Twitter"Twitter     Facebook"Facebook     Subscribe to Enduring WanderlustRSS

Swimming with Dolphins

December 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Destinations, Features

There is luxury and there is luxury done right. Grand Velas Riviera Maya represents the latter. An All Inclusive resort on the turquoise waters of Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Grand Velas combines oceanfront suites and a beautifully manicured property with several delectable restaurants including Cocina de Autor and Frida.
grand-velas-riviera-maya grand-velas-riveria-maya-resort Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico © Gennaro Salamone

While such a beautiful resort has everything you need for a short or lengthy stay in Mexico, there are also lots of fun activities for couples or families that are available off grounds. One that we sampled was swimming with dolphins. If you’re planning a trip to Playa Del Carmen, a stay at Grand Velas can be combined with this or other activities. See their dolphins package for more information.

dolphins-swim-mexico Swimming with Dolphins in Mexico

We arrived at Dolphin Discovery on a cloudy day. Perfect afternoon for an excursion. The leader of the program was a charismatic man who clearly loved working with dolphins, Remón and Diana. The small group started with a dolphin kiss and hand shake. The latter felt more like a dance.
dolphin-kiss-mexico Dolphin Kiss in Mexico

After that introduction to Remón and Diana, each member of the group had an opportunity to swim with the two dolphins. The swim is exciting and quick. While you might have a few nerves as they take off, it is a safe experience that you’ll want to do again.

dolphin-tricks-mexico

In addition to the dolphin swim, participants get to partake in some dolphin tricks including playing with a ball and a dolphin jump. We were also treated to holding a manatee and a brief swim near sting rays and sharks in a separate area. Be aware that cameras are not allowed. There will, however, be a photographer taking photos that will later be available for purchase.

The dolphin encounter involves quite a few activities and a significant time with the animals. It will be nice to get back to Grand Velas with their friendly and attentive service afterwards. A relaxing seat on the beach or a drink at the swim-up pool bar is highly recommended.

This stay at Grand Velas was courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya. The dolphin encounter was courtesy of Dolphin Discovery. The content and opinions in the article are those of the author.

___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

Travel Jobs: Projection Chart

September 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

From the 2008-2018 period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be a significant increase in certain travel-related occupations with the biggest gains going to hotel, motel, and resort desk clerk positions. Tour guides, flight attendants, reservation ticket agents, and lodging managers will also have more openings. The only group that is expected to lose jobs is travel agents.
travel-jobsTravel jobs projected (Chart)

It’s not surprising that there will be increases in many of the travel-related jobs. Travel to the United States is projected to increase over the 2008-2018 period and that will require more personnel. Much of the loss in the travel agent field can be attributed to the use of Internet websites to book airlines and hotels.

An industry negative is that the two groups that receive the lowest wages are also the occupations that are expected to grow the most by percentage: hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks plus tour guides.

View a map and list of the most visited countries in the world.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

The Coastal Scenery of Bonaire

September 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Features, Photography

Bonaire has a unique coastal scenery for a Caribbean island. While most islands in the area consist of sandy beaches and palm trees, Bonaire has a lovely combination of cacti, coral, and salt flats highlighting any trip across its shoreline. Add to that its surrounding reefs for scuba diving and snorkeling and Bonaire presents an interesting new destination for Caribbean vacationers.

Follow this photographic journey around the coast of Bonaire:
coral-beach-bonaire washington-slagbaai-national-park Bonaire beach and cacti © Gennaro Salamone

Slavery is a common theme when studying the history of the Caribbean islands. Bonaire’s history is no different. The Spanish and the Dutch fought for years with the latter eventually gaining control of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. Africans and Indians were used as labor with slaves living in quarters that were too short to stand in.
slave-houses-bonaire Former slave houses of Bonaire © Gennaro Salamone

Historically, salt production was the main labor for enslaved inhabitants. The salt industry still exists today and the solar salt farms along the southern part of Bonaire are used mostly for the creation of industrial salt. More important for visitors, the salt flats are a beautiful addition to the local landscape.
bonaire-salt-flats Salt flats of Bonaire © Gennaro Salamone

Miles of beaches covered in coral are found near the salt flats. Few venture into the waters of this area for swimming and much of it is uninhabited outside of a variety of birds and marine life. A lighthouse and its abandoned keeper’s house are a nice find for photographers.
bonaire-lighthouse Lighthouse © Gennaro Salamone

If you’re visiting Bonaire for diving or other water-related activities, a trip along the coast is a worthwile addition to your stay. It’s only a short drive from the resorts including Captain Don’s Habitat. That or a day trip to Washington Slagbaai National Park with its cacti, flamingos, and a sandy beach is a must.

This trip to Bonaire was courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire. The content and opinions in the article are those of the author.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

Who Travels the Most? [Chart]

August 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

Ever wonder which regions around the world have the most travelers? According to the World Tourism Organization or UNWTO, Europeans travel more than all other regions combined with a whopping 52.8 percent of all outbound tourists. Asia and the Pacific (21 percent) and the Americas (16 percent) make up most of the rest of the outbound travelers with the Middle East (3.8 percent) and Africa (2.9 percent) rounding out the field.
who-travels-the-most Who travels the most by region [Data © UNWTO and Chart © Enduring Wanderlust]

It’s not surprising that Europe lands in the number one spot, but it’s eye-opening that more Europeans travel than the rest of the world as a group. Despite the massive population advantage of the Asian region, it’s still curious that the Americas fell behind that area. The Americas had more tourists from 1990-2005, but Asia and the Pacific has maintained the lead since 2005. That said, it’s nice to see that all regions have seen significant gains in overall outbound tourists in the past two decades.

Where do all these tourists go? Read about the 10 most visited countries.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

How People Travel [Chart]

August 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

The past few years has seen a gradually increasing shift from surface transport to air transport for travelers. Slightly over half of tourists arrived at their destination via air travel (51%) last year versus surface travel. The latter consisted of road (41%), rail (2%), and water (6%) transport according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
how-people-travel

It’s not surprising that air travel has increased as it has become cheaper in a lot of countries especially in Europe where rail travel has been a popular mode of transport in the past. That said, it’s a bit astonishing that rail travel is only 2% internationally considering the sheer number of tourists that travel by rail between European countries. On a side note, it would be interesting to know how much of the road travel is by bus versus automobile.

View a chart answering: Why do people travel?
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

America’s Distinctive Destinations

July 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

The National Trust for Historic Preservation designates a dozen distinctive places each year for Americans or foreigners to visit. These cities and towns offer an authentic visitor experience with emphasis placed on locations that meet the following criteria: dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization.
map-of-best-usa-destinations America’s Distinctive Destinations [Map © Enduring Wanderlust]

These 12 cities and towns (in alphabetical order by city) are:

1. Alexandria, Virginia
2. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
3. Colorado Springs, Colorado
4. Dandridge, Tennessee
5. Eureka, California
6. Muskogee, Oklahoma
7. New Bedford, Massachusetts
8. Paducah, Kentucky*
9. Saint Paul, Minnesota
10. San Angelo, Texas
11. Sheridan, Wyoming
12. Sonoma, California

*Paducah, Kentucky was voted Fan Favorite Distinctive Destinations.

This is the perfect list for people looking to avoid American vacation spots that are overrun by tourists. Many are small towns with a lot to offer including historic downtowns and friendly locals. While there are a handful of places that might be on your list to visit already, most will be new places to consider for your next trip. Plus at least a couple of spots are likely close to where any American lives since the map above reveals that the locations are spread throughout the country.

Read about the ten most visited countries in the world.

___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

The Most Popular Travel Magazines

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

What are the most popular travel magazines? The most objective way to answer to this question is to consider the overall circulation. According to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) and BurrellesLuce, the top 13 list includes three National Geographic publications, three AAA magazines, and a variety of others listed below.
travel-magazines-popular Travel Magazine © Wally G.

Travel Magazines With the Highest Circulation (United States)

1. National Geographic 4,493,024
2. Via Magazine (AAA) 2,740,435
3. AAA Living 2,469,830
4. AAA Going Places 2,404,121
5. Sunset 1,259,750
6. Where Magazine 1,191,152
7. Travel + Leisure 996,217
8. Midwest Living 989,424
9. National Geographic International 883,357
10. Condé Nast Traveler 810,713
11. National Geographic Traveler 742,575
12. Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel 680,097
13. Coastal Living 671,023

It’s surprising to see so many AAA publications* on the list, but note that these often come with a membership to the American Automobile Association based on region. It’s also interesting that more than half the list focus on a specific area of the country rather than being national or international. Coastal Living and Midwest Living are two examples of that.

*An editorial decision was made to take two other magazines from AAA off the Audit Bureau of Circulations list because they’re actually closer to books (AAA Tourbooks and AAA Campbooks) in our view.

Find out the answer to: what are the most visited countries in the world?
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

10 Most Visited Countries [Map]

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

Each year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) collects data on the international tourist arrivals for every country in the world. The most visited countries for the past year included six from Europe, two from North America, and two from Asia (see map and list below).
most-visited-countries Most visited countries in the world [Map © Enduring Wanderlust]

1. France 76.8 million visitors
2. United States 59.7 million visitors
3. China 55.7 million visitors
4. Spain 52.7 million visitors
5. Italy 43.6 million visitors
6. United Kingdom 28.1 million visitors
7. Turkey 27 million visitors
8. Germany 26.9 million visitors
9. Malaysia 24.6 million visitors
10. Mexico 22.4 million visitors
*Statistics from the UNWTO

China made the biggest jump passing Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom to reach third on the list. Another Asian country, Malaysia, is a surprising entry in the top ten most popular countries to visit. A past visit to Kuala Lumpur leads me to believe this is largely based on business travelers to the capital city. The rest of the list especially France, Spain, Italy, and the United States have been mainstays for many years.

Another important note from the UNWTO study was that world tourism arrivals went up this past year after dropping in the previous year. That was the first drop in overall tourism in the past two decades.

Check out this chart: Why do people travel?
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

Why Do People Travel [Chart]

July 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

World tourism arrivals reaches 940 million in 2010 according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The majority or 51 percent of the international tourists were motivated to travel for leisure, recreation, and vacations. Another 27 percent were driven to visit family and friends (VFR) or to make religious pilgrimages to places such as Mecca, Jerusalem, and the Vatican. Business travelers rounded out the group of inbound tourists with a showing of 15 percent.
why-do-people-travel

It’s striking that holiday tourism more than doubled business travel and VFR combined. In addition to the statistics related to purpose of tourism, the overall numbers showed a recovery for international tourism from the past couple of years along with the continued increase of air transport versus ground travel.

Read about how people travel.

 
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

What Women Business Travelers Want

July 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Travel News

A recent Hilton Garden Inn survey conducted by Opinion Research Corp. revealed that female business travelers enjoy hotel perks most when traveling for work. Specifically, women enjoyed having someone clean up after them (71% vs. 58% for men) along with having breakfast prepared for them (62% vs. 49% for men). The majority of women also appreciated having a bed to themselves for the night (51% vs. 37% for men).
business-travel-women Female Business Traveler © Leonidas Konstantinidis

The survey results may be attributed to women doing more of the cleaning and cooking at home. A Swedish researcher found that women are still expected to prioritize their homes and children because of deeply-rooted perceptions of gender roles, and conventional overnight work travel is not compatible with this norm. Regardless of the reasons for the findings, it would be smart of hotels that cater to women business travelers to take note.

Read about more women traveling solo.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

Receive our free content by e-mail directly to your inbox or through an RSS reader.

Next Page »