Weekly Travel News: AirAsia, Paris and Data Breaches

airasia voice recorderStay up to date with all the latest travel news from around Australia and the world over the past week:

Divers Recover Airasia Cockpit Voice Recorder

Indonesian divers on Tuesday retrieved the cockpit voice recorder from the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501, just one day after the plane’s other black box, the flight data recorder, was recovered. The devices are expected to provide investigators with key information about the cause of the accident, which occurred on December 28. It is believed that bad weather caused the plane to come down as it carried 162 passengers from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. 48 bodies have been recovered so far, but most victims are believed to be in the fuselage, which has yet to be recovered. AirAsia CEO, Tony Fernandes says the last few weeks have been the most difficult yet since starting AirAsia 13 years ago. He has vowed to find out what happened and make the airline better in the future.

Paris launches Worldwide Tourism Drive 

Paris has launched a worldwide tourism this week to reassure travellers following the terrorist attacks by Islamic militants last week. France is the most visited country in the world and tourism is the biggest industry in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris. In a bid to reassure visitors that the city is safe, representatives of the Paris tourist industry will set off on a world tour next month. The tour will head to the UK, America, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo. In the meantime, the organisation is stressing to embassies and tour operators that Parisian museums, monuments, stores and parks will have more police watching them and although security has been reinforced at airports they say it won’t take longer to travel by plane.

Travel Websites Experience Data Breaches

Hackers have stolen data from over 20 travel-related websites over the last two months, according to security experts from Hold Security, a company that monitors and alerts companies of illegal trade. Cybercriminals with stolen usernames and passwords broke into customer accounts at American and United Airlines in some cases to book free trips or upgrades. United Airlines said on Sunday that three dozen MileagePlus loyalty card accounts were compromised. The Associated Press reported on Monday that 10,000 customer accounts at American Airlines were compromised. The trend demonstrates a focus by hackers on the travel industry, which is now garnering as much attention as dating and employment websites.

Events Prompt Domestic Travel

The latest research by Tourism and Transport forum shows that one in three Australians intend to travel to attend a major event this year, with families spending an average of $322 on day trips. Research shows that 80% of Australian holidaymakers are looking to plan a domestic trip this year. January is set to be the biggest months of the year for local tourism industry on account of the many high profile events taking place across the country, such as the AFC Asian Cup, the Australian Open in Melbourne, Tamworth Country Music Festival, Perth’s Hopman Cup, Sydney Festival and Hobart’s MONA FOMA. Most travellers will be heading to the coast, but city and rural trips are also popular.

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