25 October 2011

Unusual Holidays: Travelling to Antarctica

A traditional holiday often involves a trip to the beach during the summer season or a skiing lodge during winter. These holiday activities take full advantage of the weather because they perfectly complement specific destinations around the world.
But as tourists become too familiar with these destinations, they start to ask for more. This is the reason why near-space travel is experiencing aggressive development as companies try to be one of the first few to offer space flight to tourists.
Aside from space tourism, another unique form of holiday is also gaining popularity. Although it’s not space, it’s still an amazing destination to consider. Tourists can now visit the Antarctica and stay there for a day or two. The world’s southernmost point and one of the coldest parts of the world has become a tourist destination.
At first glance, reaching the South Pole can be very challenging because of its location. However, there are actually places in the southern hemisphere with easier access to the South Pole. Cape Town, South Africa is just five hours by plane to Antarctica and there are powerful aircrafts that can get to these places with no refueling required.
The price tag for the vacation is $30,000 (per person) and tourists will be guided by the famous explorer Patrick Woodhead. It’s a little bit expensive but it’s a fairly reasonable deal especially with world class amenities powered by alternative fuel. You’ll be staying in tents with the latest in technology and activities include penguin watching, ice climbing and kit skiing.

13 October 2011

Hotel in Ruins after Red Flag Stamp

Deborah Sinclair is experiencing firsthand the effects of a ruined online reputation. Her hotel, Riverside Hotel and Restaurant in Evesham, Worcs, is currently experiencing drastic decline in bookings because of an unintended bad reputation by a travel website.
TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel websites in the world that specialize in collecting customer reviews of destinations, hotels, activities and services. Their “Red Flag” stamp is a notice to online visitors that the reviews could be fraudulent because someone from the inside may have posted the review.
The website posted a tag on the hotel after it received a review from the IP address identical to the hotels locations. The website considered it an insider review which means fraud was committed. Comparing the IP address of the submission to the actual location of the hotel is one of the many fraud preventing methods used by TripAdvisor.
But the hotel owner vehemently denied that she, or anyone in her family or employees have made the review. The hotel owner clarified that the review actually came from a guest but was using the hotel’s free internet access through WiFi. Because the guest is using the hotel’s internet, the website assumed that it came from an insider.
TripAdvisor is currently reviewing the case. It’s not the first time that the travel website had some run-ins with hotel establishments especially with Red Flag and fraudulent tags. Deborah Sinclair is currently seeking legal actions against the website because of the financial ruins the website has done to her hotel.