Page 1

OCTOBER, 2009


Dear readers, Welcome to the October issue of the TR magazine. Wishing you stressfree autumn once again we bring a collection of insightful articles to help you curb the threat of economic crisis and influenza. The influence of the recent and past epidemics on the tourism industry is the topic of the Medical supplement. What can we learn from the past pandemics? Check out several smart advices. If you have enough of the lying-on-the-beach-all-day type of holidays and seek something more interesting read the Adventure part this time focusing on tours into unstable regions like Iraq or Afghanistan. If on the other hand you look for a safe haven for your nerves let us inspire you by the Destination part presenting Qatar or even the Heritage supplement inviting to Edinburgh or Derwent Valley. By the way, when traveling, do you behave yourself? Most people do of course, but some don’t. Find out who the worst tourists in the world are according to the travelers and hoteliers. Read the Professional part and enjoy the issue! Milada Sovadinova Editor


CONTENTS

CONTENTS

OCTOBER, 2009

H E R I TAG E

Medical Pandemic ThreaT: Tourism indusTry nighTmare?

UNESCO: UNUSUal & UNiqUE The UNESCO List of World Heritage includes hundreds of sites – some are world famous, some are almost unknown. Let’s have a look on a few examples of the perhaps less known yet precious and worthvisiting sites.

HERITAGE: UNESCO: Unusual & Unique............... 4

MEDICAL: Pandemic Threat: Tourism Industry Nightmare?... 36

UNESCO: Tourism Treasures of Nature, History & Culture. ................................. 5

How the Next Pandemic May Impact the World’s Tourism Industry............. 37

Derwent Valley Mills: The Birthplace of the Factory System.............................. 8

Country Watch: Swine Flu Affecting the Mexican Tourism Market. ................. 39

The Unique, the Fabulous & the Endangered......................................................... 10

Swine Flu Still Scares Airlines.................................................................................... 42

Edinburgh: The World’s First City of Literature. ............................................... 12

Applying Tourism’s Lessons Learned from SARS to Swine Flu........................... 44

coughing and sneezing travelers are a real nightmare for many destinations and businesses these days. What did the tourism industry learn from the previous epidemics? can your business be protected against the panic of travelers?

The Candidate: Luhacovice Spa with Rare Vernacular Architecture. ....... 15 PRofeSSionAl DE St i nat ion

Most (Un)Wanted toUrists?

Qatar

Some say Brits, some say Germans, some even Russians or Chinese. But who are the worst tourists for you? What about the ‘ugly American’?

Small, rich and beautiful! Qatar is fighting for its place in the sun. What are the greatest attractions? Visit the rose of the Middle East.

Professional: Most (Un)Wanted Tourists?............ 17 Russians Are the Worst Tourists According to Brits. ....................................... 18

Destination: Qatar............................................................ 46

Chinese Compete for “Worst Tourist” Label. ......................................................... 20

Euromonitor International: Travel and Tourism in Qatar............................ 47

Chinese Tourists and the Reality of Faux Pas....................................................... 23

Qatar – As Independent as You Are............................................................................. 49

Holidaying Brits Worst Behaved in Europe. .......................................................... 25

The Museum of Islamic Art: Qatar’s Cultural Epicenter. .................................. 51 Doha & Other Cities for Modern Traveler............................................................. 53 Inbound Tour Operators. .................................................................................................. 55

Adventure War Zone: Someone Like it Hot Iraq, Afghanistan or Lebanon belong to countries that definitely are not the most popular destinations for a common tourist. Yet, some travelers and tour agencies find their way even into these regions while trying to show the world different face of countries mostly portrayed as unstable or dangerous.

Adventure: War Zone: Someone Like It Hot............................................................ 27

Fairs & Exhibitions T r av e l / T o u r i s m

i n

o C To B e r

2 0 0 9

B y

r e g i o n s

Lebanon: Political Instability, Power Cuts and Lots of Tourists................. 30

Fairs & Exhibitions: Travel/Tourism in OCTOBER 2009 by regions................................................. 56

Sri Lanka‘s Tourism: 30 Years of Silence Finished. ................................................ 32

Western Europe. ............................................................................................................... 57

Afghanistan Builds Up Tourism, Will You Go?........................................................ 34

CENTRAL Europe................................................................................................................. 58

How I Found Peace in Iraq. ........................................................................................... 28

North America.................................................................................................................. 59 Asia & Pacific................................................................................................................... 60


H E R I TAG E UNESCO: Unusual & Unique The UNESCO List of World Heritage includes hundreds of sites – some are world famous, some are almost unknown. Let’s have a look on a few examples of the perhaps less known yet precious and worthvisiting sites.


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

UNESCO: Tourism Treasures of Nature, History & Culture W

hen the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established the World Heritage Convention in 1972, there was cause for celebration. This document set in place the most universal international legal instrument ever to exist for the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It created a framework for preservation and conservation of the greatest treasures of nature and humanity scattered across the face of the earth. It also established international funding to help restore and conserve designated sites, particularly important for some of the world’s poorer countries to develop and maintain designated sites. Today there are 890 World Heritage Sites (WHS’s) which attest to the wisdom of that collective decision with 689 cultural, 176 natural, and 25 mixed properties in 148 countries. Italy hosts the greatest number of WHS’s to date with 44 sites on the list, Spain has 41 sites and China has 38. Germany and France are tied at 33 a piece. Such recognition is a costly responsibility, as any of these countries will tell you. National governments, international organizations and communities that live around designated sites have made a protective covenant to work together in rarely-witnessed harmony, so that future generations should be able to share this precious legacy. For travelers of all ages who take up the challenge of learning about and visiting World Heritage Sites, UNESCO has done a lot of homework to O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Croatia’s mountainside water wonderland, Plitvice National Park, is a natural limestone landscape of exceptional beauty. © Peter Gardner, www.travelwithachallenge.com

—5—


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e speed up the research. See the UNESCO’s website for the current listing by country and for a list of the 31 most endangered sites. Unless there is a war currently going on in the neighborhood, this means vacationers should travel there soon! Many endangered sites come as no surprise because they are in very unsettled areas or in very poor countries with little infrastructure or dedicated staff to maintain these prize possessions despite the tourism opportunities they represent. A few years ago, I was dismayed to see both Germany’s Cologne Cathedral and the United States’ Everglades National Park among the most endangered WHS’s. Since neither one is on the list now, I can only presume their presence there served as a wake up call for action to be taken. Sadly, Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands were declared endangered in 2007 and Belize’s Barrier Reef in 2009. Both governments need to take urgent action to protect these natural assets. Never fear that the WHS Committee is not paying attention. A recent example is Germany’s Dresden Elbe Valley which, after several warnings about peril to its WHS status, was delisted in mid-2009 due to the construction of a four-lane bridge through the heart of the designated landscape. Dresden Elbe Valley now has a big black line through its listing with the explanation that the property failed to keep its "outstanding universal value as inscribed." Oman’s Arabian Oryx Sanctuary met a similar delisting fate in 2007. From a touristic viewpoint, such firm decision-making inspires trust among travel planners, tour operators and vacationers who count on including the best of the best in their itineraries. With frequent review of all sites on UNESCO’s growing list, no country may rest on its heritage or past performance, presuming that a designation is theirs indefinitely. UNESCO’s diligent committee is not the only watchful resource for WHS’s. National GeoO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

The Mayan archaeological site of Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is both a WHS and one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. © Yucatan Tourism Board, http://www.mayayucatan.com.mx/en

graphic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations also deserves credit for ongoing efforts to monitor and report on the state of these sites. For example, it assembled 419 experts in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship and asked them to rate the current state of 94 World Heritage destinations. First published in the November/December 2008 issue of National Geographic Traveler, the resulting ratings and frank comments

—6—

based on personal experience remain easily accessible on the publication’s website as a valuable travel resource with a tourism perspective. Jonathan Tourtellot, Director of the Center, points out that the original purpose of global recognition was to encourage protection only. “Tourism traffic wasn’t even part of the equation in 1972, but it is now. If you look at each destination as a whole – the site plus its neighboring region – tourism man-


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e humanity. As global explorers, we may reward our good intentions and our imaginations by personally sampling and savoring at least a selection of them ourselves. My own count is a mere 93 sites, so I still have plenty of traveling left to do! By Alison Gardner Editor/journalist, Alison Gardner, is a global expert on nature-based vacations and cultural/educational travel. Her Travel with a Challenge web magazine, is a recognized source of new and established operators, accommodations and richly-illustrated feature articles covering all types of senior-friendly alternative travel. http://www.travelwithachallenge.com

Banff National Park’s picture-perfect lakes and mountains are part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains World Heritage Site. © Travel Alberta, www.travelalberta.com

agement can protect it, or degrade it, often more than any other factor.” By including WHS visits in their itineraries, sometimes with expert scholars as local and international guides, tour operators are also educating their clients. One of the most dedicated cultural and educational tour operators with such a mission is ElderTreks. Over more than two decades, it has been particuO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

larly bold in searching out less-visited sites around the globe for its enthusiastic, active 50+ aged clientele. Of the 80 or more countries presently explored by ElderTreks’ small-group tours, about 135 World Heritage Sites are represented in their itineraries. As citizens of the world, we must surely celebrate the existence of these unique testimonies to the outstanding universal values of both nature and

—7—


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

Derwent Valley Mills: The Birthplace of the Factory System The

beautiful Derwent Valley lies close to the UK’s Peak District and is significant in world history as the birthplace of the factory system, when new types of building were erected to house ground-breaking technology for water-powered manufacturing. The system developed here was copied across the globe which is why the Derwent Valley Mills were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. Cromford Mill, at the north end of the site, is one of the best starting points for understanding the Derwent Valley story. It was at Cromford in the 18th century that Richard Arkwright devised modern factory production techniques. The site is undergoing restoration by the owners, the Arkwright Society. At Cromford, the viewing platform in the mill yard will give you a great view of water gushing through the wheelpit – you get a real sense of water power. A short walk away are Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mills, built in the 18th century on the banks of the Derwent, designed to reflect the grandeur of its river gorge setting. Masson Mills now house a working textile museum and shopping village. Visitors experience the atmosphere of a working 18th century cotton mill with machines filling the building with their clattering sound. In Cromford village, North Street contains the first industrial housing in the world. Across the A6, be-

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

—8—

yond Cromford Mill, is Willersley Castle, built as a ‘mansion house’ for Arkwright and now a hotel. It has a spectacular landscape setting. Walking south from Cromford, take the Cromford Canal towpath from which you’ll see a rich diversity of wildlife. You’ll soon reach High Peak Junction with its early railway workshops housing a small museum. Nearby is Leawood Pumphouse, which can occasionally still be seen in action, pumping water from the Derwent into the canal. Further south is Belper, home to the North Mill, one of the world’s first fireproof buildings. William Strutt used cast iron instead of timber for the internal structure, a major step in the use of metal in building construction, which eventually led to the modern-day skyscraper. Here the world’s second water-powered cotton-spinning mill – and many others – were built by William’s father Jedediah. Belper North Mill now houses a museum and visitor centre. Well worth seeing in Belper is the Georgian horseshoe weir built to create a head of water to power the mills. The red-brick East Mill is prominent – a 1912 steel framed building. Nestling at the side of the East Mill are the River Gardens created by George Herbert Strutt which provide an attractive setting for Sunday concerts and boating on the river in the summer.


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

Whilst in Belper, take a look at the community built for the Strutt workers, but like in Cromford, remember these are people’s homes – please don’t stare in windows or knock on doors! A walk up Long Row and back through the Clusters shows the best

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

features. If you stand on the railway bridge in Long Row you can see the railway cutting which slices through the town, spanned by eleven bridges. Heading south, you reach Milford, where Strutt‘s mills have now been demolished, but you can still walk around the village and see dozens of millworkers’ houses. Further south, on the approach to Derby, are the Darley Abbey Mills, now used for light industry. Although the mills aren’t open to the public, the millworkers’ housing can still be seen and nearby is Darley Park, offering an attractive walk into Derby city centre. After the park ends, you soon arrive at the Silk Mill, arguably the world's first factory. The layout of the mill was a model for the later textile mills built for Arkwright and partners 50 years later. The Silk Mill is now home to Derby’s Museum of Industry and History. The Derwent Valley is by no means just about mills and industry. It is one of the most important locations for wildlife in Derbyshire, and where much of the county’s ancient woodland is located. The Heritage Way walking route offers walkers a chance to see the many facets of the valley, from the gentle lowlands in the south to the dramatic cliffs north of the World Heritage Site, as well as the river itself. By Adrian Farmer http://www.derwentvalleymills.org

—9—


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

The Unique, the Fabulous & the Endangered Whole Cities as World Heritage

The

UNESCO, one of 16 special organizations of the UNO, by its slogan “heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations” has not only raised the awareness about mankind’s obligation for spiritual and moral

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

solidarity as a means against war. As a positive side effect, the special international protection of cultural and natural (or mixed) heritage sites had strongly attributed to the wealth of tourism highlights that are irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

— 10 —

World Heritage cities constitute an incomparable magnet. Most of them are listed in Europe, from Alcalá de Henares in northern Spain to Zamość in eastern Poland. Some of them are the finest, the most inspiring, the culturally wealthiest or the most romantic ones in the world. The fortified double-harbour town Angra do Heroísmo of the Azores islands (Portugal) e.g. may inspire the fantasy of visitors about Europe’s starting point of intercontinental expansion and emigration to the New World, when the Portuguese had rerouted their gold trade in 15th century from the caravan routes of the Sahara to the Atlantic Ocean. With changed navigation in 19th century, the strategic trading post fell into a state of slumber. The random visitor will discover today two harbour forts and numerous Baroque churches and convents (16th / 17th cent.) which remind of Europe’s earliest overseas adventures to Brazil. A comparable site is Granada in southern Spain  – yet by her mighty Alhambra citadel and palace at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains far more awe inspiring. The last stronghold of Arab rule in Europe has become the heritage of Islamic legacy, while the city herself reveals Spain’s Christian superpower at the beginning of the discovery of the world. This remarkably demonstrates the Catholic Renaissance cathedral designed as a symbol of triumph over the conquered Nasrid kingdom of Granada.


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e If Angra do Heroísmo may be compared with Dubrovnik at the Mediterranean coast of southern Croatia, the probably most intrinsic and alluring ancient Venetian trade port besides Venice, Granada may find an equal in Regensburg on Danube River. Both World Heritage sites have perfectly preserved their medieval townscape, one on a romantic island, the other on the ruins of a Roman stronghold – different meeting points: one for recreation and the other for culture, spirituality and education.

The Peculiarities with Cultural & Natural Sites Most of the cultural sites on the List of World Heritage Sites are found in Italy, Spain and Germany, and outside Europe in China, India and Mexico, whereas most of the natural sites have been defined in northern America and Australia, such as the cross border Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (USA / Canada) which has a distinctive physiographic setting and climate with significant scenic values and abundant diversified flora and fauna. Or the world’s largest coral reef, the 2,300 km long Great Barrier Reef (10° – 24° s) off Australia’s east coast of Queensland mainland known for its abundant fauna of 400 types of coral, 1,500 species of fish and 4,000 types of mollusc. Yet heritage sites may also include prehistoric cultural sites, such as the dwelling caves in the Vézère valley of southern France with up to 30,000 years old wall paintings, or fossil natural sites. One of them is the Messel Pit in western Germany near Frankfurt. It is the richest site in the world for understanding the living environment of the Tertiary (Eocene period: 57 ~ 36 million years ago), providing information about the early stages of the evolution of mammals. Distinctive are also individual properties, such as buildings (prayer sites, defense systems, workshops, ruins etc) or singular sceneries. They now O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

also include modern heritage properties with noteworthy 19th / 20th century architectural design, be it buildings like the Works of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, Spain, or townscapes like the watchmaking town La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle of Switzerland. Another peculiarity is the not self-understanding status of World Heritage revealed in 2007 and 2009 when two sites were removed from the List. In contrast, a whole new region will become a World Heritage site: the geo-cultural region of Pacific islands. The designated island nations and territories range from Papua New Guinea in the west to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the east, from Hawai’i and Micronesia in the north to the sub-Antarctic islands of

New Zealand in the south of the 170 million sq km large Pacific Ocean. The Pacific 2009 Programme aims at promoting underrepresented unique places such as New Zealand governed Tokelau. The tiny island group of three coral atolls is one of the most remote places on earth where money and telephone arrived at last and access is possible only by a two-day boat journey from Samoa.

Endangered Sites Last but not least, attention has been drawn to heritage sites in danger resulting from wars, natural disasters, environmental destruction or uncontrolled tourism. For some of them help has come too late. In 2001 the giant Buddha statues of the Bamiyan Valley have been deliberately destroyed. Besides Afghanistan, Iraq is another place with most of endangered cultural sites, while the Democratic Republic of Congo figures the highest number of endangered natural sites. There lies the Virunga National Park, where a mesmerizing World Heritage gets destroyed. This relates to all of us, as we got used to our mobile phones and computers that contain the rare mineral Coltan. The crude ore is found in eastern Congo’s extinct volcanoes, the biosphere of endangered mountain gorillas and virgin forests. Both suffer together with the local population for the sake of globalized profits that flow to Europe, China and back to the world. Virunga has become a warning signal just like the lost Bamyian Buddhas – thanks to the universal care for World Heritage. By Dr. Engelbert Altenburger Dr. Altenburger is Associate Professor at I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, in Taiwan. You can contact him at amadeus@isu.edu.tw http://www.isu.edu.tw

— 11 —


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

Edinburgh: The World’s First City of Literature We cultivate literature on a little oatmeal . . . Edinburgh is world-renowned for its magnificent architecture – from the grandeur of the Georgian New Town to the closes and wynds of the historic Old Town, the monuments of Calton Hill to Edinburgh Castle at the top and the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the bottom of the Royal Mile. Rich in history, the city has known battles and plague, poverty and great riches, religious persecution, grave robbers, The Enlightenment, The Union and eventual devolution and its history has shaped its streets and buildings. Complementing the built environment, and often inspired by it, is the literary heritage of the city. Authors, writers, poets and thinkers have lived and worked in Edinburgh through the ages, from James Hogg, Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson to modern day authors Ian Rankin, J K Rowling, Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh and Alexander McCall Smith. The stories are in the stones, streets and monuments, and visitors and residents alike can wander through Edinburgh’s streets soaking up the atmosphere that has inspired so many. Where else can you follow in the footsteps of Rankin’s Inspector Rebus or explore the locations found in McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series? Where else can you learn about Deacon Brodie, respected cabinet maker by day, thief by night and the inspiration for Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, or find out more about Joseph Bell, the surgeon whose diagnostic approach to cases inspired the character of Sherlock Holmes? Which other city has named its railO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

© Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

way station after a novel? Or one of its football teams? Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature in the world, receiving the designation in 2004. The idea of a formal 'City of Literature' designation came about because four book lovers thought that

— 12 —

Edinburgh, and indeed Scotland, should take on responsibility for the future development of a literary culture that has distinguished and enlightened our country's past. They wanted to share the literary culture of this capital city with the world, to celebrate the literary greats of the past and to em-


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e brace and encourage future literary developments. Edinburgh was proposed not as the city of literature but as part of a growing network of cities. The idea was not about competition but about aspiration and partnership. This marked the beginnings of a global enterprise, a network of cities of literature celebrating, sharing and developing their literary culture. Melbourne and Iowa City have recently joined Edinburgh to become UNESCO Cities of Literature with others expected to follow shortly. The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is the driving force behind the city’s efforts to share and expand its literary culture and as well as coordinating a wide range of literary activities and events, the Trust runs a city-wide reading campaign every year. Each February, Edinburgh’s residents are encouraged to all read the same book at the same time. Thousands of free books are given away through libraries, schools, community centres, shops, cafes and restaurants and there is a full programme of events, including performances, films, readings, debates, discussions and tours. The author is usually Scottish, often from Edinburgh or with strong Edinburgh connections, and the book is chosen to appeal to the widest possible audience. In previous years titles have included Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Scottish adventure story Kidnapped, the darker and gothic Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. Edinburgh is also host to the largest public celebration of words in the world – the Edinburgh International Book Festival – which takes place in the heart of the historic city each August. Started in 1983, the Book Festival takes place in an ever expanding tented village in the tranquil oasis of Charlotte Square Gardens in the heart of the New Town and brought over 750 writers to the city this year from 45 different countries. The first choice of venue in 1983 was Princes Street Gardens. However O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

an ancient by-law (now repealed) prohibiting the sale of books and printed materials in the Gardens meant that Charlotte Square became the home of this, the largest public book festival in the world. Over 200,000 visitors enjoy discussions, readings and Meet the Author sessions with authors, poets, journalists, commentators, politicians, photographers and illustrators from all over the world. Running alongside the general programme is the highly regarded Children’s Programme which has grown to become a leading showcase for children’s writers and illustrators. Incorporating workshops,

— 13 —

storytelling, panel discussions, author events and book signings, the Children’s Programme is popular with both the public and schools alike, and now ranks as the world’s premier books and reading event for young people. In addition to the Writing Museums and Libraries which can be found through, Edinburgh celebrates its literary roots in a wide variety of ways. A number of literary walking tours have developed where visitors can wander through the streets, on a Book Lovers Tour, or a Literary Pub Crawl. If you have a favourite author or book, you may enjoy the Trainspotting tour, or the Rebus Tour. The Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust is currently developing a series of free walking tours – the first of which, taking in a number of the locations featured in Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series – is available for download from their website. Others, including Robert Louis Stevenson’s Edinburgh and Sir Walter Scott’s Edinburgh, will follow during the year. Around every corner, you can find other reminders to Edinburgh’s writers, past and present – poet Robert Fergusson is striding down The Royal Mile outside the Canongate Kirk, Sherlock Holmes himself stands on Picardy Place, the birthplace of his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. Alan Breck and David Balfour, the two heroes of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, stand proud on the Corstorphine Road, and a small memorial to Stevenson himself stands in a grove of silver birches in Princes Street Gardens. The most prominent is the monument to Sir Walter Scott, towering over Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens. It’s well worth the trip up the narrow and twisting stair to the top for the views across the city. The Scott Monument is one of Edinburgh’s architectural treasures featured in a series of new podcasts on the City. The City of Literature Trust has collaborated with the Edinburgh World Heri-


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

tage Trust to create ten short podcasts exploring some of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks, their architectural history and curiosities and their literary links – from Calton Hill to Princes Street Gardens, The Netherbow to The Canongate, from Robert Louis Stevenson to Daniel Defoe, Ian Rankin to Quintin Jardine. Using quotes from writers, poets and some of the classic stories inspired by the built environment of the city, the podcasts are designed to provide a guided tour of Edinburgh, revealing O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

some of the hidden gems and history of the city for visitors walking around the streets, or at home planning their trip. Or even for the city’s residents, wanting to know a little more about the landmarks they pass every day. A new addition to Edinburgh’s literary scene is the Poetry Garden in the recently re-developed St Andrew Square, in the heart of the Georgian New Town. St Andrew Square, which is now open to the public for the first time in over 230 years, is being

— 14 —

developed as a new space for celebrating poetry in the City of Literature. The new space will link to work by the Edinburgh Makar, as well as plans for National Poetry Day. The possibility of physical expressions of poetry is being investigated, as well as ways to help school and community groups use the space to celebrate poetry. St Andrew Square will become a place where poetry new and old is heard, read, displayed, promoted and enjoyed. The designation UNESCO City of Literature is a permanent one, and one of which the city of Edinburgh is justifiably proud. From the writers of the past, celebrated in statuary, in the National Library and the Writers Museum, to contemporary authors found in the Scottish Poetry Library, The Scottish Book Trust or the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and showcased at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a thriving publishing industry, and a strong academic element, there is much to be proud of. The City of Literature Trust is a portal for all literary events and activities taking place throughout the city, and their website can direct you to anything you need to know. For information on book signings and author appearances, literary events and activities, literary tours, the Stories in Stone podcasts and the free walking trails visit www.cityofliterature.com. Residents and visitors alike cannot help but brush up against the city’s literary heritage whenever they walk through the streets. And Edinburgh is a city for walking, whether following one of the free literary trails, or just wandering where the mood takes you, come and be inspired by the stories in the stones. By Frances Sutton, Edinburgh International Book Festival http://www.cityofliterature.com


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

The Candidate: Luhacovice Spa with Rare Vernacular Architecture

In

2001 a Czech spa resort at Luhacovice was inscribed on the UNESCO’s tentative list of world heritage. It is an architecturally prominent and unique complex of buildings which, from the end of the 19th century throughout approximately the first three decades of the 20th century, gradualO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

ly formed the base of the present spa town situated in the east part of Moravia, Czech Republic. The spa buildings in Luhacovice represent a unique specimen of modern spa architecture of the early 20th century, inspired by vernacular design. In this respect, Luhacovice is a locality that cannot be

— 15 —

compared to any other item on the World Heritage List included. For centuries Luhacovice had been a relatively unimportant village situated in a rather poorly accessible valley of the river Stavnice. From the 17th century it had had also a gentry residence and a manor farm. The therapeutic effects of the local mineral springs were first mentioned in written records already in the 1760s. Originally, the water was exported from the village in bottles, and when an expert analysis stating the qualities of the mineral waters was publicized, more and more patients became interested in undergoing treatment directly in the spa town. The first spa buildings were built after 1792 and in 1809 the town designated first paths for spa guests. The oldest preserved building of the spa centre is the baroque Chapel of St. Elisabeth from 1795. A decisive impulse for the creation of a spa complex that would be preserved until today the foundation of a joint stock company which bought the whole area of the health resort in 1902. Luhacovice thus became the only large spa resort in the territory of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, that was owned by a Czech company. In an effort to raise national consciousness the Czech as well as generally Slavonic character of the spa was reflected in the work of the spa’s architect Dusan Jurkovic. He designed several new spa buildings as well as


H eritage : U N E S C O : Unu su al & Uni qu e

external works which reshaped the existing spa area. His contribution to Luhacovice’s image has remained dominant until now. His project resulted in the construction of a series of unique buildings whose exterior combines the motifs of Slavonic folk architecture of the Carpathian region with the Art Nouveau decoration and the influences of English neo-vernacular architecture. This distinctive style is characterized by the dominant use of wooden and half-timbered constructions and by specific decorative motifs on the buildings. The most important of Jurkovic’s buildings in Luhacovice from the beginning of the 20th century include the Jestrabi lodging villa, the Institute of Hydrotherapy, the adjacent swimming pool and sun baths and, in particular, the central building of the spa, Januv dum (Jan's House) which emerged in 19011902 from the reconstruction of an older object and is now called Jurkovicuv dum (Jurkovic’s House). The central area of the spa is dominated by other architecturally prominent objects – the Art Nouveau spa hotel from 1910 built by the architect Emil Kralik and bearing the name of the world known Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, and the Community Centre, an important constructivist building from the 1933-1935 period by Frantisek Roith. A unique treatO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

ment facility of its time was the Inhalatorium, built between the years 1922 and 1923. The spa complex has also its own theatre, and its appearance is enhanced by a number of charming smaller architectural works – structures built above the mineral springs, an Art Nouveau pavilion next to tennis courts, music pavilion and a complex of bridges over the Stavnice, corresponding in their character to the wooden decorative motifs of the spa buildings. The development of the spa complex was accompanied by the building of new lodging houses and villas, both in the immediate neighborhood of the central spa area and in separate quarters. Even today we can still see the preserved original character of the Prague Quarter with several architecturally valuable buildings from the first third of the 20th century, as well as the original appearance of the southern, so called White Quarter, situated in a lateral valley and consisting of more historic buildings, predominantly of a late Art Nouveau designn and in particular a group of detached functionalist lodging houses built in the years 1926 and 1927. In the southern part of the spa, important hotel-type medical treatment houses – Palace, Morava and Alexandria – were built after World War 1. Beside these houses, this part of the spa area is dominated by the buildings of the Post Office and the Municipal Office (the object of a former bank, built in 1937). Between the years 1947 and 1950, the Great and the Small Colonnades were built along the eastern brim of the valley and joined by a hall raised above one of the mineral springs, thus delineating the central panorama of the spa. Thanks to the exceptional quality of the Luhacovice mineral springs, natural conditions and the longstanding tradition of successful medical care, the town is a locality unique also from the viewpoint of history and practice of the spa treatment itself. The services of the health resort include drinking cures, inhalation, balinotherapeutic procedures, massages, peat procedures and locomotor rehabilitation,

— 16 —

and thus allow the treatment of the respiratory and digestive tracts, metabolism disorders as well as dysfunctions of the locomotor system. A large majority of the spa activities and services take place in the preserved historical buildings whose charm, together with the character of their immediate environment, makes the stay at the health resort an unforgettable and unique experience. The spa area of the town preserved its specific atmosphere, enhanced by the large, regularly kept area of the nature park with designated footpaths. A valuable feature of the park is its preserved original dendrologic pattern, corresponding to that of the surrounding countryside. Photos: Luhacovice Spa http://whc.unesco.org http://lazneluhacovice.cz


P rofessional Most (Un)Wanted Tourists? Some say Brits, some say Germans, some even Russians or Chinese. But who are the worst tourists for you? What about the ‘ugly American’?


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

Russians Are the Worst Tourists According to Brits

R

ussians have been named the worst tourists in the world, with voters claiming they are tracksuit-wearing, greedy, money-flashing oafs... who hide sunloungers in their hotel rooms. German tourists, previously the subject of many jocular complaints about hogging sunloungers at the crack of dawn, were knocked into second place by the newly-rich Russians. The 'world's worst holiday-maker' poll surveyed more than

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

1,000 British tourists who went on holiday abroad this summer. Russian holidaymakers have been annoying British tourists this summer with 'rude, pushy' behaviour, which included hiding sunloungers in their hotel rooms. Those who holidayed in Spain, France, Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Portugal took a dislike to Russians, claiming they: • Took hotel sunloungers into their rooms to make sure they get a seat by the pool in the morning. • Ate 'almost everything' at all-inclusive dinners – even taking doggie bags to stock up on grub. • Flashed their money around and ordered hotel staff to be at their beck and call. • Belched and swore in public areas such as hotel swimming pools and bars. • Dressed like 'chavs' – wearing tracksuits and gold bling. • Pushed into queues in bars and shops to be served first. Holiday-maker Geoff Hunt, 43, said his Turkish hotel was 'overrun' with Russian tourists in July. “They were known as the 'Rude Ruskis' by everyone–even the Germans. They just barged into queues flashing their money and shouting. Two of them pinched four hotels loungers from the pool and took them to their room so they were guaranteed one in the morning. They swore and belched

— 18 —

their way through hotel meals and took as much of the free food back to their rooms as they could.” Holiday expert Gary Hewitt, who runs Real Holiday Reports website, said a 'flood' of UK holidaymakers had complained about the behaviour of Russian tourists his summer. “To be honest, when we started the poll we expected the normal complaints about German tourists hogging the sunloungers – the same old stories. But to our surprise we've been flooded with complaints about Russians on holiday.” Mr Hewitt, who set up the holiday advice website eight years ago, added: “With many Russians going abroad for the first time since the country started becoming rich, they do not know how to behave and are known as arrogant, rude and greedy. Russians are the 'New Germans' only they wear dodgy clothes, especially the men, who always seem to have a wife or girlfriend 20 years younger then them.”

i

Worst Tourists according to Real Holiday Reports:

1/ Russians 2/ Germans 3/ British 4/ French 5/ Dutch


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

The poll, entitled 'Who do you not get on with on holiday', has had more than 1,000 hits – and the Russians are top of the leaderboard with more than a third of the votes. The Germans are not far behind with just over 30 per cent, the Brits themselves make up 15 per cent, the French 10 per cent and the Dutch five per cent. In the past 10 years the number of Russian tourists leaving the former Soviet Union for a sunshine break has quadrupled – rocketing from around 2m in 1995 to more than 8m this year.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Last year 1.5m Russians visited Turkey – making them easily the highest number of foreign visitors to the country. Last year 300,000 Russians went on holiday to Spain, 250,000 to Italy, 200,000 to Germany, 180,000 to Greece, 145,000 to France and 110,000 to Cyprus. About 70,000 came to the UK on holiday. Photos: TR, Flickr http://realholidayreports.com

— 19 —


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

Chinese Compete for "Worst Tourist" Label

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 20 —

I

nflux of visitors from mainland China provokes culture clash at Taiwan's tourist sites. They deface Taiwan's scenic rock formations. They spit in public, cut in line and talk too loud. And to top it off, some even take shelter from the rain — and smoke cigarettes! — inside one of Taiwan's "sacred trees." A year after the island threw open its doors to Chinese tourist groups, Taiwan has a long list of complaints. Chinese tourists were supposed to give Taiwan's sagging economy a much-needed jolt, and help increase exchanges and mutual understanding between people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. But whatever economic benefits they've brought have been canceled out by the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. Meanwhile, the Chinese tourists' habits have gotten on many people's nerves. "Since Chinese tourists began coming here, not as many English- or Japanese-speaking people visit anymore, because Chinese people have some bad attitudes and habits," said Chris Lin, a 25-year-old who answers phones and helps foreign guests at the Alishan National Park, a scenic mountain area and one of the island's top tourist draws. "They litter, smoke and talk loudly, and some people don't like it. Actually, most people don't like it." Alishan was the site of the latest outrage. The park includes a much-beloved "sacred tree" that's said to be some 3,000 years old, and is hollowed out by the ravages of time. In May, Taiwan TV stations broadcast footage of Chinese tourists smoking and waiting out a downpour inside the tree. To be sure, not everyone's unhappy. Some Taiwanese hotel managers are happy to see visitor numbers up, and downplay the complaints. The tourism bureau recently reported that some 365,000 Chinese tourists visited in the first half of this year. The bureau said each Chinese tourist spent an average of $295 per day, helping drive up


O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 21 — P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

Around the world in 4 days 11 Nov 09

Explore a world of business opportunities at WTM 2009 World Travel Market’s World Responsible Tourism programme is set to educate, inspire, challenge and provoke the industry. The focus is on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day – an international day of action on Wednesday 11 November leading the travel industry’s sustainable tourism agenda.

The programme includes: • Hot seat session with a high profile industry professional interviewed by Stephen Sacker • Carbon efficiency and in-resort responsible tourism focuses • Industry leading Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Awards, in association with responsibletravel.com and The Daily Telegraph • Dedicated conference on the Business Case for Responsible Tourism held on Thursday 12 November • High calibre seminar sessions throughout the duration of the event. For more information visit www.wtmwrtd.com

ExCeL London 9-12 Nov 2009 Register for free entry at www.wtmlondon.com/tr Official Supporting Publication


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

2008 tourism revenue nearly 14 percent year-onyear, to about $6 billion. Others here say Taiwanese just need to give Chinese more time to learn to curb inappropriate behaviors while traveling abroad. Taiwan holds special allure for many Chinese, who learn about top scenic sites in school, and call Taiwan their "treasure island" (or bao dao — a term that causes eyerolling among pro-independence Taiwanese). The top draws for them include Alishan and Sun Moon Lake in central Taiwan, the National Palace Museum in Taipei (which includes many treasures snatched by the Kuomintang from Beijing's Forbidden City) and sites relating to former KMT dictator Chiang Kai-shek. O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

At Sun Moon Lake, the Chinese invasion has lowered the quality of tourism, said Tim Hsu, a volunteer interpreter and guide. Tourist sites at the lake are overcrowded, and Chinese tourists need etiquette lessons. "We have to tell them [the Chinese] they have to stand in line, otherwise everyone will constantly be arguing." Hsu says Chinese are also touchy about Japan's historical legacy on the island. But that's hard to gloss over when talking about the lake. The Japanese engineered Sun Moon Lake in its current form, during its 1895 to 1945 colonization of the island. They built an underground channel to divert water from a nearby river and a dam on one side of the lake. But when Hsu talks to Chinese about such

— 22 —

things, "they'll tell me privately, don't talk about Japan so much, it's too sensitive." At a former residence of Chiang Kai-shek in Taipei, Alva Li, a restaurant employee, said they get about 10 busloads of Chinese tourists per day. Most behave themselves. "But we do have some problems — a few spit, or cough loudly, or smoke inside the restaurant," she said. "We have to tell them to go outside." Taiwan banned smoking in restaurants and most other indoor facilities in January — a rule that's chafing for the many chain-smoking male Chinese tourists. The Chinese tourists have their gripes, too. They've kvetched about tyrannical tour guides, rushed visits and price-gouging by unscrupulous vendors. And for now, they can only come on strictly-regimented tour groups (Taiwan hopes to allow individual or small groups of Chinese tourists soon). Safety concerns were also raised in April, after two Chinese tourists were killed near the landmark Taipei 101 skyscraper, when a construction crane plunged off of a rooftop and crushed the back of their tour bus. But that freak accident hasn't deterred other tourists. At the National Palace Museum, hordes of Chinese pour out of buses on group tours, and swarm the gift shop. "They cut in line and talk loudly, pick up items and then just throw them carelessly back," said one 24-year-old gift shop employee, who gave only the English name he uses, Pride Stark. "They're not nearly as polite as the Japanese." But he also voiced a commonly heard sentiment here: "They're like Taiwanese were in the 1960s, when we started traveling abroad," Stark said. "We just have to be more patient with them." Photos: TR, Flickr By Jonathan Adams http://www.globalpost.com


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

Chinese Tourists and the Reality of Faux Pas

C

hinese in America have a long history of struggle. Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of people from China have traveled to the US to study and/or to work. Many of them have returned, and some have stayed back to become contributing members of American society. But unlike in the past, the overall image of Chinese in the US today is more or less positive. One can readily list laudable examples, big and small, of how naturalized Chinese Americans have excelled in their fields and made positive contributions to the government, science and technology, industry, the financial and educational systems, and the arts in the US. The appointments of Washington Governor Gary Locke as US secretary of commerce and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu as secretary of energy come easily to mind. The increased presence of Chinese working as financial professionals in New York has given rise to a joke about Wall Street being turned into a workaday "Chinatown". In New York's real Chinatown, public schools near the Confucius Plaza have become the embodiment of educational excellence due, in part, to the diligence of their students. This fact has induced many non-Chinese parents to relocate to Chinatown, so that their children can receive quality education alongside their Chinese peers. Here, one is reminded of how Mencius' mother shifted house thrice 2,300 years ago to ensure her son got the best education and helped him become one of China's pivotal cultural icons.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

More Chinese tourists can also be seen in the US today. They are everywhere from New York and Washington D.C. to Miami and San Francisco. They are a welcome presence in the great American malls, for they make small but useful contributions to the revival of the US economy. This brings the image of Chinese tourists sauntering across the world. Chinese people traveling abroad are a surprising phenomenon today. In 2007, about 37 million of them traveled

i

Chinese Tourists’ Bad Behavior to Be Curbed

With more and more Chinese tourists traveling abroad, other countries are becoming increasingly uncomfortable when confronting Chinese tourists’ bad behavior. China National Tourism Administration and the central government’s Office of the Spiritual Civilization Development Steering Commission have released a list of “dos and don’ts” for citizens intending to travel abroad. The move aims to promote civilized behavior among Chinese travelers and restore the country’s image, which has been tarnished by the behavior of some Chinese tourists. “Littering”, “spitting”, “snatching bus seats”, “queuejumping”, “taking off shoes and socks in public”, “speaking loudly”, “bad temper and cursing”, “smoking in non-smoking areas” and many others are listed in “The Frequent Bad Behaviors of Chinese Citizens Who Travel Abroad”, enumerating complaints by netizens. C hin a.org .cn

— 23 —

overseas, which was a six-fold increase from 1995 and 50-fold from 1985. The World Travel Organization estimates that 100 million Chinese tourists would travel abroad every year by 2020. This key social and economic fact is hard to ignore. Overseas travel is a new experience for Chinese. It reflects their newfound wealth, higher standard of living and increasing personal freedom. But these positive traits are overshadowed by a problem: the "uncouth behavior" of Chinese tourists, especially when they travel abroad. Actions like jumping queues and talking loudly in public imply cross-cultural insensitivity, a lack of


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

appreciation for local customs and ignorance of the subtle difference between private and public space. In 2006, the Chinese government launched a three-year campaign to "enhance the civil quality of tourist behavior", as part of which an intensive tourist educational campaign was implemented in cooperation with tour operators and transport providers. Though much progress has been made, the work is not yet finished.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Why Chinese tourists behave the way they do? There are many explanations. Closer in time, observers have mentioned the effects of the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). Further back in time, an academic even traced the behavior to the emergence of the jianghu culture (the Robin Hood-andhis-band-of-merry-men kind of society-outsidesociety) during the middle reign of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Whatever the real reasons, two general circumstantial conditions must be recognized. First, people will commit cross-cultural faux pas whenever they encounter unfamiliar cultures. Cultural shock has its behavioral ripples. Every Western tourist in China would have at least one faux pas story to tell. Despite precautions, business travelers keep committing gaffes in China, sometimes with costly consequences. But Chinese tourists tend to commit faux pas en masse. When people are isolated culturally in a foreign land, their behavior tends to wobble. But then Chinese tourists also display similar behavior at home, which brings us to the second circumstantial condition. When people acquire wealth suddenly, more likely than not their behavior shows nouveau riche traits, which include ostentation and haughty arrogance. This is reality, and has been rampant across the globe throughout human history. Currently, a Chinese traveling overseas spends an average of $1,000 on luxury goods. Conspicuous consumption connotes power, the false sense of which often leads to haughty arrogance, which, when crudely expressed, could end up as tasteless, philistine kind of behavior.

— 24 —

But with the passage of time, the average Chinese tourist will become comfortable with his/her wealth and with other cultures. Once that happens, Chinese travelers will gradually shed the traits they are associated with today. And to achieve that, we should continue our educational efforts. Photos: TR, Flickr By Chung-Yue Chang http://www.chinadaily.com.cn


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ?

Holidaying Brits Worst Behaved in Europe

International relations The study cites British tourists’ drunken, loud and obnoxious behavior in beach destinations throughout Europe as examples of why they topped Europe’s list. “Europeans, of course, do not have English as their first language and the one thing the Britons are pretty bad at is speaking the language of the country they’re in,” a spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents told Sky News who believes British tourists’ language barrier is a core problem. “Imagine if there’s a group of Spaniards, say, in Manchester (Northern England). And they go into a bar, order a drink in Spanish and will not make any effort to communicate in our language,” he said, adding “we’d consider it rude and arrogant, and I think the rest of Europe does too.” While the Europeans are critical of British holidaymakers, the rest of the world paints a different picture. For the second consecutive year, British holidaymakers are runners-up overall in the worldwide Best Tourist rankings. A fifth (18%) of those surveyed commended the Brits for their politeness, while those from the UK were ranked second in the

i

B

ritish tourists have been named as the worst behaved in Europe, according to new research by Expedia. For the third year running, Europeans have also voted the Brits messy, bad tippers and very likely to complain. The Expedia Best Tourist Index, running annually since 2002, gauges the opinions of over 4,500 hoO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

teliers worldwide to rank different nationalities on their behaviour abroad – everything from spending habits to their willingness to try and speak the local language. The global research was carried out on behalf of Expedia by TNS in June 2009 focusing on Europe, the Americas (North and South America), Africa and Asia Pacific.

— 25 —

2009 Expedia Best Tourist Global Index

1/ Japanese 2/ British 3/ Canadians 4/ Germans 5/ Swiss 6/ Dutch & Australians 8/ Swedish & Americans 10/ Danes, Norwegians, Finnish & Belgians


P rof essiona l : Mo st ( Un ) Wante d Tour i st s ? guage ability and willingness to cope with different cultures. Expedia’s Marketing Director believes that the explanation for this dead-last ranking is to be found in the unusually high degree of satisfaction that the French have with their own country and in their comparatively low degree of foreign travel experience. This viewpoint doesn't put the blame on French feelings of culturally superiority. Instead, it assumes that the French attach lower value to foreign travel and foreign cultures because they don’t feel they need to leave France in order to have a great vacation.

best behaved category and most generous nationality, although trounced here by the Americans who comfortably stormed in to first place. Americans were rated the world’s 11th best tourists – essentially middle-of-the-pack – and were among the top-rated tippers. While this might be taken as evidence that the “Ugly American” tag is undeserved, it’s also true that Americans continue to be regarded as “loud.” The traditional socks and sandals stereotype of holidaying Brits also seems to be waning. For the second year in a row, they ranked highly in the wardrobe department, rated second most stylish overall, beaten only by the couture-clad Italians, with the French in third place.

Brits on Brits Despite being voted the second best tourists in the world, Brits have a disparaging view of themselves. A fifth voted their fellow countrymen the worst globally, only behind the Americans. A further 20% claimed home-grown holidaymakers were both the most miserly and the noisy. "Being voted the worst tourists in the world by our closest neighbours highlights the fact that the 'Brits Abroad' moniker is a label we still haven't managed

i

The Ugly American

In contrast to American generosity and willingness to absorb local culture, they are considered to be noisy tourists, along with the Italians and British. Additionally, Americans are said to complain about accommodations, along with the Germans and French — and are also among the least tidy hotel guests. Lastly, Americans fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to fashion sense, with the ever stylish Italians and French taking top sartorial prize.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Additional findings to shrug off. While we are in second place in the global 'Best Tourist' rankings, we clearly have a job to do to convince our European counterparts and those at home that we can be better behaved on holiday," says Jonathan Cudworth, head of product marketing, Expedia.co.uk.

The Good, the Bad & the French The Index reveals that the Japanese are far and away the world's best tourists, scoring highly not only as the quietest and most polite but also the cleanest and least likely to complain. Britain's friends across the Channel didn't fare quite so well with hoteliers naming the French as the world's worst European tourists. As well as being the most frugal and meanest tippers, they can also lay claim to being among the rudest tourists in Europe, with a tenth of hoteliers citing them as most impolite. They also rate poorly in foreign lan-

— 26 —

• Speaking louder and slower is a thing of the past as Brits move up the rankings from last year to number three, being the most likely to try to speak the local language • Worldwide, the Japanese, British, Canadians, Germans and Australians are considered the most polite nations. • The Top 3 loudest nations are the Americans, Italians and Spanish • After the Americans and the British, the next biggest tippers are the Germans and the Japanese. • Canadians, Australians and Swiss were the other top five nationalities named as least likely to complain. Photos: TR, Flickr http://www.expedia.co.uk http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com


A dventure War Zone: Someone Like It Hot Iraq, Afghanistan or Lebanon belong to countries that definitely are not the most popular destinations for a common tourist. Yet, some travelers and tour agencies find their way even into these regions while trying to show the world different face of countries mostly portrayed as unstable or dangerous.


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

How I Found Peace in Iraq

the American intervention in 2003 and everything that has happened since then has a very real and immediate consequence: if you tell someone that you're going to Iraq, they think that either you're a soldier, or a special correspondent, or quite simply mad! As soon as I landed on Iraqi soil, I first of all experienced a sort of fear mixed with pride. Fear, because I knew that what I was doing was something completely new and I was still wondering whether it might not actually be risky. And then pride, because I immediately felt that I was right not to be put off by the pictures with which we are constantly bombarded, showing nothing but war in this country. The days that followed were quickly to confirm this and the reality of the situation in fact far exceeded my expectations: in just one week, I crossed more than one quarter of Iraqi territory without the slightest hitch; I made friends for life and visited magnificent natural and archaeological treasures. The purpose of this trip was not simply to take a few days away from it all. It was most definitely professional, because I wanted to examine the extent to which it might be possible to organise group tours to this cradle of all our civilisations, this land which carries an incomparable wealth of history and which in one way or another, is the heritage of each

i

The

first time I went to Iraq, I didn't tell anyone that I was going. Not my closest friends, not even my team at Terre Entière. We specialise in cultural tours and have managed to carve out something of a reputation for our knowledge of the

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Middle East. However, travelling to conflict zones holds absolutely no appeal for us. In deciding to go to Northern Iraq, I was well aware that I would be staying in the completely pacified areas of Kurdistan. But the powerful worldwide media coverage of

— 28 —

In 2008, 212,000 tourists visited the Kurdistan Region. The majority of tourists coming to the region are Iraqi Arabs from the middle and south of the country. In the summer, thousands of Iraqis flee the hot weather of the rest of the country and cool themselves in the Kurdish mountains. Eturbonews.com


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

i The Kurdish Ministry of Tourism announced plans of a number of tourism projects in Erbil city that will cost five billion and 400 million dinars. The projects include building a hospital to treat tourists in Koya city, building a tourism compound in Gali Ali Bag waterfall, a project to attract more people in Shanadar cave, and decorating the gates of the cities of Shaqlawa, Soran, Merga Sur, Choman, and Hajji Omaran in Erbil province. In Kurdistan there are more than 700 archaeological sites and very few of them have been excavated. Eturbonews.com

and every one of us. I got the answer to my question very early on: not only is it possible to organise tours to Iraq, but I would go further and say that it's my duty to propose tours to this country. It's not right to ignore a country with such a warm and welcoming population, and it's inconceivable to ignore the immense cultural heritage of Iraq when running a company that specialises in cultural tours. From that moment on, my conviction was so strong that it swept away any remaining fears. I knew well that we ran the risk of being taken for fools or madmen. I was well aware that Iraq's reputation meant that it would not become a major tourist destination overnight. But I was also lucid and responsible enough to know that I could and indeed had to begin to organise tours to the peaceful areas of the country, which corresponded more or less exactly to the autonomous province of Iraqi Kurdistan. Terre Entière organised its first tour on the occasion of the Christmas 2008 celebrations. Our group

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

could include twenty travelers and in just a few days we had reached the maximum numbers. None of the participants was there for dubious motives or on the hunt for thrills. They all knew that they were going to regions that were at peace, but there were nonetheless no shortage of surprises: the impressive citadel of Erbil reminded everyone at the beginning of the tour that this capital city was once inhabited by the Assyrians thousands of years ago! The visit to the summer palace of King Sennacherib with its faces of gods carved into the rock led us all to wonder how it was possible that we were the only ones to be visiting such a marvel. The multicoloured town of Dohuk impressed everyone both by its vitality and its tranquillity. And just for the fun of it, we took a car trip northwards up a mountain that dominated the region that many call the "Switzerland of Iraq". One day we were in a desert, hiding from the heat, while the next morning our feet were crunching through the snow that had fallen without interruption during the night.

— 29 —

Since the success of this first tour, our company has continued to be committed to showing Iraq in a different light. A number of cultural tours set off in 2009 and this year saw the birth of our subsidiary, Babel Tours, with the aim of developing tourism in all regions of Iraq, as and when they find peace. We are already receiving requests from all continents and is welcoming its first groups. In our offices and out in the field, preparations are already under way for the first tours to the major archaeological sites of Southern Iraq. A multi-confessional team of tourism professionals is now actively working for all those who wish, in complete safety, to discover the lands which are home to some of the finest treasures of the heritage of all mankind. By Hubert Debbasch (CEO of Terre Entière and of Babel Tours) http://www.terreentiere.com/ http://www.babel-tours.com/


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

Lebanon: Political Instability, Power Cuts and Lots of Tourists

“The only thing I miss about the US is uninterrupted electric current,” says Ali, a 20 year old Lebanese-American English Literature student spending his summer break in Lebanon. “My mother, on the other hand,” he chuckles, shaking his head, “can’t wait to get back.” O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

In one sense Lebanon isn’t a conventional destination for many tourists. Notorious for its political violence and instability, Lebanon has gained, over the years, the reputation of being a fragile country. If that isn’t enough to repel tourists, then the poor public transportation system, the few free public beaches, the severely congested roads with inadequate traffic signs, the power cuts and water shortages are sure to do so. However, the latest figures have shown that these negative factors don’t seem to be deterring the influx of tourists to Lebanon. There must be strong positive aspects, or else why would people visit a country that can, too often, be a hassle to deal with? Surely, a diverse cultural heritage and imposing ruins, alongside the natural splendor of its shoreline-to-mountaintop layout represent a handful of offerings for those who vacation here. But the country’s poor infrastructure and steep expenses are a leading drawback for tourism in Lebanon, very often clashing strongly with the visitors’ stay, thus making it a not-so tourist-friendly country. The tourists who come to Lebanon can generally be grouped into three categories: Arabs [mainly from the Gulf, but also Jordan, Syria and Egypt], Westerners, and members of the Lebanese diaspora, coming back to check up on their families or property in their homeland. The various negative and positive factors of Lebanese tourism ricochet in different ways off these categories.

— 30 —

For Gulf Arabs, the prospect of a cooler climate is a constant draw. “I love coming here, the weather is very nice compared to the heat back home,” as Nora, an 18-year old Saudi Arabian visiting the country, puts it succinctly. Needless to say, however, the pleasant climate isn’t the only reason Arabs have been coming in great numbers to the country. Lebanon is by far the most broadminded and liberal in the region, which surely attracts people from numerous less forward-thinking Middle Eastern countries. Lebanon becomes a sort of haven to those who feel restrained by the limitations of their homelands, be it for legal, social or religious reasons. Alcohol is more readily available, and the night life is constantly booming, meaning that Lebanon is the answer for many. This category of tourists is not immune to power cuts and possible water shortages. But many Arabs who come to Lebanon on vacation have the resources for a generator and the majority of problems that can be solved with cash or a credit card.

i In 200, the tourist arrivals reached 1.4 million, which was 31 per cent more than in 2007. The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism predicts 1,700,000 tourists coming to the country by the end of 2009. T TGmena.com


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om The conclusion is rather harsh: the more money you have, the more comfortable your stay will be. But the financial cushion supposedly enjoyed by Gulf tourists, for example, has its limits, as 2009 proved. Not everyone has the patience to deal with the power cuts and water shortages. Nora’s family cut their vacation short because of over seven consecutive hours of power cuts in Aley, much of the food in the fridge went bad. “The prices of the food are increasing, and the groceries are always going to waste. We were supposed to stay for a month, but we’re leaving two weeks early now because of this electricity problem,” says Nora’s mother. Throngs of visitors who have their own homes in the Aley-Bhamdoun-Sofar region reportedly cut their stays short due to the water and electricity problems, and added expenses. Young Westerners, on the other hand, come chiefly to enjoy the summer heat and party their nights away in Beirut’s famed clubs. Europeans seem particularly keen for a taste of something fresh and original, and non-Arab tourists might be less concerned by the poor electricity situation, not finding it to be an intolerable burden. “Power cuts are not really a problem, I got used to them very quickly,” says Rachel, a 23-year old student of Middle Eastern art in the UK. http://dailystar.com.lb

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 31 —


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

Sri Lanka‘s Tourism: 30 Years of Silence Finished

In

an interview with the Daily News, Tourism Promotion Minister Faizer Musthapha speaks about the development taking place within the country’s tourism sector under Mahinda Chintana. What are the plans drawn up to turn Sri Lanka into one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Asia? Sri Lanka is a foremost tourist destination which has diverse attractions along with beauty, culture and warm and hospitable people. The only negative factor which caused a setback was LTTE terrorism. During the past 30 years, we could not gear ourselves because a few tourists came to our country due to this threat. The fascist terrorism led by Prabhakaran over the past three decades has been wiped out by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The tourism industry suffered the most due to terrorism and the industry which would benefit the most due to its eradication is also tourism. Today, we have to invest to our products. During the past 30 years, hoteliers found it difficult even to pay salaries to their employees and new hotels did not come up because nobody wanted to invest as there was no growth in the tourism sector. Nearly two thirds of our coastal line was subject to some sort of terrorism. So we could not develop tourism in the North and East either. Today, things have changed for the better. We could promote tourism in difficult times as well. At present, the Tourism Ministry and the private sector have joined hands to take tourism forward. We managed to get nearly 500,000 tourists to Sri Lanka even during difficult times. Today, two million Sri Lankans are living abroad . If part of them come to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka will take an upturn in tourism. When we look at the July figures, there is 28 percent growth in the tourism sector. When we catered to the Middle East market, many laughed at us. I am proud to say, we had a mammoth growth of 104 percent in the Middle East market during July this year. No market in Sri Lanka has recorded such a high growth. Today, we have looked at Eastern Europe, Middle East, China, India and other SAARC countries. We are not looking at the traditional market in Europe. We have diversified the other key markets

— 32 —

as well. Keeping in line with the President’s mission, we are aggressively promoting our tourism with the Middle East and India. So we are geared very well to promote Sri Lanka. Tourism sector contribution to the GDP is one to two percent. In future, there will be a major upturn due to the growth of the tourism sector.


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om What are the steps taken by the Ministry to develop the tourism industry in the Northern and Eastern provinces? First we have to educate people on the current situation in Sri Lanka. The Ministry in collaboration with the Defence Ministry organized special charter flights during the Nallur Festival time. We intended to attract the Tamil Diaspora to visit Nallur during that Festival time. We are working closely with president of the Tharnuyata Hetak Foundation Namal Rajapaksa to provide the opportunity to the youth who were unable to visit the North and East areas over the past three decades due to terrorism. Sri Lankans are very interested in visiting those areas. Once that starts, we will focus on promoting domestic tourism. At present, there is a certain number of foreigners visiting the Eastern Province. We could never market the North as a tourist destination internationally during the past 30 years. Today, we have to showcase the North and the East, a hidden treasure of Sri Lanka not only to the foreign tourists but also to the Sri Lankans. Investors may also be interested to start new hotels in these provinces. I am very confident that Sri Lankan tourism under the guidance of President would be a key economic driver. We are also trying to develop the commercial activities carried out by the Ministry. What are the relief measures given to those engaged in tourism industry to promote their industries? Even during Tsunami, special concessionary loans were given to hoteliers to rebuild their industries while the Budget also offered special concessions. I don’t think Sri Lanka today needs concessions. Sri Lanka tourism has good products. Everybody, wants to invest in the tourism sector and also with

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

the upsurge in tourism. I don’t think concession is a key driver in getting the people to invest in the tourism sector. The key driver is people who are keen on investing in the tourism sector. Can you see any major development in the tourism industry under the Mahinda Chintana? Of course, a series of major development activities are taking place in Kalpitiya the North and East. As whole there will be a major development in the Sri Lankan tourism sector.

— 33 —

During the past 30 years, Sri Lanka tourism could not move due to terrorism. During the past we took lot of efforts to tell the world that Sri Lanka is safe. Today, people want to come and the interest they have shown in Sri Lanka is unbelievable. Some of our regional countries could not benefit because of the situation in Sri Lanka. With regard to tourism, the President has instructed to give the minimum rates and provide a better service charge to employees in the hotel sector. We are bringing the minimum rates to the Colombo Five Star hotels as well. Under the leadership of the President, we can take forward Sri Lanka. We have also declared the next year “Sri Lanka Year”. The President has given us a target to attract 2.5 million tourists. I am very confident that the Ministry can deliver the results. What are the major countries which you have laid emphasis on to attract more tourists? Our identified key markets are the UK, India, Middle East, China, France, Germany and Eastern Europe. These are the major countries from which most tourists come to Sri Lanka. Therefore, we will make use of our mission to take Sri Lanka tourism to a higher level. Tourism industry was severely affected due to tsunami. What kind of relief measures have been given by the Government to hoteliers to rebuild their industries? There was a soft loan scheme to rebuild the hotels destroyed by tsunami. The Government has taken every possible measure to assist them. Tsunami affected hotels have been offered concessionary loans by the Government. Photos: TR, Flickr By Uditha Kumarasinghe http://www.dailynews.lk


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

Afghanistan Builds Up Tourism, Will You Go? one was 53 meters (174 feet) high, the other 35 meters (115 feet) — stood like sentries overlooking this alpine valley. Today, the massive caves where the Buddhas once stood are huge, empty pockets carved into cliffs that dominate the countryside,“ reported CNN. “Aid workers say tourism is one of the greatest economic hopes for reviving this isolated, yet visually — and archaeologically — stunning part of Afghanistan, a region that has seen little infrastructure development over the last eight years, even though Bamiyan is one of the safest parts of the country.” Today in Bamiyan Valley there is a new building. It is not a military barrack or a school. It's a Tourism Information Center. Bamiyan is located north of the capital Kabul. The local government officials are putting money to train tour guides and customer

i

A

fghanistan is making efforts to build up its tourism industry as part of its economic recovery, but when will it be that people could consider traveling to Afghanistan safe? Media are running stories about how a little province in Afghanistan is making hard effort to boost tourism in the region and show a different image of O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

the country. Bamiyan is one of the safest parts of Afghanistan. There is a hotel there called Silk Road that is trying to bring tourists in the area. “Bamiyan first attracted widespread international attention in 2001, when Taliban militants spent weeks blowing up two giant statues of Buddha. For more than 1,500 years, these colossal figures —

— 34 —

A dv enture trav e l warms to A f ghanistan

Pakistani, British and other tour operators specialising in adventure travels are increasingly including Afghanistan amongst their destinations. Recently, a single tour operator based in Kabul has also emerged. These adventure travellers are still limited to a few thousands each year due to lack of roads to some of the most attractive locations and seasonal weather problems, but in the short term this appears to be the most likely source of inbound travel for Afghanistan. E u r o m o n i t o r. c o m


A dv enture : Trav eling to the Animal King d om

service officials in an effort to boost tourism in this beautiful and safe part of Afghanistan. “The tourism training program is funded through a Geneva-based Islamic organization, the Aga Khan Development Network, as part of a $1.2 million ecotourism program. All Afghan tourism initiatives are currently funded by international donors, according to Deputy Minister for Tourism Ghulam Nabi Farahi. New Zealand and Japan are big donors in Bamiyan,” reported Fox News.

i

B ig p l ans to bring tourism to the A f ghan countryside

It is a great initiative to develop tourism in Afghanistan. The country, though, needs to do more to create a new image among the people who live outside Afghanistan. No matter how safe it is, it will be a hard sale. Anyway, we greet with applause the effort to make Afghanistan (in reality it is a beautiful country, it's just we have not heard about that part here in the West) an attractive location for tourists. Photos: TR, Wikipedia By Armen Hareyan http://www.huliq.com

With the launch of an ambitions plan to create 150 guesthouses throughout Afghanistan, the Afghan government is trying to open much of Afghanistan to semiadventurous travellers who have been deterred by the complete lack of facilities. If the plan succeeds, the face of Afghan travel and tourism will be transformed. E u r o m o n i t o r. c o m

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 35 —


M edical Pandemic Threat: Tourism Industry Nightmare? Coughing and sneezing travelers are a real nightmare for many destinations and businesses these days. What did the tourism industry learn from the previous epidemics? Can your business be protected against the panic of travelers?


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

How the Next Pandemic May Impact the World’s Tourism Industry

A

nyone who is paying careful attention to the media cannot help but note that throughout the world, scientists and doctors alike are warning us about the potential for a world pandemic. This undercurrent of media attention on what is called Swine Flu, the H1N1 virus or Influenza may have major consequences for the world’s tourism and vacation industries. Certainly, if the past is a lesson for the future trends, then it behooves the O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

tourism industry not to panic but to begin to plan now for potential current and future pandemics. It takes very little to destroy a tourism site’s reputation or to panic the public. For example, during the SARS Outbreak in Toronto, Canada, hotel occupancy dropped considerably despite the fact that no visitors to Toronto were stricken with the illness and every possible precaution was taken. The same is true of last winter’s Swine flu outbreak in Mexico. Visitors simply stopped coming to Mexico. World tourism faces a myriad of global challenges in the event of a world pandemic. Among these are: the possibility of location quarantines, fear to use airports and other centers of mass gatherings, fear of not knowing what to do in case of illness in a foreign land, the need for cross-border medical insurance. To add to these difficulties tourists and convention planners are acutely aware of how hard it can be to change or cancel reservations both at hotels and on airlines. The change and cancellation fees mean a higher degree of travel risk in uncertain times. Lastly should a pandemic occur during an economic turndown, the tourism and travel industry may be hit doubly hard. The fact that many potential tourists have opted for what is being called “staycations” or at home vacations, ought to be warning to the travel and tourism industries. To help tourism professionals prepare for a potential pandemic here are a few things to consider.

— 37 —

Develop a pre-pandemic set of plans now Have a pandemic crisis committee ready so that it can swing into action as soon as possible. Make sure that this committee is composed of experts from a variety of fields and from cross-community businesses.

Especially during a potential pandemic emphasize the need for tourism employees to maintain both dignity and good service The last thing a person on vacation wants to hear is how bad business is. Instead, emphasize the positive. You are pleased that the visitor has come


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ? to your community and that you want to make the trip as enjoyable as possible. After a crisis don’t frown but smile! On the other hand, make sure that all employees are provided with anti-influenza vaccinations. It will take only one sick employee to destroy a tourism business

Make sure that you have a plan for employee absenteeism during a pandemic Not only do you want to develop a plan for working with a skeleton staff should your employees

become ill, but remember that if your employees’ family members become ill, they may not come to work or a sick family member may infect your employees.

the death rate for people with H1N1 is around 1% of those infected. Most people will have a very mild case of this flu and many may not even know that they were infected by it.

Remember visitors from other places may see an illness outbreak although there is no pandemic.

Develop post-pandemic recovery plan now and do not base it on one single course of action

The Toronto experience ought to teach tourism professionals that in case of a major flu outbreak they will need to fight a double battle, both the battle for healthful recovery and the battle to regain a locale’s reputation. Visitors do not need to visit your local and once the media begins to report that there is a crisis, visitors may quickly panic and begin to cancel trips to your locale. Often it is the media that define a crisis as a crisis. Have a plan in place so that correct information can be given to the media as quickly as possible.

The best recovery programs take into account a series of coordinated steps all working together. Never depend only on one remedy to bring you toward recovery. Instead coordinate your advertising and marketing campaign with your incentive program and with an improvement in service.

Develop a pandemic working relationship with the media Crisis can shift from small crisis to large ones, when the media discover that your agency’s spokesman has not been truthful. Be truthful with the media, if you do not have the answer either explain why not or tell them when you will have it. Nothing destroys credibility more and thus provokes suspicions and a greater crisis than being caught in an “untruth.” Instead provide real facts. For example, currently

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 38 —

Do not just throw money at a crisis Often people deal with crises such as a pandemic simply by spending money especially on equipment. Good equipment plays important role, but equipment without the human touch will only lead to another crisis. Never forget that people solve the crises and not the machines. By Dr. Peter E. Tarlow Dr. Peter Tarlow is the President of Tourism & More Consulting in College Station, Texas, USA. He lectures around the world on tourism security, tourism economics and tourism environments. He can be reached at ptarlow@tourismandmore.com. http://www.tourismandmore.com


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

Country Watch: Swine Flu Affecting the Mexican Tourism Market outbreak with almost 3,000 suspected cases, became a ghost town as the government closed public schools, movie theatres, restaurants, bars and museums to prevent the spread of the illness while people barricaded themselves in their homes. On April 29th, President Calderon urged everyone to remain in their homes from May 1st to May 5th, curbing non-essential work in the public and private sectors. Furthermore, the government shut down all archeological zones on that day. With the overwhelming majority of the swine flu cases in Mexico City, the entire country is experiencing a significant decline in tourism.

A turbulent 2008 weakens players for a dramatic drop off

The

swine flu epidemic, announced by the Mexican health secretary on April 23rd, has had a swift and disastrous impact on tourism within Mexico. Mexico City, the epicenter of the

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

The tourism industry in Mexico has been facing challenges since fuel prices climbed in the spring and summer of 2008, dampening demand for air travel. While fuel peaked in July, an escalation of violence related to the drug trade caused many European countries to raise travel alerts in August 2008. The US government followed in October 2008. In November, the Mexican peso lost 40% of its value against the dollar, which fuelled overnight trips in the border areas by Americans in the fourth quarter of 2008. These trips compensated for declines in overnight trips to non-border areas compared to the same months in 2007. As tourists to non-border areas spend almost twice as much as the overall average tourist, these tourist declines restrained growth in incoming tourist receipts to 5% growth in 2008.

— 39 —

While international tourism is important due to its higher spend per traveller, domestic tourism receipts account for 87% of all tourism expenditure. The uncertain economic environment dampened consumer confidence and Mexicans cut back on their domestic trips, causing a decline of 2.4% in domestic trips in 2008. However, higher airfares and hotel rooms pushed domestic spending up by 4%. The slowdown in international and domestic tourism late in 2008 forced industry players to start discounting to lure travellers, putting some in financially precarious positions without the ability to withstand a complete travel and tourism standstill.

i

Arrivals by City (‘000 people)

Mexico City Cancún Puerto Vallarta Playa del Carmen Nuevo Vallarta Cabo San Lucas Ensenada Cozumel Monterrey Mazatlán

2007 2,559.8 2,021.6 596.4 522.7 466.4 444.3 342.9 320.1 317.8 270.9

Eurom onitor Inter n at i on a l

2008 2,598.2 2,072.1 602.4 530.6 475.7 448.4 345.3 323.0 323.5 273.6


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ? ings through May 4th including stops in Cozumel and Ensenada.

Mexico City is a hub for tourism, but entire country suffers

Travel warnings heeded The epidemic has caused governments, such as the US, UK, France, and Germany, to warn against non-essential travel to Mexico. Large corporations such as 3M, General Electric Co, Sony and Nokia are restricting business travel to Mexico. While airlines, hotels, travel agencies and tour operators are waiving cancellation fees and allowing clients to rebook, some industry players are making aggressive moves and ending flights and packages to Mexico entirely. Despite a lack of confirmed swine flu cases in the beach resort areas, Air Canada cancelled flights to Cancun, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta until June 1st while maintaining service to Mexico City. WestJet, the second largest airline in Canada, stopped flights to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cancun until June 20th except for the route to Cancun, which will return in the autumn. European tour operators, Thomas Cook Group and TUI AG cancelled flights until May 5th and May 8th, respectively. All major cruise companies were also cancelling ports of call in Mexico. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines cancelled Mexican ports for its sailO c tob er, 2 0 0 9

To make matters worse, Mexico City is the most popular destination for tourists, both international and domestic. In 2008, 2.6 million international visitors stopped in Mexico City and the capital accounts for 24% of domestic trips. Not only is the city a magnet for tourists, its international airport, Benito Juarez, is the main gateway to Mexico and a large hub, handling 26 million passengers in 2008. In fact, 60% of domestic passengers have an origination or a destination at either Benito Juarez or Toluca airport, an airport 40 miles from Mexico City popular with low cost airlines. 36% of international passengers arrive or depart from Mexico City. These statistics do not include passengers that have stopovers in these airports, which are quite common for international flights to reach coastal cities. As evidenced by the actions by the Canadian airlines, European tour operators and American cruise lines, the beach resort areas are not immune to cancellations despite the lack of swine flu cases. American and Mexican airlines are quiet on the amount of cancellations and bookings they are experiencing, insisting that the overall effect has been negligible as people postpone or choose different destinations. The hotel industry, on the other hand, has vocalized the dramatic decline in demand throughout the country. According to Asociación Mexicana de Hoteles y Moteles, the average hotel occupancy in the cities of Aguascalientes, Mexico City, San Luis Potosí, and Zacatecas has fallen to less than 10% when they typically run between 40-50% full. Hotel occupancy rates in Cancun continue to fall as tourists return home early and many cancel trips. Industry sources have seen

— 40 —

the occupancy rate drop from 64% as of April 25th to 55% of April 29th and that some accommodation establishments were operating at 15% occupancy in the city centre.

The impact will be severe In light of President Calderon's advisory, the long weekend scheduled for May 1st resulted in more cancellations by domestic tourists as people remained in their homes, worsening the situation. While summer months are considered the low travel season, June and July account for about 16% of air traffic and international visits. This summer will then be followed by the hurricane season in the autumn, another low travel season. While the epidemic may be curbed by then (SARS lasted for four months in China), demand may remain sluggish due to residual health fears and hurricane season. If the epidemic is curbed in a timely manner, it still may take months for stabilization in tourism demand in Mexico with November

i

Tourism Numbers Dropped

Mexico welcomed 700,000 fewer tourists in the first six months of 2009 than last year. Due to the influenza, fewer Americans visited Mexico. Last year, 3.35 million Americans traveled to the country between January and June. This year, however, the number of arrivals dropped to 2.85 million during the same period. During the first six months of this year a total of 4.61 million foreign tourists visited the country but in 2008 there were 5.24 million foreigners coming to Mexico during the same period. During the first half of 2009, tourism industry generated only $6 billion, which is a 17 per cent decline when compared with the same period the year before. Officials expect this year’s income from tourism to be down 30 per cent when compared to 2008 numbers. Tour ism-re v i e w.c om


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

as an ideal starting point. Industry players and the government will need to invest in promotion to assure travellers of their safety once the epidemic is contained and look to domestic and intra-regional tourism to lead a recovery in the crucial winter season of 2009-2010. It will also take discounts to lure price conscious and fearful tourists back to Mexico City and resort areas. Given the devastation of Hurricane Wilma in 2005, the government and industry

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

players are well versed in how to bring travellers back to the region, but they face a greater challenge in convincing travellers that their health is not at risk. By Michelle Grant (Travel and Tourism Research Manager, Euromonitor International) http://www.euromonitor.com

— 41 —


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

Swine Flu Still Scares Airlines

i To date, at least 3,205 people world-wide have died from the virus, according to the World Health Organization. Wsj.c om

“Swine flu has certainly increased traffic,” said Rob Dore, a director at Jet Direct Service Ltd. based in Shoreham-by-Sea, England. “Predominantly it’s the largest corporate clients. They are concerned about the wellbeing of their staff from a commercial, as well as a moral, standpoint.” It’s been estimated that about $6 billion was lost in the airline industry because of the fear of swine flu, although many

The

H1N1 virus, aka the swine flu, has had a media resurgence and the travel industry seems to be panicking – but is it justified or alarmism? So far airlines have said they will likely bar sick passengers from boarding, offer anti-bacterial wipes

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

and keep blankets and pillows off planes. (Someone should tell them that it’s a virus, not a bacterial infection.) Apparently the threat of the pandemic is so large that passengers are now more likely to hire a charter plane than fly on a commercial airline. According to Bloomberg:

— 42 —


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

companies now admit their part in escalating the global pandemic was voluntary: Dr Rose Ong, who heads the corporate medical department at Cathay Pacific Airways in Hong Kong . . . said companies can be swept up by the public reaction to swine flu, noting that banks and transportation systems in Asia began distributing surgical masks earlier this year even though the actual danger was low. “We really felt we had to do something similar even though we did not medically support the use of masks,” she said.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

So, the question is, are airlines escalating customer panic rather than easing it? Most health experts agree that travel restrictions are of little use. And in the end, swine flu or not, it’s still just the flu. So maybe airlines should channel all their efforts into getting passengers immunized, or educating them about places to get flu shots, rather than spend so much time and effort in promoting scare tactics. By Barbara E. Hernandez http://industry.bnet.com

— 43 —


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

Applying Tourism’s Lessons Learned from SARS to Swine Flu

The

global tourism industry is right to be concerned about swine flu and its potential impact on global tourism. We only have to switch the clock back to 2003 to recall the devastating impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak on tourism in East and Southeast Asia and Canada. During the SARS outbreak this flu like disease resulted in just under 9,000 people contracting the disease of whom 870 died. Serious an outbreak as it was, in the pantheon of historic epidemics, SARS was a relatively mild epidemic compared to Malaria which continues to kill over one million per annum or AIDS, which kills many more. Yet neither of these diseases stopped tourism in its tracks in the way that SARS did in 2003 and primary reason for this was the fact that the media coverage of and interpretation of the World Health Organization’s warnings on SARS labeled the condition as a “pandemic.”

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

This begs the question: what actually is a PANDEMIC? The medical definition of a pandemic is a disease or epidemic which is spread widely geographically AND which affects a large proportion of the affected population. The condition clearly requires a range of preventative measures including screening by airlines, border control officials at international airports, isolation of suspected patients and the activation of preventative measures but it does not require the premature labeling of swine flu as a pandemic. The perception of SARS as a pandemic created the most serious impacts on tourism as people, terrified of contracting SARS avoided visiting or even transiting through countries which were or were thought to be affected by that outbreak. A dramatic example was Thailand. In 2003, Thailand had 14 confirmed cases of SARS that resulted in two deaths. During 2003, tourism arrivals to Thailand dropped by 1.5 million costing the country an estimated US$2.5 billion in tourism revenues. The Tourism Authority of Thailand was obliged to spend tens of millions of dollars to run a campaign to convince travelers that SARS was not a threat to them. In Hong Kong, which experienced just under 1,000 cases of SARS in 2003, media coverage suggested that the entire population was in the grip of the disease yet 90 percent of Hong Kong’s SARS cases were confined to the residents of five neighboring apartment blocks. The recovery of tourism in Asia and Canada from the SARS outbreak required massive campaign

— 44 —

instigated by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) with the cooperation of government tourism authorities, airlines, hotel chains and the support of various media outlets to talk up tourism and the safety of travel in the regions deemed affected by SARS. PATA’s Project Phoenix became an iconic post crisis recovery campaign.


M edica l : Pand e mi c T hre at : Tour i sm Indu st r y Nig ht mare ?

i

Saudi worried about flu affecting tourism to holy sites

Fears among Muslims world-wide that this year’s pilgrimage high season in Saudi Arabia will become a breeding ground for the new H1N1 flu has Saudi tourism officials worried. “We’re receiving cancellations from all over the world,” said Waleed Abu Sabaa, head of the Hotels and Tourism Committee for the Mecca Chamber of Commerce and the owner of a company that controls 20 hotels in Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities of Islam. “It’s tough. It’s very tough.” The pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj, is mandatory for all Muslims once in their lives, if they are physically and financially able, and takes place during a specific time in the Islamic calendar — this year, between Nov. 25 and Nov. 30. Arabian Business magazine, which has dedicated a section of its Web site to swineflu coverage, estimated businesses in Mecca and Medina are in for some $266 million in lost revenue because of fewer travelers this year.

The concern that swine flu currently raises for tourism is that while Mexico has been identified as the epicenter of the disease, confirmed and suspected cases are being reported in a range of geographically dispersed countries. This has led many sectors of the media to falsely label swine flu as a pandemic. If we in the tourism industry have learned anything from SARS, and, I have no doubt we have, then its is incumbent on us to expose the distinction between legitimate concern about preventing the spread of swine flu from the perceptual panic which is being created over swine flu being depicted as a pandemic. During the SARS outbreak, the International Air Transport Association instituted a range of com-

Wsj.c om

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 45 —

mon screening procedures which applied to all its member airlines and border control officers at airports instituted common screening procedures to identify passengers who may be potential carriers of the virus. Certainly all of us, the industry should be alert to the potential threat of swine flu but its vital to avoid being swept up on the panic which gripped the world about SARS. To do this, we must challenge the threat of negative and misleading perceptions as a top priority. In this case, prevention is better than cure.

By David Beirman http://www.eturbonews.com


D estination Qatar Small, rich and beautiful! Qatar is fighting for its place in the sun. What are the greatest attractions? Visit the rose of the Middle East.


Destination : Q atar

Euromonitor International: Travel and Tourism in Qatar Economic growth continues to fund investment in tourism infrastructure According to Euromonitor International, Qatar showed a strong economic performance in 2008, and thanks to the enduring success of its oil and gas industries, the country was one of the few in the world to remain relatively unaffected by the global economic downturn. Travel and tourism continued to benefit greatly from this economic success, with infrastructure and accommodation improving substantially. In 2004 the government pledged to spend U$15 billion on various projects to develop the local travel and tourism market. A number of projects have already come to fruition, including the Museum of Islamic Arts, which opened in December 2008, and the Khalifa Sports City. Other proj-

i

Where does Qatar stand in the time of crisis?

Even though some compare present day Doha to Dubai in the late 1990’s, two things set it apart – its gas wealth, and most notably, the monarchy’s level of caution. Developments in Qatar never reached the overly ambitious plans of Dubai. And therefore, despite the increasing promise of Qatar’s resources and related projects, authorities and economic players alike have taken a step back. In short, the term that best describes the underlying economic sentiment in Doha today can modestly be coined ‘cautious optimism’. HVS.c om

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

ects still underway or in planning at the end of the review period included the creation of a new city, Lusail, and a reclaimed-land Riviera development, the Pearl.

Qatar remains highly dependent on business visitors With its highly successful economy funding much of its development and with limited natural tourist attractions, Qatar tends to attract business travellers more than leisure tourists. According to Euromonitor International, the majority of visitors to Qatar come from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and other Arab nations. During the 20032008 year period, Qatar focused on increasing the number of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Exhibitions) visitors by advertising its world class conference and exhibition facilities, which have welcomed delegates from the WTO, the Arab League and the UN in recent years. In addition, the Qatar MICE Development Institute was created to develop Qatar as a leading events destination. Its primary goal is to cooperate with the government in order to attract and host successful MICE events in Qatar.

Qatar witnesses a boom in hotel building Once renowned for its scarcity of available rooms, Qatar now boasts an impressive selection of 4- and 5-star luxury hotels, with more scheduled to open over the next five years. During the 2003-2008 year

— 47 —

period, the country increased its room capacity substantially, but hotel occupancy rates (along with room rates) remained high in 2008. Most of the new hotels are owned by well-known chains and cater primarily to business travellers. However, many also offer beach and spa facilities in an effort to attract leisure visitors, or at least entice their business clients to stay for longer. Most visitors only tend to stay for a couple of nights, however, and it is likely that hotel operators will have to develop new strategies to attract more domestic tourists, who are now spoilt for choice.

Travel remains a popular leisure activity among Qataris Qatari nationals are often described as being among the richest people in the world, with the average GDP per capita standing at U$93,000 in 2008. With the government providing a generous benefits system, all Qataris have what would be considered high disposable incomes by any measure, and as

i Forecast 2007 2008 2009 2010 Health & Wellness Tourism Sales 9,7 10,6 13,1 16,2 ©2009 Eurom onitor Inter n at i on a l


Destination : Q atar

i

Qatar Inbound Tourism

Arrivals from: Bahrain France Iran Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Saudi Arabia Syria United Arab Emirates United Kingdom Yemen Other countries of origin

2008 963,9 74,6 12,6 6,4 21,0 36,1 37,5 38,6 218,0 12,4 64,0 40,0 13,6 389,2

©2009 Eurom onitor Inter n at i on a l

a result they enjoy a high standard of living. Travel is a common leisure activity, with many people regularly taking short trips to other GCC countries, as well as longer holidays to Asia, North Africa and the Levant and Europe. Domestic holidays are also becoming more popular, especially now that local residents can enjoy the additional attractions pro-

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

vided by the boom in new hotel openings during the review period. Included among these attractions is Al Sharq village, a hotel development with a spa and an ancient-style bazaar.

Visitor numbers look set to rise steadily over 2008-2013 The Qatari government has stated that it hopes to attract 1.4 million tourists annually by 2010. Due to the global economic downturn it is unlikely that this target will be met, though it is estimated that the figure of 1.4 million visitors could be achieved as early as 2012. There is much competition for visitors in the region, with Bahrain and Dubai in particular traditionally attracting many more than Qatar. However, both of these countries have been hit much harder by the global economic downturn than Qatar, which has impacted negatively on their visitor numbers and their capacity to invest in tourism infrastructure. Qatar appears to be much more resilient, partly due to the excellent economic growth shown during the review period. Strong economic growth looks set to continue, which should fuel further investment in tourism infrastructure in Qatar over the 2008-2013 year period. Extract from Euromonitor International’s report “Travel and Tourism in Qatar” http://www.euromonitor.com

— 48 —


Destination : Q atar

Qatar – As Independent as You Are

L

ocated halfway along the western coast of the Arabian Gulf, the State of Qatar acts as a bridge between East and West welcoming visitors from around the world. At the cross roads of economic, cultural and natural heritage, the strategic location of the country has attracted visitors to the region for thousands of years. With sprawling dunes in the south, sandy coastlines and islets, reefs and salt flats, the small peninsular-nation offers as much natural beauty as it does cultural richness. Surrounded by a 563-km coastline, Qatar has always been a sea-dedicated community. From a center for fishing and pearling trades in the days gone by, Qatar’s identity has been shaped by an age-old sea oriented civilization, hosting travelers as guests. Highlighting its authentic heritage and rich past, while installing pride in its future, Qatar is a center of both tradition and innovation. Today Qatar is leading a surge in interest in the Arabian Gulf. Although conveniently accessible

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

via a short flight on most international carriers, including the 5-star Qatar Airways, the unique atmosphere of Qatar makes it feel as though you are truly off the beaten path. The autumn and winter months promise a calendar packed with world-class cultural attractions, international sporting events and exciting activities for the whole family. Inspiring a new generation of filmmakers in the Gulf Region, the Tribeca Film Festival comes to Doha in late October featuring around thirty films, many written or directed by Middle Eastern filmmakers. The Waqif Art Center in the center of the authentic Souq Waqif is the host to many local and regional art exhibitions during this period. The spacious Doha Exhibitions Center will be the venue for many acclaimed regional and international trade fairs including the exhibitions showcasing products made in Turkey, the United States and Qatar, as well as the well-anticipated annual Jewelry and Watches Exhibition in early 2010. For sports enthusiasts, the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex will be the venue for the Sony/ Ericcson WTA Championship in November and the Qatar ExxonMobil Open men’s championship in January. Qatar is also featured on the European golf tour with the Commercialbank Qatar Masters Golf Tournament in January. However, no trip to Qatar would be complete without experiencing the country’s year-round attractions. The capital city of Doha is home to the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art, which boasts one of the largest and finest collections of pieces from one of the world’s great civilizations. For those looking for a truly genuine Arabian experience, the vast deserts of Qatar promise adventure through

— 49 —

camel back safaris and nights beneath the stars. Or, shoppers and explorers are encouraged to get lost in the authentically preserved Arabian souqs while discovering local treasures. The sprawling ASPIRE Zone, main venue for the 15th Asian Games in 2006, is an impressive multi-purpose facility offering both local and international visitors access to world-class sports facilities and activities, high-end retail shopping and luxurious green parks for relaxation and for family enjoyment. Many of the world’s top luxury hotels are open in Qatar – with the most recent additions including the W-Hotel and Grand Hyatt Doha. The hotels’ luxurious spas and variety of exceptional dining experiences, touched with Arabian influences, offer a quiet and relaxing respite from the charged activities of the day. Aside from the myriad of attractions and activities, Qatar has developed a solid infrastructure for progress and innovation, becoming known not only as a destination for travelers, but also as a center for business, education and research. Qatar is home to Education City, an impressive undertak-

i

$17 billion for tourism infrastructure

The Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority estimates a total of $17 billion to be spent on tourism infrastructure over the next five years to support the increase in hotel supply, and thus increase the current leisure segment from 5% to up to 30% of total demand. HVS.c om


Destination : Q atar

ing which hosts six world-class universities, all branch campuses of prestigious international institutions. The Qatar Science and Technology Park is a local home for technology-based companies from around the world and an incubator for start-ups enterprises. Known as the founder of free speech in the Middle East, Qatar is home to Al Jazeera, the first independent Arabic news channel in the world. When launched 13 years ago, Al Jazeera broke the monopoly on State controlled media in the region, providing an outlet for conversation and debate throughout the Middle East. Although the State of Qatar is emerging as a global leader in industry and tourism, the country is still a work in progress and is continually looking to the future as it expands upon its heritage. In the next years a new Doha International Airport will open to welcome the estimated 50 million passen-

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

gers who will come through once completed. Qatar’s largest single real estate development, Lusail, is currently underway. When complete, Lusail will cover over 35 square kilometers and will accommodate up to 200,000 people. Always planning for the future, The State of Qatar has dedicated endless resources and energy into progressive and innovative development ideas and tools. Whatever your interests, Qatar has something for everyone – from business travelers looking for a break between meetings, to backpackers eager for unique desert adventures, to families hoping to relax on a luxurious beach. By Ahmed Al Nuaimi (Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority) www.qatartourism.gov.qa

— 50 —


Destination : Q atar

The Museum of Islamic Art: Qatar’s Cultural Epicenter

Q

atar, the world’s richest country on a per-head basis, has entered a new era of its history. The Museum of Islamic Arts which was opened last year in the capital city Doha is viewed by many as a perfect catalyst for the development of the city as a cultural and educational centre of excellence. The museum opened in November 2008 with a glittering ceremony and a spectacular firework display that dazzled more than 200 guests. The inauguration was attended by heads of state, prominent O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

experts in history and art as well as celebrities. Among them was also the Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, who is to bring his long-established Tribeca film festival to Qatar in October. Built on an artificial island on reclaimed land, the museum holds 800 artistic and historical treasures from three continents and illustrates Islamic culture spanning 1,100 years. The geometric-shaped building, designed by world famous architect Ieoh Ming Pei, 91-year old creator of the Louvre pyra-

— 51 —

mid, is determined to become the centerpiece of Qatar’s strategy to become a tourist cultural destination of choice. The museum houses manuscripts, textiles, ceramics and other works mostly assembled since 1990’s and creating one of the world’s most encyclopedic collections of Islamic art. The artifacts originate from numerous destinations like Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India and Central Asia.


Destination : Q atar

Stuart Pearce from the Qatar Financial Center Authority said: “Qatar is very proud of its new cultural icon. The Museum of Islamic Art represents a range of different qualities that reflect modern day Qatar – its culture and heritage, modern architecture, sharing with the community and education.” Within a couple of years Doha will open 17 new museums making it an art and cultural epicenter.

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

By establishing the capital as a cultural bridge between the Middle East and the rest of the world Qatar has strengthened its position as a global capital of culture. The Chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani said: “The goal of the QMA is to invest in our country’s most valuable resource – our people – by developing new educational experiences. It is our aim to exhibit human creative and artistic genius to provide the educational keys to understanding the past, and incentives upon which to reflect and create the future.” Media representatives point out the current strategy of the Gulf States who are discovering culture as a missing part of their image: “They have the ritzy airports, big towers and financial institutions, but they want to get culture and they’re very competitive. Qatar wants to distinguish itself from Dubai, which is seen as brash, and it has got in there first,” commented Georgina Adam, from the Art Newspaper.

— 52 —

Qatar is ideally situated between Western Europe, Russia and India and is already a popular tourist destination. Building wonderful museums showcasing Qatar’s treasures to the world can only increase its attractiveness. http://www.tourism-review.com


Destination : Q atar

Doha & Other Cities for Modern Traveler

zas; natural attractions and water sports; state-ofthe-art sporting facilities and historical museums; all combined with fine dining and luxurious accommodations. Welcome to the heart of the Arabian Gulf. Come and experience Qatar.

Doha The capital of Qatar, Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an important cultural and commercial centre and enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport, and telephone links. It has a population of 400,051 and it is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the nation's population residing in the city or its surrounding suburbs. Doha is also the economic center of the country and the seat of government of Qatar, which is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani–the current ruling Emir of Qatar.

Palm Tree Island Situated about a 10-minute boat ride from the Corniche, Palm Tree Island has children and family amenities, restaurants and cafe’s, and water sports facilities along with beaches for swimming in the warm waters of the Gulf.

Al Wakra

As

your aircraft descends into Qatar, you are welcomed by a spectacular view of the capital city, Doha. The completely landscaped, crescent-shaped Corniche, the sparkling blue waters of O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

the Arabian Gulf, and the sandy desert backdrop provide the first glimpse of what experiences await you. This sun-kissed country is filled with possibilities of desert escapades and shopping extravagan-

— 53 —

Halfway between Doha and Umm Said, you will find the town of Al Wakra. Originally a tiny fishing and pearling village, it has evolved into a small town with a population of less than 30,000. The Al Wakra Museum has been established in one of the town’s old forts and displays the marine life and the natural history of the area. There are also fine examples of the art and architecture included in the exhibits.

Umm Said Umm Said is the heart of Qatar’s industry. Situated 45 km south of Doha on the east coast of the


Destination : Q atar

north of Doha. It serves as an administrative centre for a number of coastal villages.

Al Ruwais Located on the northern tip of the peninsula this town is a fine example of the traditional Bedouin lifestyle as it merges with the modern world.

Al Zubara

peninsula, it has both a commercial port and an oilexporting port. There are refineries in Umm Said as well as other industrial establishments producing steel, natural gas liquids, fertilizers, and petrochemicals. Umm Said also has fine beaches.

Khor Al Udaid Located south of Doha, sand dunes embrace the sea and the surrounding area is covered with many sabkha deposits. O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

Al Khor About 57 km north of Doha on the east coast, Al Khor is famous for its harbour filled with small craft and fishing boats. It has excellent beaches, historic tower, and interesting mosques.

Madinat Al-Shamal A relatively new town on the northern tip of the peninsula, Madinat Al-Shamal is about 107 km

— 54 —

Situated just 100 km north west of Doha lies the town of Al Zubara, an important archeological site famous for its old fort. This fort-turned-museum was constructed in 1938 during the reign of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani and was erected on the ruins of a neighboring fort. The fort itself is square-shaped with circular towers in three of its corners and a rectangular tower in the fourth. With high, thick walls, this fort also served as a coast guard station and, until the mid-1980s, was used by the military.

Dukhan Situated on the west coast of the peninsula, Dukhan is about 84km across the country from Doha. It became important when oil was discovered in the surrounding area. Like Umm Said and Al-Wakrah, the town also has fine beaches. http://www.experienceqatar.com


I n b o u n d To u r O p e r a t o r s ALPHA TOURS - Qatar | PO BOX 9012, Doha ARABIAN ADVENTURES - UAE | Emirates Holidays Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, PO Box 7631 Dubai CLEOPATRA TRAVELS - Qatar |PO Box 989, Doha DESERT ADVENTURES - UAE | Qatar Airways Bldg. Al Maktoum Street, Doha Center, Dubai DESTINATIONS OF THE WORLD - Qatar | PO Box 158, Doha NAVIGATION TRAVEL AND TOURISM - Qatar | P.O. Box 153, Doha

GULF ADVENTURES TOURISM L.L.C - Qatar | P.O.Box 18180, Doha WEB: www.gulf-adventures.com, Email: info@gulf-adventures.com The leading DMC par excellence offering a spectrum of holiday experiences in the State of Qatar.” NET TOURS - Qatar | PO BOX 23080, Doha QATAR INTERNATIONAL TOURS - Qatar | P.O.Box: 55733, Doha TOURIST TRAVEL BUREAU - Qatar | P.O. Box: 2572, Doha TRAVCO QATAR - Qatar | Trans Orient Building, Airport Road, P.O. Box 23240, Doha

O c tob er, 2 0 0 9

— 55 —

Destination : Q atar


Fairs & Exhibitions T r av e l / T o u r i s m

i n

O C T O B ER

2 0 0 9

b y

r e g i o n s


Fairs & E x hibitions : O ctob e r , 2 0 0 9

Western Europe

World Travel CEO Forum Location

Gateshead / UK

Start / End

08 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Provider

World Travel CEO Forum

Contact

nadine.wenn@worldtravelawards.com

Caravaning Outlet & Camping 2009 Location

Barcelona / Spain

Start / End

09 October 2009 / 12 October 2009

Provider

Fira de Barcelona

Contact

info@firabcn.es

World Travel Awards - Europe Awards Ceremony

The Travel Convention 2009

Location

Obidos / Portugal

Start / End

17 October 2009 / 17 October 2009

Provider

World Travel Awards

Contact

awards@worldtravelawards.com

INTO: Innovation & Tourism International Seminar 2009 Location

Palma de Mallorca / Spain

Location

Barcelona / Spain

Start / End

06 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Start / End

21 October 2009 / 23 October 2009

Provider

ABTA

Provider

Contact

moreinfo@thetravelconvention.com

Directorate General of Research, Technological Development and Innovation of the Balearic Islands Government

Contact

info@visitinnovation.com

Hotelforum 2009

Golf Europe 2009

Location

Munich / Germany

Location

Munich / Germany

Start / End

07 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Start / End

27 October 2009 / 29 October 2009

Provider

hotelforum management GmbH

Provider

Messe Munchen GmbH

Contact

info@hotelforum.org

Contact

info@golf-europe.com

European Regions Airline Association General Assembly

Philoxenia - International Tourism Exhibition

Location

Interlaken / Switzerland

Location

Thessaloniki / Greece

Start / End

07 October 2009 / 09 October 2009

Start / End

29 October 2009 / 01 November 2009

Provider

European Regions Airline Association

Provider

Helexpo

Contact

lesley.shepherd@eraa.org

Contact

philoxenia@helexpo.gr

  More events related to Travel/Tourism can be found here   If you are an event provider you may consider to place your event in the above category, please click here   If your event already is in the list you may consider using the enhanced listing. For replacement just click here

— 57 —


Fairs & E x hibitions : O ctob e r , 2 0 0 9

CENTR AL Europe

C.I.S. Travel Market Location

St Petersburg / Russia

Start / End

14 October 2009 / 16 October 2009

Provider

Restec Exhibition Company

Contact

main@restec.ru

Spas Location

St Petersburg / Russia

Start / End

14 October 2009 / 16 October 2009

Provider

Restec Exhibition Company

Contact

main@restec.ru

INWETEX – CIS Travel Market

International Ukraine 2009 Travel Market Location

Kiev / Ukraine

Start / End

06 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Provider Contact

AUTOEXPO julia@autoexpo.ua

Sales and Marketing in Travel Summit Europe 2009 Location

Prague / Czech Republic

Start / End

13 October 2009 / 14 October 2009

Provider

EyeforTravel

Contact

gina@eyefortravel.com

Social Media Strategies in Travel 2009

Location

St. Petersburg / Russia

Start / End

14 October 2009 / 16 October 2009

Provider

Restec

Contact

semenova@restec.ru

Business Travel Show Location

Budapest / Hungary

Start / End

14 October 2009 / 15 October 2009

Provider

Turizmus Kft.

Contact

rendezveny@turizmus.com

Tour Salon 2009 Location

Poznan / Poland

Start / End

21 October 2009 / 24 October 2009

Provider

Poznan International Fair Imag

Contact

info@mtp.pl

Spa and Wellness Tourism

Location

Prague / Czech Republic

Location

Plovdiv / Bulgaria

Start / End

13 October 2009 / 14 October 2009

Start / End

21 October 2009 / 24 October 2009

EyeForTravel

Provider

International Fair - Plovdiv

gina@eyefortravel.com

Contact

d.gozmanova@fair.bg

Provider Contact

  More events related to Travel/Tourism can be found here   If you are an event provider you may consider to place your event in the above category, please click here   If your event already is in the list you may consider using the enhanced listing. For replacement just click here

— 58 —


Fairs & E x hibitions : O ctob e r , 2 0 0 9

North America

World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress Location

Los Angeles, CA / United States of America

Start / End

26 October 2009 / 28 October 2009

Provider

World Medical Tourism and Global Health Congress

Contact

info@medicaltourismcongress.com

Annual ISPA Conference & Expo Location

Austin, TX / United States of America

Start / End

05 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Provider

ISPA

Contact

ispa@ispastaff.com

Adventures in Travel Expo - New York Location

New York, NY / United States of America

Start / End

10 October 2009 / 11 October 2009

Provider

Unicomm

Contact

info@adventureexpo.com

Adventure Travel World Summit Location

Québec / Canada

Start / End

19 October 2009 / 22 October 2009

Provider

Adventure Travel Trade Association

Contact

paula@adventuretravel.biz

  More events related to Travel/Tourism can be found here   If you are an event provider you may consider to place your event in the above category, please click here   If your event already is in the list you may consider using the enhanced listing. For replacement just click here

— 59 —


Fairs & E x hibitions : O ctob e r , 2 0 0 9

Asia & Pacific

IT&CMA and CTV Asia-Pacific Location

Bangkok / Thailand

Start / End

06 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Provider

TTG Asia Media

Contact

contact@ttgasia.com

SpaAsia Wellness Summit Location

Kuala Lumpur / Malaysia

Start / End

14 October 2009 / 16 October 2009

Provider

Wellness Summit

Contact

info@wellnesssummit.com

ITB Asia

International Travel Expo (ITE HCMC) Location

Ho Chi Minh City / Viet Nam

Start / End

01 October 2009 / 03 October 2009

Provider

ITE HCMC

Contact

adrian.heng@mra-asia.com

India Travel Mart - Vadodara

Location

/ Singapore

Start / End

21 October 2009 / 23 October 2009

Provider

Singapore Tourism Board

Contact

whey.ng@itb-asia.com

Beautyworld Japan Location

Osaka / Japan

Start / End

26 October 2009 / 28 October 2009

Provider

Messe Frankfurt

Contact

info@mesago-messefrankfurt.com

India Travel Mart - Goa

Location

Vadodara / India

Location

Goa / India

Start / End

02 October 2009 / 04 October 2009

Start / End

30 October 2009 / 01 November 2009

Provider

India Travel Mart

Provider

India Travel Mart

Contact

indiatravelmart@airtelmail.in

Contact

indiatravelmart@airtelmail.in

Astana Leisure Location

Astana / Kazakhstan

Start / End

06 October 2009 / 08 October 2009

Provider

Iteca ITE Group Plc

Contact

astana@iteca.kz

  More events related to Travel/Tourism can be found here   If you are an event provider you may consider to place your event in the above category, please click here   If your event already is in the list you may consider using the enhanced listing. For replacement just click here

— 60 —


iŃ ons

Sunshine

Sightseeng

Adventure

Business

SPA

Budget

Luxury

Expertise

Destination

General

Figures Economy

Security

New service

Problems

Transport

Transport

Ecology

People

Events

Special

TR Partner

Media Partner

Alarm

Advice

Polls Awards

For advertising in the magazine please click here (http://www.tourism-review.com/advertising-banner.php?type=magazine) or contact as at: commerce@tourism-review.com Rates and technical specification can be seen or downloaded here (http://www.tourism-review.com/pdf/tr_media_kit.pdf) or contact as at: tech@tourism-review.com You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to see the file: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html For contributing your text materials for the magazine please contact our editor at: editor@tourism-review.org For all other issues: www.Tourism-Review.com Stupkova 18 779 00 Olomouc Czech Republic Tel: + 420 585 411 144 info@tourism-review.com

Tourism Review Online Magazine - 10/2009  

Tourism Review Online Magazine - the leading publication for travel trade professionals and advanced travelers. Opportunity for online desti...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you