New York City had record tourism numbers in 2011, and YNN’s Valarie D’Elia looks back on the year in the travel industry, including her own personal travel milestone.
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A trio of international stories grabbed travel headlines in 2011, including the Japanese tsunami, political revolts in Egypt and economic problems in Greece.
Travel to Cuba became more accessible to ordinary Americans, as President Barack Obama issued an executive order to reinstate purposeful visits to the Communist island, a practice that was curtailed in the Bush administration.
Locally, a tropical storm version of Hurricane Irene gave the one-two punch to tourism in New York State threatening to sap the color out of the fall foliage season.
In cruise news, the new year began with a royal rendezvous in New York Harbor, featuring three Cunard oceanliners meeting in front of the Statue of Liberty.
Disney Cruise lines launched the Dream, its first cruiseliner in 12 years, and announced that one of its older ships, the Magic, will be homeporting in New York in summer 2012.
In New York City, the legendary airline Pan Am was resurrected in dramatic fashion, first on Broadway and then later making its small-screen debut on ABC.
Tourism to New York City reached record highs and it’s expected that the 50 millionth visitor of the year will arrive before the ball drops ushering in 2012.
Not far from the city, an iconic hotel reopened after nearly six years of renovations, as the Bear Mountain Inn came out of hibernation.
Ten years after September 11th, haggard air travelers gained some momentum in the fight for passenger’s rights as some consumer protections took effect making the air travel experience a bit more tolerable.
Children under age 12 got a reprieve from the Transportation Security Administration late this year, allowing them to keep their shoes on through security.
There were turbulent skies for American Airlines, filing for bankruptcy at the end of the year, but it vowed to keep flying while restructuring.
Finally, on a personal note, I hit a milestone with a visit to my 100th country, setting foot on the small nation of Montenegro as a cruise passenger sailing along the Adriatic coast.