Tourism – Executive Travel Thu, 06 Jan 2022 06:19:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tourism – Executive Travel 32 32 WARM WINTER: Snowmaking technology saves winter tourism on North Carolina ski slopes Thu, 06 Jan 2022 05:47:53 +0000

(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – When the snow is finally back, we can’t help but dance! Passionate skiers have counted the days, patiently waiting since November to hit the slopes.

It’s the first layer of natural winter white… 8 inches of snow in Beech and Sugar Mountains fill the slopes with excitement, skiers rejoice: “It’s amazing! You can actually carve the mountain… You shredded yourself… And if you fall, it doesn’t hurt that much!

Welcome a few old-timers and teach the new ones: “It’s a wonderful time, you just have to understand what you’re doing!” And I think this might be our first cold weather vacation, we are typically tropical people. Everyone is waiting for the winter to cool down.

The calendar has been saying winter for a while now, but man, it doesn’t want to. Now that we finally have the right first cold weather for the season, snowmobiles are turning full time to Beech Mountain to spin the snow as temperatures stay cold and humidity stays low.

Michael Stanford is the Ski Patrol Director at Beech Mountain: “Our snowmaking team is on the job… They are able to go out and provide us with a good base depth that has supported us during the hot weather. “

December was the third hottest month on record in Charlotte. Nine daily records matched or broken and 11 more within earshot, meaning that about half of the month was held in record-breaking heat territory.

“It was a roller coaster,” Kimberley Jochl is the marketing manager at Sugar Mountain, “the constant 50 and 60 degree weather melted all the snow so we only closed for a day, luckily. Jochl calls it a miracle: “When the temperatures were between 30 and 30 seconds the humidity was extremely low, maybe 10%, so we were able to snow on those nights. ”

Ideally, ski resorts need temperatures in teens to pump out the white matter.

“It is clear that it gets warmer and warmer each winter” Alex Ettinger is the director of the ski and hiking school at Beech Mountain. He remembers the October snows, “last winter we had a significant amount of snow and it was cold but it’s more abnormal now and warming is more of a norm for us.”

Winter warms the fastest in North Carolina. At a similar altitude, Asheville is finding cold spells with below normal days decreasing by 6 days since 1970, 19 fewer nights falling below freezing.

Ettinger explains: “We have to have cold temperatures to produce snow, we mainly rely on our snow production here”, adaptation and mitigation, these ski resorts have to invest to become climate resilient.

Stanford adds, “We have increased the capacity of our pumps to have a pump from the tanks that hold our water that allows us to pump more gallons per minute up the hill, that gives us a greater capacity to do. the snow. “

And it’s not just the ski resorts, Stanford adds, “people rent houses, they go to restaurants, they go to the grocery store, they buy products from the different people who sell here in the mountains.” Winter brings an economic boom to all of western North Carolina.

“It’s fun… We’re here to provide fun for families,” explains Jochl.

“I’m so excited… that’s what we live for,” Ettinger says.

With more cold and more snow, we are crossing our fingers and skis for more powder on the slopes.

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Augusta’s tourism industry hopes to rebound in 2022 Tue, 04 Jan 2022 04:37:47 +0000

AUGUSTA, Georgia (WJBF) – After shutting down for several months due to the pandemic, Michael Weldon said business is picking up at Psychotronic Records.

Psychotronic Records is just a local business rebounding during the pandemic.

Tourism executives are hopeful that many more will follow along with new ventures.

“One of our priorities for 2022 is to try to attract new business here – new group business that brings new dollars to our community,” said Bennish Brown, President and CEO of Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Through the American Rescue Act, Georgia will receive $ 5.82 million to help boost the hospitality and tourism industry, which has been one of the hardest hit during the pandemic.

Tourism executives have said money is needed to help rebuild the workforce.

“When you think of accommodation, our hotels still don’t have the manpower they really need. Our restaurants are always trying to find the workers to complete the experience we know we need in our restaurants, ”said Brown.

Tourism executives also hope 2022 will bring more travel.

“A lot of people come here from out of town, whether it’s the east coast or the west coast, and say we can’t find records like this, we live,” Weldon said.

Weldon said more travel means more customers for downtown businesses like Psychotronic.

“Business out of town is very important and there is more business out of town than I expected when we moved here,” Weldon said.

Convention leaders also hope to host other large-scale events this year.

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Sindh suffers without a viable tourism policy Sun, 02 Jan 2022 07:01:38 +0000


Despite being a relatively untapped sector and with great potential to help Sindh’s economy, tourism has long been unable to gain momentum in the Southeast Province.

Experts and stakeholders related to the scourge industry strongly believe that Sindh’s unique geography gives it great capacity for an exhaustive list of tourism options such as ecotourism, religious tourism, archaeological tours and the wildlife exploration. However, it is the lack of a viable tourism policy on the part of the Sindh government that has hindered the industry from contributing to the growth of gross domestic product or facilitating the employment sector, as often envisioned.

“Many countries around the world that only practice artificial tourism contribute up to 60% to their economy. It is very unfortunate that we have natural tourism potential, but the provincial government has not finalized its policy and has prevented the province from targeting its full tourism potential, ”said Dr Ghulam Murtaza Lahbar, PhD in tourism.

Citing the example of Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, Egypt, Turkey, Maldives and Singapore, he said that these countries have succeeded in creating a safe environment for their visitors and offering them a variety of entertainment options in each city. “We don’t have nightlife in our cities. How safe can foreign tourists feel when they see armed guards roaming left, right and center. So, obviously, we are currently at zero in terms of tourism, which is why the federal government must stick to promoting the northern regions year after year, which is not enough, ”he said. added.

Elaborating on the absence policy, Dr Lahbar said when drafted it will need to be holistic in its approach and focus on more public-private partnerships, easy visas for foreigners, better transport options. , accessible housing, local security and the development of infrastructure, which, according to him, is only possible with greater coordination between the departments concerned. “Without politics there is no statute for tourism and the government seems to be without a vision,” he said.

Speaking in a similar vein, Mujahid Shah, who recently launched the Indus Tourism Club with the aim of promoting local tourism, shared that Gorakh Hill, a hill station located at an elevation of about 6,000 feet in the Kirthar Ranges of Dadu District, has the potential to be a popular tourist destination. “But the road infrastructure leading to the site is in dire straits and getting around is risky business. Other than that, there is no access to clean water, adequate accommodation or even toilets at many of our tourist sites, including this one. If the government plans to work on these fundamental issues, Gorakh has everything it takes to be the Murree of Sindh, ”Shah said.

Speaking to the few rest houses built by the provincial government in some of the tourist hot spots, the owner of the Indus Tourism Club said that barely a single tourist entrance is reported here in Kai, Sehwan, Manchar or on the historic sites of Bhambore. He went on to claim that the only visitors to these guesthouses are the friends and family of influential politicians, who tend to use these places as their own. “The Sindh Culture Department has built a state-of-the-art Rooplo Kolhi complex in Nangarhar, Tharparkar district, which is too expensive for locals to live there. Apart from that, the facilities at Keenjhar resort in Thatta district are also so expensive that people with their families cannot afford it, ”Shah lamented, adding that there was no initiative. appropriate from government for tourism promotion and monitoring of existing sites.

When the Express Tribune reached out to Sindh Tourism Development Corporation (STDC) officials for their comments on the matter, most seemed unaware of any tourism policy plans and rather unwilling to talk about it.

For example, Adil Ahmed, deputy director of STDC, as a senior manager of the department, had no idea of ​​the importance of a tourism policy. “Why is politics necessary if we win more than the exception. Do you have a policy for running a newspaper? When asked if there was any work being done on a potential policy, he said, “We made around 25 million rupees from tourism last year. If we can earn such a huge amount during the pandemic, then why are policies mandatory? The director replied, while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Posted in The Express Tribune, January 2sd, 2022.

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Space tourism took off in 2021, here’s how it happened Fri, 31 Dec 2021 15:36:03 +0000

After years – if not decades – of waiting, 2021 was finally the year for the launch of space tourism. In the span of 10 short days in July, the commercial spaceflight industry took two giant strides as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin achieved their first flights with paid customers on board.

While we still don’t have any commercial space stations and prices are extremely inaccessible to everyone except the 1% of the 1%, space tourism is officially here – and here to stay.

Here are some of the highlights of the successful launches and missions of the year, and of the people who have joined the ranks of “commercial astronauts” as a result of their flights.

July 11 – Virgin Galactic’s first flight

Always the type to do the show, Sir Richard Branson was the first commercial client to fly into space with his company, Virgin Galactic, in early July. The announcement came quickly, as Branson wanted to reach the edge of space before his competitor, Blue Origin – which he did just 9 days earlier. Branson was joined on board by three VG employees: Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses, Vice President of Government Affairs and Researcher Sirisha Bandla (who conducted in-flight experiments) and Chief Operations Engineer of VG Colin Bennett.

On the ground before, during and after Spaceport America’s flight to New Mexico, non-flying guests were treated to a variety of entertainment, including a performance by Khalid.

July 20 – Blue Origin’s first flight

On July 20, 52 years after the first moon landing, Blue Origin made its first successful consumer flight with founder Jeff Bezos on board. The company took off from its West Texas facility with four passengers on board: Bezos, his brother, aerospace legend Wally Funk, and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, whose father was one of the bidders of the Blue Origin auction for the final seat.

(The anonymous auction winner pulled out days before the launch, we later learned that it was tech / crypto founder Justin Sun, who is now considering buying back an entire Blue Origin flight in the future.)

September 15 – Inspiration4 Mission

One of the top space tourism stories of the year and the most enjoyable of the year focused on the Inspiration4 mission, curated and led by American billionaire Jared Isaacman. Isaacman purchased a flight for four on one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsules and organized his crew which included medical assistant Hayley Arceneaux, geoscientist and science communications specialist Sian Proctor, and data engineer Chris Sembroski, whose last two won their places thanks to a fundraiser. campaign for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, where Arceneaux works.

The Inspiration4 crew was launched from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and spent three days in orbit before landing off the coast of Florida.

October 13 – Beam Me Up, Scotty

For its second mainstream flight, Blue Origin grabbed the headlines by inviting none other than Captain Kirk himself to join the flight as a guest. The inimitable William Shatner became the oldest person to visit space at age 90, and said it was one of the highlights of his life: “I was so fascinated by what was happening. passed on this flight. It moved me to tears, so much so that… I couldn’t control my emotions for 15 to 20 minutes, ”Shatner told TIME. in an interview after his flight.

December 8 – First ISS tourist (in a while)

For more than a decade, the only visitors to the International Space Station have been astronauts focused on research and other science projects – and a Russian actress / director who traveled earlier in 2021 to film scenes from ‘an upcoming movie. In some ways, it seemed like the days of welcoming tourists to the ISS were over; Canadian businessman Guy Laliberté was the last to visit in 2009.

That changed in December, when Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa arrived with a videographer to spend 12 days aboard the station. There, he answered common questions about life in microgravity (including classic toilet problems) and also did some fun experiments to encourage interest in space.

Maezawa is expected to fly around the moon with SpaceX at some point in the future; the trip was proposed for 2023 but not confirmed.

December 11 – Hello Earth

To close the year, Blue Origin made a third successful flight in early December. In addition to several paying customers, passengers included Hello america host Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to reach space and who Blue Origin’s New Shepherd the rocket bears the name.

Besides being a TV host, Strahan has a background in professional football and tweeted “TOUCHDOWN has a new meaning now !!!” after his successful return to earth.

Here are more successful flights in 2022, long-standing bookings filled for patient Virgin Galactic customers, and falling prices.

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A year of space tourism, flights to Mars, the rise of China Thu, 30 Dec 2021 01:26:44 +0000

From the Mars Ingenuity helicopter’s first powered flight over another world to the launch of the James Webb Telescope that will scan the first epoch of the Universe, 2021 has been a huge year for mankind’s space efforts.

Beyond scientific milestones, billionaires fought to reach the Last Frontier first, an all-civilian crew entered orbit, and Star Trek’s William Shatner explained in depth what it meant to see Earth from the cosmos, while space tourism was finally making sense. .

Here are the selected highlights.

– Red Planet robot duo –

NASA’s Perseverance Rover survived its “seven minutes of terror,” a time when the craft relied on its automated systems for descent and landing, to land perfectly on Mars’ Jezero Crater in February.

Since then, the car-sized robot has taken photos and drilled samples for its mission: to determine whether the red planet could have harbored ancient microbial life forms.

A rock sample return mission is planned for the 2030s.

With his advanced instruments, “Percy,” as the helicopter is affectionately known, can also zap Martian rock and chemically analyze steam.

Percy has a travel partner: Ingenuity, a four-pound (two-kilogram) rotorcraft that succeeded in April on the first flight powered by another celestial body, a little over a century after the Wright brothers performed the same. feat here on Earth. , and has played many more since.

“Perseverance is sort of the flagship mission, it is a long-term, detailed investigation of this fascinating region of Mars,” Jonathan McDowall, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told AFP.

In contrast, “Ingenuity, is one of those cute, small, and inexpensive little tech demonstrations that NASA can do so well,” he added.

The knowledge gained from Ingenuity could help scientists develop Dragonfly, a planned 1,000-pound drone-helicopter, to search for signs of life on Saturn’s Titan moon in the mid-1930s.

– Private space flight takes off –

An American millionaire became the world’s first space tourist in 2001, but it took another 20 years for the promise of a private space flight to finally materialize.

In July, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson faced off against Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos to become the first non-professional astronaut to perform a suborbital space flight.

While the British mogul won this battle of a few days, it was Blue Origin that took the lead, launching three more flights with paying customers and celebrity guests.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX entered the fray in September with a three-day orbital mission around Earth with a fully civilian crew on Inspiration 4.

“It’s really exciting that at last, after so long, this stuff is finally happening,” said Laura Seward Forczyk, space industry analyst, author of the forthcoming book “Becoming Off-Worldly,” for prepare future space travelers.

But it was William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk’s cloak and sword in the 1960s TV series “Star Trek”, who stole the show with a moving account of his experience.

“What you look down on is Mother Earth, and she needs to be protected,” he told reporters.

A Russian crew shot the first feature film in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2021, and Japanese tourists made their own visit aboard a Russian rocket.

For a few minutes on December 11, there was a record 19 humans in space when Blue Origin flew its third crewed mission, the Japanese team was aboard the ISS with its normal crew, and Chinese taikonauts were in position on their station.

However, the sight of wealthy elites galloping through the cosmos was not to everyone’s liking, and the nascent space tourism industry sparked a backlash from some who said there were more pressing issues at hand. face, such as climate change, here on Earth.

– Globalization of space –

During the Cold War, space was dominated by the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Today, in addition to the explosion of the commercial sector, which sends satellites at a breakneck pace, China, India and others are increasingly flexing their space muscles.

China’s Tiangong (Palace in the Sky) space station – its first long-term outpost – was launched in April, while its first Martian rover, Zhurong, landed in May, making it the only second country to achieve such a feat.

“For the past 20 years since China finally decided to go into space, it has been in catch-up mode,” McDowall said. “And now they’re sort of there, and they’re starting to do things that the United States hasn’t done.”

The United Arab Emirates placed a probe in Mars orbit in February, becoming the first Arab country and the fifth in total to reach the planet.

Russia, meanwhile, launched a missile at one of its own satellites, becoming the fourth country to strike a spacecraft from the ground, which has rekindled concerns over the growing space arms race.

Washington criticized Moscow for its “reckless” test, which generated more than 1,500 pieces of large orbital debris, dangerous for low earth orbit missions such as the ISS.

– Coming soon… –

The year ended with the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, a $ 10 billion marvel that will use infrared technology to look 13 billion years back.

“It is arguably the most expensive single science platform ever,” said Casey Drier, senior advocate for the Planetary Society.

“To push the boundaries of our knowledge of the cosmos, we had to build something capable of accessing this ancient past,” he added.

It will reach Lagrange Point 2, a spatial landmark a million kilometers from Earth, in a few weeks, then start up and gradually calibrate its systems, coming online around June.

Also next year, the launch of Artemis 1 – when NASA’s Giant Space Launch System (SLS) will transport the Orion capsule to the Moon and back, in preparation for America’s return with humans later this year. decade.

NASA plans to build lunar habitats and use lessons learned for forward missions to Mars in the 2030s.

Observers are encouraged that the program launched by former President Donald Trump has continued under Joe Biden – although he has not expressed his support as strongly.

Finally, next fall, NASA’s DART probe will crash into an asteroid to cause it to deviate from its path.

The proof-of-concept test is a vacuum test if humanity needs to stop a giant space rock from wiping out life on Earth, as seen in Netflix’s new hit movie “Don’t Look Up “.

I / caw

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Opinion: The Himalayas are not just for tourism, sustainable or not Tue, 28 Dec 2021 04:46:44 +0000
Mountains are not just for tourism. In the mountainous town of Devprayag in Uttarakhand, natural springs have seen a flow decrease of more than 50% over the past three years. File photo by Ashish Jalan / Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

He came and went without too much hooha. World Mountain Day on December 11e. And his theme for this year, “Sustainable tourism”. It was an appropriate theme that the UN chose. But it also exposed the limited understanding of mountains in a larger context.

Mountains all over the world, including our own Himalayas, attract large numbers of tourists. But viewing them as mere hot spots for sustainable tourism is not the right approach. These mountains are in fact great ecosystems so deep in the sustainability of our existence.

The Himalayas provide abundant evidence of this. The lives of millions of people depend on these ecosystems. Not only to preserve them, but the restitution of nature itself is urgent.

Why the Himalayas are important

the Himalayas span five countries: Bhutan, India, Nepal, China and Pakistan. It stretches 2,500 km from west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc. The Himalayan range is bordered to the northwest by the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges, to the north by the Tibetan plateau and to the south by the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Some of the world’s major rivers, the Indus, Ganges and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra, rise close to the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to some 600 million people, including 53 million people living in the regions. Himalayas.

The Himalayan mountain ranges contain 60,000 km² of ice – storing more water than just the Arctic and Antarctic.

Read more: What causes climate risks in our small towns and villages?

Almost 33% of the country’s thermal electricity and 52% of its hydropower depend on river water from the Himalayas. These rivers receive a significant portion of their water from melting glaciers, making them a critical part of India’s energy security. And its water security needs.

the Himalayas also play a role in maintaining the monsoon. The Tibetan Plateau warms up in the summer, creating an area of ​​low pressure that leads to southwest monsoon winds arriving on the Indian subcontinent. It also changes the route of the winds. In the east, the winds turn along the mountains to the northeast, and move along the Brahmaputra-Ganges plains distributing the precipitation.

The impact of climate change is evident in this region today in the evolution of precipitation regimes and the melting of its glaciers. Himalayan glaciers lost billions of tonnes of ice between 2000 and 2016, double the amount that occurred between 1975 and 2000, according to studies. Which also shows a surplus in its river waters of 3-4% due to a 10% increase in the melting of the western Himalayan glaciers, and the 30% increase in the eastern Himalayan glaciers.

All these facts only underline how and why mountains are indispensable and the urgency of their restitution. Unfortunately, our mountains are only treated as tourist destinations without realizing that excessive depletion of resources beyond a point can be disastrous.

Photo file. How long will this view last. A view of the Gairsain Hills, Uttarakhand. Photo: Rohit Gosain / CC BY-SA 4.0

Read more: What is behind the worsening water crisis in Himalayan cities?

The theme of sustainable tourism may sound good, but the sustainability of mountains as an ecosystem needs to be revisited. Mainly in the Himalayas and hill towns like Shimla, Mussoorie and Dalhousie built by the British.

It is totally wrong to say that British engineering and technology skills have supported the mountains. The point is that the local communities before the British came to the mountains never built any structures or lived on the “ridges” and peaks of the hills. It was the British who did this with their hill towns.

What Shimla and Leh can teach us

The British taught us to ruin mountains, but in a sustainable form. Take for example Shimla, the former capital of colonial India. It is quite an intriguing city for town planners. The city’s water supply was initially provided from nearby water catchment areas such as the Seog Forests, which were gravity-fed from forest sources to the city. Later, a water elevator system was installed as the population grew. This Gumma project had an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters to pump water which was then distributed throughout the city.

The British could support such a system because of its Imperial booty. But the high costs of operating and maintaining these systems have made it impossible for today’s urban local authorities to run such a system without heavy state subsidies.

Take another example, the city of Leh, which has experienced a significant influx of tourists in recent years. Shimla with a population of two lakh receives more than 4.5 million tourists. While Leh with a population of only 30,000, there were almost 10 times as many tourists.

It is for sure a source of income for many people. But land use change and the change in the structure of employment also need to be closely studied.

Why? For the simple reason that the city of Leh, which used to consume drinking water from the natural source of water from the glacier and underground boreholes, can no longer do so. The water is now unfit for consumption due to the switch from dry toilets to wet flush toilets for tourists, which has contaminated the water table. It is not sustainable tourism.

Read more: Yet another plan to regulate traffic in Shimla, but will it work?

There are some important lessons to be learned from these two cities just to ensure that the least damage is done to the mountains and especially the Himalayas.

  • The first: The rampant construction of hydroelectric projects without any concern for the ecology must stop. The mighty Sutlej River, from the point where it enters India, is conducted through the mountains until it meets the Bhakra Dam at Bilaspur. Other projects commissioned or in preparation include, to name but a few, directly from Khab, son Khab Shaso, then Jangi Thopan-Powari, followed by Shongthong Karcham, Wangtoo Karcham, Nathpa Jhakri, Rampur, Behna, Kol Dam and finally the Bhakra. Then there are projects being commissioned on the tributaries of Sutlej and other rivers. It is the design in almost all mountain states. The result: a massive change in ecology and the environment. And the damage is irreversible.
  • The second important intervention concerns the nature of land use change and the typologies of construction in urban mountain towns. Almost no mountain town has a regulatory master plan. Most of the city planners who design mountain towns bring the plains formula and try to implement it there.

Take for example the widespread use of reinforced cement and concrete in house building and total paranoia for the use of wood under the pretext of saving forests, even though there is evidence that houses in the mountains must be built. with native materials including wood to reduce the carbon footprint. However, the exact opposite occurs with the heavy use of steel and concrete. This further increases the vulnerability of the bearing capacity of mountains.

Sustainability ruled out smart city considerations in select hill towns like Shimla
Photo file. Recipe for disaster. Dense concrete construction covering the slopes of Shimla Hill. Pic Pradeep Kumar
  • Mobility is another important area which must be developed in conjunction with the mountain. This means that instead of these massive four-lane Char Dham roads and the widening of existing roads, alternative modes of mobility must be adopted. Cable cars and internal railways through tunnels, which do not rely solely on fossil fuels, can be a major mobility alternative. For cities, it is important that they continue to insist on good practices of more pedestrianization and clean public transport. What we are currently seeing in these cities are massive traffic jams on the roads and almost no parking spaces.
  • Fourth, for sustainable tourism, the emphasis should be on the development of more homestays, by strengthening the capacities of local populations, by building tourist houses in a sustainable mode (solar, local soil, recovery of water, local waste treatment, etc.), training people to ensure adequate waste disposal.
  • Waste management in mountain towns is a big challenge. As temperatures for almost six months remain low, there is hardly any composting. In addition, the collection, sorting and treatment of waste are very poor in these cities. Garbage dumps have become an eyesore in these mountains. Bomb Guard is a site in Leh which is one of the worst garbage dump sites and requires immediate attention. Likewise, most of the hill towns are struggling with waste treatment. With the opening of the Rohtang tunnel, access to Lahaul and Spiti is extended over a period of one year. The resulting massive influx of tourists means more waste generation. This must be taken into account, otherwise the clear rivers flowing in the upper reaches will soon experience irreversible changes.

Given all of this, this commitment to “sustainable tourism” will only make sense if mountains are supported as an ecosystem. Restitution and not restoration should be the slogan.

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Laos is piloting a health and hygiene program in the tourism and hospitality sector Sun, 26 Dec 2021 13:44:00 +0000

VIENTIANE, December 26 (Bern): To prepare for the reopening of tourism from January 1 next year, Laos is piloting a health and hygiene program called LaoSafe in the tourism and hospitality sector in the capital Vientiane, the Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) reported.

This project is led by the country’s Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism with the support of the Luxembourg and Swiss governments.

LaoSafe includes a series of health and hygiene standards for different sub-sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry, including accommodation providers, food and beverage outlets, airlines , tourist attractions, tour guides and drivers.

Once businesses in Vientiane have been trained and qualified, those in Luang Prabang province will be the next to benefit from the LaoSafe program.

Assessment and certification will begin in January, with a focus on “green” tourist areas, including the capital Vientiane, Luang Prabang and the city of Vang Vieng.

The Lao health ministry reported on Saturday, December 25 that the country had recorded 1,007 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 related deaths in 24 hours. The capital Vientiane recorded the highest number, with 500 cases. The total number of Covid-19 infections in the country now stands at 105,380, including 317 deaths. -Bernama

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Tourism takes a hit as omicron unleashes COVID wave in New York City Fri, 24 Dec 2021 13:39:46 +0000

NEW YORK – Christmas is usually the season that boosts New York tourism, but it turns out that omicron is spreading to some of the more popular places.

The city’s latest COVID data shows Manhattan’s highest positivity rate is in the West Village and the Meatpacking District, where the seven-day average is over 16%.

Positivity rates are also high in trendy neighborhoods like Chelsea, Villages, SoHo, and popular Brooklyn neighborhoods including Williamsburg and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The COVID surge is another big blow to tourism, with the city’s Hospitality Alliance calling for more financial assistance and a resurrection of take-out drinking rules.

New Years Eve in Times Square was also reduced from 58,000 people to 15,000.

Party-goers also cannot come to the area until 3 p.m. that day, and everyone must be masked and fully vaccinated.

Additionally, the Phish group have announced that they are rescheduling their four-night New Years run at Madison Square Garden, questioning what will happen to Billy Joel’s monthly MSG residency.

Other Broadway shows are also closing the curtain. “Waitress” and “Thoughts of a Colored Man” end early while other musicals have canceled shows until Christmas including “Hamilton”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”.

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To boost ecotourism, a documentary broadcast on the picturesque Parvati valley in Kullu: La Tribune India Wed, 22 Dec 2021 05:13:00 +0000

Our correspondent

Kullu, December 21

The Forestry Department released a six-minute documentary to provide glimpses of the most scenic places in the Parvati Forest Division to Kullu, which had been developed by the Forestry Department to promote eco-tourism, on the occasion of the International Mountain Day on December 11.

IFS Manager Aishwarya Raj, Deputy Curator, Parvati Division, Kullu, said the theme for this year’s Mountain Day is “Sustainable Mountain Tourism” and the documentary has been posted on Youtube to market. the bounty of nature in the region to promote ecotourism. He added that the link was also posted on the Parvati Forestry Division Facebook page.

Read also : IFS Officer Aishwarya Raj turns barren land into “Swarnim Vatika” at Shamshi in Kullu

He said: “In the first video, we focused on the initiatives the Forestry Department has taken on the ground to ensure the eco-restoration of wasteland and how we can create win-win situations. winner for nature and people. “

He said the region is home to pristine forests and high and mid-altitude Himalayan ranges. He said the division spanned 2,011 km2 and included areas of Bhuntar, Jari, Hurla and Kasol. Scenic hikes like Kheer Ganga, Mantalai and Pin Parvati attract revelers again and again, he said.

The inhabitants welcomed the move of the department. They said such documentaries and teasers from other areas of tourist interest should be widely released by the government to boost the tourism industry.

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Governor Lamont Announces Launch of “The State I Am In” Campaign Promoting Winter Tourism Season Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:34:18 +0000

Press Releases


Governor Lamont Announces Launch of “The State I Am In” Campaign Promoting Winter Tourism Season

The State I'm In Connecticut Winter Tourism Campaign TV Video

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Tourism Board launches a new winter marketing campaign reflecting Connecticut’s vibrant and diverse public places. The new “The State I’m In” campaign aims to support the continued economic recovery of Connecticut’s $ 15 billion tourism industry and encourages residents and visitors to explore all Connecticut has to offer this winter.

“This new winter tourism campaign shows how vibrant, diverse and inclusive Connecticut is today,” Governor Lamont said. “Not only will this help bring new visitors to Connecticut, but it will also generate revenue for our many amazing restaurants, hotels, attractions and all kinds of amazing local businesses across the state.”

This is the first time in many years that Connecticut has promoted an integrated marketing campaign for the winter season. Until March 31, 2022, the “The State I Am In” campaign will feature hundreds of tourism businesses across Connecticut and highlight many unique and unexpected experiences.

The million dollar marketing campaign uses an integrated blend of marketing tactics to reach people in the state, as well as across the region, in English and Spanish. He understands:

  • New TV spots which will run on streaming services throughout the region as well as the state during local coverage of live events as prestigious as the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, New Year’s specials, the playoff games of the NFL and the Big East Finals (NCAA);
  • Billboards across the region that feature authentic and user-generated photos and captions of residents, visitors and influencers;
  • Social media campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok;
  • New content on, the state’s official tourism site which is currently targeting 7 million web visitors for 2021;
  • Paid search marketing and content seeding; and
  • Acquired media, including public relations and email marketing.

“Our goal with the ‘The State I Am In’ campaign is to encourage residents and travelers to see Connecticut in a new light – a perspective that reflects how vibrant and welcoming the state is. ” Christine Castonguay, director of branding and marketing for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, said. “As we begin the important process of branding Connecticut with this campaign, we need to update the perceptions people have of Connecticut – and showcase the exceptional quality of life we ​​provide to visitors. and residents. “

The new campaign TV spot was produced by Connecticut creation and production companies and stars local talent Eddie Cruz, Jr. – a native of Newington and University of Hartford alumnus, Hartt School of Theater – who is passionate about life and work in the state. The campaign will also feature the authentic voices of real Connecticut visitors and residents presenting real photos from their experiences across CTvisit.comonline and social media channels.

“Tourism is at its best when we reach a diverse group of audiences and help instill a sense of curiosity and innovation about a destination,” Noelle Stevenson, director of the Connecticut Tourism Board, said. “The ‘The State I Am In’ campaign is a testament to the vibrancy, energy and nervousness of Connecticut’s tourism offerings. We’re confident this campaign will not only inspire residents and visitors to explore Connecticut this winter, but will exude a sense of newness about all we have to offer.

To participate in the “The State I’m In” campaign, use #StateImInCT on social networks. To find more information on many of Connecticut’s winter attractions and activities, visit

Twitter: @GovNedLamont
Facebook: Office of Governor Ned Lamont

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