- As the birds fly
June 1, 2013
TOI-Crest lists five 'hotspots' where scores of exotic birds and curious birders flock each year.
- Peak hour
June 1, 2013
To mark the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mt Everest, India's armed forces, old visitors to the mountain, mounted several expeditions.
- The other Dali, also surreal
May 18, 2013
This quaint Yunnan town has managed to retain its olde worlde charm. You are unlikely to find any flaw in its design aesthetics.
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The latest trends from the world of travel.
WATCH WHAT YOU TOUCH
Be careful next time you reach for that TV remote in your hotel room. A new study shows that hotel room remotes are among the most heavily bacteria-contaminated surfaces. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Houston, with participation from Purdue University and the University of South Carolina. The researchers tested multiple surfaces in hotel rooms in Texas, Indiana and South Carolina, looking for levels of total aerobic bacteria and coliform (fecal) bacteria. Obviously the bathroom registered high levels of contamination, but the remote control and bedside lamp switch also ranked high on the list. However, some of highest levels of bacterial contamination were found on items from the housekeepers' carts like sponges and mops. That can lead to cross-contamination among rooms. Researchers pointed out that housekeepers work eight-hour shifts, during which they clean 14-15 rooms, spending about 30 minutes per room. Identifying which areas are germ hot spots would allow housekeepers to "strategically design cleaning practices and reduce the potential health risks posed by microbial contamination. "
PAY MORE IF YOU WEIGH MORE
Want to lose weight but somehow can't get yourself to shed those kilos? Then maybe the thought of having to pay extra for your seat might give you the push you need. The growing number of obese travellers has prompted Airbus to design extra-wide seats for its popular A320 jets, but at the expense of slim passengers. Rather than have rows of three seats, each 18-inch wide, Airbus proposes making the aisle seat 20-inch wide and reducing the width of the two others by an inch each. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus came up with the new design in response to requests from airlines who say travellers' expanding size has become a major headache. The new configuration would also allow airlines to impose an extra charge for the premium seats. That could help offset the extra fuel cost required to carry overweight passengers, the report said. Airlines say the most frequent complaint is from passengers forced to sit next to an obese person who is encroaching into their space. This is just another measure that airlines could put into place. Most airlines already charge extra for checked-in baggage, window seats and food.
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