In brief: US tourism infrastructure gets a D-
United States economy hurt by inadequate infrastructure, tourism is down in Egypt and Mexico, Obama's plane is prepared for Doomsday, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
United States' infrastructure not up to par
Despite the US boasting five of the 10 busiest airports, not one American airport ranks among the world's 10 best, according to Jonathan M Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels and chair of a major annual hospitality conference, held this week in New York City. Tisch pointed out that civil engineers gave the US aviation infrastructure a D grade and the roadways a D minus. The United States' ageing infrastructure could be costing the US economy billions of dollars, MSNBC reports, and despite President Obama's plan to invest billions to improve the rail system, the US still has plenty of catching up to do in terms of train travel.
Egypt, Mexico experiencing declines in tourism
The streets are mostly void of protesters, but they're also without tourists. Months after the revolution in Cairo the Egyptian tourism sector has yet to recover. According to a report last month by Giza-based CI Capital Research, tourism revenue in Egypt will fall 35% from last year. The Los Angeles Times reports that tour operators and small businesses are feeling the pain of the tourist drought.
Meanwhile, after sustaining years with a healthy amount of visitors despite drug-related crime, Mexico might finally experience a hit to its $12 billion annual tourism business. While the decline might be less severe than in Egypt, owners of leading tour operators have seen drastic declines in American tourists willing to head to Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Airports must check passports more stringently
According to Ron Noble, Secretary General of Interpol, airports are not doing an adequate job of checking passengers' passports. Speaking at the summit of the International Air Transport Association in Singapore, Noble said the "No 1 risk to airlines and countries around the world" is the threat of a terrorist carrying one of the estimated 28 million stolen identity documents currently in circulation. To illustrate his point, he pulled out a Lufthansa staff pass, which had been obtained within an hour at a backstreet shop in Bangkok, the Telegraph reports.
Can Obama's top-secret plane withstand Armageddon?
Last month's much publicised rapture turned out to be yet another false prophecy, but if the newly prophesied apocalypse indeed comes in October, US president Barack Obama will likely be comfortably sheltered in his "Doomsday" plane. ABC News got a rare glimpse of the $223 million jet, which reportedly offers protection from man-made and natural disasters like nuclear attacks and meteor strikes. It comes equipped with thermal radiation and electromagnetic pulse shields and futuristic gadgets galore. Plus, it can fly about 40 mph faster than a commercial jet, has the ability to refuel midair and can continue to fly for days at a time. However, there is one major downfall: no windows.
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