Category Archives: Global
The Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands Organization comprised of Comoros, La Reunion, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mayotte, and the Seychelles is fast now being recognized as the new tourism destination with real diversity.
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At the recent World Travel Market (WTM) tourism trade fair in London, Alain St.Ange, the sitting President of the Vanilla Islands, was interviewed in which he stated: ”The union of the Vanilla Islands in the Indian Ocean is set to grow stronger with the addition of Maldives. People recognize the Caribbean as one tourism destination, and that is how we wish to be thought of. But to create a new tourism region is no easy feat.
A Chief Executive and Director of Marketing have now been appointed and a brand campaign “with imagery of vanilla” at its core is being worked on.
St.Ange said that another move would be to encourage low-impact, smaller-ship cruising on Vanilla Island routes and whale watching.
In a week the Vanilla Island Organization is meeting in the Comoros for the first time, and this will be followed by the La Reunion-hosted Vanilla Islands event based on the celebration of the abolition of slavery. This will be taking place on December 20.
The day has long past when travel and tourism could simply be relegated to a series of images of folks living the “high life” on fat expense accounts, romantic couples celebrating their first weeks of marital bliss on honeymoons in exotic places, iconic picture postcards depicting some of the world’s “must see” attractions or of families reconnecting during long-planned reunions, whether far from home or near.
Today’s travel and tourism industry has grown into a global economic powerhouse whose combined direct and indirect impact on the world economy, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Along the way, in 2012, international tourism surpassed 1 billion visitors globally for the first time in history. Travel and tourism’s contribution to the world’s GDP over the next 10 years is set to grow by 4.4% on average each year and to outpace the growth of the wider economy and other industries such as retail and public services.
But numbers alone don’t tell the whole story and they are not the only reason we should pay a lot of attention to this industry. A number of factors are fuelling not only the industry’s phenomenal expansion. First, a dramatic shift is underway in the “world order” of travel and tourism fuelled by the emergence of a strong global middle class. Second, just last month, the 13th annual Dubai Air Show posted more than US$200 billion in aircraft orders which is more than the total GDP of New Zealand. A third transformative factor is the blurring of business and leisure travel along with the emergence of niche tourism—wellness, real estate investment, culinary for example.
Take Bleisure. Chances are you won’t find this word in your favorite dictionary but it’s a travel trend in which about two thirds of business travelers say they’re participating. It’s the tacking on of personal holidays to a business trip and business travelers surveyed said they take extended business trips with a leisure component.
Over the next year or so, commercial travel will be revolutionised when Virgin Galactic launches the first ever space tourism flight, which has so far been nine years in the making. While it is initially only available to those rich enough to afford a $250,000 ticket, the company is keen to bring space travel to the masses and aims to offer a passenger experience far exceeding anything that has been offered before.
While air travellers often arrive at an airport unsure of what to do or where to go, the experience for the first batch of commercial space tourists will be very different. Before take-off, there will be no long queues or last-minute checks, just a journey down a long escalator and a walk through a friends and family area, before taking a seat on the groundbreaking SpaceShipTwo. The flight itself will be like something from a Hollywood movie. After a calm take-off and a cruise up to 50,000 feet, the spaceship will be released from its carrier and, according to Attenborough, “the astronaut presses a button and everything changes very quickly”.
SpaceShipTwo will reach the speed of sound in just six seconds and passengers will experience 3.5-Gs of force from front to back. “When the engine goes off, there’s absolute silence. You don’t weigh anything and you can get out of your seat to experience a few minutes of weightlessness.” Once gravity takes hold again, passengers will be strapped back in to their reclined seats and by the time the spaceship has dropped back down to 70,000 feet, the seats go upright again before a high-altitude glide down to the Spaceport America runway.
“The experience will be delivered in a way people would expect from us. Safety is first and foremost, but the experience of the G-force, zero gravity and the views from space are right up there,” Attenborough said. “The aim is for people to enjoy each stage of the flight to the full.”
Anantara Veli Resort & Spa Maldives, has been fully refurbished and will be fully opened in January 2014. Located in the South Malé Atoll just half an hour from Malé International Airport, Anantara Veli is a destination created for couples to experience the exquisiteness of being together amid one of the most stunning natural environments in the world. The resort is located on Veligandu, an island with mature tropical forest and sweeping vistas of the Indian Ocean. Anantara Veli offers the luxury of time to contemplate the beauty of the Maldivian light as it evolves from morning glow to evening dusk .
Anantara Veli features 36 Over-Water Bungalows, 14 Deluxe Over-Water Bungalows, 7 newly built Ocean Pool Bungalows, and 10 brand new Deluxe Ocean Water Pool Bungalows. Maldivian fabrics stretch across the bed, tropical flowers and jasmine scents float through the elegant bathroom. The private sun terrace offers views of coral garden and easy access to the gentle waters of the lagoon.
Anantara Veli offers the opportunity for guests to discover new culinary horizons with an array of casual and fine dining options unmatched anywhere in the Maldives. The beauty of the island sets the tone for memorable dining experiences that combine sophisticated international tastes with the best of local flavours.
Unique activities and excursions provide guests with ample opportunities to explore the extraordinary natural beauty and cultural soul of the Maldives. Sail away in a traditional Maldivian Dhoni on a thrilling dolphins safari. Climb aboard a speedboat to explore uninhabited islands and enjoy a picnic in splendid romantic seclusion. Spend a few hours deep-sea fishing and discover the ancient ways of local fishermen and hear fascinating sea lore. Dive into an exciting discovery of the Maldives’ famous coral reefs, or enjoy water-skiing in the placid lagoon, scenic seaplane flights or an array of water sports diversions.
Those in search of the ultimate romantic getaway will find that Anantara Veli Resort & Spa is their ideal destination.
The Maldives has been awarded the title of “World’s Leading Island Destination” at the 2013 World Travel Awards in Qatar, media reported on Friday.
This is the third time the Maldives has won the prestigious travel award. The World Travel Awards are hailed as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry”.
The Maldives competed against Bali in Indonesia, Barbados, Cook Islands, Crete in Greece, Jamaica, the Madeira Islands, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sicily in Italy, St. Lucia and Zanzibar in Tanzania this year, reports Xinhua.
The Maldivian resorts also scooped a number of awards in various categories with Hulhule Island Hotel winning the World’s Leading Airport Resort 2013 and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island winning the World’s Leading Water Villa Resort 2013.
Baros Maldives won recognition as the World’s Most Romantic Resort 2013 and World’s Leading Island Villas 2013.
The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation said the awards highlight the “uniqueness” of Maldives and recognise it as a world class luxury destination.
Last month the Maldives recorded one million tourist arrivals for the first time in a calendar year.
More than a quarter of tourists to Maldives are from China with the country being the largest source of travellers to the Indian Ocean islands.
The slogan ‘Mauritius, it’s a pleasure’ is for certain not on the lips of many tourism stakeholders, after details became available that the Maldives, a recent addition to the Vanilla Island Organization, of which Mauritius appears to be a rather reluctant member, have already exceeded the one million visitor mark this year.
For many years was Mauritius the destination among the Indian Ocean islands off the African mainland but has over the past few years progressively lost ground to in particular the Maldives, which for the first time ever in 2012 overtook Mauritius and claim top spot in terms of arrivals. Even Sri Lanka, which popularity got a boost earlier this month when the island hosted the Commonwealth Summit which added to its visibility in key core markets for their tourism industry. In contrast have Mauritius’ hotelier and DMC’s taken issue with their own tourism promotion agency, the MTPA, which has been accused to have gone stale, doing copycat acts on neighbours Seychelles’ successful marketing juggernaut and failed to come up with a strategy to restore Mauritius tourism leadership, in terms of not just numbers but also in terms of respectability and global industry recognition.Maldives
Wrote a regular source from Port Louis when discussing the latest setback, after information became available that the Maldives went through the million visitor mark on 24th November already, giving them 6 more weeks to establish a new visitor record for any of the Indian Ocean islands: We have some of the Indian Ocean’s best resorts and they get awards year in year out for their exceptional quality. The main issue is that we have failed to showcase ourselves to the world as we used to do in the past and only a fundamental change at MTPA can accomplish that. We need to take a leaf from what the Seychelles did in 2008 when they started to restructure their tourist board and bring the private sector on board. These sentiments have been lingering for a while now but with no light as yet on the horizon that the Mauritius government will indeed take notice or understand what it takes to rekindle the destination appeal the island once had.
Travel today can be bad for your health. Airport stress and transportation hassles, jet lag and poor sleeping, disruption of exercise routines, and excesses in eating, drinking, and sun exposure can leave a traveller more stressed and less well after a trip. A recent Columbia University study of business travellers found that frequent and extensive travel can even increase cardiovascular risk factors (obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol).
This is ironic because many people look forward to travel as an adventure and as an opportunity to rejuvenate and de-stress. In fact, when an SRI International survey asked consumers what they do to maintain/enhance their personal wellness, “take a vacation” was among the top five activities selected. As more and more people pay attention to their health, they increasingly want to keep up their healthy habits when they travel. And a growing segment of travellers are even taking trips specifically focused on maintaining and improving their personal health and well-being. This is driving the growth of wellness tourism.Although wellness tourism is a relatively new niche segment within the global travel and tourism industry, the practice of wellness-¬focused travel is not new. Since ancient times, people have visited the Dead Sea for its therapeutic properties. Romans travelled to baths, hot springs, and seaside resorts for treatments, healthier climates, purification, and spiritual rituals. For 1,500 years, the Japanese have travelled to hot springs or onsen for healing and community. In spite of the rigors of travel in today’s world, the act of travel itself has long been considered a wellness–enhancing activity.
Holidays and travel remain one the most important leisure activities of Germans. According to calculations of the German Travel industry association, German tour operators generated a plus of 3.0 to 3.5 percent compared with the previous year. The industry’s turnover rose to a new record of an estimated 25.2bn euros .
The number of holidaymakers relying on a tour operator for their best weeks of the year in the last 12 months remained stable on a high level: In the 2012/13 tourism year, they made about 40 million professionally organized trips.
Trends in bookings for this winter are promising: The travel industry is already recording an increase in sales revenues of about five percent for the coming winter season compared with the previous year. Constantly good economic data along with a positive consumer sentiment spur people’s interest in travel.
Analyses carried out by the DRV Committee Statistics and Market Research show diverse business developments in the different segments of the tourist industry over the past twelve months. This is due to external factors, like, for example, the good weather in Central Europe this summer, or political developments in certain holiday destinations.
Tigerair Singaporean budget carrier has decided to launch flights to the Maldives in January 2014.
The only other airline that offers direct flights between Maldives and Singapore is Singapore Airlines. Tigerair will be the first budget carrier to offer direct flights between Maldives and Singapore.
Singapore’s Straits Times has said that Tigerair will operate four weekly flights to Maldives.
The Straits Times says, “To celebrate the launch, Tigerair is offering a promotional fare of $133 (inclusive of taxes) for a one-way flight from Singapore to Malé, the capital city of the Maldives.” Travel for bookings made under this promotion must take place between 24 January and 20 September 2014.
Malaysian budget carrier Air Asia also recently commenced flights to the Maldives.
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.
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.