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2010 Winners and Losers in Travel

Posted By adventureswithben On January 3, 2011 @ 7:00 am In Awards,Travel | Comments Disabled

Happy New Year!

It’s 2011. All this week adventureswithben.com will feature a 4-part series about Travel in 2011. But we must first bid 2010 a fond farewell. Here’s a look back on the winners and losers in the travel and tourism industry last year.

Vuvuzela – Loser

 2010 Winners and Losers in Travel [2]

Despite my best attempts in making my case, Why I Support the Vuvuzela [3], this magical, plastic horn never got the due credit it deserved. It’s doubtful we’ll ever see them again.

South Africa Tourism – Winner

 2010 Winners and Losers in Travel [4]

Though the Vuvuzela was a sore point, South Africa managed to convince the world that they are a major player on the world stage. One-of-a-kind experiences, great publicity and a successful World Cup will make this destination highly sought-after in the years to come.

Tourism Thailand – Winner

 2010 Winners and Losers in Travel [5]

Hot of the trail of a successful social media media travel competition, Ultimate Thailand Explores [6] (of which I was a part), Thailand was hit with yet another hurtful round of bad press when riots erupted in Bangkok this past Spring. Not to be defeated, Tourism Thailand launched a second social media contest about medical tourism [7]. For it’s tenacious spirit, and aggressive marketing, Thailand wins.


Unable to recover from endless bad press, court cases and passenger complaints over the new body scanners, the Transportation Security Administration gets an upper-case “loser”. Sure they need to keep the flying public safe, but in doing so they’ve lost the trust of the American people. It will take years to restore.

Steven Slater  (Jet Blue Flight Attendant) – Draw

Unlike the fable I told my parents about exiting an aircraft through a catering truck [8], Steven Slater, the Jet Blue Flight Attendant actually pulled off a newsworthy stunt. No doubt he put the ground crew at risk by opening the hatch, but he did what many of us can only dream of doing when we are pushed to the limits at work. A magnificent departure from your job. The cons and pros of this incident cancel each other out – it’s a draw.

Sea World Orlando - Loser

 2010 Winners and Losers in Travel [9]

The death of Killer Whale Trainer Dawn Brancheau has left a permanent black cloud hanging over the park. Without their trainers swimming in the water with the whales has left it’s anchor attract flat and it’s attendance too. Recent layoffs, changes in ownership and the elimination of free beer has overshadowed it’s newest thrill, Manta. Hopefully 2011 will bring something to look forward to, but they haven’t announced anything yet. Good luck.

Legacy Airlines – Loser

 2010 Winners and Losers in Travel [10]

Collecting $4.3 Billion in checked baggage and change ticket fees in 2010 alone earns Delta, United, American and the rest of the major airlines suck. There’s nothing special about flying anymore, flight attendants are surly (see above) and fees have become excessive. It’s time I start my own airline.

Gulf Coast Tourism – Loser

Through no fault of their own, it was a rough year for the Gulf States. As a result of the BP Oil Spill tourism declined significantly. Despite creative, constant marketing, merchant discounts and desperate pleas for help, it wasn’t a banner year. Here’s hoping public confidence will sway in their favor in 2011.

Universal Orlando - WINNER

Even though I’ve never read or watched anything Harry Potter, his new Wizarding World at the Universal Orlando Resort is a clear win (in upper-case letters) for Orlando and Universal. Despite hellatiously long lines, jam-packed stores and a surprise evacuation here and there, the crowds and critics love it. The big questions for 2011 – can Universal Orlando sustain it’s success and will it spend it’s mega profits wisely in investing in other much-needed areas of their resort?


So that sums up 2010 in travel. What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Who was left out? Who will win and lose in 2011? Share by commenting.

I’ll see you out there…!

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URLs in this post:

[1] : http://adventureswithben.com/travel/2010-winners-losers-travel/

[2] Image: http://adventureswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Photo-on-2010-04-25-at-14.47-2.jpg

[3] Why I Support the Vuvuzela: http://adventureswithben.com/you-tube/support-vuvuzela/

[4] Image: http://adventureswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA-Flag.jpg

[5] Image: http://adventureswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/IMG_8260.jpg

[6] Ultimate Thailand Explores: http://ultimatethailandexplorers.com/

[7] medical tourism: http://www.medblogcontest.com/Home/29

[8] exiting an aircraft through a catering truck: http://adventureswithben.com/travel/southwest-airlines-emergency-landing/

[9] Image: http://adventureswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/IMG_0360.JPG

[10] Image: http://adventureswithben.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/IMG_1079.jpg

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