Luxury Hotels Worldwide

Archive for August, 2008

South Australia wins tourism awards

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

South Australia has been hailed as a top holiday destination at a recent tourism award ceremony.

The region won four out of the 20 awards up for grabs at the Travelling in Australia awards, the first such event organised by the international tourism magazine.

Industry experts from around the globe commended South Australian attractions such as Kangaroo Island, which was voted Best Eco Experience, and its resort Southern Ocean Lodge, which won Best New Product Experience.

Bookabee Australia triumphed in the Best Indigenous Experience category, while Rodney Fox Great White Shark Expedition claimed the Best Adventure Experience prize.

Jane Lomax-Smith, tourism minister, said: “These awards have extra credibility because they are voted on by the travel agents from around the world who recommend and book Australian holidays for international visitors.

“The South Australian Government is committed to growing the State’s tourism industry in a sustainable way, and South Australia is a leader in the growing field of ‘environmentally-friendly’ holidays.”

South Australia, whose capital is Adelaide, experiences very warm weather conditions in summer, especially in the northern outback parts of the state.

New luxury travel flights from Bahrain

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The 2008 Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM) event will help promote Gulf Air’s new carrier route to Shanghai, it has been reported.

Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, will advertise its new route at the luxury travel show at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre on June 17th.

The air travel provider’s chief executive officer Bjorn Naf said China was one of the fastest growing economies in the world and entering this market was very important to Gulf Air.

He added: “We are delighted to be associated with the ALTM to promote our entry into the Chinese market, as we will be offering our sky beds and other award-winning in-flight services such as the Sky Nanny service to this new route, which is part of our expansion strategy to become the airline of choice.”

ALTM event director Jay Martens said the launch of Gulf Air’s first direct flight to Shanghai was an event the industry wished to celebrate.

Gulf Air provides luxury travel services to more than 40 countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, supporting business in the Persian Gulf region and the Bahrain tourist industry.

Tourism ‘revival’ in southern Thailand

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

An area of southern Thailand hit by bombings last year has witnessed a revival in its tourist industry, it has been reported.

Security fears had led to holidaymakers avoiding the Songkhla province close to the Malaysian border, but the Bangkok Post has reported that the tourists are returning.

A rise in the number of foreign visitors to Hat Yai city and the surrounding area has been largely attributed to the return of tourist groups from neighbouring Singapore and Malaysia during the recent school holidays.

Somchai Pimthanapunporn, president of Hat Yai-Songkhla hotels association, said tourism in Songkhla has risen in recent weeks, with more than 200 million baht entering the local economy.

Increased confidence in the safety of the area comes as a boost to western backpackers in the area, or those taking long-haul trips for an extended summer break.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand describes Songkla as an “undeniably historic town endowed with ancient ruins, arts, and places of cultural importance”.

Meanwhilem, Hat Yai is said to be the “commercial, transportation, communication, educational, and tourism hub of the south”.

Wizz Air announces Warsaw to Rome route

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Wizz Air will operate new flights between Warsaw and Rome Ciampino airports, the carrier announced yesterday.

Complementing the existing network of 17 destinations from the Polish capital, the new services will operate three times a week from the Polish capital.

Flights will commence on September 16th, with tickets already on sale on the company’s website.

Tourists taking a break in Italy can transfer on to a number of popular cultural destinations with Wizz Air, which also flies to Budapest, Cluj, Sofia, Katowice and Bucharest from the Italian capital.

During May, the carrier announced it was to run new services from Warsaw to Cork and Ukraine respectively, providing tourists with new opportunities to travel within Europe on a budget.

Wizz Air, which recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, describes itself as the “largest low cost – low fare airline based in central and eastern Europe”.

The firm currently offers flights on more than 100 routes across the continent.

New campaign to promote Arizona tourism

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

In a move designed to boost visitor numbers to Arizona, the State Office of Tourism, Parks Department and Trail Association have joined forces to launch the Arizona Passages campaign.

Officials wish to promote the 27 parks contained within the state and the 800-mile Arizona trail, while showcasing the outdoor recreation options available to visitors.

Margie Emmermann, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, said that by combining the “best aspects” of the state parks and trail associations, the campaign would “create a synergy” which would encourage people to explore the Grand Canyon state. 

Visitors to any of the parks in Arizona may participate in activities such as hiking, cycling, fishing, horseback riding, boat trips and even cave tours

Those interested in culture and architecture may wish to take a trip to historic mansions, courthouses and the Yuma Territorial Prison.

Plenty of visitor accommodation is available throughout the state, allowing tourists to make the most of their visit.

According to the Arizona Trail Association, deserts, sky islands, plateaus, mountains and canyons can be found along the 800-mile route.

Hawaii gets tourism advertising boost

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Tourist officials in Hawaii have launched $3 million advertising campaign aimed at bringing visitors back to the Pacific island.

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) are attempting to rejuvenate the tourist industry by convincing consumer they can afford to travel to the island state despite the rising cost of air travel, reports USA Today.

Discounted packages and hotel accommodation are being advertised across a range of media outlets to drum up interest.

Jay Talwar, HVCB’s senior vice president for marketing, said there was concern that travellers were looking at competitor destinations or alternatives such as driving holidays as a result of a “brick wall of airfares”.

He added that tourism officials had joined forces with travel agents to offer discounts on airfare inclusive packages.

According to the Hawaiian state department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, visitor numbers are expected to be down 3% overall this year compared to last year.

The volcanic state, described by the tourist board as “the birthplace of surfing and the hula”, consists of six major islands and is one of the world’s youngest geological landforms.

Caribbean ‘great’ for luxury travel

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The Caribbean is a desirable holiday spot for families seeking luxury holidays, the editor of Luxury Travel Magazine has claimed.

Alyson Cook says the weather and standard of accommodation in the Caribbean make it a popular destination for those desiring luxury travel options.

She said: “With the vagaries and unpredictability of the British summer and, of course, the autumn and winter being predictably wet, the attractions of the Caribbean having good weather at that time of year can’t be underestimated.

“There are plenty of direct flights now to these markets so you can get a decent flight straight to the destination.”

Meanwhile, an email survey conducted by Luxury Travel Magazine in January has suggested that spending on luxury holidays among readers will increase slightly in 2008/2009 despite the credit crunch.
Some 71.6 per cent of respondents predicted their spending would increase slightly, while 6.9 per cent predicted it would increase greatly.

UAE: Visa changes ‘will not damage tourism’

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

A new visa regime in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will not unduly affect the nation’s tourist industry, government officials have claimed.

Law changes have been made aimed at cracking down on immigration violations and visa trading, but the UAE visa regulatory body has told tourist industry businesses not to worry.

From August 1st, all visitors to the UAE will need to have health insurance to be allowed into the country.

Brigadier Nasser Awadh Al Minhali, director general of Abu Dhabi Naturalisation and Residency told the official Emirates news agency that restricting the issuance of tourist visas for only licensed tourism operators would give them the “opportunity to grow” and receive all tourists who were coming to the country.

According to the government website, the UAE is “endowed with an extensive coastline, sandy beaches and varied landscape.”

Traditional sporting activities such as falconry, camel racing and horse racing are said to be popular with tourists.

Dubai is the largest city in the wealthy Gulf state, a connecting link between Europe and Asia.

Mozambique prepares for visitor influx

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Tourism officials in Mozambique hope to increase the amount of visitor accommodation in the country ahead of football’s 2010 World Cup in neighbouring South Africa.

According to national news provider Maputo, an estimated rise from 18,000 to 25,000 beds has been predicted as the developing nation attempts to cash in on the nearby staging of potentially the most lucrative sporting event ever to be staged in Africa.

National Director of Tourism Promotion Hiuana Abacar said the initial estimate of an increase to 20,000 beds had been raised due to many homeowners indicating plans to make domestic rooms available for rental.

Maputo claims that the Mozambican government, in partnership with the private sector, has been investing in the tourism industry ahead of an expected influx of up to 50,000 foreign travellers in 2010.

Resources are being pumped into the building of hotels, lodges, and leisure infrastructures.

Mozambique tourism describes the country as “the land of smiles”, saying visitors can participate in activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, fly fishing, sunset cruises, sailing and dolphin tours.

Wellington tops Kiwi tourist charts

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Wellington has come out on top in a New Zealand visitor study, according to the government national statistics provider.

The tourism industry in the capital city, located on the southern tip of the North Island, reported an eight per cent growth during April compared to a four per cent decline seen in the rest of the country.

Recently named the 12th most desirable place to live in the world, Wellington appears to be especially popular with visitors from abroad.

According to the study, it was the only Kiwi region to see an increase in foreign travellers.

The central waterfront, botanic gardens, hillside tramway and Mount Victoria are all popular tourist attractions in Wellington.

Meanwhile, the harbour city is also used as a gateway to the beautiful, more-sparsely populated South Island.

According to Tourism New Zealand, among the attractions here are the impressive Mount Cook, the mountains and lakes of Queenstown, the laid-back culture of Christchurch and the Milford Sound fjord.