THIS WEEK IN TRAVEL (ISSUE NO 26)


From the KOSAN archives.

Once again, and it’s no surprise, beautiful France has been appointed the top travel destination in the world. It’s no secret that we at KOSAN adore France for its culture, stunning architecture and, of course, it’s beautiful capital Paris, La Ville Lumière. If you haven’t done so already, check out our latest feature, Photo Journal: A Love Letter From Paris. It seems our team was also captivated by the undeniably romantic grandeur of Paris, and rightfully so.

From the KOSAN archives.

Some of you may remember the tragic news of Malta's famous Azure Window collapsing back in March. After the loss of one of the most iconic, physical landmarks in Europe, the sea arch is reborn. The famous Azure Window is attracting tourists in new ways, only now it’s under the sea. Now being touted as the hottest dive spot in the Mediterranean, divers explore the newly formed, rocky area, which they claim as the best thing to happen to Gozo. Although still a loss to those who avoid the waters, the collapse of the arch has not hurt tourism in Gozo, at least for those who are aquatically inclined.    

Elsewhere in the world, one couple photographs Puerto Rico to preserve the island’s heritage and nature. Fernando Samalot and Bárbara Cruz, those behind the project One Island, One Journey, felt they had an obligation to not only capture photos of their island, but to “connect deeply with [the] island’s nature, people, culture and history.” It’s their mission to encourage other Puerto Ricans to discover lesser-known areas and share these discrete natural wonders with others so they too connect with the rich history of the island. The biggest take away while travelling around Puerto Rico for eight months, you can have a transformative experience without ever leaving home!

From the KOSAN archives. 

In an effort to bring together travelers and locals in Sweden, West Sweden has launched an initiative to match up travellers up with locals. Meet the Locals mission is to showcase the local view of the region where Swedish locals share a more intimate experience showing off cities far from the ‘tourist path’ including Gothenburg, Dalsland, Västergötland and Bohuslän. The locals are listed on the West Sweden Tourist Board website detailing their bio and what they can offer to guests. Those interested get matched with a local who will share traditional Swedish experiences previously known only to the locals.

Maybe it’s the luck of the Irish coast, however off the coast of Ireland, paddleboarders discover a cave unexpectedly. Kerry in Ireland, a well-known beauty for its natural wonders like Ring of Kerry, has surprised four of its Irish locals when they discovered this hidden gem. Harder to access, the cave opens up to a beautiful beach at the bottom and adds another beauty to the long list of spectacular sights off the west coast of Ireland.

From the KOSAN archives. 

In other news, Saudi Arabia is taking steps towards attracting travellers to the country by relaxing some of its strict laws. Announced this week, Saudi Arabia plans to create a strict law-free beach resort for travellers. The Red Sea Project will act independently from Saudi Arabia with separate laws and will require no visas. No specifics have been determined just yet, however visitors will likely not be required to follow the strict dress code, gender segregation will not exist and alcohol will be allowed for consumption. In an effort to tempt more travellers to visit the region, the project also plants to be eco-friendly, protecting the area’s nature reserve.

Finally, for all those waiting, the final countdown to see the sought-after American eclipse is here. This summer’s total solar eclipse set to occur on August 21st has individuals concerned over one thing, finding a place to stay. This once in a lifetime event begins in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, offering visitors a vast array of viewpoints. According to Cheapflights.com, Casper, Wyoming, Redmond and Columbia are the ideal destinations to see the eclipse. If you are looking to camp out to get a glimpse at the eclipse, Hipcamp offers lists of campsites available for travellers to book. A sight you won’t want to miss.

And lastly, the oddest twist of tourism fate came at the hands of the escalating and deeply disturbing state of affairs between North Korea and USA. The threat by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to create “an enveloping fire” around the tiny United States territory in the Western Pacific will boost Guam tourism “tenfold,” Mr. Trump said in a recorded conversation with Gov. Eddie Calvo.

Mr. Calvo agreed: “It’s a paradise. We got 95 percent occupancy and after all this stuff calms down, we’re going to have 110 percent occupancy.”

The thought of discussing tourism in the midst of a crisis that may mean no tomorrow for the island seems deeply unsettling. So instead we wanted to send a note to Guam. With it’s huge US military presence, this has made it a target for attack and has created some internal divide – with many activist groups advocating Guam gain it’s independence from the US.

No question the tiny, diverse and beautiful island of Guam is a place we’ve always wanted to visit, but right now we just want send our love and prayers to its inhabitants. Although impossible to tell just how serious these inhumane threats are by North Korea, there is no question that no one ever, anywhere should have to live through the threat that they could be bombed. And we cannot imagine how awful that feels.

From the KOSAN archives. 

Happy Travels!

The Kosan Team