The Week In Travel And Health

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If you’re wondering if the airports are getting more crowded than ever before, the answer is “yes.” The U.N.’s World Trade Organization says a whopping one billion tourists will cross international borders this year – the first time that’s ever happened.

Obviously, international travel is a growth industry. Consider that back in 1950, there were only 25 million tourists crossing borders. And the rapid growth is expected to continue – the WTO projects that there will be 1.4 billion international tourists in 2020.

One billion international tourists in one calendar year is a clear indicator that those borders that people are crossing are, metaphorically, coming down. There’s a still-emerging attitude that continues to create more global citizens – people who don’t feel constricted by where they happened to have been born or where they happen to live. And that’s a great thing for all of us.

The WTO plans a celebration of this year’s “billionth tourist,” and may even try to designate who that billionth tourist is. I wonder what they’ll give him or her – maybe a trip around the world?

Meanwhile, The Washington Post ran a story this week reminding those billion travelers that they should buy travel medical insurance because their current insurance policy doesn’t cover most situations. Shameless plug alert! – here’s the best.

British billionaire Richard Branson might just travel more than anyone else on Earth – and he also might be the person who has changed air travel the most over the last couple decades. Darrell Hartman interviewed Branson for the Wall Street Journal.

The London Olympics begin three months from today, which means if you don’t have tickets already, it’s going to be tough to get them. The New York Times’ Michelle Higgins offers advice for all you procrastinators.

This is just brilliant marketing – the Scottish hamlet of Dull has teamed up with the Oregon town of Boring to form a strategic tourism partnership. That’s right – Dull and Boring are working together.

And if you’d like a little sun with your Dull and Boring, heading to a Caribbean beach makes a lot of sense. USA Today’s Jayne Clark talked to locals to get the inside skinny on the best places to go in the  Caribbean .

It’s been a rough year for the cruise industry, but the Cruise Lines International Association is putting in place new tighter safety standards that will supersede various government regulations. CNN’s Jim Barnett reports that cruise ships will now need to adopt measures such as carrying extra life preservers, minimizing distractions on the bridge and having more complete passage planning procedures.

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