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2012 Travel Year In Review: Air Travelers Get New Rules, Japan Promotes Tourism Again

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TWC News: 2012 Travel Year In Review: Air Travelers Get New Rules, Japan Promotes Tourism Again
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From disasters to new passenger rights, 2012 saw a lot of happenings in the world of travel. NY1's Valarie D'Elia looks back at this year in travel.

Cruising took a bruising in 2012 as the year started with the deadly sinking of the Costa Concordia off Italy, the highest profile cruise liner disaster since the Titanic.

As a result, ships are now required to hold their lifeboat drills before they leave the pier.

Airline passengers gained some clarity -- online and offline travel agencies are now required to disclose all fees and taxes when advertising an airfare.

Another new rule gave travelers the right to change their minds. They now have 24 hours to put an airfare on hold before buying.

Travelers had another day to play hooky in 2012, with Feb. 29 creating a heap of Leap Year deals.

Tourism officials started to actively promote visits to Japan again to coincide with the first anniversary of the earthquake from March 2011, the country’s most devastating natural disaster.

San Francisco had its moment as well, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic was an occasion for cruise lines to market theme cruises to the site where the ship went down in the North Atlantic.

I don’t want to have to say I told you so, but back in May on a visit to Mayan Mexico, I spoke with a Maya tour guide who was convinced the world wasn’t going to end.

Travelers to London had a couple of reasons to live it up in 2012, with the Queen's Jubilee and the summer Olympics.

I stayed close to home this summer with my "Getaway, Not Far Away Series," bringing you fun and affordable trips within driving distance, from Montreal to North Carolina.

Finally, Hurricane Sandy raised the profile of travel agents coming to the rescue of customers whose travel plans were short-circuited by the super storm that diverted cruise ships, cancelled flights and resulted in a shortage of rental cars.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP