Adventure Travel Wilderness and Hiking Trails Fees Rise

The good news for adventure travel and wilderness hiking trails is that the USA has protected some of the most unique and incredible places to see on earth. Our National, State Parks, Monuments and Wilderness Areas are awesome, but for years there have been reduced number of visitors. Many citizens have said that a four-year program to increase national parks entrance fees to make them more uniform may discourage some Americans from visiting their national parks such as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Yellowstone.

The National Parks have been faced with a budget crisis. The parks are struggling to protect the historic, cultural and natural resources that the parks were created for. The parks are short of funds for operating facilities, repairs to roads, bridges, trails and buildings. There was an 814 million dollar shortfall in 2006. There are almost 400 areas of protection covered by the National Parks Service. Almost every park has fewer full time employees now than in 2001, while there were over 273,000,000 visitors to the parks in 2005. The park service needs more funding to provide education, interpretive and for the safety requirements of their visitors. This is a time of controversy about park fees, current plans for oil, gas and mineral exploration in our parks and of course removing the O’Shaughnessy Dam to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite.

Recently the federal government has moved to replace the National Park Service’s $50 annual pass with a new $80 multi-agency pass. Some people think that the fee increases are getting out of line. The park service raised entrance fees at 34 parks over the past two years and plans to raise them at another 124 parks in 2008 and 2009. At Glacier National Park in Montana and Joshua Tree National Park in California, the fees will go up twice, and beginning in 2011, park officials plan to increase fees every three years, based on inflation. There is a proposal to double entrance fees next year at Crater Lake National Park, now $10 per car. Will it drive the local visitors away? In 1997, when the park service began raising fees, the number of national parks visitors has fallen 1% while entrance fee revenue has gone up almost 16%. Many of them are from outside the United States and love to visit the American protected lands.

Will the National Park Centennial Act to rescue our parks before 2016 – the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? The acts purpose is to eliminate the annual operating deficit and maintenance backlog in the national parks. If it passed, it was to create a check off box on American tax returns to fund the parks. As H.R. 1124 and S 886 it did not get passed in 2006. In spring of 2006 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report about our National Parks based on research, to the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee that found that funding had not kept pace with need, requiring park managers to reduce services including, “reducing visitor center hours, educational programs, basic custodial duties, and law enforcement operations, such as back-country patrolling. Additionally, the park system has been forced to close campgrounds, shorten operating hours, eliminate many interpretive programs, lay off many seasonal rangers, and eliminate many of the parks’ scientific studies programs.

So where’s the good news? Being an outdoor writer and avid traveler to our parks and wilderness areas Bob Therrien, President of TrainingPASS Sales, Inc. has created an outdoor recreation message board, he commented “The hardest part over the years, for me has been the research about which parks, hikes, climbs, locations and activities I want to visit with my family and friends. Exploring federal then state website after site, then mapping the distance from each area of interest is inefficient and many times lacking in information. To solve that inefficiency we have collected all the basic information about our parks, wilderness areas and national monuments and put them into one website. I don’t personally have a problem with the new park fees. It cost’s me more to take my family to the movies, and I’d rather enjoy a full day or two at a place like Denali National Park.

The USA has incredible adventure travel wilderness and hiking trails. To promote these areas AdventureZoneTOURS created a forum for sharing trip reports on National Parks, State Parks, National Monuments and Wilderness Areas.

The Outdoor Adventure Message Board opens up to reveal a listing of U.S. States, separated into travel regions. Click on any state region and there are sub forums for all the parks, monuments and wilderness areas in that region. Many times there are several interesting choices to pick from within a state region. For the activity-specific minded, AdventureZoneTOURS.com encourages users to share trip reports for a variety of outdoor activities from hiking, climbing, canyoneering, geo exploring, photography, ghost towns, mines, and cave to water sports such as boating, fishing, jet and water skiing, tubing, rafting, and scuba. Winter travel sports such as snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding are featured. Hunting locations, ATV and horseback trails as well as the most scenic areas for outdoor photography are also available as individual topic posts. To research or share your favorite adventure travel location, and to share and promote outdoors, join us today!

Cheap Hotels in Singapore Are Crucial to Attract Backpackers and Budget Travelers

Singapore, though a small country or to be more precise a city state, it is one the most developed countries in Asia. Housing several tourist destinations, Singapore tourism offers an extensive traveling experience to travelers not only from neighboring countries but from around the world.

The green vegetation, the long coast line and the unique heritage attracts the travelers from around the globe. The picturesque view and modern architecture of the city attract travelers and in consequence Singapore has become one of the most popular holiday destination.

Emerald Hill is one the most attractive tourist destinations in Singapore. Located in the region of Newton and Orchard, Emerald Hill originally was owned by a postal Clerk named William Cuppage. Later on nutmeg plantations became official and the place acquired name and fame among travelers and nature lovers. Many high profile and influential people live in Emerald hill and nearby areas. Moreover, travelers could still see and experience influence of European architecture in various buildings erected in Emerald hill. Singapore promotes travel and tourism in large scale and in this regard Singapore tourism offers attractive tour packages to travelers around the world.

Besides being an advanced country, Singapore offers wide range of employment opportunities. However, only some make to it and rest are left in large and have some hope yet. Singapore became independent late in twentieth century. The country celebrates its national day on 9th of August. The celebration is done in big way and people enjoy celebrating their independence day. Singapore is a small country and knowing its strategic weakness it does not maintain an army which could be capable of taking offensive. The major purpose of army is to protect itself from any invasion on sovereignty.

Accommodation in Singapore is not an issue as various hotels ranging form budget hotels to cheap hotels to luxury hotels offer extensive range of accommodation facilities to travelers. Whereas, luxury hotels attract business travelers, cheap and budget hotels attract backpackers and budget travelers. National stadium in Singapore is an attractive tourist spot in where you can see astounding parade on the 9th August. Hordes of hordes flock in large numbers to participate and watch parade at the ground. Similarly, fireworks followed by dances exhibit happiness of Singapore people in profound manner. You could feel the happiness and joy felt during the celebration only once you see Singapore people celebrating it.

Cheap hotels in Singapore an effort form the government of Singapore which thinks that affordable accommodation is essential to encourage travel and tourism in the country. Existing cheap hotels in Singapore such as Raffles the Plaza, Furama Riverfront Hotel, Regent Hotel, Golden Landmark Hotel, Rendezvous Hotel, Goodwood Park Hotel, Ritz Carlton Millenia Hotel, Grand Copthorne Waterfront, Raffles Hotel, Furama City Centre, and many others offer premium quality accommodation to travelers. Additionally, some other cheap Singapore hotels namely Riverview Hotel, Grand Hyatt , Sentosa Resort and Spa, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel, Shangri-La Hotel, etc. are known globally among travelers.

How to Deal With Outrageous Airline Travel Taxes

Nothing is as annoying as the taxes you have to pay while traveling internationally. In earlier years, you had to queue outside small kiosks situated in the airport to pay for the taxes, and then you would be required to retain the ticket as proof that you have paid for the taxes. Nowadays, the process is a lot simpler as the taxes are added to the total price of your airfare. This happens in all countries apart from a few that carry on with the kiosk tradition.

These taxes termed as departure or entry taxes, are in essence a method used by countries around the world to take advantage of travelers so as to gain profits from travelers. Since most countries now include the taxes in the fare, most travelers tend to forget about the taxes when it comes to traveling to countries where taxes are still paid in kiosks.

Airport departure fees vary in amount. They range from just a small amount of the local currency to costs as high as over $100 USD. This is the case for North American and Australian travelers traveling to Argentina, as they have to pay for the “reciprocity fee,” which is a form of tax that is equivalent to the fee that Argentine citizens have to pay to acquire a visa to their country.

Therefore, American travelers traveling to Argentina or Chile have to pay $131. This is equal to the price that any Argentine or Chile traveler has to pay, so as to acquire a visa to the United States. To be sure if the country that you are traveling uses departure taxes or not, you have to verify online for any country specific information on airport fees. Travel Nation has also made a compilation of a practical list of all the countries that require you to pay airport taxes in person. However, you should always be ready for any changes on the amounts and the tax prices in general.

It is therefore advisable to consult with the US Department of State Country Specific Information so that you can acquire sheets giving you the latest information about all the departure taxes. In addition, it helps to check with each airline for what type of travel tax fees they apply. For example, Southwest Airlines, which flies domestically in the United States advertises that they have no hidden charges. However, in most cases the taxes are not exempt because they are considered a charge from the government, not the airlines. Either way, travel taxes must be taken into consideration when planning a vacation that involves air travel.