In my last post, I recommended a piece by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force contending that the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) are “global tourism’s silver lining.”
Based on world tourism and economic statistics, Mendiratta notes that senior travelers have more disposable income than other age groups, have more flexibility as to when to travel, and tend to stay longer on the trips they make.
But I thought her own observations about how seniors bring a special sense of excitement and awe to travel was especially insightful.
Baby boomers (now in their 50s and 60s) have a lifetime of experience and knowledge to bring to their travels, and I think this results in greater appreciation for — and excitement about — the places… Continue reading
I don’t usually use the word “seniors” when I’m referring to baby boomers — “seniors” somehow always seem older than us — but there’s a very insightful piece written by Anita Mendiratta of the CNN Task Force promoting the world’s seniors (those aged 60 and up) as “global tourism’s silver lining.”
Mendiratta praises senior travelers as “one of the most strategically valuable, yet socially undervalued, segments of the global travel population.”
The piece, which was syndicated by e Turbo News, touches a lot of bases that I’ve blogged about over the past 2 1/2 years, and has added a few new wrinkles (if you’ll excuse the expression) as well.
Her key premise is that older travelers should not be forgotten as the tourism industry actively courts millennials and other younger age groups. “To the traveling… Continue reading
Sixth in a Series:
Like all rivers, China’s Yangtze is constantly changing, though in this case humans have produced the most profound recent changes rather than nature.
The huge Three Gorges Dam project has resulted in the water level rising more than 100 to 300 feet, depending on the location and the season, along a particularly scenic stretch of the river known as the Three Gorges. The gorges, while not as dramatically steep as the pre-dam versions, are still scenic and still well worth seeing, as my wife, Catharine, and I discovered on a recent Yangtze cruise with Victoria Cruises.
The rising waters have even opened up new scenery to explore: one excursion from our ship, the Victoria Katarina, took us on a ferry ride down the… Continue reading
Fifth in a Series:
The Three Gorges Dam along China’s Yangtze is a marvel of engineering — it’s the world’s largest power station ranked by energy generation, providing hydroelectric power for millions of people — and a disaster for the 1.4 million Chinese who had to be relocated when the dam flooded the Yangtze in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
Some 1,500 villages, towns and cities were flooded and now lie beneath or partially beneath the river, as the water levels rose some 300 feet along the scenic Three Gorges, where steep mountains line both sides of the Yangtze.
Most former residents, many of them farmers, have been relocated to cities like Chongqing — which now has a startling population of 33 million — or to special “relocation cities,” where the river dwellers have been moved into new… Continue reading
Fourth in a Series:
There are a number of iconic river cruises in the world — the Rhine, the Danube, the Amazon, and the Nile among them — and China’s Yangtze must be added to the group.
It’s China’s longest river and third longest in the world after the Nile and Amazon. “Yangtze,” in fact, means “long river” in Chinese. Also known as the “Golden Highway,” the Yangtze is the busiest river in the world and more than one-third of China’s 1.4 billion population live along it.
The Yangtze is actually divided into seven separate sections, but the part that most people cruise — and certainly the most scenic — is the 400-mile-long “Three Gorges” section between the cities of Yichang and Chongqing, a sprawling metropolis in southwest China.
My wife, Catharine, and… Continue reading
Third in a Series:
To cruise the Yangtze, first you have to find the ship. In our case, it was the Victoria Katarina, one of a fleet of excellent ships that U.S.-based Victoria Cruises runs on China’s longest river.
Finding the ship sounds elementary, but when you’re traveling independently in China and don’t speak Chinese, it adds an extra element to the equation.
First, some background: It seems most people take the three-night, four-day cruise down the Yangtze to see the famous Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam, which flooded this region of the river when it was finished in 2003, displacing 1.4 million people and making the Three Gorges somewhat less steep and scenic than previously. Note: they’re still very scenic.
That downriver cruise embarks in the city of Chongqing and disembarks in the… Continue reading
Second in a Series:
I suppose the title “City of the Past, Present and Future” could apply to many cities — but few, if any, as much as Shanghai, China.
Within the course of a few blocks — or just across the street in some cases — you can go from narrow alleyways lined with shacks that have no kitchens or indoor plumbing, to magnificent old temple and garden complexes, to stately colonial-era houses sequestered behind shady sycamore-lined streets, to a pedestrian walkway lined with super-modern clothing and electronics stores that light up like Times Square at night, to a waterfront lined with more colonial-era buildings and a river walk that has to be the selfie-taking capital of the world.
And across the river (providing a background for the selfies) lies the region… Continue reading
First in a Series:
Having just returned from a 12-day trip to China, in which my wife, Catharine, and I traveled independently for much of the time, I wanted to pass along some tips, cautionary information, and interesting factoids for anyone planning to visit that fascinating country in the reasonably near future — especially if you’re planning to do some independent travel.
(China is changing so fast that I can’t guarantee some things won’t be completely different a year from now.)
Our goal for the trip was to take a five-day, four-night Yangtze River cruise via Victoria Cruises, the only American-owned cruise line on the Yangtze — I’ll have an account of that in a later post. But first we wanted to stay several days in Shanghai — which I’ll be detailing later… Continue reading
Everyone has heard of the Amazon, but how many are familiar with another great Brazilian natural wonder, the Pantanal wetlands? Or the spectacular Bolivian salt flats known as Salar de Uyuni or Chile’s Atacama desert? South America is filled with natural wonders that don’t always get the press they deserve. Here are seven of our favorites, including both the famous and not-so-famous — but all remarkable.
Lying more than 600 miles in the Pacific off mainland Ecuador, the remote Galapagos Islands possess perhaps the best preserved ecosystem in the world. This is where Charles Darwin got his inspiration for his Theory of Evolution, after observing the unique birdlife here during his 19th-century voyage aboard the Beagle. The islands are a true natural laboratory, each with distinct species of birds, reptiles and other creatures.… Continue reading
It was news to me, but National Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 13th.
According to Family Travel Association:
- 50 million U.S. households are now led by grandparents, forecasting a continued travel boom by this large group of baby boomers.
- Today’s grandparents are far more active than their parents were, spending lots of time planning trips around specific activities.
- As a result, multi-generational adventure travel is up 30% year after year. (Multi-generational travel is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and tops the list of travel trends, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report.)
- More grandparents are traveling with just the grandchildren, leaving the greandkids’ parents’ behind.
- 22% of all grandparents traveled with just their grandchildren in the past year.
Here are a few suggestions for multi-generational travel, whether it’s… Continue reading