In brief: A round-up of today's news
New inspections on Boeing planes, Chinese head Down Under, couple plans to walk 2,500 miles to their wedding and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
FAA could require "very conservative repeat" inspections
Two more Southwest planes were grounded yesterday, bringing the total to five since a Boeing 737-300 jet made an emergency landing on 1 April after a five-foot hole ripped open at 34,000 feet. Boeing said 570 planes manufactured between 1993 and 2000 would be subject to new electromagnetic inspections as a result of the incident.
Boeing suggested a one-time inspection, but once the plane has completed 30,000 takeoffs and landing cycles, the FAA could require repeat checks after every 500, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
While Southwest was current with safety checks, CBS' Peter Greenberg still says the Southwest incident could be an indication of a much larger problem. By not strictly enforcing fines on major airlines - there were only 102 proposed fines between 2000 and 2009 - the FAA might be failing to make flights as safe as possible.
Couple plans to walk 500 miles, then walk 2,000 more
After dating since middle school, Joseph Crist and Laura Burnett are planning on tying the knot in Nevada. But the 24-year-olds are not running off to Las Vegas. Instead they're walking to Lake Meade - from Michigan.
The couple plans to go 2,500 miles on foot for "creative marriage counselling" prior to their wedding, Fox 2 News Detroit reports. Crist and Burnett were reportedly inspired by Geoff Nicholson's The Lost Art of Walking, and not The Proclaimers, who would walk 500 miles and then walk 500 more.
Chinese top the list of Australia's visitors
A burgeoning middle class has helped China become the biggest growth market in global tourism, and Australia is one of the countries that has capitalized on the increasing number of Chinese going abroad. The Independent reported today that Chinese travellers made up the largest group of visitors to Australia throughout February, surpassing New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States for the first time ever.
About 77,000 Chinese tourists went to Australia in February, a 30% increase from the same time last year. According to the BBC, Chinese tourists account for a major rise in the international travel market, and 100 million are predicted to travel abroad in the next few years.
"If you wait for everything to be perfect, you'll never take pictures. The clouds change. We arrive late. It rains. The museum is closed. The monument is covered in scaffolding. The sign says, 'No Photography Allowed.' Great. Now what? Truth is, these things happen on the very best of trips. The only answer is to hit the ground running."
Photojournalist Jim Richardson discusses taking photos in Cusco, Peru, on his first leg of an around-the-world journey with National Geographic in the October article Around the world: travel photography 101.