Jakarta

News4u-Travel Desk- Stunning cityscape of the city after sunset Located on the northwest coast of the island of Java, Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, is one of the world’s greatest metropolises. Nicknamed by expats as ‘The Big Durian’ (a thorny fruit), Jakarta boasts of many marvels. From historic and cultural sites to modern high-rise buildings and swanky shopping malls, the city will keep you enthralled throughout your visit.

Your trip to this versatile city will be incomplete without visiting its flea markets and experiencing its electrifying nightlife.

Attractions include the Indonesian archipelago (set amidst the serene waters of the central lake), bird and reptile parks, museums, performing theatres, monorail, and cable rides, to name a few.

The grand main-entrance to the National Museum of Indonesia
A must-visit for history buffs, the Museum Nasional houses the richest collection of Hindu and Buddhist art of ancient Indonesia.

The Museum Nas ional is known as the “Elephant Building” after the bronze elephant statue in its forecourt. The collections here represent almost all of Indonesia’s territory and rich history. Here you will find prized artifacts like the famous statue of Prajnaparamita (the ancient goddess of transcendental wisdom with intricate carvings).

The towering “Monumen Nasional” at the city square, Jakarta
Located at the centre of Merdeka Square (also the world’s largest city square), the Monas symbolizes the struggle for Indonesian independence.

A flame gilded with 35 kg of gold foil tops this 132 m tall Italian marble tower.

Fascinating 16th century buildings in Old Town, Jakarta

Kota (Old Jakarta), known as “The Queen of the East” and “The Jewel of Asia” in the 16th century, was once the center of commerce for the whole archipelago.

It is home to important historical sites and buildings like the Museum Fatahillah, Wayang Museum, Bank Indonesia Museum, Pasar Ikan ( Fish Market ), Kota Intan Drawbridge and the Sion Protestant Church.

The largest mosque in Southeast Asia, the Istiqlal Mosque is one of the city’s popular attractions.

The grand rectangular prayer hall is a sacred place of worship as well as a center for conferences and seminars.

Jakarta Cathedral

Beautiful ornamentations on the spires of the Jakarta Cathedral

Built in 1901, the neo-Gothic style Jakarta Cathedral towers over the Merdeka Square. One of Jakarta’s best colonial architecture, the cathedral features 60-meter twin spires, an ivory tower with clocks and the church bell.

The cathedral, also called as the Lapangan Banteng, is located opposite the Istiqlal Mosque, a symbol of religious harmony.

Jakarta

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Arunachal comes alive with colorful Bomdila festival

News4u-News Desk- With an aim to promote tourism and rich cultural heritage, the second edition of the Bomdila festival was held in Arunachal Pradesh.

Indigenous tribes from across the state showcased their culture and tradition.

Amidst the scenic beauty in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, Bomdila town came alive with the colorful cultural festival.

The three-day extravaganza was held at Buddha Stadium with great fervor. The ethnic tribes in their best traditional attires showcased the unique and colorful cultural tradition of the state.

The festival was graced by Minister of state for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, who said the north-east has great potential in the tourism sector.

“People want to come to North-East. There are many things in North-East to showcase to the world. You people have witnessed many things. Therefore, apart from showcasing culture we have many things to show. Tourism is such an industry which doesn’t produce smoke but it produces jobs, create awareness. There is no bad thing about this industry which is also called an industry without smoke,” said Rijiju.

Six major tribes Monpa, Miji (Sajolang), Aka (Hrusso), Sherdukpen, Sartang and Bugun participated in the event.

One of the participants from Sartang tribe showcased how they pleased God to seek blessings.

“The worship, which we are doing right now, is a way of pleasing our God and to seek his blessings especially to make this festival a great success and to give prosperity and peace to everyone,” said Sartang Tribe, a participant.

The festival also focused on themes like `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, Environment Protection and Communal Harmony. (ANI)

Bomdila festival

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

CANCUN - A dream I saw with open eyes

News4u-Travel Desk- After about 36 hrs of back breaking air travel, I a tlast landed at Cancun. Checking into a hotel, I tried in vain to grab a few winks. However the jet lag kept me awake as I kept thinking of the excitement in store for me.

With the first glimmer of the morning light I got up, dressed and went outside. The hotel itself was standing on a lagoon with crystal clear water caressing it from all sides.

Yes, Cancun is the blessed child of mother nature, There are white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, small hotels and expansive resorts. Its a rare combination of nature and man made luxuries for those who love to enjoy life and yet thirst for some peace of mind.

My mind was full of the Mayan Civilization, I had read so much about. Since the Mayan Calendar became the most talked about news item, I had been craving to have look of it at close quarters.UNFCC gave me a rare chance to be in Cancun and there I was charmed by whatever I saw.

cancun

Situated on the coast of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cancun rests along the shores of the turquoise blue Caribbean. This south east Mexican site was specifically designed to be one of the worlds most vibrant tourists destinations.

With an endless variety of activities and amenities, surrounded by lush extensive natural reserves Cancun is heaven for the tourists. A visit to Cancun is the perfect opportunity to experience the wonders of nature, ranging from exploring jungles to the world’s second largest barrier reef.

Cancun, with its almost 5000 archeological sites,overwhelms you with the history of ancient Mayans. An ancient culture whose influence is felt and revered even to this day.

I felt very close to the people of Cancun. The most surprising thing I experienced there was that no body looked at me as a stranger , a foreigner. May be because Mayan culture and civilization seems to be just an extension of the Indian Civilization. The temples, the painted murals with mythology woven into them, the Mayan trinkets, pots and pans,the knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and inspite of all these, an attraction towards the black magic, felt so familiar that I became one with the hustle and bustle of the Cancun.

From Cancun one can visit some of the greatest ruins in the world such as ‘Chitchin Itza’, recently named as one of the new seven wonders of the world. Then there is Tulum, just a drive away.

Along the shores of Cancun a multitude of water sports and other recreational activities await the tourists. Adding to this natural setting is a world class infrastructure including over 25 marinas and water sports, manned by expert guides and professional operators.

Deep sea diving, wind surfing, para -sailing and catamarans are some of the sports that make Cancun much sought after destination for tourists. The Cancun beaches invite you to walk through the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve beneath the watchful eyes of Macaws, Loucans and flamingos.

The streets of Cancun are no less attractive with 2000 shops, boutiques and stores with merchandise ranging from local artisan craft to haute couture. For your tired body there are spas equipped with most modern facilities.

The Golf Courses of Cancun are a treat to the sports lover, bringing in this game’s greatest names to the superb links. For those who love to dance there are discos with world renowned musical acts that take the stage in Cancun’s lively bars.
There are hotels, big as well as small to cater to the needs of the tourists with breath taking views of the water, now tranquil and now lashing at the shores.

I loved Cancun’s multifaceted persona. Yes, Cancun is alive and kicking even when you are lost in deep sleep. Its a dream which I saw with my eyes open. I lived that dream for a full week taking away its memories for as long as I live.

AMIT

CANCUN

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland of India

News4u-Travel Desk- Khajjiar, often called as India’s Switzerland, is a hill station in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh.

The hill station is picturesquely set in the midst of magnificent ‘Deodar’ forests.

The clump of reeds and the green meadow add an exquisite charm to this place. A small plateau in its green turf of dense pine and Deodar forests along its fringes adds to the pastoral scenery.

This offbeat place in India has the rarest combination of three eco systems. The lakes, the pastures and the forests come together to make a visit to this place a unique experience.

Hence, it is also popularly called theMini Switzerland of Himachal Pradesh.

For Travel details you can log on to www.travelmasterz.com

Khajjiar – The Mini Switzerland of India

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tourism ‘an engine for economic growth, employment generation’: Prez

News4u-News Desk- President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said tourism in India is an agent of development and an engine for economic growth and employment generation.

President Mukherjee, who was speaking on the occasion of the presentation of national tourism awards at Vigyan Bhavan here, said trained human resource is an important component for the development of any sector.

“I am happy to know that the Ministry of Tourism has paid attention for creating trained human resources to meet the requirements of the tourism sector and the hospitality industry. The Institutes of Hotel Management (IHMs), Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management ( IITTM) and Food Craft Institutes ( FCIs) provide avenues for getting education and training to serve in the tourism sector,” said President Mukherjee.

“The ‘Hunar-se-Rozgar Tak’ scheme of the Ministry of Tourism under which training is being provided to the youth is a laudable initiative for bringing social equity and employment opportunities to the weaker sections of the society,” he added.

President Mukherjee said the foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector during 2014 were Rs. 1.2 lakh crore with a growth rate of 14.5 percent.

“In 2014, a total 1282 million domestic visits in India were recorded. In that year, India had 7.68 million foreign tourist arrivals registering a growth of 10.2 percent over the previous year. However, it comprised a mere 0.7 percent of the international tourist arrivals worldwide, which was 1.1 billion. Hence, there is tremendous scope for a manifold rise in tourist arrivals from abroad,” said President Mukherjee.

“I am glad to share with you that the implementation of e-Tourist Visa, for 113 countries, is showing excellent results. Many of the high potential countries like USA, UK, Spain, Malaysia, Germany, etc. now have the e-Tourist Visa facility. During January to July, 2015, close to 1.5 lakh tourists arrived on our soil through e-Tourist Visa,” he added.

The President pointed out that tourist inflows would remain on a positive trajectory in the years to come with the growth of the Indian economy and the increase in disposable income of the people.

“We must pay focussed attention to the building of a high quality tourism infrastructure in the country. The launch of two initiatives - Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive) - aiming at integrated development of circuits and pilgrim centres would go a long way in achieving this objective,” said President Mukherjee.

“The safety mechanisms that we create, the precautions that we put in place must reassure our guests - so that they never have to be apprehensive about their personal safety or that of their belongings,” he added

The President said the Ministry of Tourism has taken the initiative to address the safety concerns of the tourists by launching 24×7 Incredible India Helpline to provide the tourists valuable information and to guide them during emergencies.

“The ‘Welcome Booklet’ being distributed at immigration counters containing information on Dos and Don’ts for tourists would also be a helpful aid for foreign tourists immediately on their arrival,” he added.

President Mukherjee said inconsistent sanitation standards would, similarly, have a negative impact.

“This would be unfortunate - especially at a time when our tourism industry is projecting the unique beauty of our cultural sites, the scenic splendour of our adventure destinations and the richness of our architectural heritage. The Ministry of Tourism’s ‘Swach Bharat-Swach Parayatan campaign’ to promote cleanliness and hygiene at tourist destinations is a welcome step in the right direction. It calls for all stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal in all aspects of the “India” experience,” said President Mukherjee.

“I would also stress that it is essential for the Tourism Ministry to take the lead and set the highest standards in this regard. It is equally important to develop systems for effective monitoring to ensure that these standards are maintained by establishments across the board.

President Mukherjee further said quicker access to distant locations, larger disposable incomes and rising lifestyle aspirations now characterise the growing numbers of travellers.

“I urge the tourism industry to consciously plan its investments in a manner that the growth of this sector is sustained without compromising our natural and cultural heritage. New and innovative methods should be introduced to conserve energy and water,” said President Mukherjee.

“It should be incumbent on tourist establishments and hospitality units to operate in a way that they are able to reduce water and energy consumption, cut down on the generation of waste, improve waste management and ensure creative recycling and efficient waste disposal,” he added.

Congratulating the winners, President Mukherjee said the honours conferred today will, no doubt, reinforce the commitment of all the stakeholders in the tourism sector and motivate them to work with renewed vigour for its expansion and growth. (ANI)

President Pranab Mukherjee

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

India confirms UK tourists eligible for e-Tourist visa

News4u-Travel Desk- The High Commission of India confirmed that, from Saturday, UK tourists will be able to apply for the e-Tourist visa.

This will undoubtedly simplify the process for UK applicants as visitors can now apply online for a 30 day visa.

At around £40, the e-Visa is a fraction of the cost of the original print version with a simplified application process; leaving customers with extra spending money to enjoy their trip.

John Telfer, product director at India-focused tour operator Explore commented: “This is absolutely excellent news, I’m sure this change will boost tourism to India amongst UK tourists.

“I am delighted that the High Commission took on board tour operators’ concerns – not only will it be faster and less hassle for travellers to get a visa, it will also be significantly cheaper.”

Tajmahal

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Seaplane trial held in Goa

News4u-News Desk- The trial of a nine-seater seaplane was held in Goa by the state tourism department on Saturday.

With the trial, Goa became the second state in the country to avail the services of seaplane, after Maharashtra. It was first started in the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The seaplane will be operated by Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Private Limited (MEHAIR), which will start commercial operations in the tourist destination in coming months.

The plane took off from the airport in Panaji and landed on Mandovi river during the trial.

State tourism minister Dilip Parulekar and Goa Tourism Development Corporation chairman Nilesh Cabral were present for the trial.

Director of MEHAIR, Siddharth Verma, said that the seaplane services will save government a lot of time since they will not need to spend money on building airports and infrastructure.

“Today, Goa became the third state in the country after Andaman Nicobar and Maharashtra to have sea plane trial landing done and post-monsoon we hope to launch the commercial operations. We are introducing this for the Sesna 20 which is capable of landing and takeoff from water and in runway in the same flight. The purpose of launching it in Goa, the tourism capital of India, is to connect Dabolim airport with the city,” said Verma.

Verma also said that it will help connect places with airport to the places that do not have airports.

Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Nilesh Cabral, said that GTDC along with Goa tourism will coordinate to provide tourists coming to Goa with various amenities.

“In future we have helicopter services and lots of other services which we will start in Goa. Goa, by itself, is a big destination of tourism and these added attractions will bring in more tourists and the tourists who are coming to Goa will have many things to do in Goa,” said Cabral.

GTDC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with MEHAIR to launch sea-plane services.

The seaplane is manufactured by American company Sesna Aircraft and has two pilots and nine passenger seats. It can cruise at the speed of 140 nautical miles per hour. It has total endurance of about five and half hours and the range of about 1,200 kilometres (745.6 miles). (ANI)

Seaplane trial held in Goa

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

LA RINCONADA

News4u-Travel Desk- La Rinconada in Peru is an old gold-mining camp in the remote Peruvian Andes that has grown to ‘major city’ status. Over 50,000 people live in this mountainous city at an altitude of 16,732 ft or 5,100 m.

It lays claim to the title of the ‘highest city in the world’. Despite having an economy fuelled almost entirely by the nearby gold mine, its infrastructure remains poor. The city has no plumbing and no sanitation system, and there is significant contamination with mercury due to mining practices.

Almost all the residents of this city are workers who emigrated to the remote location hoping to secure work and stake their claim in the riches. They work through a peculiar system of payment called cachorreo. Employees work for 30 days without payment, and on the 31st day, they are allowed to take as much ore from the mine as they can carry.

Whatever the miners are able to extract from that ore is theirs. Despite companies utilising such a non-traditional system of payment, miners continue to flock to the region. The population of La Rinconada has skyrocketed over 230% in the last decade.Agencies


LA RINCONADA-PERU

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Promoting eco-tourism, Vienna’s green hotels now a rage

News4u-Travel desk-Vienna: Meals prepared from locally sourced organic ingredients, hybrid cabs for guests, solar panels that produce electricity and water drawn from a well are some unique features on offer by the `green hotels` of Vienna as they cash in on the global concept of eco-friendly hotels catering to the growing number of tourists conscious of their carbon footprint.

Over the last few years, the historic capital of Austria has seen a sudden spurt of green hotels and their numbers are increasing every year owing to a similar surge in the number of aware travellers from around the world who make it a point to stay in such places, officials said.

“The number of guests preferring eco-friendly hotels is definitely rising, which means more business for such hotels and ultimately all of them contributing towards the environment,” Verena Hable of the Vienna Tourist Board (VTB) told IANS.

“It is a win-win situation for everybody,” she added.

The many hoteliers of the city - one of the country`s nine federal states with a population of around 1.8 million and known for its captivating architecture, rich culture and diverse cuisine - are leaving no stone unturned to earn the bragging rights for going green.

And the tariffs are just around 5-10 percent more compared to a conventional hotel.

Some of the innovative techniques used include water pipes running through ceilings and floors of the hotel rooms so that when hot water passes through, the room automatically becomes warm and there is no need for electric heaters.

“The heating and cooling of our hotel is warranted by a ground water fountain and a ventilation system with heat recovery. Costs can be saved by around 25 percent in heating and about 60 percent in cooling,” Christiane Weissenborn, CEO of Hotel Topazz, told IANS.

“Moreover, the hotel is equipped with triple heat protection glasses and an airtight cladding,” added Weissenborn, whose hotel also offers a range of eco-friendly wine and was awarded the Green Luxury Award in 2013.

Some hotels also provide electronic scooters and bikes to guests to explore the city and thereby reduce their dependence on petrol guzzling cabs.

Sonja Wimmer, general manager of Best Western Premier, got so obsessed with going green that she completely renovated her family-owned boutique hotel in 2013 and thus made it the first among the few hotels in the city to fulfill the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF)-standards for allergy friendly hotels.

The original edifice built in 1989 now focusses specially on serving organic food.

“Our nutritious breakfast buffet is made strictly from regionally grown organic products of high quality,” Wimmer told IANS.

The hotel has also received the Austrian eco-label for its eco-friendly and sustainable concept.

Taking the preference for organic products to the next level is Florian Weitzer, owner of Hotel Daniel Vienna.

He not only has a vineyard but also indulges in bee keeping, all inside his hotel complex in the heart of the city.

“There are plants as well as a vineyard in the front garden of the hotel. There are apples, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and herbs of every kind which are used to make home-made herbal oil,” Weitzer said.

“The hotel`s roof is used for bee-keeping which was started in early 2012.”

Even though the extra efforts put in to build and maintain the eco-friendly properties do burn a hole in the pocket, the hoteliers are not complaining as they consider it a “long-term investment”.

“These hotels are expensive to build and maintain, but the difference is not reflected in the tariffs because our profits may be low now but the number of travellers who strictly prefer green hotels is rising,” Michaela Reitterer of Stadthalle Wien, a boutique hotel in the city, told IANS.

“We are considering it as a long-term investment,” she said.

So, if you are headed abroad for a vacation this summer, be sure to include Vienna in your itinerary and contribute your bit towards the environment. IANS


Vienna’s green hotels

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Dubai Debuts New Destination Brand

News4u-Travel Desk- Ahead of a new global marketing campaign launching later this year, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has debuted a new brand for the destination. The new logo, launched last week at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), features the word ‘Dubai’ written in both the Arabian and Roman alphabets, reflecting the city’s rich multiculturalism.

Announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the brand will be used by government departments and bodies, ensuring that the emirate speaks with ‘one voice’ to its citizens and visitors.

Following the announcement of the new brand, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed shared the identity on his Instagram account, stating: “Today we launched Dubai’s new brand identity which will be used to promote our city regionally and internationally. The new brand identity focuses on Dubai being a credible, unique and welcoming destination for tourists and visitors.”

Also previewed during ATM, a new website and app have been designed to inspire and inform at every stage of the consumer journey and help the visitor experience the city to the fullest while in Dubai. Both the website and the app will be launched in the coming months.

Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing commented: “The new logo features the word ‘Dubai’ written in both Arabic and Roman alphabets, representing the fact that the city is a fusion of cultures and nationalities – a result of the historic and present day approach of being outward looking and open to ideas from across the globe,” said Issam Kazim, CEO of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

“But the new brand is much more than just a logo – it is a new way of talking about Dubai and a new way of looking at how we will provide value for investors in and visitors to Dubai. It expresses Dubai’s culture and the wise leadership and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It conveys a message that Dubai is a place where amazing things happen.” Agencies


Dubai Debuts New Destination Brand

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter