Tourism infrastructure or lose out on jobs and economic
contribution for the country
Weaknesses in the current state of Travel & Tourism
infrastructure in the U.S. pose a threat to Travel & Tourism growth in the
country and could cost the U.S. in terms of jobs and a reduced contribution to
the economy. That is according to Mr. David Scowsill, President & CEO of
the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the member organisation for the
global Travel & Tourism sector. A new WTTC report out today says the poor
quality of U.S. ground transport infrastructure could see the country fail to
meet its demand growth predictions, lose ground to other advanced economies and
miss out on social and economic benefits from Travel & Tourism.
WTTCâs report, âTravel & Tourism investment in the
Americas: will the regionâs infrastructure and investment constrain or support
future industry growth?â states that U.S. Travel & Tourism infrastructure
is of a comparatively high quality and capacity overall. However, its ground
infrastructure is weak. Given the outlook for Travel & Tourism investment
and demand over the next decade, Mr Scowsill says it raises cause for concern;
âThe United States does not rank favourably for âtourism supportingâ
infrastructure, to transport tourists domestically and internationally. This is
compared to other advanced economies within Asia and continental Europe. Roads,
especially in the major cities, are heavily congested. Rail networks are slow,
compared to their high speed equivalents in other countries. Flight delays and
cancellations are common, with inadequate air traffic control infrastructure.
No domestic or international tourist wants to spend time in road traffic jams
or in lines at airports. Major improvements are neededâ.
The forecast annual average growth of Travel & Tourism
investment over the next decade for North America is 4.4%. The sector is
expected to grow by 3.6% per annum. Against this backdrop of strong demand
growth prospects and an increasingly competitive marketplace, the report states
that the U.S. is at risk of complacency. Mr Scowsill says it is essential for
the U.S. to make significant investment for the ongoing development and growth
of its Travel & Tourism sector; âWTTC fully supports the Build America
Investment transportation initiative announced this summer by President Obama.
It is certainly promising to see the recognition for infrastructure improvement
and the funding being put behind the initiative. However, the Government must
ensure it delivers the right level of investment to effect change. Most
importantly, industry and government need to work in partnership to see through
these critical improvements. This includes the need for the air traffic control
system to be upgraded to the NextGen programme, which is so desperately
required to keep competitive and to improve airline performance for climate
Mr Scowsill says the market is ripe for investment; âThe
economy is now stable. The tourism-supporting infrastructure is recognised as
weak, which means there is an unequivocal case for major upgrade work. There is
a real opportunity for private investors to seize and to work with the U.S.
Government to ensure these improvements are realisedâ.
WTTCâs report out today outlines that investment is
essential for a number of reasons; to ensure current infrastructure is
maintained to a good standard; to adapt and upgrade current infrastructure and
to expand capacity to prevent supply-side bottlenecks.
The U.S. is the biggest tourism economy in the world.
According to WTTCâs 2014 U.S. Economic Impact Report, the total contribution of
Travel & Tourism to GDP was 8.4% (US$1,416.0bn) and visitor exports
generated 8.4% of total exports (US$190.1bn) in 2013, (including direct,
indirect, and induced). Travel is the second-largest U.S. export by industry
and accounts for almost a third (31.2 percent) of U.S. service exports and
almost a tenth (9.4 percent) of exports of all goods and services, according to
the U.S. Travel Association.
Mr Scowsill believes the U.S. has to do the following to
maintain and grow its market share of visitors and appeal to an ever-growing
and diverse group of travellers; âThe U.S. needs to ensure that travel is as
seamless and hassle-free as possible. Bottlenecks need to be removed in air and
in road and rail networks, especially in areas with high population density.
Itâs essential that ground transportation connects directly to airports and
urban centres and that there is more point to point connectivity. A NextGen air
traffic control system would enable airlines to fly more efficient routes and
would cut down on flight delays, cancellations, aircraft noise and emissions.
Only if the U.S. makes a step change in the level of investment will it achieve
the projected levels of demand growth over the next decade and maintain its
current industry competitiveness ranking. If it does not make the investment,
there will be fewer travellers which will cost the U.S. heavily in terms of
economic contribution and jobsâ.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced
progress in the implementation of Fast Travel in the Asia-Pacific region.
Qantas Airways has achieved Platinum status for Fast Travel implementation,
while Narita International Airport Corporation has engaged IATA to conduct a
study on the implementation of Fast Travel at Tokyoâs Narita Airport.
The Fast Travel program responds to passenger demand for a
more seamless travel experience and more control through six time-saving, self-service
initiatives. They includes Self check-in and/or automatic check-in, Bags
ready-to-go, Document check, Flight re-booking, Self-boarding and Bag recovery.
In IATAâs 2014 Global Passenger Survey, over 75% of air
travelers would prefer to check in online or automatically by receiving a text
message or email. Only15% prefer to receive their boarding passes from an agent
at an airport check-in counter. The industryâs target is to implement Fast
Travel projects covering 27% of eligible passengers this year and by 2020, the
goal is to have 80% of passengers offered a complete self-service suite based
on common industry standards.
First Asia-Pacific Platinum Airline
IATA has awarded Qantas Platinum status in recognition of
the airlineâs progress in implementing the Fast Travel program. The award was
presented by Tony Tyler, IATAâs Director General and CEO, during the World
Passenger Symposium held in San Diego.
Qantas is the first airline in Asia-Pacific and the second
in the world to achieve Platinum status. The Platinum status is achieved when
Fast Travel compliant solutions are made available to at least 80% of an
âI congratulate Qantas on this achievement. Travelers have
told us through the annual IATA Global Passenger Survey that they want to be
able to do more things for themselves.
Qantas is leading the Asia-Pacific region in responding to this
self-service expectation. I encourage the Asia-Pacific airlines to fast track
the implementation of Fast Travel across their network so as to provide their
customers with more options to improve their passenger experience,â said Conrad
Clifford, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific.
Qantas Domestic Executive Manager, Customer Experience, Paul
Jones said that the achievement of Platinum Status reflected Qantasâ commitment
to a streamlined customer experience.
âTravellers today rightly expect a seamless journey through
the airport, and weâve invested in technology and training to deliver
that. From smart check-in facilities
across airports in Australia to online and mobile check-in, auto bag drops, and
mobile boarding passes at the gate, our goal is to make the process as fast and
efficient as possible,â said Jones.
âCustomer service innovation is central to Qantasâ strategy
and weâre committed to playing a lead role in the development of Fast Travel
across the industry.â
First Fast Travel Consulting Project
IATA has been engaged by the Narita International Airport
Corporation (NAA), which manages Tokyoâs Narita Airport, to conduct a study on
challenges and opportunities for the implementation of Fast Travel initiatives
for international travelers at Narita Airport. NAA is the launch customer for
this service by IATA Consulting.
Through the study, IATA will provide recommendations on how
the various Fast Travel initiatives can be implemented and integrated with the
existing systems at Narita Airport.
âJapan has been at the forefront of many of the advances in
the passenger experience including domestic air travel. Thus, we are delighted
to partner with NAA to take this forward for international travel at Narita
Airport. The airlines are eager and ready to offer a more convenient and faster
experience to their passengers through the use of technology solutions. This
project will help bring the airlines and airports together in delivering a
better travel experience at Narita Airport,â said Clifford.
âGiven the expected traffic growth in the Asia-Pacific
region, major Asian airports are under pressure to handle the anticipated
traffic growth. Partnership between airlines and airports will be crucial to
address this challenge. IATAâs Fast
Travel initiatives will bring more efficiency for airline operations, and
improve the customer experience. From an airport perspective, we can make more
efficient use of the airportâs facilities and improve the airport experience
for travelers. Reducing the waiting time at the various queues also means that
travelers can have more time to use the airportâs facilities and for shopping.
We are happy to work with IATA to identify how Fast Travel can bring more
efficiency and convenience, and on its implementation at Narita Airport,â said
Hideharu Miyamoto, Vice President Corporate Strategies & Planning, NAA.
Children from Bulgaria and Bangladesh among top five
Children from Bulgaria and Bangladesh are among the top five
winners of an international painting competition conducted by Kerala Tourism in
memory of the child prodigy Edmund Thomas Clint.
Anujath Sindhu Vinaylal from Thrissur in Kerala won the
first prize in the competition and Irtiza Anika Haqe Probonti of Bangladesh
came second. The third prize was shared between Viara Pencheva of Bulgaria,
Meenakshi Nair J from Kottayam, Kerala ...
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.
TAAI signs MOU with H R COLLEGE to offer Degree Course in Tourism & Hospitality ManagementTravel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has signed a MOU with HR College of Commerce & Economics in Mumbai introducing a degree course, Bachelor of Vocation (B. VOC) in Tourism & Hospitality Management.In one of the first in the country, Mumbai University has approved a 3 year degree course (12+3) Â which shall be conducted by HR College.The MOU was signed ...
RezNext announces partnership with Cleartrip; one of Indiaâs
leading online travel portal
RezNextâs real-time two way hotel booking technology powers
Cleartrip in India, UAE, Srilanka and Africa
RezNext, the worldâs leading real-time distribution company
and Cleartrip, a leading online travel portal, have partnered to provide
Cleartripâs customers a real-time hotel booking service. RezNextâs distribution
technology connects ...
Celebrating 2014 as the âYear of Friendship and Exchangeâ
with China, India is all set to showcase its art and culture in Hong Kong, at
one of the worldâs largest festival of its kind, the Hong Kong Harbin Ice
Festival. Organised by Fictional Reality
Communications, Hong Kong, a ten day fair titled âIndian Art, Culture &
Heritage Fiestaâ will be organized from 1st - 10th November 2014 with an aim to
bring Indian cultural ...
Celebrate in style with bespoke creations by AMALYA
Celebrate this festive season with a limited edition of
especially curated gift hampers by AMALYA, lifestyle boutique of The Leela
Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, Indiaâs leading luxury hotel group. Ranging from
the traditional to the extravagantly indulgent, and with price points to
satisfy a variety of budgets, the thoughtfully designed gift hampers are part
of an exclusive ...
Wanderlust Film Festival announces the list of films to be
screened at the festival
List includes travel films from all across the world
Wanderlust Film Festival is a unique travelling film
festival, which is scheduled to take place from 31st October to 2nd November in
Jaisalmer (Rajasthan). It is a one-of-its-kind film festival, which focuses on
cinema that depicts travel. On 31st September, the Wanderlust Film Festival
Director Aditi ...
The SITE Global Conference, the associationâs largest annual
event will be held in India next year for the first time ever. This will take
place in New Delhi from October 21-25 , 2015 and will give a big boost for the
MICE industry in India. SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) is a
global network of professionals in the motivational travel industry (commonly
referred to as Incentive Travel). Each year, a chapter from among the 2 ...
Royal Caribbean International announces special offers , complimentary
Upgrades & 50% off on 2nd guest, exclusively for Indian travellers onboard
the largest cruise ship sailing from Singapore, Mariner of the Seas. Both these
offers are valid on 3 to 5 night sailings from Singapore, between November 2013
February 2014 and will be applicable on new bookings made by 31st
October 2013. With Complimentary Upgrades, guests ca ...
Meru Cab, Indiaâs largest and favorite radio taxi service, announces the launch of operations in Indiaâs fastest developing and growing city Ahmedabad. Neha Dhupia, Bollywood star and icon graces the launch with her presence along with the Meru Cabs, MD and Founder Mr. Neeraj Gupta and CEO, Mr. Siddhartha Pahwa. The world-class metered radio cab service is completely technology and systems driven and will cater to the needs of commuters in Ah ...
Emirates Announces New Vice President Appointment to Support
Dubai Expo 2020 Vision and Beyond
Emirates Airlines has announced the appointment of a new
role within the Commercial division. Reporting directly to Emirates Executive
Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Thierry Antinori, the newly
created Vice President Commercial Product position will be fulfilled by Mr. Mohammad Al Hashimi, who has worked with Emirates since 2006.
Mr Antinori said this of the decision; âAs Emirates, and
Dubai, prepares for the World Expo 2020 and the economic and commercial impact
it will have on the future of travel, it is important to have a strong team in
place to respond to all opportunities. With this in mind, we have created the
position of Vice President Commercial Products Dubai, and are pleased to
announce that Mohammad Al Hashimi has been appointed this vital role to support
our strategy. His responsibilities will include the development of new and
unique commercial products, working closely with Destinaton Dubai on inbound
leisure and business travel, as well as promoting Dubai as a world-class MICE
(Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) destination. We have every
confidence that he will excel in this role.â
Mr. Al Hashimi joined the company soon after graduating from
the American University in Dubai with a Bachelor in Information Technology, and
has gained valuable experience and industry knowledge through his various
positions within the company. His most recent role was within the Destination
& Leisure Management division, where he was the Manager of Strategy for the
Emirates Holidays and Arabian Adventures brands. During this time he was
integral to the strategic development of the portfolio, both externally with
strong relationships with government ministries and associations, and
internally with the management teams.
In his previous position as Head of e-Business & New
Business Development for dnata Travel Services, Mohammad played a key role in
the acquisition of British OTA, Travel Republic which subsequently led to a
position on the companyâs Board of Directors and also that of Travel
Counsellors. Other key responsibilities at dnata Travel included the execution
of the operational and commercial set up of Travel Counsellors in the UAE.
As well as excelling in his roles within Emirates and dnata,
Al Hashimi, an Emirati national, has also continued with his personal
development and has completed an MBA in Aviation Management.
Oman Air has announced plans to introduce Business Class
cabins to four of its most popular eastbound routes. From 1st October,
customers will be able to enjoy Oman Airâs comfortable, stylish and award-winning
Business Class service on flights from the airlineâs home base of Muscat to
Calicut, Lucknow and Jaipur, in India, and to Chittagong, in Bangladesh.
Oman Air operates Boeing B737s on all routes to the
sub-Continent and, in response to phenomenal demand, has previously offered
only Economy Class cabins to Calicut, Lucknow, Jaipur and Chittagong.
However, the continued growth of Indiaâs dynamic economy has
seen demand for Business Class seats on these routes steadily increase and it
is now clear that the introduction of premium seats will be greeted
enthusiastically by customers. In addition to business travellers, the routes
meet the needs of leisure and VFR (visiting friends and relatives) air
Oman Airâs routes to the sub-Continent are some of its
longest-established international services, laying the foundations for the
airlineâs subsequent expansion into the long haul sector. That expansion has
seen Oman Air introduce routes to Europe, South East Asia and East Africa.
In parallel with the expansion of its network, Oman Air has
raised the bar for premium travel. Earlier this year, the national carrier of
the Sultanate of Oman Air was named âMiddle Eastâs Leading Airline - Business
Classâ and âMiddle Eastâs Leading Airline - Economy Classâ at the World Travel
Awards, and âBest Staff Service - Middle Eastâ at the World Airline Awards - SKYTRAX.
Bhoothathankettu, the scenic dam site, is situated in a vast
virgin forest of the village of Pindimana at a distance of 50kms from Kochi.
There is a legenat the forest and hills was built by the demonsthe or
'Bhoothams' and hence the name Bhoothathankettu, i.e fort of the spirits. The
dam here is built by placing unshaped stones on both sides of the Periyar river
and is one of the oldest existing European structures in Kochi. There is an
artificial pond with pedal boating facility which can take a 20-minute boat
ride to the nearby Thattekkad bird sanctuary.
The story goes those ages ago, demons set out to submerge
the Trikkariyoor temple, whose presiding diety is Lord Shiva, by damming the
Periyar and flooding the area. But, Lord Shiva, suspecting trickery, came up
with a plan to deter them. He made it appear that dawn was approaching by
making a sound like the crowing of the rooster. The demons fearing the arrival
of light fled from their task. But there remains to this day the visible proof
of their effort - the huge stones the demons were supposed to have rolled onto
the riverbed, the Old Bhothathankettu. The Periyar flows on through the narrow
space which the demons did not quite manage to dam up. That's imagination for you. The actual cause
for the formation of the old Bhoothathankettu remains a conjecture. Itâs been
attributed to two great floods - one in the 4th century and the other in 1341,
which threw open the port of Kochi. The massive landslides during the flood are
believed to have caused gigantic rocks to roll down from the mountain and
become entrenched in the Old Bhoothathankettu.
If its curiosity about this place which that brings tourists here, it
will be her beauty that keeps them enthralled forever. Bhoothathankettu has the
potential of becoming one of the must-visit places in Kerala yet it remains
virtually unknown by tourists.
This is mainly because of the lack of infrastructure, even
though plans for its development seems to have acquired some direction and
drive of late. If one is willing to put
up with minor difficulties, one can come away with a veritable feast for the
senses. Once you've arrived at Bhoothathankettu, which is located just eight
kms north-east of Kothamangalam, there are various activities that one can
indulge in. A trip upriver on a house boat that can conveniently accommodate 25
(for a fee of Rs. 500 or Rs. 20 per person), a ride on a speedboat, a trek into
the jungle, rock climbing, fishing ...the possibilities for relaxation and fun
remain endless. A trip on the houseboat
is a must. Cruising up the river that is purported to be a freshwater body,
whose water has medicinal values of the `Neelakoduveli' that grows in the
upreaches of the ghats (where the Periyar has its origin), is a memorable
experience. The river brings a new meaning to the word `quiet' - at least once
the motors of the boat are cut. To one
side of the river lies a dense forest, that grows to the very edge of the
water, so much so it seems as if a part of the forest is growing on the Periyar
itself. On the other side, you can catch an occasional glimpse of habitation
between the coconut and rubber trees, but not enough of them to dampen the
serenity of the place. The scenario remains unchanged for some time before that
side too is overtaken by forest. The
river dips inland at times, creating tempting green coves that beckon you to
swim in. As you go further upstream, to the right the river seems to break away
from its almost straight path to flow between the Thattekad bird sanctuary and
Chelamalai, which might have been the `Vanchi' of the old - the seat of the
Cheraempire. According to locals, the forest on either side of the Periyar was
once home to a thriving civilisation. Remains of wells, walls, pieces of
pottery recovered from there and the ruins of temples, of ancient architecture,
are proof of a highly developed culture that once existed on this river's
bank. Even if one may not be interested
in anthropology, the river itself, embraced as it is by ever-green forests on
both sides, the white storks lazily rising into the air, the kingfishers nearly
torpedoing into the water, sightings of rare migratory birds from Siberia and
above all the absolute peace and quiet that one can experience will make a trip
to Bhoothathankettu worthwhile. A
journey up the Periyar to satisfy your parched senses with her beauty and
tranquility are mere bonuses. The dam is a vantage point from where you can
spot the turbulent water rushing from the dam towards the Old Bhoothathankettu.
The river gives one the impression of sprouting here and there into pools of
blood, due to the presence of a red water plant - possibly algae, that grows on
the rocks just beneath the rushing water. A view of the surrounding area from
up there, will make you forget the scorching rays of the sun that beats down on
you, your companions, everything... to become lost in the legendary beauty of
the Periyar. All serene and placid, a
ride through the waters is a unique experience, especially for the uninitiated.
Lying close to Bhoothathankettu is the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad.
Trekking through the forests here is an exhilarating experience.
The two main irrigation projects of Ernakulam district - the
Periyar Valley Irrigation Project and the Idamalayar, one of the biggest Hydro
Electric projects are also located nearby.
DTPC, Ernakulam, Ph: +91 484 2367334
railway station: Nearest railway station are Aluva, about 44 km
airport: Nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, about 37 km
TUI puts $1,000,000 on the BLACKCAPS Winning the ICC Cricket
World Cup 2015 - Catch A Million Is Back!
Tui Brewery Ltd, official beer of New Zealand Cricket (NZC),
is proud to announce a partnership agreement with the International Cricket
Council (ICC) for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
This summer, New Zealand will welcome the worldâs best
players to ignite the on-pitch action at cricketâs most prestigious global
event, the ICC Cricket World Cup. To ensure the excitement is not only
contained to the field, Tui Brewery has brewed a plan to make sure spectators
get in on the action too.
Tui is pleased to announce the summer spectacle, which
bowled over spectators during the 2013-14 ANZ International Series, Tuiâs Catch
a Million, will return for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
This year iconic beer brand Tui is upping the ante by
putting up to NZ$1,000,000 up for grabs for fans if the BLACKCAPS win the ICC
Cricket World Cup 2015. Fans can grab their share of the prize money in Tuiâs
new Catch a Million by catching a six one handed during the tournament matches
played in New Zealand, whilst wearing a new ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Tui
As the battle for cricketâs biggest prize returns to New
Zealand after 23 years, this is an ICC Cricket World Cup with national pride at
stake. Tui has incorporated an added element of patriotism into the new Catch a
Million promotion, with the total eligible prize amount now tied to the New
Zealand BLACKCAPSâ success in the tournament. The further the Kiwis go in ICC
Cricket World Cup 2015, the more money lucky catch takers can get their hands
on, with a total guaranteed prize pool of $1 million if the BLACKCAPS win the
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The minimum guaranteed prize pool is $250,000 if
the BLACKCAPS do not go past pool play, meaning that if only two catches are
taken both lucky catch takers will receive more than the same number of winners
did last summer.
The new addition to the Catch a Million promotion aims to
drive crowd participation at the 23 ICC Cricket World Cup matches on this side
of the Tasman, and increase backing for the BLACKCAPS. Whilst the prize pool is
linked to the BLACKCAPSâ progress, all ICC Cricket World Cup matches at the
seven venues around New Zealand are eligible. This means that whether you are a
BLACKCAPS supporter or not there is added incentive to get your hands on a Tui
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 t-shirt and get along to an ICC Cricket World Cup
Tui will also be building up excitement in the lead-up to
the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, ensuring crowds get their eye-in, and plenty of
catching practice, as the brand also launches a âRoad to the ICC Cricket World
Cupâ Catch A Million promotion for the ANZ International Series. As the
official beer sponsor of the BLACKCAPS, Tui will also reward catch winners
during the Sri Lanka and Pakistan One-Day International series with a
money-canât-buy experience for four people to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
final in Melbourne.
Tui Brewery Marketing Manager, William Papesch, said, âIt is
exciting to be a sponsor of both the BLACKCAPS and the ICC Cricket World Cup
2015, as New Zealand jointly hosts one of the biggest sporting events in the
world. The team at the Tui Brewery are confident cricketing fans will get
behind the BLACKCAPS to go all the way, so we are increasing the size of the
cash prize pool as the team progress through tournament. We are expecting to
give away $1million, but how fans split the money is in their hands.â
Therese Walsh, Head of New Zealand for ICC Cricket World Cup
2015, said, âItâs fantastic to have iconic kiwi beer brand Tui on board. We
want the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to be a special and memorable experience
for cricket fans and for those who love the excitement of major events. Tuiâs
creativity and passion will play a key role in achieving this.â
NZC Commercial and Marketing Manager James Wear is delighted
Tui Catch a Million is back and is linked to the BLACKCAPSâ success.
"Tui brought plenty of excitement to the ANZ
International Series last summer with Catch a Million involving fans in the on-field
action like never before. With the new
element of this summerâs promotion, fans will not only want to come to as many
matches as they can across the summer, but theyâll also have a vested
interested in seeing the BLACKCAPS go as far as possible in ICC CWC 2015.â
Last summer Tui rewarded catching a six like never before.
This summer the brand is set to make the action even more exciting. Make sure
you catch a piece of the action and back the BLACKCAPS to go all the way!
Celebrate the end of a great year with your loved ones at a
number of hotels across the Asia, Middle East and Africa region
With its new Family Getaway Package, families looking to spend
precious time together or explore a new destination now have another reason to
go on an exciting and luxurious vacation at select InterContinental Hotels
& ResortsÂŽ across the region.
From now to 28 February 2015,a number of hotels are offering
a special Family Getaway Package where children can stay, dine and visit a
local attraction for free. As part of the package, two parents and one child
will enjoy a delectable buffet breakfast, with tickets to a local attraction.
Children will also be able to embark on a gastronomical journey by indulging in
dishes featured on the newly launched InterContinental Planet Trekkers
Families have a variety of exciting destinations to choose
from with InterContinental hotels and resorts across the Asia, Middle East and
Africa region participating in the promotion. Intercontinental Bangkok will be
providing tickets to the exclusive Siam Ocean World, where families can marvel
at the wonders and learn about the colourful and mystical creatures of the
underwater world. Further afield, InterContinental Singapore is offering an
exciting day out at the worldâs best rainforest zoo, the Singapore Zoo, where
families can interact with over 2,800 animals across more than 300 species.
Samantha Llewellyn, Vice-President Marketing for Asia,
Middle East and Africa (AMEA), InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)said, âWe
know that parentsare always on the lookout for the best opportunities to show
their children the world. They always look for options that will make their
holidays extra memorable, especially during the end of year season.
âOur InterContinental Hotels & Resorts are renowned for
being able to provide our guests with personalised and authentic local
experiences. With our new package, weâre helping our youngest InterContinental
guests to explore their holiday destinations, giving families a chance to bond
and forge great memories,â she added.
To explore and book the package, guests can visit
intercontinental.com/hotel packages or ihg.com/hotel packages. For know-how and
InterContinental knowledge on how to make the most of family holidays with
their offspring, guests can read the InterContinental Insider Guide to
Travelling with Children.
With 180 hotels in more than 60 countries, InterContinental
Hotels & Resorts is a truly international brand that goes out of its way to
provide insightful, meaningful experiences for guests.
The falcon has long been part of the United Arab Emirates
cultural heritage and was once an integral part of desert life. Today falconry
is practiced purely as a sport and the skill of a falconer is still highly
esteemed and the power of the falcon greatly treasured. Qasr Al Sarab Desert
Resort by Anantaraâs expert falconer, Naseer Muhammad Abdul Latif is proud to
show off his amazing skills as he takes guests on an historic journey of
falconry that started over two millenniums ago.
Naseer has had a passion for birds from a very young age
when he used to care for his brotherâs pigeons and parrots at home. While
working on a farm, Naseer helped feed the local falcons and started training
them during his free time. When the farm owner saw his interest and enthusiasm
around the birds, he offered him the opportunity to go through proper training
to become a connoisseur falconer.
The training of a falcon has not changed for centuries â\" a
leather hood is used to cover the falconâs eyes and the bird is fed only small
portions. The falconer names his new bird in the first few weeks and remains
with the bird constantly so he gets comfortable with his owner.
âFalcons are wild, fast and aggressive birds so finding the
right balance between patience, time and effort can sometimes be complex during
training,â Naseer explains. âFor example, during the initial few weeks if I
release the bird and push him to fly while he is not hungry, chances are he
might not come back to me, so training requires a great level of expertise and
understanding to master the bird.â
Exercising such a free creature often turns into an
adventure in itself, and Naseer has a lot of stories to share on the subject,
âDuring the early stages of my training, I had to walk for many kilometres in
the sand dunes to find the falcon that I had just released, and try to convince
him to come back to me. Sometimes, you just have to accept that he wonât come
back, thatâs one of the risks.â
However, when Naseer watches his falcons soar before guests
at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, showcasing their incredible speed of 320
kilometres per hour and leaving the viewers in awe, he could not be more proud
of his accomplishment as Anantaraâs Chief Falconer.
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