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Can a Trip Ever Be ‘Authentic’?

Indonesian tourists pose in front of members of the Stone Age Dani tribe in West Papua, New Guinea. The tribe maintains many of its costumes and traditions — and charges visitors for the honor of observing them. Credit Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

In a globalized age — when a McAloo Tikki is just as Indian as the Taj Mahal — has the very word lost its meaning?

I once spent an unforgettable day in the traveler’s treasure-house that is Sana’a, capital of Yemen. Stained-glass windows glittered from thickets of high tower-houses as night began to fall, and khat-chewing men with daggers at their sides haggled furiously in the Salt Market. Clay walls surrounded one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements on the planet, where groups of turbaned shopkeepers headed toward 1,400-year-old mosques as the call to prayer echoed through the dusk. It wasn’t hard to feel, amid the dusty lanes of a large section of town that’s now a Unesco World Heritage Site, that nothing had changed since the Prophet’s time; here, I decided, was the Old World, all slowness and prayer and tribal custom, in stark opposition to the fast-forward, hyperconnected, young society I know in California. By Pico Iyer. Read more.

St. Kitts resort launches first fully organic, edible golf course

Imagine a golf course with acres of an unproductive turfgrass monoculture traded for fertile farmlands yielding fruits and vegetables, a course that is fully organic, where hundreds of grazing sheep help the lawnmowers and where water recycled though wetlands is reused for irrigation. In December 2015, Belle Mont Farm on Kittitian Hill, a new sustainable luxury destination on the island of St. Kitts, will transform the golf experience with the launch of Irie Fields, the world’s first Golf Environment Organization (GEO) Certified Development, and only fully organic, edible golf course in the world. By eHotelier editor. Read more.

 

November 08 2015 – Long before I arrive in Haiti I get a sense of what the name itself conjures up. There are no direct flights from the UK, so I’ve flown in via the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s conjoined twin on the island of Hispaniola. Kevin Rushby Read more.

 

November 06 2015 – Last week we were reminded that there’s still plenty to both love and learn about our planet, as news went viral about a 16th-century church in Mexico spookily rising from the watery depths. Abandoned in the 18th Century after a plague swept through the Chiapas region, the Temple of Santiago usually rests about 30m underwater. Ellie Cobb Read more.

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November 08 2015 – Her laptop brims with satellite images pitted with thousands of black dots, evidence of excavations across Egypt where looters have tunneled in search of mummies, jewelry and other valuables prized by collectors, advertised in auction catalogs and trafficked on eBay, a criminal global black market estimated in the billions of dollars. 

 

November 05 2015 – The incomparable Transcaucasian Trail, a hiking route across the Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea to the Caspian, was launched on Responsible Travel Day of the World Travel Market. Katie Ruth Davies Read more.

 

November 2015 – Can the travel industry have an impact on saving Asia Pacific’s shark population from extinction? Dr. Andy Cornish, shark & ray initiative leader at WWF International, draws the connection between tourism and marine conservation. PATA Conversations Read more.

 

November 2015 – Discover the national park hotel that’s powered by cinnamon wood. Hiran Cooray, chairman of Jetwing Hotels, shares the initiatives that set standards for sustainable comfort and helped put Sri Lanka on a level playing field in the tourism industry. PATA Conversations Read more.

November 02 2015 – What can one do, except feel powerless and fume and wonder what is wrong with some people? And find another dentist besides Walter Palmer in Minneapolis? Palmer, of course, wounded Cecil, leaving him to suffer in death throes for 40 hours before killing him with a rifle shot. Michael Markarian Read more.

November 03 2015 – As always, the annual reopening of the Icehotel is a big deal. Each winter, visionary Swedish entrepreneur Yngve Bergqvist’s nippy and never-the-same hostelry reemerges from the frozen tundra more than 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle in a completely unique form. Matt Hickman Read more.