Archive | August, 2009

Christmas in Savannah, Holiday Tradition the Savannah Way

Picture this: a horse-drawn carriage stops in front of twin four-story antebellum homes on President Street, on a crisp December evening in downtown Savannah.

Lights from a fresh-cut Christmas tree welcome the carriage travelers into the parlor of the side-by-side homes, as the scents and spice of hot cider and fresh ginger snaps chase away the outdoor chill.

Evergreens wrap a gleaming banister winding up the staircase, promising late night arrivals “visions of sugar plums” snuggled into sumptuous comforters and thick cotton bed linens, four-poster beds, light flickering in the fireplace.

PRESIDENTS' QUARTERS INNNext morning, the aroma of coffee greets early risers as the sun pours through tall windows, luring guests out of bed with promises of a brisk-but-comfortable southern winter day.

Across the morning quiet, the bells of downtown churches can be heard in the distance, chiming each hour. In the downstairs parlor, shrimp and grits sates morning appetites, fortified for a morning ahead, perusing shops brimming with gifts to be had.

Quiet descends as guests leave the twin homes in twos and threes, walking past Savannah’s finest rowhouses, across Oglethorpe Square beneath oak boughs, toward the bustle of nearby Broughton Street.

The city’s main shopping street, just two blocks north, is fully decked out for the season in greenery and twinkling lights. Other guests turn south on Abercorn for a quick stroll toward Savannah’s two oldest bookstores, with rooms crammed full of new and “gently used” books for every age and reading taste. Hours later, lunch for two at a favorite restaurant overlooks the Savannah River as ships from foreign lands slide past.

By late afternoon, the President Street mansions hum again with returning guests, arms laden with ribboned parcels. There’s just enough time for a quick freshening up before gathering with friends in the parlor for mulled wine and smoky cheeses, and as night falls, a furtive pause under the mistletoe with someone special. Continue Reading

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Peak Adventure Successfully Completed Kedarnath Peak Climbing Expedition, leading Indian Adventure Tours and Travel Company set new milestone by conducting successful Kedarnath Peak Climbing Adventure Expedition.

Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Situated in the Himalayas, about 3584m above sea level near the head of river Mandakini, this destination is flanked by breathtaking snow-capped peaks.

It is an exceptional destination surrounded with huge Himalayan Peaks and considered as home to natural & beautiful mountain sights.

himalaya trekking in everestThe Kedarnath Peak (6940m/22770ft) is just one of the few Himalayan Peaks in Kedarnath that is situated at the south of Gangotri Glacier and well known for peak climbing adventure activity.

Surrounded by Kedar dome (6831m) and Sumeru Parbat, Chorabari Glacier is the base for Kedarnath Peak. While Kedarnath is the highest peak and Kedarnath Dome the third highest peak on the south side of the Gangotri Glacier; both these peaks make peak climbing and trekking at Kedarnath famous and challenging adventure activity.

Today many tourists from across the world come to Kedarnath to explore the challenges of Kedarnath Peak Climbing. While many of the routes through the mountains are difficult, there are ample places to rest and enjoy a meal along the way.

This place also offer one of the most wonderful and exhilarating range in the world and best opportunity to view the natural beauty through naked eyes. Continue Reading

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Cebu Pacific launches onboard duty-free catalogue

Cebu Pacific has introduced duty-free products on board all international flights from Manila from August 21.

The carrier has added a wide range of duty-free cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, jewellery, watches, travel accessories, children’s gifts and confectionery to its Fun Shop inflight retail catalogue.

Brands available include Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Swarovski, Godiva and Pierre Cardin, and prices range from P300 ($6) to P4,900 ($101).

Cebu Pacific vice-president for marketing and distribution Candice Lyog said: “Cebu Pacific wanted to make it easier for passengers to shop for souvenirs for their friends and family.

Now, with duty-free, they no longer have to rush their shopping. They can enjoy it from the convenience of their seats while on board.”

The airline flies from Manila to Bangkok, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Ho Chi Minh City, Seoul, Osaka, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei.

Posted in Asia, Philippines, Travel and Tourism News1 Comment

Mining national parks could put New Zealand’s tourism industry at risk

Opening up the conservation estate to mining interests could put New Zealand’s 20.1 billion NZ dollars (13.8 billion US dollars) tourism industry at risk, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) warned on Friday.

“New Zealand’s natural scenery and landscapes are the main reason international visitors come here. Our national parks and reserves are also important to domestic tourism and form the basis of thousands of tourism businesses,” TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar said in a statement.

“Taking a long-term view, it may be that tourism is a more valuable and sustainable industry to New Zealand’s economy than mining. This is something we’ll be wanting to talk to Government about if this idea proceeds,” he said.

new zealand tourism“New Zealand is internationally recognized for the leadership it has shown in managing one-third of the country as conservation estate. Our 100 Percent Pure international brand is based on our intrinsic commitment to our unspoiled landscapes,” he aded.

The Tourism Industry Election Manifesto, released in the run-up to last year’s General Election, highlighted that improving New Zealand’s environmental performance was a priority for the tourism industry.

“We must protect and enhance our environment, so it can continue to be enjoyed by future generations of New Zealanders and future visitors. This is not optional – it is a necessity if tourism is going to continue to be one of New Zealand’s biggest export industries,” Cossar said.

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Indonesian tourism players to participate in Matta Fair

Indonesian tourism players are being facilitated to participate in a Malaysian tour and travel promotion event called Matta Fair 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from September 4 to 6, 2009.

“We are facilitating tourism players to participate in Matta Fair 2009,” said I Gde Pitana, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism international promotion director, said here, reports Antara news agency.

He said the ministry had prepared some 180 km square meters of space for tourism players at the Malaysian tourism promotion fair.

malaysia tourism newsMatta Fair 2009 is an annual tourism promotion event held by the Malaysian government and coordinated by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism.

The event had become one of Asia Pacific’s greatest shows, and the number of visitors to the fair was estimated to reach 10,000 people per day.

In Matta Fair 2008, the event was participated in by several Asia Pacific countries from China to Australia.

Pitana said recently the number of Indonesian tourism players who want to participate in Matta Fair 2009 had reached 90 percent of the stated quota. Continue Reading

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Ekran Berhad Sdn. to reopen P1.5 billion tourism resort complex in Samal Island in the Philippines

Officials of the Philippine government and Ekran Berhad Sdn. have committed to reopen the stalled P1.5 billion Ekran Berhad Samal Casino Resort at the Island Garden City of Samal by December 2009.

In a press conference Monday here Presidential Adviser for Mindanao and Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) signing minister Jesus Dureza said Ekran Berhad Sdn CEO Tan Sri Datuk Paduka (Dr.)

Ting Pek Khiing in a meeting with him and Samal Island city officials in Kuala Lumpur last July has expressed the company’s intention to infuse an additional capital including P200 million for the reshaping of the complex.

Based on the briefer of the project, “Ekran Berhad is set to invest an estimated US$ 15-20 (P966.60 million) to reopen its Ekran Berhad Samal Casino Resort project.

Since its closure, the Real Propety Tax (RPT) of the resort complex has accrued to P35 million as of December 2008. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, Hotel News, Philippines, Travel and Tourism News1 Comment

Cambodia Tourist arrivals increased in July

A 10 percent jump in tourist arrivals in July eroded losses over the first six months of the year, local media reported on Monday, citing unofficial numbers released by Tourism Minister Thong Khon.

More than 163,000 people visited the country last month, bringing arrivals for the first seven months of the year to 1,284, 085, a 0.3 percent rise on the l,246,685 million visitors through to the end of July 2008, the Phnom Penh Post quoted Thong Khon as saying.

Figures for the first six months of the year show a l.1 percent fall in visitor arrivals, compared with a year earlier, to 1,086, 518. The figures include tourists and business travelers.

camboida-tourismAn increase in visitors from neighboring Laos and Vietnam offset a huge fall in arrivals from South Korea, which was the single largest source country for foreign visitors in the early part of 2008.

Accurate numbers were unavailable for July, but visitors from South Korea fell 33 percent year-on-year over the first half from 160,446 to 106,345. Arrivals from Vietnam were up 40 percent over the same period from 105,275 to 147,721, while Laotian visitors increased 141 percent to 52,708.

“Vietnamese tourists still lead tourists from all other countries, followed by those from South Korea and America,” he said. Continue Reading

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Fiji tourism targets high-end market in China

Fiji’s tourism targets the luxurious or high-end market in China to boost the highest money earner in the Pacific island nation.

Tourism Fiji said on Monday Fiji does not target the mass market as she does not have the facilities and activities to cater for this segment.

Visitors from China to Fiji has increased in 2009 from January to May to 4,398.

fiji-travel-guideIn 2008, there were 10,545 Chinese tourists while there were 8,453 in 2007.

The Chinese government remained optimistic that trade between Fiji and China will be on rise.

Counselor Mingxing Fei of the Chinese Embassy to Fiji said China’s trade relationship with Fiji has always been a good one and the Chinese government is always looking at improving trade as well as tourism in Fiji.

Fei said they were looking at boosting tourist arrivals into Fiji.

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Bulfinch Hotel Boston Announces $5 Anniversary Deal

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, The Bulfinch Boston announces its “Cut the Bill at the Bull” promotion allowing guests to cut “the bill” or “the bull” (or whichever slogan one prefers), from the hotel check-out bill.

Now until December 30, 2009, guests booking a minimum 3 night stay will be able to choose from a selection of five, $5-priced amenities, including $5 overnight parking; $5 continental breakfast; $5 dry cleaning service item; $5 pressing service item and a $5 cocktail.*

Located in downtown Boston’s “Bulfinch Triangle,” The Bulfinch Boston is housed in a nine story flatiron building, offering 80 well-appointed rooms and suites which provide an aesthetically-pleasing and modern escape from the bustle of Boston.

bulfinch hotel boston promotionsCatering to leisure and business guests alike and a member of the Luxe Collection of hotels, Bulfinch’s list of amenities includes complimentary high-speed Internet access, exercise room, concierge and bellman service, and free local calls, among others.

The hotel’s cozy and popular Flat Iron Tapas Bar & Lounge pays homage to the building’s striking façade and serves guests an eclectic selection of tapas and small plates, uniquely created by Chef Mark Spinney.

The Bulfinch Boston is located at 107 Merrimac Street, Boston, MA 02114. Rates from $159 per night (based on availability).

Bulfinch Boston’s “Cut the Bill at the Bull” promotion is available until December 30, 2009 and can be booked online at or 877 267 1776 with booking code “BILL.” For images and additional information, email or call the contact listed above. Continue Reading

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Thai cuisine to be promoted by Tourism Authority of Thailand

Two major events are to be held in Bangkok at the end of September 2009 to capitalize on the global popularity of Thai cuisine, boost exports of Thai agricultural products, and help visitors enjoy a higher quality of culinary experience across the vast range of dining options in the kingdom.

The two major food events “Amazing Taste of Thailand” and “Thailand Brand” will be held concurrently between September 24-28, 2009, jointly organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Department of Export Promotion, Thai Hotels Association, Association of Domestic Travel, and Thai Restaurant Association.

thailand foodMrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, the TAT’s deputy governor for marketing communications said, “The promotion of Thai cuisine is one of the TAT’s top-most priorities, because it builds bridges between travel and tourism, the country’s largest service industry, with agriculture, the largest overall industry.”

Thai cuisine is popular all over the world because it is nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive.

According to Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, there are plans to increase the number of Thai restaurants overseas from 13,000 locations in 2009 to 15,000 locations in 2010 as part of the second phase of Thailand’s “Kitchen of the World” project, aimed at boosting Thai food exports. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, Thailand, Travel and Tourism News2 Comments

Malaysia Tourism eyes attracting more middle-class Indian tourists

Senior Malaysian tourism officials are now in India to woo more tourists from the burgeoning affluent middle-class population there.

It will be a tough task as regional players are eyeing the same market to rake in foreign exchange for their cash-hungry economies, however.

A high-level delegation led by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen is convincing dozens of Indian travel agents that Malaysia is a competitive tropical holiday destination in Southeast Asia, unparalleled compared to its neighbors.

kuala-lumpur-malaysiaMore Indians, made rich by their country’s decades-long economic success, are traveling abroad for leisure.

This activity was something previously exclusive only to the noveau rich there. 

Eight to 10 million Indians travel annually – a dismal figure if compared with the country’s billion population count.

The number is growing annually especially with nearly 20 million people adding yearly to the already existing 300-million strong middle-class society.

“India is an exciting market for us. We only had 29,000 tourists from India in 1999 but the figure shot up to 500,000 last year.

“We want a million Indian tourists to visit Malaysia in the next two to three years,” Dr. Ng said. Continue Reading

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Aston to open new hotel in Bangka Island, Sumatra

Aston has signed a management agreement for a new three star Aston City hotel in Indonesia.

The Aston Soll Marina City Hotel on Sumatra’s Bangka Island, will feature 120 modern and functional rooms and several meeting rooms as well as a contemporary café and Karaoke entertainment facilities.

Bangka Island is the largest island of Indonesia’s Bangka Belitung province and is located East of Sumatra half way between Jakarta and Singapore making it a popular business, meeting and vacation spot in the region and one of Indonesia’s fastest growing hotspots.

Norbert Vas, Aston International’s VP of Sales & Marketing said “The Aston City Hotel brand has struck a nerve with frequent business travelers by prioritizing on what really counts and makes a hotel a winner – the basic 3 Bs. The 3 Bs are Bed, Bath and Breakfast and Aston City Hotels strive to offer the very best sleeping, bathroom and breakfast experience in the 3 star segment and outperform many 4 star hotels.” Continue Reading

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