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Over 800 participants from 70 countries gathered in Muscat, capital city of the Sultanate of Oman last month for the World Conference on Tourism and Culture, an official event in the calendar of the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for
Development 2017.

The Conference held under the patronage of H.H. Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud al-Said, Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers of Oman, brought together Ministers of Tourism and Ministers of Culture as well as private sector stakeholders and experts with the objective of building and strengthening partnerships between the tourism and culture sectors and enhance their role in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Muscat reaffirms the commitment to:
1. Strengthen the synergies between tourism and culture and advance the contribution of cultural tourism to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the 17 SDGs;
2. Enhance the role of tourism and culture in peace building and heritage protection, especially in conflict affected areas;
3. Promote responsible and sustainable tourism management of cultural heritage;
4. Encourage a creative and innovative approach for sustainable urban development through cultural tourism; and
5. Explore the inter-linkages between culture and nature in sustainable tourism.

“The Sultanate of Oman is richly endowed with many diversified natural resources spread in all governorates of the country, in addition to a rich historic and cultural heritage, which dates back to many centuries in the history of humanity. Our main long term objective is to achieve economic diversification, together with upgrading the direct and indirect contribution of the sector in GDP, provision of direct and indirect employment opportunities for the national labour force, enhancing government revenues, supporting the balance of payments and achieve the highest level of regional development” said H.E. Ahmed Nasser Al Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism of Oman, opening the meeting.

Ireland Launches First Tourism Campaign in Space


Planet Earth’s first interstellar tourism campaign has taken off – highlighting a destination that is truly out of this world. Perched above the earth in space, a billboard advertising “Earth’s Wild Atlantic Way” features Skellig Michael, an island off Ireland’s south-west coast – otherwise known as Luke Skywalker’s hide-out in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Click here for an image and video of the billboard taken in space.

As the world sits in anticipation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Tourism Ireland, the body responsible for marketing the island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination, is celebrating the film’s imminent theatrical release with the first tourism campaign in space.

Ireland’s Skellig Michael featured in the final moments of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where Rey finds Luke Skywalker at the island’s summit.


  Lake Wakatipu Queenstown Trail Queenstown

Pollachi is a quaint town in Tamil Nadu, which is bedecked with a plethora of tourist destinations. With miles of scenic beauty around, it is an ideal escape for travellers. From picturesque hills to beautiful temples, it has something for everyone. Nature lovers can explore Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, which is fondly called Top Slip and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Valparai, a hill station, houses the endangered Lion Tail Monkey and other endemic wild animals. The famous Thirumoorthy Hills draw swarms of visitors while the Palani Temple is a site usually frequented by pilgrims. Scenic landscapes along the Aliyar River await you. Shopaholics can buy the famous Negamam sarees from the local markets. You could also stop by at the Yogiraj Shri Vethathiri Maharishi’s Temple of Consciousness for some soul searching & spiritual introspection. After such a weary day of excursion, you can rejuvenate your senses with a stay at Coco Lagoon by the Great Mount Resort and relax at ‘Vaidya Sutras’ in the resort.


Kerala Tourism’s Green Carpet Action Plan

  P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director

As part of implementing responsible tourism initiatives in the state, the Kerala Tourism department organised a workshop in Thiruvananthapuram. P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director of Kannur International Airport elaborated on the new Tourism Policy, Responsible Tourism and the Green Carpet Action Plan formulated by the government at the workshop.

P Bala Kiran, IAS, Director, Kerala Tourism and Managing Director of Kannur International Airport said, “The Tourism policy 2017 implementation will commence with the implementation of Green Carpet action plan 2017-18. Also, the tourism department shall implement Green Protocol in all 78 locations by Dec 15th.”
Speaking on the Green Carpet Action Plan, Bala Kiran said that the action plan has been formulated by including nine agendas by inculcating the points from the total 16 agendas that is being discussed and deliberated upon worldwide. The Green Carpet Action Plan, in fact, aims at transforming the tourism sector in Kerala into different travel-friendly destinations. The plan is being implemented by imbibing the points in the new tourism policy. The general development aspects that have been put forward by the Tourism policy, the Green Kerala Mission and Responsible Tourism are being implemented in this regard, he said.


New Zealand’s Gorgeous Glaciers


Some of the world’s most accessible and majestic ice formations live in New Zealand, home to more than 3000 glaciers.

There’s something undeniably impressive about glaciers, bodies of ice so dense that they’re constantly shifting under their own enormous weight. Understandably, adventurers are drawn to their beauty, travelling on foot, by ski, or buzzing above them in helicopters to steal a glimpse of nature’s majesty.
South Westland’s World Heritage Jewel

The bulk of New Zealand’s glaciers can be found inside the 2.6 million-hectare World Heritage Area known as Te Wāhipounamu. Comprised of four national parks – Aoraki/Mount Cook, Westland Tai Poutini, Mount Aspiring and Fiordland – this picturesque wonderland is home to outstanding glaciers, snow-fed rivers and air so pure you wish you could bottle some to take home. Within the heritage area you can enjoy everything from physically demanding hikes across ice to scenic flights; hot pools to rain forests. In summer, the hiking is spectacular. In winter, mountaineers relish the climbing. .

Upcoming Travel Trends for 2018


Travelers are eager to experience new destinations. Many are increasingly seeking new and authentic experiences. With travel now being a year round activity, we see an increase in travellers making the most of off-season prices and avoiding crowded destinations. Travel to exotic destinations like Hungary & Czech Republic is on the rise.

The Indian traveller is very value driven. Having the whole holiday experience at a fraction of what one would have to pay for food, accommodation and entertainment elsewhere is now increasingly popular. Travellers are slowly getting bored with the traditional, readymade package holidays. The new trend is the innovative ‘Dynamic packaged holiday in order to attract more cost-conscious and variety-loving customers.


The digitalization of business and processes entered the travel industry years ago. The goal for SOTC in 2018 has to be an active online presence. With responsive websites, online booking and engaging videos on social media platforms to make the holiday experience immersive and customer oriented.


Travel Industry Needs New Strategies
To Manage ‘Overtourism’

  Left : Christian Göke, CEO, ITB Berlin; Right : Dirk Hoffmann, CFO, ITB Berlin

Overtourism has made headlines worldwide this year due to record visitor numbers at many destinations, prompting well-publicised protests by residents and diverse measures by local authorities in some places. Over-crowding is also negatively affecting travellers themselves, and the international travel and tourism industry needs to find solutions to manage visitor numbers without restricting growth, experts agreed at the 25th World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, Italy (November 9-10). At this exclusive industry meeting, initiated at the invitation of consultancy IPK International and supported by ITB Berlin, around 50 tourism experts and academics from around the world present the latest figures and current trends in international tourism.

One international trip in ten affected by over-crowding

Overtourism not only impacts directly on destinations, tourist attractions, local infrastructure and residents, but also on travellers themselves, Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, made clear. Around 25 percent of all international tourists had the feeling that their destination had been “over-crowded” this year, according to a special World Travel Monitor® representative survey of 29,000 international travellers in 24 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas conducted in September 2017.

(For full stories read SAFARI INDIA)