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and over to Australia.
That generation of boomers, now graying, moneyed and accustomed to the exotic, is
revisiting the same long-haul destinations (and Africa, and South America), but this time
in a style that simply didn’t exist before. They may have once paid a dollar a night to stay
in a beach shack in the Maldives in the 1980s, but today they’ll gladly pay considerably
more to stay in a property there that cost $1 million per room to build (the One&Only
So what’s left? Literally, where do we go from here?
If global warming proceeds apace, there’s likely to be a rush to see things that may
disappear, from the snow atop Mount Kilimanjaro to polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.
And keep an eye on the two ends of the economic spectrum: The wealthy and budget travelers tend to blaze the trails. Each opens new areas out of simple curiosity or
to be the first among their peers to lay claim to bragging rights.
And speaking of the wealthy, Richard Branson wants to take us into suborbital
space. That’s scheduled to occur in just two years. And it isn’t far-fetched to believe
tourists will reach even greater heights 50 years from now, when Travel Weekly celebrates its 100th birthday.
How high and how fast will we be going? When it comes to aviation technology,
it’s instructive to remember that it was just 50 years between the Wright Brothers’
adventure at Kitty Hawk in 1903 and 1953, when a pilot named A. Scott Crossfield
achieved the speed of 1,320 mph — twice the speed of sound.
Commenting on the possibility of space tourism, Apollo 15 Commander David
Scott said we tend to overestimate
what can be done in the short-term
but underestimate what can be done
i n the long-term. Science fiction author
Arthur Clarke may have been overestimating the ease with which
humans could take a “space odyssey” by 2001, but considering
the speed at which trends in aviation
a dvance, it’s not unreasonable to as-s ume that he may have missed the mark by only
5 0 years. —Arnie Weissmann
Richard Branson with a model of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two,
which is set to take tourists on suborbital flights in late 2009.
Beijing and beyond
The Soviet Union dissolves into the separate countries of Armenia,
Azerbaijan,Byelorussia (which promptly changes its name to Belarus),
Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, Russia,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan,Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Croatia declares independence from Yugoslavia.
Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina secede from Yugoslavia.
Czechoslovakia becomes two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Eritreabreaks away from Ethiopia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia breaks away from Yugoslavia.
Zaire changes its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
East Timor is recognized as independent from Indonesia.
Yugoslavia changes its name to Serbia and Montenegro.
Montenegro declares independence; it and Serbia
become two separate countries.
Kosovo declares independence.
For more information, contact the
China National Tourist Office.
370 Lexington Ave, Suite 912
New York, NY 10017
550 North Brand Blvd, Suite 910
Glendale, CA 91203