Travel briefs


Florida Keys


with a purpose

Visitors who want to do something good and add an enriching element to their next Florida Keys vacation can connect and get involved with voluntourism opportunities through a recently introduced website at

The site provides direct links to a variety of Florida Keys charities, nonprofit organizations and foundations — all dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of human and animal life in the island chain — that are seeking volunteers.


Loyalty programs don’t sway guests

If you are a member of a hotel loyalty program, you are probably not very loyal to your hotel. That is one finding of a survey of about 4,000 travelers by Deloitte & Touche about how they book hotels and what guides their decisions.

Only 1 in 4 travelers spent more than 75 percent of their nights at their preferred brand, and 65 percent of frequent travelers reported staying in two or more hotel brands in the last six months, the survey said.

Only 19 percent of those who responded to the survey said that a loyalty program was very important when choosing a hotel.

What are more important factors to travelers? Room rate ranked as very important to 47 percent of the travelers, with free parking, comfort and location also ranking high.

National parks

Grand Canyon

expands bike trail

A popular mountain biking trail that overlooks the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is being extended.

The 18-mile Rainbow Rim trail on the Kaibab National Forest is a single-track trail that passes through ponderosa pines and drops into steep-sided canyons with aspen groves and small meadows.

Forest spokesman Patrick Lair says it’s the only trail designed for mountain bikers that follows the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, although hikers and horseback riders use it as well.

Work to extend the trail by up to 8 miles to create a loop is set to begin in June.

Air travel

Singapore decides to spare the cane

When flying to Singapore, watch your language or you could face more than a stern scolding. An Australian man learned this lesson last month when he got into an altercation with another passenger on a Tiger Airways flight from Perth to Singapore.

In the heat of the feud, the man, identified in news reports as maritime industry worker Bruce Griffiths, unleashed a few obscenities and was met by Singapore police at the airport.

Even though Griffiths was still in the air, his foul language violated Singapore’s strict “outrage of modesty” laws, punishable by a jail term of up to two years, a fine or 24 lashes with a rattan cane.

Singapore officials reportedly confiscated Griffiths’ passport but say he won’t face the cane.

Still, the airline is not backing down, saying, “Tiger Airways has a zero-tolerance policy toward inappropriate behavior on board our aircraft.”

Miami Herald

wire services

Miami Herald

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