Travel Briefs

The National Museum of Brazil, located on the campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, was gutted by a fire on Sept. 3, with almost a complete loss of the more than 20 million items in its collections. No one was hurt in the fire, which occurred after closing time when no one was in the building.

The museum did not have a fire-prevention or -suppression system. Investigations into the cause of the fire were ongoing at press time.

The building, dating back to when...


Pakyong Airport (PYG), the first airport in Sikkim, an eastern Himalayan state in India that borders Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet (China), began operation on Oct. 8. The single-runway airport is located on a mountainside at an elevation of 4,500 feet.

At press time, SpiceJet (Gurgaon, India; offered flights to Pakyong from Kolkata and Guwahati, India. Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines (Paro, Bhutan; is scheduled to begin service from Paro, Bhutan, in...


Between Aug. 21 and Sept. 5, a data breach involving British Airways' smartphone app exposed the passport numbers and credit card information of thousands of customers. It is estimated that the personal information of more than 300,000 people was stolen.

Only the accounts of customers who used the app to purchase or change flights were included in the breach. Accounts of people making purchases or changes on the airline's website ( were not exposed.


The Greek island of Santorini is planning to limit visitors arriving by cruise ship to 8,000 a day by 2019. The ring-shaped island, located in the southern Aegean Sea, is actually the caldera of a massive volcano. In 2018 it saw upward of 18,000 people arrive daily during the high season. The island's total population is about 15,000.


With the app "Arataki – Cultural Walking Trails – New Zealand," your smartphone becomes a Maori storyteller.

The app contains guides to culturally significant Maori locations along walking trails. As you follow a trail, "beacons" connect to the app and, using text, images, audio and video, present tales and legends of locations you're passing.

Arataki is free on Android and iPhone and requires Bluetooth for full functionality. Currently, sites that work with the...


The 3-hour "Restoring Caravaggio — VIP Rome Tour" shows travelers works by Italian artist Caravaggio (1571-1610) in three churches in Rome, then takes them to an art-restoration lab to learn the science and techniques of restoration.

Run by Italian tour operator Roma Experience (phone, in the US, 719/266-2360), tours are held weekdays and cost €245 (near $288) per person. Visit


The famous Tokyo tuna auction, held for decades at the inner Tsukiji Market, moved on Oct. 11 to the new, larger Toyosu Market ( [in Japanese only]), located on the man-made Toyosu Island in Tokyo Bay. The auction, a popular event for visitors to Tokyo, will not be open to the public initially. Visitor information will be announced at a later date.

Along with the auction, restaurants and shops in the inner Tsukiji Market have also moved to the new...


Apartments in Barcelona, Spain, must be licensed for short-term rentals. Visitors now can check if an apartment is licensed or not by visiting the city-run website and inputting the address.