Earlier this month, Peruvian president Ollanta Humala announced plans for Peru to open a new airport with closer access to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. This $US 460 million dollar project, reported on by BBC News, aims to drastically improve international access to Peru’s most visited tourist attraction as well as create more jobs for the surrounding community. The closest airport in Cusco is generally too small to accommodate large planes or a high volume of daily flights, and the planned airport in Chinchero, a town about 20 minutes outside of Cusco, aims to improve on these limitations. The project’s first step will be to begin expropriating large lots of land around Chinchero.
On July 25th, CNN reported that the Supreme Court of India placed a temporary ban on “tiger tourism” in India. This has caused quite a stir in the travel industry, causing travelers to question if their presence is beneficial to tigers, or is impeding their ability to thrive in their natural environment. The ban was issued after a local environmentalist reported his findings that ecotourism was harming the tigers’ environment and breeding grounds. Specifically, the environmentalist reported that resorts and shops had been constructed in reserves without official permission.
The news broke a few weeks ago, but it will always be relevant. Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinto Island Tortoise and a recognized symbol of the Galapagos, died on June 24th, 2012. If you have ever been to the Galapagos Islands, there is a good chance you saw him. Discovered in 1971, he grew slower and more lackadaisical as the years came and went, but he was still a wonder. The last of his species, he was a living reminder of the dangers that accompany a human presence.
We’d like to take this week to acknowledge the species of the Galapagos that are still in critical danger of extinction. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, we know of thirteen vertebrate species that are now extinct, and of those, humans have witnessed seven of them cross the threshold into non-existence.
There was a buzz around the office here at Global Basecamps last week. As a San Diego-based company, we are so happy to get word from Japan Airlines that they will be debuting the first non-stop flights from San Diego and Boston to Tokyo. According to Japan Airlines’ press release, “JAL will begin serving the eighth most populous U.S. city, also the city with the largest Asian community currently without a direct flight to Asia, with four flights a week from December 2012 and daily from March 2013 to/from Narita [Airport].” Surely, many Southern Californians will welcome this news as an opportunity to skip a commute to LAX for any direct flights to the Asian capital.
Japan Airlines definitely had the Japanese business sector in mind when they created this route, as San Diego is the home to research institutions, universities and is closer to Tijuana, Mexico, where many Japanese companies conduct business, but this doesn’t mean that western travelers can’t take advantage of the new daily flights for their next ecotour! Not only will this make travel to Japan easier for Southern Californians, but Tokyo’s Narita Airport is also one of the major hubs for travel in Asia. That ecotour in Vietnam could only be one airport transfer away!