Japan Times: In tattoo-taboo Japan, new website offers helping hand for those with ink

Japan Times: In tattoo-taboo Japan, new website offers helping hand for those with ink. “In tattoo-taboo Japan, those who are inked-up have received a helping hand — in both English and Japanese — with the launch of a new website that offers information about tattoo-friendly hot springs and other locations nationwide. Launched last week, the Tattoo Friendly website lists more than 600 hotels, ryokan (inns), onsen (hot springs), sentō (public baths), gyms, pools and beaches across the country, rating them by how open they are to those sporting tattoos.”

Lonely Planet: Bored with chains? There’s a new website for independent hotels in Ireland

Lonely Planet: Bored with chains? There’s a new website for independent hotels in Ireland. “If you’re heading to Ireland and are looking for accommodation inspiration beyond the usual worldwide chains, a new website has launched that represents 60 independent hotels around the country. Original Irish Hotels is a new tourism and hospitality brand representing owner-run hotels in the north and south, and it is designed to embody the spirit and characteristics of indigenous Irish hotels.”

OCNJ Daily: Ocean City Man’s Passion Leads to Image Archive

OCNJ Daily: Ocean City Man’s Passion Leads to Image Archive. “Wonderful pictures are stock in trade of [the website]. Categories include the 9th St. Bridge including the old one, the new one and the demolition of the former and construction of the latter. The Sindia, storms, boardwalk, Music Pier are other examples of categories. Just about anything you can think of concerning Ocean City has a pictorial home on Mike’s site. At present, there are thousands of images in 845 files and 43 albums.”

India Today: Google Arts and Culture partners with Ministry of Tourism to explore Incredible India

India Today: Google Arts and Culture partners with Ministry of Tourism to explore Incredible India . “Google Arts and Culture has partnered with Ministry of Tourism to bring online a series of 360-degree virtual reality videos for the global Incredible India Tourism campaign. The key highlight of the partnership is a 360 video that takes users on a journey to some of the most iconic destinations in India.”

The Nation (Thailand): Mahakan Fort Community to live on in the virtual world

The Nation (Thailand): Mahakan Fort Community to live on in the virtual world . “After decades of fighting to save one of the last living historic quarters of Bangkok, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has successfully evicted all the residents from the area. Tomorrow will be the last day that the Mahakan Fort Community physically exists. That is when all of the remaining residents will have to move out and their antique wooden houses will be torn down to make way for the construction of a public park.” The first thing I thought when I read this was, “Why do people live in a fort in Thailand? Why are they being evicted?” Lonely Planet has a bit of skinny.

New Zealand Herald: Rotorua OGO downhill ball rolling track added to Google Street View

New Zealand Herald: Rotorua OGO downhill ball rolling track added to Google Street View. “Anyone can now get a taste of Rotorua’s famous OGO track before stepping foot into one of the attraction’s giant inflatable balls. This week, 360-degree panoramic images of the 250m double-lane straight track are being launched on Google Street View. The images were collected using the Google Street View Trekker – designed for use in locations only accessible by foot.” This is the deal where you get in something that looks like a hamster ball and get rolled down a hill.

Phuket News: Tourism directory offers real-time data

Phuket News: Tourism directory offers real-time data. “The Tourism & Sports Ministry has launched an official online “Thailand Tourism Directory” to help visitors surf real-time travel data for all 77 provinces…. Tourism & Sports Permanent Secretary Pongpanu Svetarundra said it took two months – November and December last year – to collect information on tourist attractions and services across the country, now documented in the new platform.”