Government Shutdown Leads to Closure of Joshua Tree National Park

Krysta Fauria / Associated Press

Destruction of its signature trees and driving off-road during the partial government shutdown have added to problems that will force popular Joshua Tree National Park to temporarily shut down this week. Krysta Fauria / Associated Press

Skift Take: Even with park supporters and local community members volunteering their services, the government shutdown is taking a big toll on some national parks.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Japan Rolls Out New Departure Tax Opposed by Airlines


Japan says revenue from the tax will go towards infrastructure improvements. Flickr

Skift Take: No destination gets away uncriticized for imposing a tax on tourists. Japan is no exception, especially since the destination is loved by millions of tourists and it isn’t clear-cut why they are being taxed. But it’s unlikely tourists will say sayonara to Japan, say operators.

— Raini Hamdi

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A Turnaround at Rwanda’s Oldest National Park Is a Model for Tourism

Pauline Bax / Bloomberg

Sarah Hall points to a map of Akagera park, which she manages together with her husband. Rwanda’s turnaround of its Akagera national park has become a model for conservation and tourism for many African countries. Pauline Bax / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Tourists pay up to $1,300 a night for steak and luxury suites in a national park full of wildlife that, merely a decade ago, seemed unsalvageable because of poachers. The turnaround by a nonprofit is a compelling example of creative problem-solving for national parks across Africa and the world.

— Sean O’Neill

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Skift Call Jan. 16: Why Travel Needs to Shake Off the Gloom in 2019

Skift Take: You’re hearing a lot of doomsday forecasts for 2019. Global recession. Stock market rout. Runaway inflation. We’re here to give you the flip side for how travel this year could be just fine. Listen to our experts on Wednesday, January 16 at 1 p.m. EST on a Skift Call. Please join us for this all-important discussion.

— Tom Lowry

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