21 February 2013
Somebody tell photographer Martin Parr that the town of Boring, Oregon is celebrating its name many years after Parr took a series of amusing photographs of the town and its various Boring attractions. And this time Boring is teaming up with its Scottish counterpart – a village called Dull.
14 December 2012
05 November 2012
Organisers of the World Travel Market (WTM) recently conducted a survey that found tourism chiefs favoured the expansion of Heathrow Airport’s property, instead of the opening of a new airport.
The WTM is a summit of tourism chiefs that meet to discuss the state of the tourist trade around the globe and make plans for the future. Today sees the launch of the 2012 summit in London.
29 October 2012
For all of you who follow the latest news, you know that we had to cover Hurricane Sandy this week. It’s a storm the likes of which the East Coast of America hasn’t seen before.
Some more southern states, like Florida, are used to hurricanes and other storm patterns, but the upper East Coast (where New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts reside) will bear the brunt of the largest storm they’ll have seen in years.
On top of this, meteorologists believe that Hurricane Sandy could merge with a storm pattern coming in from the west, resulting in a ‘Frankenstorm’. The name isn’t all that great, but an apt description of the amalgamation of these two weather fronts.
22 October 2012
Luxury tour operator Mosaic Holidays have started their first ever Facebook competition. With support from the Jordan Tourist Board and Marriott Hotels, the prize is a fantastic trip for two down to Jordan.
A beautiful and historic country, the lucky winners will be staying in the 5 star Marriott hotel on the Dead Sea before moving to the equally fabulous Marriott in Petra. The stay includes flights, hotel bookings and transfers and will also give you the chance to explore the wonderful Rose City itself. We have previously written an article about just how beautiful it is.
You can find the competition on Facebook on the MosaicHolidays Facebook Page. It just requires a funny or adventurous story that you’d like to share. Once it’s submitted, you’ve got to get people to vote for it! The most votes wins, so make sure you get your friends involve (if you enter) and make it entertaining enough that strangers will love it.
15 October 2012
With the arrival of new owners to the budget-hotel chain, taking over from Dubai International Capital with a debt-for-equity swap, the company have announced a restructuring to potentially halve their bank borrowing.
Creditors agreed to the terms in a Company Voluntary Arrangement that cut the company’s total debt from £635 million to £329m. This is with £235m written off completely and £71m repaid by the new owners. The repayment date has been extended to 2017, with an interest rate of 0.25% above LIBOR until the end of 2014.
03 October 2012
A campaign to get the APD removed or at least cut from flights out of Great Britain was launched this summer. At the moment, British tourists are paying the highest amount of tax for their flights in the world. It also affects any visitors to the UK on their return flights.
Britons that visit the website www.afairtaxonflying.org are encouraged to enter their name, postcode and email address. The site will then send an automated message to that individual’s local MP communicating disapproval of the level of tax paid by British fliers.
More than 200,000 people have so far sent an email to their MP with a desire to consider lowering or abolishing the tax added onto flights. Michael Gove and Vince Cable have received the most complaints about the issue, having received 1,224 and 1,171 emails respectively.
David Cameron, Prime Minister, has already had more than 500 constituents contact him about the issue ahead of further rises in APD planned within the next 12 months. 80,000 non-UK residents have also expressed their displeasure with the UK Treasury.
The current APD on travel out of Britain has been accused of limiting families from flying abroad, discouraging tourists from flying into the UK and even the decline of tourism to countries heavily reliant on the travel industry, like the Caribbean.
A family of four travelling to Europe must pay £52 in tax. Flying to other countries can cost even higher amounts. To travel to the Caribbean will add £324 in tax and those visiting Australia are hit with a £368 worth of APD. These costs double if tourists wish to travel in premium-economy or above.
With the UK having the highest rate of APD, far more than the rest of the world, support for the campaign is growing. A review into the impact of APD was called for in Parliament after more than 100 MPs signed an early-day motion in June.
The government’s reaction remains to be seen.
photo courtesy of joshuapiano
26 September 2012
Pairing with the World Tourism Organisation UNWTO, the WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is the largest and most far reaching initiative undertaken by the international conservation community.
Poaching has been a huge problem for many parts of Africa, South America and Asia, with some animals driven to extinction. This includes the white rhino, African elephants, white and Bengal tigers and many other animals hunted for their pelts or other materials such as claws, teeth or ivory.
For years the international community has attempted to preserve animals and their natural habitats while boosting the tourism industry. It used to be that safaris meant wealthy individuals going to hunt for various wild animals, but now it refers to observing the animals in their home environment.
The best example of the conservation effort begins with the Shamwari Game Reserve. Once a 2,000 hectare area plagued by poaching that reduced wildlife numbers to practically zero and ruined the ecology of the area, now it stands at 25,000 hectares of protected land where all animals once native to the Eastern Cape now thrive and live undisturbed. The success and sustainability of the Shamwari Game Reserve has meant that it has become a blueprint for other conservation projects throughout the world.
Anti-poaching and conservation groups believe that the best way to progress the effectiveness of these conservation projects is through education. The Mantis Group, a collection of boutique hotels and eco-escapes throughout the world, has a strong and committed stance on conservation-led tourism. Along with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), situated in Mantis’ Stanley and Livingstone Hotel in Victoria Falls, they have launched various projects to educate people about the effects and dangers of poaching. The IAPF also run various courses including; leadership courses, recruitment and deployment of anti-poaching teams, specialist courses in tracking/medicine, instructor courses and a volunteer programme where anyone concerned with the survival and conservation of the global wildlife can help out..
The Voices of Conservation is a separate project set up by Worldwide Experience, the education arm of the Mantis Group, and takes the education into schools. Children are encouraged to learn about breeding programmes and the endangered animals throughout the world.
If you want to help out with international wildlife conservation, make sure that any safari holidays are properly accredited and are conservation-led tours. The organisations are always looking for volunteers and donations too.
17 September 2012
This represents the most recent assets to be added to the museum, which purchased the rights to be associated with the Louvre name. Tourists will be able to view the new works during the Museum’s Talking Art Series event happening from 3rd October to 26th June next year. Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi, said “We are pleased to share with the public the vast array of works acquired for Louvre Abu Dhabi, and allow for them to experience and interact with the museum’s content as we shape its collection and prepare for the opening,”.
The collection is hoped to inspire discussions about the works and the museum’s narrative before the official opening in 2015. This is a huge step forward in promoting the new Louvre Abu Dhabi to overseas tourists and history lovers. President-Director of the Louvre Museum, Henri Loyrette said of the series; “The Talking Art Series are an essential step in building awareness of the future museum and its collection, enriched by new, exceptional acquisitions”.
The new acquisitions include a wonderfully preserved pavement and fountain ensemble dating back to the early Ottoman period and a standing Bactrian Princess, thought to be from the end of the third millennium BC. The new acquisitions will be accompanied in the Series by a photography collection, which includes the most ancient known representation of a veiled woman, Ayoucha by Joseph Girault de Prangey.
During April 2013 there is another planned exhibition titled Birth of a Museum. A similar version of the exhibition will be shown at the Louvre Museum in Paris at the same time.
The new museum and it’s programmes are sure to make Abu Dhabi an even more desirable holiday destination, with many tour operators gearing up to incorporate the new Louvre in their excursions. Mosaic Holidays already offer luxury 4 & 5 star trips to the heart of Abu Dhabi, where you can see the Museum slowly coming together before viewing their Talking Art Series. They also offer many other activities to bury yourself in Abu Dhabi's rich culture and history, which you can find details about on their Abu Dhabi holiday page.
10 September 2012
This comes after an agreement with Falabella Group, the largest retailer in South America boasting operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru.
The planned 200 guest-roomed hotel will be placed adjacent to the Marriott Santiago, a 280-room hotel already operating in the area, amongst Chile’s business district with easy access to restaurants and bars in the city as well as the facilities in the Santiago.
The new Courtyard will feature more than 3,000 square feet of meeting space and recreational facilities, which include a swimming pool and fitness centre. The Courtyard chain is primarily targeted to travelling businesspersons, but can cater for families looking for luxury accommodation.
Marriott will open the Courtyard in Santiago with all of the features associated with the chain. This includes a relaxed, refreshing environment for travellers as well as the facilities to stay productive and connected on the move. The hotel will also possess some of the best views of the Andes Mountains.
While this is Courtyard’s first representation in Chile, Marriott International have several other chains in action around the country. The Santiago Marriott Hotel is already running in the business area and a 205-room Ritz-Carlton hotel also open in same city.
Marriott International additionally plans to open a 181-room Renaissance Santiago Hotel in 2013.
The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel will be opened towards the end of 2014 and with more than 900 hotels running in 37 countries, the Courtyard chain is the largest of all Marriott International brands. The company itself owns more than 3,700 properties located in more than 73 countries and territories across the world.