WATCH AND LEARN
France may have the most tourists – but it’s a very different story when you compare the number of tourists to locals, as the fascinating graphic accompanying this article from by Tom Metcalf of London’s Telegraph shows (you can access it through the link below). Click on a region to zoom or a country to see how it’s level of tourism compares to population.
Figures released last year by the United Nations World Tourism Organization showed France remains the world’s most visited country, with more than 83 million international tourist arrivals in 2012. When it comes to attracting visitors France has no shortage of draws – Alpine ski resorts, Mediterranean beaches, food, wine and culture clearly hold great appeal.
But what happens if you take visitor numbers and compare them to a country’s population, to give the number of tourists per head of population? As the heat map above shows…
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March 07, 2013
As ACEI’s President and CEO, Jasmin S. Kuehnert, embarks on her trip to Hong Kong next week where she’ll be attending the APIEA http://www.apaie.org / Conference and presenting a session on “Partnerships and Collaborations with EducationUSA, higher education communities in the U.S. and the East Asia Pacific,” we thought it would be interesting to share some facts about Hong Kong.
1. Hong Kong’s official name is the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or Hong Kong SAR.
2. Hong Kong means Fragrant Harbor.
3. Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and several other smaller islands spread
over 1,092 square kilometers.
4. Hong Kong’s official languages are Chinese (Spoken Cantonese) and English.
5. Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce’s per person than any other city in the world.
6. Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers (classified as building with more than 14 floors) in…
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WATCH AND LEARN
A way to overcome the ongoing issue of running out of habitable land to develop for the growing numbers of human population is to build up. Building up would mean constructing a concrete city of buildings; the higher they are, the more job opportunities and living space there will be. This is probably why China is building many skyscrapers,where a majority of the buildings are amongst the tallest in the world.
1.Mubarak al-Kabir Tower, Subiya, Kuwait. The Mubarak al-Kabir Tower will be the 1001 m centerpiece of the upcoming City of Silk in Subiya, Kuwait. The entire city will include stadiums, residences, hotels and retail shops that are set to open sometime in 2016.
2. Sky City, Changsha, Hunan, China. Sky City is estimated to be completed by June 2014. The builders who planned the 838 m skyscraper says that it needs a total of 210 days for it to be fully erected. If it’s on schedule, it’ll be the tallest building in the world, beating the current tallest, Burj Khalifa, by 10m.
3.Peruri 88, Jakarta, Indonesia. Jakarta is a crowded city that lacks greenery and living space. With this multi-tiered vertical city, the Peruri 88 will have apartments, hotels, offices, retail outlets, amphitheaters and roof parts that can accomodate sports and recreational activities
4. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea. The 123-storeys high Lotte World Tower is currently under construction in Seoul and is estimated to be completed in 2015. The 555 m high skyscraper will include offices, retail outlets, a hotel and also an observation deck.
5. Signature Tower, Jakarta, Indonesia. The Signature Tower set to erect in Jakarta is proposed to begin construction in 2014 and estimated to finish in the year 2020. It’ll be 638 m tall with 111 storeys that will house an observatory, luxury hotel and mall as well as offices.
6. Zhongguo Zun, Beijing, China. The Zhongguo Zun, or China Zun, is currently under construction and set to complete in 2016. It’s in the running to be the tallest in Beijing at 528 m with 108 storeys, and second tallest in
China losing by more than 50 m to the Goldin Finance 117 in Tianjin
7. Abu Dhabi Plaza, Astana, Kazakhstan. The Abu Dhabi Plaza is envisioned to be a mini-town of its own consisting of many towers of different heights; the tallest being 382 m with 88 floors. The entire complex will house 446 apartments, 190 hotel rooms, and 100 serviced apartments over a space of more than 200,000 square meters.
8. Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom Tower is set to erect in Jeddah as the centerpiece of the Kingdom City beside the Red Sea. It’s imagined to be 1000 m tall with 200 floors, 160 of which will be occupiable. Lots of tests are ongoing to ensure that this marvel can be built.
9. Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. The Ping An Finance Centre is currently under construction in Shenzhen, China. When it’s set to complete in 2016, it’ll be 115-storeys and 660 m high making
it one of China’s tallest building.
10. Lakhta Center, St. Petersburg, Russia. The Lakhta Center will be the first supertall skyscraper in the city of St. Petersburg upon its planned completion in 2018. It’ll have an educational complex, sports and leisure facilities, an outdoor amphitheater, offices and a hotel.
11. Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China. The Goldin Finance Tower is estimated to be completed by 2015 and will stand at a height of 597 m with 117-storeys, the number included in its name. Other than being able to occupy offices,
it’ll also have a mall and hotel.
12. One World Trade Center, New York, United States. The One World Trade Center is about to open to public sometime in 2014. It’ll be America’s tallest building at 541 m and will include office spaces, an observation deck and luxury restaurants.
13. Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan, Hubei, China. The Wuhan Greenland Center is designed to be aerodynamic and harness the strong winds that affect these tall buildings. It’ll gather the wind and air around it to be used as heating or cooling, making it a very green-friendly 606 m skyscraper.
14. GIFT Diamond Tower, Gandhinagar, India. The Gujarat International Finance Tec, or GIFT Diamond Tower, will erect the central business district of Gujarat, India. It’ll be the centerpiece of the GIFT City that will house offices, schools, homes, hotels, convention centers and retail outlets.
15. World One, Mumbai, India. The World One tower is currently being built in Mumbai and is set for completion in 2014. It’s a luxurious residential tower that will have 300 high class apartments with a height of 117 m, making it one of the world’s tallest residential tower.
16. Buenos Aires Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Buenos Aires Forum is a proposed tower with a spiral-like
design that will be the centerpiece of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It’s imagined to be 1000 m high with an estimated cost of $3.33 billion set to finish by 2016. If completed, it’ll be amongst the tallest skyscrapers in the world.
17. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China. The ongoing construction of the Shanghai Tower has received a lot of fame recently as 2 Russian daredevils climbed to the very top of the 632 m high tower. It’s set to be open to the public
in 2015 and be the tallest building in China as well as second tallest in the world.
18. Pentominium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Pentominium was an ambitious project that halted after 22 floors were built due to budget issues. There are no solid reports saying the 516 m high residential skyscraper will achieve completion to be the second tallest tower in Dubai.
19. Chicago Spire, Chicago, United States. The Chicago Spire was set to be the second tallest skyscraper in the world at 610 m with 150 floors. However, it was abandoned after only having its foundation work completed, due to financial challenges and the global economic recession in 2008.
20. Seoul Light DMC Tower, Seoul, South Korea. The Seoul Light Digital Media City Tower was scheduled to be completed by April 2015 but has since been cancelled due to budgetary reasons. If its construction continued, it would have been 640 m tall, the tallest building in Korea.
ISTRIA: A CULTURAL MIX OF SPLENDOUR
Located at the northernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea, the Western edge of Croatia, where the Mediterranean Sea most deeply retracts into the European mainland, the Istrian peninsula comprises just one country, the country of Istria. The country of Istria despite being one of the smallest is the prime tourist region in Croatia. It is the endowed with well preserved natural attractions and wonderful vistas not only in its hinterland.
THE MAGICAL LAND
Due to its mixture of diverse natural and cultural attraction, Istria has a unique culture, music and impeccable cuisine confirming its identity as the ‘Magic Island’. The peculiarity of if its uniqueness stems from its isolation from the rest of Croatia by the high massif of the River Ucka. The Museum of Rovinj in the Baroque building in the centre of the main city holds many paintings by old masters. There are works of artists from the 19th century, inspired by life in Rovinj, particularly from the period of the Austrian authorities, when Istria was a strategically very important part of the once powerful Habsburg Empire.
The richness of the Istrian cultural heritage can be found throughout the magical country and most evident in the town of Rovinj. The vista of Rovinj with the church of St Euphemia and the bell tower in the center is one of the most impressive hallmarks of Istria. The town of Rovinj is endowed with charming narrow streets, picturesque views of old town houses which has attracted many artists over the years. Among these magnificent street is Grisia. Here the artists who gather on the streets traditionally offer their works to many tourists on the spot.
You can find a Galerion in Novigrad, a delightful historic town on the peninsula. Galerion is a unique and very special collection of artifacts and photographs which show in an impressive way, the meaning and the life of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Novigrad has strived to conserve its architectural heritage including the spectacular defensive walls. Identical to Novigrad is Umag, a coastal city that lies in the northernmost region of Istria and is one of the largest Marinas in Croatia. Another scenic coastal town in Istria is Vrsar which lies on the hill above the safe bays a favourite spot for many boaters.
Also visit the archeological museum in Pula where they have the largest number of exhibits in the state.
And don’t fail to visit the Euphrasian Basilica in Porec, which is for now the only monument in Istria listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The basilica is special in its style of construction and dazzling example of early Byzantine art of the 6th century.
In the extreme south of the Istrian peninsula lies Pula, the largest town in Istria. The centre of the town holds the monumental and well preserved amphitheater which testifies to the extraordinary significance of pula and Istria since ancient times. In addition to the amphitheater is the Arch of the Sergi in the city centre.
Istria is by far the most visited region of Croatia because of the rich historical grandeur. The Romans, the Byzantines, the Langobards, the Greeks, the Histri, the Italians, the franks all left traces of their cultural heritage which the natives of Istria try to preserve so be sure to come in contact with an embodiment of diverse cultures when you step into the magical city.
Sail around the world in luxury…..
Floating on the heart of the South Pacific and consisting of 332 astounding island lies the archipelago Republic of the Fiji Islands. Home to some of the best beaches in the South Pacific, the island nation of Fiji is the ideal honeymoon spot to start a love story you will never get tired of telling.
The islands are a spectacular blue print of the Garden of Eden paved with the monumental palm trees waving against the backdrop of the emerald rainforest under the soft radiation of the tropical sun.
The Fiji Island is the perfect dream destination for weddings and honeymoons. For families and children, this is the place where happiness finds you. Right from the very first moment the friendly natives say ‘Bula’ the cheerful Fijian greeting and lace you with the orchid necklace, there is no doubt you are going to enjoy every second of your stay.
Fiji is a wonderful place to visit. Endowed with a topic climate, the temperature hovers around 88F in the summer months and barely drops to an average of 84F during the winter. The only factors that distinguish the two seasons are the typical wet weather of the summer and the dry atmosphere of the winter months. You can simply say that the Fiji Island is an all-year-round destination.
Another exciting part of the Fiji Island is that it has resorts designed exclusively with honeymooning couples in mind. These resorts are tailored to provide couples with luxurious experiences geared towards romance and privacy. Most of the Fiji honeymoon spots are tucked away in their own secluded tropic islands given the couples that chance to have maximum privacy. Some even have their own exotic beaches. What can be more relaxing and romantic than lying in the day bed with your spouse and watching the sunset?
Fiji Island: Things to do.
Wherever you are in Fiji, there is a huge variety of things to do. This is your once in a lifetime romantic adventure. You’d want to be doing things that will bring smiles to your faces anything you recall your honeymoon. Since it is a honeymoon, you have to savour every single moment of your stay. You don’t want to go back home thinking about things you didn’t do. Your honeymoon should be your own private world, where you and your spouse will be treated with royalty. Fiji has everything. From magical jungle waterfalls to white sand beaches ringed with coconut palms. One of the most remarkable things about Fiji is the people. Here are some of the things you can do in the Fiji islands.
The Fiji museum
Take a journey into Fiji’s archaeological, political, cultural and linguistic evolution located in the heart of Suva’s botanical gardens. The Fiji’s museum is home to a collection of archaeological material dating back 3,700 years and cultural monuments showcasing Fiji’s indigenous inhabitants and other regions that have settled in the island group over the past century.
Get lost on the turtle island
The breathtaking panoramas of the renowned Blue Lagoon and neighboring Yasawa Islands can be seen from your spacious Fijian villa. The turtle island is the perfect getaway for newlyweds, a place where you can celebrate love. This couple-only private island is blessed with white, powdery, pristine beaches where couples can stroll, wade in the turquoise waters, cruise on a sailboat or experience the abundant sea life by scuba diving or snorkeling with the Fijian guides.
Dine and wine
The Fijian cultural diversity is reflected in their cuisine. Restaurants are limitless. The markets are piled with sweet potatoes, taros, bananas and leafy vegetables. When you are invited to a Fijian home for a meal as a guest, you must start on the dish first. It is their local custom to wait properly for the house guest to make their first move towards the food otherwise everyone will simply wait around with grumbling stomach. And it is impolite to remind you about the food.
The indigenous Fijian dishes include Tavioka (cassava), dala (taro), fish and lolo (coconut cream). Kokoda is a very popular dish in the island. It is made with raw fish marinated with lime juice. Kara is the national drink. It’s quite unlikely you’ll leave Fiji without trying it. You are definitely going to be overwhelmed by the irresistible aroma and natural great flavor of coconuts.
Fiji bitter and Fiji gold are the common Fijian beers. Local beers and imported spirits and wines are found in bottle shops, markets and restaurants. You are sure to find a selection of drinks on the menu at the resorts and hotels you find on the island.
Jump on a jet ski
The Fiji waters are friendly and so jet skiing is always fun. You can explore the Fiji islands on a jet ski. It’s a wonderful way to discover a beautiful hidden Fiji Yanuca.
Yanuca Marine reserve is a 4-10 feet deep lagoon. The lagoon offers turquoise waters, live and fluorescent coral display of Fiji’s underwater world.
Visit the Fijian village
The natives are very friendly. The Fijians are very traditional and it is important that you respect their customs. You can tour the village with your spouse in the company of a guide who will educate you on the protocols of the islanders. Touring the villages is very relaxing and you’ll be able to wander freely and meet many of the villagers particularly the children as they go about their daily life.
Fiji: where to stay
Fiji is famously known for its beautiful beaches, resorts and island atmosphere. Choosing a place to stay might prove to be difficult not because there are no good places but because the choices for accommodation are very huge. You might just get confused.
There are over 50 resorts and hotel stretching over the 320+ islands that make up Fiji. Lots of resorts and hotel are situated in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, the two largest islands of Fiji, while the others are scattered on the smaller islands.
Below are some of the hotels and resorts in Fiji;
InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (5*) – $296
Wananavu Beach Resort (4*)-$148
Waidroka Bay Resort (5*)-$98
Fiji Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Hilton (5*)-$122
Five Princes Hotel- $136
Grand Eastern Hotel-$53
Raffles Gateway Hotel-$83
The best way to Fiji is by air, although new Zealanders and Australians can be in Fiji in a few hours. Fiji airways is fiji’s national carrier has regular flights from destination like Melbourne, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Hongkong.
Nad international airport is the major gateway into the country, though there are several domestic airports scattered through the islands.
To enter into Fiji, all you need is a valid passport beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel to another country which you are authorized to enter.
A 4 month visa is granted automatically on arrival to visitors for most countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Jamaica, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and others.
Airlines that go to Fiji include Emirates, Qatar, Fiji Airway, Air Pacific and Pacific Blue.
Dialing Codes — Fiji does not have domestic area codes. The country code for calling into Fiji is 679.
Language — English is an official language of Fiji. Other languages include , Fijian, Hindustani
Time — Local time in Fiji is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Security– – The nationwide emergency police number is tel. 917 throughout Fiji. The non-emergency numbers are tel. 670 0222 in Nadi, 334 3777 in Suva.
Religion– Christian 58% (Methodist 36%, Roman Catholic 9%), Hindu 33.7%, Muslim 7%, Sikh 0.4% (Wikipedia)
Finance– When heading to the outer islands, make certain you bring enough local currency, as ATMs are difficult to come by outside of city centers. Credit cards and Fijian dollars are the widely acceptable currency, although traveler’s checks can still be used where there is a large population of tourists. Hotels and banks are still the best avenues for a good exchange rate.
This winter’s vicious snow and ice storms forced school systems and universities to cancel classes for days on end. Now, it’s time to make up the missed hours and some places are doing so by cutting into spring break.
That’s causing headaches for individual travelers and families as they make their plans for March and April, and they have to come up with strategies to get the most out of shortened holid
2014 Spring Travel Strategies
On top of that, Easter and Passover fall late this year, meaning many airlines and resorts are already expecting traffic to be down compared with 2013. And, one new survey shows a number of travelers would rather put off their spring trips until summer, rather than schedule two vacations a relatively short time apart.
Earlier this month, school officials in Philadelphia announced that students would have to attend classes on April 15, 16 and 17, cutting into what was supposed to be a week-long spring vacation. The district has missed six days this year due to snow, but only baked one extra snow day into its calendar. School officials might ask Pennsylvania for a waiver from the required 180-day calendar, so that students don’t have to keep attending classes until late in June.
Currently, Philadelphia’s last day of class is scheduled to be June 19.
The Pennsylvania requirements have prompted Northampton Community College in Bethlehem Township to completely cancel its spring break. Meanwhile, students from Arkansas to New Jersey and Kentucky are also being told that they’ll lose spring break days due to the winter storms. In just one single week this month, the storms caused 13,400 flight cancellations, according to USA Today. Data isn’t in from the federal government yet for January and February, but December was a mess for the airlines, especially those flying out of Chicago Midway Airport.
Spring break has traditionally been a time when families from the north drive or fly to warmer climates, while masses of college students descend on beach resorts for continuous carousing. A March holiday is particularly popular with baseball fans, who flock to Arizona and Florida to see their favorite teams.
Many may not be making the trip this year, however, because of the late Easter and Passover holiday dates. This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 20, while Passover begins on the night of April 14. That’s well after the time when ball players break camp and head north.
Jenny Dervin, a spokeswoman for JetBlue Airways, said the carrier was already anticipating its travel during March to be down. JetBlue focuses much of its leisure traffic on vacation destinations in Florida and the Caribbean. “March year over year revenue comparisons will be negatively impacted by the shift in the Easter and Passover holidays from March last year to April this year,” Dervin said in an email. “Historically, this holiday shift has impacted our year over year PRASM (passenger revenue per available seat mile) by approximately seven to eight points.”
Many family travelers say they’ll skip a spring holiday and save up to take a summer trip. A new survey by Travelers United (formerly the Consumer Travel Alliance) demonstrates the wariness with which families are viewing a spring vacation.
Travelers United’s ombudsman, Christopher Elliott, said that with the pent up demand for warm weather travel, the summer could be one of the busiest travel seasons since the recession. He offers tips for spring and summer travelers in his new book, How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler, due out March 3 from National Geographic Books.
Written by Micheline Maynard, a Forbes contributor.
The Mediterranean sea, the Pyrenees, churches, sports, Catalonia is gaining tourist popularity. Barcelona offers beautiful beaches and a wonderful nightlife while Girona, Tarragona and Lleida are famously known for their cultural and environmental heritage. The birthplace of Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner, the Camp Nou football stadium and buildings like Sagrada Família, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, Catalonia are rich in beautiful culture.
The Spanish culture comes to life in the streets of Madrid with Flamenco performances and acrobatics, and the architecture and colour of Puerta del Sol and the Gran Via.
Football enthusiasts, head to Santiago Bernabeu, the home of Real Madrid while for art lovers, the Golden Triangle of Art in Madrid and the Picasso Museum in Malaga, the birthplace of the artist, are a must. A prominent festival, the annual San Fermin festival in Pamplona in July is worth experiencing. In Andalucía, visit Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada where you can find the Alhambra, Albaicin and Sacromonte.
The Balearic island of Ibiza, a world-famous party destination, has a large number of bars and clubs. No trip to Spain is complete without indulging in tapas and paella, washing them down with rioja and sangria, with churros bringing the meal to a crescendo.