Amazon to Get Into Hotel Booking With Launch of Travel Site

Amazon.com is poised to launch its own travel service, featuring booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities. The initial rollout of Amazon Travel would feature a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The service will likely go live around January 1, 2015. We contacted representatives of three independent hotels, two of which signed up for the new Amazon service and one that was strongly considering the option. Properties would load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos…

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Couple ‘Fined’ £100 By Hotel For Bad Review on Tripadvisor

A couple were “fined” £100 by a Blackpool hotel after they wrote an internet review describing it as a “rotten stinking hovel run by muppets”. Tony and Jan Jenkinson stayed at the Broadway Hotel in August and were so disappointed with their accommodation that they took to TripAdvisor to share their experience. The couple later found their credit card had been charged £100, with the hotel stating its policy was to charge for “bad” reviews. The policy, included in a booking document, reportedly says: “Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love…

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Thailand ‘one of the most dangerous tourist destinations on Earth’: Expat investigation lifts lid on dark side of the Land of Smiles

Australian author John Stapleton suggests that widespread police corruption, violence and crime are all blighting a country once commonly referred to as the ‘Land of Smiles’. In his book Thailand: Deadly Destination, Mr Stapleton attempts to expose the reputation of Thailand as a welcoming country, claiming a boom in tourism since the 1960s has created a hatred of foreigners and a ‘murderous indifference’ to the millions of tourists who flock to the country’s white-sand beaches, picturesque countryside and thriving nightlife each year. He also says that the death rate among…

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Here’s How To Book The Best Hotel In Town With Just One Tweet

Stefano Pozzebon A new service on Twitter allows users to reserve a hotel room with just a couple of tweets. The system is called #TweetStay, and is from the hotel booking website Stayful. Here is how it works: First the costumer tweets their request to a Stayful account, including destination, price range, arrival date and number of nights. At this point, the Stayful team negotiates a private deal with the hotels available in town, securing a cheaper offer than most of the costumers would get on their own. Here is…

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Travel ideas from all time great explorers

by Anis Ibrahim I HAVE always been an advocate of long-term travel — not necessarily non-stop travel, but extended trips beyond three weeks. If you work full-time and can wrangle an arrangement with your bosses to take a month off, go for it. But what do you do and where do you go for (at least) a whole month? If you haven’t decided on a route or destination, borrow a few ideas from books, movies or explorers who have gone before you. Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta, regarded as the greatest explorer…

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How Will Japan Celebrate Summer Without Unagi

The freshwater eel is now endangered, but who is to blame and what are the best substitutes? By Amanda Arnold As summer temperatures approach 90 degrees, restaurants boast their outdoor patios and decks, and Americans pull out their biggest knives to hack through watermelons and cantaloupe, the Japanese fill up on charcoal-grilled unagi, glazed with a sweet, rich sauce and served on a bed of steamed white rice. Gone are the days of simmered kabocha squash and stew-like oden. In Japan, summer is eel season and being the pragmatists that…

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Sweden’s foreign tourist figures fail to impress

Back in 2009, the Swedish tourism industry expected turnover from tourists to Sweden would double to 500 billion kronor ($74.4 billion) by 2020. However, lackluster spending by foreign tourists has forced the Swedish Travel and Tourism Industry (RTS) to lower their expectations to 451 billion. “It’s the foreign tourism that’s not growing at the speed we anticipated,” said Jan Lundin of the RTS to Dagens Industi newspaper (DI). “Swedish tourism continues to grow, however”. In fact, tourism in Sweden is continuing to grow as an overall trend, and experts insist…

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Don’t even think about renting a jetski ‎in Pattaya: Kip Keino

I, for one, will be boycotting Pattaya and Phuket until jetskis are permanently unavailable for rent at those places. Perhaps there are some jetski renters who are not ripping off tourists, but the whole business is under a dark cloud and needs to be completely snuffed out. As a frequent visitor to Thailand since 1984, I advise other visitors to join in the boycott. There are better places to visit, which don’t have police in collusion with extortionists, fleecing tourists for tens of thousands of baht on a daily basis.…

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