Παρασκευή, 31 Μαΐου 2019

Global analysis of hotel length-of-stay







Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Global analysis of hotel length-of-stay

About 63 per cent hotels surveyed almost never apply any kind of Length-of-Stay (LOS) discount. A new hotel Length-of-Stay (LOS) Strategy Report was released today, examining the rates of over 50,000 hotels globally, based on data derived from OTA Insight’s Rate Insight platform.

The report provides a comprehensive analysis on the number of hotels that apply a level of discounting in return for a guaranteed number of nights (length-of-stay discount). It reflects how often they apply it, the size of discounts, and what key takeaways can be extracted from these different strategies.

From Asia to Latin America, about 51,075 hotels were analyzed worldwide. Of the 37 per cent that do offer LOS discounts, 71 per cent provide discount for 10 or more days in the period analyzed.

Region wise the percentage of hotels consistently discounting on LOS (at least 10 LOS discounting dates) are North America (36 per cent); Middle East – (29 per cent); Asia – (28 per cent); Australia and New Zealand – (21 per cent); Europe – (15 per cent); and LATAM – (12 per cent).

The majority of chain hotels with LOS discounting strategies discount between 30 per cent and 65 per cent of the time.

As per Gino Engels, CCO of OTA Insight, price adjustment is an inevitable reality for the day-to-day revenue management of most hotels, due to fluctuating supply and demand. Adding length-of-stay discount tactics to their pricing and promotional toolbox is an effective method of driving up occupancy during periods of low demand, and should be a key consideration when planning out a pricing strategy.

Amazing Thai Taste Festival 2019 encourages all to just say no to plastic




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Amazing Thai Taste Festival 2019 encourages all to just say no to plastic


The Amazing Thai Taste Festival 2019 is going green this year by asking participants to bring their own food and drink containers to enjoy discounts from  all participating stalls between 7 to 9 June from 11.00 to 20.00 Hrs. at Siam Square, Bangkok.

Health conscious foodies will also appreciate the event’s Organic Food zone. It features ready-made organic meals and cooking workshops conducted by well-known organic farms and communities as the event shifts its focus towards sustainability.

Mrs. Sujitra Jongchansitto, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, said TAT continues to showcase Thai gastronomy and the many diverse tourism experiences connected with it to encourage travelling foodies to sample the original cuisine in its province of origin.

This year’s theme, Thailand Food Paradise’, will showcase 120 delicacies from up and down the Kingdom in seven key zones.


Source:- Tourism Authority of Thailand

The 4th edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum kicks off in Ancona








Significant economic impacts in the area caused by cruise, ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran tourism. There is a possibility for the historical record in cruise traffic at the end of 2019, which would demonstrate the vitality of area’s industry.
Positive prospects for the current season also for passenger movements on ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans, thanks to new connecting routes. 
The nautical sector faces uncertainty, being caught between the optimism of marinas and charter companies and the search for the balance in the offer of berths. 
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The 4th edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum kicks off in Ancona
This is the picture of sea tourism in the Adriatic portrayed in the new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report which is a research report presented by Francesco di Cesare, the President of Risposte Turismo, in the opening of the fourth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum – cruise, ferry, sail & yacht, an event conceived and organized by Risposte Turismo, this year in partnership with the Central Adriatic Ports Authority.
Over 420 million of euros spent in tourism shopping on land in 2018 by cruise, ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran passengers. 
In the analysis by Risposte Turismo, over 420 million of euros were spent in tourism shopping on land (excursions, visits, overnight stays etc.) in 2018 by cruise passengers and those who decide on travelling by ferry, hydrofoil and catamaran for their holidays in the Adriatic.
Cruises: a historical record in cruise passenger movements in the area is expected by the end of 2019
As far as cruise traffic is concerned, according to the study carried out by Risposte Turismo in 2019, there will be 5,52 million of passenger movements (embarkments, disembarkments and transits) in the Adriatic ports – a growth by 7,3% compared to 2018.
It is a result that will, if confirmed, will mark a historical record in passenger movements at the end of the year in 30 ports of the area. 
Risposte Turismo’s forecasts on ship calls show a growth of 7,2% for a total of 3.307.
These are the fruit of a forecast given by Risposte Turismo evaluating of 23 cruise ports in the Adriatic – the calls which altogether represented 99,7% of the total passenger movements and 99,3% of ship calls in 2018. 
The current year should come to an end with Venice firmly in the first place with 1,56 million of cruise passenger movements (stable compared to 2018) and 502 ship calls (stable, compared to 2018), followed by Corfu with 787 thousand cruise passengers (+7%) and 416 ship calls (+0,7%) and Dubrovnik, with 745 thousand cruise passengers (1,8%) and ship calls (+8,4).
Italy the leader in passenger movements, Croatia in ship calls 
As for cruise traffic of every country, the data of 2018 confirm the leadership of Italy with 2,42 passenger movements (+12% out of 46,9% in total in the Adriatic area in 2017). It’s followed by Croatia with 1,3 million of passenger movements (25,2% of total). Croatia is a leader in the number of ship calls, though (1.180 which is 37,7% of total). The next one is Greece with 737 million of passenger movements.  
The biggest growth in the 2017 was the one of Slovenia, thanks to the numbers of the port of Koper (101 thousand passenger movements, +40,5%), while the greatest decline was Albania’s (-19,1%) caused by the reduction of cruise traffic in the port of Saranda (78,2 thousand passenger movements, -23,2%). 
Ferries: the interest is growing thanks to new travel offers 
Adriatic Sea Tourism Report contains also the 2019 forecasts related to the passenger movements on ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans. According to Risposte Turismo, the current year should come to an end with a slight increase compared to the positive results registered in 2018 (19,74 million of passenger movements, +2,4% in 2017), the biggest one in the last 10 years.
Out of the ports evaluated, 2019 has positive forecasts for Zadar (2,43 million of passenger movements, +1,2%), Dubrovnik ( 575 thousand, +3%), Sibenik ( 300 thousand, +3%), Rijeka (150 thousand, +16%), Pula (12 thousand, +2,2% in cruise routes and stable in international routes). The movement in the ports of Ancona, Saranda, Porec, Trieste, Rovinj, Pesaro and Umag/Novigrad is expected to be stable.
According to the analysis of passenger movement on ferries/hydrofoils and catamarans registered in 2018, Croatia is confirmed to be in the first place among the countries in the Adriatic, without taking into consideration internal routes (9,56 millions of passenger movements, +0,7% in 2017, which is 48,4% of the total in the area), followed by Greece (5,39 million, +7% in 2017, which is 27,3% of the total) and Italy (3,29 million, +1,8 in 2017, 16,7% of the total).
In the last two seasons it should be mentioned the reopening of international ferry routes to and for Montenegro with the Bar-Bari route operated by Jadrolinija, like the fast routes Civitanova Marche-Hvar and Cesenatico and Croatian islands. 
Italy as the leader in the nautical tourism of the Adriatic with 186 marinas and over 49 thousand berths
The report conducted by Risposte Turismo contains an in-depth study in the nautical sector of 7 countries that face the Adriatic this year as well. Carrying on the work of the research started in 2013 with the first edition of the report, the mapping confirms the results of the data collected in 2017 with 332 operative marinas that comprise a little bit less than 75 thousand berths.
Among the countries that face the Adriatic, Italy confirms its leadership in the area with 186 marinas (56% out of the total) and more than 49 thousand berths (65,6% out of the total). It’s followed by Croatia (125 marinas and over 17.400 berths) and Slovenia along with Montenegro, with 8 marinas and a bit less than 3.100 and 2.800 berths, respectively.
A uncertain scenario arises from the analysis into the marinas on the Italian side of the Adriatic: if on one hand there are structures still facing the period of difficulty, continuing to operate waiting for new investments and the restart of the market, on the other hand there are important extensions of other 2.570 berths in the next biennium.
However, a positive progress was registered on the eastern side of the Adriatic with the recent aperture of ACI Marina Rovinj (196 berths), the most important investment in the Croatian nautical sector and the company that manages it, ACI Club. There are also 3 new structures expected to open in the summer of 2019 in Montenegro and an important project for the construction of a luxury complex in Albania with more than 700 berths.  
Moreover, the report contains the 2019 forecasts on the sample of 49 marinas and 19 charter companies located in the Adriatic. 
A significant stability in the future clientele emerges from the research for all the samples interviewed. However, those who predict a variation, have mostly expressed a positive expectation. 
“Sea tourism is a precious resource for all the countries that face the Adriatic” says Francesco di Cesare, the President of Risposte Turismo. “The result of this new edition of the Adriatic Sea Tourism Report" continues di Cesare "confirm a growing interest in this phenomenon by public administration, private companies and individual professionals, which demonstrates the strong potential of the area still not entirely realised.”
 
“While the cruise traffic" adds di Cesare "despite the issues to be faced in Venice, grows significantly this year in the Adriatic thanks to the work accomplished by other operators in the area, the ferry sector continues to have double sides. On the one hand its importance in the transport of tourists in the Adriatic and the many possibilities of growth are highlighted, on the other hand tardiness in the sense of standard is registered, for example in the offer and promotion which other means of transport have already adopted in time.”   
“For the nautical sector" concludes di Cesare "the indications that we have collected in our research predict a positive 2019. This could be translated into a main occupation of the marinas which today, with their dimensions and standard, are ready to welcome the highest levels of traffic.”
The fourth edition of the Adriatic Sea Forum, sponsored by Global Ports Holding and MedCruise, will proceed today with two round tables dedicated to decisions and actions that will help the growth of sea tourism in the Adriatic with respect to the environment. 
The meetings of the day complete with a focus on the extra- Adriatic Cluster Nautico di Barcellona - an example of excellence in the maritime tourism in the Mediterranean and three technical sessions about the priorities to establish in order to facilitate the growth in the cruise, ferry and nautical sector of the Adriatic. 

Emirates expects Busy Travel Weekend ahead of Eid Holiday







Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Emirates expects Busy Travel Weekend ahead of Eid Holiday

Emirates expects a busy weekend ahead of the Eid holiday with heavy traveller volumes to and from Dubai. The busiest time for departures in Terminal 3 will be on Friday 31st May with over 80,000 passengers travelling abroad.
Customers are reminded to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departure to avoid any delays.
Peak travel is expected to continue until Monday 3rd June 2019 with over 309,000 Emirates passengers travelling from Dubai during this period of time.  With expected traffic congestion around Terminal 3, and road works continuing to cause traffic delays around main airport highways and roads during this time - Emirates urges customers to build in extra time for their journeys to avoid potential delays.
Passengers can physically check in at the airport as early as 24 hours before flight departure, and are requested to check in no later than 2 hours prior to departure, regardless of class of travel. Customers who check in less than 60 minutes prior to their scheduled flight departure will not be accepted for travel. Customers can also check in online on both their desktops and mobile devices from 48 hours to 90 minutes before flight departure.
Passengers can also enjoy Emirates’ Home Check-in service which allows customers to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai. The service is available for customers across all classes travelling on Emirates flights and enables passengers to complete the security check and check-in, from the comfort of their home.
In addition to online check-in services, Emirates also offers convenient car park check-in facilities. Customers can use these to check in and drop off their luggage. Alternatively, customers heading to Emirates Terminal 3 can choose to drop their luggage at one of the 46 dedicated bag drop counters in Economy Class or separate counters in First Class and Business Class from six hours to 90 minutes prior to departure. Families travelling with small children can use dedicated Family counters in Check in Zone 2.
After checking in, passengers are also advised to make sure they get to their boarding gate on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure, boarding starts 45 minutes before each flight and gates close 20 minutes before departure. If passengers report late Emirates will not be able to accept them for travel. Check-in and gate closure timings will be strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule.

Tags:Emirates

Mauritius prepares to host World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Mauritius prepares to host World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019

Mauritius is making final preparations as it steps up to host the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony on 1st June 2019. The leading travel industry figureheads from Africa and the Indian Ocean are attending what will mark WTA’s inaugural ceremony in the paradise destination.
The red-carpet evening is taking place at the opulent Sugar Beach – A Sun Resort, which enjoys an unrivalled location bordering the vast sands of Flic-en-Flac, one of the most picturesque beaches in Mauritius.
Graham Cooke, Founder, WTA, says: “It is an absolute pleasure to bring WTA to Mauritius for the first time in our 26-year history and I am excited to be welcoming the most senior decision-makers from Africa and the Indian Ocean to this delightful country. Mauritius embodies experiential travel at its finest – a sparkling crystal in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, offering a charming contrast of colours, cultures, adventures and tastes.”
A number of global media networks will be broadcasting the ceremony live. The event, which starts at 8pm (MRU Time) will also be streamed live on the WTA website.
Arvind Bundhun, Director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, said: “Mauritius is indeed very proud and honored to host the World Travel Awards Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2019. As a major tourism player in the region and beyond, we are convinced that our very popular and attractive destination is a most fitting venue for this prestigious event in the tourism world. We are thrilled to host this prestigious regional event, allowing us to showcase our multifaceted island in all its glamour.”
The VIP ceremony will form the third leg of the WTA Grand Tour 2019 – a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world. Other regional ceremonies include Montego Bay (Jamaica), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Madeira (Portugal), Phu Quoc (Vietnam), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Muscat (Oman).


Almost $1 million left behind at U.S. airports in 2018




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Almost $1 million left behind at U.S. airports in 2018




Travelers left behind a total of US$960,105 at airport checkpoints in the U.S., according to an annual report that tracks the money travelers leave behind.
TSA plans to use the unclaimed money to go towards checkpoint training requirements.
TSA makes every effort to reunite passengers with items left at the checkpoint, however there are instances where loose change or other items are left behind and unclaimed. Unclaimed money, typically consisting of loose coins passengers remove from their pockets, is documented and turned into the TSA financial office.  In 2005, Congress gave TSA the authority to use unclaimed funds to provide civil aviation security in accordance with P.L. 108-334.
Historically, funds have been used to pay for checkpoint maintenance, translation of checkpoint signage into different foreign languages, TSA Pre✓, and Adjudication Center system enhancements.

The last five fiscal years* of loose change at airport checkpoints
  • FY 2013 – $638,142.64
  • FY 2014 – $674,841.06
  • FY 2015 – $765,759.15
  • FY 2016 – $867,812.39
  • FY 2017 – $866,839.56
*October 1 to September 30 each year
Top 10 Airports Where Travelers Leave Change at the Checkpoints
Rank
Airport
Amount of Money Left at Checkpoints
1
John F. Kennedy Int'l Airport      (New York)
$72,392
2
Los Angeles Int'l Airport
$71,748
3
Miami Int'l Airport
$50,504
4
O'Hare Int'l Airport (Chicago)
$49,597
5
Newark Liberty Int'l Airport
$41,026
6
Dallas/Ft. Worth Int'l Airport
$36,707
7
San Francisco Int’l Airport
$33,264
8
McCarran Int’l Airport (Las Vegas)
$33,038
9
Orlando Int'l Airport
$32,687
10
Washington Dulles Int’l Airport
$31,090
See the full report.

STR: Three hotel companies exceed 500,000 rooms in North America






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για STR: Three hotel companies exceed 500,000 rooms in North America


HENDERSONVILLE, TENNESSEE - Three hotel company portfolios exceed 500,000 rooms in North America, according to census data from STR. As part of the STR 500, the company will release a combined list of more than 100 of the continent’s largest companies and brands during next week’s NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York City. 
Marriott International (886,308 hotel rooms), Hilton (703,238) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (546,716) reported the largest room counts between the U.S., Canada and Mexico as of 28 May 2019. Using those same three countries and cutoff date, two brands showed more than 200,000 rooms in their existing supply: Hampton by Hilton(227,581) and Holiday Inn Express by IHG (203,792). 
Those top three parent companies represent 34% of the almost 6.3 million rooms in North America, and just under 69% of the total inventory across the continent flies a brand flag,” said Vail Ross, STR’s SVP of global business development & marketing. “Brands have been a favorite of lenders for the better part of the last three decades, and North America was the starting point for the brand proliferation that has occurred around the globe. With most of the development pipeline focused in the branded segments, especially in limited-service chains, brand presence is only going to grow. The concern of course will be on how much new inventory these industry segments can absorb without a negative impact on supply - the limited-service sectors in the U.S. are a good example of this right now.”
Top 10 (ranked by room count in the North America)
Parent CompanyParent Company RoomsBrandBrand Rooms
Marriott International886,308Hampton by Hilton227,581
Hilton703,238Holiday Inn Express by IHG203,792
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts546,716Courtyard by Marriott147,462
Choice Hotels International482,743Marriott135,441
InterContinental Hotels Group463,111Quality Inn134,796
Best Western International185,609Holiday Inn by IHG119,698
Hyatt Hotels Corporation139,391Days Inn by Wyndham117,789
G6 Hospitality120,239Hilton111,591
RLH Corporation80,544Motel 6107,634
Extended Stay America Hotels69,318Super 8 by Wyndham103,075
Source: STR 500
Ross will be one of two STR executives to present at NYU on 3 June. During “Statistically speaking” at 11:05 a.m., President and CEO Amanda Hite will reveal STR’s revised U.S. hotel forecast. At 12:00 p.m., Ross will be one of five panelists featured during “Knowing the customer and the supremacy of data.”


Tags:STR


Copenhagen, Barcelona and Faro the most popular holiday destinations for solo travellers from London Stansted




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Copenhagen, Barcelona and Faro the most popular holiday destinations for solo travellers from London Stansted



With the number of solo travellers across the UK having risen by 5% in the last five years - according to CAA data – London Stansted Airport unveils passengers travelling alone on holiday from the airport has risen by 7% over the last five years. The findings also reveal the most popular solo travel hot spots from the airport to be coastal cities, Copenhagen and Barcelona, along with Algarve’s cultural capital city, Faro. 
Looking at CAA data, culturally rich and picturesque European getaways with warmer climes top the list among solo travellers travelling from London Stansted Airport, most likely as they guarantee an excursion that is both rich in heritage yet relaxing in equal measure. With the rise in organised group activities across Europe, solo travel has become more appealing for holidaymakers looking for new and unique experiences closer to home. From restorative yoga retreats, life-affirming pilgrimages and enticing wine tours, there’s lots on offer for people travelling independently and looking for their next big adventure in destinations such as Copenhagen, Barcelona, Berlin and Prague.
Top 10 destinations for solo travellers in 2018 from London Stansted Airport
1. Copenhagen  
2. Barcelona
3. Faro
4. Berlin
5. Prague
6. Dublin 
7. Tenerife
8. Nice
9. Madrid
10. Lanzarote
‘Going it alone’ has become a noticeable trend for those travelling from the airport, as London Stansted Airport’s data reveals that one fifth (19%) of its passengers travelled alone on holiday last year.
Group travel providers, such as Topdeck Travel, offer solo travellers the opportunity to explore new adventures and experiences as part of a group. This way, solo travellers can reap the benefits of embarking on a solo adventure while travelling alongside like-minded people, guided by knowledgeable trip leaders that ensure they can experience the highlights of each destination visited.
Neringa Ohrstrom, Head of Marketing at London Stansted Airport, comments: "It’s great to see more people embracing solo travel to destinations across Europe. With these popular destinations located a mere two to three hours away from the UK, solo travel can be done over a long weekend, providing the flexibility desired for those opting to travel alone. Catering to our solo travelling passengers, London Stansted Airport offers impressive transport links in and out of the city of London, along with a multitude of restaurant and retail outlets for passengers travelling alone to enjoy ahead of their flight."
Anna Fawcett, Global Head of Marketing at Topdeck Travel, comments: "There are many reasons why solo travellers consider group travel in Europe when embarking on a new adventure; with benefits including; a set pace of journey, the opportunity to meet new people and freedom to explore the authenticity of each destination. European destinations have proven to be popular with UK solo travellers at Topdeck Travel, with destinations such as Copenhagen, Barcelona and Portugal often high in our leaderboard for popularity. With the growing appetite for Brits to go off the beaten track and experience more active holidays, activities such as winery tours in Portugal and cycling tours in Copenhagen, are popular attractions for those who want to travel solo, but not alone."


Rum tasting tour in Miami on board the newly launched Havana Special Rum Train





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Rum tasting tour in Miami on board the newly launched Havana Special Rum Train



Brightline and Rail Events Productions have announced the launch of the Havana Special Rum Train, departing Virgin MiamiCentral select dates June 14 to 29.
Designed for adults 21 years of age and older, the Havana Special Rum Train presents the deep historical and cultural connections between Cuba and Miami.
Told through the lens of the railroad (which played a critical role in the development of Miami) and highlighting the future of South Florida rail travel via Brightline, the Havana Special Rum Train will transport passengers back to a golden era paired with premium rail travel.
In partnership with Cuban-American rum distilleries, professional entertainment, and historical commentators, this one-of-a-kind summertime event is a must for lovers of Cuban culture. Tickets are on sale now at www.therumtrain.com or by phone at 770-516-3836. Prices are $125 for individual seats or $140 for table seats (purchased in groups of two or four).

“We're thrilled to work with Brightline to offer this unique experience from beautiful Virgin MiamiCentral Station,” said Carolina Perozo, On-Site Event Manager for Rail Events. “We have worked closely with our rum distillers, musical talent, and historical narrators to create an authentic, immersive environment that will capture the essence of Cuban culture and its connection to Miami.”
The full experience will last approximately 2.5 hours with guests arriving roughly one hour before the departure of a 1.5 hour train ride. Upon arrival at VirginMiamiCentral Station, guests will check in and be shown to a private lounge waiting area, where they will enjoy a delicious rum cocktail and Cuban/Latin influenced passed hors d'oeuvres. Additional beverages will be available for purchase at the station. Credit card purchase only. No cash accepted.

Train Ride

Car Attendants will greet passengers as they board the train with a second special rum cocktail. Once en route, guests will enjoy tasting three rums from partner distilleries while learning about the unique process of rum creation and the fascinating history between the Cuban and American rum companies. Intermixed with the tastings will be roaming musical entertainment and historical experts colorfully relating the important connections between Cuba, the founding of Miami and the railroad. Before returning to Virgin MiamiCentral, guests will enjoy a final dessert offering and specialty rum cocktail.
Each ticket includes:
  • Three crafted rum cocktails (one at the station, two on the train) from Havana Club and Miami Club Rum
  • Cuban-inspired hors d'oeuvres at the station
  • Option to purchase additional alcoholic beverages from the station bar (Credit or Debit Card Only)
  • Three additional rum samples from Miami Club Rum on board
  • Education on each rum sampling and the influence of rum on Cuban culture
  • Onboard musical entertainment by The Cuban Trio and Leslie Cartaya
  • Historical cultural narration focusing on the history of the railroad and the development of Miami
  • Single serve dessert shooter on board the train
Musical Entertainment
The Cuban Trio guarantees an incredibly rich and authentic Cuban experience with musicians from the most prestigious Cuban music school. Their careers have taken them to share stage with the biggest stars in latin music. The trio specializes in traditional Cuban music such as Buena Vista Social Club, Trio Matamoros, Arsenio Rodriguez, Benny More, Polo Montañes, Enrrique Jorrin, Septeto Ignacio Piñeiro, and more.
Leslie Cartaya has traditional Cuban music in her veins, and jazz, American Funk, and Latin American music have shaped her artistic personality. Caribbean, Afro-American, Afro-Latin, and Latin American musical rhythms create a harmonious fusion in her music. She is a Grammy and Latin Grammy Nominee singer-songwriter and producer that has been able to tour internationally as an independent artist. Leslie has a wide range of repertoire from the most danceable and hot Latin rhythms to more soothing and romantic sounds.


Travelers Experience the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Travelers Experience the Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

Even a short stay for travelers in cities with high levels of air pollution leads to breathing problems that can take at least a week from which to recover, a new study shows.
Led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, the study is the first of its kind, say the authors, to analyze pollution-related coughing and breathing difficulties, and recovery times upon returning home, in healthy, young adults traveling internationally.  
Published earlier this month in the Journal of Travel Medicine, the finding is timely given that the number of tourists travelling internationally is expected to grow to 1.8 billion by 2030, according to the World Tourism Organization.   
"We had several reports that tourists were feeling sick when visiting polluted cities, so it became important for us to understand what was really happening to their health," says senior study investigator Terry Gordon, PhD, a professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine at NYU Langone Health.

For the study, researchers analyzed six measurements of lung and heart health in 34 men and women traveling abroad for at least a week from the metropolitan New York City area. Most were visiting family in cities with consistently high levels of air pollution, including Ahmedabad and New Delhi, India; Rawalpindi, Pakistan; and Xian, China.
Some destinations studied ― Beijing, Shanghai, and Milan ― are heavily polluted during certain months but have relatively cleaner air at other times. Other, mostly European, destinations such as Geneva, London; San Sebastien, Spain; Copenhagen; Prague; Stockholm; Oslo; and Reykjavik had consistently lower levels of air pollution. The research team noted that New York City has relatively low levels of air pollution, in part because of strict regulations, its location on the coast, and weather patterns.
Specifically, the study found that being in a polluted city reduced measures of lung function by an average of 6 percent and by as much as 20 percent in some people. Participants also ranked their respiratory symptoms from one (mild) to five (requiring treatment), reporting a cumulative average symptom score of eight.
People who visited the highly polluted cities reported as many as five symptoms, while those who visited lower pollution cities had fewer or none. Two patients sought medical attention because of their symptoms. The pollution levels of the cities studied did not make a significant difference in the blood pressure of visitors, researchers say.
All study participants had a normal body mass index (between 21 and 29 for men, and between 18 and 26 for women), and none had preexisting health conditions. Before embarking on their travels, all were taught how to measure their lung function and heart rate daily using commercially available spirometers (to measure lung function), wrist blood pressure monitors, and heart rate sensors. Researchers then compared the health data against levels of air pollution collected from local government agencies.
The researchers used international standards to categorize highly polluted cities as those having more than 100 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter (PM), or air pollution dust. Moderate pollution is anything between 35 and 100 micrograms per cubic meter of PM, and low pollutions levels are anything less than that.
"What travelers should know is that the potential effects of air pollution on their health are real and that they should take any necessary precautions they can," says study lead investigator M.J. Ruzmyn Vilcassim, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Medicine.
Gordon suggests that those visiting highly polluted cities should consider wearing masks or consult a doctor prior to travel if they have preexisting respiratory or cardiac health difficulties, and to consider avoiding travel during certain months. For instance, farmers burn their fields during the winter months in New Delhi, India, raising levels of pollutants in the city.
Although participants gradually returned to normal health, study investigators say there needs to be more follow-up research to know if there were long-term effects, or if longer stays would influence the pollution impact. Next, researchers plan to study international travelers who are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution, such as the elderly and people with asthma or heart conditions.
Funding for the study was provided by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grants ES000260 and ES007324, an Air Waste and Management Association 2017 Scholarship, and an NYU College of Global Public Health grant.
In addition to Gordon and Vilcassim, other NYU School of Medicine researchers include George D. Thurston, ScD; Lung-Chi Chen, PhD; Chris C. Lim, PhD; Eric Saunders, PhD; and Yixin Yao, PhD.