numbers of tourists during this 2013/2014 high season. Despite what travellers may have recently read or heard, they can be
confident that Thailand is still a welcoming tourist destination even with the
unstable political situation occurring in a small quarter of Bangkok.
Most tourist attractions in
Bangkok, as well as popular tourist destinations; such as, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua
Hin, Ko Samui, and Chiang Mai are unaffected by the current political protests.
No tourists have been hurt or affected by the situation.
Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni,
Governorof the Tourism Authority
of Thailand (TAT) said: âThailand offers a wide variety of tourist attractions,
ranging fromunique culture, abundant natural beauty and remarkable
variety of activities, including soft-adventure, spa, shopping and medical
âTourists can be confident that
they will have an enjoyable holiday in Thailand. Thai people across Bangkok and
throughout Thailand are waiting to greet visitors with a friendly smile.â
considering a visit to Thailand in the near future does not need to worry,as tourists have not been
targeted in the political protests. This is further evidentby
pictures of tourists visiting attractions and enjoying holiday in popular
tourist destinations in Thailand during this week.
travellers continue to be a big component of Thailandâs peak season arrivals.
âWe saw about 78,835 tourists by the end of September which represented nearly
a four per cent increase over 2012âs heart-warming 1 million Indian tourists.
With four more months to be calculated/ added to that total, we expect to close
at a very good number, particularly because in the last three months of the
year (in 2012), we saw over one lakh tourists every month. We hope to see 1.2
million tourists at least by the end of 2013,â says Sethaphan Buddhani,
director, TAT Mumbai Office. Current leisure and MICE movements from India to
Thailand remain strong as do bookings for the coming month.
December is one of the most
exciting months for tourists to come to Thailand. There are various events up
and down the country taking place during this month and through to January
The Amazing Thailand Countdown
2014 will be organised as planned in seven major destinations - Bangkok, Chiang
Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), Songkhla (Hat Yai), Phuket, Khon Kaen and Chiang Rai
from 25 December, 2013 to 1 January, 2014.
The impact of technological innovation and evolving media
channels on tourism communication was the focus of the 3rd UNWTO International
Conference on Tourism and the Media, which was recently concluded at Estoril,
Portugal, part of an ongoing series aimed to lend tourism a higher level of
editorial recognition .
Centered around the theme, âHow new media is shaping the
newsâ, the Conference addressed, among others, the issues of tourism in todayÂ´s
media coverage, the new media environment, the emergence of bloggers as
influential news sources, and the transversal impact of technology on all
Opening the Conference, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb
Rifai, said âwhile tourism coverage by mainstream, business and news agencies
is growing, there is still much room for tourism to have greater journalistic
recognition. New media can bridge this gap. In todayÂ´s interconnected world,
tourism communication has evolved from being an exclusive encounter to an
âPortugal has made a strategic decision in terms of
promotion strategy, and that was to give a higher priority to new media and
online communication as a means to adapt to the changes occurring in the
marketsâ said Adolfo Mesquida Nunes, Secretary of State for Tourism of
Addressing over 200 participants from 30 countries,
including private and public tourism stakeholders, media and academia, the
Conference underscored the following key trends:
News generation has evolved from a top-down âanalogueâ
format into an âdigitalâ interactive experience;
With bloggers as complementary sources of information to
traditional media, the challenge lies in establishing their credibility as
reliable and independent sources. Credible traditional media outlets remain
relevant for reliable information;
Effective blogs connect by eliciting audience empathy; the
key lies in creating different content for different aims and formats;
Users today are double influencers: they contribute
real-time information through social media and move content providers to cater
the information they are demanding;
Segmentation of contents and audiences is growing as a
consequence of increasing interactive media use and must be factored in by the
tourism sector in their communication and promotion outreach;
The key to communicating tourism is in telling a story,
offering the bigger picture of the
economic, social and environmental impact of tourism;
Given that travelers promote a country through various media
formats and the social network, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs)
need to become content aggregators and platforms for user-generated content;
Maximizing new media entails creating an inclusive
environment for citizen journalists to disseminate tourismÂ´s message, either by
talking about a destination, a product or the socio-economic power of tourism;
There is no way around increased audiovisual content
production by private and public tourism stakeholders, acknowledging growing
bandwidth and user expectations on enriched and diverse communication formats.
Organized in cooperation with Turismo de Portugal, the
Conference gathered key speakers and panelists, including the Conference media
partner CNN Internationalâs anchor Nina dos Santos, Portugalâs public
broadcaster RĂĄdio e TelevisĂŁo de Portugal (RTP) anchor JoĂŁo Adelino Faria as
well as representatives from CondĂŠ Nast (USA), Apple Tree Communications
(Spain), German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (Germany), Google and NH Hoteles
(Spain), as well as influential social media players from Brazil, Kenya and Uruguay.
â˘ New airport terminal, with increased passenger capacity,
inaugurated recently, likely to be operational in January 2014
â˘ Beats Kerala to be voted as âBest Leisure Destinationâ by
CondeNast Traveller Indiaâs Readersâ Travel Awards. The state had also won the
award in 2012
â˘ Goa Tourism has approved of 28 projects that will be
completed in the next 3 years. These will help to improve tourism
infrastructure, ensure a clean and safe Goa for all
With the new terminal at Goa International Airport, Dabolim
being inaugurated on December 3 by Union Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Ajit
Singh, the state is all set to march ahead towards becoming a world-class
The new terminal, which will be operational in January 2014,
has a total peak hour capacity of 2,750 passengers. This comes at a time when
Goa is gearing up to expect increased tourist traffic into the state. One of
Indiaâs smallest states, Goa has always been a top choice for travelers when it
comes to holidays. This is something that was endorsed recently as Goa was
declared as âThe Best Leisure Destinationâ by CondeNast Traveller at the
Readersâ Travel Awards. This is the second time in a row that the state has won
this honour and this time it has beaten Kerala to retain the top position. In
addition to this, Goa Tourism also recently revealed statistics that pointed to
a healthy 10 per cent increase in tourist inflow to the state. Among these
figures the rise in number of tourists visiting the state during monsoon is
As 2013 draws to a close, Goa Tourism is preparing to ensure
that tourists and residents alike have a memorable experience during Christmas
and New Year in the state. There are also three major EDM fests here that are
all set to attract crowds.
While tourists are busy planning their vacations to Goa, the
officials are putting measures in place to ensure that visitors have an
unforgettable experience in the state. The state is going all out to ensure
safety and security of tourists and residents during the peak season. The
Government has ensured the presence of Lifeguards on all beaches so that a
traveler enjoys his stay here in Goa.
Soon, women taxi
drivers will be operating in the cities of Panjim, Margao, Mapusa and Vasco,
for exclusive use of women passengers and families. The service is being
introduced by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC).
In addition, the
state is also looking to upgrade infrastructure and other related facilities
which will put Goa on par with any other top international holiday destination.
A few projects that are underway are construction of tourism jetty, multi-level
car parking, Baga beach beutification and tourist information plaza. There are
28 projects in all which are scheduled for completion over the next 3 years.
Beaches, which are one of the major attractions in Goa, are
in the process of getting a makeover to make them more clean, safe and
tourist-friendly. Goa Tourism has taken an initiative to form a Comprehensive
Management of Cleanliness on all the beach stretches across the state.
Mr. Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister, Government of Goa, acknowledged
Goaâs popularity as a destination of choice among travelers and said, âOur aim
is to make Goa the number one destination for vacationing all over the world.
Apart from promoting just leisure we are also looking at improving and
promoting MICE facilities in the state as Goa has tremendous growth potential
in this sector as well. Upgrading our infrastructure to good quality standards
and maintaining this will be a big step forward for us. In addition, we are
optimistic that facilities like the new airport terminal will help us realize
our vision.â He also added, âAchieving a 10 per cent growth in the tourist
inflow is a huge milestone for us and we want to continue this in the coming
year. Goa is a favourite among several travelers already and with our new
initiatives and developments, we hope to increase this number and also want
visitors to come and explore the different sides of Goa.â
The 2013 UNWTO and WTM MinistersÂ´
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
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 neededto 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
âOneworldâ 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.
Providing Quality Aviation Infrastructure High On Priority:
A New Integrated Terminal Building of Goa International
Airport has been inaugurated by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Ajit Singh
at Goa Airport. Dedicating the new facility to the people of the state, the
Minister said, âproviding quality aviation infrastructure commensurate with the
expected passenger traffic growth is high on priority of my ministry.â
Instituto TecnolĂłgico Hotelero (ITH) and the Spanish International Tourism
Trade Fair (FITUR), the International Travel Media Meeting-ITMM@Fiturtech2014
-to take place on Thursday January 23rd 2014 at FITUR, Madrid, Spain will
gather international and Spanish journalists specialized in tech and travel
industry to advance influence and changes technology may bring to tourism
Key international and Spanish travel and technology ...
Radisson Blu MBD, Noida wins âAsia Pacificâs Best Performing Franchised Hotel of the Year for 2013â Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the worldâs largest and most dynamic hotel groups, awarded the Radisson Blu MBD, Noida as âAsia Pacificâs Best Performing Franchised Hotel of the Year, 2013â for the third consecutive year. The announcement was made at the companyâs global hotel business conference last week ...
Genie is an initiative by Meru Cab Company to make a safe
and reliable travel experience available to the people of Hyderabad. It is a
brand new, professional, pocket friendly Air conditioned cabs service which intends to revolutionize
the regular city travel. Genie Cabs fleet would inherit many of Meru Cabsâ
technological advancements and hence ensure a safe, professional and extremely
efficient service at affordable prices.
Introduces Color Scanning in its Segment 1 machines (20 ppm
or below), which ensures flawless digitization of color documents
Kyocera, the leading Japanese document Solutions Company,
has announced the launch of four new A3 MFPâs printers and scanners, TASKalfa
1800, TASKalfa 2200, TASKalfa 1801 and TASKalfa 2201 under the brand name
Kizuna and is available for Indian market.
As per Kyocera, these new machines are simple to install a ...
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, MIAMI CELEBRATES ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH
2013 WITH A SPECIAL EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY LATIN AMERICAN ART
Mandarin Oriental, Miami invites art lovers to experience
contemporary Latin American art during a special exhibition presented in
collaboration with ArtNexus, the iconic art publication for the Americas. This
unique exhibition will debut during Art Basel Miami Beach on Monday, December 2
in the hotelâs atrium lobb ...
Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi appoints Mr. Vikas Bhola as
Director of Sales and Marketing
Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi has been appointed Mr. Vikas Bhola as the Director of Sales and
Marketing. Vikas has over 7 years of hotel sales, operations and management
experience having handled diverse portfolios in corporate, travel, trade and
Mr. Vikas began his association with Kempinski Ambience
Hotel as Director of Sales in April 2012 during the pre-opening period. Within
a short span, he has been appointed as the Director of Sales and Marketing
after demonstrating excellent hands-on experience in developing, strategizing
and improving sales for the hotel. He has previously been associated with some
of the leading hotel brands like Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Grand Hyatt,
Hyatt Regency and The Imperial amongst others. He holds a Hotel Management
degree from the Institute of Hotel Management, Chandigarh.
In his new role, Vikas will be driving the business
development and marketing strategies for the hotel, besides formulating budgets
and ensuring the achievement of targeted sales. He will also be responsible for
exploring various opportunities for promoting the hotel, besides outlining the
communications and engagement plans.
Speaking about his new role, he said, âI am honoured to be
given the opportunity to head this extremely important business function for a
name as prestigious as Kempinski Ambience Delhi. I hope to successfully employ
my experience in the industry, coupled with my high degree of motivation to
take the hotel and all my team members to scale new heights of success.â
Fly with the stars through the stars all the way to LA
Emirates, which has often picked up the Oscars of the travel
industry, has swooped into the home of the original Oscars to launch its
celebrated A380 service. Packed with
Hollywood movies on ice Digital Widescreen, the double-decker touched down in
Los Angeles on Dec 2, 2013, becoming the worldâs longest A380 service in
operation. The landmark flight, crossing the Russian Federation, the North Pole
and Eastern Canada, has a published duration of 16 hours 20 minutes, more than
enough time to delve into over 400 hours of in-flight Hollywood movies.
âBringing the glamorous A380 set of wings to the City of
Angels seemed like a natural fit as this aircraft mirrors the luxury of the
Hollywood lifestyle,â said Hubert Frach, Emiratesâ Divisional Senior Vice
President, Commercial Operations West.
The Emiratesâ A380 is like no other. Its generously
proportioned Economy Class, exclusive mini-pods in Business Class and Private
Suites in First Class are talked about the world over.
On the top deck of the aircraft, First Class passengers can
freshen up in one of two Onboard Shower Spas, whilst First and Business Class
travellers can mix and mingle in the popular Onboard Lounge â\" enjoying a drink
and exchanging tales at 40,000 feet.
Passengers in all cabins have access to WiFi, 1,500 channels
of in-flight entertainment and gourmet-chef prepared meals, served by highly
trained, multi-lingual cabin crew.
Generous luggage allowances are available to customers; 30
kilogrammes in Economy Class, 40 Kilogrammes in Business Class and 50
kilogrammes in First Class. Premium passengers can also enjoy dedicated lounges
and chauffeur-drive transfers at many destinations across Emiratesâ
The airline started flying to Los Angeles in 2008 with the
Boeing 777-200LR. The introduction of the 489-seat A380 service, powered by US
made GE GP7200 engines, is a direct response to demand with over one million
passengers travelling between Los Angeles and Dubai so far.
Emirates 23rd A380 service will operate daily as EK 215
departing Dubai at 0820hrs and arriving at Los Angeles International Airport at
1250hrs the same day. The return flight, EK 216, departs Los Angeles at 1600hrs
and arrives in Dubai at 1950hrs the following day.
The double decker has 14 First Class Private Suites, 76
lie-flat beds in Business Class and 399 spacious seats in Economy Class.
The A380âs arrival time in Dubai offers passengers from L.A.
connections to an extensive range of onward destinations in the Middle East,
Indian Sub-continent, Africa, Asia and the Far East.
The airline operates 63 weekly flights to the U.S, serving
seven gateways; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Dallas, Houston,
Washington DC and New York JFK, where two of the three daily flights are
operated with A380s.
The 3rd JFK flight, operated with a Boeing 777-300ER, stops
in Italyâs fashion capital of Milan before continuing to New York. A daily service
from Dubai to Boston will start 10th March 2014.
With 131 Boeing 777s in its fleet worth US$ 34 billion, and
a further 150 Boeing 777Xs ordered at Dubai Air Show 2013, valued at US$ 76
billion, Emirates is a major contributor to the U.S aerospace industry.
The airline also supports a number of sponsorships in the
market. Amongst them are Emirates Airline US Open Series, Official Airline of
the BNP Paribas Open, Official Airline of the San Francisco Symphony, Official
Airline of USA Rugby, Presenting Sponsor at the Reliant Stadium - home of the
Houston Texans NFL team and Sponsor of the New York Cosmos soccer team.
The Western Ghats that border the tiny state of Kerala in the east, runs
along its entire length, and the treasure hidden under the foliage are vivid,
be it the endemic flora and fauna or the remains of historic invasions. These
wooded mounts have been home for mankind for long and mother nature had been
kind enough, to preserve at least a part of what they left behind. These
include the paintings of Ezhuthu guha in Marayoor, that dates back to 10000BC,
to the comparatively recent Tramway of Parambikulam .
The stretch, east to the city
of Trivandrum, the erstwhile Travancore, were generally known as Ashambu hills,
and the British who ruled India, had an eye on the revenue, that can be tapped
from these hillocks. They established coffee plantations, clearing the woods by
1860. But that didn't flourish, due to unforeseen disease and it got
transformed to Tea plantations by 1884. These adjacent estates where then named
'Braemore', 'Merchiston', 'Bon Accord', 'Athirumala' and so on. Among these the
Athirumala venture was dropped soon, and the other three were brought under a
consortium by name 'The Ponmudi Tea and Rubber Company Ltd.', in the year 1900.
These estate premises are inhabited now and locally known as 'Brymoor',
'Ponmudi' and 'Bonakkadu'. The plantations faced lockout and are in ruins now. Motor vehicles hadn't hit roads then and means of
transport were either bullock carts or horses. Thus a horse track is
thought to have been cleared through the woods, for the plantation workers or
even the owners, to travel between the estates. Eventually separate roads were
built to these estates, motor trucks were introduced and the good old bridle
path along the elevation was deprived of gallops. The then State of
Travancore was shared between the newly formed states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu,
Forest Act came into force, those elevated sectors were declared reserves, and
the bridle path left to the nature. Came to know that part of
the old track from Ponmudi to Athirumala, which shall also be traversed down to
Kaarayar of Tamil Nadu, can still be identified in the woods. At higher
elevation, this track runs through grass hills, and fire line is being cleared
by the dept. along this old track. At about 10 miles, along the track from
Ponmudi, there was a horse shelter, and the region was named 'PandiPathu', by
the then riders. - (Tamil speaking region was earlier known as Pandi Nadu and
'Pathu' is the digit ten). Exciting part of the narration was that the old
horse shelter had undergone slight betterment and that, a stay shall be
arranged, at that historic place, if so wished.
reached Vithura, about 30 km from Trivandrum, took a right turn at Theviyode,
and headed along the road to Bonakkadu - of course the old 'Bon - Accord'. A 10
km drive took us to 'Kaanithadam' Forest Check post, where Mr. Varghese, a
watcher with the forest dept, was all equipped to assist us. Got him into our
vehicle and continued further, with the pleasure of driving a hundred years
back into history.
Surroundings switched soon and we were
driving along the jungles of Pepppara range. Road wasn't that bad and the drive
was smooth. Within this short while, could strengthen the bond with our guide,
and we turned listeners. We were surprised to hear that this man was of 76
years and has been serving the dept for the last 25 years. Bus service is there
up to Bonacaud, thrice a day, for the estate staff of the locked out
plantation, who still stick on, as they weren't paid compensation.
Drove up to the end station of Bus service and took a left
deviation. For the next 7 kms, the track condition was that bad, we crawled
with our WagonR, to cover the stretch, in almost an hour. Finally parked the
vehicle by the way side and got geared for the trek. The initial
stretch of about one km through the abandoned tea estate was extremely steep
and we had several stops, not to break our lungs. But Varghese rocketed up and
was found waiting at many places, for the younger chaps, to keep up with him.
At the end of this tedious stretch, we joined the horse track that suddenly
appeared from the woods. Few steps ahead we hit upon the milestone indicating
the seventh mile, by the track side. The pipe laid by the British, to bring
water from the hills to the estate, ran along the track and was still in duty,
though slightly leaking at places.
The track entered
the jungle and the gradient of the climb lessened. Followed the track, just
boulders at places and wide as a jeep track occasionally. Could hear the flow
of Kallar - known as Vamanapuram river at a later stage, to our left. To the
other side of the flow, located tall mountains, with heavy growth of reeds,
paradise of elephants, for sure. Within half an hour, the jungle cover opened
to grass hillocks, and could spot the ninth mile stone, hidden in the foliage.
It was then, we noticed that the eighth mile stone was missing. Even Varghese is
unaware, where the thing had disappeared. Now we could spot the shelter at a
distance, about a quarter mile ahead, bordered by the towering Chemmunchi
hills, at the back drop.
It started slightly drizzling then, spreading mist, and the walk went brisker.
Crossed the trench and ran to the shelter. It was just a room and a kitchen,
with two wire beds. Chemmunchi hills in the east, just behind our shelter, is
where two major rivers of Trivandrum district originates - Vamanapuram
River and Karamana River. We were left with the option of either walking north
for Vamanapuram River or to the south for Karamana River, to fetch water for
cooking our dinner. Headed south for Karamana River, which caters to our home
town, and it was just a five minutes walk. The infant river was tear clear, and
we were back soon, generously feeding leaches.
strengthened then and we simply sat watching rain in the hills. Varghese was
busy in the kitchen, struggling to lit the wet logs, to prepare dinner. Rain subsided
by dusk and we went for a short walk, to the hillock to our west. It ended at a
ridge, presenting the scenario of the valleys of Bonacaud. Did not dare to walk
to the edges, as the wind was strong enough to grand us a fly. Temperature
dropped and couldn't resist the wind supported chill for long. Returned to the
shelter, once again pleasing the leaches.Dined and opted to hit the sack soon,
as we were all worn out. The wind howled through out the night, often
up early and ventured out, daring the chill, expecting Bisons or Pachyderms
around, but none turned up. Hit Karamana river for the fresh up, and left over
from the previous night, made a delicious break fast. As planned earlier, got
out to trek to the State limits, where the Tenth Mile stone - Pandi pattu,
awaited us. Crossed Karamana River and entered a shola wood sector. Half a km
through the woods and grass hillocks appeared again, to our right, with shola
woods to our left. The greenery and the mist played magic and the howl of
the wind and the camera clicks were the lone waves audible.
Thus strolling, consuming about an hour
for just around one km, stopped to see that our track split. There we found the
Tenth Mile Stone, not upright, but lying on the ground. This stone indicates
the state border and it is the 'Mundanthurai' sector of the 'Kalakkad
Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve' further ahead. Track to the right leads to
'Athirumala', close to 'Agastyar Koodam' and we continued along the left, which
leads to Kaarayar of Tamil Nadu.'The Travancore State Manual' published in 1906
has a mention on such bridle passes, across the Western Ghats, used by then
smugglers, to cross over to Travancore from the Pandi Nadu. Crossed a brook and
climbed up a hillock, to an incomplete structure, once intended for a watch
Decided to end our trek here, as it wouldn't be fare to intrude, without
permission. Turned back for the return and aching legs took us down to the
base, by around 12.30 PM. Washed away the pains in Thodayaar, close to
Kaanithadam check post, got back to the wheel, left Varghese at Vithura, filled
bellies and drove, a hundred years, to our blessed city of Thiruvananthapuram,
the once capital of the princely state of Travancore.
Kiwis first in the world to see Peter Jacksonâs vision of
the Dragon Smaug from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Air New Zealand revealed Peter Jacksonâs theatrical
interpretation of the mythical Dragon Smaug exclusively to the world, ten days
ahead of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
A Boeing 777-300
aircraft with the 54 metre (177 feet) long Dragon emblazoned on both sides was
unveiled in Auckland yesterday morning, making Kiwis the first in the world to
see the iconic Dragon in all his glory.
The first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey famously featured just Smaugâs eye, leaving it to fans to
envisage for themselves how he might look in Peter Jacksonâs imagination.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon
says the airline has been in discussions for some time around permission to
feature Smaug on the âflying billboardâ ahead of the filmâs official release.
âFor our partners to allow Air New Zealand to reveal their
star to the world is a huge privilege. We worked with Weta Digital which
designed the graphic especially for us for this purpose.â
This is the second 777-300 inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy in
the Air New Zealand fleet. The first was unveiled last year to coincide with
the launch of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and has been wowing fans around
the world since.
Director of The Hobbit Trilogy, Sir Peter Jackson, says
while the first aircraft, featuring various characters from the first film, was
extremely impressive the enormous scale of the single Dragon running the entire
length of the aircraft is even more awe inspiring.
âTo see Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies like
this is pretty exciting. Weâre proud to
debut him here in New Zealand, where our team has worked so hard to bring him
Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Saindon of Weta Digital says
designing a graphic which not only fits with Peter Jacksonâs creative vision
but also meets the various specifications required to fit on an aircraft was no
âCapturing Smaugâs presence and the amazing detail in his
design while accommodating the windows, doors and wing shape was quite a
different experience for us,â said Saindon.
âIt was great to see Smaug brought to life, and he appears even larger
in the film!â
The aircraft will head to Los Angeles this evening, to
arrive just in time for the premiere on 2 December local time.
As part of its global marketing campaign around The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug, the airline has also released a video entitled Just another
day in Middle-earth, which features staff from across its business, with a
magical Hobbit movie-inspired twist. The video has been viewed online 1.5
million times in less than two weeks.
A Heritage Hotel , ââWhere Tradition meets Heritageââ
WelcomHeritage Traditional Haveli, Jaipur is the latest
addition to the WelcomHeritage collection of Heritage Hotels. Based at Bani
Park, the property is conveniently located in the city centre and is in close
proximity to Jaipur Railway Station and Airport.
This Haveli was constructed in late 1940âs by Rai Sahib
Laxmi Pati Singhania and was used as his private residence until 1956. Later in
1958, this property was sold to Badiyal Thakur, who partially used the Haveli
to entertain his personal guests and later converted it into a Hotel. During
2012, the present owners, Mr. Bal Mukund Goyal & Mr. Dinesh Goyal of
Lisadiya Village in Sikar district, purchased this spectacular Haveli and made
some laudable up-gradations, to delight the travellers.
WelcomHeritage Traditional Haveli offers 24 elegantly
designed rooms including three suites. All rooms are a remarkable mix of
classical and contemporary dĂŠcor. The Haveli also offers large Banquet space,
Alfresco Bar and is well known for its Indian Restaurant â\" âZaikaâ.
Its open and outdoor swimming pool at the Roof top is the
perfect location to invigorate oneâs senses during a visit to the Pink City.
Inspired by the Thai health rituals, with a subtle blend of western therapies
the "O" Thai Spa offers relaxing, results-oriented and traditional
Spa treatments; a treat for oneâs body & soul.
We welcome you to explore the historic and cultural
attractions from Jaipur, a land of natural beauty and great history while you
relish a memorable stay at WelcomHeritage Traditional Haveli, Jaipur.
Bookings now open
with special opening rates 15 January to 15 February, 2014
Mauritius Resort and Spa will soft open on 15 January 2014, with the deluxe
beachfront hotel now open for booking via its new website
Outrigger Hotels and
Resorts purchased the 181-key beachfront resort in May 2013 and an extensive
refurbishment is nearing completion. All 181 suites and rooms have a sea view,
with a number having direct access to the white sand beach and the turquoise
waters of the Indian Ocean. Entry-level rooms are a generous 63 square metres.
"I believe the new Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa
at Bel Ombre will quickly establish itself as an iconic and very innovative
resort in Mauritius," said General Manager, Frederic Chretien.
As of 15 January, a variety of services and features will
open, including the majority of guest rooms, the relaxed beachfront Edgewater
restaurant, the trendy Bar Bleu, and most other public spaces.
"Our suites, rooms and food and beverage options are
unique for Mauritius," said Chretien. "I believe the opening of the
Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa will herald an exciting new era of
hospitality in the Mauritius tourism scene."
The Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa sits on the southern
tip of the Republic of Mauritius located 2,000 kms off the southeast coast of
Africa and 1,100 kms from the east coast of Madagascar.
Getting there is easy. Direct flights connect the island of
Mauritius with Perth, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai,
Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Paris, London, Dubai, Johannesburg and numerous cities
The new Outrigger Mauritius Resort and Spa is a 45-minute
drive from the international airport (MRU) and a similar distance from the
capital of Port Louis. The resort is surrounded on three sides by the nature
reserve of Bel Ombre.
To celebrate the soft opening, the Outrigger Mauritius
Resort and Spa is offering special opening rates in various room categories
such as the Deluxe and Family Rooms (pictured). The special rates start from
EUR149 (US$202) for a Deluxe Sea View inclusive of breakfast for two. The rates
are available for stays between 15 January and 15 February 2014. (The website
contains special rates for other room types and value-added promotions for the
soft opening period.)
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