Thursday, October 29, 2015


If your family is looking for fun things to do in NYC in the fall, you’ll find plenty of great options. Whether you’re into animals or art, many of the city’s top attractions host annual Halloween festivities that combine the fun of dressing up and prowling for candy with the opportunity to enjoy the things that make this city unique. Browse our list of top places for Halloween fun for families in New York City and you’re sure to find something your little ghouls will enjoy. • Boo at the Bronx Zoo – Join the creepy critters of the Bronx Zoo for their annual Halloween celebration, held every weekend from late September through early November. The festivities are geared toward children and their families, and include face painting, pumpkin decorating, storytelling and other Halloween-themed fun. Most activities are included with your admission to the zoo, although the autumn hayride requires an additional fee. • Ghouls and Gourds at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – You’ll find fun for the whole family at Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s annual Ghouls and Gourds celebration. Enjoy crafts, live music, a costume parade and other fun and funky Halloween-themed activities. Members and kids under 12 are free. • Halloween Party at the Children’s Museum of Arts – Enjoy some hands-on fun at the CMA with pop-up cards, set building and fun holiday-themed projects during the weekend of Halloween. Wear your costume and you might even get a discount on admission! • Halloween Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History – Come in costume and join other families for an evening of crafts, costumed characters, live music and magic. Trick-or-treat through the halls of the museum and enjoy a special, spooky Halloween space show in the planetarium. • Queens Farm Halloween Haunted House – If you’re looking for a not-so-spooky haunted house for your pre-school to pre-teen child, Queens Farm is the place to go. Get a mild thrill in the Haunted House, then go for a hayride and enjoy mulled cider, pumpkins, apples and other Halloween treats. The farm also hosts a Children’s Fall Festival with an Amazing Maize Maze, a Pumpkin Patch and the chance to chase pigs, ride ponies and enjoy live music and costumed characters. Some festivities take place only on Halloween night while others continue through the fall, so check for the most up-to-date information before making plans. In addition to the festivities listed, New York also hosts a number of Halloween parades, tours and neighborhood get-togethers. Whether you’re a local or a guest in the Big Apple, you’ll find plenty of family fun this Halloween. $15 All CSNY Bus Tours until 11/5

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Why The Next Big Travel Tech Startup Will Come From Asia

Blog  l. Air. l. Cruises. l. Car. l. Destinations. l Deals  l. Hotels. l. Resorts. l. Tours. l. News

PHOTO: Singapore's favorable climate for tech investment even drew the attention of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

You’d expect that new travel tech startups would want to be based in the U.S. in general and in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area in particular. That might sometimes be the case, but interest in the travel and travel tech industries is growing at a rapid pace on the other side of the Pacific.

Between 2005 and 2009, North American companies captured more than 60 percent of investment money available to startups in the travel industry. Asia managed to get about 20 percent of the investment capital during that same period.

The most recent count, in 2014, turned this dynamic upside down. APAC startups captured 55 percent of all available travel industry funding and U.S. firm
s only managed to get 27 percent. 

What is behind this change?
The Far East is still a bit of a Wild West as far as both its travel and tech startup scenes. The market is still developing, and there is still space for new companies to make their mark. The travel and tech industries are more established in the U.S., so it would take a really special startup to successfully compete with the established players. 
Investors see a better risk-reward ratio in Asia, and perhaps they see a chance to back companies that can eventually become the major established names in the regional travel industry.

Interestingly, some of the firms that are gaining investors in Asia are doing things that never really took off in the American market: peer-to-peer marketplaces and trip planning services/apps.

A better climate for investing
Others may tell you that the environment is simply better for startups and investors in places like Singapore and Hong Kong. Tax laws are more favorable and incentives for investing are more generous in these cities. A couple of years ago, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin famously renounced his U.S. citizenship so that he could move to Singapore and take advantage of the favorable startup investment climate.

The online travel booking industry is growing at an almost unbelievable rate in the Asia Pacific region. In 2013, region-wide bookings topped $30 billion. By 2016, that number is expected to almost double to $59 billion. In 2017, the total value of online booking in East Asia is projected to be $71.7 billion.

Online travel agencies are scrambling to be in position so that they can get their share of this surge. These projections are probably the biggest reason that Asian startups are able to find funding so easily. They are not necessarily competing in an online travel marketplace, they are creating the marketplace as the go. There is still time to be among the first wave of mobile booking tools and to provide database and security services to online travel agencies. 

Singapore seems to be on track to be the world’s next tech hub, while Hong Kong remains a gateway to the lucrative Chinese travel market. Other startup centers will certainly emerge in the coming years (Africa? Eastern Europe?). But for now, all eyes, and all investment dollars, seem to be focused on the Asia Pacific region.

Affordable Asia - Best Quality Vaca America’s leading  are joined together to offer great valued holidays, vacation packages, and custom tours to Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and more.. With over 30 years of experience, we strive to provide travelers with the most memorable vacation packages using the best combination of airfare, hotels and sightseeing. Receive $100 off per person on any new full vacation package booking. Use code: CJA100