stunning birda s-eye view imagesA of Australia. The photosa featuring idyllic waterways, open-pit gold mines, red-dirt airport runways and morea showcase several sides of the country that youa re unlikely to see in the tourism adverts.
An 81-year-old couple visit every single Cracker Barrel
Ray and Wilma Yoder love Cracker Barrel (a chain of US restaurants and gift stores). In fact, they may love it more than anyone has ever loved anything. Since the 1960s, theya ve been on a mission to visit every single one of the 645 stores across the US. Their passion was kick-started by Raya s RV trips cross-country, and soon enough the pair began keeping a tally of every single Cracker Barrel they visited.
The Yoders completed their quest by visiting the Tualatin store in Oregon last weeka where they were flown courtesy of Cracker Barrela and were greeted by cheering staff and customers, and given a raft of gifts. We knew we liked to be with good food and good people, Ray YoderA toldA ABC NewsA this week. But at the start of it, we never thought ita d be this.
In 2018, it will beA easier for travelers to get visasA for Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe, wroteA The Telegraph;A Outside OnlineA exploredA what happens when youa re forced to unplug; and theA South China Morning Postexplained whyA nowa s the time to visit Nanjing, Chinaa s ex-capital.