In brief: Gorilla tourism in Rwanda
New York getting its first gay hotel, Dutch passengers slide into a railway station, volcano still disrupting tourism in Argentina, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Stansted Airport sale could be good news for travellers
With BAA forced to sell London's Stansted Airport and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport in order to increase competition, passengers travelling in Britain could have a reason to celebrate, the Telegraph reports. The sale is set to begin within three months, and when it goes through passengers might enjoy cheaper fares, shorter security lines and a larger variety of destinations. At least that's what Steve Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick airport, believes. BAA was forced to sell Gatwick in 2009, and Wingate claims service has largely improved since its sale.
New York City's first gay hotel
Couples are preparing to celebrate New York's first gay marriages this Sunday, and once Out NYC — New York City's first gay hotel — is up in running it plans on marrying gay couples. Out NYC is touting itself as a "can't-miss for gay tourists, as well as the epicentre of gay life for LGBT New Yorkers". The ultra-modern complex will include a 5,000-sq-ft wellness centre, an 11,000-sq-ft nightclub and a 24-hour café and a restaurant. One of the 105 rooms in the boutique hotel is expected to cost about $250.
The Netherlands builds a "transfer accelerator" at railway station
Passengers in a rush to catch a train at Overvecht railway station in Utrecht might be able to save a few seconds by taking the transfer accelerator (which is really just a slide). As fun as it would be to slide into the train station, the Gothamist — which has video of the slide — points out that the all-metal surface probably gets mighty hot in the summer.
Volcano costing Argentina millions
Since ash began spewing from the Cordon Caulle volcano 4 June, travellers in the lower portion of South America have suffered temporary disruption of holiday plans. Six weeks later, the volcano is still costing Argentinean communities a lot more than a brief inconvenience. Many mountain towns normally filled with skiers are relatively deserted, and some residents have lost about half of their annual income. Bariloche, Argentina alone has lost a reported $150 million because of the volcano. According to the Associated Press, the volcano has released energy equal to 70 atomic bombs since the eruption began.
"When the massacres came to an end in Rwanda, the policy of reconciliation that followed made it possible for the country to welcome tourists too quickly. Tourism has since become the country's biggest source of revenue — bigger even than tea and coffee bean farming. The ex-poachers nod in agreement when Kayihura the tour organizer says: "Tourism is the best way to heal our wounds."
-As it continues to heal from an atrocious civil war, Rwanda has found hope in Gorilla tourism. Worldcrunch went to Volcanoes National Park to examine how tourism has helped Rwanda, and of course, to see some mountain Gorillas in the only place on earth where they can be observed in their natural habitat.