In brief: A round-up of today's news
New York cruise terminal going green, Tokyo Disneyland reopens, National Park Week kicks off and more. Here are the stories travellers are buzzing about:
New York to have East Coast's first electric cruise terminal
By early 2012, major cruise lines will cut down on diesel fuel emissions by running on electric power while docked in New York's Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, city officials announced Thursday. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the $15-million-move will eliminate about 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide emission, which Cunard Lines spokesman Brian O'Connor said is the environmental equivalent to taking 5,000 cars off the road, Reuters reports. This will be the first dock powered by electric grid on the east coast, putting it about a decade behind the West Coast, which has employed similar green technology for nearly 10 years.
National Park Week begins tomorrow
From 16 to 22 April, visitors can take advantage of free admission to the 394 US national parks, monuments and historic sites, more than 100 of which normally charge admission. So if you're stateside, go out and explore. For more information, visit the National Park Service website.
Transportation could be a problem for Olympics, World Cup
London may be excited for the 2012 Olympics, but will it be ready? According to a report by the London Assembly's transport committee, the city's transportation system may not be prepared for the 5.3 million expected visitors, the BBC reports. Committee chairwoman Val Shawcross said the city will face an "extreme demand on a network already creaking at the seams".
Meanwhile, Brazil's airports may not be ready for up to a million visitors for the 2014 World Cup, according to a report from the Institute for Applied Economic Research. Brazil, which will also host the 2016 Olympics, promised to complete major infrastructure work during its bid to host the world's biggest soccer tournament, but 10 of the 13 terminals scheduled upgrades are unlikely to be complete, the report states.
Americans will continue to spend money on travel in 2011
Despite recent economic struggles, Americans will continue to spend money on leisure travel in 2011. According to a survey by Travel Leaders, 57% of poll participants receiving a tax refund this month said they would spend part of the money on leisure travel, and 83% said they would spend the same or more money than last year, PR Newswire reports. So while only a reported 30 percent of US citizens have passports, it seems Americans still highly value travel (even if they travel within their own country).
"Fatigue is a longstanding problem in the industry," NTSB Chairman Debbie Hersman says. "It shouldn't take controllers falling asleep on the job for the FAA to wake up to the fact that these schedules aren't in the best interest of safety."
-On the same day that the FAA air traffic chief resigned, USA Today examined why air traffic controllers are prone to falling asleep on the job.
The mega retweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
-@DailyYomiuri, The English-language edition of the Japanese newspaper reported via Twitter the reopening of Tokyo's Disneyland for the first time since the earthquake hit on 11 March, leaving almost 70,000 visitors stranded at the park. The tweet includes a link to a picture that shows just how happy many Japanese people are to see Mickey again.