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  • 37.5% to its GDP and will support over 750,000 jobs by 2020

    Latest Oxford Economics Report examines continued impact of aviation sector on Dubai’s economy and projects continued growth beyond 2020 

    Emirates airline, Dubai Airports and the aviation sector as a whole contributed $26.7 billion to the Dubai economy in 2013, which was almost 27% of Dubai’s GDP and supported a total of 416,500 jobs accounting for 21% of the emirates’ total employment. These figures were based on the latest report “Quantifying the Economic Impact of Aviation in Dubai” conducted by global research firm, Oxford Economics, as a follow-up to a 2011 study done by the same firm.

    The objective of the report was to quantify the economic impact of the aviation sector and its subsequent Dubai-based supply chain. In addition, the report explains the benefits that aviation brought to Dubai’s economy in 2013 in terms of gross value added (GVA)** and employment, and provides forecasts for the sector and its knock-on effects in 2020 and 2030.

    The report re-affirms aviation’s growing significance as a major engine of economic development, and its far-reaching contributions to other industries as a catalyst for a spectrum of economic activity.

    “Dubai’s success stems from a clear vision, careful planning, and collaborative execution. It is no accident that we are a global aviation hub today. It has taken us years to build up the critical competencies and infrastructure that we have today, and we now have a solid base on which to further develop. We will continue to take a consensus-based approach to infrastructure investment, embrace open competition, and focus on opening up and connecting markets through efficient operations. At the end, we want Dubai to be the top choice for international travellers and traders - as a destination, and as a transport hub,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, Chairman of Dubai Airports and President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

    Core impact of aviation: It is estimated that the aviation sector, including the Emirates Group, Dubai Airports, and other aviation businesses such as airlines flying into Dubai, regulatory authorities and Dubai Duty Free, had a core impact of US$16.5 billion GVA in 2013. This includes direct, indirect and induced contributions and is equal to 16.5% of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over 259,000 Dubai based jobs.

    Moreover, for every $100 of activity in the aviation sector, a further $72 is added in other sectors of the local economy from supply chain connections and expenditures. For every 100 jobs created in aviation, an additional 116 jobs are created elsewhere in Dubai.

    Tourism benefits: Aviation has proved to be an indispensable catalyst for the growth of Dubai’s tourism industry. Tourism and travel activities in 2013 had an economic impact of $10.2 billion GVA supporting a further 157,100 jobs. In 2013, Dubai welcomed nearly 10 million non-UAE visitors who spent $13 billion, accounting for around 1% of foreign visitor spend globally that year. The success of Dubai as a destination has been a public and private effort to invest in world-class aviation and tourism infrastructure to support the influx of visitors. The results have paid dividends and Dubai currently captures a 0.4% share of the world’s business and tourism traffic, double the share it had in 2000.

    Connectivity: One of Dubai’s greatest assets is its enhanced connectivity. In 2013, Oxford estimated that passengers could connect from Dubai to 25 cities (or 81% of world cities) with populations of over 10 million people. Overall, Dubai had direct passenger flight connections to 149 cities with populations of over 1 million people, creating potential export markets of over 916 million people, or 13% of the world’s population. Cargo tonnage between 1990-2013 handled in Dubai has grown on average of 13.5% per year, compared to global average trade volumes of 5.6% per year.

    The passenger and cargo connectivity provided from Dubai has positively impacted Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade. It also has provided greater access to foreign markets, encouraging exports, and increasing competition in the local economy, benefiting consumers.

    Economic benefits in 2020 and 2030

    Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of the aviation sector to Dubai’s economy is expected to grow at a faster rate than the economy as a whole, on the back of strong growth in international passenger traffic and cargo. The sector’s airline and airport capacity continues to expand to accommodate for growing demand.

    Using industry growth forecasts and modelling projections based on current expansion plans for Dubai International (DXB) and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC), it is estimated that the overall economic impact of both aviation and tourism related activities will rise to a robust $53.1 billion in 2020. This will be equivalent to 37.5% of Dubai’s GDP, supporting over 754,500 Dubai-based jobs.

    By 2020, it is estimated that Emirates will fly 70 million passengers, and the airline and its partners are already progressing plans for the right infrastructure to be in place to support and capitalise on passenger growth. The same year, Dubai expects to welcome over 20 million visitors for Expo 2020. Projects to support the six month mega-event in Dubai are already underway. This includes a sizable increase in airport capacity which encompasses expansion of airspace, airfield, stands and terminal areas to allow Dubai International to accommodate 60% more aircraft stands by 2015, and service 90 million passengers by 2018. By 2020, Dubai International is estimated to receive 126.5 million passengers, almost 30% higher than its original 2010 assessments.

    Looking further ahead, the total economic impact of aviation by 2030 is projected to grow to $88.1 billion and will support 1,194,700 jobs.

    A summary of the report and the full Oxford Economics report, “Quantifying the Economic Impact of Aviation in Dubai,” can be found at:

    *The Oxford Economics Report only quantifies the direct, indirect, induced and tourism benefits, and do not attempt to put a value on ‘connectivity benefits’ as in the 2011 report Explaining Dubai’s Aviation Model. For comparison, the direct, indirect, induced and tourism benefits in the 2011 report totalled US$19.6 billion, or 24% of GDP.

    **Gross Value Added (GVA) is defined as the contribution an institution, company or industry makes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sum of GVA contributions of all Dubai organizations is equal to Dubai GDP. In simple terms GVA is understood as turnover minus the cost of bought-in goods and services used in the production process.

  • Resource efficiency, conservation, and new technologies are the focus of a new international partnership on sustainable tourism

    A new international programme that aims to catalyze a shift to more sustainable tourism over the next decade was launched at the World Travel Market in London this week.

    The Sustainable Tourism Programme of the Ten-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) will be led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations and the Governments of France, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Republic of Korea, with the support of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which hosts the 10YFP Secretariat.

    Tourism is today one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. It contributes 9 per cent to global GDP, accounts for one in 11 jobs worldwide, and for 6 per cent of global exports. By 2030, UNWTO forecasts that there will be 1.8 billion international tourism arrivals annually.

    If not sustainably managed however, tourism can deplete natural resources leading to water shortages, loss of biodiversity, land degradation and contribute to climate change and pollution, among other impacts. Tourism’s contribution to global warming is estimated at 5 per cent of global CO2 emissions.

    UNEP’s 2011 Green Economy Report reveals that under a ‘business-as-usual’ scenario, projected tourism growth rates to 2050 will result in increases in energy consumption by 154 per cent, greenhouse gas emissions by 131 per cent, water consumption by 152 per cent, and solid waste disposal by 251 per cent.

    “As tourism continues to grow, so too will the pressures on the environment and wildlife. Without proper management and protection, as well as investments in greening the sector, ecosystems and thousands of magnificent species will suffer,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

    "Tourism has been identified by UNEP as one of the ten economic sectors best able to contribute to the transition to a sustainable and inclusive green economy. This important initiative is about steering the industry onto a truly sustainable path -- one that echoes to the challenge of our time: namely the fostering of a global Green Economy that thrives on the interest, rather than the capital, of our economically important nature-based assets." he added.

    UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai said, “As the leading organization for tourism, the World Tourism Organization seeks to maximize tourism’s contribution to development while minimizing its negative impacts. UNWTO is pleased to be at the helm of such an important initiative and to be collaborating with governments and institutions to implement the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme.”

    For example, in the Galapagos Islands and Palau, visitors pay an entry tax to protected areas, which are sometimes referred to as ‘green fees’. The revenues generated from these fees - which in Palau’s case is US$1.3 million annually since 2009 - are used to support conservation and sustainable human development.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Tourism Trends and Policies 2012, reports that, as the importance of the tourism sector continues to grow in OECD countries, the greatest challenge to achieving sustainable tourism is horizontal and vertical policy coordination.

    Addressing these challenges is the mandate of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme as it strives to achieve major shifts in tourism policies and stimulate greater sustainability within the tourism supply chain. A collaborative initiative, the programme aims to improve resource efficiency, management effectiveness, and the use of new technologies to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns in this key sector.

    As the most visited tourism destination in the world, France highly values the preservation of its rich culture and natural heritage. This is fundamental to maintain the quality of a destination which receives 85 million tourists a year.

    Building on its support to sustainable tourism, as former Chair of the International Task Force on Sustainable Tourism Development, and former Chair of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism, France will pursue its commitment by co-leading this programme. France’s experience in this regard will be of benefit to the 10YFP and partners in this important programme.

    Dr Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism for the Kingdom of Morocco, emphasises that the aim of Morocco’s new Vision 2020 is to make the country one of the world’s top 20 tourism destinations, making it a model of sustainable tourism development in the Mediterranean.

    “This ambitious strategy aims to capitalize on and preserve our natural and cultural advantages so that their exploitation yields the most sustainable social and economic benefits for all stakeholders,” said Minister Haddad.

    “By taking this proactive role, Morocco seeks to establish itself as a leading sustainable tourism destination in the Mediterranean. Morocco is committed to the 10YFP and has been since our active participation in the work of the International Task Force and its successor, the ‘Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism”.

    Morocco served as the Chair of this Partnership since 2013 and is delighted to be a co-lead of the 10YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme.”

    Ms. Hyeri Han, Deputy Director of the International Tourism Division of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, one of the Programme’s co-Leads said, “The Government of the Republic of Korea already integrates principles of sustainability into its tourism policies and is accelerating programme implementation nationally, with the intention of offering best practices and lessons learned on sustainable tourism.”

    Korea has been committed to the promotion of global sustainable tourism and actively supported the process of the inclusion of ‘sustainable tourism’ in the Rio+20 outcome document.


Tourist Visa on Arrival Enabled with ETA Scheme Launched

Mr. Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister along with Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation launched the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme today at New Delhi ( Nov 27, 2014). The facility will be available at nine international airports in the country namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa. The TVoA enabled with E ...

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Air Transport and Tourism to Grow Together

The 2013 UNWTO and WTM Ministers´ Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) will put a spotlight on the essential connection between air transport and tourism, debating the challenges and opportunities of promoting higher policy coordination between aviation and tourism.

Air transport, being an important factor in outbound or inbound tourism, plays a vital role in foreign tourist arrival in India. Therefore, the discussions on the matter must be considered as important for the tourism industry in the country. New alliances with tourism boards and airlines all around the world is needed  to boost the business. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on all partners and stakeholders involved in passenger travel to work together to deliver greater value to passengers. This is a remarkable decision that will encourage travellers all around the world to visit foreign countries.

Air travel is one of the major part, travellers worried about in their journey. Addressing their issues is the most important thing for the sector to grow their business. According to IATA Director General and CEO, Mr. Tony Tyler, Aviation makes possible $2.2 trillion worth of economic activity and supports about 57 million jobs around the globe. Every day more than 8 million passengers take advantage of the safety, speed and convenience of air travel. Therefore, any new strategy implemented will work as a catalyst that makes big changes.

The alliances by airlines also play a major part in air transport. The recent joining of Qatar Airways in “Oneworld” shows a positive approach by major airlines that hold major part of the market share. These alliances give the consumer better offers, which encourage them to travel frequently. The initiatives by WTM and IATA are expected to give new possibilities for air transport and tourism to grow together. Let's hope for a better connected world that encourages people to travel and make the tourism industry to grow to a new level.


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Destination Promotions

Visit California continues its outreach program in India

As part of the Brand USA ‘Discover America’ Educational Seminars, Visit California recently conducted a training programme for travel agents in Ludhiana.  This was the first promotional initiative of Visit California’s in Ludhiana, the one of the fasted growing 3 tier city in Punjab. An impressive 50 travel agents from the Punjab city were present in the seminar that provided them an ideal platform to find information on the G ...
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Africa Tipped to Become Surfing Capital of the World

London, Nov 4, 2014: Many emerging tourism destinations in Africa have identified surfing as a target market, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2014, in association with Euromonitor International, released on November 3, 2014 at World Travel Market, London. South Africa has an established reputation with the international surfing community but other countries are gaining a foothold. Sierra Leone hosted a week-long competition and festi ...
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“Dynamic customized private space for Exhibitors and Hosted Buyers at 2015 event” Ibtm america has unveiled the design impression of its new exhibitor “meeting pods” for the transformation of the event, previously known as AIBTM, which takes place for the first time in the exclusive Skyline Ballroom, located in McCormick Place West, overlooking the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan from 9-11 June 2015. Ibtm america meeting pods ...
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Wearables to Drive Travel's Next Phase of E-commerce

London, Nov 3, 2014: Wearable electronics will become an important tool for travelers and travel businesses will have another digital channel to master, reveals WTM Global Trends Report 2014, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Monday 3 November) at World Travel Market. Technology businesses such as Samsung, Google and Sony already have wearable devices on the market, but Apple's launch of its iWatch, schedule ...
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AIME (Asia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo) has been named the Best Exhibition in the annual Australian Event Awards (AEA) 2014, further cementing its standing as the leading business events industry exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere. Established in 2006, the Australian Event Awards is Australia’s premier awards for honouring excellence in the events industry. The awards receive hundreds of entries from organisations of all s ...
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IHG Provides Insider Tips for the Perfect Business Dinner

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has released the second in its series of Insider Guides, an informative guide which collates the best of local InterContinental insider knowledge and external industry perspectives to empower guests during their travels. Titled the Insider Guide to the Perfect Business Dinner, the 28 page glossy manual will enable guests to make informed decisions when they plan or attend a business dinner in a city awa ...
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MICE Industry

Increase revenue by investing in more face to face meetings

FACE FACTS:  Global research report finds that companies could increase revenue by investing in more face-to-face meetings Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group, has released its first-ever Business Meetings in a Modern World global research report, revealing that businesses around the world could be missing out on nearly a quarter (24%) of additional revenue because they are not investing enou ...
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MANDARIN ORIENTAL, HONG KONG PARTNERS WITH HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WITH THE MANDARIN CAKE SHOP ‘POP-UP’ Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong and The Mandarin Cake Shop have partnered with Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to offer visitors a special ‘pop-up’ store as part of their Gourmet Gallery. Visitors can now enjoy a taste of this iconic hotel without even leaving the airport. Between 1 November 2013 and 2 January 2014 ...
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TRANSPORTATION, Online Bus Ticketing System Launched , the integrated portal developed by Radiant Info Systems brings together leading Indian bus transport operators under a single platform, the integrated bus ticket portal officially launched  by Mr. Oscar Fernandes, Union Cabinet Minister for Road Transport and Highways at New Delhi recently. portal brings together bus transport operators across the country under a single window, thus faci ...
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The Fern Reaches New Milestone Of Guest Loyalty Programme

Each member is honoured with a tree, planted & supported by The Fern on a long-term plan Green Cover is the only hotel reward programme to give back to the environment The Fern Hotels & Resorts recently honoured the 1000th member of its new guest reward programme, Green Cover. Mr. Young Wee Lee, a senior manager with Air Products Asia, Singapore is a frequent guest of The Fern’s 5-star Mumbai hotel, Meluha. The Fern and enrol ...
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Bols Kyndal India invites entries for perfect bartender contest

Final Challenge amongst shortlisted participants to take place in May,2014 BOLS Kyndal India, a joint venture between Lucas BOLS BV and Kyndal India Pvt. Ltd, invites entries from India for the renowned “Bols Around the World 2014’, the world's largest open bartending competition to be held in Amsterdam.  Entries are invited from over 60 countries including India, to be part of this challenge to concoct that awe-inspirin ...
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Suman Billa IAS appointed as new Joint Secretary of India Tourism

Mr. Suman Billa IAS has been appointed as Joint Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India. Currently he is serving as Secretary of Kerala Tourism.  

He belongs to the 1996 batch of IAS. He has studied at the Madras Christian College, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and has been a British Chevening Gurukula Scholar at the London School of Economics.

Amongst the posts held by Mr. Suman are Sub Collector, Devikulam, in Idukki District, Director of Civil Supplies, Joint Secretary to the Chief Secretary, Director Kerala Tourism and District Collector, Palakkad and the Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, Government of Kerala. He has also served in the Government of India as Private Secretary to the Ministers of State for External Affairs and Defence.

During his tenure at Kerala Tourism as Secretary, he sphere headed the completion of mega Muziris Heritage Product, a theme-based tourism initiative centered around the ancient port of Muziris, in central Kerala,  with the support of Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India. Recently he has also started the Spice Route project, a highly ambitious plan to bring the ancient 2000-year-old Spice Route back to life, for helping the modern day travellers to traverse the path used by traders and explorers, which is recently received many accolades from many part of the world including UNWTO support. 

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Airline News


· British Airways and Visit Britain launch an ‘all-digital’ campaign to promote UK’s ‘less-travelled’ destinations

· Unveil two promotional films - ‘Take a red bus tour’ and ‘Enjoy the finest high tea’

· British Airways introduces a special offer with return fares starting at just INR 51,709 to explore the unexpected

There is more to Britain than we expect. The UK is filled with incredible contrasts, from breathtaking landscapes, rich culture and heritage to soothing beaches. Each city is certain to surprise and delight!

 As part of the ‘GREAT’ Britain campaign, British Airways and Visit Britain have partnered to promote the ‘hidden’ travel treasures of the UK through a digital campaign, the ‘Unexpected Kingdom.’ Two online films have been introduced on digital platforms -, British Airways’ YouTube channel, to highlight a ‘never seen before’ twist to the famous English tea experience and the iconic Red Bus!

British Airways has launched an attractive return offer between London and five cities in India - Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The offer is available on flights booked in British Airways’ Club World (business cabin), World Traveller Plus (premium economy cabin) and World Traveller (economy cabin) for sale period until 30 November, 2014 and outbound travel on or before 31 March, 2015.

 Mr. Christopher Fordyce, Regional Commercial Manager, British Airways, South Asia, said “We, at British Airways, are pleased to launch this campaign in association with Visit Britain to welcome our customers in India to visit and explore all the magnificent cities and towns across the UK.

“There is so much more to the UK than what is currently known to globetrotters around the world.  Customers travelling with us can take advantage of our direct flights to the UK, whilst enjoying our award-winning on board services. All our flights arrive, depart and transfer through Terminal 5, British Airways’ dedicated home at London Heathrow, which offers a smooth and seamless travel experience.”

British Airways and Visit Britain have launched this online campaign to promote the UK destinations across their key markets, which include India, China and the US. Based on the idea that Britain is at its best when it’s experienced, rather than observed, ‘Unexpected Kingdom’ encourages travellers to discover unexplored destinations in the UK and enjoy their favourite places and experiences.

Ms. Shivali Suri, Country Manager VisitBritain India said, “There is so much more to Britain that meets the eye. It is a great pleasure for us to partner with British Airways on a digital campaign which aims to promote the more unexpected attractions of England, Scotland and Wales.

“These videos will enable us to encourage and guide an even greater number of Indian travellers to explore the unexpected Britain for their next holiday, an experience that will hopefully see them going back to Britain time and time again.”

British Airways currently operates 49 flights a week from five key cities in India- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Customers are urged to book early as seats are limited. For more details and to book flights to the UK please visit

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Destination Review

Length of stay, segment size and treatment choices look immensely positive

According to Ms Sheila McCann, General Manager at one of Thailand’s best-known wellness brands in India, Chiva Som Hua Hin, the Indian traveller is showing an increasing penchant for holistic wellness. The luxury holistic wellness resort in the beach-town of Hua Hin has observed a remarkable 30.18 % increase in Indian visitors in 2014 (till date) as compared to 2013.

The numbers are in line with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s endeavours to attract high-end travellers from India who focus on experiences and personal enrichment while on vacation rather than the trigger-happy whirlwind holiday-maker that has been TAT’s focus in the past. Ms Soraya Homchuen, Director, TAT Mumbai says, “TAT’s strategy for India has shifted from whole-heartedly targeting budget tourists: the new roadmap involves a significant focus on India’s outbound luxury traveller. The land of smiles continues to welcome the budget-seeker with its value-for-money proposition but we are keen to underline our capabilities to the luxury-seeker. Holistic wellness is one of Thailand’s many attributes that are likely to appeal to this segment.”

Ms Sheila McCann said that Indians are investing not just resources but also time in a holistic wellness vacation, an indicator that luxe, immersive holidays are coming of age. “The average length of stay from Indian guests is between 5 and 7 nights,” she says. Evidently, a straight-forward Thai massage is no longer sufficient. People want to dig deeper and reap benefits from Thailand’s traditional wisdom. This is also evident in the fact that gorging on Thai food is no longer enough \" people want to take a culinary lesson to immerse themselves in the joys of Thai cuisine. Similarly, buying Jim Thompson no longer suffices. The Indian traveller wants to visit his home and understand his life and struggles.

According to McCann, looking good tops the charts among requests from India. “The most popular retreat among our Indian guests is the Weight Management Retreat,” she shares. Indeed, the well-travelled Indian visitor is picking up tips from Thailand’s largely lean population. Homchuen cites a few examples saying, “Indian travellers take a few Muay Thai lessons so as to make this an enjoyable fitness routine upon their return. They also ask chefs about how to ensure their Thai cuisine is healthy from a weight-management point of view.”

Chiva Som offers their guests a 360-degree approach to wellness \" encompassing food, activities and exercises in addition to treatments. McCann says, “I think our Indian guests enjoy this concept of a completely Thai experience that is completely health-driven and all of this while cocooned in luxury resort.” Homchuen backs this up saying, “Queries about luxurious wellness retreats from affluent travellers who have already experienced Thailand’s highlights are on the rise.”

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Christmas brings cheer and jovial mood across all age groups and people celebrate this festival in their own distinct ways throughout the world. A contagious joie de vivre makes Jamaica a natural choice for holiday season celebrations. The island of upbeat festivals, inspired events and delicious cuisine - add a dash of holiday spirit and the recipe becomes irresistible. Although the island has never seen snow and its houses do not have chimneys, Santa Claus and his gifts are very much a part of Jamaica’s tradition, as are Christmas carols, such as Oh Holy Night and Silent Night - some can even be found in a reggae version.

Jonkanoo (or John Canoe) is a traditional Christmas celebration in Jamaica. This includes a great parade through the streets with Jamaicans dressed in colorful masquerade costumes, continuing a custom brought over from Africa by slaves. Traditionally, men wearing masks play different characters, which include the Cow Head or Horse Head, King, Queen (wearing a veil), Devil, Pitchy-Patchy, Red Indians, Belly Woman (a character dressed to look enormously pregnant) and Policeman, a mock officer of the law to keep the motley crew and crowd in check.

The Grand Market is a community fair characterized by food, street dancing, crafts and music. The weekend before Christmas and particularly on Christmas Eve, markets all over the island are set up with vendors selling small toys, firecrackers, balloons and sweets of all kinds, including pinda (an African word for peanut) cakes, grater cakes and peppermint sticks.

Traditionally on Christmas Eve some markets are decorated with streamers, large accordion-style bells, and balloons. People arrive dressed up, in fancy clothes, including bright hats purchased upon entering the Grand Market. The whole town comes to Grand Market and the celebrations last throughout the day and night.

The Christmas day meal is usually prepared on Christmas Eve. Dining in Jamaica over the holidays is a festive experience filled with delectable delights. A traditional dinner is likely to include the following specialties:

Baked ham, roast beef, chicken, oxtail or curried goat, accompanied by a sweet yam called yampi and Gungo (pigeon) rice and peas.

Jamaican fruitcake, made with fruits that are soaked for months in rum or port, with a final dousing at the Christmas table. 

Sorrel wine, created from the red fruit of the sorrel plant fermented to a sweetened, red-colored drink spiced with ginger, cloves and pimento and laced with white rum.

Jamaican red wine and rum fruitcake is traditional and is eaten in most homes. The fruits in the cake are soaked in red wine and white rum for months before Christmas. The drink of choice for Jamaicans during the Christmas season is sorrel which is made from dried sorrel (a meadow plant), cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar, orange peel and rum, the beverage is usually served over ice.

You need to be in to believe and feel the rush during this revelry. It is undoubtedly the most festive season of the year, with non-stop celebrations, special treats, entertainment, parties, festivals and happy gatherings of friends and family. Jamaica offers visitors a great escape and the ideal winter getaway. Merry Jamaican Christmas!

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards (WTA) from 2006 to 2013. Also in 2013, Jamaica earned the WTA’s vote for the World’s Leading Cruise Destination, Caribbean’s Leading Destination and Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination for the seventh consecutive year. Additionally, the Historic Falmouth Cruise Port was recognized as the World's Leading Tourism Development Project while Ocho Rios was named the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Port and Sangster International Airport was voted the Caribbean’s Leading Airport. In Canada, Jamaica was voted the Favourite Honeymoon Destination by Travel Agents.

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ibis opens in Bengaluru City Centre

Revolutionary campaign #bangalorelouvin brings the city together for opening celebrations

ibis, the international hotel brand of Accor and the worldwide reference in the economy sector has opened its third hotel in Bengaluru - ibis Bengaluru City Centre.  It is the eleventh ibis to open in India. ibis Bengaluru City Centre is in close proximity to the famous UB City and business districts.

With a capacity of 173-guest rooms, this brand new, vibrant hotel is ideal for business and leisure travelers looking for comfortable accommodation in the city. The hotel is easily accessible to many attractions and points of interests near MG road and Brigade road. Ibis is further cementing its leadership in the region with a unique campaign #bangalorelouvin for the opening of ibis Bengaluru City Centre. The concept is to engage with people’s love for Bangalore city through effective social media penetration. The campaign has been launched with a musical video of the general public expressing their pride for the city of Bangalore and marking the opening of the newest ibis in the city. The key attraction of the viral campaign is the ibis life-sized red pillows and heart-shaped shutter glasses as visuals. A three-phased campaign begins with the musical video going viral, activation by people sharing their love of the city on social media and finally seeking ownership on the exciting activities linking it back to ibis Bengaluru City Centre.

Speaking on the rapid development of the ibis brand in India, J.B. Singh, President & CEO, InterGlobe Hotels, said: “Bangalore as a city truly defines a cosmopolitan existence. The ibis property at Bengaluru City Centre is the extension of a cosmopolitan atmosphere that perfectly balances the needs of corporate and leisure travelers. Today, it’s all about providing service excellence at an affordable cost, irrespective of the category and we are excited about providing a memorable experience to our guests”.

Expressing his excitement Firoz Jangaria, General Manager, ibis Bengaluru City Centre said: “By providing quality accommodation for those who are looking for an economy hotel with international standards and with easy access to the city’s main attractions, ibis Bengaluru City Centre is a great new asset to the city centre. The #bangalorelouvin campaign will reaffirm that ibis Bengaluru City Centre is determined to make a lasting impression and further build an emotional connection with the people to celebrate this vibrant city. ”

The hotel is strategically located with easy access to the Bangalore City railway station and Majestic bus station, with Kempegowda International Airport 39km away from the hotel.

ibis Bengaluru City Centre offers 173 comfortable, well-designed, fully equipped guest rooms with modular bathrooms, in a contemporary fit-out including flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi and broadband internet access to suit the needs of business & leisure travelers. Ibis Bengaluru City Centre ensures all its guests a happy sleep at the centre of its offering with the uniquely designed "Sweet Bed by ibis™.This truly revolutionary 'new-generation' bed is designed around customers' cultural habits, tailored around the way customers use beds and local habits worldwide to provide unsurpassed comfort in its category.Spice It, the signature multi-cuisine restaurant presents a spirited and casual dining space with the best of Indian, Oriental and European cuisine, offering a choice of buffet or a la carte. With the "You Create,

We Cook" concept, guests can explore their culinary skills whilst dining in an interactive kitchen environment. The restaurant also offers guests a pleasant al fresco dining experience on the open terrace. Spice It will offer the Great Indian Breakfast, which is an eight-hour non-stop breakfast concept starting 4 am to 12 noon.

The Hub, with its energetic ambience, wide selection of refreshing beverages and free Wi-Fi, serves as a gathering place throughout the day.The hotel has two meeting rooms and one board room. The board room is situated at the lobby level, WiFi enabled, equipped with a projector screen and an LCD TV, comfortable and ideal for small corporate meetings. The two meeting rooms are situated on the 8th floor of the hotel with a scenic view of the city and the spectacular Kanteerava Stadium. The meeting rooms can be combined, making anideal venue for corporate meetings, small events and cocktail parties.

The ibis Bengaluru City Centre, like all ibis hotels in India, will provide guests the reassurance of quality from one of the world's largest and most respected economy hotel brands. The brand’s consistency on ‘well-being at the best price’ and its '15-minute satisfaction contract' set ibis apart in the Indian conomy hotel sector.

The other key features of the hotel include a fitness centre, free Wi-Fi and currency exchange facilities.The opening room rate for ibis Bengaluru City Centre is between INR 4000-5000/- ++ inclusive of breakfast.

Address: Plot No - 30 |Rajaram Mohan Roy Road | off Richmond Road | Bangalore \" 560027


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The Oberoi, Dubai Reveals its Celebratory Offerings

From Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day!

The Oberoi, Dubai has revealed its 2014 celebrations for the festive season and all degrees of merriment are catered for, From traditional festive fare at world cuisine restaurant Nine7One to contemporary Asian cuisine at Umai or avant-garde Indian delicacies at Ananta. The hotel offers a range of gourmet festive packages and party venues to suit all tastes as well as family activities such as gingerbread making classes. With its stunning views of the Burj Khalifa, renowned for its world-class fireworks display, The Oberoi, Dubai is set to be the hottest new destination in town this New Year’s Eve.

On Christmas Eve the hotel’s in-house choir will spark the festive spirit with carol singing in the Lobby and Christmas themed taster menus from AED 280 onwards will be on offer in The Oberoi, Dubai’s outlets.

Christmas Day and Boxing Day bring a wide range of culinary delights for all.  Celebrate with family and friends at the Festive Brunches hosted at Nine7One.  On both days, guests can choose from a variety of packages.  Prices start from AED 395 per person for a soft drinks package, AED 495 per person with wine and AED 695 per person for the sparkling wine package.

For the countdown to 2015, there are a variety of options for those who wish to welcome the New Year with joyful tranquillity and those who prefer to party.  The Oberoi, Dubai’s three restaurants all offer a sensational New Year’s Eve extravaganza.  Toast the end of the year with the six-course Degustation Menus at Ananta and Umai, starting from AED 800 per person and sparkling wine pairing options from AED 1,000.

Guests can also celebrate the oncoming of the New Year over an opulent dinner buffet at Nine7One, with packages starting from AED 750 and sparkling wine packages from AED 850 per person.  The lavish dinner buffet includes an Oyster and Lobster station, Foie Gras, Sushi and Sashimi Counter and a Waygu Beef Carvery.  For those looking to dance the year away a DJ will provide a stimulating soundtrack from 2100 hours \" 0200 hours.

Continue the celebrations on New Year’s Day with a barbeque at Nine7One, offering an international selection of gastronomic dishes from the charcoal grill, yakitori, tandoor and Shawarma rotisserie.

If guests have had enough of the Christmas revelry and are looking to unwind after the busy festive season, then The Oberoi, Dubai offers a soothing ‘Festive Synergy’ package at the hotel’s spa. The therapists will relax, rejuvenate and revive aching muscles, an ideal way to unwrap between the busy festive seasons.

Celebrate New Year’s with a View: Experience a breath taking view on the hotel’s 26th floor, with a private viewing deck of the Burj Khalifa Fireworks! Plan an intimate gathering of up to 35 guests, enjoy delectable canapés at AED 850 per guest, including house beverages and a glass of sparkling wine to toast the New Year! The hotel’s dedicated event planning team is on hand to help, from designing festive menus to preparing exclusive indoor and outdoor function spaces, providing the perfect setting for a festive finale. 

The Oberoi, Dubai invites you to celebrate the countdown to 2015 with special events at all three signature restaurants with the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa. For special stay offers and reservations, please call +971 4444 1 444, email at  or visit  


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