Money Matters - Simplified


Receding ice could unlock arctic trove

Helsinki, Finland -- Receding arctic ice from global warming may open new avenues for tourism and trade and could reveal vast new natural resource reserves, researchers say.

The northern ice cover is becoming smaller and thinner, and scientists predict the Arctic Ocean could lose its icecap completely during summertime by the end of the century at the latest, and possibly as early as the 2030s, Finland's Helsingen Sonomat reported.

Twenty years from now it may be possible to travel to the North Pole by ship, they say. Russia has already organized luxury cruises to the North Pole in its nuclear-powered icebreakers, but the next generation may be able to reach the top of the world in their pleasure boats, they say.

Iceberg shortage hits tourist town

Twillingate, Newfoundland -- Residents of a Canadian town billed as "The Iceberg Capital of the World" said this year's lack of icebergs is hurting tourism and other industries.

Locals in Twillingate, Newfoundland, which boasts a population of 3,000 and regularly sees the number boosted to 30,000 during the tourism-heavy summer months, said many tourists have become angry after traveling to the island town and finding it in the midst of an iceberg shortage, the National Post reported Tuesday.

The residents said the icebergs are also crucial to the vodka, gin and rum industries as well as bottled water marketed in the Middle East.

Tourism initiative aimed at saving birds

Washington -- The American Bird Conservancy and similar organizations in 12 countries say they have started a tourism initiative aimed at saving endangered bird species.

The international project, called "Conservation Birding," is designed to help finance bird reserves across the Americas by developing them as birding tourism destinations with lodges, trails and other facilities for visitors, the conservancy said.

Officials said they have so far created 36 reserves, 18 of which can provide visitor accommodations. The reserves provide refuge for more than 2,000 bird species -- nearly half of the total found across all the Americas, the ABC said, noting many of the reserves also provide wintering habitats for migratory song birds.

Tourism flattens out in South Florida

Miami -- Tourism in the Sunshine State of Florida has dropped sharply 13 months after the U.S. recession took hold, a travel research firm said.

The critical tourism yardstick of revenue per available hotel room dropped 14 percent in Broward County and 16 percent in Miami-Dade County in January, Smith Travel Research said.

Room bookings picked up for a Jan. 8 college football championship game, "but then it hits us," said Ralph Abravaya, owner of the Cavalier Hotel in South Beach, Fla., The Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

Some had hoped the newly renovated Fontainebleau and 400 rooms added to the Epic Hotel would generate some business, the newspaper said.

"People still intend to travel. They just don't have the money to spend they had in the past," Nick Grossman, tourism director for Broward County said.