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On September 21, 2012, 104 green turtle hatchlings emerged from the sand on Sunrise Beach at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa – the first wild turtles to be born on the island in 15 years.
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The majority of the babies were released into the ocean beyond the Resort’s House Reef, with four taken to Kuda Huraa’s turtle pools to increase their chances of survival in the wild.
For the past year, Maluo, Alfred, Bailey and Ariel have been hand-reared by the Resort’s marine biologists. In addition to being monitored, cleaned, weighed and measured on a weekly basis, they have been fed a fresh daily diet of green and brown algae, jellyfish, fish, lobster, crab and squid to supply all the nutrients they would receive in the wild.
Since 2011, Kuda Huraa’s marine biologists have been liaising with the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries and working with island communities across the country to increase awareness of turtle conservation and encourage individuals and communities to protect nests. To date, the team has hand-reared and released a total of 28 hatchlings from protected nests, dramatically improving their chances of survival in the wild.
With Maluo, Alfred and Bailey being Kuda Huraa born and bred, their release back to the wild marks an exciting landmark for the Resort. By monitoring the turtles’ movement via satellite, Kuda Huraa’s marine team hopes to gain a better understanding of the habitat use, migration routes and foraging grounds of green turtles in the central Indian Ocean – as well as keep a close eye on their ‘babies’ as they embark on their new life in the open ocean.
Malaysia was recognised as the Most Popular Tourist Destination Country in Asia at the Top Asia Corporate Ball 2013.
It was based on the result of a recent Top 10 survey. It also recognised 20 individuals and corporate organisations for their achievements.
The inaugural event is a culmination celebration of the achievements of personalities and busineness owners across the country and Asia from creme de la creme captain of industries, celebrities and sporting legends.
Three individuals bagged the highest for being ranked top personalities in the Top 10 of Malaysia and Top 10 of Asia magazines.
The awards were presented by Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz at the event who was also attended by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun.
Destination Hotels & Resorts, the fourth largest hospitality management company in the U.S., recently released its second annual “State of the Meetings Industry” survey with some interesting insights into some changing trends—and how hotel companies can adapt to meet new demands.
Money and Time
More than a quarterof the survey participants expect expenditures to be greater in 2014, an expected increase from the 20 percent who forecasted the same for 2013 funds, while 55 percent expects the budgets to remain the same in the New Year.
The survey results indicate that “rate” is no longer the clear-cut feature in determining which hotel to pick for a meeting. Although still not an overwhelmingly dominant factor, 43.4 percent of the survey participants lists “location” as the top priority, suggesting a steady switch towards increased interest in what the destination has to offer.
Flexible Meeting Spaces
Planners seek out meeting spaces, as well as public areas, that can be utilized creatively in different ways for varied functions, from sit-down gatherings and ice breakers to brainstorming sessions.
Destination announces that a major change from last year’s survey results is the increased need for a more encompassing technology service, to suit the needs of globally-expanding companies and organizations. 48 percent of this year’s respondents note that 2014 meetings will have more of a technological footprint than in the past.
As supported by the 92 percent of the survey participants, teambuilding continues to be a strong industry trend.
In addition, planners will also seek unique locations where there is an opportunity to link corporate social responsibility with teambuilding activities, not only to benefit the meeting group but the community in which the meeting takes place.
Veli Spa at Kurumba is the first spa of any resort island in the Maldives to use Dhivehi Beys treatments. Dhivehi Beys is a traditional Maldivian medicine made from local herbs and ingredients. Healing remedies and secrets from Indians, Persians, Malaysians, Sri Lankans and Chinese were acquired, synthesized and then used to develop local herbal remedies.
The new signature massage, called Akarakara Theyo Dhemun, uses local herbs combined with coconut oil. This benefits sufferers of arthritis, inflammation of joints and muscle pain. It improves blood circulation, strengthens the tissues and muscles, relieves the tightness on the scalp that causes migraines and is ideal for people who have nerve issues.
Lansimoo Theyo Dhemun is a back, neck and shoulder massage that uses a hot poultice filled with a blend of Maldivian herbs. These herbs are used to release nerve tightness and reduce migraines and muscle spasm.
The Tamburu Fai-Foot Massage uses Akarakara and Lansimoo with a blend of other local herbs and is used to improve blood circulation, promote healing and soothe joint pain.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa has achieved Silver EarthCheck Certification for the second consecutive year – making it one of the few resorts worldwide to gain such recognition.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa was the first property in the Maldives to follow the EarthCheck Planning and Design Standards during construction, which resulted in the resort becoming bronze benchmarked in 2009 by EarthCheck – the world’s leading sustainable travel and tourism certification organisation. Following an extensive audit in 2012, the resort reached the programme’s coveted Silver certification, and in 2013 was recognised for a second year, firmly placing the resort as a leader in the unique worldwide group of sustainable tourism operators.
As the Hyatt Group’s first sustainable tourism development, one of the primary objectives was to ensure that the resort was planned, designed and constructed in an environmentally sensitive manner. In addition, it also required that during operation, the resort should take great care to minimise its effect on the environment, enhance the Maldivian experience and to be as energy efficient as possible – a responsibility that the resort still places as a priority today.
Following the EarthCheck assessment in 2013, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa was highly commended for our use of reusable glass bottles for drinking water, which is bottled onsite reducing plastic bottle waste by approximately 100,000 per year. EarthCheck also identified that the apparent awareness of our staff on environmental initiatives was highly commendable.
In April 2013, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa was recognised in the ‘Best Sustainable Hotel’ category at the Asia Pacific Hotel Awards, receiving an international 5* award for their ongoing commitment to the environment.
It may be the smallest nation in Asia in terms of population but when it comes to luxury hotels, the Maldives punches well above its weight. Already more than 90 of its 1,190-odd islands are private resorts, and the coming months see more key openings. The first is Cheval Blanc Randheli, which opens in the Noonu Atoll on November 15.The hotel is the second to open under the auspices of the newish Cheval Blanc hospitality brand, operated by Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Hotel Management. A 45-minute flight from Malé, the resort is reached by its own liveried Twin Otter De Haviland seaplane.
Each of the villas, designed by the Belgian-born doyen of Asian-influenced hotel design Jean-Michel Gathy, has its own 41ft (12.5m) pool. There are tennis courts, a golf simulator, a Guerlain spa, a yacht, a dhoni… Everything is in the best possible taste.
What raises the hotel above the ordinarily glorious is a substantial body of work it has commissioned from the French artist Vincent Beaurin. Asked to produce a work – a soaring copper arch – to mark the entrance to the property, as well as a series of pieces to hang one apiece in each of the 45 villas, his thoughts turned to the landscape, but the Maldives’ Islamic culture meant his creations could not be too figurative. “I found the need to avoid anything figurative challenging but also liberating,” he said. The other challenge put to him was a demand that each work be visible from a distance of 91ft (28m) – the length from the door of each villa to its back wall.
His solution was to produce a series of raised rounds, 11 inches (28cm) in diameter, that protrude from the walls rather as the island rises above the ocean. Each was carved by hand from polystyrene, a material he likes because “it looks very heavy, but is light”. Then, one by one, he painted them in epoxy resin, and sifted, using a domestic sieve, a mix of ground marble and quartz sand that had been tinted an array of colours. Each shade was applied individually, and the effect is mesmerising – photographs do them no justice. Each displays a range of colours that at their simplest level recall the Maldivian landscape but at their most complex speak of Goethe’s colour theories and the spectrum that makes up light.
Rooms at Cheval Blanc Randheli start from $1,300 (£810) a night
As part of its sustainability program, the Six Senses Laamu resort in the Maldives has a set of new rules for its dolphin-watching trips.
Designed by the resort biologist Rachel Lambert, the seven-point program aims to protect local spinner and bottlenose dolphins, commonly found near the island of Laamu. Guides are trained to keep 50 meters from animals, and not to separate mothers and calves, nor chase dolphins, approach them directly or rapidly change speed or direction in the boat.
“Disturbance is the major conservation concern related to the whale and dolphin watching industry as the presence of boats has been shown to change the behaviour of the animals,” Ms. Lambert wrote in an email, identifying impacts ranging from collisions to aggression in the animals, low reproduction rates and, in the worst case, habitat abandonment.
The Asian chain plans to implement the policies in its Vietnam and Oman properties in the future.
In 2018, the number of Chinese outbound tourists will be more than double from the current outbound tourists’ number in 2012; signaling a transformational change and opportunity for the global travel industry. booming economy, mixed with an exponential rise in the number of millionaires and a rapidly expanding middle class, has ignited a desire among the Chinese population to explore the world and resultant China outbound tourism market has become one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the world.
Holiday purpose visits are the most popular segment among all the other segments in Chinese outbound tourists. Holiday purpose segment is 5 times bigger than its closest outbound tourism segment in 2012.
In Chinese outbound tourist arrivals, Hong Kong holds the highest share in 2012, and it is expected to maintain its position in years to come.In China outbound tourists spending Hong Kong and United States occupies the 1st and 2nd position in 2012. Taiwan, Korea and Australia are holding the 3rd, 4th and 5th spots respectively.
The average spending of Chinese outbound tourists in United States is highest followed by Australia as its second most popular destination in 2012. Holiday segment accounts for the maximum spending by the Chinese outbound tourists.
UK holidaymakers have been left cold by 2013’s summer heatwave, with almost two-thirds saying it won’t make them more likely to holiday in the UK next year, reveals the World Travel Market 2013 Industry Report released on Monday 4th November.
However, it is not all bad news of the domestic holiday market as three out of ten holidaymakers said the good weather meant they were more likely to holiday in the UK next year.
Furthermore, the holidaymakers were asked to list where they holidayed in 2013 – with the UK being top of the list, followed by Spain and France. And when asked about next year’s holiday choices, the UK was again the most favoured option.
The holidaymakers’ survey echoed the findings of another WTM poll, which asked 1,277 senior travel industry executives who are attending World Travel Market this week about their holidays and found that London and UK were the most-visited short break destinations.
Reed Travel Exhibitions, Senior Director, World Travel Market, Simon Press said: “After several soggy summers, our domestic travel trade was undoubtedly boosted by this summer’s heatwave.
“UK residents made 7.73m visits abroad in August 2013, up 8% year-on-year, according to the Office for National Statistics, demonstrating the desire of Brits to go overseas to top up their tans.
Management at Hudhuranfushi Resort, Maldives have taken a welcome step to managing on island surfer numbers by appointing World Surfaris as their official surf operations manager & offering a new surfer management plan that will limit surfers permitted to a maximum of 35 during March to October season.
The new surfer package is only available through international surf adventure company World Surfaris and their affiliate agents and promises to free up the house break ‘Lohi’s’ from the annual abundance of visiting surfers.
Fostering a ‘less is more for everyone’ attitude World Surfaris owner Shaun Levings has indicated that this is a positive step in managing surfer numbers in the North Male’ atoll of the Maldives.
“Surfer numbers visiting North Male’ atoll & Hudhuranfushi Resort have considerably increased in recent years. The resulting influx has often left guests frustrated to say the least with a bad atmosphere in and out of the water. After all who’d want to travel to this dream destination and have to share the line up with an excessive crowd? The new surf management plan means less people in the water with more waves for your money and a great vibe throughout your holiday.” Levings stated.
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