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Doug Cooke

Whether your clients are looking for the perfect backdrop to hold their nuptials or an ideal honeymoon retreat, this year the Tourism Authority of Thailand is actively seeking out new ways to place their Kingdom at the top of the list for that fairytale wedding. In February, the TAT invited renowned wedding industry personality Jacqueline Johnson to give a special seminar at the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre. Ms. Johnson shared insight on the latest wedding and honeymoon trends, including projected spending habits for 2011. According to her, “When it comes to love, clients absolutely will spend money despite a sluggish economy. Couples still dream of that fairytale wedding or honeymoon experience.” The presentation also touched on how to reach wedding and honeymoon clients through social networks, bridal shows and alliances. On Valentine’s Day, the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a micro-site dedicated to making wedding and honeymoon planning easier than ever, both for couples and their travel planners. The new website (www.Honeymooning-in-Thailand.com) offers dozens of customized honeymoon packages from some of the destination’s most exotic locations, along with luxurious properties and renowned spas.

Located almost directly between Australia and Fiji, New Caledonia might well be France's best-kept secret. The mainland, which is where most people live, is divided lengthwise by a range of mountains (Chaîne Centrale), the highest points of which are "Mount Panié" in the north (5,344 feet) and "Mount Humboldt" in the south (5,308 feet). Various species of trees can be found in these mountains.

Founded in 2001, Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF) is one of Korea’s biggest performing arts festivals and encompasses the works of both international and domestic contemporary works of drama, dance and interdisciplinary arts. It runs for one month, from mid-September to mid-October, at major venues throughout Seoul and is funded by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Arts Council Korea, the Seoul aMetropolitan Government and the Seoul Foundation for Arts & Culture. SPAF is a festival that introduces cutting-edge, innovative and thought-provoking contemporary work. Over the past seven years, the event has presented more than 409 pieces (78 from overseas artists, 331 from domestic artists and auxiliary events). This year promises to be even better.

One of the most populous cities in the world, Tokyo is also a thriving center of economy, culture and industry. The Japanese capital consists of the southwestern part of the Kanto region, the Izu Islands, and the Ogasawara Islands. Twelve million people live in Tokyo. When the Shogun Tokugawa established a government there in the early 17th century, the area started to develop, spreading out around his residence, Edo Castle. Most of the city was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and then again by the bombing in the WWII, however, Tokyo was able to achieve a remarkably rapid recovery both times.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. As part of India's beautiful west coast, that runs down from Gujarat, through Mumbai to Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, Mumbai was blessed with a natural harbor that was developed by the British and remains one of the busiest ports of India, handling about 40% of India's maritime trade.
Mumbai (till recently known as 'Bombay'), derives its name from the local deity Mumba Devi, whose temple is still there. The Portuguese predecessors of the British preferred to think of the name as Bom Baim, the Good Bay. Mumbai is a group of seven islands, which today are known as Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaun and Dongri. Large expanses of open sea have been filled in, and tidal swamps have been reclaimed as the areas known as Churchgate and Nariman Point today.

Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is the fastest moving, most affluent and industrialized city in India. As part of India's beautiful west coast, that runs down from Gujarat, through Mumbai to Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, Mumbai was blessed with a natural harbor that was developed by the British and remains one of the busiest ports of India, handling about 40% of India's maritime trade.
Mumbai (till recently known as 'Bombay'), derives its name from the local deity Mumba Devi, whose temple is still there. The Portuguese predecessors of the British preferred to think of the name as Bom Baim, the Good Bay. Mumbai is a group of seven islands, which today are known as Colaba, Mahim, Mazgaon, Parel, Worli, Girgaun and Dongri. Large expanses of open sea have been filled in, and tidal swamps have been reclaimed as the areas known as Churchgate and Nariman Point today.

From the trend-seeking tourist to the sophisticated traveler, Maharashtra, India’s third largest state, has an array of unforgettable tourism offerings and attractions that include ancient and historic sites of tremendous religious importance, well known in India, but still relatively unknown abroad.
Maharashtra is located in the southwestern region of the country. The state boasts breathtaking landscapes of tropical forests, tiger reserves, impressive mountain ranges, relaxing beaches on the Arabian Sea and the cosmopolitan capital of Mumbai (Bombay). Home to hundreds of archaeological sites of significant historical importance and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites — the mystical Ajanta and Ellora Caves, the Elephanta caves, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai (Bombay) — Maharashtra boasts of tourism offerings found nowhere else in India.

As the creature lumbered ominously closer to our vehicle, our safari leader remarked, “When an elephant starts flapping its ears and stomping its feet, you better take note.” We could almost reach out and touch the coarse potato skin of dust covering its massive flanks.
“Maybe we’ve seen enough,” I thought, wiping the sweat from my palms, while it deliberated and slowly turned its attention back to the herd.

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