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Old April 19th, 2011, 02:57 PM   #721
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Brazil to promote tourism with release of 'Rio'
AP
Wed Apr 13, 5:13 pm ET

BRASILIA, Brazil – Brazil's tourism agency plans to use the global release of the 3-D animation movie "Rio" to promote the country as a destination for foreign tourists.

Embratur said Wednesday a short promotional video — "Brazil Calls You. Celebrate Life Here" — will be shown in theaters in 10 nations around the world just before the film is screened this weekend.

There will be 7,500 showings of the video at 250 movie houses in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Italy, Netherlands, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the United States.

Besides promoting Brazil, the video is aimed at reducing concerns that foreigners may have about violence in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian city most visited by tourists, an Embratur official said. The official agreed to discuss that aspect of the video only if not quoted by name.

Last week, a gunman killed 12 children at an elementary school in Rio, lining them up against a wall and shooting them in the head. After being shot in the legs by a police officer, the shooter killed himself.

Rio is frequently in the news as a city rife with drug-gang violence in its vast slums.

In 2009, police began an ambitious "pacification" program in which security forces clear heavily armed gangs from slums and establish a police presence. The program aims to reduce violence in the city before the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games and improve the lives of shantytown residents by bringing in basic services.

"Rio," which was directed by Brazilian Carlos Saldanha, opened last month in Brazil.

It is the story of Blu, a rare blue macaw born in Brazil but raised in Minnesota, where he never learned to fly. Blu travels to Rio de Janeiro after his owners learn a female blue macaw has been discovered there, then amid a series of adventures falls in love with her and learns to fly while rediscovering himself among sweeping views of the city.

"It is very important to take advantage of this visibility to promote our diversity," Embratur president Mario Moyses said in a statement. "Besides Rio de Janeiro, which everyone should visit, we have natural beauties: beaches, sun and destinations for anyone seeking culture, sports, ecotourism, and adventure and business tourism."
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Old May 5th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #722
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Top 10 destinations in the world (by TripAdvisor):

1. Cape Town, South Africa


2. Sydney, Australia


3. Machu Picchu, Peru


4. Paris, France


5. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


6. New York City, United States


7. Rome, Italy


8. London, United Kingdom


9. Barcelona, Spain


10. Hong Kong, China



The news:CNN
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Old May 10th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #723
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Hawaii tourism up 9 percent in first quarter
AP
Fri Apr 29, 1:46 pm ET

HONOLULU – Visitors to Hawaii increased 9 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to last year despite a decline in arrivals from Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

Japan arrivals plunged nearly 17.9 percent last month compared to March 2010, according to data from the Hawaii Tourism Authority released Thursday. Prior to the earthquake and tsunami, the number of visitors from Japan had increased nine out of the last 10 months since last May.

"As expected, Hawaii saw a decline in arrivals from Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11," tourism authority president and CEO Mike McCartney said.

The tourism industry made up for that anticipated loss because of business from other markets, he said. Arrivals from the U.S. mainland and Canada increased from last year despite a drop in spring break visitors. The authority anticipated seeing the full effect of spring break in April, which is when the majority of California schools schedule their breaks.

Total visitor spending in Hawaii during the first three months of the year increased 16.9 percent to $3.2 billion compared to the same time last year. Last month's visitor spending grew 11.8 percent from last March while arrivals increased 4.2 percent. The average daily spending by all visitors last month was $167 per person, a $5 increase from last year.

McCartney said tourism is expected to be strong in April and May because of spring break, the Easter holiday and charter flights from Japan for the country's string of national holidays known as "Golden Week."

The authority, he said, "will continue to monitor the Japan market as well as other global conditions, such as the rise in oil prices, which will have an effect on our state's economic recovery."
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #724
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Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Bhutan

THIMPHU, May 13 (Reuters) - The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is becoming increasingly popular for well-heeled travellers keen to explore this remote and unspoiled Buddhist Shangri La.

Surrounded by mountains and flanked by India and Tibet, this tiny country has only been opened to tourism for a few decades and its traditional way of life remains miraculously preserved despite the growing prevalence of mobile phones and cable television.

While tourists are lured to Bhutan for a break from the 21st century, the country is also uniquely progressive. Tobacco is illegal, plastic bags are banned, and traditional economic indicators are shunned in favour of Gross National Happiness.

The expensive price tag ($200 per person per day) has kept budget travellers at bay, but the cost includes all meals, accommodation, guide, driver and car. Contrary to popular belief, there is no quota on the number of tourists allowed per year although hotels and airline seats fill up fast.

FRIDAY

5 p.m. - Marvel at the view from your Druk Air window seat at one of the most spectacular commercial airline descents in the world as you make the hair-raising landing in Bhutan's steep Paro valley. Meet your guide after clearing customs.

The 1-hour journey to Thimphu follows a river through idyllic countryside, taking in paddy fields and villages featuring Bhutanese-style architecture.

6 p.m. - Arrive in Thimphu, a charming city which boasts of being the world's only capital without traffic lights, and where white-gloved police direct traffic by hand. Walk into town to soak up the village-like atmosphere at dusk where monks with mobile phones mingle with government officials wearing traditional 'ghos', a knee-length robe worn by Bhutanese men, and young modern Bhutanese playing carom, finger snooker, in bars. Wander into shops selling handicrafts, prayer flags and textiles.

7 p.m. - Eat dinner in one of the local restaurants around Clock-tower Square. Chillies are the staple of Bhutanese dining and feature in almost every meal along with red rice. Buffet-style dining is popular for tourists and common dishes include chicken, dried beef, lentils and dried vegetable spiced with chilli and cheese.

9 p.m. - You don't travel to Bhutan for the nightlife but if you are still keen to party, ask your guide to take you to one of the town's friendly bars or karaoke clubs.

SATURDAY

7 a.m. - After a huge buffet breakfast at your hotel, strap on your hiking boots and meet your guide for an early start. Drop into Thimphu's National Memorial Chorten, an impressive monument to a former king, and soak up the enormous prayer wheels and watch locals in colourful traditional dress. Take in views of Bhutan's impressive Taschhhodzong or parliament building.

If you have time, visit one of the local Thanka-making houses where intricate Buddhist tapestries are hand-sewn.

11 a.m. - Take the winding roads back into the Paro Upper Valley to begin the steep trek to the famous Taktsang or Tiger Nest Monastery. This cluster of buildings hanging off a sheer cliff face 900 metres above the valley below is Bhutan's most photographed attraction. It involves a strenuous hike through lush pine forests and groves of prayer flags for one to two hours but the reward is worth it.

1 p.m - Rest and enjoy lunch at the wooden teahouse halfway up, taking in spectacular views of the monastery and the valley below. Tackle the steep path to the top, passing the Snow Lion Cave and a waterfall. Explore the labyrinth of chapels inside the monastery and watch the monks, who spend large parts of their lives meditating at the top of the world.

4 p.m - Drive back to Paro to check into your hotel and rest your feet after the long climb. Paro offers a range of accommodation nestled in pine forests or by rivers and many rooms have scenic views across the valley. The most popular at the high-end is the Uma Como. (http://www.uma.paro.como.bz/).

An increasing number of hotels feature luxurious spas where tourists can ease any aches and pains from long days trekking with hot stone massages and other treatments.

7 p.m. - Enjoy Bhutan beer -- Druk 11000 is a popular and potent brand -- from your balcony overlooking the valley before either venturing into town or enjoying dinner by a roaring fire at your hotel.

SUNDAY

9 a.m - Reward yourself for yesterday's hike with a large buffet breakfast in your hotel before meeting your guide to explore the picturesque Paro valley.

10 a.m. Archery is Bhutan's national sport and a great spectator event. Drop by the Paro Archery Grounds to watch local men in traditional dress hitting impossibly distant targets. The sport is laced with ritual and the competitive singing and dancing which follows each round is more fun to watch than the archery itself. Some hotels will organise archery lessons.

11 a.m - Drive up to Paro's National Museum, an old watchtower perched above the town, and inspect the ancient artefacts which illustrate Bhutan's rich history. From here it is a short walk downhill to the Paro Dzong (Rinpung Dzong), an enormous fortress-monastery built in 1646 which featured in the movie The Last Emperor. It is also the site for Bhutan's famous Tsechu, a spectacular festival held each spring where thousands come to see the elaborate costumes and dances which recreate stories from Buddhist mythology.

1 p.m - Lunch in Paro town and spend the afternoon visiting the weekend food market or wandering around local shops. Relax in the town square and take final photos of locals in traditional dress before departing for the airport.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 05:17 PM   #725
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Unrest boosts tourism in more stable Gulf states

DUBAI, May 17 (Reuters) - Gulf Arab states least affected by regional turmoil are likely to see a boost in tourism, analysts said on Tuesday, with the United Arab Emirates outperforming other destinations.

"Dubai has benefitted drastically, with high occupancy rates, more tourists, and high retail numbers, because your average Arab who used to go to ... Jordan, Syria or Lebanon, or to Egypt find these countries suffering from unrest," said Mahdi Mattar, chief economist at Abu Dhabi-based CAPM Investment.

"They have adjusted to the next best thing which is Dubai. Also international tourists who used to go to Egypt and wanted to see a better weather are coming to Dubai right now," he said.

UAE Economy Minister Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri said earlier this month that he had already seen an uptick in tourism in the first four months of 2011.

Tourism contributes about 25 percent to Dubai's economy.

"It's a very broad mix of tourists. If we look at the Dubai market for tourism, the number one nationality providing tourists to Dubai is traditionally the United Kingdom, closely followed by Asian, Russian and (Gulf) tourists," said Farouk Soussa, Citi's Middle East chief economist in Dubai.

"If you look at the number of tourist arrivals, the number of people going through Dubai airport, all these indicators are growing at a rate of between 10 to 15 percent," he added.

The UAE, along with Qatar, has avoided the public protests that have swept through the Arab world, and Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the Gulf. Occupancy rates in Bahrain hotels dropped to 10 percent in March, compared with 60 percent a year earlier, according to a Ernst & Young Middle East survey.

In Oman, a small sultanate hit by street protests since February, hotel occupancy rates stood at 68 percent in March this year, down from 83 percent in March 2010, the data showed.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 12:17 PM   #726
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France to help Russia create Caucasus ski resorts

DEAUVILLE, France, May 26 (Reuters) - France will help Russia with its ambitious plan to create a constellation of ski resorts in the North Caucasus, a poor region plagued by insurgent violence, the two presidents said on Thursday.

Russia laid out a $15 billion plan last year to build five resorts in the stunning mountains of the North Caucasus, hoping to draw tourism and investment to an area where poverty fuels an Islamist insurgency a decade after the wars in Chechnya.

France voiced support in a joint statement released after talks between President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during a G8 summit in the seaside resort of Deauville.

Sarkozy and Medvedev "agreed to list the creation of a tourist cluster in the North Caucasus as a priority ... in the strategic partnership between the two countries," it said.

"France has unique and varied experience and knowledge of full-scale development of highland regions ... and is ready to share its experience with Russia," the document said.

Russia and France are considering a joint venture that would inject at least 2 billion euro ($2.79 billion) in to the project, the Russian business daily Vedomosti reported.

State-run North Caucasus Resorts Company (NCRC), which is running the project, has said it would create 200,000 jobs in the impoverished region and is to be named Peak 5,642 after Europe's tallest mountain, Mount Elbrus.

Russia has ski areas around Mount Elbrus and elsewhere in the western portion of the North Caucasus, but much of the infrastructure is rudimentary and few foreigners visit.

The insurgency, which is rooted in Russia's 1990s wars against Chechen separatists but has spread to other mostly Muslim provinces further west in the North Caucasus, poses a serious challenge to the plan.

In February, three Russian ski vacationers were killed by insurgents near Mount Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria province.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:39 PM   #727
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Unrest boosts tourism in more stable Gulf states

...

In Oman, a small sultanate hit by street protests since February, hotel occupancy rates stood at 68 percent in March this year, down from 83 percent in March 2010, the data showed.
I don't understand how Muscat, the capital, is so expensive compared to Dubai. Every price (except petrol/gas) was more expensive: The hotels, restaurants, fashion, grosseries, McDonalds. I was really surprised.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #728
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A 5 years old, but very interesting article. I bet still actual:

'Paris Syndrome' strikes Japanese
By Caroline Wyatt
BBC News, Paris


A dozen or so Japanese tourists a year have to be repatriated from the French capital, after falling prey to what's become known as "Paris syndrome".

That is what some polite Japanese tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations. The experience can apparently be too stressful for some and they suffer a psychiatric breakdown.


Around a million Japanese travel to France every year.

Many of the visitors come with a deeply romantic vision of Paris - the cobbled streets, as seen in the film Amelie, the beauty of French women or the high culture and art at the Louvre. The reality can come as a shock.

An encounter with a rude taxi driver, or a Parisian waiter who shouts at customers who cannot speak fluent French, might be laughed off by those from other Western cultures.

But for the Japanese - used to a more polite and helpful society in which voices are rarely raised in anger - the experience of their dream city turning into a nightmare can simply be too much.

This year alone, the Japanese embassy in Paris has had to repatriate four people with a doctor or nurse on board the plane to help them get over the shock.

An encounter with a rude Parisian can be a shocking experience. They were suffering from "Paris syndrome". It was a Japanese psychiatrist working in France, Professor Hiroaki Ota, who first identified the syndrome some 20 years ago.

On average, up to 12 Japanese tourists a year fall victim to it, mainly women in their 30s with high expectations of what may be their first trip abroad.

The Japanese embassy has a 24-hour hotline for those suffering from severe culture shock, and can help find hospital treatment for anyone in need.

However, the only permanent cure is to go back to Japan - never to return to Paris

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6197921.stm
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Old July 31st, 2011, 09:03 AM   #729
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The six best cities to get lost in

Put your map away and spin round three times – it is time to get lost. Going off the radar in a strange city can be the perfect way to uncover its secrets, get a feel for the layout and meet the locals.

Of course, there is good lost and bad lost. It is best done on purpose, with plenty of time to spare and a sound way to get found again. Some cities lend themselves to this kind of off-the-chart adventure; here are six of our favourites – and six ways to make it home again.

Venice
This northern Italian city is the ultimate head-spinner. First it comes at you with an endless recession of identical canals and bridges, then it veers off at odd angles and into blind corners, and all the time boggles your senses with its impossible film-set beauty. No fair, Venice! Getting lost here pays – the tramp of a thousand tourists yields to tranquil sunlit courtyards and the sound of pigeons’ wings.

Get found: Look for signs and arrows scrawled on the walls. You can follow them to hubs like the Rialto and L’Accademia.

Varanasi
You could throw yourself into Varanasi’s dark maze of streets a hundred times over and still come out at a different point. Discover temples, sweet shops and silk bargains in the back alleys of this Indian city.

Get found: Countless bicycle rickshaw drivers will be only too happy to take you home – for a price that is in range of just about every budget.

London
Most visitors to London have a fractured, point-to-point experience of the city, popping up from tube stations to visit the sights then diving underground again. It is efficient, but where is the romance? Try to wander and you will be rewarded by grand squares, secluded churchyards and one-off boutiques.

Get found: Just look for the distinctive London Underground sign. Bingo, you are back on the map!

Tokyo
The bewildering pace and flickering neon of this go-go city guarantee a bit of giddiness. Abandon yourself to the disorientation and you might just get off-road enough to find the wabi-sabi side of Tokyo.

Get found: Like London, Tokyo has an excellent public transport system. If it all gets too much, jump a train back to home base.

Istanbul
There are (at least) two great things about getting out of the tourist centre in Istanbul. One – the hotels and hard-sell rug merchants fall away, replaced by local tea shops, parks and houses. Two – the city’s rollercoaster hills reward you with Bosphorus views and toned-up legs. Get lost every day and see your fitness soar!

Get found: If you want to get back to the tourist area, stop for a glass of tea and ask the way to Sultanahmet. Soothe your tired muscles in one of the city’s spectacular bath houses.

Canberra
With its systems of circular roads, Australia’s capital city regularly traps its visitors in a hamster-wheel spiral of confusion. But there are better ways to get lost here. Head out of the city centre – yes, into the bush. Keep going. There! See those suburbs? That is where the life of the city is going on – including some of its best eating.

Get found: Hooray for GPS! Or go with the traditional Aussie method and ask for directions at a servo (service station).

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20...to-get-lost-in
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #730
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Top 10 Gay Honeymoon Destinations

You’ve got the ceremony and reception planned, now comes the really fun part. Need ideas for the perfect honeymoon spots? Here are our top 10 picks for cities that are sure to inspire romance!


10. Sitges, Spain

The pride of the Mediterranean, Sitges is a beach resort haven located just a 40-minute drive from the coast from Barcelona. Sitges is a former fishing village offering more than 300 days of sunshine a year and unlike some summer hotspots that close down in autumn, Sitges is jumping 12 months a year.

9. San Juan, Puerto Rico

PR has unique charm, beauty and excitement. It’s an amazing island and perfect for a romantic honeymoon getaway. You’ll find many warm and friendly people and as a stand-alone getaway, you definitely won’t be disappointed. You can also take a cruise and explore the other exotic surrounding locales.

8. Sonoma, California

You’ll fall in love with this tiny, charming town nestled in the rolling hills and sweeping landscape of the Valley of the Moon. When you want a break from wine-tasting, take part in one of the popular festivals, including the Sonoma International Film Festival in April and The Sonoma Jazz Festival in May.

7. Ogunquit, Maine

This sleepy gay resort town encompasses the beauty and appeal of New England. Less than two hours from Boston, Ogunquit offers sprawling shoreline, lovely galleries, shops and friendly locals. Summer is the most popular season but tourists continue to flock here in the fall.

6. Quebec City, Quebec

This historic and quaint city is an ideal honeymoon destination. There’s a plethora of attractions if you’re into sightseeing but there are also world-class restaurants, shopping and nightlife options as well.

5. Maui, Hawaii

Locals say “Maui no ka oi” - “Maui is the best.” Newlyweds are sure to agree. Beyond the tourist traps it’s still possible to find remote areas with indescribable natural beauty and tranquility.

4. Cape Town, South Africa

The jewel of Africa is a place you must explore with the one you love. Go on safari, lay on the beach, shop or luxuriate at a spa. There’s no limit to what you can do.

3. Stowe, Vermont

For winter sport enthusiasts, the Green Mountain State is most appealing when those mountains turn white. Whether you ski or snowboard, Stowe will delight and amaze you. Hit the slopes during the day and soak in a hot tub with your hubby or wife at night.

2. Palm Springs, California

Some couples like it hot! For those who do, Palm Springs is the honeymoon destination for you. The key is finding the perfect resort or hotel. Lounge by the pool, then take a stroll down Palm Canyon Drive. A longtime haven for Hollywood’s elite, you’ll find great restaurants, shops and performances almost every night.

1. Gold Coast, Australia

Spanning some 40 miles, Australia’s famous holiday destination is surely one of the most romantic spots in the world. The flaxen, sun-kissed, golden sands nestled near the majestic rainforests will leave you breathless.

http://www.gaytravel.com/blog/entry/...When:15:20:13Z
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Old August 10th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #731
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Cuban tourism up 10.6 percent, U.S. travel stable
Fri, Jul 29, 2011

HAVANA (Reuters) - The Cuban tourism industry performed strongly through June as arrivals from just about all travel providers increased and the number of U.S. visitors was stable, according to a government report released on Friday.

Tourist arrivals during the first half of the year were 1.538 million, up 10.6 percent over the same period in 2010, the National Statistics Office reported on its website (http://www.one.cu).

The 148,000 additional arrivals included just 30,000 in the "other" category where Cuban American and U.S. citizens not of Cuban origin are included.

Cuba has said it had 2.53 million tourists in 2010, with Canada the largest provider at nearly 945,000, followed by Britain at 174,000 and Italy at 112,000.

Tourism is one of Cuba's most important earners of foreign exchange, with revenues of $2.2 billion last year, and an important provider of jobs.

U.S. President Barack Obama lifted all restrictions on Cuban American travel to the island in 2009, resulting in a big jump in arrivals in 2010. That appears to have leveled off this year.

According to industry insiders 375,500 Cubans residing abroad visited in 2010, compared with 296,000 in 2009, with most of the increase attributed to Cuban Americans.

The number of U.S. citizens visiting their government's long-time ideological foe also increased last year by 20 percent, reaching 63,000, according to Cuban government statistics.

The Obama administration earlier this year significantly loosened travel restrictions for non-Cuban Americans visiting for academic, religious and other professional reasons, authorized the issuing of licenses to more Cuba travel providers and allowed more airports to give charter service between the two countries.

The new regulations are now kicking in and are expected to result in a significant increase in U.S. travel to the country for the remainder of the year.

Travel providers report they are swamped and forecast more than 100,000 Americans not of Cuban descent will come to the island this year.

The increase in U.S. travel to the country, which remains under stiff U.S. sanctions and a ban on tourism-related visits, has provoked the ire of Cuban American lawmakers. They have introduced legislation that would roll back Cuban American visits to once every three years and more strictly enforce other travel to the country.

The lawmakers argue that the Obama administration is helping to prop up the Cuban government, while the White House counters more people-to-people contact is the best way to undermine the island's Communist authorities.
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Old August 21st, 2011, 05:42 PM   #732
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The Irish Times
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Dublin Tourism voices concern at unofficial outlets

DUBLIN TOURISM, Fáilte Ireland’s official tourist organisation in the capital, has raised concerns about unofficial tourist offices that have opened over the last 18 months.

Paul Hayden, acting chief executive of Dublin Tourism, said while he had no problem with sales and booking offices, he was concerned about the quality of the service offered to visitors.

“We would be concerned about the orientation of visitors, for example, whether or not they are being directed to historical sites and approved accommodation,” he said.

“Some only have a certain budget while others do want to undertake paid trips.”

He also said Dublin Tourism would take leaflets from any tour business once they were approved and would hold them for the public to access, though display in the office required partnership agreement.

Four private tourism offices have opened in Dublin in the last year – on Grafton Street, College Green, O’Connell Street and Bachelors Walk.

All four display the “i” sign, synonymous with tourist information the world over, and offer booking facilities for tours in the capital and beyond. None of the offices has any affiliation with the official tourism office, Dublin Tourism on Suffolk Street.

The College Green and O’Connell Street offices, both signed “Tourism Office”, are owned by adventure company Extreme Ireland.

The Grafton Street office, signed “Tourist Office”, sells independent tours and does not provide accommodation. It is owned by tour operator Paddywagon.

The Bachelors Walk office, signed “Dublin’s Tourist Office”, sells accommodation, tours and bus tickets.

All four offices stay open longer than the official office, which operates from 9am to 5pm only.

Mr Hayden wished the operators “good luck” in running their business, but said there had been some “anecdotal feedback” and some complaints from people who had visited the offices and were unhappy with the services.

“Anything damaging the reputation of Dublin would be of concern,” he said. “We have a good reputation, but it could break down quite easily.”

A spokesman for Extreme Ireland said all of his staff were highly trained and multilingual. The business worked on a commission basis and did not charge tour businesses to have their flyers in his offices, while Dublin Tourism charged €700, he said.

They were serving a need for small operators who couldn’t afford the charge as well as for tourists who could avail of their services, he said. “Dublin Tourism is not happy because we are taking customers away,” the spokesman said. “It’s Aer Lingus vs Ryanair.”

Robert O’Dolan, co-founder of the Bachelors Walk office, said 12 jobs were created with the opening of their office and they received “nothing but compliments” about it.

“Dublin Tourism doesn’t encourage competition,” he said.

“I think we are a thorn in their side. We are giving good service over long hours and making small profits and we have shown up a State-sponsored organisation.”

A spokeswoman for the Grafton Street office said it opened two months ago and had created seven jobs. It gave free general information to visitors as well as selling tours and directing them to the official office for accommodation, she said.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #733
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QUEENSLAND has been voted the 'Green Tourism Destination of the Year' by more than 4.2 million readers of China's Travel Weekly tourism trade publication.

Queensland Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt was today celebrating the win, announced in Beijing overnight.

"This result shows the hard work of Tourism Queensland is delivering results for Queensland and boosting the state's profile as an eco-friendly holiday destination," she said.

"Queensland was chosen as one of the top three green tourism destinations in the world by the selection panel.

"We went head-to-head with Norway and New Zealand before being voted into the No.1 spot by Travel Weekly China readers in an online poll."

China is Queensland's fourth largest and fastest-growing international market, with 197,000 Chinese visiting in the year ending March 2011, 29 per cent more than the previous year.

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/...rism-news.html
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Old August 30th, 2011, 03:19 AM   #734
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I'd think the Great Barrier Reef would be a huge draw to Chinese tourists, although I expect Norway to offer a different kind of stunning natural beauty as well.
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Old October 31st, 2011, 08:19 AM   #735
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Abu Dhabi delays opening dates for Louvre, Guggenheim museums
Sat, Oct 29, 2011
Excerpt

DUBAI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi government-owned Tourism Development and Investment Co (TDIC) said on Saturday it was postponing the opening of three museums, in a fresh delay for one of the largest cultural projects in the Middle East.

The company gave no new date for opening the Abu Dhabi branches of the Guggenheim and the Louvre museums and the Zayed National Museum, originally scheduled between 2013 and 2014.

The announcement came less than a week after the company said it had canceled a tender related to the construction of the 450,000 sq foot Guggenheim museum, designed by architect Frank Gehry and expected to be the largest in the world.

"Due to the immense magnitude of the work associated with the development of such consequential projects, the company has decided to extend the delivery dates," the company said in a statement.

*******************************

The Guggenheim and Louvre museums are planned for the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, which is a $27 billion art and culture project.

($1 = 3.673 UAE Dirhams)
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Old October 31st, 2011, 10:49 AM   #736
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Wow, Cape Town is really cooking at the moment. The momentum from the World Cup is continuing, Tripadvisor says Cape Town is the number one travel destination in the world, the Telegraph just listed it second best, and now the city has been named the World Design Capital!


Cape Town awarded design gong
31st October 2011


CAPE Town has beaten the other shortlisted finalists, Dublin (Ireland) and Bilbao (Spain), in being awarded the title of World Design Capital 2014 at the International Design Alliance (IDA) Congress.

South African Tourism Australasia country manager Lalie Ngozi said*Cape Town's status as World Design Capital 2014 is a major boost for South Africa's credentials as a major international lifestyle destination and a big boost for the country's tourism industry.

"This is wonderful news for Cape Town and our country's entire tourism industry and South African Tourism congratulates everyone involved with the Mother City's successful World Design Capital 2014 bid," Ms Ngozi said.

The prestigious World Design Capital award is made every other year by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to a city that is dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development.

The Mother City is the first African city to be given the honour, joining former World Design Capitals Torino, Italy (2008), Seoul, South Korea (2010) and Helsinki, Finland (2012).

...through our involvement this year with events such as Design Indaba in Cape Town, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, the Joy of Jazz and Macufe Festivals, the Joburg Art Fair, the Joburg, Cape Town and Africa Fashion Weeks and the Designing South Africa project, we have made a concerted attempt with our cities and provinces to position South Africa as a major international lifestyle destination.

"Cape Town specifically already has a world-renowned reputation as an amazing city to visit amongst Australian travellers, not only because of its acclaimed natural beauty, but because it is home to creative, inspired people who are building an innovative future," Ms Ngozi said.

Previous award winners have seen increased visitor numbers following their awarding of the title, with Torino reporting higher visitor numbers in their title year than in the year the city hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006.

"From our consumer research we know that travellers want to engage with South Africa's design, art, fashion and music offering when they visit our country and we're responding to that demand. This award gives us all a considerable boost and even more compelling reasons to entice visitors to our exciting destination," Ms Ngozi said.

The World Design Capital title is awarded well in advance, allowing winning cities sufficient time to plan, develop and promote a year-long programme of World Design Capital-themed events for their designated year and also the opportunity of two years of pre-publicity to showcase its design and creativity.

Cape Town officials are looking to use the title to celebrate the role design has played in taking a previously divided city and transforming it into a more integrated one and to address the issues of growing urbanisation.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 07:30 PM   #737
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Liverpool FC agrees deal with Turkish Tourism

Liverpool Football Club has announced a new two-year partnership with Turkish Tourism.

The deal, the first of its kind in the UK for the tourism body, includes advertising rights and other benefits.

The club’s managing director Ian Ayre said: “Turkey is a great country and we all have fantastic memories of our European Cup win in Istanbul in 2005.

“Through this partnership the club can provide Turkish Tourism with significant brand visibility and access to our supporter base to help raise awareness of their tourism opportunities.”

Tolga Tuyluoglu, director of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in London, said: “I am delighted that Turkey will be an official partner to such a historic club. I am sure that all Liverpool fans will have positive associations with Turkey already, following their dramatic Champions League win in Istanbul back in 2005. We hope to build on this to create a dynamic partnership.

“The city of Liverpool is known for its music and culture; its world-class galleries, museums and landmarks, which of course provides a body of shared values for us to work with. Over one quarter of those taking package-holidays to Turkey do so from the North West of England so this area is very important to Turkey. Of course, the fact that Liverpool FC plays in red and white is a bonus too!”

The deal was unveiled at the World Travel Market in London.









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Old February 17th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #738
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Summary Box: Egypt tourism slipped in 2011
Associated Press
Thu, Jan 19, 2012

VANISHING VISITORS: Revenues from Egypt's vital tourism sector plunged about 30 percent last year, dragged down by the unrest following the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak. The shortfall has forced the country to turn to the International Monetary Fund to bridge a burgeoning budget deficit.

NERVOUS ON THE NILE: The decline in revenues caused by near-daily protests and strikes underscores the challenges as its military rulers and the interim government plot a course toward handing over power to an elected civilian administration. The number of tourists who came to Egypt in 2011 dropped to 9.8 million from 14.7 million in 2010.

IMF ON BOARD: The tourism drop has led the country to turn again to the IMF after having rejected an earlier loan offer. Earlier in the week an IMF delegation visited the country and a formal request for a $3.2 billion support package was issued.
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Old February 19th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #739
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Japan sets ambitious tourism target
AFP
Fri, Feb 17, 2012

Japan has set itself the ambitious target of attracting 18 million visitors a year to its shores by 2016 as it bids to shake off the impact of the natural disasters of 2011.

A record 8.61 million tourists visited Japan in 2010, attracted by a strong campaign to raise the nation's profile as a vacation destination. Tourism authorities were hoping to build on that success in 2011 and had set a target of 10 million foreign visitors a year.

That target became impossible to achieve after the massive earthquake of March 11, which triggered a tsunami that devastated stretches of the coast of northeast Japan and crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant.

The total number of overseas visitors for the year slumped to 6.22 million. A year later, however, the crisis has abated and Japan wants to put itself back on the tourism map.

The Japanese government is expected to approve a plan that will be put into action from April that will increase the amount of information available to foreign visitors and particularly target tourists from China, South Korea and other nearby Asian nations.

As well as trying to attract tourists for short trips and repeat visitors, the government wants to increase the number of people visiting destinations that are off the beaten track for tourists.

The aim is to have tourists spend Y30 trillion (€292.8 million) a year, Y18 trillion (€175.7 million) of which will be by Japanese holidaymakers on overnight stays, Y6.5 trillion (€63.4 million) by Japanese day-trippers and some Y3 trillion (€29.3 million) by foreign tourists.

The Japan National Tourism Organisation has been promoting the message that virtually all of Japan is completely safe and that food and water supplies pose no danger to visitors a year after the disasters struck.

The agency has seen tourist numbers recover in areas such as Hokkaido, Okinawa, Kansai and Kyushu, although the recovery in Tokyo has been less strong, officials said.

Tourism accounts for only 2 percent of Japan's GDP, but the government hopes to increase that figure substantially in the years ahead.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 02:33 PM   #740
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Iraq town seeks shift from 'terrorism' to tourism
AFP
24 February 2012

Suspected of being a biological weapons site under Saddam Hussein and later an Al-Qaeda stronghold, an Iraqi town wants to return to its previous status as a centre for archaeology and tourism.

Madain, a town of some 7,000 inhabitants, was founded by the Parthian King Mithridates I more than 2,000 years ago.

It now lies between the two main highways linking the capital with southern Iraq, as do historical sites such as the Arch of Ctesiphon and the tomb of Salman Pak -- one of the companions of the Prophet Mohammed.

"We want to restore life to this place and make it one of the beautiful places for tourism," said Abdelhadi Hassan, director of antiquities in the town, 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Baghdad.

He said that both Iraqis and foreigners used to visit the gardens and parks in the town.

"Because of negligence the gardens and parks disappeared," he said. Maintenance work was stopped "because of the wars of the former regime."

Postcards from the 1970s show luxuriant gardens and arbours, but today there is little foliage because the irrigation pipes were destroyed and the trees were cut down for firewood by inhabitants during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war.

And the museum was looted in 2003 following the US-led invasion that overthrew Saddam Hussein, who was later executed.

A yellow brick palace, built by Shapur I (241-272 AD) of the Persian Sassanid dynasty, features the Arch of Ctesiphon, which at 37 metres (122 feet) tall and 48 metres (158 feet) deep, is the largest in the world.

About two kilometres (1.2 miles) away lies the tomb of Salman Pak ("The Pure" in Persian).

According to tradition, Salman Pak was originally Zoroastrian but converted to Christianity, and was later sold into slavery to a Jewish family in Medina in present-day Saudi Arabia, before converting to Islam.

Though it once was a centre for tourism and still features historical sites, Madain has had a notorious reputation in recent decades.

In 1986, according to the UN, the Iraqi biological weapons programme was developed in the area, and during the 2003 invasion, American forces said they captured Egyptians and Sudanese in a "terrorist training camp" in the town.

Al-Qaeda in 2005 made the town its stronghold, manufacturing car bombs and other explosive devices, while its fighters attacked the police and US forces, and constructed "dungeons" in the orchards in the area to detain victims kidnapped from the nearby highways.

Former Iraqi intelligence chief General Mohammed Shahwani dubbed it a "guerrilla hideout."

"This region was a site of armed conflict, but now that is all over," Hassan said.

But the military and police still patrol both on foot and in armoured vehicles between the Sunni and Shiite neighbourhoods, as the wounds from the conflict between the two communities are far from healed.

The Shiites cannot forget the terrible years from 2005 to 2008 during which insurgents carried out murders, abductions and attacks on their places of worship.

Abu Ali al-Shimmari, a 56-year-old restaurant owner, is still traumatised because of one day in 2005 when three armed men told him: "You have three days to leave, or we will kill you."

So he and his family left the town until 2008, by which time the security situation had improved.

Both Sunnis and Shiites want to see Madain become a tourist destination once again.

"I really want us to return to the old days," Shimmari said.

Adnan Khideir, a 42-year-old retired Sunni official, agreed: "The state must rebuild the town, especially now that the security situation is better."

He said he wants the gardens and public parks to be restored and an old hotel to be renovated.

But for now, the palace and the Arch of Ctesiphon remain a desolate place guarded by security forces.

The site has not even been registered as a UNESCO world heritage site, nor has such a request been made, an official from the international organisation said.
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