In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel
Rare ´fogbow´lights up the North Pole
The moment a stunning “white rainbow” lit up the Arctic sky has been caught on camera.
Amateur photographer Sam Dobson was on a cruise expedition to the North Pole when he caught sight of the rare natural phenomenon, known as a “fogbow”.
Dobson, 51, had departed from the Russian town of Murmansk and was ploughing through the ice about midnight when the strange sight appeared before him.
Win a nude wedding in Jamaica
Are you willing to get married in the buff , especially if you don’t have to pay for it?
Hedonism II in Jamaica tells USA TODAY it is seeking couples willing to say “I do” nude on cable TV on Valentine’s Day.
The anything-goes resort has hosted the “World’s Largest Nude Wedding” and now asks duos to apply at hedonism.com/nudewedding by Jan. 6.
Snow falls in the Alps – and not a minute too soon
After the driest and warmest autumn for 148 years, two days of snow across a wide swathe of the Alps this week put the start of the ski season back on track.
Skiers and staff in resorts alike breathed a collective sigh of relief as winter finally arrived in the mountains, one month behind schedule. Tour operators, who have been battling for business against the twin beasts of economic gloom and lack of snow, could barely conceal their joy as telephones started to ring again.
Traveler Reviews Weigh Heavily in Travel Booking Decisions
According to the third annual Access America Vacation Confidence Index released by Mondial Assistance USA, 60 percent of consumers say they factor other travelers’ online reviews into their plans when booking a vacation. With a 10 percent anticipated increase in holiday travel for 2011 — nearly six in 10 Americans (57 percent) are confident they will take a holiday trip this year — popular travel review and social media websites can expect more traffic this holiday season.
“With the growing popularity and influence of social media and online review sites, it isn’t surprising that more and more consumers are using these sites as resources when booking their travel,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Mondial Assistance. “In these tough economic times, consumers want assurance that if they are going to spend on travel, they are selecting the best experiences, and reviews from peers and colleagues act as a security blanket for uncertain travelers.”
Online Word of Mouth is King and Affects Bookings