A roundup of travel news from across the globe.
Stay with a family for cheap in Bolivia
Want to really get away from it all? Then consider staying with a peasant family in the salt flats of southern Bolivia. For $15 (U.S.) a day, tourists can live in a home without electricity, running water or Internet access. Outhouses serve as bathrooms. Highlights include panoramic views of the world’s highest and largest salt desert and the opportunity to help out with the annual llama shearing in August or to travel with llama caravans to other remote villages.
Jordan plans a Star Trek theme park
Jordan’s King Abdullah II plans to boldly go where no man has gone before. He is using his Fund for Development to help finance the world’s first Star Trek theme park. Set to open in 2014 in Aqaba, the 74-hectare Red Sea Astrarium will feature futuristic experiences based on the voyages of the starship Enterprise, along with hotels, restaurants and exhibits on green energy. As a prince, Abdullah had a non-speaking part in the TV series Star Trek: Voyageur and he continues to be a huge fan.
How to sniff out fake hotel reviews
Some consumers have become suspicious of websites like TripAdvisor after numerous reports of hoteliers posing as guests and praising their own property or badmouthing a competitor. According to researchers at Cornell University, the average person can’t tell the real reviews from the fakes. But a computer program they have developed often can make the distinction. Supposedly truthful reviews are likely to use concrete words like “bathroom,” “check-in” or “price.” Fakes are more apt to use setting words like “vacation,” “business trip” or “my husband.”
Sources: Chronicle Online, The National (Abu Dhabi), Agence France-Presse
Special to The Globe and Mail