In brief: Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s Cuba trip raises questions
Every Friday, we help you navigate the week’s most important and interesting travel news stories.
Amazing things that should happen more often
Business travel is predicted to grow about 5% in 2013, according to the Global Business Travel Association. The projected growth is a sizable jump from the 1.8% increase in 2012. [USA Today] Travel often for business? Make sure to keep up on our Business Travel column.
Geography today is not what you learned in school. In fact, geographic innovation has and continues to revolutionise the travel industry, from apps to tours and GPS technology. It’s "the spatial organisation of phenomena — the where, what and why.” Read more about it here. [Los Angeles Times]
After months of delays, it looks as though New York City’s bike sharing programme is about ready to kick off. The Citi Bike programme launch was postponed because of technical glitches and the effects of Hurricane Sandy, but should get moving in May. [WSJ]
Photos and videos that went viral on the Web this week
The prosaic streets of New York City receive a dramatic, dreamy treatment when the footage from a high-speed camera is slowed way, way down. See it here. [Fast Company Design]
One photographer captured 30GB of images from Sweden’s aurora borealis that he used to create a virtual video tour of the astounding lights show. You can play around with it on the photographer’s site. [Slate]
Ready for takeoff
All set to go, but too soon to tell what’s ahead
Brought on as an eco way to maintain the city’s green spaces, Paris’s newest employees are four sheep. The ewes will graze throughout the city and keep the lawns manicured. As for what remains after the process, a team of scientists will tend to that. [Time]
The annual Airline Quality Report surveying US domestic flights and carriers was released this week. In areas like baggage handling the airlines improved, while the numbers for bumped passengers worsened from the prior year. Read the full BBC Travel blog post here.
TripAdvisor announced this week its purchase of Jetsetter, the luxury travel sales service belonging to Gilt Groupe. Reviews giant TripAdvisor already has confirmed Jetsetter will remain a separate brand. [Skift]
Hold on folks, we’re in for a rocky ride
Jay-Z and Beyoncé jetted down to Cuba to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Despite embargos and state-controlled media, the news became an international story. Some Congressmen questioned whether the mega-celebrity pair had the proper legal paperwork to make the trip. [BBC] Sources say the trip was properly authorised under a cultural license by the Department of Treasury. [Reuters]
It’s a no-go
Tensions are high between North and South Korea, with North Korea continuing to issue missile-related threats. This week North Korea encouraged all foreigners in South Korea to evacuate or seek shelter before a missile crisis. [CNN] Chinese authorities also have been strongly urging tour operators to cancel trips to North Korea. [The Guardian]