nsider is not a big animal
lover; there are a few at home, mostly of the ceramic and wooden
varieties. But the travel industry it seems is real big on animals
-- tame, wild or even extinct.
In just the past few months, several tourism interests have used
animals to promote a product or draw attention to a cause.
Take a look at what Insider is talking about:Animal Planet Live at both Universal Studios Florida and
Universal Studios Hollywood are now the sites of -- what else -- an
Animal Actors Walk of Fame, honoring the most celebrated animals
working in television and motion pictures.
The installation ceremony in April featured Beethoven the dog, Babe
the pig, Max the dog ("The Grinch") and feline friend Mr. Jinx
("Meet the Parents"), who had their profiles and paw prints
immortalized in slabs of cement.Who let the dogs in? Well, on June 22, an estimated 5,000
members of corporate America observed the third annual Take Your
Dog to Work Day.
Organized by Pet Sitters International, the day's goal was to
encourage adoption of dogs from animal shelters, humane societies
and rescue clubs.
Loews Hotels joined in the act, hosting more than 600 pooches
during its second Bark Breakfasts in 13 cities in the U.S. and
Canada. The program featured samples from the company's LovePets
room service menu and raised $21,000 for animal charities.Bringing new meaning to the phrase, "When pigs fly," China
Southern Airlines in April marked the first anniversary of cargo
service between Chicago and Shenzhen, China, by transporting more
than 500 swine on the route.
Insider confirmed it was an all-cargo flight and had no food
service -- not even ham on rye!
A 'Heavenlier' bed
After a survey of its guests revealed that a good night's sleep
is the most important service a hotel can deliver, Westin Hotels
& Resorts responded by rolling out its more than six-foot-long
Heavenly Beds two years ago.
But even that length of bed proved too short to accommodate the
growing list of super-stretch athletes and other
taller-than-average guests who booked the new Ocean Villas at the
Westin Rio Mar Beach in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
The resort caters to a lot of really tall jocks, such as basketball
icon Julius "Dr. J" Erving, former New Jersey Nets star Jayson
Williams and the 2000 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team, which
included Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Allan Houston and Gary
No problem. Westin's solution was the eight-foot-long version of
the Heavenly Bed, which was recently installed in one of the
resort's three-bedroom deluxe oceanside villas.
Bringing a king-size, eight-foot-long bed into a multistory
villa was a challenge.
The 900-coil, custom-designed Simmons pillowtop mattress could
not be maneuvered into the elevator or up the stairs.
A crane eventually hoisted the mattress up to the fifth floor of
Neither fame nor height are prerequisites for sleeping in the
eight-foot-long bed, however. The oceanside villa with the lengthy
bed is available to everyone from the very small to the extra
The bed comes with three sheets, a down blanket, a comforter, a
duvet and five enormous pillows.
And what's next to come in Westin's line of heavenly sleep
Insider won't divulge any trade secrets, but here's a clue:
Families will love it, especially the teeniest members.