6 Destinations Made More Popular By Celebrities

Travel Channel and the Esquire Network are both set to air TV shows that ask celebrities to give local perspectives on their favorite destinations. While one can argue that Travel Channel is taking Esquire’s already developed idea and running with it, it’s undeniable that this fascination with celebrity travel is nothing new. In fact, celebrities have been popularizing places for years. Here’s a few examples of places where the stars have come out to play (and crowds of people soon followed).

George Clooney and Lake Como, Italy
George Clooney bought an 18th-century lakeside villa here in 2001, and it’s been a tourist hotspot ever since. According to the Daily Beast, the actor has an egg-throwing contraption that wards off paparazzi and other gawkers.Brigitte Bardot and Armação dos Búzios, Brazil
French sexpot Brigitte Bardot famously vacationed in Saint Tropez on the French Riviera, but she’s also credited with popularizing the resort town of Armação dos Búzios in Brazil during the 1960s. Townspeople are so happy with the tourism surge they erected a statue in the starlet’s honor.

Elvis Presley and Hawaii
It’s no secret Elvis loved Hawaii. From his first visit in the 1950s, it remained his favorite vacation destination. Elvis made three movies there, including the immensely popular “Blue Hawaii.” It’s also the setting of the first broadcast concert via satellite, “Aloha from Hawaii,” which Elvis starred in.

Sir Richard Branson and Necker Island, British Virgin Isles
Sure, he owns the island, but he also made it a popular vacation spot. Famous names like Steven Spielberg, Mel Gibson, Oprah Winfrey, Harrison Ford and Pamela Anderson have all visited at one time or another. For those that can afford to go to Necker Island, it’s ultra-luxe accommodations and private submarine make it one of the ultimate destinations.

Britney Spears and Turtle Island, Fiji
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline famously vacationed to this private island after their marriage in 2005. It was also the honeymoon locale for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Both marriages ended in divorce, but the island still remains one of the most sought-after (and priciest) honeymoon destinations.

Jay-Z & Beyonce and Cuba
This is just a projection, but earlier this year Jay-Z and Beyonce visited Cuba to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. As travel restrictions become more loose, it’s likely more Americans will want to follow in their footsteps.

Passengers Refuse Startup Millionaire’s $100 Offer To Switch Seats

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Would you switch seats on a transatlantic flight if someone offered you $100? Jason Goldberg, founder and CEO of online shopping website Fab.com, can’t seem to understand why someone refused that same offer.

The startup millionaire asked surrounding passengers to trade seats so he could get work done with his business partner on a flight from Sweden to the United States. The passengers, who had already forked over more than $7,000 for the 9.5-hour ride, all declined his offer. One passenger said he wanted to be close to his family, while the other simply said “he was too comfortable to move,” according to a string of Facebook posts by Goldberg. Looks like when sitting in business class, Goldberg might need to up the ante on his offers.

Goldberg’s posts have gotten a lot of tongues wagging. Business Insider even broke out a seating chart to explain that its obvious why the passengers refused the offer.

8 Hotels Where Famous People Have Died

Michael Francis McCarthy, Flickr

Thirty-one-year-old heartthrob Cory Monteith of “Glee” was found dead at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, Canada over the weekend. Sadly, this isn’t the first time a celebrity spent his or her final hours in a hotel. Here’s a look at some other hotels made famous by celebrity deaths.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida
Anna Nicole Smith was found dead at the age of 39 in room 607. Coroners ruled her death resulted from “combined drug intoxication,” but no illegal drugs were found in her system.

Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, California
John Belushi was found dead at the age of 33 in Bungalow 3 of this Sunset Boulevard hotel, shortly after being visited separately by friends Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. The comedian, actor and musician’s death was ruled a drug overdose.

Stamford Plaza Hotel in Sydney, Hotel
INXS singer Michael Hutchence was 37 when he was found dead in room 524 of this Australian hotel, which was then a Ritz-Carlton. Despite the fact that a coroner ruled his death a suicide by erotic asphyxiation, fans and relatives consider his death accidental.

Hotel Chelsea in New York, New York
Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of the Sex Pistols’ front man Sid Vicious, was found stabbed to death under the sink in the bathroom of the couple’s hotel room at Hotel Chelsea. Four months after her death, Vicious, who was out on bail, was found dead of an overdose.

Ritz Hôtel in Paris, France
Style icon Coco Chanel died peacefully in her sleep at this Paris hotel at the age of 87. Chanel is credited with inventing the “little black dress,” as well as Chanel No. 5 perfume, the most famous fragrance ever made.

Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California
Singer Whitney Houston was found submerged in a bathtub at the age of 48 in Suite 434. Her death was ruled an accident due to “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

Highland Gardens Hotel in Los Angeles, California
After failing to show up to a recording session, musician Janis Joplin was found dead at age 27 in room 105 of this property, which at the time was called the Landmark Hotel. Her death was ruled a heroin overdose.

Swissôtel Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand
In 2009, David Carradine — a martial artist and actor most known for his role as Bill in “Kill Bill” — was found strangled to death in the closet in this luxury hotel. Carradine, who was making a film in Bangkok, was found with a rope around his neck and another around his genitals. It’s believed his death was an accident.

Would You Play A Game Of ‘Departure Roulette’?

Diane Bondareff/Invision for Heineken

After arriving at the airport, would you be willing to drop your travel plans to head somewhere else? Heineken is daring travelers at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to do just that.

At the push of a button, travelers could be whisked away to Bali instead of Branson. Sure, it’s just an advertising ploy to promote Heineken Dropped, a YouTube series that has the beer company sending travelers to random destinations, but it got us thinking about the pros and cons of spontaneous travel. It’d be fun to discover somewhere unexpected — like the man above, who is being sent to the island of Cyprus instead of going on a six-week vacation with his grandparents to Vienna, Austria — but what if you packed completely wrong for the trip?

If you want to read more stories about spontaneous travel, AFAR magazine’s Spin the Globe feature sends writers to randomly chosen destinations. Here’s some recent features from Gadling contributors Don George and David Farley.

[via Adweek.com]

Gang Allegedly Tags $2.3 Million Jet At Van Nuys Airport

Not content with putting its mark on buildings and train cars, a gang has allegedly taken things to a higher level by tagging a $2.3 million jet. The graffiti artists snuck into Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles to scrawl the words “R.I.P.” and “flame” across a Learjet Model 60.

It’s estimated the jet’s owners will have to pony up $110,000 to fix the plane. The FBI and Los Angeles police are investigating how the secure area was breached, with authorities believing the tags may be “gang related and gang initiated.”

“This is a big deal to me, to have somebody who could get onto the airfield and who could do that kind of damage, that kind extensive graffiti to an aircraft, and not be seen,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon tells the Aviation Writer. “I’m not happy about it.”

[via news.com.au]