Travel Hosts Exposed, Week of June 8, 2011

Join new host Don Wildman as he hangs in Hawaii, as well as Zak spending some quality time in his home town, Sin City, and Bert wraps season 2.

Photos

Thailand is home to many affordable attractions, including jungle treks, ancient temples, flour-soft beaches and an entire island of ravers. While 2010 saw civil unrest in Bangkok, the effect on tourists was minimal, if not advantageous, as businesses tried to woo tourists with discounts. New direct flights into the Trat Islands near Cambodia, and several new resort developments, opened up this once inaccessible area. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

In the last few years, Marrakech has seen an explosion of small Riads or boutique hotels around the ancient city, catering to niche markets, including luxe, gay and family travelers. In November La Mamounia, the grand dame of Marrakech hotels, reopened after a five-year, $176-million redesign by Parisian designer Jacques Garcia. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

South Africa took advantage of the 2010 World Cup to build new stadiums, hotels and safari lodges. Cape Town, already famous for spectacular beaches, upscale nightlife and food, added several new hotels, including the Taj Cape Town. Luxe travelers can splurge on a safari trip to Richard Branson's Cliff Lodge, a new luxury hotel at Ulusaba, the billionaire's private game reserve. 960 1280

  

Vancouver was host to many winter-sports enthusiasts during February's Olympic festivities. The city and surrounding areas had a ton to offer fans of the Winter Games as well as regular travelers. There's world-class skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, one of the best destination ski resorts in the world. At nearby Ucluetet on Nanaimo Island, the new Wild Pacific Trail follows a rugged shoreline. Kayakers love the area for beauty and a chance to spot gray whales during their annual migration. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles is a hot spot for art and museum hounds. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) celebrated its 30th birthday in 2010 with special exhibitions. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art unveiled a Renzo Piano-designed addition to its campus. Several prominent galleries have opened outposts in LA. 960 1280

  

The dramatic collapse of Iceland's economy over the last couple of years has been a boon for budget travelers in 2010. The value of the kroner plunged against numerous currencies, and the once expensive destination became much more affordable. 960 1280

  

Once a shunned country for travelers, Colombia is Latin America's affordable, new hot spot. The capital of Bogota has been slowly transforming since the late 1990s, adding bike paths, a new bus system and sidewalk cafes. The coastal city of Caragena experienced a renaissance, sprouting stylish new boutique hotels and spas. JetBlue's new nonstop daily service to Bogota from Orlando made a trip here even more affordable. 960 1280

  

Bike paths line Copenhagen's streets where locals and tourists ride the free bikes available around the city center. The Danish capital also boasts new cultural buildings ' an opera house, library and concert hall ' as well as a booming arts district. A public bath is the newest addition to the harbor district, the city's burgeoning summertime center. 960 1280

  

Las Vegas was hit hard by US economic woes as business travel and group bookings evaporated, so hotels went into overdrive to attract budget-conscious travelers with discounts and deals galore. On the other end of the spectrum, several developers amped up the luxury despite the downturn, including MGM's massive resort complex, CityCenter. 960 1280

  

Savvy travelers knew that 2010 was the year to see the town's once-every-decade performance of the Passion Play. More than 2,000 actors, singers, instrumentalists and technicians, all residents of the village, brought the story of Jesus of Nazareth to life in an extraordinary community event. The Oberammergau Passion Play was first performed in 1634. 960 1280

  

"@UKCoachCalipari Great meeting you dude! Thanks for being so gracious!" - Adam Richman 960 1280

  

"My priceless possession... Worn by one of the best actors of all-time! VV" - Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

"I could show you the Bagans' recipe but then Id have to....." - Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

"Should we just go on and talk about congress and tax deficits..." - Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

"Do u ever go run bs errands then jus sit in park lot and stare at the island bushes?" - Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

- Zak Bagans 960 1280

  

"Vegas" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"I finally found it and it's broke. The old school TRON game. WHY?!?!" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"And i found an arcade bar that plays tron on its tv's all day here in vegas. I'm closer to the grid now" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"MSNBC time" - Aaron Goodwin 960 1280

  

"Food woody: Rishia is making choc cake" - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

"Look at that technique!" - Andrew Zimmern 960 1280

  

- Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"From Ukraine With Love" - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"Love this. McDonalds, and right next-door, its Ukranian knock-off / competition: McFoxy's!" - Anthony Bourdain 960 1280

  

"He's more disruptive than I am & we're supposed to be chaperones." - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"It's the shirt that makes the man..." - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Set your TiVo...someone is falling..." - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

"Praying for a Marilyn Monroe wind gust." - Bert Kreischer 960 1280

  

American Sarah Shourd (left) was freed on $500,000 bail in September after spending 14 months in a Tehran prison. Her fiancé Shane Bauer (right) and Josh Fattal remain in jail. They were hiking near the Iran/Iraq border and arrested on suspicion of spying. 960 1280

Reuters  

Thousands of volunteers and vessels worked together on the largest oil spill in US history. The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill made many travelers change their plans to avoid the beaches and big tourist attractions along the Gulf of Mexico. 960 1280

Reuters  

A White House leak created a buzz that visits to Cuba by US citizens would be announced. However, after November's midterm elections, Congress lost all interest in relaxing travel or trade restrictions for Americans. 960 1280

  

A worker clears snow from DC's Lincoln Memorial after 2 back-to-back storms shut down most travel along the East Coast corridor. The February blizzards halted traffic at airports, train stations and on the roads. 960 1280

Reuters  

Passengers clap as the Carnival Cruise Lines cruise ship C/V Splendor docks in San Diego, CA. The luxury liner and its 3,300 vacationers were stranded off the Mexican coast after an engine-room fire. 960 1280

Reuters  

An airplane was the site of an unforgettable moment for several JetBlue passengers. Flight attendant Steven Slater cursed out a passenger over the cabin speaker after an argument. Then, he grabbed a beer, deployed the emergency slide and glided into infamy. 960 1280

Image by Kathika through Creative Commons License  

In September, the owner of Segway, James W. Heselden, was killed when he accidently steered one of the manual-powered vehicles off a 30-foot cliff on his estate in West Yorkshire, England. 960 1280

Image by Skewgee through Creative Commons License  

Qantas grounded its Airbus A380 fleet after one of the double-decker jets blew out an engine and made a safe emergency landing in Singapore on November 4. An oil leak near a turbine triggered a fire and engine failure. It is the most serious mid-air incident involving the world's largest passenger plane since it debuted in October 2007. 960 1280

Reuters  

Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in April. Huge clouds of ash wreaked havoc from Sweden to Spain. Airlines were forced to cancel more than 100,000 flights after several countries closed their airspace -- costing the airline industry $1.7 billion. 960 1280

Reuters  

Southwest Airlines agreed to buy AirTran for $1.42 billion, combining 2 of the largest discount carriers in the US. Southwest expanded flights to 37 new cities and added new international routes to Mexico and the Caribbean. The Dallas-based airline says it will eliminate AirTran's bag fees by 2012 when the merger is complete. 960 1280

Reuters