Thailand’s Tiger Temple tragedy shows how tourism can be horribly wrong right on the heels of the Harambe silverback gorilla incident at the Cincinnati Zoo. Joe and Laura discuss these issues among other travel news before turning to perceived danger versus realistic safety in summer travel.
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European vacation and the risk of terrorism this summer by Matt Vasilogambros
The U.S. government is warning American travelers of the potential risk of terrorism if they are planning to visit Europe this summer.
On Tuesday, the State Department issued a travel alert, saying tourists should be wary of public locations and large events. Most notably, the State Department says the European Soccer Championship, which takes place in France from June 10 until July 10, might be a target.
A four-year round-the-world bicycle trip after college kicked off a series of adventures for Alastair Humphreys. From there, the British author, blogger and motivational speaker explored southern India, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and trekked 1,000 miles through the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter.
More recently, mini-expeditions in his homeland led him to write “Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes.” While Humphreys, 39, continues to preach the gospel of short, perspective-shifting bursts of travel closer to home, his newest book, “Grand Adventures: Dream Big, Plan Quick, Go Explore,” shows ordinary people how to carry out extraordinary trips.
When life takes you away from home, take technology to help guide and entertain you. Apps can help make your trip easier and more fun.
Google preps a new travel app to launch in beta next week by Derek Walter
Google already dabbles in travel with its Google Now cards and recently-launched Google Destinations. But the company does even more in the travel space, with a low-key Google Flights service and and easy links to catch a ride inside of Google Maps. The company may be planning a more aggressive push into travel, as organizing lots of data and other details is certainly Google’s specialty.
The photo and video messaging app has overtaken Twitter and its 140 million active daily users.
Snapchat has added 40 million accounts in the last six months.
It’s claimed that the service had 110 million daily users in December, which launched in 2011 – five years after Twitter.
However, Twitter is still ahead on active monthly users – it has 310 million compared to Snapchat’s 200 million.
Chaos, Questions Surround Temple as Tigers Seized by Sharon Guynup
The monastery and popular tourist attraction, the focus of allegations of animal abuse and trafficking for 15 years, was raided this week by authorities who planned to remove all 137 tigers held at the temple, three hours northwest of Bangkok.
The tiger attraction gained worldwide attention as a place where visitors could pet, feed, bathe, and walk the cats around on leashes, snapping selfies along the way. It has been a gold mine to the monastery, which is formally known as Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno, bringing in an estimated three million dollars a year.
But conservation organizations and former temple workers have long accused the temple’s monks of keeping the cats in jail-like enclosures, feeding them poorly, and physically abusing them. Critics also have accused the temple of trafficking endangered species in violation of Thai wildlife laws and an international treaty.
The temple’s monks have rejected accusations regarding their care of the tigers, saying they have done nothing wrong.