World’s First Remote Control Tourists Explore Melbourne, Australia



Imagine if you could taste-test of a city before taking the plunge and buying your airline ticket. You could watch a performance, grab a cup of coffee or visit a market in the destination –- all from the comfort of your home. Well that’s the idea behind a tourism campaign that’s aiming to lure visitors to the Australian state of Victoria. The state’s tourism board has chosen four people who they’ve dubbed “Remote Control Tourists” because you and I can tell them exactly what we’d like them to do -– and they’ll go out and do it.The four tourists are outfitted with cameras and microphones mounted to a helmet, and all the footage captured is streamed live online. The two male and two female tourists have been exploring the Victorian capital, Melbourne, based on viewer requests sent via social media. So far, they’ve visited popular tourist attractions such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Federation Square, but they’ve also taken part in activities like busking and hugging random strangers, following the wishes of audience members.

The campaign is designed to encourage young, tech-savvy travelers to visit Melbourne, which is known for its hip restaurants and shops and its vibrant culture. The remote controlled tourists have already acted upon thousands of tweets and messages and will continue to do so until the campaign ends on Sunday.

Swedish Food Truck Dishes Up Airport Cuisine

Sweden Airport Food Truck
Photo credit: Swedavia

Whether you like to hunt down the hidden hole-in-the-wall eateries, the popular street food stalls or the city’s best haute cuisine, you probably agree that food is an important part of the travel experience. But if there’s one aspect of travel dining that is universally loathed, it has to be airport food. Bland, congealed — not to mention overpriced — airport meals seem to be an inevitable part of the journey.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that one country has decided its airport food is so good that it is part of its marketing campaign. Sweden believes the fare at Stockholm Arlanda Airport is so nom-worthy that it is loading up food trucks with the airport cuisine to tempt the taste buds of the city’s residents and visitors.For $10, hungry patrons can dine on dishes like braised veal, pulled pork, truffle risotto, lasagna and ramen soup with wasabi-marinated smoked salmon. Those behind the concept say they believe people will be surprised by the quality of the food, and will hopefully be encouraged to get to the airport earlier to sample more of the cuisine on offer.

The food truck will make rounds of Stockholm for several weeks, but may stick around longer if the idea proves a success.

What do you think of airport food? Would you try out the Arlanda Food Truck?

NYC Tourism Campaign Spotlights The City’s Lesser-Known Attractions

More than 52 million people visit New York City each year but the vast majority of visitors never stray far from the well-trodden streets of Manhattan. Now, a new tourism initiative is encouraging travelers to take a bigger bite out of the Big Apple by venturing out of the typical tourist hotspots and deep into the city’s five boroughs.

Neighborhood X Neighborhood” will give visitors a list of suggestions on things to do and see ranging from popular tourist activities to hidden gems that only the locals know about. The city’s vast array of restaurants, shops and cultural venues will all be spotlighted in the campaign.

The city’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, says previous efforts to widen the tourist circuit have stimulated development in the neighborhoods. In recent years, more than 70 hotels have sprung up outside Manhattan, catering to visitors who want to get off the beaten path.”We’ve focused on bringing more tourists to neighborhoods outside of Manhattan, and it’s paid off with more hotels being built and tourism-related economic activity happening in those boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our neighborhoods are what make New York City unique, and visitors who explore the boroughs beyond the beaten path are sure to be rewarded with unforgettable, only-in-New-York experiences.”

NYC’s neighborhoods are all easily accessible via the city’s extensive transit system and campaign organizers say travelers who veer out of Manhattan and into the more obscure neighborhoods will be rewarded with a more affordable stay.

Bushwick, Fort Greene and Williamsburg are the first neighborhoods to be featured in the tourism initiative, which kicks off today. You can check out the neighborhood highlights here.

[Photo credit: NYC & Company]

Bird’s-Eye Snapshots Of Hong Kong’s Most Claustrophobic Apartments

If you’ve ever wished you had more space in your home, just wait until you see these startling images of abysmally tiny apartments in Hong Kong.

The livings spaces are so small that the bed, TV, kitchen and office are all within arm’s reach, and belongings are stacked precariously high along the walls.

According to human rights group The Society for Community Organization (SoCO), nearly 100,000 people in Hong Kong live in these tiny spaces known as “cubicle apartments.”But it’s not just bachelors living in these cramped quarters – entire families are crammed into the 40-square-foot apartments, which are the result of illegal subdivisions.

The series of images show the living spaces as viewed from above, and the perspective makes the already claustrophobic apartments seem even more dizzying.

SoCO commissioned the photos in order to raise awareness of the atrocious living conditions. The QR code you see in the corner of each image links to a petition urging Hong Kong’s government to do something about the inadequate housing.

Take a look at the photos below.

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[Photo credit: Society for Community Organization/Publicis Hong Kong]