What you need to know before returning to tourist sites after disasters

Bad things can happen to good places. Read more “What you need to know before returning to tourist sites after disasters”

What Pope Francis’ visit means to Philadelphia – and religious tourism

When Pope Francis visits Philadelphia later this month, it won’t just be a big event for the region’s Catholics. It’s going to be huge for Philadelphia and maybe even a landmark event for faith-based tourism. On Tuesday, tickets for the Pope’s Independence Hall event were claimed in two minutes.
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A decade after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is back

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is back.
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Do they hate us?

When I lived in the Florida Keys, an area heavily dependent on tourism, I remember seeing a bumper sticker a time or two: “If it’s tourist season,” it asked, “why can’t we shoot them?”

The men officiating a sham wedding at Vilu Reef resort in the Maldives (video above) may have been asking themselves the same question. In the ceremony, conducted in the Dhivehi language for a Swiss couple, an officiator curses at the visitors and calls them infidels. (Warning: The clip contains explicit language.)

The Maldivian prime minister, Mohammed Nasheed, condemned the video and ordered the men responsible for the ceremony arrested.

Still, it makes you wonder if people hate us when we’re on vacation.
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What would you do if you had a time machine?


I have to assume that the video clip making the rounds on the Internet today — you know, the one of an old lady clutching a cell phone in 1928 — is a hoax. But let’s just say it isn’t and that time travel is possible.

Where would you go if you could travel in time?

Maybe you’d rewind the clock and undo your biggest mistakes. The girl who got away. The job you should have never taken. The times you should have said “no” instead of “yes.”

I wouldn’t.
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Weekend adventure: At Leu Gardens without a map


Leu Gardens is one of Central Florida’s cultural centers. At this 50-acre enclave near downtown Orlando, we found America’s largest Camellia collection outside California, a museum, and several impressive botanical gardens, including a butterfly garden.

Although the stated mission of Leu Gardens is to inspire people to appreciate and understand plants, we discovered that the facility offered a lot more, including art exhibits, special events and and an 1880s home that has been restored.
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“This ruined what was to be a joyous day”

Gerald Zekas’ youngest daughter, Caryn, wanted a destination wedding in Las Vegas, but right about now, he probably wishes she’d stayed home. Their special vacation was riddled with bad customer service experiences from start to finish — and worse, no one has bothered to acknowledge a single one of them.

But his vacation horror story is more than a case study in hospitality gone awry. It’s a valuable lesson in how to complain effectively.
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