Tuesday, 31 October 2017

World class courses attract international putters

GOLF tourism to New Zealand is seeing significant growth with golf visitors playing 33,000 rounds at marquee courses alone up 17%. The growth rate is among one of the highest being experienced worldwide.

Over the last few years there has been significant investment in new and existing courses resulting in New Zealand offering a range of uncrowded internationally ranked courses that are proving very attractive.

#NewZealand has around 400 #golf courses and offers incredible variety, from ocean front subtropical courses in the north to alpine settings in the south. Golfers can easily travel to a range of courses while in New Zealand sampling what each region has to offer on their way and this is a huge draw card.


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Come to Stockholm in 2018


STOCKHOLM is widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, built where lake meets sea, on fourteen island, with eight centuries of history and culture to choose from. #Stockholm is a ground breaking, welcoming and innovative trendsetter.

EuroPride 2018 - Stockholm, together with Gothenburg, will host Europride 2018. Two cities, one country – for a united Europe open to the world. Stockholm held Europride 1998 and 2008. We now have the opportunity to celebrate 20 years in Sweden, while simultaneously carrying out the 25th EuroPride event.

ÖTILLÖ (meaning island to island in Swedish) is the original and the world’s longest swimrun race, renowned as one of the toughest one-day races in the world. At the ÖTILLÖ Swimrun World Championship competitors alternate trail running and open water swimming for a total of 75 km in the beautiful Stockholm archipelago, passing over and between 26 islands. www.otillo.se

Stockholm Marathon 40 years - Stockholm has a long tradition of arranging running events, and on Saturday 2 June 2018 the ASICS Stockholm Marathon will take place for the 40th consecutive year. www.stockholmmarathon.se


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Qantas and Uber make airport trips more rewarding

QANTAS customers will be able to earn points on Uber trips to-and-from eligible airports in Australia by booking on the latest version of the airline’s app. From 3 November, an Uber icon will appear in the booking section of the Qantas app for customers to request their airport ride. The partnership means Qantas Frequent Flyers can manage their whole travel experience through the Qantas app, from booking their flight through to leaving home, boarding their flight and then making their way to their end destination.


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Monday, 30 October 2017

The first Instagram Travel Agency opens in Scotland

VisitScotland has brought the digital world to IRL bricks-and-mortar, by opening the first ever Instagram Travel Agency: allowing visitors to build their own #holidays to #Scotland based entirely around other people’s Instagram photos.This digital twist on the high-street holiday experience combines the enormous amount of inspirational content available online with the expertise and guidance that only the traditional travel agent can offer.

The #ScotSpirit Instagram Travel Agency magics away the time spent researching holidays online. Upon arrival, Instagram inspiration is delivered via a resplendently crisp floor-to-ceiling screen displaying hundreds of Instagram photos of Scotland At this state-of-the-art picture wall, visitors, with the assistance of staff, select their favourite ‘#ScotSpirit’ Instagram images of Scotland’s sights, restaurants, experiences, hotels and more.

The personable and knowledgeable staff then use a customer’s cherry-picked Instagram pictures to curate their perfect Scottish holiday suggested itinerary; crafted around their unique personal preferences and schedules. Visitors can then take the itinerary away to book in their own time.


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Journey to the Blue Planet

WITH the release of the highly anticipated Blue Planet II on BBC One narrated by #DavidAttenborough, Netflights.com has shared a round-up of destinations around the world where you can discover the incredible creatures filmed in the series. From the leaping Mobula Manta Rays in Mexico to following the path from Alaska to Hawaii in search of Humpback whales, take a journey to explore the depths of the waters and uncover some extraordinary marine life.

Swim with dolphins in New Zealand: The first episode of the series, ‘One Ocean’, takes viewers on a journey from the heart of the tropics to the frozen poles exploring sea life.

Discover the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef: As the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is a fantastic place to observe a diversity of marine life. Avid diving fans can visit the subtropical waters to find this clever fish along with plenty more wonderful creatures including the Oceanic Whitetip Shark, Grouper Fish and Octopus which are all seen throughout the series. 

Watch the amazing flying Mantas in Mexico: The Sea of Cortez separates the peninsula from mainland Mexico and every year, hundreds of Mobula Manta Rays congregate here to put on one of the most spectacular wildlife performances on earth and captured during the series.

Spot one of the largest Wrasse species in Japan: Asian Sheepshead Wrasse are one of the largest of the Wrasse family and are native to the western Pacific Ocean, inhabiting the rocky reef areas. Amongst many scientific discoveries in this series, the crew films a female Asian Sheepshead Wrasse switching gender.

Mauritius, a birder’s paradise: Twitchers can visit the south west coast of Mauritius to spot local species including the Sotty Tern and Common Noddy. These seabirds are incredibly valuable in maintaining healthy ecosystems, especially on islands as they help to improve soil quality and also indicate fish availability.

See Humpbacks during Whale season in Hawaii: Mating season for Humpback Whales last for up to five months where the creatures swim down from Alaska to the warmer climes of Hawaii. The waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands are a favourite for the Humpack and can be spotted across all of the Hawaiian Islands with the best viewing spots in the world between Maui, Lanai and Molokai.

Spot the mighty giant Trevally in the Seychelles: Found swimming in the waters of the Indian Ocean, the film crew venture out to the Seychelles to spot the Giant Trevally, a 40kg bulldog-like fish, jumping out of the ocean to catch sea birds mid-air, a sight that had never been recorded until now. 

Netflights.com


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Picture Credit: WanderingtheWorld (www.ChrisFord.com) 'I Found Nemo', Australia, Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef via photopin


Marriott expands in Asia Pacific

MARRIOTT International is on track to open 16 new resorts in Asia Pacific across seven brands in 10 countries and territories this year, giving travellers more choices when booking holidays, business events or special occasions. Marriott currently has 130 upper-upscale and luxury resorts in the Asia Pacific region in countries including China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. The new hotels range from tranquil resorts such as the beachfront Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, which is the company’s first hotel in Sri Lanka, to The Ritz-Carlton Haikou, which presents travellers with a new experience as Ritz-Carlton’s first golf resort in China.

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Sunday, 29 October 2017

Reach for the sky in Chicago

CURRENTLY welcoming 1.7 million visitors annually, Skydeck Chicago is a world-class family attraction. The tour begins with a theater presentation of Reaching for the Sky, a nine-minute movie that tells how the Willis Tower went from dream to putting Chicago on the architectural map. You can also do the challenge of an interactive #Chicago trivia game and snap a selfie with the enormous 103 sculpture and explore the city with interactive touch screens and exhibits.

Reaching the 103rd floor Skydeck Chicago (the highest observation deck in the United States), are the jaw-dropping panoramic views that can span up to four states and nearly 50 miles on a clear day. Then if you dare . . . The Ledge, a first-of-its-kind attraction that extends a glass balcony four feet beyond the building itself to create an unforgettable viewing experience from 1,353 feet up in the air.

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Picture Credit:{Charlotte.Morrall} Me on the Ledge! via photopin

Whats hot for 2018 from Abercrombie & Kent

WANT to know what’s hot in the world of travel? Just ask the experts at Abercrombie & Kent who have put together their Hot List for 2018. It’s the definitive go-to inventory for discerning travellers who want to stay ahead of the game and rack up new experiences. Whether it’s a wildlife-focused adventure, an off the beaten track discovery, cultural engagement or a must-see natural phenomenon, there’s a journey to suit.

Argentina Home of the tango and engrained with a deep-seated Latin vibe, Argentina is richly romantic and hauntingly beautiful. Its landscapes are vast and its beef world famous. The gaucho culture is an integral part of the estancia experience and the cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires, is European sophistication with more than a dash of Latin zeal.

Bedouin camping in Morocco Channel your inner Lawrence of Arabia when bedding down in A&K’s unique Bedouin camp which is set up exclusively for guests in the Erg Chebbi sand dunes near Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara.

Georgia It’s a little known fact that Georgia was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity and, as a result, this former Soviet Republic boasts some magnificent Orthodox churches in the most unexpected locations, many of them dating from the 10th and 11th centuries.

Helena Bay, New Zealand
Three kilometres of pristine coastline, four private beaches and your choice of secluded coves, that’s what awaits at Helena Bay, New Zealand’s newest addition to the luxury lodge scene.

Istrian Peninsula Shared by Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, the Istrian Peninsula is a stunning coastal area in the northern Adriatic littered with medieval walled cities, Roman monuments and atmospheric tavernas.

Norway With year-round appeal, Norway is one of those magical destinations with endless natural attractions and a rich heritage. It is achingly beautiful in any season and in summer and spring, one of the best things to do is take a drive along the Atlantic Road, one of the world’s most scenic coastal routes. Oslo is jam-packed with museums and galleries as well as great restaurants dishing up fine Nordic cuisine.

Portugal
Thanks to its incredible diversity and the hospitality of its people and their lifestyle, Portugal is entirely entrancing. It has a rich design heritage, ancient walled towns and mountaintop palaces, it also has magical Mediterranean landscapes, delicious food, earthy wines and is one of Europe’s sunniest spots.


Rwanda One of the most outstanding wildlife experiences open to adventurous travellers is gorilla tracking and Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans is one of the best places to do it. Once on the brink of extinction, the mountain gorillas of Rwanda have increased in number thanks to the conservation work begun by Dian Fossey. 

Sri Lanka With a raft of new hotel openings, Sri Lanka is hotter than ever. Its compact size belies the wealth of its fascinating ruins and it lays claim to no less than seven World Heritage sites dotted throughout the country.


West Africa Properly off the beaten track, the West African countries of Ghana, Togo and Benin are steeped in mystery. Voodoo is still practiced widely and attending a trance dance conducted by a village witch doctor is one of the most memorable experiences a traveller can have there. Voodoo markets are full of magic charms and ancestor worship is commonplace. Ghana’s art scene is flourishing too with its flamboyant fantasy coffins exhibited in museums the world over and a thriving textile industry producing the brightly coloured wax printed fabrics widely admired in European fashion houses.



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Travel by Panda Rail

WEST Japan Railway Company introduced its "Panda Kuroshio Smile Adventure Train" in August. This special train is "wrapped" in a panda design and operates as one of the "Kuroshio" express trains connecting Kyoto, Osaka and Shingu - site of the famous theme park "Wakayama Adventure World." The front of the train is covered by a panda face while there are various animals depicted on the sides as well. This train will run until November 2019 but you will have to be a little fortunate to see it; it operates daily but not always at the same time!

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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Santa's Lapland

EACH winter Santa’s Lapland offers families magical three- and four-day breaks to Santa’s home in Saariselkä. #Families can stay in one of Santa’s #Christmas Cabins or hotels with accommodation options to suit a range of budgets. 

Santa’s Lapland guests enjoy a private meeting with the real Santa; husky sled ride; reindeer sleigh rides at the Reindeer Centre; Elf & Igloo Fantasia; snowmobile sleigh rides plus much more. 

New for 2017, Santa Lapland has added more departure dates with a great value three-day ‘Post-Christmas Magic Break’ and a four-day ‘New Year Spectacular Break’. Flights are available from 19 UK regional airports and transfers to resort are included. 

SantasLapland.com

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New waterfront venue in Darling Harbour



A fabulous new waterfront pavilion will be available for venue hire in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, just in time for the festive season. Named after Captain Cook’s majestic vessel and its on-site replica, the HMB Endeavour, the Endeavour Pavilion which opens on November 10 is an exciting new addition to the wharves of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM). 

In addition to its prime waterfront location overlooking the stunning harbour, the Endeavour Pavilion also offers all-inclusive event packages, with everything from venue hire to catering and furniture looked after on site. The venue offers guests a unique setting for a function with a wow factor, with the Pavilion nestled elegantly amongst historic vessels, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Sydney skyline.


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Sustainable tourism award for Amboseli



AMBOSELI Serena Safari Lodge’s Kimana’s Women’s Group Economic Development Initiative has emerged the winner of the 2017 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award. 

Skål International’s mission is to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. And this award acknowledges best practices in the tourism industry around the globe. 

#Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge was recognized for supporting small scale women farmers’ through the Kimana’s Women’s Group; move up the value chain from primary farming to participation in the supply chain of Serena Hotels.

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Friday, 27 October 2017

Party in Portugal

MEJI Media and their brand "Banter Hen & Stag Weekend" are welcoming Portugal and some of its cities as part of their destinations for hen and stag do weekends in Europe. As of March 2017, "Banter Hen & Stag Weekend" are launching 3 destinations including: Lisbon, Porto and Albufeira.

#Portugal is one of the most requested destinations for hen and stag dos, with constant sunshine and lots of great activities to invest your time in. With ready-made packages to inspire a hen or stag do of any kind, Portugal is known for its unique experiences.

With a variety of daytime and night time activities, Portugal knows how to keep the party flowing. Activities include bar crawls, cocktail making classes, dolphin tours, evening meals, karting, paintballing, river boat party cruises and so much more.


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Turkey: Back on the map


HOLIDAYMAKERS are returning to Turkey's most popular beach locales in droVes, but there is one undiscovered gem where the glass-like Aegean and Mediterranean seas meet beneath a dramatic backdrop of postcard perfect mountains that will capture the hearts of discerning travellers in 2018. #Sarigerme, on the remote southwestern coast of #Turkey, is home to taste-bud tantalizing cuisine, ancient relics and tombs, nesting sea turtles, lively markets and idyllic pampering. Whether searching for an easy weekend break or an extended summer holiday, Sarigerme offers something for every kind of traveller and family. 

Here are 10 reasons to visit Turkey’s best kept secret in 2018:

1. Be a real life Indiana Jones: Visitors on the hunt for a culturally enriching escape will find an array of well-preserved archaeological sites near Sarigerme which pay tribute to the cultural traditions and customs of the Persians, Athenians, Ottomans, Romans and Lycians who once inhabited the land.

2. Taste a new take on Turkish food: Travellers are invited to dive into Sarigerme’s unique flavours from street food, sold by local vendors in the beautiful and vibrant markets to a more traditional seafood dining experience at one of the many family-owned restaurants, known to locals as meyhanes.

3. Feel what happens when two seas meet: Unlike other beach destinations along the Turquoise Coast, Sarigerme’s unique positioning between the Aegean and Mediterranean seas welcomes a cool sea breeze in the hot summer months which means travellers can comfortably enjoy the beach and the outdoors for much longer without having to retreat into the air conditioning.

4. Meet the caretta caretta: The beaches surrounding Sarigerme are renowned for their vast numbers of nesting Loggerhead turtles, known locally as caretta caretta, that come to the shores every year.

5. Island hop by yacht: Consistently voted as one of the best beaches in the world, Göcek Bay and its 12 islands provide a stunning backdrop for a holiday to Sarigerme. With beautiful beaches, idyllic islands and crystal clear waters, visitors have a chance to swim, snorkel or sunbathe their way through the region. 

6. Get divinely dirty: For those wanting to relax whilst also indulging in the local traditions and cultures of the area the Dalyan Mud Baths and natural hot springs are a quick 20-minute drive away from Sarigerme.

7. Barter for a bargain: On Wednesday the market comes to Sarigerme where visitors can bag a bargain on traditional trinkets, such as mosaic glass lamps, hand painted ceramics, high quality carpets and the popular Nazar Boncugu (the Evil Eye) used to warn off bad luck.

8. Don the binoculars and head down river: The River Dalyan is home to some extraordinary and rare species. Euphrates River Turtles are over a metre long with leathery shells and tube-like noses and can be observed from just a few feet away. White-Throated Kingfishers can frequently be seen along the river, often perched on boats, along with Purple Herons, Squacco Herons, Great Egrets and White-Winged Black Terns, which are also common species in the area.

9. Rock and roll: With over 40,000 caves and caverns, Sarigerme is a paradise for potholing and caving, offering adventurers the chance to see crumbling hidden churches, secret underground lakes, cisterns, stalactites and stalagmites.

10. Stay at the Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa: Located on a beautiful private beach and boasting sprawling views of the surrounding mountains, the Hilton Dalaman Sarigerme Resort & Spa is the ideal place to stay and enjoy all of the wonders that the region has to offer. hiltondalaman.com.


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Picture Credit: mavmeldrum 11052246@N03/14940262266 via photopin


Pop open the bubbly

PROBABLY Johannesburg’s best kept secret, Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa is an exclusive cocoon of pure indulgence just a stone’s throw from Sandton’s hub of trendy shops and restaurants. Now there is even more reason to linger longer before or after your safari - with the addition of its exclusive new champagne bar, MUSE.

Inspired by nature, with striking colours of emerald green and rose gold – MUSE seamlessly combines the vintage feel of Perrier-Jouët’s Belle Epoque design elements with contemporary decor. MUSE also offers a beautiful outdoor Courtyard to relax and enjoy your bubbles beneath the stars.

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

Up in the air . . .

QATAR Airways has further enhanced its mobile app with a new look and feel, making it now even easier for customers to use. The award-winning airline has added a suite of innovative features to its mobile app, making it as simple and user-friendly as possible, allowing passengers to have all the important information they need at their fingertips through their mobile devices.

Qatar Airways is now offering up to 10 per cent off ticket purchases through mobile devices. Download the app and book using the promo code QRMOBAPP before 29 October 2017. 

qatarairways.com/mobileoffer


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New Zealand in Lonely Planet 2018 Best of Travel Top 10

LONELY Planet has named New Zealand in the Top 10 countries to visit in 2018 in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 201. #NewZealand is ranked fifth on the book’s list of Top 10 Countries 2018. 

It is the second time that New Zealand has appeared on the list with the last appearance in 2010 Best in Travel 2018 is Lonely Planet’s 13th annual collection of the world’s hottest destinations, experiences and trends for the year ahead.

The best-selling inspirational travel yearbook highlights the top 10 countries, cities and regions that Lonely Planet’s experts recommend travellers experience in 2018. 

Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries 2018 are: 
1. Chile 
2. South Korea 
3. Portugal 
4. Djibouti 
5. New Zealand 
6. Malta 
7. Georgia 
8. Mauritius 
9. China 
10. South Africa

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Ride the monorail in Las Vegas

THE #LasVegas Monorail provides a quick and convenient connection along the Las Vegas Strip, linking riders to world-class restaurants, shows, shops, day/nightclubs, spas, hotels and casinos. In minutes, Monorail riders can travel the famous Las Vegas Strip in a safe, comfortable and clean environment – without the hassles of traffic or wasted time.

Currently, the privately funded Monorail system includes seven stations: MGM Grand; Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas; Flamingo/Caesars Palace; Harrah’s/The LINQ; Las Vegas Convention Center; Westgate Resort & Casino and SLS Las Vegas. Las Vegas’ “green” public transportation choice, the Monorail’s electric trains are zero-emission vehicles. 



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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Legendary Cunard experience returns to Alaska

IN 2019, Cunard will sail to #Alaska, bringing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest to guests once again. A series of voyages beginning in May 2019 will combine the magnificence of Alaska with the luxury of Cunard as Queen Elizabeth sails from Japan to Alaska and then remains in the region through June. The ship will then transport passengers down the West Coast of the United States, through the Panama Canal to New York, on to Iceland and the British Isles.


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Picture Credit:  kees torn 68359921@N08/35297270670 QUEEN ELIZABETH photopin

MalaMala Makeover

2017 marks ninety years since MalaMala, probably South Africa’s most iconic Private “Big 5” Game Reserve, came into existence. With this important milestone comes what the owners are calling the “re-imagination” of MalaMala Main Camp and Sable Camp.

They were the first private game reserve to completely ban hunting and focus solely on luxury photographic safaris, providing a blueprint for others to follow – and are still, today, the largest tract of private “Big 5” private reserve at 33,000 acres. The land is now owned by the local N’Wandlahmari Community with an the operating company, MalaMala Game Reserve Pty Ltd.

Wedged between the famous Kruger National Park (12 miles of MalaMala’s eastern boundary are unfenced to allow for the natural movement of game) and the Sabi Sands Wildtuin to the west. The life-giving Sand River runs the length of the reserve drawing vast numbers of wildlife to it guaranteeing unrivalled game viewing – with all 3 camps right on the riverfront! 

They also have no access roads to the east of the river and allow no other vehicles traversing rights so you will never see a “queue to view” in MalaMala.

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Radisson Blu to embrace the heart of Venice

NOMINATED as the European Capital of Culture in 2019, #Venice is home to the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world; it draws more than 500,000 visitors to its bi-annual International Art Exhibition. Venice is also home to La Fenice theater and one of the oldest film festivals and carnivals.

The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has signed a long-term management agreement of a canal-side hotel in the inner part of Venice’s San Marco district, just steps from renowned Saint Mark’s Square. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Venice San Marco is expected to open by the end of 2019.


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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Trail your literary heroes on the Isle of Wight

FOLLOWING on the heels of the launch of its Victoria’s Island Trail to celebrate the appearance of the Victoria & Abdul movie, Visit Isle of Wight (VIOW) has now published a new Literary Heroes Trail which visitors to the Island can follow all-year-round.

One of the highlights of the Literary Heroes Trail is the newly re-opened Farringford in Freshwater, where the renowned poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson once lived. The dramatic Gothic house has been the subject of a meticulous five-year restoration project, and is decorated in a late 19th Century style that reflects Tennyson’s tastes and interests. The grounds have also been returned to their authentic Tennyson-era appearance, complete with a full walled garden.

Other key locations on the Trail include the sailing village of Seaview, where author Enid Blyton was a regular visitor; and the traditional seaside resort of Ventnor, where Charles Dickens rented Winterbourne in Bonchurch – describing it to his wife as, “The prettiest place I ever saw in my life.”

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Picture Credit: Seaviw, Isle of Wight, Pintrest

Plastic bags banned in Kenya

THE Government of Kenya has recently passed a new law in view of reducing the negative impact of plastic bags on the environment. As of August 2017, the use, manufacture, and importation of plastic bags have been made illegal in #Kenya. 

This plastic bag ban refers to both carrier bags such as grocery bags, supermarket bags, and duty-free bags. The above mentioned plastic bags including duty-free bags will be confiscated at the airport/entry points in Kenya. The use of plastic bags within Kenya can now incur heavy fines and possible imprisonment. Bags which are used as packaging in which the product is in direct contact with the plastic (such as chip/crisp bags) and in which the product is packaged at the source are exempt from this law.

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Top 3 best islands in the world

THE islands of Boracay, the Cebu and Visayan Islands, and Palawan in the #Philippines have been named the first, second and third (respectively) in its ‘Best Island in the World’ category of Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2017. The publication asked its readers to rank the 30 best #islands in the world, outside of the U.S., from far-flung gems in Southeast Asia to volcanic outcrops in the Mediterranean.


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Picture Credit: Landersz 74876995@N00/33867380201 Paradise via photopin

Monday, 23 October 2017

Resort in British Columbia to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt Brand

SPIRIT Ridge sits on land that has been the home of the Osoyoos Indian Band for thousands of years. Rich in culture and historical relevance, the iconic resort’s design embraces the Okanagan First Nations people and celebrates their deep spiritual connection to natural surroundings. Nestled on the slopes of the South Okanagan Valley, the adobe style resort features all-suites and villas accommodations ranging in size from one to three bedrooms. All suites and villas feature fully equipped kitchens, outdoor private terraces and sweeping vistas of the surrounding vineyards, desert mountains and Osoyoos Lake.

In December 2017, Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort will join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, a global collection of unique and story-worthy stay experiences. Situated 250 miles east of Vancouver in Osoyoos, British Columbia, the luxury Spirit Ridge resort will be the first Canadian property affiliated with The Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio and sixth globally for the brand, which spans across North America, Latin America and Europe.


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Scarefest - Do you dare?



ALTON Towers Resort’s award-winning Scarefest event is returning for 2017, promising to deliver more spine-tingling terror than ever before. This year, a brand new Scare Maze, The Welcoming: Be Chosen, joins the terrifying line-up, set to not only be a petrifying experience in itself, but also providing a first glimpse into the Resort’s new attraction for 2018, currently codenamed ‘Secret Weapon 8’

Scarefest is the UK’s biggest and best #Halloween event for all ages and this year sees the return of award winning Scare Mazes from previous years: Sub Species: The End Games, Altonville Mine Tours and Terror of the Towers – as well as the spooky walkthrough experience for families with children aged 8+, House Of Monsters, introduced last year. 

The park’s rides and attractions also stay open until 9pm every single night, meaning visitors can enjoy the added thrill of taking on these breathtaking rides in the dark.

Scarefest 2017 will take place every day from 20th to 31st October at #AltonTowers Resort. Visit altontowers.com/scarefest for more information and to book tickets.

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Paddington's Pop-Up London unveiled ahead of movie launch

FIVE spectacular pop-up book installations featuring Michael Bond’s much-loved bear will appear at iconic landmarks and attractions across #London from Monday 23 October – 3 December 2017, ahead of the film’s eagerly awaited release in UK Cinemas on 10 November 2017.

In PADDINGTON 2, #Paddington discovers an exceptional pop-up book in Mr Gruber’s antique store. Taking inspiration from this, these five stunning free attractions will be open for everyone to enjoy, with installations appearing across the Capital and featuring some of London’s most famous landmarks: Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus. The pop-ups will appear at the following popular tourist spots: Peter’s Hill (St Paul’s), Tower Bridge, Paddington Station, Peninsula Square (The O2) and Bankside (Tate Modern).

Families coming to London this half term will be able to discover Paddington’s Pop-Up London, which will lead them on a treasure hunt across the city, as they journey from pop-up book to pop-up book to discover a secret word. They will then be able to enter a competition on www.visitlondon.com/paddington2 to win a Paddington Afternoon tea journey for all the family, aboard the iconic Belmond British Pullman train.

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Discover over 500 species of bird in Chile

AS the longest country in the world, Chile’s variety of landscapes combined with its climatic extremes, attract over 500 species of birds. From the deserts in the north to the glaciers of the south, #birdwatching in #Chile is like no other destination. 

Now in its seventh year, the South American Bird Fair 2017 will be hosted in the city of Puerto Varas in the Los Lagos region of central Chile from 26th – 29th October. 

The event welcomes bird watchers and nature enthusiasts from across the globe to participate in expert talks, field trips, workshops and book presentations among other activities. This is the first year that Chile will host the event, which will be held at the Cabaña del Lago Hotel.


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Conde Nast scores Tokyo as #1 top large city in the world

Condé Nast Traveler today announced the results of its 30th annual Readers' Choice Awards with #Tokyo recognized as the #1 top large city in the world, with a score of 91.35, and #Kyoto recognized as the #3 top large city in the world, with a score of 88.98.

"This recognition from Condé Nast's readership is a testament to the growing North American passion for Japanese destinations," stated Ken Iwata, JNTO New York's Executive Director. "JNTO will continue and further its effort to inspire people to visit Japan, including hidden gems of less-traveled areas such as Setouchi."


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Mövenpick Hotel Muscat Airport capitalises on city’s tourism growth

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ #Oman expansion strategy is gathering pace with the company revealing plans to operate its third property in the Sultanate’s capital, #Muscat.

The global hospitality company has inked an agreement with Oman’s Golden Group of Companies to manage the 370-key Mövenpick Hotel Muscat Airport, part of a new upscale mixed-use project under development near Muscat International Airport, which will also feature retail and commercial space covering 3,000sqm and 10,000sqm respectively when it opens in 2021.

It expands Mövenpick’s inventory pipeline to almost 1,000 keys countrywide after deals to operate Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Al Azaiba Muscat and Mövenpick Hotel Bausher Muscat were recently signed.

The three properties will capitalise on Oman’s growing importance as a regional hub for business and leisure tourism, spurred by the development of new infrastructure that ranges from conference centres to cruise terminals. At the same time, Muscat International Airport is undergoing extensive renovations and expansion that will boost its annual capacity from 12 million to 48 million passengers when the redevelopment project is fully completed.


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Saturday, 21 October 2017

Crystal Cruises earns top honours again

THE readers of Condé Nast Traveler have once again voted Crystal Cruises as the “World’s Best” medium sized #cruise line (501-2,499 guests), marking the record-making 24th year the #luxury line has earned top honours. 

The publication’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards included input from more than 300,000 readers, who cast votes for more than 7,000+ hotels, 500 cruise ships, 600+ cities and 200+ islands, resulting in a preeminent list of more than 1,400 of the world’s best travel experiences.


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Save in Switzerland




WHILE
many people may perceive a holiday in #Switzerland to be impossibly expensive, it is certainly more affordable than one may think. Switzerland Tourism has shared some useful tips on how travellers can enjoy a holiday in the #Alpine wonderland without breaking the bank. 

Avoid Peak Travel Seasons - The busiest travel seasons in Switzerland are summer, especially between July and August, and winter from mid-December to early January and February. To avoid high costs and crowds associated with the popular seasons, travellers should consider going over at the start or end of these seasons, also known as the shoulder periods. This is when costs are significantly lower, weather is still pleasant and most outdoor activities still available or accessible. 

Use the Swiss Travel Pass - The Swiss Travel Pass gives holders unlimited travel on all of the country’s public buses, trains and boats. Pass holders also receive up to 50% off mountain railways and cableways as well as free access to more than 500 museums around the country. Note also, children under the age of 16 travel for free when accompanied by a guardian using the Pass. 

Weekend and Alternative Stays - Many hotels, especially in the cities, offer cheaper rates over the weekend, so it’s advisable that travellers do some research while planning the best route for their visit. Alternatively, they can consider experiencing the country’s numerous Alpine huts, which, surrounded by pristine nature, offer a completely immersive and traditional Swiss experience like no other. 

Meals with Views - When it comes to meals, travellers should consider sampling a variety of local delicacies sold at market stalls or stores and enjoying their bites by the river, lake or in the middle of a lush meadow. Surrounded by great views, the luxury of picking and choosing the best – and free – vantage points for every mealtime is unbeatable. 

Activities and Experiences - Switzerland offers a range of free activities. Unless tour guides are required to provide in-depth information of a particular place or subject, travellers should consider picking up a brochure about the destination or reading up about it online so their actual visit can be done at their own pace. Other free activities include the many hikes available (trails are all well marked), swims (in most lakes and rivers) and museum visits. Unlike many major museums around the world, Swiss museums are free to enter for Swiss Travel Pass holders. With museums for all sort of interests from art, history to sports, transport and paper, visitors are spoilt for choice, especially on a rainy day. 

Tight budgets aside, with some planning and help from travel agents, travellers will enjoy the luxury of space, spectacular scenery and the variety of experiences on offer. www.myswitzerland.com

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No more Thomson

THE UK’s leading travel company has kicked off its name change campaign to highlight that Thomson is changing to TUI.

A new TV ad debuted during ITV’s flagship Saturday night programme the X Factor last week. The advert showed a man diving into clear crystal blue water; the message was simple, ‘Thomson is changing to TUI.’

The 20 second ad, created by Young and Rubicam, is at the heart of a wide scale communications offensive that will cement the name TUI in the minds of the British public as Thomson’s transition from UK number one to world number one reaches the final stages. The company announced in December 2016 that its summer 2017 marketing campaign ‘moments’ would be the last under the Thomson brand name, paving the way for a full re-brand by the end of the year.


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