25 newly-discovered travel destinations from Wanderfly.com

newly-discovered travel destinationsIf you’ve checked out Wanderfly, the new travel planning and booking service that suggests destinations and activities based on your interests, you know they’ve come up with some unique and untouristy destinations. Now they’ve gone beyond the beaten tourist track with 25 newly-discovered travel destinations. Why just see the Great Wall of China when you could see a whole city full of kittens in China (far greater if you ask us!)?! Fan of Dolly Parton? Thousands go to Dollywood, why not relax on a man-made archipelago in the shape of Dolly and Kenny Rogers at Islands in the Stream in Dubai? Can’t get enough of that rascal Charlie Sheen? Intrepid adventurers can get inside his brain and see what all that tiger’s blood does.

The Wanderfly researchers teamed up with Whim Quarterly to unearth these new places and the best activities to do. The new destinations were chosen for their interactive experiences to give travelers the most authentic experience. “We challenge any traveler to find even a single destination that can compare to these unearthed gems,” says Wanderfly co-founder Christy Liu. “Paris? London? Cleveland? With respect to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they all pale in comparison to such places as ObeCity, Funkytown, and Your Mom’s House.”

For more on these exciting new discoveries, visit Wanderfly.com and click the crazy kitten on the home page and then Get Going. But hurry, some of these destinations may only be available on April 1st.

New travel-writing robot shakes up industry

For travel writers, it’s getting increasingly hard to turn a phrase these days. Pay is down. Magazines and newspapers are closing left and right. In other words, it’s tougher than ever for aspiring writers to make a living. Now it seems there’s a new threat to the travel writing industry: the introduction of the Travelbot 5000, the world’s first robotic travel writer.

Unlike past attempts at writer replacement, the Travelbot 5000 offers cost-cutting publishers the most advanced travel “story delivery system” on earth. Enterprising editors need only program their desired GPS coordinates into the Travelbot’s computer, adjust the “Content Research and Production” (CRaP) dial to the desired output (off-the-beaten path, top ten list, human interest, hotel review) and the Travelbot 5000 uses its rocket-propulsion system to jet off to its destination, returning within a week with photos, videos, audio clips and a fully formed story, ready for publication.

Best of all, the Travelbot’s output is anything but mechanical. The bot is equipped with a pre-programmed database of travel-writing catchphrases, like “jaw-dropping views” and “best-kept secret” as well as a range of suitably highbrow metaphors to ensure each piece of work shines with unique style and attention grabbing quotes. Though the Travelbot’s hefty price tag of $50,000 seems steep, many travel publications see the cost as a long-term investment. According to Seymour Hitz, President of Travel Publishers Inc., “The Travelbot helps our member publications save money while still ensuring readers can enjoy the mix of cute animal photos and sexy flight attendant travel content they’ve come to expect.”

No reaction yet on the Travelbot from travel writers. Ike Anturnafraiz, head of the Travel Writers Union of America, was at the bar and could not be reached for comment.

Newark Mayor goes head to head with Conan O’Brien over joke about city

Conan O’Brien recently made a crack about the city of Newark, New Jersey, on The Tonight Show. But it seems the city’s Mayor, Cory Booker, didn’t find it very funny.

“The Mayor of Newark, NJ, wants to set up a citywide program to improve residents’ health. The health care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark,” O’Brien said. Ouch.

The Mayor handled it well though, responding with a YouTube video challenging Conan’s perceptions of the city. “You fail to understand our city is one of the fastest growing cities in the Northeast,” he said. He went on to detail the many improvement made to the city, one that he called “a city on the rise.” He then offered a glimpse of resident reactions to Conan’s crack, including the ego-crushing query of one woman: “Who’s Conan O’Brien?”

With a slight grin, Mayor Booker told Conan he was officially on the Newark Airport’s “no fly list” and closed with “Try JFK, buddy.”

Of course, Conan had to fire back.

He said the ban was no problem; he could easily get to Newark through the sewer system, because, “Everyone knows, all sewer pipes lead to Newark.” He invited the Mayor to come on his show to settle things like “men of honor”, adding that the studio was just five minutes from the Burbank Internatonal Airport. . . which the Mayor was now, of course, banned from.

In response to Conan’s egging, Booker posted another video. This time, he’s calling for reinforcements, saying that he has 566 municipalites backing him because “we in New Jersey roll hard, we roll strong, and we roll together.” And Booker didn’t stop there. He says he’s reached out Newark’s Sister Cities all over the world, which means Conan’s not just banned from the entire state of New Jersey, but also from cities in places like Ghana and even Conan’s own ancestral home of Ireland. “CoCo can’t go go,” the Mayor taunts.

He does offer to come on The Tonight Show show to settle the dispute, but only if Conan will first pay a visit to Newark.

Your move, Conan.