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Global Travel & Tourism will grow 3.5% in 2015




The global Travel & Tourism sector is forecast to grow by 3.5% during 2015, representing strong growth despite numerous challenges that have already taken place this year. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual autumn update to its Economic Impact research, GDP growth of 3.5% is forecast for the sector in 2015. This is slightly lower than the forecast at the beginning of the year, mostly due to weaker domestic spending.

How Kuoni fell behind in the travel trade



The Swiss company’s problems in India were because of its technological inability to cater to the changing nature of holidays that has altered the DNA of the industry

Kuoni Travel, a top tour operator headquartered in Switzerland, announced last week that it had decided to divest its tour-operating activities in many countries, including India. The company had entered India through a strategic 51 per cent stake in Tours Private a little less than two decades ago.

Thomas Cook to raise Rs 125 crore for Kuoni purchase




will raise Rs 125 crore through preference shares to part finance the acquisition of Kuoni’s India business.

The company’s share holders today gave approval for issue of preference shares to the promoter on a private placement basis.

In August Thomas Cook announced acquisition of Kuoni’s business in India and Hong Kong for Rs 535 crore.

While the company has completed acquisition of Hong Kong business it is awaiting Competition Commission of India approval to complete the purchase of India business

Top 10: best luxury resorts in the Maldives




Perhaps the globe’s ultimate luxury destination, the Maldives has become a synonym for paradise whether it is for honeymooners, sun worshipers, scuba divers or celebrities. Located on the equator towards the south of India and stretching over 800 km, the Maldives are the visible coral tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edge at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km. The stunningly beautiful islands are blessed with some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, crystal clear blue lagoons, incredible underwaterwildlife, and unrivalled luxury resorts that take up their own private island.





A stream of immersive experiences

With a passion for bold luxury and one-of-a-kind experiences that defy expectation, PER AQUUM jump-starts 2016 with the launch of PULSE – a stream of immersive avant-garde experiences from A-list affairs to intimate celebrations brought to life by creative icons, emerging artistes and the passion of the PER AQUUM team.

Kicking off PULSE’s debut line-up is Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, UK. Justine has two loves – fashion and the written word. As bestselling author of four books, Justine is the literary genius behind the widely acclaimed biography ‘Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life’. This January guests have the opportunity to meet the author at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi where she will reveal secrets unearthed during her research on Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. As part of its ‘Popcorn Under the Stars’ series, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will air the movie ‘Coco Before Chanel’ starring the beguiling Audrey Tautou. PER AQUUM’s first ever PULSE experience will offer a captivating insight from one of the industry’s leading influencers into the links between fashion and art – and the emotional resonance of fashion in all our lives.

Hot on Justine’s heels in early January will be Chef Nelly Robinson from nel. restaurant in Sydney. Celebrated for his contemporary interpretations of modern Australian dishes, Chef Nelly and his team pride themselves on working with only the freshest seasonal produce with a weekly changing degustation menu. nel. restaurant currently claims the top spot on Australia’s largest restaurant booking network, Dimmi, and was awarded the 2015 Time Out Sydney’s People’s Choice Award. Chef Nelly Robinson from down under will dive eight metres underground at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi’s unique cellar cave, Vinum, for an exclusive one-night-only dinner.

PULSE - Chef Nelly Robinson Down Under at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

In February, free spirit and GRAMMY Award-winner Joss Stone lands in the Maldives for an exclusive one-night only performance at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi for her Total World Tour, an ambitious personal quest to play in every country on the planet. In each country, Joss is aiming to collaborate with local home-grown musicians, playing indigenous music as well as her own songs including hits from her new album ‘Water For Your Soul’. This experience will be a first for the Maldives as PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi brings a ‘World Tour’ event to its shores.

PULSE - PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi presents Joss Stone

In April, PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi and PER AQUUM Niyama join forces to host Chef Akira Back and his celeb-enticing brand of Japanese cuisine with a Korean twist. Known for his appearances on Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America’ battling Chef Bobby Flay, Chef Akira can also be seen on NBC’s ‘The Today Show’, Food Network’s ‘Best Thing I Ever Ate’, The Cooking Channel’s ‘United States of America’ as well as KBS’ ‘Success Mentor’ which airs in Korea. Once a professional snowboarder, Chef Akira has worked under acclaimed maestros Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto, and is the success story behind the famed Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar and Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge, both in Las Vegas, as well as the talent behind Akira Back New Delhi and Jakarta.

PULSE - PER AQUUM brings Chef Akira Back to the Maldives

Also conjuring up culinary creations at PER AQUUM Niyama is Chin Chin Labs. Straight out of Camden Market in the UK, Chin Chin Labs has achieved a cult status amongst chefs and ice cream aficionados the world over. Shunning traditional techniques and convention, Chin Chin Labs has been creating artisanal ice creams to order, frozen with liquid nitrogen and billowing with clouds of ‘ice’ since 2010. Having pioneered liquid nitrogen ice-cream as a retail concept, Chin Chin Labs is known for nods to haute cuisine with flavours such as Guinness caramel with smoked salt, pink guava and pepper crack and blueberry marshmallow and apricot rose. Hailed by The Times as ‘The best ice cream parlour in England’ and ‘a place where chefs come for inspiration’ by TimeOut London, these ice cream magicians will be making Maldives-exclusive flavours at PER AQUUM Niyama’s island ‘Play’ over Easter featuring ingredients from the resort Chef’s own herb garden.

PER AQUUM Niyama - Nature's Playground

Injecting a little vintage elegance to PER AQUUM’s ‘Dream Island’ in mid-2016 will be Indian artisans of leather, Nappa Dori, in a celebration of the glamour of travel and the discovery of new frontiers. A tribute to quintessential Indian sensibilities, blended perfectly with contemporary interpretations in design, material and craftsmanship as well as a dose of nostalgia, mysticism and romance, guests at PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi will have the chance to take part in bespoke workshops, learning the art of leather making from the masters of their craft.

PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi - Dream Island

With all this and more on the horizon – from parties until dawn to one-on-one masterclasses – Nick Downing, Vice President of PER AQUUM Hotels & Resorts, has appointed a new Creative Director, Angeline Leo, one of the trendsetting brand’s original dream team. With, quite literally, her finger on the ‘PULSE’, Angeline has spent the last ten years curating and actualising a number of exclusive events, including PULSE’s previous incarnation as the brand’s iconic ‘Dream Calendar’ which was shortlisted for several awards including Most Original Campaign and Greatest Guest Experience at LE Miami.

Record bookings after holidays announced




The number of families who have booked tours through Emirates Holidays for the UAE National Day break has more than doubled from last year, the company announced on Sunday .

“We’ve seen booking confirmations come in the moment the National Day holidays were announced,” said Robin Parry, Vice President of Emirates Holidays, which is the largest wholesale tour operator in the Gulf region.

The top holiday destination this year was the Maldives, followed by Turkey, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Passengers like Rehman Tauseef have also opted to use the holiday period for more long-distance voyages, such as to Orlando in the United States.

“We visited Orlando in the summer, so now we thought of seeing the other side of the world. My daughters, aged 21 and 14, have already identified outdoor activities, like ziplining, that they want to experience. We also plan to visit the historical sites,” he said.

Another National Day break traveller, Natalia Nekhaeva, decided on a six-day, five-night trip to the Maldives.

“When the National Day holiday dates were announced, I jumped at the chance to take my husband, mother and two children on a trip to spend some quality family time,” she said. “We are looking forward to a relaxing experience soaking in the sun and sea and the beauty of the Maldives.”

According to Robin Parry, it’s not too late for UAE residents to book a last-minute trip and take advantage of the holidays.

“Because of our scale, we’ve been able to work with our preferred partners to increase the number of holiday experiences available to our customers,” he said.

Among the Emirates Holiday packages still available are a three-night stay in Sri Lanka from Dh2,500 per person, a three-night stay in the Maldives for Dh5,875 per person – including a sunset cruise – as well as a three-night stay to Bologna for Dh3,875 and a seven-night stay in Orlando.

Dubai named UK’s favourite long-haul city-break destination




A travel and holiday survey conducted by Southall Travel, one of the UK’s largest travel companies, has revealed Dubai as the nation’s favourite long-haul city break destination, gaining 25% of all votes. 

The survey of 1,400 British flyers named Dubai, which is expected to welcome one million British visitors during 2016, their favourite long-haul destination beating New York to the top spot.

New York, which attracted an incredible 56m people from around the globe last year, was named the second favourite long-haul city break destination amongst British travellers with 12% of the vote.

Travellers named the Thai capital of Bangkok as their third favourite long-haul city break destination with 8%, whilst Sydney came in fourth with 6% of the vote.

Singapore completes the top five favourite city break destinations for British travellers, coming in fifth place with 5% of the vote.

In the favourite long-haul beach category, Thailand topped the poll with 16% of all votes, followed by the Maldives with 15%.

Mauritius, a long-time favourite amongst newlyweds, was named the third most popular long-haul beach destination with 14%, followed by Australia (9%) and Bali(6%).

Commenting on the results, Kuljinder Bahia, managing director of Away Holidays said: “Dubai has become an incredibly popular destination for British holidaymakers over the past few years and the numbers of visitors is growing each year. Dubai is a wonderful destination with some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and offers fantastic shopping opportunities. Once only a destination for backpackers, Thailand is now a popular beach destination for all kinds of travellers and I believe will become even more popular over the coming years.”


Top five long haul city break destinations:

Favourite long haul city destinations % of the vote
1.       Dubai 25%
2.       New York 12%
3.       Bangkok 8%
4.       Sydney 6%
5.       Singapore 5%


Top five long haul beach destinations:

Favourite long haul beach destinations % of the vote
1.       Thailand 16%
2.       Maldives 15%
3.       Mauritius 14%
4.       Australia 9%
5.       Bali 6%





The Maldives are a unique and extremely charming place, in particular because of one of the protagonists of its ocean, the coral.

It is mainly thanks to this fundamental component of the oceans if guests of our resort can enjoy the incredible beauty of the reef.

Its vital importance to the reef’s life is the reason why Diamonds Athurugaand Diamonds Thudufushi decided to promote the “Coral Conservation Project”.

The project’s main objective is to preserve the coral reefs and to create and encourage a responsible kind of tourism.

Working with EcoIslanders, local environmental consulting agency, marine biologists resident on the Islands, who since long have been involved into explaining and describing the uniqueness of the reef to our guests on every ride, took part in a special training aimed at the conservation and regeneration of the reef.

Thanks to this project, which has begun in may 2015, each guest has the opportunity to adopt a frame (iron structure covered with sand) which, in addition to the coral, will also have a label with its name on it.


Back home, the guest will receive via e-mail photographs and information about the frame that they have sponsored every 3 months.

The purchase of the frame is 150 USD and will give a real help to the nature of the place, in a unique way.

An important project whose objective is to make the Maldives even more attractive and to help the future of coral reefs.

Do not miss the opportunity to live a unique Christmas holiday at our Diamonds Thudufushi, click to discover the offer!

For more information about our resort Diamonds Athuruga and Diamonds Thudufushi you can contact us at the following e-mail:

Diamonds Athuruga:

Diamonds Thudufushi:





At 15 hectares, Ayada, on the southern rim of the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll and just 30km north of the Equator, is big enough to get lost on, and the more walking or cycling about you do, the more surprises keep popping up. Take a stroll after dinner (there are six restaurants) and… hello, what’s this? A wine-and-cheese station for a glass of rouge and a sliver of brie while sitting on a bench fashioned from a fishing boat. Or as you head off to Zuzuu (the kids’ club), you might stumble across The White Room, a part-colonial, part-tropical folly (pillars and a thatched roof) of such kitschness, you half expect the ghost of Elvis to emerge in a white tuxedo. Or you could stop in at the Ottoman Lounge (a nod to Ayada’s Turkish ownership) and settle in for a coffee with a squidge of Turkish delight and a shisha pipe. The Middle Eastern mood shimmies through the villas: a filigree lampshade here, a joss-stick there, a flounce of Turkish fabric over the bed. And there’s a full-on Turkish bath in the spa. This far from Malé, there’s not a hint of light pollution in the inky night skies; by day there are dive sites, snorkelling with whale sharks and (unusually for the Maldives) surf breaks.
NUMBER OF VILLAS 62 beach, 50 overwater
TRANSFER TIME A 55-minute flight from Malé to Kaadedhdhoo, then 45 minutes by speedboat
GETTING THERE The Couture Travel Company ( offers seven nights’ half board in a Beach Villa from £2,597 per person sharing, including flights and transfers.

This Solar-Powered Five-Star Resort is an Eco-Lover’s Paradise



Situated on Gasfinolhu—a beautifully preserved island in the Maldives—Club Med’sFinolhu Villas isn’t your average upscale retreat.

At a glance the spread mirrors any other ultra-luxe vacationland—one replete with all the perks of a typical high-end hideaway (with personal butlers, private pools and terraces, complimentary champagne, and picturesque vistas part of the all-inclusive package).

Linked together like vertebrae extending from a spine, the resort’s 52 lavish three-room villas—which range in size from 1,628 to 1,811 square feet—showcase 12-foot ceilings that curl up, mimicking waves, complemented by shingled roofs (a nod to local building conventions).

Finolhu Villas Club Med

“This project was an architect’s dream come true,” Yamazaki told Inhabitat. “The chance to imagine a resort in this gorgeous setting and to experiment to meet the challenge of energy independence has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”