This ‘Spaceplane’ could get you from Sydney to London in four hours

 

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There are plans to start running test flights of the ‘hypersonic’ jet in the mid-2020s.

Developers are working on a “hypersonic” jet engine that could see commuters flying from Sydney to London in four hours, and London to New York in one. It’s called a SABRE—that is, Synergetic Air Breathing Rocket Engine—and it allows planes to hit speeds of Mach 5.4 (6400 kilometres per hour). Hence the “hypersonic” moniker: whereas “supersonic” refers to a rate of travel that simply exceeds the speed of sound, “hypersonic” speeds typically exceed it five or six times over.

The hybrid hydrogen-oxygen engine is also way greener and cheaper than current air travel, The Telegraph reports, and will give aircraft the potential to fly in space.

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These are the top countries for travel and tourism in 2019

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Global tourism is set to rise by 50% over the next decade. But who goes where on holiday?

This article is part of the World Economic Forum on Africa

Spain, France, Germany, Japan and the United States are the world’s most travel-ready nations, according to the latest travel and tourism ranking of the World Economic Forum.

There’s little change since the last edition was released two years ago, with only one country altering its position: the United Kingdom has slid to sixth place, behind the United States.

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The Microhotel, a Category Seeing a Growth Spurt, Makes Small Stylish

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The Moxy Chelsea in New York City. Though their rooms are small, microhotels often have spacious lobbies that invite hanging out and co-working.

They appeal to senior citizens and millennials, business travelers and backpackers. And they’re particularly attractive to hotel developers, who can pack in more guest rooms than in a typical hotel.

They’re known as microhotels, inspired by the Japanese capsule or pod hotels of 40 years ago that offered cheap, tiny accommodations to businessmen.

The new versions — which are most common in but not exclusive to big, expensive cities like New York, London and Paris — are designed, as one hotel expert put it, down to their last square inch. Their guest rooms are small — often half, or less, the size of a typical room in an urban hotel — with furniture that often can be folded up or stowed away, and bathrooms that usually have showers and toilets but no bathtubs. Wall-mounted TVs are also major space savers.

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World’s longest hyperloop track in the works for Saudi Arabia

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A 35-km-long (21.- mi) hyperloop test track is planned for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City

Virgin Hyperloop One has expanded its relationship with Saudi Arabia, with the two announcing plans to develop a new test track in the country’s west. The facility would become the world’s longest Hyperloop tube, and would be used to test out the technology as the gulf nation eyes a wider rollout of the futuristic transport system.

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Everybody hates the key card. Will your phone replace it?

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Hilton has installed its Digital Key technology at more than 4,250 properties over the past five years.

Technology that allows hotel guests to use their phones as room keys is expanding, taking aim at those environmentally unfriendly plastic cards.

The demonstration using the cellphone as a digital hotel room key didn’t quite go as planned. The hotel manager held his phone up to the room’s door lock and nothing happened. Realizing his Bluetooth was turned off, he tried again. Now the door’s sensor flashed green, while the phone screen informed him that the door was unlocked.

Like the majority of travelers, I had never before used a mobile hotel key, even though the first version of the system was installed nearly a decade ago. Today, about a million hotel rooms worldwide are estimated to have some version of a lock that can accept a cellphone-generated digital key, according to Nicolas Aznar, president of the Americas division of the Swedish-based lock maker Assa Abloy. Hotels are accelerating the installation of these systems to increase revenue, drive customers to their loyalty sites, and offer a better guest experience.

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Global tourism hits record highs – but who goes where on holiday?

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As the holiday season approaches, we look at the rise and rise of tourism and find out where the world’s 1.4bn international travellers go on vacation

How many people travel abroad on holiday?

Tourism is on the rise. In 2018 there were a record 1.4bn international tourist arrivals, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO), a rise of 6% over 2017. That doesn’t mean 1.4 billion people travel abroad for their holidays, as many people will clock up more than one trip.

But it does mean tourism is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy. In 2018, it was worth about $1.7tn (£1.3tn), or about 2% of total global GDP. Even the UNWTO is struggling to keep up, with current figures vastly exceeding expectations.

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Inside the vineyard hotel where guests can spend the night in giant wine barrels

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The giant wine barrels have been transformed into luxury hotel rooms and they’re right in the heart of a vineyard

The wine barrels have been transformed into glamping pods

The Wine House Hotel – Quinta da Pacheca , in Portugal’s famous Douro Valley, has transformed a series of its giant wine barrels into cosy hotel rooms, so you can sleep in the heart of the vineyard.     Basically, it’s the ultimate glamping experience for any wine connaisseur.   The wine barrels are nestled amidst the Quinta da Pacheca vineyard, meaning that guests can open up the doors and enjoy unrivalled views of the breathtaking landscape.

Inside, there’s everything you need for a comfortable stay; a large double bed, a shower room, sink and toilet.   It’s got a rustic chic vibe thanks to the wooden interiors, but still plenty of little luxurious touches for a luxury feel.

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This father of three put everything into bitcoin. Here’s what happened next.

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The Bitcoin Family are traveling the world, unencumbered by centralized currency.

When I jumped on a WhatsApp call with 41-year old Didi Taihuttu, he was a few days away from joining his family on CoinBank’s annual Mediterranean “Blockchain Cruise” — a combination vacation getaway and crypto symposium at which all the movers and shakers in the decentralized finance arena get together to discuss a hypothetical future where government-printed money is rendered obsolete, dropping by Mallorca and Marseille along the way.

According to Taihuttu, invitations to blockchain conferences and seminars have piled up ever since he liquidated almost everything he owned (yes, including his house and his cars) and invested his remaining capital in bitcoin. It’s a financial pivot that’s both irrational and dangerous to an outsider, but within the crypto nation, it can make you a legend.

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New Details Revealed for 204,000-ton Mega Cruise Ship

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Dream Cruises which is a luxury cruise line based in Asia has revealed further details about its huge new 204,000-ton mega ship which will arrive in 2021. She will have the largest cabins in the industry, groundbreaking features including a roller coaster and will even cruise from the U.S. west coast.

If you thought the Oasis-class cruise ships were big then how about the new Global-class from Dream Cruises! They rival the world’s largest class cruise ships at an impressive 204,000 gross tons and a maximum passenger capacity of 9,500 or 5,000 at double occupancy across a total of 2,503 cabins.

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Bunq launches travel card to make foreign exchange fees disappear

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Fintech startup Bunq provides full-fledged bank accounts. But if you’re happy with your existing bank, the company is launching a new free tier so that you can cut down on banking fees.

The Bunq Travel Card is a Mastercard without any foreign exchange fee. The company uses the standard Mastercard exchange rate but doesn’t add any markup fee — N26 also uses Mastercard’s exchange rate. Most traditional banks charge you 2 or 3 percent for foreign transactions.

When you get a card, you can then top up your account in the Bunq app. You can also send and request money with other Bunq users. But it isn’t a full bank account.

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Cars will change more in the next decade than they have in the past century

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While the look and feel of our cars has changed in the past 100 years, the way we drive them hasn’t. But fundamental change is coming. In the next decade, not only will the way they’re powered and wired have shifted dramatically, but we won’t be the ones driving them anymore.

Some cars already have basic automation features, but the automotive experiments currently being undertaken by the likes of Uber and Google make up a minuscule proportion of the vehicles on our roads. By 2030, the standard car will evolve from merely assisting the driver to taking full control of all aspects of driving in most driving conditions.

This widespread automation, together with the electrification and increased connectivity of both the car and society, are set to shake up the car industry in a big way, affecting everything from the way cars look and feel, to how we spend our time inside them, and how they get us from A to B.

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This cruise ship has the first at-sea roller coaster—take a look

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In 2019, 30 million passengers are expected to take a cruise, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. To compete for customers, cruise lines are spending billions to outdo each other with outrageous amenities and entertainment, from a high-tech planetarium at sea to an on-board race track. Royal Caribbean alone is spending $200 million on a private island, CocoCay, in the Bahamas for guests, according to Bloomberg, and had a $115 million transformation on Navigator of the Seas ship, which has the longest waterslide at sea at 800 feet.

Now one of the latest over-the-top cruise is adventures is the first on-board roller coaster, which will be on Carnival Cruise Line’s new Mardi Gras ship, and passengers will be able to ride it next year.

The Bolt Ultimate Sea Coaster will be on the top of the outdoor deck of the ship, according to Carnival Cruise Line, with drops reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour. The 10 fastest roller coasters in the world can go between 93 and 149 miles per hour, according to TripSavvy.

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