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Maldives is preparing to hose the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony on May 12th.
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It will be the first time the awards ceremony has visited the destination, with the prestigious event acclaimed globally as a premier networking platform in the travel industry.
The Gala Ceremony will be an elegant and glamorous five-star island-style event, synonymous with the idyllic Maldives.
The event also marks a double celebratory year, with the Maldives celebrating 40 years of tourism, while the World Travel Awards is celebrating its 20th Anniversary.
Paradise Island Resort & Spa, part of the Villa Group, will host the event, welcoming an array of personalities and leaders from the region.
Hosting the ceremony will be internationally acclaimed television and film personality Shereen Mitwalli, who has hosted events around the world and will bring her experience, warmth and glamour to the evening.
Lets go Maldives – a leading consortium of experienced travel professionals who passionately promote the marketing of this exquisite region – will also offer its support the global event.
Mohamed Riyaz, managing director, Lets go Maldives, said: “We are honored to be part of World Travel Awards; an event that truly celebrates the spirit of travel and tourism worldwide.”
Although major football clubs like Barcelona FC have expressed interest to holiday in the Maldives, training grounds in resorts are needed to accommodate such teams, Tourism Minister said Tuesday.
“Teams want to come to Maldives during winter and enjoy a holiday with practice sessions. So we need to have good training grounds. So we are looking to target football clubs and develop resorts with good training facilities,” Minister explained.
In that regard, Adeeb noted that sports tourism had been neglected in the Maldives and revealed of efforts to enhance that area.
Minister further said an agreement had been reached with Sri Lankan Airlines to host an international surfing competition in the Maldives. World renowned surfers will compete in the tournament, he said.
Enhancing sports tourism in Maldives would see more tourist arrivals in the country, he added.
source: Haveeru Online
The second edition of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) confirmed its standing as the world’s largest travel catering event by attracting more than 1000 high calibre visitors as well as over 200 exhibiting companies, of which more than 50 made their first appearance at the Hamburg Messe from 9-11 April 2013.
Organised by Reed Exhibitions, WTCE 2013 covered over 5,000 sq m with leading suppliers and caterers including LSG Sky Chefs, gategroup, Servair, DHL Airline Business Solutions, Heineken and Monty’s Bakehouse returning to WTCE to showcase the very latest products in travel catering and onboard services.
With its emphasis on enhancing the overall travel experience from economy to first-class, WTCE confirmed its growing international stature by welcoming a number of new exhibiting companies from around the world, which presented an array of products and services ranging from airline catering through to high-end bedding for passengers.
Island Hideaway located at Dhonakulhiin the Maldives has recently signed an agreement with ART Marine Marinas, the leading marina management company in the Middle East in order to join “Destinations”,ART Marine Marinas’ international network of exclusive marinas.
This alliance creates more opportunities for collaboration between marinas in the Indian Ocean and the rest of the world. The new partnership offers reciprocal benefits at all the marinas affiliated to the ART Marine Marinas network, and the “Destinations” membership is also a professional recognition of quality, excellent services and outstanding facilities.
Michael Wieser, Chief Operating Officer at Island Hideaway said “We are delighted to be joining “Destinations”; this partnership is mutually beneficial. It will offer a new upscale destination for yachtsmen and will increase our brand recognition in the Middle East & Asia in general. We are looking forward to further co-operation and to welcome boat owners, yachtsmen and visitors to Island Hideaway Marina.”
A tourism queen was crowned in Sri Lanka.
Tourists in Negombo, a resort north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo have participated in a traditional New Year festival getting a taste of seasonal games and rituals, the tourism promotion office said.
The event held in Negombo beach showcased Sri Lankan cultural practices and rituals found in the ‘Avurudu’ or traditional Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations.
Yevegenia Kotenko from Russia was selected ‘Avudu Kumari’ or New Year Princess and Shota Kiladze from Russia the New Year Prince.
Visitors also got a chance to take part in bicycles races, pillow fighting, tug of war, bursting of balloons, climbing the grease pole and marking the ‘eye of the elephant’ while blindfolded.
“All the foreign visitors to the event were warmly welcomed according to the Sinhalese rituals and they were entertained with cultural performances and the beat of the ‘Rabana’,” the Tourist Promotion Bureau said.
The largest safari yacht ever constructed in the Maldives was launched from Alifushi port in Raa Atoll on April 22, local media reports.
The vessel was commissioned by Polish company “Scuba Spa”, which is registered in the Maldives, and constructed by Alifushi Island resident Mohamed Yusuf.
The 167 foot by 37 foot boat was under construction for two years and four months, Yusuf told local media. In 2010, an electrical fault caused the vessel and construction shed to burn down, however construction was re-started the following year.
While Scuba Spa has spent approximately MVR 5 million (US$ 324,255) on the boat, the construction costs alone totalled nearly MVR 3 million (US$ 194,553), according to Yusuf.
Lowering the vessel into the water took the construction team three months, he added.
The safari yacht is currently being loaded with travel necessities and Scuba Spa plans for the first passengers to arrive May 4, Yusuf said.
source: Minivan News
Hilton Maldives Iru Fushi Resort & Spa Announce the Opening of Their Kids Spa ‘Sweet Pea Spa’
Little people love pampering too! Guests are now able to introduce the world of peace and tranquility of the Spa to their children with dedicated treatments especially for young skin. The Spa is a haven of stillness and harmony and a perfect place for children to experience their first spa treatment.
The spa retreat is nestled in the heart of the island, a haven of lush and fertile greenery reached via a winding pebble path, wild blossoms and relaxing water streams. 20 individual spa pavilions, including five dedicated Ayurvedic suites, allow guests the ultimate relaxation and pampering experiences within complete privacy. The spa complex also features hydrotherapy and plunge pools, sauna and steam rooms. A dedicated Relaxation Lounge overlooking the tranquil spa gardens promotes quiet reflection and inner harmony.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation today said global tourist traffic is likely to grow by 3.5 to 4 per cent during 2013 over last year’s 1.035 billion.
“If the last year saw global tourist traffic going past the historic billion mark to close at about 1,035 million, registering a growth of about 4 per cent over the previous year, we expect to see similar growth in 2013,” Taleb Rafai, Secretary-General, UNWTO, said.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day UN Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development being hosted in Hyderabad, Rafai said Asia registered remarkable growth of 7 per cent last year accounting for about 233 million tourists or approximately one-fourth of the global traffic.
“Asia is likely to contribute to the growth by seeing a 5-6 per cent increase in tourist travel during 2013. The Asia-Pacific is a world in its own and an expensive region to travel. However, it is this area that is likely to see increase in traffic,” he said.
The speed of growth of tourist travel is remarkable. From barely 25 million global travellers about 62 years ago, it crossed the one-billion-mark last year. This is in addition to about 5.5 billion travellers within countries.
Therefore, it is necessary to ensure tourism growth comes through in a sustainable manner. The UN is working on establishing Sustainable Tourism Observatories and Sustainable Tourism for Elimination of Poverty projects.
These initiatives form part of the Millennium Development Goals for 2015.
Martin Craig, Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Asia Travel Association, said the aviation industry serves about 3 billion passengers now but has to grow rapidly to cater to significantly higher numbers by developing the necessary infrastructure in a sustainable manner.
source: The Hindu
Air New Zealand has taken top honours at the 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, recognising sustainable tourism global best practice.
The airline was named the winner in the Global Tourism Business category at the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual Global Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The Global Summit is a highlight on the international tourism calendar and was attended this year by former US President and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton, who was the summit’s keynote speaker.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the award recognises the airline’s commitment to maintaining and protecting the country’s clean, green image.
“We take our responsibility to promote sustainability very seriously and continue to shrink our carbon footprint as we work towards our goal of becoming the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline. In fact we’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 15% (142,000 tonnes) over a five year period,” says Mr Luxon.
“Alongside this we’ve invested in enhancing some of New Zealand’s most iconic natural assets through our partnership with the Department of Conservation to support biodiversity projects on the Great Walks network. We have also invested in Antarctica New Zealand and the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute to support important scientific research being conducted on the ice.”
The airline also provides financial support to environmental projects around the country through the Air New Zealand Environment Trust and boasts a 3,000 strong internal Green Team which promotes environmental sustainability both at work and in the home.
Applications for the prestigious global awards were received from 46 countries, across all seven continents. Air New Zealand was up against Abercrombie and Kent in the United States and India’s ITC Hotels as finalists in the Global Tourism Business category.
Finalists were assessed by a group of 20 international judges and sustainable tourism experts on a range of criteria before undergoing an on-site evaluation to ensure each were delivering on their environmental commitments.
For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, visit www.wttc.org.
Touted as the ultimate luxury tourist destination, Mauritius has witnessed a boom in tourist arrivals from India in the recent years.
In 2012, as many as 55,197 Indian tourists visited Mauritius, an improvement from the previous year’s figures. Between 2000-2009, Indian arrivals increased year-on-year by 14% and in the 2009-11 period, the country recorded a thumping 19% growth. This, despite recession and slow economic growth in the Indian market.
On Wednesday, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) conducted a roadshow in Bangalore. The board aims to target 1 lakh tourists from India in the coming days. To ensure growth in the near future, MTPA led a large travel business delegation comprising hoteliers, ground-handling agents and service providers from their country in an attempt to familiarise them with the Indian market.
Officials from MTPA said there are a wide variety of activities for travellers to choose from — be it golf, skydiving, dolphin watching, underwater walks or self-drive. The new ‘self drive’ option is gaining a lot of popularity in recent times as it promises excitement and a sense of adventure. Passionate bikers have the option of renting fancy cruise bikes and for those who love driving cars, a drive to discover the island at one’s own pace is also an option.
“Mauritius is also well known for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) owing to the convention capacity, luxurious accommodation and world-class facilities and infrastructure there,” said Vijaye Haulder, deputy director, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. Bangalore has been an important market for leisure as well as MICE traffic, he added.