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The Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa -- did she name all her daughters after herself?

The Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa — did she name all her daughters after herself?

The usual April 1 routine among publications is to write up some ridiculous story and try to convince readers that it’s true. Today I’m going to reverse that.

All of these 12 trivia items have appeared in some form on my blog over the past two years or so. Only one of them is false.

See if you can figure out which one is strictly for April Fool’s Day:

* You can fly to Mongolia from Beijing, China, in less than two hours.

* Some of the most coveted and prestigious student residences at the University of Virginia have no bathrooms.

* Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa had 16 children; her 11 daughters were all named Maria or Marie.

* The small South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has made millions… Continue reading

The Polish town of Wieliczka has a subterranean salt mine that houses a cathedral complete with chandeliers made of salt. Photo from Flickr

The Polish town of Wieliczka has a subterranean salt mine that houses a cathedral complete with chandeliers made of salt. Photo from Flickr.

I spent yesterday in New York City at VEMEX (Visit Europe Media Exchange), where a throng of travel writers met with dozens of  representatives of European travel destinations, tour agencies, railways, river cruises and rental cars.

Representatives were allotted 15 minutes to update each writer on what was new, compelling and noteworthy about their destinations or companies, with writers busily scribbling unreadable notes and — more helpfully — pocketing cleverly packaged thumb drives that they could later plug  into their computers with all the salient information.

And there was information aplenty, providing a good indication of what types of visitors and customers they’re seeking and how they hope to attract them.

I can guarantee you that baby boomer travelers — who tend to favor… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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