The Best of US #whtravelbloggers

Hangout with us and learn about study abroad!

Tuesday, December 23, The Best of US Hangout
Hashtag: #WHTravelBloggers
Starting Time: 10am Las Vegas, 1pm New York City, 6pm London, Wednesday 5am Sydney


Here are some questions I’ll be tweeting this week for background purposes. Answers are particularly welcome as comments on this blog!

Stats Please! What’s the demographic breakdown of US students abroad?
Stats Please! What’s the demographic breakdown of international students in the USA?
Stats Please! What percentage of the US population has an international passport?

Paint me a picture of study abroad programs in the 1960s-2010s?

International friends, what are your favorite experiences with US students in your country?
International friends, what suggestions do you have for US study abroad programs?

Event questions: How was the event organized? Who participated? What are the followup events to the White House Travel Bloggers Summit?

Tuesday Hangout: The best of US #whtravelbloggers @TransAbroad

New to hangouts? Check out our guide on making the most of Google+ Hangouts.

Related pages on the Planeta Wiki: Education, USA

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Digital Literacy and Responsible Travel Week #rtweek2015

One of the goals for Responsible Travel Week is focusing attention on specific places, particularly where we have friends and partners. The relevant pages on the Planeta Wiki will be edited with links to our favorite curated resources.

Which places will be in the RT Week spotlight? Let us know what you’d like to see. If you’d like us to pay attention, bring the place to our attention!

We also encourage readers to check out and edit Wikipedia. Do you want to be digitally literate? If you have not edited a wiki before, let this be one of your resolutions for 2015.

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read

You Can Change the World, Planeta Wiki

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Global Summit on #CityTourism

Apologies for the short notice, but tomorrow (Wedneday, December 10) the UNWTO hosts the #CityTourism Summit and will stream the event live from Barcelona, Spain.

Anyone interested in transcribing highlights? If so, please help edit this Google Doc

Key Links

Watch Live


#CityTourism 12.2014

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Do you love Quito, too? = ¿Quieres Quito También?

Feliz cumpleaños. Happy Birthday, Quito!

One of my favorite cities in the world, Quito, Ecuador is celebrating the anniversary of its founding today. My first visit coincided with this holiday, so it has special significance. To enjoy the satisfaction and joy of Quiteños and Quiteñas is to experience a moment of slow, blissful, responsible travel.

I’m far away and seeking help from friends. Please upload your favorite new photos of Quito in the Quito 2 Flickr Group. We’ll feature our favorites during February’s Responsible Travel Week.

Do you love Quito, too? Show us! Bonus point if you tweet your Quito photo or video with #Quito2

Do you love Quito, too? #Quito2 @ecabanilla @pgaybor @QuitoTurismo @UNESCOQuito @MunicipioQuito

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December 2014 Calendar: Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health #nv150

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Bleak Week for Australia’s Bush Telegraph #ABCcuts

I first started listening to Australia’s Radio National in 2006 as I prepared to deliver a keynote address at the 2007 Aboriginal Tourism Australia conference. I spent a year listening to this radio network to get some insights into what locals thought about indigenous culture, tourism, parks and the environment.

What started out as preparation for a trip continues today out of habit. I care about the communities I visited and I try to stay current with the news. I’ve used Radio National as the benchmark for what I hope to find from public broadcasters around the world. Today the news is about the media itself. Major budget cuts to Australia’s ABC have been announced and one of the first shows to get the ax is a long-time favorite: Bush Telegraph.

For my purpose of learning about rural Australia, Bush Telegraph is the blue ribbon winner at the county fair. The show probes timely issues with depth that otherwise would be unreported. For me it wasn’t so much keeping up with the news as getting insights into what would become headline news — climate adaptation, renewable energy targets, the rise of farmers’ markets and so many more niche topics.

I’m originally from Indiana in the USA and I am all too familiar with farm reporting that has a limited scope of interest. I know the sound of boring radio. Bush Telegraph transcended the genre all the while respecting its core group of listeners out in the bush of rural Australia. Its coverage earlier this month of the World Parks Congress was outstanding, delivering far more than bullet points. Bush Telegraph brought the world to rural Australia and rural Australia to the world. To the producers, host and everyone involved in production, I extend my deepest thanks. Your program will be sorely missed.

No doubt other favorite programs will fall and many will protest the #ABCcuts. This is a bleak week for those employed by the ABC and for listeners around the world.

Bush Telegraph - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Exploring the Sharing Economy

Personally, I am perplexed by the ‘sharing economy.’ Some of these services are wonderful old-school transactions, the kind of trading that makes visiting traditional markets such a worthwhile experience. Some of it is unabashed, materialistic selfishness.

The sharing economy shares its core ideas with collaborative consumption — participants share access to products or services. Owners rent out something they are not using, such as a car, a room or a house. What interests in the realm of travel and tourism is whether the ideas work for non-English speaking friends in Latin America. As happy that I can book Uber in Las Vegas, I’d love to explore whether it’s a possibility in Oaxaca or Quito. What about selling tickets for home-cooked meals? This could be the next big trend for visitors seeking out sensational cooks who, alas, may or may not speak English. Cooking classes are big business in Mexico, but rarely take the visitor into the homes of locals.

What interests me is whether the sharing economy by any name is recognized and promoted by local tourism authorities. They’re keen on selling the ‘experience’ but what about experiences that connect visitors and locals. The new services are here to stay but are either unrecognized or derided as part of the ‘black economy.’

I understand that many accommodation services are considered as competition to traditional hotels, but I think the entire ‘homestay’ niche has long been ignored by tourism officials. It’s not as if the majority of travelers will abandon their chain hotel loyalty programs for the option of spending the night in someone’s guest room. I’d love to see all the options on the table (and by that I mean the official tourism portals) for visitors and all the behind-the-scenes education available to locals.

The good news: All this week the Outbounding site is exploring the topic:

The Sharing Economy: The Good, the Bad and the Future via @Outbounding

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