News: Airbnb unveils first professional co-hosts for UK market

News: Airbnb unveils first professional co-hosts for UK market

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Airbnb unveils first professional co-hosts for UK market

Airbnb has announced the first three UK companies to join its professional co-host program, aimed at making home sharing easier for hosts. 

Through the program, Airbnb will share hosting best practices, provide additional platform support and enable direct API integration to Air Agents, Pass the Keys and BnB Buddy. 

The goal is to make it easier for more people to list their homes with confidence and ease, helping them to offer the kind of local and authentic experiences guests on Airbnb have come to expect.

Air Agents, Pass the Keys and BnB Buddy provide many benefits to people who are eager to share their space but may not have time to welcome guests and prepare their listings.

Some of these services include helping hosts communicate with guests, cleaning listings, coordinating check-ins and exchanging keys and providing estimates of what hosts could earn on Airbnb.

James McClure, general manager, northern Europe, Airbnb, said: “This is the next step in our journey to make hosting easier, offering more benefits and creating a platform for everyone. 

“We are excited to welcome to our professional co-host program three of the leading host management companies in the UK making it easier for hosts to share their space and giving guests quality authentic travel experiences. 

“By continuing to make hosting easier, we hope more hosts and guests will benefit from magical travel experiences, powered by people.”

Over the coming months, Airbnb will include details of the program on the host section of the website, so people can quickly and easily source the information they need. 

Air Agents, Pass the Keys and BnB Buddy will each highlight its participation in the program with a unique logo on the homepage designating them as ‘professional co-hosts’. 

Listings overseen by host management companies in London will remain subject to automated hosting limits and be blocked from sharing homes for more than 90 nights a year, unless hosts have the permits required to share their space more frequently.

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via Breaking Travel News http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/

April 24, 2018 at 05:19AM

News: MICE focus drives up visitor figures for Chicago

News: MICE focus drives up visitor figures for Chicago

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel and David Whitaker, president of Choose Chicago, have announced Chicago reached record tourism levels in the first quarter of 2018.

The results build on Chicago’s record performance of 55.2 million visitors in 2017 and reflect the city’s growing strength in attracting more leisure visitors and convention delegates.

“Tourism in Chicago means jobs throughout Chicago,” Emanuel said.

“By continuing to set new tourism records and bring millions more people to Chicago every year, we are creating jobs and generating economic opportunities that reach every Chicago neighbourhood.”

In the first quarter of 2018, total rooms occupied reached a record 2.33 million, an increase of 10.5 per cent.

The double-digit growth was fuelled by both an increase in leisure rooms booked – up 7.1 per cent, and a significant increase in group rooms booked – up 20.5 per cent. 

The occupancy rate increased 5.7 per cent, up to 61.2 per cent, which ties for the highest level ever recorded, set over a decade ago.

“We’re encouraged to see the momentum continue as Chicago experiences unparalleled growth, especially in winter visitation,” Whitaker said.

“A primary focus of Choose Chicago and our partners is to establish Chicago as a 12-month visitor destination for both vacationers and meetings delegates.”

Chicago’s tourism industry supported an estimated 146,500 jobs in 2017, a 17 per cent increase since Emanuel took office.

Prior to 2011, there were an estimated 124,400 tourism-related positions.

The 55.2 million visitors to Chicago in 2017 generated an estimated 22,000 additional jobs.

In 2010 Chicago saw approximately 39.25 million visitors. 2017’s performance is an approximately 40 percent increase.

Choose Chicago continues to aggressively work to bring in meetings and conventions that have not previously met in Chicago, including six the city hosted in the first quarter.

The growth in leisure rooms was also reflected in Expedia bookings data, which paced up 14 per cent in the first quarter year over year.

The positive trend looks to continue as Choose Chicago announced that current reports indicate advance room-nights booked on Expedia are currently pacing up 25 per cent for the combined key summer travel months of June, July and August.

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April 24, 2018 at 05:09AM

News: Maldives sees sharp increase in UK arrivals in early 2018

News: Maldives sees sharp increase in UK arrivals in early 2018

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The Maldives has announced double-digit growth of 17.5 per cent in the number of UK travellers who visited in March 2018, when compared with the same month last year.

In total, 11,829 UK travellers visited the Maldives in March, compared with 10,063 in March 2017.

The destination has just been confirmed as the host of the World Spa Awards, with the event set to take place in October.

Overall, the Maldives welcomed a total of 32,633 UK tourists during the first quarter of 2018, representing a 12.2 per cent increase when compared with the same period of 2017, which saw 29,088 people from the UK arrive at the destination.

Globally, in March 2018 the Maldives recorded an 18.5 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of international visitor arrivals, welcoming a total of 133,466 arrivals.

This brings the total of global arrivals to 420,103 in the first three months of 2018, representing a positive growth of 17 per cent when compared with last year.

This year the Maldives will further confirm its status as one of the most attractive holiday destinations for UK tourists, with the opening of at least 23 new resorts and what is believed to be the world’s first undersea residence at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Commenting on the news, the Maldives minister of tourism, Moosa Zameer, said: “We are very pleased to see such a significant rise in both the number of UK and international tourists to the Maldives which is largely thanks to the work carried out by the Embassy of Maldives, MMPRC and the tourism industry stakeholders at large.

“The UK continues to establish itself as one of the most valuable inbound markets for tourism to the Maldives and with a number of exciting new tourism developments launching this year, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors during the remaining months of 2018.”

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April 24, 2018 at 05:09AM

News: Ultra-long-range A350 XWB one step closer to Singapore Airlines debut

News: Ultra-long-range A350 XWB one step closer to Singapore Airlines debut

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The ultra-long-range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216, has successfully completed its first flight.

The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018.

The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles.

These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks.

The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

With a maximum take-off weight of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

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April 24, 2018 at 05:09AM

News: Great Western Railway launches mobile booking across network

News: Great Western Railway launches mobile booking across network

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Customers can now go from booking to boarding in just a matter of minutes, and without the need for a paper ticket, as Great Western Railway launches mobile ticketing across its network.

GWR has expanded the availability of mobile tickets across its network, enabling customers to travel with their ticket on their smartphone or tablet.

If all users of the app were to buy paper-free tickets it would save a ten-metre high stack of orange rail tickets every week, or over half a kilometre every year.

Passengers can now use their smart phone or tablet as a pocket ticket machine to purchase and to travel following the installation of barcode readers at station ticket gates across the GWR network.

The scheme covers all singles and return tickets; standard and first class, adult and child.

Season tickets, group save, and rangers and rovers are not currently available.

By downloading the GWR app customers can instantly purchase a wide range of ticket types, including on the day ‘walk-up’ fares, from the GWR app for the majority of journeys across the GWR network.

Tickets are displayed on the phone screen as an encrypted barcode to be scanned by new readers at ticket gates and can also be checked on board by train managers with mobile barcode reading devices.

GWR head of retail, Lee Edworthy, explained: “Technology has fundamentally changed the way that we travel.

“The expansion of mobile ticketing will make buying a ticket and travelling with us much easier and more convenient, saving valuable time for customers.

“As one of the UKs leading transport providers, GWR is committed to making travelling by train even easier, and that is why we continue to develop our online and mobile ticketing service, ensuring we put our customers first and help communities to prosper.”

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April 24, 2018 at 05:09AM

You can keep your sunshine: Traveling in the rain is better for the soul

You can keep your sunshine: Traveling in the rain is better for the soul

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Forget tropical islands and balmy sunsets—what about windswept hills, mist-shrouded mountains, soaking cities, stormy coasts and moss-covered forests? Jo Stewart argues that rain, far from ruining a trip, can make it even more special.

I’ve been rained on in Milan. I’ve skipped puddles in London. I’ve collected snowflakes on my tongue in Vancouver and been stalked by a permanent raincloud in the Falkland Islands—but nothing beats seeing rain in the Australian Outback.

Soundtracked by the deafening thud of raindrops pelting a rusty iron roof, there was something soul-stirring about watching crackles of lightning illuminate the Outback sky. It was one of those rare travel experiences you feel with every cell of your body. After all, it’s not supposed to rain in the Outback, is it? It doesn’t fit with our preconceptions. And yet, it was glorious.

Despite the wonders of rain, travelers all over the world think their travel plans are dashed by ‘bad’ weather. But what exactly is bad weather? Who decided that rain is ‘bad’ and sunshine ‘good’?

If we believe the messages we receive from advertisers and social media, we’re expected to lust after tropical islands, balmy sunsets and infinity pools—all the traditional Instagram bait. Alas, my soul somehow missed that memo. Instead, I get excited about windswept moors, mist-shrouded mountains, stormy coasts and moss-covered forests.

RELATED: The wild beauty beyond Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Just as surfers dream of chasing an endless summer, I’d love to rearrange my life to visit cold, gray, moody places where comfort food, log fires and trapper hats abound. And as it turns out, I’m not alone. There’s even a term for people like me:

Pluviophile (n): A lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days. 

Places prone to long, dark winters tend to be intriguing in ways places blessed with temperate climates are not, providing the perfect conditions for underground and counter-culture arts movements to flourish. Cities like Berlin, Reykjavík, Stockholm, London, Melbourne and Portland owe much to the rainy days that drive everyone indoors to paint, write, compose, weave and knit.

In Iceland, one in ten locals publish a book. Sweden is the best music exporter in the world per capita. Melbourne has more live music venues per person than any other urban center in the world. The inhabitants of these cities—and more besides—have written, produced and played their way through cold, wet winters—and for good reason.

RELATED: Is this the secret to Swedish happiness?

New York University professor Adam Alter writes in his 2014 book Drunk Tank Pink: and Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel and Behave, that as a species, we’re biologically predisposed to avoid sadness. So if the weather leaves us feeling blue, we’ll take active steps to make ourselves feel better, and melancholy helps steer us towards reflective thinking and creativity.

Of course, waltzing into a snowstorm or category five cyclone isn’t wise, and some people don’t have choice in when they can travel due to work commitments. But if you can be flexible, why not reconsider when and where you travel?

Discounting a destination because it receives plenty of rain is short-changing yourself of opportunities to delve into yourself, roast marshmallows over an open fire, embrace the wrath of the great outdoors, or spend entire days visiting galleries, bookshops and wine bars without the guilt that accompanies spending a sunny day indoors.

Forget obsessively checking your weather app—pack a poncho and discover what it’s like to see a place through a foggy lens. You won’t return with a tan, but you might just find a little piece of yourself that you didn’t know existed.

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April 24, 2018 at 05:06AM

From John Barron To @RealDonaldTrump: Trump’s History of Lying

From John Barron To @RealDonaldTrump: Trump’s History of Lying

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It’s a big week for John Barron. On Monday night, Barron accompanied Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, to Mt. Vernon, the country estate of America’s first President. On Tuesday evening, Barron will preside over his first state dinner at the White House. And he will use real name: Donald Trump.

Trump hasn’t availed himself of the alias John Barron in years. But thirty-four years ago, in 1984, things were different. That May, Trump claimed to be Barron, a fictional official with the Trump Organization, in a phone call with Jonathan Greenberg, a young researcher at Forbes, who was working on the magazine’s annual ranking of the four hundred richest people in America. Two years earlier, Trump had made it onto the Forbes list for the first time, with an estimated fortune of a hundred million dollars. In an effort to get himself moved up, Trump, speaking as Barron, insisted that he was worth at least nine hundred million dollars, and probably much more, because he had recently inherited the bulk of his the real-estate fortune of father, Fred. “Most of the assets have been consolidated to Mr. Trump,” Barron told Greenberg. “You have down Fred Trump . . . but I think you can really use Donald Trump now.”

As Greenberg recounted in a piece in the Washington Post a few days ago, practically everything about this phone call was phony. Fred Trump kept hold of his real-estate empire until he died, in 1999, and in his will he divided it up between his four surviving children and some grandchildren. In 1984, far from being a billionaire, Donald Trump was worth less than a hundred million dollars, probably much less: Greenberg now says he shouldn’t have been on the Forbes list at all. When I recently rediscovered and listened, for first time since that year, to the tapes I made of this and other phone calls, I was amazed that I didn’t see through the ruse,” Greenberg wrote. “Although Trump altered some cadences and affected a slightly stronger New York accent, it was clearly him.”

At practically any other time in American history, public confirmation that the occupant of the Oval Office is a serial con man who lied, schemed, and impersonated his way to public prominence would have dominated the news for weeks. These days, though, the media is virtually overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of Trump stories. When Greenberg’s article appeared, on Friday, it had to compete with the latest developments involving the former F.B.I. director James Comey, the Trump associate Michael Cohen, the former F.B.I. official Andrew McCabe, and North Korea. Although a few cable news shows and commentators did pick up on Greenberg’s piece, the burst of interest didn’t last long.

That’s unfortunate, because the seventy-one-year-old Trump currently in the White House is merely an older version of the thirty-seven-year-old Trump who misled Greenberg all those years ago. ”When I first contacted him for the inaugural issue, Trump pulled out all the stops to convince me that he was the wealthiest real-estate developer in New York,” Greenberg wrote in his article. “At an afternoon-long meeting in his cavernous Fifth Avenue office, he argued that his family was worth more than $900 million and deserved to be higher on our list than any of the far more accomplished developers (with names like Rose and Rudin) who had spent generations building top-tier housing in the golden borough of Manhattan.” After Greenberg reacted skeptically to some of Trump’s claims, he got a call from the developer’s lawyer, Roy Cohn. “I am sitting here looking at his current bank statement,” Cohn said. “It shows he’s got more than $500 million in liquid assets, just cash. That’s just Donald, nothing to do with Fred, and it’s just cash. He’s worth more than any of those other guys in this town!”

Whether you find these recollections amusing or pathetic is a matter of taste. The disturbing aspect of the story is that Trump and Cohn’s flimflam routine worked. Forbes didn’t take Trump entirely at his word: Greenberg says he was proud to have challenged many of his numbers. But the magazine did put Trump on its list of the super-rich, and it kept him there for years on the strength of an estimate of his fortune that Greenberg now concedes was greatly exaggerated. “The joke was on me—and everyone else,” Greenberg writes. “Trump’s fabrications provided the basis for a vastly inflated wealth assessment for the Forbes 400 that would give him cachet for decades as a triumphant businessman.” In 1990, after many of Trump’s businesses ran into serious trouble, Forbes took him off its list for a time, but in 1996 it restored his position. Once again, the magazine’s estimate of his net worth that was probably greatly inflated.

Judging by subsequent history, the lesson that Trump learned from this experience was that lying to the media works. His regular appearances on Forbes’s list didn’t just merely give him bragging rights in New York real-estate circles. They also burnished his personal brand, which he eventually rode to a starring role on a network-television show, “The Apprentice.” From there, he set his sights on the White House.

Another lesson that Trump seems to have learned early is that, if you are going to make things up, there’s no point underdoing it. When he was running for President, he claimed to be worth more than ten billion dollars, even though most independent analysts reckoned the true figure was less than half that. “Trump has latched onto such fanciful figures not simply because he’s insecure about his wealth but because he knows that pretending he has that kind of money keeps him in the media’s eye and keeps potential business partners interested in him,” Timothy L. O’Brien, the author of a critical 2005 biography of Trump, noted at Bloomberg View on Monday. “It’s all part of the long con.”

A long con, indeed. And a tactic that Trump continues to use. In the past few days alone, the President has claimed that North Korea has already “agreed to denuclearization.” (It hasn’t). He has described his Mar-a-Lago resort as “the Southern White House.” (It’s a Trump enterprise, not a public building.) And he’s said that his poll numbers are the highest ever. (The latest Gallup survey puts his job approval at just thirty-eight per cent). About the only difference, these days, is that when Trump has a self-serving whopper to spread around, he goes on Twitter and attaches his own name to it. In the age of @TheRealDonaldTrump, there is no longer any need for John Barron.

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April 24, 2018 at 01:32AM

What I Learned From My In-Flight Medical Emergency

What I Learned From My In-Flight Medical Emergency

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“Is there a doctor on-board?” is a phrase no one wants to hear over the intercom during the flight. Or, at least that’s what I always assumed. However, Sunday night I was the patient that needed a doctor. After hours of excruciating pain, I was relieved to hear the announcement go out and prayed that someone would answer the call.

Let’s take a step back and set the situation: This weekend, I went on a “review run” on Avianca business class from New York City to Medellin, Cartagena and  Bogota, Colombia, back to New York City. The whole trip was scheduled to take less than 48 hours, as I was squeezing it in between the Primera Air inaugural flight and the ILA Berlin Air Show starting Wednesday.

My JFK to Medellin flight started off terribly before getting better, and I spent a night in the city before flying three legs back on Sunday. I was set to review the Avianca Airbus A330 flight from Bogota-NYC, but I would end up with a different story instead.

The first sign of an issue was when I was waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) in line at the gate to board my flight from Bogota back to NYC. At that point, I began to feel a little queasy and particularly exhausted. I chalked this up to jet lag due to the late night flight, exacerbated by having been based in Europe for the last few months.

After boarding and waiting for pushback, I noticed that I was sweating. Presuming it to be because of a hot cabin, I checked the thermometer — which I always carry for reviews — to find it was just 75° in the cabin. That was a bad sign. Then, the abdominal pain started kicking in. I figured that I probably had eaten something that was making me sick. Or maybe was it my epic Colombian feast from the night before?

Once in the air, the pain got worse. I found some relief lying down, but soon there was no comfortable position. So, I finally said something to a flight attendant while she was serving dinner to the forward business class cabin. I asked if she or any of the crew had over-the-counter pain medicine. She explained that it was illegal in Colombia for the crew to carry meds with them — seemingly even ibuprofen and acetaminophen. She suggested I drink tonic water, as that’s what the crew does when feeling ill. I gave it a shot.

Neither the tonic water nor the chamomile tea that she later brought me seemed to provide any relief from the ever-increasing pain. Finding myself involuntarily moaning in pain and finding it harder to even move, I was freaking out that my appendix might be bursting.

I willed myself up to the galley — detouring to the lavatory to throw up from the pain — and asked if there was a doctor on board. The flight attendant said that she didn’t know, but she would make an announcement. With it being 1:40am and the cabin settling down for a short sleep, I felt mortified that this announcement would bother passengers.

But the flight attendant could tell that I was in distress, and made the call. Thankfully, three medical professionals responded, gathering around me in the middle business class galley. One doctor explained he specialized in internal medicine and had spent some years performing surgeries himself. Understandably, he took the lead.

After a throughout verbal and physical assessment, the doctor was able to rule out appendicitis or anything immediately life-threatening. That assured both me and the crew that a medical diversion wouldn’t be necessary and that I’d likely survive until NYC.

Hours after the pain had suddenly begun, it finally started to subside. I found I was able to find relief by bending over in the flight attendant chair they’d sat me in for the assessment. Eventually, I could stand and retreat to my seat for an hour of fitful sleep. I woke up for landing with only minor pain, but feeling incredibly sore — as if I’d been kicked in the gut.

Once in NYC, I was able to find a gastroenterologist who could take me that morning. He’s ruled out appendicitis and a gallbladder problem. His initial diagnosis is a peptic ulcer, but I have further tests coming up to determine a final diagnosis. With the prescribed medicine kicking in, I’m starting to feel a lot better.

Lessons Learned

Don’t be afraid to say something. Honestly, I was mortified to be in this situation. That’s why I downplayed my pain when I first brought up the situation to a flight attendant and thought shortly about withdrawing the request when I learned they’d have to make an announcement over the intercom. However, that request is what ended up ruling out a genuine medical emergency, putting me somewhat at ease. The flip side to saying something: If you declare your sickness before departure, you might be required by the crew to leave the flight.

Always carry over-the-counter medicine. I almost always carry individually-packaged pain pills when I travel. In my off-the-beaten path travels from Majuro to Mongolia, I’ve learned these pill packs are worth every bit of size and weight in my pack, as they’ll eventually be very helpful when needed. Of course, I was testing out a brand new small daypack on this trip, and those pills were left back in New York City.

Know where to find medical help. When I landed in NYC, I had no idea what I could do to get a medical assessment. With my pain level subsiding, I didn’t want to go to an emergency room. And I figured that most urgent care facilities would just refer me to an emergency room when they heard my symptoms. I called my insurance provider, but they could only promise to email a list of all in-network providers (that email still hasn’t arrived over seven hours later).

After striking out cold-calling gastroenterologists in NYC, I stumbled across Zocdoc and was able to schedule an in-network gastroenterologist under half a mile from the TPG office for 9:30am. The doctor provided exactly the expertise that I needed. So, I’m instantly a fan of Zocdoc. If you’re traveling overseas, one great resource for finding medical providers can be the US Embassy website for the country that you’re visiting.

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April 24, 2018 at 01:01AM

WOW Air Will Pay You And Your Bestie $4,000 A Month To Travel The World

WOW Air Will Pay You And Your Bestie $4,000 A Month To Travel The World

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Iceland’s budget carrier WOW Air lived up to its name today by launching the WOW Travel Guide competition. Touted as “the best summer job ever,” the airline is seeking a “fun pair of individuals who are able to think big” to move to Reykjavik for the summer and travel the world for free.


The landing page for the “Best Summer Job” site seeks applicants to help create a world travel guide. Source: WOW Air.

“We are now accepting applications for a 3 month paid summer job, where you will move to Iceland and travel the world with your best friend,” reads the text on the airline’s brightly colored contest page. “Your mission will be to explore some of WOW Air’s 38 destinations and document your travels to create a complete digital Travel Guide.”

Contest winners will each receive a monthly stipend of $4,000 per month, and will share an all-expenses apartment in downtown Reykjavik, the airline’s base of operations.


The free apartment provided by WOW air has a distinctly minimalist Scandinavian vibe. Image courtesy of WOW air.

The apartment will serve as home base for the duo’s travels, which will be determined by the travelers themselves from among the destinations that WOW serves. The lucky winners have 38 destinations across Europe and North America to choose from, including Barcelona, Los Angeles, Stockholm, and New York, as well as Iceland to explore. Transportation and Iceland tours are also part of the winners’ package, while additional travel and living expenses will also be paid by the airline.

In exchange for the monthly stipend and free room and board, the contest winners will document their trips as brand ambassadors for WOW Air, capturing social-friendly videos and writing posts, including travel tips, for the destinations they visit. The completed content will be featured under the Travel Guide section of WOW Air’s website. Some of WOW’s suggested categories for coverage include:

EXPLORE…

  • Food: Find out the local secrets
  • Culture: How to act like a local
  • Nightlife: When and where to go…
  • Nature: Wildlife, parks and beaches
  • Transport: Uber, metro or bike?
  • Budget: Discover ways to stay on budget

CREATE…

  • Vlogs showcasing each destination
  • Instagram stories with handy travel tips
  • Photographs that frame your experience
  • Any other form of creative media you can think of
  • A complete digital travel guide to the destinations

ENJOY…

  • Moving to Iceland with your best friend (June 1st – August 15th)
  • Living and working in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Flying out to explore new countries all summer long
  • Sampling the best each destination has to offer
  • Earning money while doing it

The contest is open to applicants 18 years of age or older, from anywhere in the world. In order to apply, candidates must submit a two-minute clip offering travel tips for their hometown by May 14, 2018. A panel of judges will select and announce the winners via social media on May 18. The adventure will begin just two short weeks later on June 1.

For those who like to know all the details, the terms and conditions page indicates that the winners can expect:

  • Weeks of travel with flights, hotels, activities and travel allowance all paid for by WOW Air. Travel Guides will also gain social media exposure and hopefully some priceless memories.
  • Accommodation in Iceland: Travel Guides will stay at a furnished apartment in downtown Reykjavík, while in Iceland.
  • Hotels: WOW Air will be taking care of choosing, booking and paying for Travel Guide hotels or other overnight accommodations when they are traveling on behalf of WOW Air in connection with the Travel Guide project.
  • Flights: Flights will be provided by WOW Air from and to WOW Air’s destinations of the summer of 2018. If the Travel Guide’s domicile isn’t in one of WOW Air’s destination cities, then Travel Guide is responsible for all travel expenses for the journey to the nearest WOW Air destination.
  • Travel allowance: Payments made in accordance with regulations of Iceland.
  • Travel Guides will take eight trips to random WOW Air destinations from Iceland. Each trip will last for 2-4 days. Travel Guides will also take at least four domestic trips in Iceland. All trips will be taken over the course of 10 weeks during the summer of 2018. 

WOW Air’s contest is the latest from a long line of brands getting increasingly creative with their travel budgets. In October 2017, The New York Times posted an open call for a travel writer to visit the newspaper’s 52 Places to Go in 2018 – and write about them. The media company received more than 9,000 applications (including one from yours truly), ultimately going through a second round of finalists before choosing Jada Yuan, an experienced travel journalist who has already hit up 14 spots on the 2018 list.

And just last month, European travel company Busabout offered to a free tour of Europe – plus pay – for four “travel addicts” to spend three months documenting their travels across Europe. Busabout’s contest ended last week on April 17, so the winner should be announced sometime in May.

Even cities are getting in on the idea: Last November, Cancun offered one lucky traveler $10,000 a month for a six-month brand ambassadorship.

Featured image by Shutterstock.com.

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April 24, 2018 at 12:46AM