Helicam shoot to capture the splendours of Athirappilly

Helicam shoot to capture the splendours of Athirappilly

02/Feb/2015  //  616 Viewers

Chalakkudy: A helicam shoot will be carried out at the Athirappilly Waterfalls in order to capture the actual beauty of the locale.

Researchers and tourists can now marvel at the spectacular shots taken from a height of 2 km. The District Tourism Promotion Council along with the Dream World Water Theme Park will be organizing the helicam shoot.

With the help of an aerial camera fitted on to a helicopter, the shoot will cover the scenic areas from Chalakkudy to Malakkapara. Both still and video shots will be taken during the shoot. The photos will be displayed on the official websites of both the DTPC and of the Kerala Tourism Department.

According to the District Tourism Executive Officer Mr. Manesh Sebastian and Rajeesh Namboothiri, the Marketing Manager of Dream World Water Theme Park, the CDs of the video and the still helicam coverage will be made available free of cost, for the tourists at the District Tourism Information Centres at Athirappilly.

The bus carrying visitors travelling on the Chalakkudy-Malakkapara package will reach in a day, and they will be given a CD of the shoot too.

Apart from this, a 3D brochure that will include this imagery will be designed. A mobile application with these photos is also in the pipeline.

Kerala backwaters a hit draw at Spanish Tourism Fair

Kerala backwaters a hit draw at Spanish Tourism Fair

02/Feb/2015  //  575 Viewers

Thiruvananthapuram: A few days after US President Barack Obama referred to the Kerala backwaters in his public speech in New Delhi, it turned out to be a major attraction at the Spanish Tourism Fair (FITUR 2015) in Madrid, one of the leading tourism trade fairs in Europe.

"The huge response from the travel industry and the general public to our backwaters themed pavilion shows how much popular and well known our backwaters are around the world," Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar said on Sunday.

Over the years, "The Great Backwaters of Kerala" has turned out to be a must-see destination in the world like the Great Barrier Reef and the Grand Canyon.

The five-day FITUR 2015, which began Wednesday, was attended by a well represented state delegation led by Kerala Tourism Director P.I. Sheik Pareeth.

"We are honoured by the tremendous response to our pavilion. We are confident of attracting more and more travellers from Europe and the rest of the world to our state in the year 2015," said Pareeth.

The Kerala pavilion was a miniature depiction of the state's unique attractions which included an image of a 'chundanvallom' or snake boat, which is a common sight in the backwaters of Kerala.

There was also the replica of an eye-catching wooden bridge with a water body below it, representing the scenic beauty of Kerala's backwaters.

A manual water wheel, which is used to draw water from the fields, was also set up in the stand. The traditional lanterns hung in the stand were reminiscence of the state's links with paddy cultivation.

Kerala Tourism had received 10,200 tourists from Spain in 2013.

Source: http://travel.manoramaonline.com/
Why I have little sympathy for the Buddha tattoo tourist

Why I have little sympathy for the Buddha tattoo tourist

02/Feb/2015  //  637 Viewers

The arrest and pending deportation of a 37-year-old British nurse, Naomi Coleman, from Sri Lanka for sporting a tattoo of a meditating Buddha on her right arm has once again raised the issue of tourists being woefully unaware of religious and cultural sensitivities in places they visit.

Coleman was still being held a day after her arrest and deportation order. She told the media that she had visited the country twice before and had had no problems regarding the tattoo. This time it was spotted before she could leave the airport just north of the capital, Colombo. A practising Buddhist, she said that she had visited other Buddhist countries such as Thailand and Cambodia without any trouble. She said her tattoo was a mark of respect.

Not many Sri Lankans would agree with her on that. For them, respect for one's religious beliefs can be expressed in different ways, but most certainly not with tattoos. Even in homes, religious statues are usually kept at the highest point and no other photographs or ornaments are hung above them. Recently a top Buddhist prelate requested that the country's president banned the publishing of Buddha images in newspapers.

Temples are considered spiritual sanctuaries. You make special preparations when you go into such places. You dress in white or in sombre colours, and wear attire below knee length.

It is not unusual for Sri Lankan temples frequented by tourists to keep white cloth at the ready to hand over to foreigners, so that they can enter appropriately dressed.

This is how religion is practised in this part of the world. It is not necessarily extremist or politically motivated: these traditions have existed for generations, regardless of who was ruling the country. There has never been a time when Sri Lankans felt it was OK to sport the image of Buddha as a tattoo. Many Sri Lankans would feel offended if they saw a Buddha tattoo, or the image of Buddha on a T-shirt or a pair of jeans, or being used as an ornament.

And this is not the first time that tourists have found themselves in trouble for being insensitive to religious customs here. In 2010, the US R&B star Akon was forced to cancel a concert when protests erupted over the use of a statue of the Buddha in one of his music videos. In 2012, three French tourists received suspended six-month jail sentences after they were apprehended kissing a Buddha statue in a disrespectful manner.

In March 2013, another British tourist, 42-year-old Antony Ratcliffe, was deported for having a Buddha tattoo on his arm. Ratcliffe too said that far from being an act of disrespect, his body art was a tribute to his Buddhist beliefs. Again, not many Sri Lankans would agree with that. On the contrary, they would take it as an expression of absolute disrespect.

If anything, these actions show that the tattoo bearers have not taken the time to read up on the country they are visiting and its customs. On the Foreign Office travel advice page on Sri Lanka there is no ambiguity on how the image of the Buddha should be treated.

"The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this. Don't pose for photographs by standing in front of a statue of Buddha," it warns.

Being aware of the customs of the country you intend to visit can save a traveler a whole load of trouble, as Coleman would attest.

Coleman, of course, identifies as a Buddhist. But what other such followers should realise when going to countries such as Sri Lanka is that tokens of faith that are accepted as normal or deeply symbolic of one's faith in the west, can elicit the exact opposite reaction elsewhere.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/

World view: Beach pods in Gangwon-do province of South Korea

World view: Beach pods in Gangwon-do province of South Korea

31/Jan/2015  //  477 Viewers

New year, new look for the seaside? These futuristic-looking beach pods have been installed on a stretch of coast in Yangyang-gun in the Gangwon-do province of South Korea. Designed by Yoon Space Design, they are made of polystyrene and are light enough to be transported between seaside locations. In keeping with the space-age theme, a panelled hatch in the side opens up to allow access to the two-metre square interior, and there's an eye-like porthole window that can be positioned for a sea view. Beam us up, Scotty.
World view: the festival in the Italian Dolomites where it’s cool to just hang

World view: the festival in the Italian Dolomites where it’s cool to just hang

31/Jan/2015  //  545 Viewers

Festivalgoers talk about the emotional comedown after tent and wellies are packed away for another year, but at the Highline festival in the Italian Dolomites, it's a more physical thing. The festival celebrates the extreme sport of slacklining (not to be confused with tightrope-walking) and attendees (slackers) spend their time living – and sleeping – on ropes slung hundreds of metres up in the air. More trivial pursuits include yoga, music jams and film screenings. It's held in September: look out for 2015 dates.
World view: Bhutan's first international arts festival

World view: Bhutan's first international arts festival

31/Jan/2015  //  434 Viewers

This picture, taken by the country’s king, no less, shows one of the world’s most remote and isolated nations – which is dipping its toe into the global festival market. The first Bhutan International Festival will run from 14-23 February, with the aim of promoting local arts and creative industries. Making use of its spectacular Himalayan setting, the programme includes film, art, music and food. The Queen of Bhutan is patron, and international partners include the UK’s Eden Project, Woodstock Film Festival and TEDx, who will be discussing ‘When happiness doesn’t make us happy’.
The Most Beautiful Beaches in Greece

The Most Beautiful Beaches in Greece

31/Jan/2015  //  470 Viewers

I've yet to visit the amazing country, and I'm hoping to visit in the fall this year. There's something just so romantic about the colors so prominent here - bright whites and deep blues, and outside of the cities so rich in history, the surrounding islands are usually home to the most beautiful beaches in the world.

So since it's freezing in most places around the world, I thought I'd share some warm wishes and feature some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece.

Myrtos Beach
Cephalonia, Ionian Islands

You can drive along the coast road and see one of the best views of Myrtos Beach, a mile and a half arc beach filled with brilliant round white pebbles.

America's Best Cities for Singles

America's Best Cities for Singles

31/Jan/2015  //  283 Viewers

The singles scene in New York City is a little crazy, maybe even certifiably so.

"This is a city with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but only in the best ways," says Rachel Harrison, a Brooklyn-based public relations exec. "You can dress a little wilder, slap on some fake eyelashes--you can do anything you want, at any age. There are no judgments."

Unabashedly batting those faux lashes got the Big Apple more than a few second glances this year. New York City landed in the top 10 for the best cities for singles, according to Travel + Leisure readers. In this year's America's Favorite Places survey, readers ranked 38 cities on dozens of appealing qualities, including good-looking locals, cool shopping, and hipster-magnet coffee bars.

The winning cities in the singles-scene category excel in the off-hours, ranking highly for nightclubs, dive bars, and even great diners, where you might lock eyes with someone over a late-night order of fries.

But the most singles-friendly cities also put a creative spin on conventional meet-up spots. Plenty of big attractions--from the Brooklyn Museum to the San Diego Museum of Art--offer monthly happy hours, wooing artsy singles with cocktails and live music. In Boston, one of the coolest bookstores does Trivia Nights, while in downtown L.A. a popular bar stocks old-school video games.

Another strategy for uncovering a city's best singles scene is exploring the activities that locals love most. "New Orleanians live and breathe festivals--like Jazz Fest, and even Creole Tomato Fest," says native Stephen Schmitz. Just be warned: "The heat and humidity," he says, "can make for a rough appearance."

Caradonna Dive Adventures Launches Puerto Rico Offerings, Bonus Commission of $500

Caradonna Dive Adventures Launches Puerto Rico Offerings, Bonus Commission of $500

31/Jan/2015  //  172 Viewers

Looking for great adventures to maximize vacation time and commissions?

Puerto Rico is a beautifully rich and diverse destination with unique off-the-beaten-track places to stay and adventures just waiting to be experienced. The main island of Puerto Rico and the smaller islands of Culebra and Vieques are now part of Caradonna’s new product line so that they may offer the best eco-adventure, snorkeling and dive vacations to experience this U.S. territory in a whole new way.

Just a few hours flight time from mainland U.S. to Puerto Rico, traveling has never been easier. No passports are required, there are no customs delays, and low airfares are available on an abundance of airlines to get you there. With Caradonna’s exclusive Puerto Rico Travel Agent Group Bonus Commission of $500, you can’t find a better choice for travel now.

The Island of Vieques offers so much for those who really want to get away but still be active. One can take a night kayak excursion to Mosquito Bay and see one of the brightest Bioluminescent Bays in the world or slip off on a James Bond-like Zodiac with Blackbeard Waters Sports to the pristine reefs of Vieques.

Accommodations at the W Hotel offer a cool vibe without the pretense, where you can lounge around the beach or pool, indulge in great cuisine and chill at the fire pit at night listening to the waves while star-gazing under the amazingly clear night sky.

Venture to the Fajardo area to the beautiful El Conquistador Resort located on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea with picturesque views of Vieques and Culebra Islands located just a short 45-minute boat ride away. Casa Del Mar operates the dive and watersports excursions from El Conquistador’s marina running two large and well-equipped boats to take divers and snorkelers to the shallow reefs or on days trips over to Vieques and Culebra. El Conquistador’s private Palomino Island is less than a ten-minute boat ride away where you can enjoy lunch at the beach side restaurant, paddle board, kayak, play beach volleyball or relax the afternoon away.

This is the perfect resort to be centrally located to do it all including exploring Old San Juan or hiking and zip-lining in the rainforest of El Yunque .

Southwest of San Juan through the mountains of Puerto Rico to the quiet town of Guánica, where the Copamarina Beach Resort and Spa is located on 20 acres overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Grassy walkways take you from your room to the beach and pool. Dine at two restaurants offering delicious and plentiful servings of traditional Puerto Rican fare presented in a very contemporary way.

Head over to Gilligan’s Island for the day with Aqua Adventures or dive the famous La Paguera Wall that that drops as deep as 200 feet. The clear warm waters offer great visibility and very little current making this one of the best and exciting wall diving experiences in the Caribbean.

Featured Packages:

The W Retreat and Spa Vieques Island
VIEQUES – 25% OFF includes 7 nights luxury accommodations, 2 days of 2-tank boat dives, 1 day of shore diving, non-motorized watersports, WiFi, Vieques Airport lounge arrival and farewell experience including light beverages and snacks, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Travel through 4/4/15. Deduct $572 per person for travel 4/5/15-8/2/15 & 11/5/15-12/22/15. Book by 1/30/15. From $2,411 per person double diver.

El Conquistador Resort
FAJARDO – 2015 LOW SEASON includes 7 nights gardenview accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives, free WiFi, access to Palomino private island with ferry transfer, weekly resort activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes, and service charges. Valid 8/10/15-10/11/15. Add $100 per person for travel 5/8/15-8/9/15 & 10/12/15-12/18/15. From $1,319 per person double diver.

Copamarina Beach Resort and Spa
GUÀNICA – DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night accommodations, 5 days of 2-tank boat dives, in-room bottled water, WiFi, hotel tax, and service charges. Travel 1/1/15-4/30/15. From $1,288 per person double diver

Caradonna Dive Adventures pays travel agent commissions and offers special bonus commission to agents for groups to Puerto Rico if booked and traveled in 2015.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Travel & Adventure Show To Host the ATA Africa Travel Academy

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Travel & Adventure Show To Host the ATA Africa Travel Academy

31/Jan/2015  //  179 Viewers

Over the years the Africa sector of the U.S. travel industry has urged direct training of front-line travel agents in selling and updating travel to Africa. The Southern California Chapter of the Africa Travel Association has taken upon itself to offer its Africa Travel Academy, which was initially presented in Los Angeles in 1992 at University of Southern California in cooperation with the Los Angeles Times’ first travel show.

The 1992 event drew over 300 travel agents, including attending the luncheon hosted by the Kenya Tourism Board. Agents came from as far as Texas and Colorado to take advantage of the day’s Academy curriculum. The updated version of the Africa Travel Academy will takeplace in conjunction with the Travel & Adventure Show in Los Angeles/Long Beach on Saturday, February 21, 2015.

The Academy is being presented as an all-day, high intensity training of how to and what to sell of Africa. About 30 to 50 travel agents and tour operator employees will take advantage of Africa sales and destination booking knowledge and training. The Academy is presented as free, pre-registration event.

Mr. Edward Bergman, Executive Director of the Africa Travel Association, reinforced the educational aspect of the Academy as imperative to all segments of the Africa tourism industry, especially now when the tourism flows to Africa is under pressure of events beyond everyone’s control.

“We commend the Southern California ATA’s Africa Travel Academy,” said Mr. Bergman. “It was in the early 90s that the Chapter organized the first Academy which in turn spawned the Africa tourist flow from California, making it the most important source market for most of the Africa destinations. I am sure that many of the agents who will participate in the Academy will become the future leading operators and movers for Africa, just as many of the 1992 attendees have become.”

The Academy is underwritten by the Southern California Africa Travel Association Chapter as part of its educational travel trade and market outreach.

“We look forward to once again offering an opportunity to front-line travel agents to become a part of a strong Africa Sales Corps and positioning themselves to better promote tourism to the African continent, which has been our commitment since 1975,” said Michael Madison, President of Southern California ATA Chapter.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Academy is being held the first day of the consumer Travel & Adventure Show, an event organized and produced by Unicomm.