News Articles

Trying to keep out COVID, tiny Bhutan relies on its Gross National Happiness index, and hopes tourists will return By Natalie JesionkaSat., Jan. 23, 2021 Travelling through the beautiful mountainous Kingdom of Bhutan with its cloud-covered forests sounds idyllic in a pandemic lockdown — a dream being marketed by the tiny landlocked nation whose vital tourism business has been crushed by COVID. With a population of 750,000, the eastern Himalayan kingdom has reported just 850 COVID-19 cases and one death from the virus in early January, and is negotiating the purchase of a million vaccines from India. But there are challenges ahead as the nation begins to consider easing its lockdown restrictions in a bid to reopen. The country is banking on its remote location, COVID response strategy and its unique Gross National Happiness index (GNH) to help guide restoration of its biggest source of employment. Online, there are rumblings on social media and comments on articles in local newspapers questioning the lockdown, and expressing worries over lost livelihoods should the lockdown be extended. And according to Bhutan’s national newspaper, the Kunsel, there is concern about evictions and rent increases, and retail businesses are struggling to make sales with few customers. Bhutan’s economy has contracted 6.8 per cent since the start of the pandemic. But while the economy is an important metric, the country’s Gross National Happiness index, which measures equitable socio-economic development, environmental conservation, preservation of culture, and good governance, is equally important. “The use of the phrase ‘happiness’…
Saturday, 16 January 2021 14:23

US Covid-19 test requirement for travelers

Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that all air passengers ages two and older must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter the United States. Globe Aware is ensuring you can be tested safely at your volunteer vacation location before traveling back home. The new US Covid-19 test requirement for travelers: What you need to know Shivani VoraCNNJanuary 16, 2021 (CNN) — Earlier this week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that, as of Tuesday, January 26, all air passengers ages two and older must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter the United States. The new rule includes US citizens and legal permanent residents. Following the travel news, panic and confusion ensued, according to Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and founder of Atmosphere Research Group. "The order created a lot of anxiety, partly because the timeline from the announcement to when it goes into effect is so short and partly because it was unclear exactly what it meant," he says. Both US residents who are currently abroad or had plans to go abroad and return January 26 or later as well as international travelers who are scheduled to fly to the United States have numerous questions about what they need to do to ensure their entry into the country, says Harteveldt. In addition, some resorts and local governments are scrambling to get prepared to offer testing to US-bound fliers. Questions -- from what kind of negative…
Dallas Tickle Bar Creates Sensation By Eric Griffey DallasJan. 09, 2021 DALLAS — There is nothing lewd about the Tickle Bar. The website and Facebook page of the new Mockingbird-area business make it clear that illicit activities are strictly forbidden here. Yes, the half-naked woman splayed on a bed whose image is prominently featured on the place’s website appears to be in mid-moan, but that’s strategic, according to owner Kimberly Haley-Coleman. What You Need To Know The Tickle Bar offers experiences, like tracing and scratching, designed to produce endorphines The business does not offer massage or traditional spa treatments The Bar's owner, Kimberly Haley-Coleman, founded the business when the pandemic slowedher nonprofit, Globe Aware New business offers services that benefit children on the autism spectrum “I knew we weren't going to spend millions of dollars advertising,” she said. “So, if I did this with a bit of a wink, we would be able to get more attention. If I’d called this a ‘back-scratch store,’ I wouldn't have had as much attention, and we needed that.” The Tickle Bar is a Mecca for sensory indulgence. The “bar” offers services that include scratching, skin tracing, and other light-touch-induced modes of serotonin-drenched euphoria — all while enjoying a sweet treat or a glass of wine. What you won’t find at The Tickle Bar is a massage package. Haley-Coleman said her model was the Drybar, which focuses only on blow-drying hair with no cutting, coloring, or any other services normally offered by salons. “There's…
Coronavirus vaccines are starting to roll out in the US and abroad, and many people may be dreaming of travel, but they may eventually need a vaccine passport application. Globe Aware is keeping an eye on this passport app being a requirement for future volunteer vacations. New apps make COVID-19 vaccine passports possible for travel By Rishi IyengarCNN BusinessMonday, December 28, 2020 Now that coronavirus vaccines are being administered across the U.S. and around the world, several companies are developing a so-called 'vaccine passport.' Now that coronavirus vaccines are starting to roll out in the US and abroad, many people may be dreaming of the day when they can travel, shop and go to the movies again. But in order to do those activities, you may eventually need something in addition to the vaccine: a vaccine passport application. Several companies and technology groups have begun developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter concert venues, stadiums, movie theaters, offices, or even countries. The Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based nonprofit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, has partnered with several airlines including Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, as well as hundreds of health systems across the United States and the government of Aruba. The CommonPass app created by the group allows users to upload medical data such as a COVID-19 test result…
Tuesday, 08 December 2020 15:11

Travel Tips for the 2020 Holiday Season

The TSA released a list of winter travel tips, helping Americans navigate traveling during this holiday season. Globe Aware wants to make sure our volunteers are up to date and safe when it comes to any winter travel.   5 Tips From the TSA to Make Traveling During the 2020 Holiday Season a Little Easier Leave your wrapping paper behind. BY ALISON FOXDECEMBER 08, 2020 The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a list of winter travel tips on Monday, helping Americans navigate flying during the COVID-19 pandemic, just in time for a potential holiday rush. With advice from mask-wearing and reducing contact, to more familiar tips surrounding how to wrap gifts for loved ones, the agency focused on how to expedite the security process. The tips come as the agency screened a record more than 3 million passengers at airports around Thanksgiving, despite experts saying people shouldn’t travel. And of course, the tips will help travelers “ensure that you avoid Santa’s ‘Naughty’ list when you get to a [TSA] security checkpoint at the airport," the advice read. “TSA is well aware that many people haven’t traveled in several months, here is what you need to do now to be prepared this holiday season — whether you’re traveling for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or to celebrate the New Year,” the agency added. These are the TSA’s tips for flying during the holidays this year. Tip 1: Don’t wait: download the free myTSA app The agency suggested people download its app before heading…
Friday, 11 December 2020 14:33

Optimistic about travel in 2021

According to research, the pandemic has driven a large shift in traveler preferences, and understanding these changes is critical to tourism recovery efforts. Globe Aware is ready to meet the pent-up demand of volunteers, especially since one in two travelers are optimistic about taking a trip next year.   An Optimistic Sign for Travel in 2021 FEATURES & ADVICEJANEEN CHRISTOFF DECEMBER 11, 2020 Americans have hope for travel in 2021. One in two travelers is optimistic about taking a trip in the next 12 months, according to research from Expedia. More than half (53 percent) of Americans who usually take a vacation have not done so since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, nearly 31 percent are dreaming of travel and actively planning for 2021. “As the world keeps a watchful eye on vaccine news, and people continue to crave a change of scenery or opportunity to catch up with loved ones, we know the pent-up demand for travel will grow,” said Monya Mandich, vice president of global marketing, Expedia Group Media Solutions. “COVID-19 has driven a seismic shift in traveler preferences and influences, and understanding these changes is critical to recovery efforts and future marketing strategies. The new research provides insights into the steps travel brands can take to reassure and connect with travelers as they begin researching, planning and booking again.” When they do travel again, Americans are looking to safety regulations that will make them feel more comfortable. Seventy-five percent of travelers said measures…
Monday, 07 December 2020 13:03

Sustainable Tourism after COVID-19

Two experts recently analyzed the effects of the pandemic on travel behavior and found out that people are likely to skip major cities and vacation for longer going forward. Post-quarantine and -lockdown, travelers seem more concerned about sustainability and the need to support local businesses, something Globe Aware programs specialize in!  Future Travel and Sustainable Tourism after COVID-19: STUDY by Tea Ceremony Kyoto Maikoya December 7, 2020 KYOTO, Japan, Dec. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Kimono Tea Ceremony Maikoya and Samurai & Ninja Museum, two key experience providers from Japan, recently studied and analyzed the effects of the pandemic on travel behavior in depth and found out that people are likely to skip major cities and vacation for longer going forward. Post-quarantine and -lockdown, travelers generally seem more concerned about sustainability and the need to support local businesses. However, the only lasting changes may come with extra safety precautions and sustainable travel choices, with other aspects reverting more or less back to normal. For example, most travelers think virtual tours and online experiences are no substitutes for real-life activities. Most also have no intention of giving up on shared group activities or museums and prefer traditional accommodation options to AirBnB. Little change is apparent, other than increased demand for premium and safe travel experiences and the potential positive impact of working from home on the intentions to travel abroad. Background Recently, there have been news stories in the mainstream media that travel after the Coronavirus pandemic would change the behavior of…
Sunday, 06 December 2020 11:06

Holiday Travel Products Gift Guide 2020

As small business owners have been hit hard by the pandemic-related economic brunt, consider their products and services as holiday gift options. Globe Aware encourages the support of small businesses.   Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Travel Products Made By Women By Michele HerrmannContributorTravelAs small business owners have been hit hard by the pandemic-related economic brunt, consider their products and services as holiday gift options. In buying what they make to give to others, it’s a way of giving back by financially supporting them in return. Here are our gift suggestions for travel-related or inspired products by women business owners and entrepreneurs. “The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico,” $39.95 Food and travel writer Jessica van Dop DeJesus — also known by her brand’s name, “The Dining Traveler” — enlisted documentary photographer Italo Morales to go on a month-long journey across Puerto Rico. The result of their collaboration is this pictorial guide to this island, which transports readers through photography, accounts from locals, and a more in-depth look at Puerto Rico’s lesser-known regions. Customized Road Trip Guides by CrushGlobal Through her travel company, Kristin Braswell has developed a series of U.S. road trip guides focusing on not only places to go to but also emphasizing inclusivity across the travel and hospitality spectrum. Each guide lists businesses that are black, women and/or LGBTQ-owned, recommendations for culinary, outdoor and other personal interests, and notes regarding any safety precautions and COVID-19 mandates. Custom itineraries begin at $299 and can vary based on how many…
Thursday, 03 December 2020 11:43

New Dallas spa has a unique draw

‘Tickle Bar’ now open in Texas. No, it’s not a fetish thing, it’s about relaxation BY TJ MACIASDECEMBER 02, 2020 The Tickle Bar in Dallas, TX is open for business. A new Dallas spa has a unique draw that appears to walk a fine line. It’s called “The Tickle Bar” and the owner, Kimberly Haley-Coleman, says it’s about relaxation, not fetishes. The concept came to her when thinking up a new idea to generate income and continue to employ people in Globe Aware, her nonprofit organization that “offers global volunteer vacations that combine personal travel with work assisting foreign communities,” the Dallas Observer said. And yes, the concept is exactly what the name suggests. “I thought, ‘I wish I could get somebody to tickle my back. Why don’t people do that?’ So I decided I’m going to freakin’ do it,” she says. “Who knows if it’s going to work, but I’m going to do it.” According to the Advocate Magazine, “guests can choose from two basic services: hair play or back tickle. The 25- or 50-minute sessions incorporate a variety of shiver-inducing strokes to release tension from the body using fingers, feather dusters, makeup brushes and more. If you’re especially ticklish, try the basic scratch for relaxation with a firmer touch.” The Tickle Bar website, which includes the phrase “Get Tickled Pink,” also features the sound of a woman’s soft giggle. Haley-Coleman told the Observer that she is steering into the skid when it comes to the “prurient interest” associated…
Wednesday, 02 December 2020 13:50

There's a Tickle Bar Opening in Dallas

There's a Tickle Bar Opening in Dallas. Yeah, You Heard Us BRITTANY NUNNDECEMBER 2, 2020 Remember the back tickles you loved as a kid, the black magic your mom used to put you straight to sleep? How about the times you almost dozed off while someone played with your hair? Are you relaxed just thinking about it? Kimberly Haley-Coleman wants to sell you that experience with the launch of her new business, The Tickle Bar, and she doesn’t know if her idea is crazy, brilliant or maybe a little of both. “When I tell people I get a really polarized reaction,” Haley-Coleman says. “It’s either, ‘Oh my God, that’s genius, why hasn’t anyone done that before?’ or it’s ‘No one is going to do that. That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.’ That’s when I knew I had to try it.” Haley-Coleman is somewhat familiar with controversy, as this isn’t her first polarizing business. She started a “voluntourism” nonprofit called Globe Aware in Dallas in 2001, which offers global volunteer vacations that combine personal travel with work assisting foreign communities. Despite some people’s perceptions that voluntourism is just a way for rich Americans to stroke their god complexes, the nonprofit thrived in Dallas for nearly 20 years until COVID-19 and the border closures that came along with it brought its operations to a halt. “That’s a big reason why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Haley-Coleman explains. “We really rely on borders being open and planes flying and people feeling up…
Two of the biggest travel holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, are just around the corner, and travelers are debating whether they should meet up with friends and family. An infectious disease specialist encourages everyone to assess what they consider is an acceptable amount of risk in their lives, and follow precautions accordingly.   Holiday Travel Tips From an Infectious Disease Specialist From Getting a Flu Shot to Quarantining Before Gathering, Catherine Le, MD, Says the 2020 Holidays Are All About Reducing Risk Newswise — LOS ANGELES (Nov. 19, 2020) -- With the two biggest travel holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas – around the corner, many are debating whether they should gather with family and friends as usual. "There is no easy solution," says Cedars-Sinai infectious disease specialist Catherine Le, MD. "When my patients ask me if it’s safe to travel or spend time together with loved ones, I talk to them about risk mitigation and encourage them to find what they consider is an acceptable amount of risk in their lives." Risk mitigation, according to Le, is an individual decision based on preparing for, or lessening the effects of, any type of threat. In today’s world, risk mitigation conversations are centered around being exposed to or contracting COVID-19. "I can never say anything is 100% safe," said Le. "But what I can do is encourage individuals to reduce their own risk and follow best practices, including avoiding interacting with large numbers of people, frequent hand-washing, wearing a mask, staying socially distanced…
Sunday, 22 November 2020 12:33

Travel trends for 2021

This year is coming quickly coming to an end, and there are some hopeful signs for travel and Globe Aware volunteers. This includes more widely available testing, safe destination openings without needing travelers to quarantine for long, and new vaccines on the horizon. 11 Trending Destinations for 2021, According to Internet Searches Expedia's 2021 Travel Trends report breaks down the most-searched destinations. November 11, 2020 BY JESSICA PUCKETT As 2020 winds to a close, there are hopeful signs for travel amid the pandemic: Tests for COVID-19 are more widely available, destinations are finding ways to safely reopen without needing travelers to quarantine for two weeks, and a vaccine might finally be on the horizon. Next year, many travelers are hoping to get back out there—and they're already researching where to book. According to Expedia's 2021 Travel Trends report, most travelers are looking for destinations that offer seclusion, sun and sand, and are easily accessible by plenty of flights. Here are the 11 destinations Expedia says travelers are most interested in visiting next year. 11. The Maldives U.S. travelers are more interested than ever in planning a trip to the Maldives, a serene chain of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The island nation is likely trending because it is currently open to travelers from any country (visitors must produce a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before departure). Flight operations to the Maldives have also restarted from the U.S., with top international carriers like Emirates, Singapore, Qatar ferrying U.S. fliers to…
Monday, 16 November 2020 12:03

A Covid-19 vaccine will change travel

On November 9 it was announced that one of the candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, was over 90% in preventing volunteers from contracting the virus. This is great news for Globe Aware, our communities & volunteers, and look forward to safe travels in 2021 for everyone.   How a Covid-19 vaccine could change travel for good Julia BuckleyCNN16th November 2020 It was the good news that gave the world hope. On November 9 it was announced that one of the candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, was over 90% effective in preventing volunteers from contracting the virus. The beleaguered travel industry immediately got a boost, with airline and cruise company share prices rallying, and tour operators seeing upticks in searches and bookings for 2021. Finally, it feels as if vacations might be in our future. But will travel post-vaccine go back to how things were, or has your vacation been irrevocably changed? For starters, it'll be a while before we know the answer to that, says travel specialist Dr. Felicity Nicholson, lead doctor at Trailfinders Travel Clinic in the UK. "I think it's just a matter of time before things come back to some degree of normality, but it'll take quite a long time," she says. "At the moment, travel is way down the pecking order of vaccination." She says that countries will first be looking to vaccinate the vulnerable, then healthworkers and keyworkers, before making inroads into the general population.…
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