Archive | September, 2009

Travel Advisory : Strong earthquake hits Indonesia

Indonesia Earthquake Update : An earthquake with magnitude of 7.6 jolted West Sumatra province at Sumatra island on Wednesday, with no tsunami warning was issued, Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

The quake struck at 17:16 Jakarta time (1216 GMT) with epicenter at 57 km southwest of Pariaman and at 71 km. under sea bed, an official of the agency said.

Posted in Asia, travel advisory, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Warning0 Comments

Heritage city in north China a paradise for world’s photographers

An old man with a leather apron is riding a bike, on the back of which stand two poles,. From each pole hangs a bag full of trash.

Click. Ali Paczensky from Germany agency Fotofinder GmbH records the moment with his camera. He looks at the picture on the screen with a smile and says, “That’s funny.”

The art of photography is reaching every corner of the 2,700-year-old fortified city of Pingyao, as keen amateur and professional practitioners take pictures, appreciate art and chat with each other during 2009 Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP).

pingyao china“I’ve never seen a photo festival on this scale before, like the whole city is devoted. It’s phenomenal,” said James Hill from Australia.

“It’s exciting because you don’t know who’s going to see your work because there’s such a great variety of people,” said James’ girlfriend Alexia Sinclair, who had just finished installing her exhibition ??the Regal Twelve — which will also be showcased in Paris next week.

Gan Jingwen from Beijing was hurrying with her Canadian husband Richard to a seminar held by a famous photographer. The couple has visited PIP every year since 2001 when the first festival was held.

“In the festival, we feel the art of photography is very close and tangible to us amateurs as the festival is open to everyone,” said Gan, “and we cherish the opportunity to learn from experts and the seminars are particularly inspiring.” Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, china, Travel and Tourism News0 Comments

Europe’s Top Ten Best Hotels for Wine Lovers Selected by Users & Travel Experts

ExperienciasyMas, a Spanish publishing house that focuses on creating awareness and circulating information on luxury and charming hotels across the globe, has announced winners of the 2009 Wine Hotel Awards, given to the ten best wine hotels and wine cellar hotels in southern Europe.

Hotels nestled among vineyards, castles in viticultural areas, wine tastings and visits to cellars, winetheraphy treatments or a first class gastronomical offer were taken into account when nominating and awarding these hotels.

Winners are, of course, located in stunning, unrivalled landscapes.

Chateu de Bagnols in FranceAmong the hotels awarded in this 2009 edition we can find four hotels located in Spain, three in France, two in Portugal and one in Italy.

Those situated in the Spanish peninsula include Marqués de Riscal in the Rioja region, the Peralada Wine Spa & Golf Hotel in the Catalan region of Emporda, the Hacienda Zorita in the thriving Arribes del Duero area and the Read’s Hotel in Mallorca.

This year additional points were given to those participants who were contributing to the development of quality in the hotel industry, their efforts to create oenotourism awareness and for attention to detail in their oenogastronomical offer and levels of excellence.

All nominated hotels were scrutinized and awarded points by the portal’s users as well as travel experts from Online users could send in comments and value the hotels’ level of service and facilities.

Portugal’s contribution includes the Aquapura Hotel in the Valle del Douro and the Casa da Calçada in the Oporto region. Continue Reading

Posted in Europe, Hotel News, Travel and Tourism News3 Comments

Cebu Pacific offers P899 ‘Go Lite’ seat sale to any Philippine destination

Cebu Pacific (CEB), one of the Philippine’s leading domestic carrier, is offering P899 ‘Go Lite’ seats to any domestic destination from Sept. 17-18, 2009, for travel from Oct. 1-31, 2009.

Passengers with check-in luggage just need to add P100 upon booking.

CEB has 50 routes in 32 domestic destinations, making it the airline with the most number of flights in the country.

The airline recently started flying to Cauayan (Isabela), Calbayog and Catarman in Samar and Virac, Catanduanes.

CEB also maintains its monopoly routes such as Cebu-Siargao, Cebu-Legazpi, Davao-Iloilo and Davao-Cagayan de Oro, among others.

“We expect more Filipinos to travel this October because of the semestral break and proximity of the travel period to All Saints and All Souls Day. This seat sale will allow travelers to bring their families and friends to new destinations, and to fly home more often — both of which are our goals as an airline company,” said CEB vice president for marketing and product Candice Iyog.

Passengers can avail of this seat sale through the recently launched CEB payment center facility. Continue Reading

Posted in Airline News, Asia, Aviation News, Philippines, Travel and Tourism News0 Comments

British Airways offers First Class Upgrade Promotion

Until the end of September, travellers who book British Airways’Club World business class can enjoy a free upgrade to First class on one leg of their journey to Europe.

Customers must book before midnight on 30 September 2009 and travel before 31 March 2010 to take advantage of the free upgrade offer.

“This is a great opportunity for our customers in Hong Kong to truly travel in style and enjoy the very best of premium travel to and from Europe,” said Kevin McQuillan, British Airways Regional General Manager, Far East.

british_airways-promotions“British Airways has always been at the forefront of innovation, and both of our award-winning premium cabins are testament to this.”

In addition to electronically operated seats that can be converted into fully flat beds, the recently refreshed First experience also includes a turndown service, soft cotton sleeper suits, brand new Anya Hindmarch-designed washbags, a-la-carte dining and access to the exclusive and luxurious Galleries First lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

British Airways’ revolutionary new Club World business class was launched on the Hong Kong route in 2007 and features wider seats, increased privacy, Club Kitchen and a new, six-foot-six “Z” bed position, moulding your body to the position it naturally assumes in zero gravity.

The new Club World is available on all Boeing 747s on British Airways’ Hong Kong–London Heathrow route and is currently being embodied on its fleet of Boeing 777s.

Posted in Airline News, Aviation News, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News1 Comment

Venture out of Manhattan with the Buckingham Hotel’s Subway Package

Often times, it’s hard for visitors to venture out of Manhattan to other boroughs to experience things a Mets Game at the new Citi field or to watch the Yankees taking on another American league team in their new stadium.

The Buckingham Hotel however, is offering the Subway package which allows patrons to go beyond the confines of Manhattan.

Starting at $259 per night (for a 4 person occupancy), this package includes a $40 MetroCard so families can go where they want, hassle free.

buckingham hotel in new yorkNo waiting on lines or dealing with vending machines underground.

The hotel will also provide a family pack of afternoon snacks to take along with you on this fun-filled day.

** This package is valid through October 1st 2009 and has a minimum stay of two nights.

For further details, please visit the Buckingham Hotel web site at

or call toll free at 888-511-1900.

About the Buckingham Hotel

The Buckingham Hotel is an intimate, 100-suite boutique property that provides guests with the unique experience of New York living combined with modern hotel style. Continue Reading

Posted in Hotel News, Travel and Tourism News, USA0 Comments

Holiday Inn Opens in Malé, Maldives

The Holiday Inn Malé, located in Malé, the capital city of the Maldives, welcomed its first guests on Monday.

Located on the corner of Ameer Ahmed Magu, Holiday Inn Malé lies near the harbourfront, shops and markets and within a short walking distance to the various historical places of interest like the Old Friday Mosque, Sultan Park and The Presidential Palace.

The hotel provides the perfect gateway to holidaymakers heading out to outlying resort islands.

holiday-inn-hotel-in-male-maldivesHoliday Inn Malé features 117 stylish rooms, including 17 Superior Rooms, 77 Deluxe Rooms, 13 Deluxe Ocean view Rooms, 9 Premiere Rooms and a Presidential Suite.

All rooms feature either a king bed or two twin beds and offer amenities such as broadband Internet, LCD TVs, minibar, complimentary tea/coffee making facilities and in-room safes.

For dining and entertainment, there is a Lobby Café, an all day dining restaurant, a rooftop restaurant offering European/Japanese fusion cuisine and a 24 hour in-room dining.

The hotel also has a rooftop swimming pool, a well equipped fitness centre and a Coconut Spa. Other activities include scuba diving and snorkeling, big game fishing, island excursions and picnics, Malé city tour, photo flights, resort day visits, submarine trips and others. Continue Reading

Posted in Hotel News, Maldives, Travel and Tourism News0 Comments

Cebu Pacific offers Osaka Seat Sale

Cebu Pacific is now offering P2,499 seat sale for the Manila-Osaka route starting now until September 21, 2009.

This Cebu Pacific Osaka discounted ticket promotions is valid for travel from October 15 to December 15, 2009.

The travel period for the seat sale coincides with the fall season of the Kansai area, which covers Osaka and Kyoto.

Kyoto is half an hour away from Osaka by special service train.

Don’t miss out on Kyoto’s fall foliage spots such as Arashiyama, Kiyomizu-dera Temple and the Kyoto Imperial Palace from mid-October to early December.

Book now at!

CEB flies from Manila to Osaka every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The service departs Manila at 2:00pm, and departs Osaka at 7:20pm.

Posted in Airline News, Asia, Aviation News, Japan, Philippines, Travel and Tourism News1 Comment

Thailand launches “Ultimate Thailand Explorers” to draw online travellers to visit kingdom

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) on Monday launched its “Ultimate Thailand Explorers” competition, calling all internet savvy world travellers to enter the competition to get a free trip to Thailand and chance to win over US$ 15,000 cash and prizes.

TAT chairman Weerasak Kowsurat chairman and TAT Deputy Governor Surapol Savetaserani jointly held a press conference to announce the launch of the competition.

Weerasak said that TAT invited travelers from around the world to apply to become contestants in the Ultimate Thailand Explorers competition, an exciting concept in integrated online travel marketing.

thailand tourism newsFive finalist teams from across the globe will be provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: six expense-paid days exploring the sights and attractions in five of Thailand’s world famous holiday destinations: Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui, he said.

He said each day the teams of competitors must visit the many fantastic attractions and activities at their chosen destinations and then share their experiences with the online community by uploading videos, photos, and stories on various websites including, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.

Online voting for which team produces the most exciting and informative videos about the attractions and activities in their destination will determine who are the Ultimate Thailand Explorers, said Weerasak.

Applications are open to teams of two (friends, siblings, lovers, family members, colleagues) who must submit a short but entertaining audition video explaining why they want to travel to Thailand and how they will promote their preferred destination to the world. Continue Reading

Posted in Asia, Thailand, Travel and Tourism News0 Comments

New York and London to boost travel between two cities

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and London Mayor Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday a two-year tourism agreement to boost travel between the two cities.

The cities will provide each other with outdoor media advertising space, and NYC & Company and Visit London, their respective tourism arms, will share best practices as a way to maximize travel between the two destinations and will assist each other with at least one publicity event in each city.

“Now more than ever, as we work to limit the effects of the ongoing global financial downturn, it is important to find new ways to grow a diverse array of economic sectors, and tourism is among the most important for New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

hilton new york“New York City and London, both significant sources of overseas travel for each market, can learn a great deal from one other and we will work together to highlight each other’s strengths and remain leading global cities.”

“London and New York City share many similarities, including a strong sense of optimism and determination, along with a great appreciation for diversity and innovation,” said Mayor Johnson.

Under the two-year tourism agreement, New York City will exchange 71 bus shelters with London that will run in New York City for four weeks per year.

In return, London will exchange 250 posters for four weeks on the London Underground system twice per year.

Posted in Tourism News, Tourism Promotion, Travel and Tourism News, Travel Business News, United Kingdom, USA0 Comments

Holiday travellers expected to spend Rp16.2 trillion in regions

The 27 million people expected to make home-bound trips for the Idul Fitri holidays this year have the potential of contributing up to Rp16.2 trillion to the regions through the tourism sector, a minister said.

“The expenditures of each traveller is minimally Rp600,000 so regional governments and tourism industry players should do their best to serve them,” Tourism and Culture Minister Jero Wasik said here Monday.

The minister appealed to tourism industry circles in the transportation, accommodation and tourism sectors not to increase the prices while demand was high because tourism was the right of all.

holiday luggageThis way the Islamic post-fasting holiday makers would get the best service, he said.

Domestic tourists are indeed the engine of regional economic growth. Last year the movement of 225 million tourists produced around Rp123 trillion. In view of that regional governments must be able to give the best service to and welcome the holiday makers.

“A month ago the ministry of tourism has written to all governors, mayors and district heads asking them to check tourism facilities and facilities in tourist objects that would likely be visited by the holiday makers such as the beaches, recreational parks, the zoos and others,” the minister said.

Regional administrations that have been able to enjoy a local income from tourism to also check security facilities and traffic signs so that the holiday makers visiting their regions would really get the best service.

The minister had also asked provincial governors to check sanitary facilities at the airport and other tourist sites.

The ministry`s director general of destinations, Firmansyah Rachim, said since 2007 he had opened a complaint center to promote tourism during the holiday.

“Any complaint would be dealt with quickly and especially for Java and Bali we have already had the contact numbers of those in charge of tourism facilities,” he said. Continue Reading

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Cebu Pacific ranks 4th in Asia’s top 10 budget airline list

Cebu Pacific (CEB) now ranks 4th among Asia’s top low-cost carriers.

This was stated by Smart Travel Asia’s Top 10 Budget Airlines of 2009 poll., Asia’s leading online travel magazine with one million readers worldwide, revealed the results of their May to July 2009 Best in Travel survey recently.

Low cost carriers were rated based on ticket prices, schedule reliability, quality of service, route network and access.

Smart Travel Asia also polled their readers in top destinations, hotels and resorts.

“We are happy that the website’s worldwide audience appreciated CEB’s great value fares and flights and voted.

Our growth and expansion in the Asian and domestic markets are very exciting, and we are glad that people have noticed,” said CEB Candice Iyog, vice president for marketing and distribution.

“This year, we started flying to 11 new routes. We also expect delivery of two ATR-7200 aircraft by the end of the year, which will surely provide our passengers with convenient air travel, low fares, and more flights, frequencies and destinations,” she said.

In 2009, CEB began services from Manila to Catarman, Virac, Cauayan, Calbayog and Ozamiz; from Cebu to Cotabato, Legazpi, Dumaguete, Siargao and Roxas; and from Davao to Cagayan de Oro. Continue Reading

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