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Travel News

Fly Free to Europe

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico’s a Global Tourism Star

In 2017, Mexico surpassed Germany, the United Kingdom, and Turkey to become the sixth-most visited destination in the world. International visitor spending during that same period reached $21.3 billion, also a record for the nation.

The numbers are growing at a dizzying rate. From 2013 through 2017, the nation saw a 62 percent increase in visitor traffic, the fastest growth rate of any large global destination.

Accordingly, infrastructure is also expanding, welcoming 15,000 to 20,000 new hotel rooms every year. Connectivity to the nation is also increasing. In 2018 alone, the country has already welcomed 4,600 new flights.

New Blue Flag Certification Beaches

Eighteen more beaches in Mexico have now received coveted Blue Flag certification from the nonprofit Foundation for Environmental Education. Mexico now has more than 50 beaches that have achieved Blue Flag status.

The designation recognizes coastal regions that meet high standards of water quality, safety, environmental education and information, services, and environmental management.

The announcement of new qualifying destinations takes place annually and was made by the Blue Flag International Jury 2018. This was the first time that the number of Blue Flag sites worldwide reached more than 4,500.


International News

USS Arizona Memorial Closed Indefinitely

The USS Arizona Memorial, one of Hawaii’s top tourist attractions located just off Honolulu’s coast, is closed indefinitely for repairs to its visitor and loading ramp.

Visitors can still experience free programs at the USS Arizona Memorial, including viewing the site’s 25-minute documentary film and getting a harbor tour of Battleship Row. The site’s museums will also remain open, including the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor.


Golden Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka emanates a golden hue, from its glittering white sandy beaches to its sparkling temples. There is no shortage of timeless ruins, delicious flavors, beautiful beaches, and exciting culture to explore. Experience it all on golden Sri Lanka.


Highlights include:

  • 12 nights hotel accommodations
  • Comprehensive sightseeing by private car
  • Journey through stunning natural beauty and captivating cultural heritage
  • Learn about the successful breeding program at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Golden Temple of Dambulla, Sigiriya Rock Fortress,
  • Explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the sacred city of Kandy
  • Trek to World’s End for an amazing view of Sri Lanka
  • Jeep safari at Yala National Park and River Safari on Madu River
  • Visit the capital city Colombo, with its rich colonial heritage


13 days/12 nights from US $2,257 per person, double occupancy. Visiting: Colombo, Dambulla, Trincomalee, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Tissamahuarama, Betota.


Air News

World’s Longest Flight

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will launch the world’s longest commercial flights in October, with nonstop services between New York and Singapore, using the new Airbus A350-900ULR. Flights will be launched on October 12, 2018, from Newark Liberty International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport.

The route will initially be served three times a week, departing Newark on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Daily operations will commence from October 19 after an additional aircraft enters service.

SIA is the world’s first customer for the new aircraft, with seven on firm order with Airbus. The plane will be configured in a two-class layout, with 67 Business Class seats and 94 Premium Economy Class seats. Tickets went on sale starting May 31.


Travel Trivia

What is the Only Country in Africa with Spanish as Its Official Language?

Sierra Leone, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, or Gabon?

Equatoguinean Spanish is the variety of Spanish spoken in Equatorial Guinea. This is the only Spanish variety that holds national official status in sub-Saharan Africa. The language is spoken by about 90 percent of the population, estimated at 1,170,308 for the year 2010.

Spanish Guinea, along with the island of Bioko, became a Spanish colony after being obtained from Portugal in exchange for American territories in 1778 under the First Treaty of San Ildefonso. Full colonization of the continental interior was not established until the end of the nineteenth century. Equatorial Guinea became independent on October 12, 1968.[MA1]

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“In Africa, there is a concept known as ‘ubuntu’—the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others.” —Nelson Mandela

Deal of the Week

Fly Free to Europe

This November, experience Europe as the locals do, with fewer crowds and amid brilliant fall foliage. Hear the crunch of leaves beneath your feet while hiking storied hills, gaze at gold and crimson trees, taste flavorful wines just after the harvest, and inhale the festive aroma of fresh roasted chestnuts as you explore grand cities and storybook villages along the Danube, Rhine, and Moselle rivers in perfect jacket weather.

And now, when you book select AmaWaterways departures by June 30, you’ll fly to Europe for free. These incredible November river cruises are filling up fast. Take advantage of this extremely rare free airfare offer today.

Cruise the Danube

  • Danube Serenade, 7-night cruise from Nuremberg to Vienna or reverse. Nov 4, 11, 16, 17, 18.
  • Blue Danube Discovery, 7-night cruise from Budapest to Nuremberg, Nov 10, 16, 18
  • Magical Christmas Markets, 7-night cruise from Nuremberg to Vienna, Nov 23

Cruise the Rhine

  • Captivating Rhine, 7-night cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Nov 17, 19
  • Enchanting Rhine, 7-night cruise from Basel to Amsterdam, Nov 19
  • Medieval Treasures, 7-night cruise from Basel to Nuremberg, Nov 15
  • Europe’s Rivers & Castles, 7-night cruise from Nuremberg to Luxembourg, Nov 1

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Pulse, Travelmarket Report, Asian Vistas, Travel Agent Central, AmaWaterways

[MA1]Tania, this could be cut. It’s not advertising any travel package.


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