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November, 2016


Swaziland Celebrates The Incwala Festival

World Travel



Heralding the New Year, the Incwala Festival, the most important annual cultural event in Swaziland








The Kingdom of Swaziland, well known for its many cultural festivals will celebrate the Incwala Festival from today until mid-January.  The event is one of the last remaining examples of what was previously in practice in many African countries. Often translated as “First Fruits Festival” the tasting of the first of the season bounty by the King is only one part of this long ritual.

The main Incwala takes place in the Royal Kraal for four days from the new harvest after the full moon nearest the December 21st (summer solstice) and visitors interested in Swaziland culture are always welcome to attend, but are required to respect traditions.

The event is a celebration that unites the country, helps gain the blessing of ancestors, sanctifies the kingship, and celebrates the beginning of the harvest season.  A sequence of 4 days culminates on 18th of December’s Big Incwala, which is the major day of the festival. On this day feasting and dancing reach a climax, with thousands of people thronging the royal parade grounds. The ceremony ends when the King of Swaziland, Mswati III, in full ceremonial dress, joins his warriors in the traditional dance and enters a special sanctuary to eat the first fruits of the season. The songs, dances and time-honoured rituals that take place inside the Royal Kraal remain a matter of utmost secrecy and may not be recorded or written down.

The final day of the Festival signifies the end of the old year and welcomes the year to come. Regiments march to a forest and return with wood, which forms a central fire in the cattle byre. Objects are burnt and dancers celebrate the future to come.

Incwala Festival takes place every year around the last week of December / first week of January depending on the lunar cycle. The dates for the event are only released relatively close to the time as they derive from ancestral astrology.

[Source: Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: By Amada44 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
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[Video: YouTube – ]


ITB Berlin 2017 Will Offer A New Segment – Medical Tourism

World Travel

News Snippet

Medical Tourism

A new segment at ITB Berlin










For the first time ITB Berlin 2017 will be fully devoting a platform to medical tourism, which has become an important fast-growing market. Medical service providers, hotels and destinations will be able to exhibit their products and services In the Medical Tourism Pavilion in Hall 3.2. Presentations and workshops will be held so that visitors can find out more about the latest trends and developments in this growth market.

Medical tourism has been increasing for years, for which there are many reasons. Some value the better quality of the medical infrastructure in certain countries and undergo measures that cannot legally be offered at home, such as fertility treatment for those who want children. According to a new report by VISA and Oxford Economics, the current turnover of the world’s medical tourism industry is around 439 billion dollars. Over the next ten years overall growth is forecast to reach up to 25 per cent.

According to David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, medical tourism offers huge prospects for the global tourism industry: “Over the next ten years three to four per cent of the world’s population will undertake trips motivated by offers of medical treatment. ITB Berlin aims to highlight this growth market and all its aspects and provide buyers and providers with a new platform.“

Demand and enquiries for this new segment are high. According to Thomas Bömkes, Diversity Tourism GmbH, the agency partnering with Medical Tourism at ITB, “The introduction of Medical Tourism at ITB Berlin will make it possible for everyone involved in medical tourism – hospitals, health insurances and healthcare professionals – to meet directly and exchange views.“

For more information and to obtain bookings please contact Thomas Bömkes,, tel. +49 (0)89 62439772 or Rika Jean-Francois,, tel. +49 (0)30 30382157.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2017 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 8 to 12 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 8 to Saturday, 11 March 2017.

More details are available at ITB Berlin is the global travel industry’s leading trade show. In 2016 over 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to 180,000 visitors, who included 120,000 trade visitors.

[Source: ITB Berlin-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-features image:  The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany – Thomas Wolf, [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]


Holiday Season Travel Survival Guide

World Travel

Travel Tips


Holiday Season Trip Planning Guide









Instead of a joyful season filled with peace and goodwill, the holidays can feel like an endless loop of shopping, socializing and rushing around. Add in some holiday travel, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, with a little planning and some savvy, you can save time, money, and most importantly, your sanity. After all, the more ways you can be prepared for the unexpected delays, airport line-ups, and gift transportation hiccups, the better you will feel once you arrive.

To help maintain your holiday cheer when you take to the air during the busiest time of the year, the travel experts at, the champions of simple travel search, have pulled together 30 tips and tricks in their Holiday Season Travel Survival Guide. The guide features tips on saving while booking for the high season, cutting down on baggage fees, getting precious gifts safely through airport security and both packing and navigating an airport like a pro.

Below is a sampling of items from the sections on “booking tips,” “packing tips” and “travelling with gifts”:

Booking tips:

  • Do your research. Just like you would for holiday gifts, shop around for flights. Compare prices to see what’s out there, but if you find an exceptional deal, jump on it. Airlines must offer you the chance to hold a price or cancel a purchase on any non-refundable ticket bought at least seven days in advance for 24 hours after purchase. Use that time to see if there are any better deals out there or to give yourself peace of mind that you found a great deal.
  • Consider alternatives. Be flexible wherever you can, whether it’s with your travel dates, departure and/or arrival airport, or destination. If you’re heading home for the holidays, for example, your destination may be set in stone, but can you fly a few days early, or perhaps on the actual holiday, to save? Is it cheaper to fly into a nearby airport rather than the one in a major city? Considering all your options can save you money, but it can also save you the stress of holiday crowds.

Packing tips:

  • Bring an extra (empty) bag. For gifts you receive, bring a folded up duffel bag so you have the option of packing gifts to go. If you can get away with one checked bag and one carry-on on the return, it might be the most affordable way to get your holiday bounty home.
  • Pack a snack. Long lines at airport restaurants and shops means you could be waiting a long time to grab some grub. Pack your own snacks to get you through layovers, delays and the flight. Plus, it’s typically cheaper than buying food at the airport.

Travelling with gifts:

  • Ship gifts, don’t pack them. Packing gifts in your luggage often forces you to check bags at the airport and also takes up valuable suitcase space. Skip the hassle and ship Christmas presents ahead of time so they’ll be there when you arrive.
  • Don’t wrap gifts. If you do bring Christmas gifts with you when you travel, just remember to save the wrapping until you arrive so you and your luggage can get through the security screening. Security will likely need to unwrap the gifts to inspect them. 

The guide also has sections with tips for “before you leave the house,” “navigating the airport,” and “more holiday reading.” Suggestions include carrying sanitizer to protect against airport germs; buying last-minute gifts in duty-free; charging devices before you leave the house; keeping a list of important phone numbers in case of delays; leaving earlier than you normally do; and downloading helpful apps to stay on top of delays and other travel issues. Get advice that will help you stay in the spirit of the season with’s complete Holiday season travel survival guide at

About, part of the Momondo Group:

Founded in 1996, Cheapflights is a leading global flight comparison and deals publishing platform dedicated to taking the complexity out of finding the best value flights through the application of innovative, intuitive technologies: Smart search. Made simple. It is now a market leader in the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand generating more than C$4 billion in global downstream revenue for its partners as it expands into numerous other territories. More than 120 million users visit its websites and apps each year, receiving more than two billion search results a month from across 900,000 routes.

The 10 million strong opt-in subscribers to the Cheapflights newsletter receive the best deals from more than 120 travel businesses — for whom it has driven more than C$80 million in revenue this year. Together, the Cheapflights platforms generate enough bookings for its partners to fill a Boeing 747 every five minutes.

In 2011, Cheapflights became part of the privately owned online travel search and inspiration network, Momondo Group.

[Source: marketwire/cheapflights-media relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Boxing Day at Eaton Center Toronto – By 松林 L from Toronto, Canada (IMG_2768.JPG  Uploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons ]
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Tourism Experts Participate In Abu Dhabi Forum

World Travel




400 tourism experts participate in Tourism Innovation and Transformation Forum







ABU DHABI, — Over 400 professionals and tourism experts from various countries attended today a forum to exchange views on how to optimise the benefits of innovation to accelerate tourism growth and overcome business challenges. Held under the auspices of Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, the Tourism Innovation and Transformation Forum 2016, was organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, at The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City in Dubai.

Commenting on the forum, Al Mansoori said, “The forum was in line with the government’s initiatives and events launched during the UAE Innovation Week. This reflects government’s commitment to make innovation a way of life in the country and incorporate it in various local sectors for performance improvement. This is part of our endeavors to achieve progress and development, improve people’s lives, and establish the UAE’s leadership in all areas and fields.

“The Ministry of Economy is optimising innovation to boost tourism sector, highlight its potential, and attract investment to increase its contributions to the country’s economy. With our wise leaders’ support for this sector, the government seeks to further develop it by building essential infrastructure,” he added.

Mohammed Khamis Al Mheiri, Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, said, “The Ministry-led initiatives and projects that support the tourism sector reflect its commitment to UAE Vision 2021. Innovation is the central theme of these initiatives as it becomes an important part of the sector’s development. This important annual forum provides a platform where industry leaders can develop a roadmap, explore future challenges, and create innovative and creative solutions to pressing issues.”

He added that the travel and tourism sector contribution to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at AED 134 billion in 2015, accounting for 8.7 percent. It grew by 4.4 percent this 2016 as per the World Travel and Tourism Council’s data. The sector’s contribution is expected to increase at a rate of 5.4 percent annually over the next 10 years to reach AED 236.8 billion by the year 2026 and will account for 11.2 percent of the total GDP. The tourism and travel sector is also expected to generate more than 370 million jobs by 2026.

The forum included four distinctive interactive workshops on the shift in the tourism sector, the transformation of various global destinations, the transition to smart cities, and the innovative visitors’ experiences. The workshops were led by industry specialists and support the sector’s various facets by promoting discussions and dialogues on the importance of innovation.

[Source: Emirates News Agency WAM/AAMIR-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: A view from Heritage Park in Abu Dhabi, UAE – By Aravind Sivaraj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Greece Is A Pearl Of The Mediterranean

World Travel













Greece is a pearl of the Mediterranean, it is one of the greatest treasures of Europe, it is one of the most beautiful, fascinating, and historically interesting countries in the world. Visiting Greece gives you a taste of both pleasures of the present and the wonder of the past. The people and the land gave birth to what is known as Western civilization. And many of the cities and towns still bear the signs and ruins of that Greece’s culturally rich past.

If you are someone who likes to vacation in places with an interesting history, if you like to take tours of old ruins with a story behind them and learn something about the progress of humanity throughout the ages, then you travel to Greece. Tour packages for Greece and bespoke travel services can be obtained at It is an agency dedicated to helping you arrange your travel in the most worry-free way.

Anytime is a good time to take a vacation in Greece. The country is most fortunate to have a climate that is mostly sunny and warm. The summers of course are the best. That is the time when you can soak in the sun rays and atmosphere of the Greek islands, which constitute one of the most salubrious and relaxing places on earth.

Indeed, if you are planning long summer Luxury Greece holidays, you should make your arrangements now. Hotels and other accommodations go fast. You will also find great deals on air and train travel to Greece being offered at the present time well ahead of the coming summer. is the number one spot for booking your Greek holiday. It will allow you to get the advantage of the early mover. It will enable you to see all the options available to you and think carefully about them.

You work hard all year. You pour forth your greatest strength into your work. You do all that you can to ensure that your job is done properly and that the results meet the highest standards. You have sacrificed much along the way to ensure advancement in your career. When it comes to your holiday, you should spare no expense and you should treat yourself to the best that is out there.

A trip to Greece will give you all that you can possibly wish for. It is the surest way to replenish and rejuvenate your spirits. Travel to Greece will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself into one of the liveliest scenes for culture and entertainment in the world. It is a vacation that you will not soon forget.

Of course, you get what you pay for. However, you should not be forced to fork out exorbitant sums of money to get a first-rate vacation. Working with will ensure that you get the best of everything that Greece has to offer without your wallet being abused.

You will be able to get great package deals that will allow you to see everything you’ve ever dreamed about seeing in Greece.


Greecefully offers bespoke travel services, creating personalized experiences of everything Greece has to offer according to your preferences and style. Created by a team of passionate travel experts, Greecefully has not left a stone UN-turned in order to discover, refine and offer a broad variety of year-round travel options that will take your breath away.

And you do know how many stones Greece has…

Greecefully aims at introducing Greece to you through personalized travel experiences that evolve around adventure, culture, gastronomy, wellness or nature. All of our exclusive travel offerings include premium accommodations, impeccable service and customized itineraries that will take your preferences into account. We have put together an exciting and diverse collection of proposed travels, aimed for individuals, families and small groups.

Each unique and authentic Greecefully itinerary is fueled by our unparalleled local insight and our excitement to share with you the gems that lie around Greece’s every corner, in every season. Your holiday can be as action-packed or laid-back as you want; but you can rest assured that it will replenish your mind, body and soul and immerse your senses into year-round beauty.

Greecefully’s experiences are powered by Marvelous Travel.

[Source: Greecefully-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Panoramic view at the monastery Varlaam, Meteora, Greece – By Danimir (Own work) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Great Escape Adventures – The Global Scavenger Hunt

World Travel

Global Scavenger Hunt











Travel adventures by their nature require new frontiers; new what if’s and new challenges. The Global Scavenger Hunt turns travel on its head in 2017 by taking people on an adventure around the world—without telling them where they will be going!

It is like taking A Blind Date with the World. Think about it: You know when you will be traveling, but don’t know where you will be going. The annual event takes place next spring over 23-days between April 14 and May 6, 2017.

“Sometimes people take adventures, but in this case, this adventure takes the people,” says William D. Chalmers, author and Event Director of The Global Scavenger Hunt. “The destinations we visit are not the ends, just the backdrops for our daring adventurers to displace their passive voyeuristic tendencies for truly immersive and participatory travel experiences. Surprise experiences. It is an extraordinarily exciting experience to not know where the heck you are going next.”

The Global Scavenger Hunt is set to take just fifteen two-person teams around the world visiting at least 10 countries over the annual three-week adventure that begins April 14, 2017. The concept is the world travel championship, with the theory being that anyone can get to a place—to be somewhere; but this international event is all about having travelers figure things out once they get there—wherever there is!

The event brings back the magic of travel and is all about letting travelers be creative, resourceful and enjoy the serendipity of the moment. It is about participants using their savvy and Travel IQ to complete a series of engaging and highly-participatory site-doing scavenges in competition with other great global travelers, all vying for “The World’s Greatest Travelers” trophy—and a FREE trip around the world.

The 2016 champions, Zoe Littlepage, and her partner Rainey Booth, both from Houston, are poised to defend their titles in this world travel championship event that is life-changing for those participating.

Life-changing because not only are participants given the opportunity to live out their Indiana Jones and Amazing Race fantasies while circumnavigating the globe in one trip, but they will also be given numerous chances to do good with half-day volunteering opportunities; as the event also serves as a platform to raise funds for interest-free micro loans and the building of remote co-ed elementary schools in places of need.

Previous events have built ten schools in places like: Kenya, Ecuador and India.

The 23-day around the world event is limited to 15 teams of two, and the US$25,000 per team entry fee includes: all international airfare, first class hotels, 40% of meals and special event-sponsored travel gear. Single travelers are welcome to apply and all travelers will be interviewed for suitability.

Please contact GreatEscape Adventures at 1.310.281.7809, or apply online at

[Source: Great Escape Adventures- Media Liaison]
[Photo credits-featured image: camel caravan in the Moroccan desert – By Bachmont (originally posted to Flickr as torraera) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Enjoy The European Waterways On A Culinary Cruise Onboard A Hotel Barge

World Travel



Enchante Hotel Barge offers Chartered Culinary Cruises









European Waterways has announced the launch of a new Culinary themed charter cruise for 2017 aboard the spacious 8-passenger Enchanté, a stylish double-decker hotel barge cruising the renowned Canal du Midi in Southern France. Enchanté features a demonstration galley that allows guests to see first-hand the culinary skills of the on-board master chef, who expertly prepares gourmet meals using fresh, locally grown ingredients. Culinary Cruises will be available throughout the year from March to October and European Waterways is offering 10% off charter prices for all March – May 2017 departures.


Enchanté cruises the canal between the picturesque villages of Sallèlesd’Aude and Trebes, located in the heart of the famed Languedoc vineyards. In addition to cooking demonstrations on board, Culinary Cruises feature expert wine and food pairings for every meal and a wide assortment of regional cheeses.

Excursions include truffle hunting in the Minervois hills and a visit to a farm famed for its special Petit Gris variety of escargot. 

Guests will also visit an olive oil press and a goat cheese farm for private tastings, and enjoy several off-shore lunches, including one at a canal-side culinary school where they will do the cooking themselves to enhance the experience.

“Under the guidance of a master chef, our Culinary Cruises introduce guests to some of the wonderful gastronomic experiences that have always attracted visitors to the South of France,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “We are sure they will prove popular and are currently developing similar itineraries on other hotel barges in our fleet that will take full advantage of the epicurean traditions of each region.”

Culinary Cruises aboard Enchanté start from $38,790, with the 10% off.  Prices include all gourmet meals, fine wines, open bar, daily escorted excursions and local transfers. 

For more information about pricing, cruise schedules and to request a brochure, visit or call Toll Free 1-877-879-8808. 

[Source: European Waterways – Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Canal du Midi à Trèbes en France – By Kathleen Conklin from Falls Church, USA (J_39_Trebes_Canal) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Turneffe Island

World Travel

Turneffe Island

World-class private island concept resort marks 15th anniversary with resort-wide renovation and relaunched experience-based website








Turneffe Island Resort debuts its relaunched hotel, resort and new website, now taking reservations. This unique private island oasis offers adventure-seekers a personalized experience with unparalleled fishing, diving and snorkeling excursions. Spread across 14 acres, this hidden gem island at the southern tip of the Turneffe Atoll is 35 miles off the coast of Belize City and only 30 miles from the world-famous Great Blue Hole.

The resort specializes in customizable, all-inclusive fishing, diving and snorkeling packages for avid water enthusiasts. From the lengths of the saltwater Turneffe Flats to the depths of the Great Blue Hole, guests have easy access to Caribbean waters – and seasoned guides who grew up on the water of the centuries-old Turneffe Atoll channels, lagoons and reef.

“We are delighted to unveil the new Turneffe Island Resort on our 15-year anniversary. We’ve renovated the property, as we do after each season, but we’re especially excited to make a dramatic debut for guests, both returning and new, this season,” said Deborah Finkler, sales and marketing manager, Turneffe Island Resort. “We’ve enhanced our special adventure packages and have a brand new website to allow visitors to virtually experience all the luxury and adventure that the island and surrounding Caribbean waters can offer.”

Guests come to Turneffe Island Resort to cross something off their bucket list. Anglers can expect up to eight hours on the water every day, whether fly fishing in the flats or spin fishing in the deep waters. The resort is known as one of the only places in the world where one can chase the elusive “Caribbean Grand Slam”, catching a bonefish, tarpon and permit, all in one day. Guests can also fish for snapper, barracuda and jack for a truly unforgettable fish story. With born fishermen guiding the program, guests have landed their names in the International Game Fish Association (IFGA) record books season after season. Turneffe Island Resort is also pleased to announce a new fishing director, Greg Bicker, avid fly fish pro, to help guide the expanding fishing program at the resort.

The resort offers multiple dives per day with Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)-certified guides, a weekly night dive and trips to one of the deepest dives in the world, the legendary Great Blue Hole, a collapsed 1000-year old oceanic cave, where divers head 130 feet underwater. In between fishing, diving and snorkeling guests can enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and sun bathing. It is also the perfect destination for foodies with the kitchen and bar staff serving fresh and local international cuisine and cocktail creations.

Turneffe Island Resort has fully-renovated the property including its exclusive 22 beachside guestrooms, allowing guests to enjoy the ultimate in privacy and luxury. The secluded presidential and honeymoon villas are available for guests seeking luxury accommodations with even more space. Guestrooms and villas embody peace and relaxation and are adorned with floor-to-ceiling Belizean mahogany wood interiors.

Turneffe Island Resort has had a long and interesting history and was originally the first offshore fishing lodge in Belize. Relaunched in 2001 under new family ownership as the Turneffe Island Resort, today’s resort features three original buildings, an outdoor bar and pool, a string of private villas along its white sand shoreline and a helicopter pad.

The resort and its staff boast consistency in excellence, easily outnumbering the guests at any given time and providing personalized, white-glove service that meet the specific needs and desires of each individual guest. With direct flights from US cities Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York to Belize City, Turneffe Island Resort is remote, but not difficult to get to.

Today, Turneffe Island Resort has launched a new website to showcase all the beauty that the island has to offer. With stunning images of the island and activities along with a clean, responsive design, the resort’s new website gives guests a true taste of the adventure that awaits them. Visitors can browse the customizable packages offered by the resort and book via the reserve now button or by calling staff in the Houston, TX main office at 1-800-874-0118 or 1-713-236-7739.

For more information on Turneffe Island Resort or to book your trip, please visit or Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Turneffe Island Resort

Turneffe Island Resort is a privately-owned, remote island off the coast of Belize. Since 2001, Turneffe has gained a reputation for its natural, Caribbean beauty and world-class sea adventures including scuba diving at over 70 dive sites; and customizable, one-of-a-kind fishing packages.

Visit Turneffe Island Resort’s website and castaway at or call the Houston, TX office at 1-800-974-0118.

[Source: Travpr,PRnewswire,Turneffe Island Resort-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: By Jerry Kirkhart (originally posted to Flickr as Osprey Hunting) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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‘Vietnam National Administration of Tourism’ Launched Its New Official Tourism Website

World Travel

News Snippet











The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) launched its new official tourism website

The new website, a joint project by tourism authorities and the private sector, will feature articles by top travel writers and bloggers as well as photos of favorite destinations.”The goal is to make this one of the top 10 tourism sites in the world,” said Nguyen Van Tuan, the general director of VNAT.

The site is aims to have 10 million unique users per year.Tourism is expected to be a key pillar of Vietnam’s economy, contributing $32 billion or 10 percent of the gross domestic product and employing 3.5 million people in 2020.

The website is currently available in English only, but more languages will be introduced
The project marks a new stage in the collaboration between the state and private sectors as investment came from companies operating in the tourism and hospitality industry.

A total of 61 million tourists, both foreign and domestic, traveled in the country in the first 10 months of 2016, spending VND331.5 trillion ($14.8 billion), up 19.1 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam is expected to have 9.7 million foreign tourists and 62 million domestic tourists with a total revenue of VND400 trillion ($17.9 billion) this year.

The country is planning to waive visitor visa requirements for more countries or at least simplify visa procedures.

[Source: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Trekking Travel’s Asia Cruise in Halong bay. – By Arianos (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
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The ‘Phoenicians Route’ Being Developed As A Tourism Destination

World Travel

Phoenician Culture and Heritage


The Phoenicians’ Route links 18 countries with a common heritage









An integral component of Mediterranean trade and culture, the Phoenicians’ Route links 18 countries with a common heritage. With the aim of revitalizing this itinerary as a tourism route, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Ministry of Tourism of Lebanon and Council of Europe launched the Phoenicians’ Route Cultural Tourism Program, which integrates public and private sector, at World Travel Market in London. 

During the event, participants discussed the development and marketing of three pilot cultural tourism itineraries along the Phoenicians’ Route. The itineraries will connect three continents, 18 countries and more than 80 towns. They cover the various periods of Phoenician heritage: the Origin (Lebanon, Cyprus and Greece); the Punics and the Sea (Italy, Malta and Tunisia) and the Expansion (France and Spain).

“Nothing is better for bringing understanding to the region than having people travel this route. The capacity of tourism to link different cultures, traditions and faiths is immense, particularly in the Mediterranean, one of the most diverse areas of the world,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. 

“The Phoenicians’ heritage is still largely unknown. We trust this project will bring this heritage to life and show us how much we all have in common. This is especially important in these times that are in such need of dialogue among civilizations,” said Minister of Tourism of Lebanon Michel Pharaon.

“This is a great opportunity to provide Europe with a tool to enhance its tourism offer and strengthen ties among countries and people,” said Stefano Dominioni, Executive-Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement for Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

Issues of transport, connectivity, visa facilitation, branding and product development of this new Route were discussed with tour operators present at the event.

The Phoenicians’ Route is the network of the nautical trade courses that Phoenicians used since the twelfth century BC in the Mediterranean Sea. These routes became an integral part of the essence of the Mediterranean culture. The potential of the Phoenicians’ Route to provide economic opportunities, intercultural exchange and cultural revival has been recognized by the Council of Europe.

[Source: UN World Tourism Organization-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Miasteczko Sidi Bou Said — Tunisia. -By Jerzystrzelecki (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Japan – Where Tradition Meets The Future

World Travel



Japan National Tourism Organization has launched a large-scale campaign targeting 15 European countries as part of its “Visit Japan” project on November 7, 2016.







The campaign is entitled “Japan―Where tradition meets the future” and is the largest ever promotional campaign for inbound tourism from Europe. It targets 15 European countries: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Poland, Israel and Turkey.

For the campaign, coordinated creative content will be placed in advertisements in different media such as Internet, television, cinema, and transportation and distributed in target countries all over Europe in order to communicate the campaign’s message and raise tourism demand for Japan.

Based on consumer survey results showing that Japan’s attraction comes from the mingling and coexistence of “tradition” and “innovation”, together with two keywords – “identity” and “authenticity” – coordinated creative content was created around this concept in order to convey Japan’s attraction. This includes a new short movie showing vivid scenes from 45 locations in Japan including Tokyo, Kyoto, Kumano and Ise, as seen through the eyes of a European traveller. The movie has been made by German filmmaker Vincent Urban, who produced the movie “In Japan – 2015”, which has been played over 2 million times, and can be viewed on a dedicated website ( in a special interactive format.

The movie presents Japan from the contrasting viewpoints of “tradition” and “innovation”, interspersing snapshots of the bustle and noise of its dynamic big cities with the profound and tranquil silence of its religious sites and regions with outstanding natural beauty. It opens with modern Japanese landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower before switching to breath-taking views of majestic Dorokyo gorge in Wakayama prefecture and the imposing Great Buddha in historic Todaiji temple in Nara.

Over its 3-minute runtime, it continues to juxtapose scenes illustrating the preservation of traditional culture such as Buddhist rites, tea ceremony, mochi rice-cake pounding and Japanese archery with quintessential snapshots of everyday modern life in Japan such as a video arcade in Akihabara, offbeat shopping destination Don Quijote and yokocho small backstreet alleys lined with izakaya pubs – as well as a nod to the future with glimpses of a humanoid robot from the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan).

Its 45 carefully selected scenes showcasing the contrasting charms of Japan also include a large number of bird’s eye view scenes captured by state-of-the-art drones. Picturesque scenery such as the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and dynamic images of rafting in the Dorokyo gorge in Wakayama prefecture are captured from unusual angles that are normally impossible to see.

The video’s special interactive format allows viewers around the world to access detailed information on the different tourism destinations featured in the video simply by pausing and clicking on a scene. These dynamic action elements enable viewers to gain deeper insight into Japan through interacting with the movie content rather than passively “watching” the movie, meaning major tourist spots in Japan can now be accessed from all over the world – even before setting foot on a plane to Japan for the holiday of a lifetime.

Please visit Japan National Tourism Organization UK:

[Source: Japan National Tourism Organization, UK Office-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Takachiho Gorge, Miyazaki, Japan – By Max Smith (Self-photographed) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
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Medical Tourism Is Attracting Patients From Around The Globe

World Travel

Medical Tourism


Travelling for Medical Treatment









Global OrthoBiologic, Inc. (GOB), a leader in regenerative medicine currently doing business in more than 30 countries, announces a strategic Joint Venture with Lamar Holidays, a worldwide luxury travel and tourism company to provide Medical Tourism.

Medical tourism is defined as traveling from one location to another with a purpose to gain medical assistance. Generally, people from developing nations travel to developed countries for medical treatments that are unavailable in their own countries due to poor medical and healthcare infrastructure. However, in recent years, people residing in developed economies have also begun traveling to lesser developed countries in order to gain cost-efficient medical assistance. Medical Tourism or Medical Travel is a combination of wellness and healthcare coupled with leisure and relaxation which is aimed at rejuvenating a person mentally, physically and emotionally, drawing away from his daily routine to a relaxed environment in a nice and attractive location.

This partnership will provide patients across the globe the opportunity to be treated by members of the GOB Global Academy, a team of internationally known doctors and scientists offering cutting edge treatments providing better and faster recovery times.

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Mihail Blagoev (GOB Vice President, International Business Development) “Medical tourism is seen as direct result of globalization of healthcare services. The falling cost of medical procedures in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil, Turkey, Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, Costa Rica, and Dubai is encouraging people to travel to these countries for their treatment and, in turn, is propelling the global medical tourism market significantly. With rising initiatives by government, the UAE healthcare market is witnessing an astonishing growth in medical tourism in the region. The UAE government is extensively expanding and upgrading the existing infrastructure to match or exceed the quality of service offered in any country around the world.”

Dubai Health Experience (DXH) is the prestigious brand conceived by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to strengthen the position of Dubai on the world map of medical tourism. (

Firas Agha (CEO, Lamar Holidays) “The Joint Venture with GOB is a wonderful opportunity for Lamar to expand our business in medical tourism whether it is to bring patients to Dubai or to provide the complete package for the patients and families to any of the 30 countries in which GOB is conducting business. The medical tourism patients and their families have enough to be concerned with, the travel should be seamless.” Lamar specializes in luxury tourism where attention to every detail regardless how small is important to ensure the travel experience meets or exceeds the clients’ expectations.

Randy Beimel (GOB President) “Global Medical Tourism accounted for $17.1 Billion in 2015 and is poised to reach $52.2 Billion by 2022, $99 Billion by 2025.

The Joint Venture with Lamar Holidays gives GOB the platform to enter this industry by storm. The Global Academy is the collection of the best of the best physicians and scientists specializing in regenerative medicine from around the world treating patients in Orthopedic, Chronic Wound Care, Aesthetics, Cosmetic Gynecology, Spinal Cord Injuries and Neurological disorders including Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Every patient from around the globe deserves the opportunity to be treated by the best physicians regardless of the country they live in order to have the chance for the best outcome in every case.”

About Lamar Holidays:

Lamar Holidays, with offices in Dubai, UAE; Jeddah, KSA; Riyadh, KSA; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Istanbul, Turkey; London, England; and Los Angeles, California, has a team of experienced professionals offering travel packages that can accommodate small family groups to large delegations. Lamar Holidays offers a multitude of luxury packages, airport transfers, worldwide accommodation, visa assistance, VIP meet and assist flights, limousine services and car rental.

The company’s management team is committed to being the leading global wholesale travel solutions provider.

Lamar offers the optimum travel solutions globally via their state of the art online system and support team that embodies the speed and quality of experience desired in each interaction. From exotic to professional, Lamar offers the client a unique and special experience.

About Global OrthoBiologic (GOB):

Global OrthoBiologic, based in Miami, Florida, invests, identifies, develops and markets ground-breaking medical technologies related to Regenerative Medicine in the global market. Global OrthoBiologic is a privately-held medical technologies company specializing in therapies that significantly enhance the body’s natural healing ability. The company has developed extensive experience in the most advanced medical device industries. In the past several years, the emphasis has been focused exclusively on Regenerative Medicine and stem cell technologies, products, and therapies. The technologies for stem cells are cutting edge, safe, clean and do not use any additives, enzymes, or require culturing or growing of cells. Global OrthoBiologic consults with medical technology companies that are startups and/or companies looking to expand and grow their business.

Global OrthoBiologic has built a comprehensive network of experts in Europe, South America, Middle East, Asia, and Australia. The company partners with recognized medical facilities worldwide for evidence-based clinical medicine. Global OrthoBiologic has additional sales offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and Dubai, UAE, as well as a distribution center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

[Source: Global OrthoBiologic,Lamar Holidays-Media Relations]
[Photo credits-featured image: Physician treating a patient. Red-figure Attic aryballos – By English: Clinic Painter (name-piece) Français : Peintre de la Clinique (vase éponyme) (Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]
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