No Wonder... but wonderful Easter Island still attracts more tourists than it can handleThe Ottawa Citizen October 18, 2008
Scattered around the shores of this tiny Polynesian island, many of the more than 900 male-shaped stone monoliths, called moai, can be found face-down rather than gazing calmly from an upright position as in the iconic image of the Easter Island statues.
"They were thrown down," explains local tour guide Cristian Reyes, pointing at the backs of five toppled statues. "Something happened here that made these people destroy their own gods."
Such tell-tale reminders attest to this island's history of self-destruction, which some locals fear could repeat itself given the island's current rate of tourism expansion.
Easter Island stone heads are 'dying': Gigantic statues will vanish without preservation effortThe San Francisco Chronicle December 6, 2007
Sloping slightly sideways on the grassy hills beneath the Ranu Raraku volcano, a giant stone head known as a moai shows the wear and tear of time on this triangular 64-square-mile island. On the right side of the oblong rectangular face with male features, the rock is lighter in color and its long, carefully sculpted ear and nostril are clearly visible. But on the statue's left side, the sun and wind have eroded the nose, lip and ear.
Lure of being a wonder masks risk of repeating dire errors from pastThe New Zealand Herald July 9, 2007
As the sun rises over the eastern shores of the tiny Polynesian island of Rapa Nui, the shadows of 15 stone monoliths stretch long across the grassy fields of Tongariki, towards the quarry from which they were mysteriously transported hundreds of years ago.
Chain Reaction: The Stellar Rise of Hotel Chains in ChileTrip Chile Magazine July-September 2007
SANTIAGO – With its stunning geography and boundless natural wonders, sturdy economic development, stable democracy and the lowest crime rate in South America, (Chile may have visitors wondering why it has taken so long to expand its hotel industry.) But when it rains, it pours, and the development of major hotel chains has seen an important boom in recent years.
Aruba: C'mon in, under the water's fineThe Miami Herald February 25, 2007
ORANGESTAD, Aruba -- His white lips seem to curl into a smile as I chase a fat electric blue Parrot Fish past brain-shaped coral, swaying fans and cornflake-like seaweed.
Twenty-five feet below the surface, I'm breathing freely, beneath Aruba's turquoise blue waters. The best part is, I don't have scuba certification -- and I don't need it to explore this underwater wonderland.
Venetian history surfaces in basic blackThe Australian January 13, 2007
NO image better depicts Venice than a classic black gondola gliding along its narrow canals. And, thanks to new regulations passed by the city council, gondoliers will have to make sure that image remains intact.
Ski resorts give Chile a lift in quest to lure travel dollarsGlobe & Mail November 24, 2006
While many Canadians are planning their ski vacations this winter, some are making plans to hit the slopes next summer, at the other end of the hemisphere. Far-flung places such as Chile might seem like a costly stretch for Canadian skiers, who have lots of snow and ski resorts like Whistler a domestic flight away. But this South American country has geography on its side.
Madurodam: A model cityDallas Morning News October 15, 2006
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Madurodam is not a name you'll find on any map. But it has become one of the most visited cities in the Netherlands. With a population of 66,000, an extensive infrastructure of canals, rail lines and its own airport, Madurodam is like any other average-sized Dutch town. With one big difference – everything here is 25 times smaller.
Goodbye garish gondolas: tradition wins over business,” National Post. October 14, 2006.National Post October 14, 2006
Nothing better symbolizes the romantic lagoon city of Venice than the picture-postcard image of a gondola gliding along its narrow canals. In recent years, however, the classic black banana-shaped boats have grown increasingly more flamboyant, with multicoloured seating, gilding and flashy decorations, all designed to lure tourists away from the motorized water taxis that have eclipsed the gondola as the main mode of transport.
No more: Thanks to new regulations passed by Venice's city council, gondoliers will have to think again about hanging those plush dice on the gunwale and return to the traditional black design.
Surprising & spectacular: Why more people are going to the end of the Earth to hikeOttawa Citizen October 7, 2006
Torres del Paine National Park is a hiker's paradise that's fast becoming a pilgrimage of choice for nature buffs, adventure tourists and those with an appetite for the non-conventional. Peter Potterfield recommends it in his new book Classic Hikes of the World: 23 Breathtaking Treks. In its 15th anniversary issue, National Geographic Traveler named Torres del Paine as one of the Top 50 "greatest places of a lifetime" and in the Top 10 in the "Paradise Found" category.
Island FeverLatin Trade August 2006
Vacation travel booms in a Caribbean hotspot, prompting some to worry about its impact.
Alarm bells ring in tourist paradiseToronto Star June 10, 2006
Oranjestad, Aruba—This Caribbean island nation's stunning turquoise waters, white sand beaches and romantic sunsets have lured tourists for decades. Its position outside the hurricane belt allows for a year-round influx, and the constant trade winds have made it a windsurfing, sailing and kite-skiing hotspot. But in recent years, residents have begun questioning just how much tourism this tiny island (covering less than 200 square kilometres) can sustain, given its impact on the coastline.
Mountain of moneyLatin Trade November 2005
During their short summer months, people living in northern climes flock to beaches, cottages, campgrounds and do just about any outdoor activity that involves wearing shorts. Meanwhile, south of the equator, some investors are banking on the reversal of seasons - summer is winter in the Southern Hemisphere - to lure foreign tourists seeking a decidedly chilly experience.
VALLE DEL ELQUI: Magical Mystery TourIN-LAN (Lan Chile's inflight magazine) February 2005
Entering Valle del Elqui, the geo-magnetic center of the earth, I was expecting to feel something more obvious, more cosmic. In the weeks before my trip, just about anyone to whom I mentioned it had a story about its mystical energy and extraordinary healing powers.