Saturday, 24 June 2017

Great Heritage



ENJOY
a fabulous trip back in time by simply downloading the Great Heritage 2017 Guide to the best castles, museums, historic houses, gardens and churches across the Lake District and Cumbria. 

Full of ideas for intriguing days out the guide is brimming over with quirky things to discover, from a Bee Penthouse to a Sleeping Giant and a Viking helmet chandelier to a Faerie Glen!

There is also the opportunity to win a 2-night break with luxury accommodation and FREE entry for one year to any of our attractions. 

www.cumbriaslivingheritage.co.uk/competition-2017-2/

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Picture Credit: dolbinator1000 126654539@N08/33191987254 via photopin.

Adventure and Wildlife Africa's latest offerings

ADVENTURE and wildlife tour operator Gane and Marshall has created a selection of new itineraries to celebrate four lodge, safari camp and hotel openings in top #wildlife spotting locations in #Africa. 

Founded in 1991 as an adventure trekking company, specialising in Kilimanjaro climbs, Gane and Marshall has evolved to become one of the UK’s leading providers of tailor-made wildlife and adventure holidays around the world. They pride themselves on delivering off-the-beaten-track travel experiences in safe hands, whether that’s an Africa safari, an Arctic cruise, wild-life watching in Finland or an adventure trek in Nepal. 

The latest itineraries from the tailor-made specialist are to Botswana and Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Zambia, each offering wildlife fans the chance to experience a newly opened, luxury safari lodge, including Sable Alley bush camp in Botswana, the ultra-chic Miavana in Madagascar, the remote Gomoti Plains Camp in Botswana and the stylish King Lewanika Lodge in Zambia.

www.ganeandmarshall.com


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New York is on top, but Bali is on the rise

AS summer kicks in, we will all start packing our suitcases and getting ready to leave for #holidays. According to new data from travel search engine momondo.co.uk, Brits are planning for far away destinations this summer, with New York on top of the list. Bali has shown a massive 333% increase in searches making it the highest trending #destination.

The relaxing holidays ahead don’t come without a price though, as more than one in three Brits finds holiday planning stressful. Surveying 1,030 Brits and analysing flight searches for travels during the summer months, travel search site momondo.co.uk found long-haul destinations are most popular among Brits for their 2017 summer holidays. 

“Across all the searches completed on our site, New York is by far the most popular summer holiday destinations among Brits this year, even though beach holidays are usually the most preferred holiday type,” says Neil James Cartwright, spokesperson at momondo.co.uk.



Top 5 most popular destinations for Brits:

1. New York
2. Bangkok
3. Bali
4. Orlando
5. Los Angeles

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Play stops Work in Malta


NOTHING worse than going on holiday for a relaxing time only to hear construction noise, well head to #Malta because they have it sorted.

Tourism areas will be spared the noise and disruption caused by demolition and excavation works over the summer months, in accordance with a legal notice banning such work between June 15 and September 30.

The ban is being spearheaded by the Planning Authority, the Building Regulation Office and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA).

It is aimed at alleviating the intrusion that construction sites have on both the tourism industry and the number of Maltese families who move to their summer residence.


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TO Canada with Love

#TORONTO continues a year of celebrations in 2017 with a newly released summer programme of free events as part of TO Canada with Love. TO #Canada with Love is the City of Toronto's year-long series of celebrations, commemorations and exhibitions honouring Canada's 150th birthday with more than 30 City-produced events taking place throughout 2017.

The TO Canada with Love summer programme includes:

MomenTO
A city-wide schedule of events, MomenTO highlights 150 years of Canadian moments through people, places and events significant to the history of Canada and Toronto. Torontonians are encouraged to contribute to an online MomenTO timeline, and to present a diverse set of events, exhibits and installations.

National Aboriginal Day and The Indigenous Arts Festival
The City of Toronto continues its tradition of producing and presenting the largest National Aboriginal Day celebrations in the country with the five-day Indigenous Arts Festival from 21 to 25 June at Fort York National Historic Site. These events acknowledge June is National Aboriginal History Month.

Canada Days
A city-wide celebration, Canada Days presents more than 130 performances by emerging and established artists from across Canada with international guest artists at four locations across Toronto, including a four-day festival at Nathan Phillips Square from 30 June to 3 July and one-day events at Mel Lastman Square, Humber Bay Park West and Scarborough Civic Centre on 1 July.

Iconic CN Tower
On July 1, 2017 The CN Tower will celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary with a spectacular fireworks display and lightshow! The show begins at 10:30pm with a 30 second lightshow, followed by 5 minutes of fireworks set to Canadian music, and will end with another fantastic lightshow.





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Popular Vegas Chinatown restaurant Chubby Cattle relaunches

CHUBBY Cattle upgrades include open view display kitchens and hand-cutting bar; where certified A5 Miyazaki Wagyu from Japan and their own breed of Dorper lamb are hand sliced per order.  The sheep are raised organically on their own open pasture. This provides their restaurants with the best 100% grass fed lamb. 

To provide the most authentic hotpot experience in the #USA, Chubby Cattle owner Hai Bin Yang went back to his native Inner Mongolia in China and had DNA tests done to match the sheep that are native to Inner Mongolia. Sourcing the best lamb for Chubby Cattle has been one of his biggest concerns since the planning stages. After several tests, the South African Dorper Sheep was found to be the closest, perfect match.

Black head Dorper lamb have been specifically bred to produce superior quality meat, not wool. This depletes the lanolin in the fat which gives the meat a milder, less gamey flavor.



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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Under the Radar Florida Beach Destination

NEW Smyrna Beach, a relatively under-the radar beach destination on the USA’s Atlantic coast, possesses an old town charm rarely found in holiday hot-spot, #Florida. For visitors who haven’t ventured this way before, 2017 is the year to discover #NewSmyrna, as the beach beauty beckons with exciting openings and new experiences to entice travellers. 

Located north of Cocoa Beach and just south of Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach offers a different experience to the Florida that Brits are most familiar with. The beach town offers miles of white sand and beach activities, fascinating historical sites, a year-round calendar of cultural events and eclectic shopping and dining experiences.

There are many arts, foodie, sport and beach events and festivals hosted throughout the year in New Smyrna Beach but, new for 2017, will be a “Restaurant Week”, taking place in Autumn 2017 and set to further build on the fantastic reputation the beach town’s dining scene enjoys amongst locals and holidaymakers alike.



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Boutique Adventure on the Irrawaddy Delta




BOUTIQUE river cruise company Pandaw Expeditions has announced the launch of a brand-new expedition, sailing into the heart of the vibrant and varied landscape of the Irrawaddy Delta, exploring its maze of tributaries which remain untouched by tourism. 

‘The Great Irrawaddy Delta’ itinerary will set sail from and return to Rangoon, weaving through the complex labyrinth of waterways on a fascinating seven-night river cruise. Explore the contrasts of indigenous village life, markets, ancient trading ports, temples, churches and mosques, and have the chance to spot a plethora of birdlife and wildlife. On the waterways, fishermen and turtle egg hunters ply their ancient business, while exotic migratory water birds paddle in the shallows.

This expedition is truly a step back into a bygone era. Since the Raj, life in the Delta has seen little change, although British civil engineering increased the cultivatable land through dykes and barriers, connecting the Delta with the Yangon River. 

In the heyday of the Raj, the Delta’s rice production fed vast swathes of the British Empire. In the early 1900’s The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company operated over 100 creek steamers across the Delta connecting these rice towns and villages when there were neither roads nor bridges.

Departures start from 10 March 2018. Prices are from US$2,117pp (currently £1,695pp), based on sharing a twin cabin.

For more information go to www.pandaw.com



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Picture Credit: jenlung.a 75212875@N02/34052202633 Irrawaddy River via photopin

Pirates of the Caribbean inspires more searches on Caribbean Holidays





FLIGHT
searches by UK holidaymakers to the #Caribbean are up by 50 per cent year on year according to leading global flight search and travel deals website, Cheapflights, as Brits are inspired by the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean movie and new flight routes and hotels across the region.

Flight searches to this popular region have been on the increase all year, as Brits seek good value alternatives for their summer holidays from busy Med resorts, and the uncertainty that continues to hang over those in North Africa. The build-up to, and release of, the latest chapter in Captain Jack Sparrow’s adventures - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – on 25 May has further shone a spotlight on the Caribbean, contributing to an overall year on year increase of 50% between January and the beginning of June. Although the film was shot mostly in Australia (the previous installment, On Stranger Tides, was shot mostly in Hawaii), the name and locations are evocative of tropical islands such as St Lucia and The Grenadines, which historically harboured the real-life pirates that inspired the franchise.

Deals to the Caribbean available now include:


Save up to £200 per couple off seven nights in Barbados on selected dates in September and October 2017. Book before 13 June to secure seven nights at Time Out Hotel in Barbados, close to the renowned Oistins Fish Market, from £649pp including return flights from London and air-conditioned B&B accommodation. 


Save up to £464 per couple off seven nights five-star all-inclusive at Occidental Grand Xcaret in Mexico on selected dates in September 2017. Book before 14 June to secure seven nights accommodation and return flights from London from £929pp.  


www.cheapflights.co.uk



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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Take-off Tuesday

AIR Malta has launched a weekly promotion offering discounted flights to a number of selected destinations Air Malta has launched a weekly promotion offering discounted flights to a number of selected destinations. 

With Take-off Tuesday, promotion on flights will be offered every Tuesday, running from 2:00pm till midnight.

The routes and travel periods are flexible and vary every week.


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New Travel Website on Northeast India



GREENER
Pastures, a boutique #eco-travel outfit based in the remote region of Northeast India has recently relaunched its website. The relaunch of the website comes at a crucial time as more and more travelers both from India and around the world have started to visit Northeast India in increasing numbers. Many who travel the region find it difficult to deal with the lack of information on destinations along with the developing infrastructure.

Co-founder Vaivhav Todi talks about some of the highlights "We really wanted to create something unique with the website that could portray our love for Northeast India. It is disappointing to see that such a breathtaking place has less information available online and that most websites are still to utilize the latest trends in web designing and development. Keeping this as a focus, we have done our best to keep the website light, user friendly and minimal, combining it with journalistic driven content, breathtaking photography and equally fascinating illustrations and colors."

Right from the homepage the website is heavy on beautiful imagery. A section on destinations is present to introduce visitors to the seven different states of Northeast #India, with information on cultures, environment, history, festivals and climate. 

Experiences have been well categorized making it easy for travelers to find the right tour or adventure of their choice. Further, there are numerous beautiful illustrated travel maps that were commissioned to illustrators that portray the geography and feel of the region and the various activities available.

Visit the new website at www.thegreenerpastures.com


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Cheapflights reports boom among singletons

CHEAPFLIGHTS has seen a boom in single travellers searching for get-away-from-it-all flights, reporting an 18% rise among flight searches for solo travellers so far this year, compared to the same period in 2016. From the beginning of February to mid-May, ten of Cheapflights’s 20 most-popular destinations have seen increases in searches from people looking to travel on their own.

Far-flung destinations show the highest rise, with searches to Manila, capital of the Philippines, up 55% year-on-year and searches to Thailand’ capital Bangkok, up 37%. Searches for New York and Dubai are both up 13%. Closer to home, Lisbon is the most searched-for short-haul destination among independent travellers, up 25%. Paris (up 16%) and Barcelona (up 6%) are also being widely sought out by those looking to travel alone.

Other solo travellers are choosing to fly within the UK, with searches for London up 41%; Manchester up 33% and Glasgow up 4%.


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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Up in the air . . .

NORWEGIAN is continuing its UK expansion with a new direct service from London Gatwick to Rhodes taking off just in time for a sunshine break.

Norwegian’s inaugural flight to Rhodes departed on Saturday 17th June with a weekly service throughout summer, and fares available from just £29.90 one-way. 

Rhodes will be the fifth Greek island Norwegian serves direct from London Gatwick, including Corfu, Crete, Kefalonia, and Santorini.

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Monsoon season shows 60% increase in demand



MONSOONS being a traditional low season for travel, the dip in demand vs supply works well to the consumer’s advantage: special deals/discounts offered by airlines and hotels create strong allure/incentive to inspire “travel savers”. Additionally, value-options like complimentary transfers, dining or spa-vouchers make Monsoon travel a truly attractive value proposition for Indians.

Statistics available with Thomas Cook India reveal that travel-hungry Indian consumers leverage the Monsoon opportunity to avail of savings of 15-20% or more on domestic packages, compared to peak season rates. This “travel saver” trend is especially high with value seekers; strong uptake seen across DINKs, millennials, ad hoc groups of friends and family; equally corporate incentives/ team activities.

The Monsoons offer India’s work-weary warriors potential for much needed rest & relaxation- a mini-break from work pressures. And with 3 to 4 long weekends during this period, scope for both weekend and extended weekend getaways.

The Monsoons showcase #India at her best, with pleasant weather, a refreshing green cover and waterfalls- water bodies in full flow, hence offering today’s protagonist traveller eclectic travel experiences: self-drive holidays and outdoor-adventure journeys of discovery (including nature trails and landscape photography tours to The Valley of Flowers at Uttarakhand, Maharashtra’s picture perfect Kaas-Pathar Valley, etc). This is also the best time for Kerala’s famed ayurveda treatment and a leisurely back-waters tour; also indulgent spa-wellness getaways.


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Get Down To Dorset for Great Music

#DORSET Midsummer Music Festival - A family friendly #music #festival based just outside Dorchester, in a natural amphitheatre on the slopes of Bulbarrow Hill is on June 23 and 24th this year.

This year the legendary Ben Waters will be playing as well as local favourites such as Howling At The Moon, new up and coming acts such as DD Allen and even LaceBlack who are an act coming over especially from Italy.

Children's entertainment, most of which is included in the price of the ticket at just £3. This includes Jamie Jigsaw (magician, juggler and all round entertainer), Bugfest (bringing creepy crawlies to life) and Hoop On hula hoop workshops.

There will be a wide range of food catering for every taste - from Pizza to Thai, Fish & Chips to Hog Roast. There will also be local beer, cider and wine to enjoy.

For those who wish to make the most of the weekend, there is also camping available in this area of outstanding natural beauty.

www.midsummermusic.co.uk

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Monday, 19 June 2017

Whistler named best ski resort in the world

FOR the third consecutive year, #Whistler has been named the best ski resort in the world in the prestigious ULTRAS awards. The ULTRAS are presented by Ultratravel magazine and honour the best in luxury travel from around the globe.

Ultratravel is luxury travel magazine, distributed with the best-selling UK daily newspaper, the Daily Telegraph. The winners of the 2017 ULTRAS awards were determined by Ultratravel readers who voted across 19 categories ranging from the best in airlines, hotels, tour operators, golf resort and more.


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Improved Visa Facilities boost travel to Malaysia from China and India



A review of Malaysia’s tourism performance in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 indicate that tourist arrivals from the China market is on the rise again after the slowdown in 2015.  Between March 2016 and April 2017, there was a total of 284,606 e-visa applications and 323,173 eNTRI applications from China nationals.

The number of visas approved for Indian tourists has also shot up by 91.1% following the Prime Minister’s visit to India in April.

With information technology playing a critical role in tourism these days, the online application system for travel arrangements to #Malaysia will be a game changer and accelerate the growth of Malaysia’s tourism industry.

This improved facility is expected to help attract larger numbers of tourists from China and India to Malaysia who are looking for a holiday experience that offers diversity at an affordable price. Furthermore, the cordial relations and strong historical ties Malaysia has with China and India will make travelers from these two countries feel right at home in Malaysia.

Online visa applications for all tourists planning to visit Malaysia are processed by the Immigration Department of Malaysia and can be made at: www.windowmalaysia.my


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Walk this way

THE Department of Conservation (DOC) and Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) have joined forces to promote a range of short and day walks.

Research to better understand exactly what kinds of walks Kiwis and international visitors are looking for will kick off soon. Once finalised, the research results will be used along with kiwi, community and stakeholder feedback to help inform what existing walks might be further promoted. These will be in areas that both meet visitor needs and are ready and willing to host more visitors.

“We know there is demand for a range of shorter or less challenging walking options to go alongside our Great Walks and help alleviate pressures at high use sites. The aim is to cater for a wider pool of visitors and enable them to engage with and appreciate New Zealand’s natural environment,” says DOC Director Tourism, Recreation and Heritage, Gavin Walker.


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Sunday, 18 June 2017

On the runway . . .

GLASGOW Airport reported its busiest May on record after more than 910,000 passengers travelled through its doors during the month, representing an increase of 10% on the same period last year.

International and domestic routes were up 16.5% and 2% respectively thanks to additional capacity from a number of airlines including Thomson and Thomas Cook.

There was strong demand for the airport’s growing list of European city destinations including Eurowings’ Dusseldorf route and Ryanair services to Brussels, Sofia and Valencia.

Ryanair’s recently launched Lisbon route performed particularly well as hundreds of Celtic fans made their way to the Portuguese capital to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club’s historic 1967 European Cup win.

May also saw the airport’s long-haul services up by 15% thanks to an increase in demand for North American flights including Florida and Emirates’ double daily service to Dubai, while easyJet’s Bristol services and Loganair’s Highland and Island routes helped boost domestic travel.


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Dive Fest in Barbados

WHETHER you can swim, float, dive, or prefer to soak up some sun on the beach, this festival will have something for everyone! Dive Fest Barbados is being held July 5 - 9th in St Michael. 

Featuring water awareness programs, scuba and freediving demonstrations, beach clean ups, conservation tips, lionfish hunting and tasting, as well as scuba dives all over the island - including the exhilarating east coast!. Discover what lies beneath the beautiful #Barbados seas.

www.divefestbarbados.com/

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To All Those Dads . . .




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Saturday, 17 June 2017

Studio Ghibli Theme Park to open in 2020

PLANS have been unveiled for a Studio Ghibli theme park bringing to life the world and characters of "My Neighbour Totoro" to open near Nagoya in Aichi prefecture.

The tentatively named “Ghibli Park” will be located on the former site of the 2005 World EXPO Park near Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture, in central Japan. It will recreate landmarks and locations from the well-loved Studio Ghibli film “My Neighbour Totoro”, but reportedly will not feature any theme park rides.

The EXPO Park is located 30-45 minutes’ journey east of Nagoya in Nagakute city. Originally opened in 1970 as Aichi Youth Park, the spacious site hosted the World EXPO in 2005. After the end of the EXPO, the land was transferred to Aichi prefecture’s ownership and reopened in 2006 as Aichi Commemorative Park. The site will be transformed into the "Ghibli Park” by 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.


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Picture Credit: Pintrest

5 Star Luxury in Wine Country

The Marlborough Lodge is a grand country estate on 16 acres of secluded parklands, located in the heart of the famous Marlborough wine region and billed as “the ultimate retreat in New Zealand’s gourmet province”. 

Ten contemporary suites are elegantly designed to ensure every comfort while there’s an in-house bar and a stunning private dining room serving fresh local cuisine. 

Explore the region’s gourmet delights cruising on a luxury launch or a private gourmet wine and food tour.


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Picture Credit: tjabeljan 16502785@N00/32946806246 via photopin

Friday, 16 June 2017

Virgin Trains’ wins prestigious Public Transport Operator of the Year

VIRGIN Trains’ role in transforming rail journeys between Scotland and England has been recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony in Glasgow.

The intercity operator was named as Public Transport Operator of the Year at the Scottish Transport Awards, cementing its reputation as the UK’s leading long-distance rail service.

Virgin Trains has seen strong customer satisfaction levels and record passenger numbers on its east coast and west coast routes over the past year following a raft of investment, innovation and customer service improvements.

On the east coast route between Edinburgh and London, passenger numbers grew by 8% last year as train interiors were overhauled on its entire fleet and 45 additional services between the capitals were added.


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Americans to set sail for Cuba



HOLLAND America Line has received approval to begin sailing to #Cuba from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting with the Dec. 22, 2017, 12-day holiday #cruise aboard ms Veendam.

“For many, travel is about seeking new places to explore and discovering meaningful new cultural opportunities, and Cuba is one of the most sought-after new destinations for many of our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are excited to finally be able to include Cuba in our itineraries, and our guests and travel partners have been anxiously awaiting a premium cruise experience to this relatively undiscovered Caribbean treasure.”

As leaders in destination immersion and experiential travel, Holland America Line adds Cuba to its itineraries in order to provide guests with a thoughtful cultural exchange experience. Most itineraries include an extended call at Havana, allowing guests the time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and immerse themselves in a wide array of historical and cultural adventures. Additionally, a stop at Cienfuegos presents the opportunity for a special visit to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cuba’s province of Sancti Spíritus.


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Isles of Scilly Photography Competition

VISIT Isles of Scilly has launched its Photography Competition for 2017 in partnership with St. Mary’s Hall Hotel Isles of Scilly Travel.  The 2017 competition is open to all photographers living on, working on, or visiting the islands between 1st May and 30th September.

The winner will win a three-night break for two on a Bed & Breakfast basis at St. Mary’s Hall Hotel, together with two return tickets on the Scillonian III passenger ferry courtesy of Isles of Scilly Travel.

For further information about the competition and how to apply, visit our dedicated Isles of Scilly Photography Competition web page.


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Picture Credit: Pintrest


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Ayers Rock Resort host the eighth Australian Outback Marathon


VOYAGES Ayers Rock Resort will host the eighth Australian Outback Marathon on 29 July 2017 and this year is set to be the largest to date, with the event selling out two months earlier than last year. With just over seven weeks to go, approximately 600 entrants, including a number of sponsored students from Indigenous communities, are set to pound the red dust with spectacular views of #Uluru and Kata Tjuta. 

Entrants are from 29 countries including #Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Race organiser and sports tour operator, Travelling Fit, has designed the event to be enjoyed by all levels of #running abilities and four different events are available: a full Marathon, Half Marathon and 11km and 6km fun runs. The course is relatively flat with only a few inclines and sand dunes, and is mostly on unsealed roads, bush tracks and soft-sand trails.

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Tirpitz – A Hidden Bunker Museum

IN Blåvand, on the coast of South-West Jutland, the Germans started building the Tirpitz Bunker as a part of the Atlantic Wall in 1944 but never finished it. 

In 2017, the Danish architect group, Bjarke Ingels Group, will complete work on an impressive new hidden away, state-of-the-art, glass and grass roofed museum, Tirpitz, in the coastal dunes that will run alongside the WWII bunker. 

Helping to bring the former historic building to life, the museum will comprise four separate exhibition spaces featuring the Atlantic Wall, life on the Danish West Coast, the World’s largest collection of amber and a visiting exhibitions area.

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In the limelight

QATAR Airways is set to steal the limelight at this year’s Paris Air Show, taking place from 19 to 25 June at Le Bourget in Paris, with the launch of the first aircraft in its fleet fitted with the revolutionary, award-winning new Qsuite, Qatar Airways’ First in Business Class concept.

First retro-fitted in a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 aircraft, Qsuite is a unique and patented seat design that will bring the First Class experience to the airline’s Business Class cabin, setting a new standard for Premium Class travel and redefining industry expectations, in tandem with the airline’s already award-winning Business Class service. The Paris Air Show will be the first time the seat has been displayed in an aircraft, allowing visitors a unique preview of the on-board offering.

The new patented design will be showcased on a Boeing 777 before commencing service on the Doha-London Heathrow route on June 24.


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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Athens Airport Sees Healthy Passenger Traffic Growth in May

#ATHENS International Airport (AIA) served four percent more passengers in May to 1.87 million, compared to the same month last year.

International passengers enjoyed robust rise of 7.3 percent, whereas domestic passengers were below 2016 levels. 

Greek residents presented an overall growth at the level of 12 percent, while foreign residents presented an overall slight drop of one percent. 

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Explore Tahiti this Summer





THERE are more reasons to #explore The Islands of #Tahiti in 2017, and to island-hop the legendary islands, atolls and motus, as a range of dynamic events celebrating the French Polynesian culture and heritage are there to be experienced. The following is snapshot of happenings which incorporate the very best of Tahitian mana, the French Polynesian life force that embraces us all:

World Va’a Outrigger Canoe Race (June 27th – 30th June) - The International Va’a Federation is organizing the very first world edition of Va’a long distance race in Tahiti. This new competition will see Polynesian outrigger canoe races competing every couple of years to become the International Federation World champions of long distance va’a racing.

Heiva i Tahiti (July 6th – 22nd) - One of the most important cultural events in The Islands of Tahiti. This popular community celebration has been a yearly highlight for more than 125 years. In July, visitors are invited to join during events, shows, rituals and contests. The event agenda offers mind-blowing dance shows, songs but also traditional sports. Communities representing the various archipelagos of The Islands of Tahiti gather in Papeete at that time of the year to present their arts, techniques and know-how during handcraft contests and exhibitions.

Billabong Pro Tahiti (August 11th – 22nd) - 20 years ago, Teahupoo was hosting the first official edition of a surf contest. At the time, it was called “Black Pearl Horue Pro” and was a stage of the Championship Tour qualifying series. Hawaiian Andy Iron, then only aged 18, won the first edition. The Teahupoo surf spot became famous worldwide later thanks to its massive waves reaching up to 13 feet.

26th Hawaiki Nui Va’a in Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora (November 1st - 3rd) - The Hawaiki Nui Va'a is an international contest of Polynesian outrigger canoes (called va’a) where over a hundred canoes gather in November each year starting in Huahine in the Leeward Islands. It is without a doubt the most difficult V6 canoe race in the world with 80 miles to paddle in only three days. 

Marquesas Art Festival (December 18th – 21st) - The Marquesas Art Festival is a cultural event organized periodically in the Marquesas archipelago. The festival is a celebration of Marquesan and Polynesian cultures through shows and contests ranging from dance, songs, sports, traditional dishes to tattoos, tapas and carvings.

IronMana 2017 (November) - This one-of-a-kind concept combines several sporting events aimed at promoting The Islands of Tahiti and their Mana through multi-disciplinary water contests.

The Bora Bora Liquid Festival will see athletes compete in water related contests such as open water swimming, prone paddle, stand up paddle, kayaking and outrigger canoe races while the Tahiti Nui Holopuni Channel Crossing consists of navigating over 248 miles of ocean onboard a traditional sailing outrigger canoe from Tahiti to Bora Bora through the islands of Moorea, Raiatea, Taha’a and Huahine.

The Waterman Tahiti Tour involves three disciplines, namely stand up paddle boarding, open water swimming and prone paddleboarding.



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Discover Seoul with benefits

THE Discover Seoul Pass, a travel card that offers free admission to Seoul’s main attractions, has now been upgraded to provide more benefits for tourists.

With Discover #Seoul Pass, tourists can enter designated main attractions in Seoul for free according to their remaining card hours. The card also serves as a transportation card, saving the hassle of carrying a separate transportation card.

Discover Seoul Pass up to now had only offered four main royal palaces along with sixteen other attractions, including historical attractions, but the newly released pass now covers twenty-two attractions for free admission. It also expanded its perks to include various discount offers at performance theaters, duty-free shops, tour service facilities, and more. Discover Seoul Pass is available in two options, a 24-hour card and a 48-hour card, so that visitors can choose the card that meets their travel itinerary.

Discover Seoul Pass Card can easily be purchased online, or at KEB Hana Bank within Incheon International Airport, CU convenience stores, and Tourist Information Centers in Seoul.


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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

What's London's favourite food dish


THE #MyLondonDish social media campaign was launched earlier this year by London Mayor Sadiq Khan as a way of celebrating the outstanding food on offer in London. The campaign forms part of his broader #LondonIsOpen movement.

People from across the capital, including top chefs and food experts, have shared hundreds of images of some of the capital’s most loved dishes on social media using the hashtag #MyLondonDish. Supporters of the campaign include Jamie Oliver, Duck and Waffle’s Dan Doherty, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, ‘Clerkenwell Boy’, and many more.

VisitLondon.com has shortlisted the top 50, and the public vote is now open to crown the top #MyLondonDish. This will be used along with other top dishes to encourage visitors to explore the capital’s cuisine. All voters will have a chance to win tickets to the Evening Standard’s London Food Month Night Market or a dinner for two at one of the capital’s best restaurants.

London has the highest concentration of restaurants in the UK including 65 Michelin-starred establishments, and offers more than 70 world cuisines. It is hoped that the #MyLondonDish campaign and #competition will encourage tourists to spend more time researching and exploring the incredible variety of food and dining available in the capital.

Competition closes June 30


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