Chris Caputo stood on the tarmac at Burlington International Airport in Vermont in early October and looked to the clouds in the distance. He had piloted military and commercial aircraft over a long career, racking up thousands of flight hours, but the trip he was about to take would be very different.
That’s because the airplane Mr. Caputo would fly runs on batteries. Over the next 16 days, he and his colleagues flew the plane, a CX300 built by their employer, Beta Technologies, down the East Coast. They would make nearly two dozen stops to rest and recharge, flying through congested airspace over Boston, New York, Washington and other cities.
Over the past three decades, Venice has become one of the most notable victims of overtourism. The city currently welcomes an estimated 30 million visitors per year, far above the 50,000 residents that actually call it home. And more than two thirds of visitors come just for the day.
This month, Venice’s municipal authorities announced plans to fight these issues with a controversial move: charging day trippers a €5 entrance fee. This will make Venice the first city in the world to charge visitors to enter its premises. News of the entry fee has sparked controversies, and with travellers eager to understand how the new measure will affect them, BBC Travel talks to authorities and locals to understand when it starts, who will have to pay and how people can visit the city in a more sustainable way.
Why do we travel? Maui residents told media of their horror at seeing tourists “swimming in the same waters our people died in”. Surely, that level of compartmentalisation in dogged pursuit of a particular experience goes beyond the pursuit of “leisure”? That’s certainly the view of the anthropologist Dean MacCannell. His 1976 book The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class argues that in a post-industrial, increasingly secular world, travel occupies a ritualistic space. Modernwesternsocieties are defined by the “freedom” they offer us – but, he writes, this is accompanied by feelings of fragmentation and alienation. Sightseeing in far-off locales is, MacCannell observes, “a way of attempting to overcome the discontinuity of modernity, of incorporating its fragments into a unified experience” (albeit one “doomed to eventual failure”, he cheerily adds). How? Leisure travel gives us perspective, it makes us feel connected to history, and helps connect personal experience with other cultures, people and places – making us feel less isolated. Tourism gives us a sense of selfhood and purpose.
Added to this is the framing of travel as an “authentic” experience in an inauthentic world; a dichotomy that has only become more stark over time. Travel offers one-off experiences; things we can only do in one place. Modern life is marked by its impossible and contradictory obsession with the “authentic”, as any lifestyle marketing bod will testify to. We see travel, rather than our everyday existence, as the portal to “finding ourselves”.
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, the reusable rocket-powered space plane carrying the company’s first crew of tourists to space, successfully launched and landed on Thursday.
The mission, known as Galactic 02, took off shortly after 11am ET from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
Aboard the spacecraft were six individuals total – the space plane’s commander and former Nasa astronaut CJ Sturckow, the pilot Kelly Latimer, as well as Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor who trained the crew before to the flight.
The spacecraft also carryied three private passengers, including the health and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter, Anastasia Mayers, both of whom are Antiguan.
Nationwide, just 52,000 people arrived to mainland China from overseas on trips organized by travel agencies during the first quarter, the latest period for which national data is available, compared with 3.7 million in the first quarter of 2019. As in past years, nearly half of the visitors came from the self-ruled island of Taiwan and the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, rather than farther-away places like the U.S. or Europe.
“The number of visitors from Europe, America, Japan and Korea are all dropping, substantially,” said Xiao Qianhui, a director with the semiofficial China Tourism Association in a speech in May.
From Detroit, I headed to St Louis, via Columbus, Ohio, where the Greyhound would hit Route 66. My 20-minute stopover in Columbus was where a picture began to form of what Greyhound travel looks like today. The bus station consisted of a parking garage the size of a small airplane hangar. At both ends, electric doors opened and closed when a bus entered or exited. Between the two bus lanes sat a small concrete island where passengers were disgorged. There was a chemical toilet, no drinking fountain, very few seats and no windows. The air was choked with exhaust. A police van was parked at one end of the tunnel and armed policemen stood against a wall facing us.
If you had commissioned an urban planner to design the most hostile, uncomfortable and unhealthy environment for passengers, this would be the result. I guess this is what you get when you travel in a seat costing $35 as opposed to a $200 plane ticket or in a car with a full tank of gas.
My next bus was scheduled to leave for St Louis – a mere 530-mile trip – at 3.00pm. I looked around at my fellow island-dwellers: an elderly man with four large zip-up bags printed with “Patient Belongings”; a couple travelling with a large fluffy blanket propped up against the Porta-Potti as a makeshift bed; a mother and her teenage son carrying large cardboard boxes. The sign on the empty Greyhound kiosk read: “As of 25 January 2023 – you will need photo ID to buy tickets.” Yet another barrier between those with little money, no fixed address, no car, no passport or credit card and their ability to travel…
According to the much respected Henley Passport Index, which ranks the world’s passports based on official data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 🇨🇦 Canadians can claim the world’s 7th-most valuable passport this year – up from 8th last year. Canada had been ranked 8th since 2021.
In a bit of a shakeup, 🇯🇵 Japan has been knocked off the top spot on the Henley Passport Index for the first time in five years and bumped into 3rd place. 🇸🇬 Singapore is now officially the most powerful passport in the world, with its citizens able to visit 192 travel destinations out of 227 around the world visa-free. 🇩🇪 Germany, 🇮🇹 Italy, and 🇪🇸 Spain all move up into 2nd place with visa-free access to 190 destinations, and Japanese passport holders join those of six other nations — 🇦🇹 Austria, 🇫🇮 Finland, 🇫🇷 France, 🇱🇺 Luxembourg, 🇰🇷 South Korea, and 🇸🇪 Sweden — in 3rd place with access to189 destinations without a prior visa. Continue reading
Designed in France by rolling stock manufacturer Alstom, the zero-emissions train runs on electricity produced by mixing hydrogen with oxygen, meaning that moisture its only waste product. Alstom said Europe has already placed an order for 41 hydrogen trains.
Environnement : la locomotive à hydrogène vert à la conquête de l'Amérique • FRANCE 24
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World's first hydrogen powered passenger train • FRANCE 24 English
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As anyone who’s experienced the weather lately knows, the situation is already bad. The world had its hottest week on record at the start of the month, according to preliminary data, with heatwaves still smashing local records across the Northern Hemisphere. And that’s just one way climate change is bringing on dangerous new extremes.
Today, the planet is about 1.1 degrees Celsius hotter than it was before the Industrial Revolution, thanks to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. It’s what’s driving more intense heatwaves, wildfires, storms, and sea level rise. That’s why world leaders agreed, as part of the landmark Paris agreement, to keep the planet from warming much more than it already has. Every fraction of a degree comes with more severe consequences.
Vienna has retained its crown as the world’s most liveable city, according to Economist’s annual index.
The 2023 Global Liveability Index quantifies the challenges presented to an individual’s lifestyle and standard of living in 173 cities worldwide. The 2023 Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual ranking has also included three Canadian cities among the worlds top 10 most liveable. Australia and Switzerland each have 2 entries. Denmark, Japan, and New Zealand each had one city in the top rankings.
This is yet another argument to keep AM Radio alive and vibrant. In times of emergency, they are ubiquitous, signals can travel great distances, they don’t need an internet connection, and best of all their signals are not controlled by self-serving, far-right, maniacal personalities.
Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties in 210 countries and territories through its annual Freedom in the World report. Individual freedoms—ranging from the right to vote to freedom of expression and equality before the law—can be affected by state or nonstate actors.