Seychelles is the place for honeymoons – just ask Prince William and Kate

May 2, 2013

Honemoons

Chi, the known people’s magazine from Italy, has come out with a feature on honeymoons in what can be considered the nicest destination on Earth, the Seychelles. The magazine speaks about special or secret honeymoons, and this is exactly what the Seychelles has become known and respected for because of their ability to keep press photographers away and allow the new brides and grooms the freedom to be alone. Seychelles has the added advantage in being blessed with 115 secluded islands and many managed as private sanctuaries to newlyweds.

The island’s tourism authorities did not want to comment on the long list of stars flying to Seychelles for their honeymoon. The most famous who made news right across the world was Prince William and Kate Middleton of the UK, but from the Seychelles itself their visitors’ privacy has always been their guiding rule.

Seychelles does provide what can be considered equal to none as the dream holiday destination.  This also true of Seychelles as a honeymoon destination for these islands promote themselves as having a style of tourism they call personalized tourism. This is away from charter business and from mass tourism.

Seychelles offers the best in turquoise blue seas that remains clean and clear. Seychelles prides itself with its clean and white sandy beaches that are lapped 365 days of the year with warm and pleasing seas. With conservation remaining top of the island’s Government agenda, over 50% of the total land area of Seychelles is today protected as natural reserves.

Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture

Snow grounds hundreds of flights across Europe

January 21, 2013

A Snow
By Guy Jackson (AFP)

LONDON — Hundreds of flights were cancelled and hazardous roads and railways disrupted traffic and caused countless accidents across Europe on Monday as heavy snow and freezing weather gripped the continent.

Frankfurt airport, Germany’s main air hub, cancelled around 500 departing and arriving flights, representing 40 percent of its daily schedule.

The busiest airport in Europe, London Heathrow, scrapped more than 200 flights.

Heathrow said a decision was taken 24 hours in advance to cancel 130 flights due to predicted poor visibility, but problems elsewhere in Europe were having an impact too.

“The additional cancellations are because a number of airports elsewhere in Europe are experiencing problems so that has a knock-on effect for us,” an airport spokesman said.

Heathrow has spent 36 million pounds ($57 million) on upgrading its snow-clearing equipment since 2010, when freezing temperatures and snow almost brought the airport to a halt in the approach to Christmas.

Freezing rain and snow also led to treacherous conditions on railways and roads, triggering numerous accidents.

In southwestern Germany, police recorded more than 1,000 weather-related accidents and in the northeast, near Berlin, an entire section of motorway was shut to traffic.

In Belgium, three people died and two others were seriously injured when a minibus they were travelling in skidded off the road, overturned and caught fire at a motorway exit near Bruges, local authorities said.

One woman died in the southern English coastal town of Deal after collapsing in the snow.

Further snowfall was forecast for Frankfurt late Monday, with a spokesman for the city’s airport telling AFP that it expected further disruption to flights on Tuesday.

When asked how many flights would be affected, the spokesman added: “we can only wait and see what happens tonight.”

Europe’s number three airport, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, was also hit.

France’s civil aviation authority DGAC said it expected to scrap 40 percent of flights to and from Charles de Gaulle and Paris’s other main airport, Orly, as a precautionary measure following heavy snowfall on Sunday.

Even Munich, a city usually accustomed to taking snow in its stride, cancelled 161 flights at its airport as it grappled with the exceptional conditions.

In Spain, flights bound for Paris, Munich and Frankfurt were hit, leading to the cancellation of 16 flights to and from Barcelona.

Smaller airports in Britain were virtually closed down after fresh snow fell in northern and central England overnight, with planes grounded at Manchester, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford and Doncaster Sheffield.

Under-sea train services between Britain and continental Europe were also hit, with Eurostar cancelling six trains linking London with Brussels and also Paris due to speed restrictions on the tracks in northern France.

In Moscow, unusually heavy snowfall of almost 50 centimetres (20 inches) caused traffic jams but did not affect flights at its airports, which are well-equipped for snowstorms.

The snowfall over the last four days in the Russian capital exceeded the average for the whole month of January, said Moscow Deputy Mayor Pyotr Biryukov.


Seychelles capital named 3rd most romantic city in the world

December 7, 2012

Seychelles

CNN, one of the world’s leading news and information channels, has voted the Seychelles islands as the third most romantic city in the world after ranking New Orleans of the USA as the first one, followed by Moscow, Russia, in second place. The result of the most eight romantic cities was published on November 14, 2012, on the travel website of CNN America.

Others to have made it onto CNN’s list of the world’s eight most romantic cities are Buenos Aires, Argentina; Amsterdam, Holland; Havana, Cuba; Barcelona, Spain; and Paris, France.

Picking up on this good news is the Apple Daily News, the number one circulation in Hong Kong who reported on the eight cities to have as the most romantic in the world in its article, “New Orleans is the most romantic.”

“Paris does not rank 1st, instead New Orleans which has just been seriously destructed by Hurricane Katrina becomes the most romantic city,” remarked the article.

The article goes on to say that though Paris no longer ranks number one as the most romantic city it is, according to the research conducted by the World Tourism Organization the most popular tourism country.

As for Victoria, Seychelles, the article describes it as “a city with charming beaches, beautiful scenery, not densely populated, full of classical British architectural style, just like a paradise on Earth, average temperature is about 27c, all these make people become more passionate.”

The Seychelles Tourism Board received this news selection with great pride. Elsia Grandcourt, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, commented that this selection comes at an opportune time as great marketing efforts are being put on the Asian market visitors.

“Seychelles remains the idyllic destination, attractive not only for romance but an array of niche markets such as eco-tourism, sailing, wellness & spa, diving, snorkelling, and deep sea fishing to appeal to our visitors,” said Mrs. Elsia Grandcourt.

On a similar note, reporting on the voting results on the CNN travel website, journalist Jordan Burchette has described Victoria of Seychelles, saying: “There’s nothing more romantic than being as far from other people as possible, and no capital city offers this kind of isolation with this kind of beachfront.”

“Plus, the architecture of this former British colony often mimics that of its former empire. It’s like they put England somewhere good. The transcendence of its pristine beaches, the prehistoric beauty of Vallee de Mai (the reputed original Garden of Eden), the eroticism of moutya dancing, which increases as the rhythm quickens,” added Jordan Burchette.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture, said that CNN’s assessment of Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, reflected what our visitors say, “’A city with charming beaches, beautiful scenery, not densely populated,  full of classical British architectural style, just like a paradise on Earth, average temperature is about 27c, all these make people become more passionate,’ is a fair description of Victoria,” Minister St.Ange said.

Seychelles prides itself to be safe and clean and said the Minister, “We are a year-round tourism destination, because we have no winter – so our clean and white sandy beaches will offer unrivaled swimming in our clear and clean turquoise blue seas 365 days of the year.”

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP).

Source: Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Source: Global Travel News

AMTRAK intend to become America’s top intercity travel choice

December 1, 2012

Amtrak

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman told a Congressional committee today that under the ongoing implementation of its strategic plan, “we intend to become America’s top intercity travel choice.”

The strategic plan was launched in October 2011 and explains Amtrak’s vision for an operation that will improve its service delivery, financial performance, and customer satisfaction.

“When we’re done, Amtrak will look more like a business and less like a government agency – and customers will find that our system is easier to use, more convenient, timelier, and more comfortable,” Boardman said.

He explained that while there are still plenty of challenges ahead, “the basics for success are definitely here, and Amtrak is doing well.” Amtrak just set the ninth ridership record in the last ten years, posted record ticket revenues, had the best year in its history for on-time performance and has cut its debt in half.

In addition, with modern passenger-friendly amenities like Wi-Fi and eTicketing, America’s Railroad® has improved revenues and cut costs, and those will benefit the company greatly in the years to come.

“These are real achievements, and they allow us the stability and the resources we need to take on the next step, which is transforming the company so that it can continue to provide competitive and attractive transportation services in a world that’s changing rapidly,” he said.

“At its core, Amtrak is a great policy solution – with a cost recovery of 85 percent, we provide some of the lowest-cost, most efficient intercity passenger rail service in the world. Our challenge is to continue to improve,” he added.

 


Ethiopia’s forgotten attraction

October 9, 2012

BY Tsegaye Tadesse

The crocodile ranch lies almost hidden and largely forgotten behind the  airport in Ethiopia’s southern town of Arba Minch.

The country’s first crocodile farm, it was built by an enterprising  government official in the 1980s to generate foreign currency in one of Africa’s  poorest countries, where people mainly live from subsistence farming.

But the ranch has since fallen into disrepair, its decline a symbol of the  challenges facing Ethiopia as it seeks to lure more tourists to its mountainous  ranges and seemingly endless plains.

At the end of a narrow path, the crocodiles laze in deep pools, their eyes  glittering as they stare down nervous visitors. Separated according to age, the  crocodiles feast on horse meat twice a week.

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Thousands of the reptiles are reared in these cement-floored pools, but the  paths leading to the ranch’s star attraction are covered with weeds and hidden  in the dense overgrowth.

Metal fences meant to protect visitors from the crocodiles’ jaws are rusted  and broken in places.

“The place would have been a gold mine, if it had been privatised to a  commercial-minded investor,” one visitor said.

Ethiopia may struggle to reach its target of attracting one million tourists  a year within the next decade.

It’s not that the country — labelled the cradle of mankind after the  discovery of ancient human remains — lacks attractions but its infrastructure  is creaking, with poor roads and a lack of hotels. A 1998-2000 border war with  Eritrea also hit tourist earnings.

Nonetheless, the government aims to promote Ethiopia as one of the top 10  tourist destinations in Africa by 2016, hoping to reap $US650 million ($A873.50  million) a year in much-needed foreign receipts.

Last year, the Horn of Africa country hosted around 227,000 tourists, earning  $US156 million ($A210 million) in foreign exchange, compared with the $US134.5  million ($A181 million) earned from 184,000 visitors the previous year,  according to ministry of tourism figures.

Like many other potential money-spinners, the crocodile ranch is crying out  for investment to improve facilities and boost earnings.

Ethiopia boasts medieval cities, rich in ruined castles, palaces and  churches. One of its holiest cities, Axum, offers teetering stelae, underground  tombs and ancient inscriptions, while the 13th century rock-hewn churches of  Lalibela feature carvings of saints and mystical symbols.

The country has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

But most visitors would never come across the Arba Minch crocodile farm,  which generated a paltry $US48,000 ($A64,503) from visitors in 2000 — far below  its overhead expenses.

Some 500km south of the capital Addis Ababa, Arba Minch is studded with  glistening lakes formed from bubbling streams that flow through the tropical  forests on nearby slopes.

The lakes give the town its Amharic name which means “40 springs” in  Ethiopia’s official language.

Estifanos Endeshaw, one of the ranch’s guides, said some 5,000 crocodiles are  fished out of Lakes Chamo and Abaya each year to be reared on the farm.

Scouts from the ranch scour the lakes’ sandy beaches in search of the hidden  nooks where the crocodiles lay their eggs.

Three months after the eggs hatch, the baby crocs are transported back to the  ranch where they spend the next year in a nursery pool. It takes up to 15 years  for a crocodile to develop into a full-bodied reptile.

Twice a week huge chunks of horse meat are thrown to the crocodiles. The  horses are bought at a nearby market and kept on the ranch before being  slaughtered and fed to the crocodiles.

Some of the crocodiles are killed on the ranch, their skins destined to be  used to make expensive shoes, handbags and belts, mainly for export.

“The crocodiles being reared in the ranch are mostly for tourist attraction,  although those which are old enough are shot for their skins,” Estifanos  said.

Reuters


How close do you think you can get to the Ugandan wilderness?

July 2, 2012

Many things can go through someone’s head when he or she thinks of Uganda. Some may think of it as a distant land only to be known through books and movies. Others may admire the country’s natural beauty yet be intimidated by its exoticism. But when the true traveler thinks of Uganda, one word most certainly always comes to mind: adventure.

GorillaSafari.travel is a Ugandan tour group that specializes in bringing travelers as close to nature as ever and providing them with the experience of a lifetime. GorillaSafari.travel is in the business of selling memories; they do this through the provision of safaris that range from gorilla tracking in the Bwindi forest to mountain hiking, primate tracking, and white water rafting.

Gorillasafari.travel adopted the .travel domain in August of 2008 to make itself as accessible as possible to the Internet user. GorillaSafari.travel’s Managing Director said, “I adopted GorillaSafari.travel because gorillas are Uganda’s number one attraction, and many users would be searching for a gorilla trip on the web. I was also unable to obtain GorillaSafari during the .com era.”

The .travel name was quickly used on company business cards, brochures, and banners. GorillaSafari.travel envisions itself as becoming one of the top five most recognized Destination Management Companies in East Africa, and .travel is enthusiastic in aiding GorillaSafari.travel in reaching its goals. To learn more about safaris in Uganda and all throughout East Africa please visit www.GorillaSafari.travel .

ETN is introducing its readers to .travel companies and destinations through a series of articles. If you are a .travel company and would like to share your story about how the .travel domain has helped your business, please send us an email to: team@eturbonews.com .

If you are interested in getting your own .travel domain, go to: www.travel.travel .


Belgium: Small Size. Big Fun. Every Day of the Year

June 21, 2012

There’s just something about Belgium. Maybe it’s the friendly & welcoming people. Maybe it’s the stunning architecture lining the cobblestone streets, or perhaps the choice of over 650 types of beer or the smell of chocolate. No matter what your interests, Belgium has something for everyone: romance, adventure, shopping for antiques as well as the latest trends. Energetic and carefree, the overall mood in Belgium is infectious, summoning visitors to take in the views of the Grand Place in Brussels as their worries fall by the wayside.

Located just 85 minutes from Paris and less than 2 hours from London and Amsterdam by train, the Belgian capital of Brussels encompasses all that Europe has to offer. Belgium is multicultural and multilingual, with English being widely spoken among locals. Visitors can easily hop on a one-hour train ride to take a walk through Liege or stroll through the romantic city of Namur hand-in-hand with a loved one.

The historical city of Brussels is one of the world’s greatest cosmopolitan capitals, and offers 80 museums, seasonal markets, jazz festivals and a bustling night life. This year, as part of the Year of Gastronomy in 2012, Brussels is a food lover’s paradise with its Brusselicious food themed festivities. Visitors to Brussels in 2012 can book a trip on the Tram Experience, 2-hour tram ride through Brussels while enjoying a 3-course meal, or enjoy a Dinner in the Sky at one of four special and historic locations in Brussels. For those who prefer a stationary meal, consider one of eight Themed Dinners ranging from the 150th Anniversary of Les Miserable, written in Brussels, to the Ommegang Pageant. Any way you slice it, you can’t go wrong!

Beyond Brussels is a world of castles, stone-built villages and affordable restaurants that can be visited by coach, train or renting a car. The Year of Gastronomy continues in French-speaking Belgium with food events and behind the scenes visits to local farms, food markets and producers of beer, cheese and meats. Adventurous travelers can explore the countryside as they make their way to the relaxing town of Spa. History buffs should be sure to visit Bastogne and the World War II memorial commemorating the Battle of the Bulge. Wherever your travels may lead, there is sure to be a something for every taste, style and need imaginable. For more info visit www.visitbelgium.com


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