While you might surmise that tourism to the Middle East has taken a decline over the past years, and this is certainly true for some parts of the region, there are areas - primarily the Gulf Region - that continue to see substantial tourism growth.
The magical and beautiful country of Oman is building new airports, hotels, and a state-of-the-art convention center to boost tourism. This is a very calculated move by the government as they try to reduce their reliance on oil revenues, which accounted for 72 percent of Oman’s revenue in 2013. The capital city of Muscat has also begun development on a new passenger terminal at their international airport, looking to receive up to 12 million passengers annually. Figures released by the World Travel and Tourism Council projected that by 2024, 8.2 percent of Oman’s GDP will come from tourism, which contributed to 6.4 percent in 2013.
If planning an African safari for yourself or for your clients, there are several directions to head in, and several safaris styles to consider. Here are six well worth ticking off your list.
South Africa - for The Hip and Historical Traveler
South Africa has several contemporary angles and offerings. From the hip city of Cape Town, to the neighboring Stellenbosch wine region, several South African surfing meccas and World Cup soccer stadiums, it’s a great place to start your African travels.
There is no better place to take in South Africa’s recent apartheid history than in Johannesburg. Visiting Nelson Mandela’s home, the Apartheid museum and the township of Soweto are essential. Finish off with a South African safari with andBeyond’s safaris and lodges. Their guides are exceptional and their properties are luxe. You can stay in iconic Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand or the idyllic Phinda Private Game Reserve. www.andbeyond.com For townships tours, contact Spirit of Africa, www.spiritofafrica.co.za
My trip to Israel was incredible and a great way to take in all of the amazing sights, sounds, and experiences that Israel has to offer. Organized as a Jewish Heritage tour, most of the sites we visited were framed from a Jewish standpoint; however, they would still be wonderful for a non-Jewish tourist to enjoy.
The fourteen hotels under the Dan Hotels banner all share a dedication to perfection. As part of the oldest, most prestigious hotel chain in Israel, each Dan Hotel has an individual character, and many have recently won awards for their excellence
Either a quick flight or a leisurely drive, New York City is the getaway of choice for those who covet stroll-worthy neighborhoods, a myriad of museums, shopping galore, fabulous eateries, the best theatre in the world and rooftop bars that stay open until the first snowflake flies. In the city that never sleeps, a treasure trove of autumn fun awaits as New Yorkers roll out the red carpet for visitors from around the world. www.nycgo.com
The Indian Ocean islands of Africa play host to a number of experiences from culture, history and nature exploration to exciting watersports. It’s where romance meets exotic culture. These islands are best to experience towards the end of an African safari holiday. There are luxury resorts, private island getaways and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Below are just a few of the standout destinations to round off your client’s vacation of a lifetime.
Founded in 1983, AIRCALIN is New Caledonia’s international airline, operating flights to the Pacific Region countries and providing a gateway to the world. The airline’s key missions are facilitating travel abroad for New Caledonian passengers, developing visitor traffic to expand the tourism industry and ensuring the freight transport essential to New Caledonia’s economy. As a member of IATA and an IOSA certified operator, AIRCALIN meets the most stringent international standards for safety and reliability. With its fleet of Airbus A.330-200 and A.320 aircrafts, Aircalin operates direct flights from Noumea to Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, Port-Vila, Nadi, Wallis and Papeete. More than 100 Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and United States destinations are offered in conjunction with their partners.
Macau, with its famous “Cotai Strip”, is often considered the Las Vegas of the East. Nevertheless, I went to Macau for five nights; stayed at the Sheraton Macao (www.sheratonmacao.com), the largest hotel in this entire Special Administrative Region of China, and did not gamble once! Instead, I discovered the destination’s cultural and familial side and learned that it’s a great place for international corporate meetings.
Feathered leafy trees hang over a stream that gurgles from the earth and then slips and falls over ancient rock. This water has, over the last 10,000 years, etched grooved spouts and rugged steps into that stone. Hot enough for an idyllic soak, the water then slides down and becomes a stream flanked by moss and greenery.
Late spring 2014 saw the opening of a new Sandals resort in Grenada, and the addition of the new Key West Village at Beaches Turks and Caicos. As usual, these openings were celebrated in grand style with celebrities and dignitaries in attendance, and grand opening parties in true Sandals/Beaches style, featuring name brand entertainment, excellent food, free-flowing spirits and fireworks.