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from Breakingviews:

Travel tech IPO charts familiar round trip

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By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Another big pre-crisis buyout is heading for an unexpectedly safe landing. Seven years after taking travel technology company Sabre private for $5 billion, owners TPG and Silver Lake Partners are making the round-trip return to public markets. It’s one of many boom-time deals whose badly timed takeoff led to a bumpy ride.

From 2008 to 2012, Sabre’s revenue grew by only 5 percent in total. The company lost more than $125 million in the first nine months of last year. Along the way, a legal settlement with American Airlines parent AMR cost $350 million. And Sabre, which helps airlines process reservations and also owns Travelocity, still has net debt of $3.2 billion, over four times its $730 million of adjusted EBITDA for 2013, estimating the fourth quarter based on the pattern in 2012.

That measure of operating profit, which ignores impairments, acquisitions and many other costs, gives investors a way to evaluate Sabre’s initial public offering. One of its biggest rivals, Amadeus IT, trades at about 12.5 times EBITDA on the Madrid Stock Exchange. Sabre is more heavily indebted and growth has been slower. A multiple of around 10 would give it an enterprise value of $7.3 billion.

from India Insight:

Women still feel unsafe in India’s rape capital

Assurances from the police and a new anti-rape law have done little to make the streets of New Delhi safer for women, especially for those using public transport, interviews conducted by the Reuters India Insight team show.

The December incident, in which a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist died two weeks after she was gang-raped in a moving bus, raised questions over women’s safety in India and sparked debate over how men treat women all over the country.

from India Insight:

Women and New Delhi: the views of travellers

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By Aditya Kalra and Anuja Jaiman

Assurances from the police and a new anti-rape law have done little to make the streets of New Delhi safer for women, especially for those using public transport, interviews conducted by the India Insight team show.

The India Insight team travelled in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and Delhi Metro trains and spoke to commuters.

from India Insight:

Pricey dollar puts South Africa, Australia on Indian tourists’ maps

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When Aparupa Ganguly visited South Africa in 2007, the country's topography and wildlife made such an impression on the communications professional that she couldn’t wait to come back. Ganguly got her wish six years later - thanks to a stable rand.

Foreign-bound Indian travellers such as Ganguly are realizing that holidaying in countries such as South Africa and Australia offers value for money as their currencies have been largely stable in recent weeks and haven't appreciated as much against the rupee, when compared to the dollar or the euro.

from India Insight:

Rupee spoils holidays abroad for Indians, but not for all

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With the rupee hovering near a record low, Indian tourists would be tempted to give foreign shores a miss this year. But staying home is not an option for Harsh Chadha, a multinational executive just back from a three-week family vacation in the UK.

Chadha, 35, is part of India’s growing elite, whose trips abroad are not affected by the vagaries of the currency market.

from The Human Impact:

What’s the climate friendly way to go on holiday?

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Before you pack the bags for this year's holidays, it's worth considering how you're going to get there - and how much of a problem that might create for the world's climate. Turns out there's some unconventional wisdom from scientists - and if you can stand a little company, a road trip might be greener than you think....

What’s the climate friendly way to go on holiday this year?

Turns out the answer is much the same whether you live in London, Los Angeles or Lagos – and it doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your car at home.

from The Great Debate UK:

Most scenic airport touch-downs picked in web contest

St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport boasts the world’s most visually appealing landing, according to respondents of a survey.

Private jet bookers PrivateFly.com asked travellers and an expert judging panel for their bucket list of global descents.

from Felix Salmon:

How roads could beat rail

The best conference panels, like the best blog posts, are the ones which change your mind. And while I haven't done a U-turn on anything, after yesterday's panel on smart cars I'm now thinking very differently about the relative merits of various ways of improving how we move around where we live and travel. While I've generally been a fan of just about any alternative to the automobile, now I'm not so sure: I think that smart car technology is improving impressively, to the point at which it could be the most promising solution, especially in developed parts of the world like California.

One reason is simply fiscal. Projects like the self-driving car, and the Sartre platooning project in Europe, move the costs of new technology onto companies (Google) and individuals (people buying smart cars). As such, while the total amount of money spent might well be enormous, the money doesn't need to be spent up-front by any state or national government. That stands in stark contrast, of course, to rail projects, which cost billions of dollars up front; if they ever do pay for themselves, they do so only very slowly.

from Photographers' Blog:

A Bavarian migration

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By Michael Dalder

On October 3rd, a day where most of my colleagues were covering the festivities to celebrate German unification, I had the opportunity to be an eyewitness to a Bavarian traditional event. The event was the so-called “Almabtrieb” on the lake Koenigssee, in one of the most beautiful regions of Southern Germany.

At the end of the summer season, farmers move their herds down from the Alps to the valley into winter pastures. The mountain pastures are often in remote areas only accessible by foot – or like the Koenigssee trail – by boat.

from Breakingviews:

Chinese sightseers present challenge to the world

By Wei Gu

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

China’s Golden Week has started with two fatal accidents. In Hong Kong, 37 people died when a public ferry crashed into a boat taking revellers to watch a fireworks display. On the mainland, five German doctors were killed in a bus collision near Beijing. Half of China’s 1.4 billion inhabitants are expected to travel during the national holiday. Yet while the country’s new love of tourism is an economic blessing, it creates logistical challenges.

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