Imagine you’re in the tourism business in a sun and beach country. It may be winter in northern climes, but where you are, well, it’s warm and sunny. Any minute now, you expect to see those droves of tourists arriving from places like northern Europe, Canada and the northeast of the United States. Then, well, a number of things happen. In the case of Tunisia, your fellow citizens revolt, your president flees and you’re left with endless TV images of your country in crisis.
In Australia, it’s summer, of course, and you’re ready to fire up the barbie and watch as those northern hemisphere types arrive for some sun and fun. Wait, though, here comes a flood, actually lots of flooding in and around Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, the gateway to such tourist sites as the Great Barrier Reef. Uh-oh, those news cameras are making our entire state look like a swamp.
And it’s summer in Rio Janeiro. Hey, it’s always summer in Rio. Those Cariocas know how to have fun. But wait, mud slides. Just west of Rio whole mountainsides of mud are dumping onto villages.
David Allan of BBC’s Travel Website and Robert Reid, the US editor of Lonely Planet, weigh in on the degree to which these three countries depend on tourism and how this crucial travel season is likely to be affected by the bad news.
Also, we look at Haiti and tourism. The country has never been able to court tourists like its neighbor Dominican Republic but it did once have many more visitors.
And American Airlines declares war on Expedia and Orbitz. The airline no longer allows the discount flight aggregators from including American Airlines flight information. Take that!