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St thomas: no passport required

St Thomas: No Passport Required

Effective January 2007, all travelers to Latin America and the Caribbean will need a U.S. passport for air travel. The change comes as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security attempts to alleviate travel concerns about border security under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Unlike previous years when passports were not required for travel to the Caribbean, this upcoming travel season may provide headaches for many. As plenty of tourists may have planned family vacations or scheduled weddings unaware of the new passport rules, many analysts foresee a rush on new passport applications at the beginning of the year. Also, because this program will be in its first tourism season, there exists a strong possibility for delays beyond the outlined timeframes for passport applications. However, if you want to travel to the Caribbean quickly or without a passport, there is still a destination for you.

If you are still hoping to plan a spur-of-the-moment Caribbean getaway, say hello to St. Thomas. Regarding the newly-effective Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the U.S. Government recently announced that the legislation will not affect travel to U.S. territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. As the heart of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas remains an excellent Caribbean destination, but also gains the honor of being one of the few destinations

As might be expected, the U.S. Virgin Islands are certainly pleased that American tourists will be able to visit anytime, without the formality of a passport. Pamela Richards, the Commissioner of Tourism for the islands, states that it is important to retain a “welcoming position as America’s Caribbean.” The welcome extends beyond St. Thomas, as well. The agreement allowing U.S. citizens to travel to St. Thomas, as if they were not leaving the country, also includes St. Thomas’ sister islands, St. Croix and St. John.

This news is certainly as important to business travelers as it is to tourists. The decision to treat the U.S. Virgin Islands as a domestic location under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will ensure that important business relationships aren’t hindered by the difficulties of international travel or the need to acquire passports.

When planning your quick getaway to St. Thomas, you will probably want to spend some time duty-free shopping in Charlotte Amalie. The capital of the island, Charlotte Amalie is a charming colonial town filled with exquisite restaurants and luxury stores. You will also find a number of museums and historic sites scattered throughout the capital, offering a glimpse into the island’s rich Caribbean past.

For the traveler hoping to interact with aquatic life, the Coral World Ocean Park has been a longtime favorite. With over five acres of aquariums featuring the Caribbean’s most vibrant sea life and plenty of interactive programs, the Coral World Ocean Park is a great destination for families or any adventurous tourist. Another great activity for a quick getaway to St. Thomas is a ride on the Atlantis XV, a submarine allowing you to view pristine underwater habitats up close. To catch an aerial view you will never experience at home, venture to either Bluebeard’s Castle – a colonial watchtower overlooking the Caribbean – or St. Peter Mountain, both the highest peak in St. Thomas and another great area for shopping and dining.

If you are looking to get away, especially during these harsh winter months, why not try something a little different? Because if you are looking to visit the Caribbean on short notice – whether for business or a spur-of-the-moment vacation – St. Thomas now promises all the exotic allure of the Caribbean without the hassle of international travel.

Top attractions for brittany camping holidays

Top Attractions For Brittany Camping Holidays

There is plenty to see and visit in Brittany. Camping here is a great way to see the region, with the interesting coves on the northern coast, sandy beaches to the south and plenty of Brittany campsites providing accommodation with good access to both coastlines.

When looking for activities on your Brittany camping holiday, the city of St Malo in the north east is a good place to start. It is within easy reach of the mobile homes at the Brittany resort of St Cast nearby. In the old town you can explore the guard towers, city walls and the maze of narrow streets. The castle, set into the cliffs, has survived impressively through the centuries; a tour of its ramparts should capture the imagination.

St Malo is also the home of the Grand Aquarium, where you can see turtles and sharks swimming together. View the many tanks of tropical fish, as well as coral glowing jellyfish and eels.

Brittany’s History

For those who like castles you can visit the medieval strongholds at Fougeres and Rochefort en Terre. Also in the north of Brittany is the abbey at Le Mont-Saint Michel where the legendary King Arthur came and slew a dragon five centuries ago.

A visit to the Parc de Préhistoire de Bretagne is also well worth a day trip. Children will love the array of giant dinosaurs scattered through the woods. After seeing how man first made do with caves and open fires, you’ll be glad to return to the comfort and convenience of the mobile homes that Brittany campsites can provide.

Under the Stars

Part of the charm of camping is sleeping ‘out under the stars’. To see even more of the night sky, there’s a Planetarium in Brittany that is sure to entertain. It will interest both adults and children with its array of twinkling lights and exploration of the galaxy in a three dimensional display. It’s located in the town of Pleumeur-Bodou which lies a little way inland from the Brittany camping sites situated at Perros and Carantec.

Water

In terms of water-borne activities, you might want to try canoeing along the river at Arzano, or fishing on the lake at Baden, which are available at the Brittany campsites of Camping Ty-Nadan and Camping Mané Guernehué, respectively.

The beautiful beaches are another good reason to holiday in Brittany. On the southern coast you’ll find miles and miles of pretty beaches where the children can spend the day splashing about and building sand castles. The wide beach at Fouesnant is located right on the doorstep of Camping de l’Atlantique, and the beach at Bénodet is a short walk from the mobile homes in Brittany’s Camping la Pointe St Gilles.

If your family are looking for fabulous swimming pools, a Brittany camping holiday at Camping le Ranolien, Perros, is one of the many offering a pool complex that resembles a tropical lagoon. Other examples in Brittany’s camping sites include Camping de l’Atlantique at Fouesnant, and Camping Village les Mouettes in Carantec.

Wherever you choose to stay in Brittany, camping is a good value option that will allow you to explore this picturesque and historic region of France.

Dubai times meets kulwant singh: the man behind travel operator’s success

Dubai Times Meets Kulwant Singh: the Man Behind Travel Operator’s Success

Issue date: May 4, 2007

www.dubaitimes.com

1)

What are the new initiatives that Lama Group aims to put into place in the

Indian market?

Kulwant Singh: We want the travelers of India to travel with all

arrangements made prior to their travel to any destination, we want to give

them every service that they want on the tip of their fingers, we want them

to believe in the best services from a reliable operator , rather than

taking their chance to book services that available in limited, we want them

to reserve the best options for their services in advance rather then trying

their luck after reaching the destination and facing disappointments in the

last minute such as non availability or the last few left over services

without any choice.

2) How

do you analyze the Indian market and what trend do you predict in the near

future?

Kulwant Singh: Indian market for travel is booming and the passion of

Indians for traveling is growing year after year, India is making a

remarkable mark on the world map and with its economic boom and awareness in

rural and urban areas with its wide spread of media, India will be one of

the largest economies in the future, and Dubai being at its tremendous

growth, I think both the nations can have many things to share, Dubai being

a close destination, potential from the Indian market will only increase.

3) What business strategy do you follow vi’s-a-vis the Indian

market?

Kulwant Singh: Indian market has a mix of every thing, It has the

potential to pay for the most expensive hotels, and there is also a mass market

which wants budget hotels…I think Dubai has all to offer, Dubai within next few

years will have double rooms inventory…which will cater to all the Needs of the

Indian market. Our strategy is to thrive and crate awareness in the Indian

market and keep on coming with new and attractive offers for the Indians. This

will keep us on the priority list of their destinations and also keep us intact

with their growing demands.

4) Are there new partners you intend to work with in India or

would you strengthen your old partnerships. If yes how?

Kulwant Singh: We are willing to work with new partners and they can be

unlimited, one cannot just restrict them selves with a handful of them but we

are here to retain our existing partners as well, our aim is to provide them

with the best and most reasonable deals so that they yearn to return again.

5) Which is an emerging business region in India for you and how

do you plan to leverage the same?

Kulwant Singh: The business from the Indian market have been rapid, and

the spread of this has been with the metro cities of India, but smaller cities

such as pune, Ahmedabad, Chandhigar have been showing an aggressive growth and

we want to captivate on such cities to add to our share.

Website: www.lama.aae

Email: info@lama.ae

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Surprise boost for med island holidays industry

Surprise Boost For Med Island Holidays Industry

News from a major UK tour operator that it is to expand its operations in Malta as a response to increased demand has caught some in the island’s holiday and hotel industry by surprise.

The news from MyTravel comes after an agreement with Air Malta to increase flight capacity to the island for its customers.

The Malta Tourist Authority have greeted the news by saying that the holiday company are increasingly aware of Malta as a holiday destination and that visitor numbers would be increasing in 2007.

A Malta travel guide were as surprised as anyone that MyTravel were increasing capacity for Malta.

’2006 has not been a good year for the Malta tourist industry’, they say. ‘Overall figures could show a drop of around 100,000 visitors in 2006 compared to 2005. There hasn’t been much optimism lately that 2007 will be a lot better for the island, but there are new low cost flights which could help stabilise the number of holidaymakers next year, and with Air Malta doing good promotions and starting a new route from Liverpool perhaps next year will see a long awaited turnaround in the island’s fortunes. If a leading holiday company thinks Malta is going to be in demand perhaps there is real hope’.

Good news for Malta also came from a report by US travel writer Laura McKenzie, who ranked Malta as one of the top five destinations in the world for tourists in the world.

Hotel and resort owners had watched the Maltese government earlier this year drag the negotiations out with the low cost airlines for some time, with delays in agreements losing Malta the potential of having extra tourists for this past summer season. And with a report showing that Malta could be an expensive location for 2007 holidays compared to the Spanish islands, the news from MyTravel is helping to instil a sense of optimism for the 2007 season.
Malta Holidays

‘There is a possibility’, comment the travel guide, ‘That the introduction of the low cost airlines flying to Malta will merely delay the long term decline of the island’s tourist industry. Unless money is spent on the infrastructure and improving the environment for the tourists generally there is a danger that a lot of visitors will be one-off. If there’s a lesson to be learned in Malta that the government and her agencies have failed to grasp it is that sustainable tourism is built on repeat visitors. At the moment a lot of visitors from the UK see Malta as a one-off trip’.

As well as Ryanair, it was hoped that easyJet would also start services to Malta, but the latest reports are that talks have failed to produce an agreement. Brighter news has come from the island’s flag carrier, Air Malta though.

As well as at one stage selling two tickets a minute in a recent promotion the airline is starting a new service from Liverpool next year.

The property market will also be keeping a close eye on tourist numbers now that the new flights have been given the green light. If visitor numbers do drop in the medium term it could be good news for locals looking to buy their first property.

There has been some discontent on the island about the rising prices of property in Malta, and with less overseas buyers the possibility of prices falling and more islanders being able to get on the property ladder could be welcome news, as today’s tourist is often tomorrow’s property buyer.

But now that low cost airlines are going to start offering flights to Malta, this could help the Malta hotels and holiday market as more people consider three and four day breaks instead of the traditional week or fortnight, boosting the overall number of visitors, especially if Air Malta and the low cost airlines bring the cost of Malta flights to levels seen for the Spanish islands.

Malta has traditionally seen the majority of her visitors from the UK, but this could be changing to a more diverse mix in future years.

Last year saw a record number of visitors from Italy, and increased enquiries have been received at estate agents across the island from Scandanvia, Holland, France and Belgium, helping to increase the demand for Malta properties.