Posts tagged with "asia"

Award illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

MDEEC Recieves Recognition from Silicon Valley

MDEEC excels at their services, granting the company recognition from Silicon Valley.

There are very few companies that can boast of quality customized training and solution-based videos for their clients­–not only in India, but also in Asia and the US. These two crucial and special services are provided eloquently by one company: Mehul Darooka Engagement and Entertainment Corporation, which is headquartered in Pune, India. Recently, the company was recognized with a letter of recognition for their services by several companies that MDEEC were serving in Silicon Valley, California.

The company is helmed by Mehul Darooka, who has the distinction holding an MMS (Master of Management Science) from Pune University–one of the prestigious universities in the world.

Mehul himself is an accomplished corporate trainer, internationally published author, and short filmmaker. He has trained 20,000+ people from various corporatations, institutes, and companies around the globe. He is also the founder of the Global Connaissance Exchange Festival, an online festival between countries and continents in which knowledge is exchanged amongst world leaders.

Mehul has authored three books on entrepreneurship, with his second book released in three editions. Two of his books are written in English and the other is composed in in Marathi. His Hindi edition, as well as other language editions, will be released soon.

In August 2019, Mehul also had the privilege and rare feat of releasing his third book in Silicon Valley amidst an esteemed panel and well-known entrepreneurs.

MDEEC has also been instrumental in contributing to some of the most prolific mega-events, corporate films, stage shows, radio shows, and plays. One of the most notable performances was the mega singing and dancing competition for 250 colleges in association with the reputed Shiamak Davar Institute of Performing Arts. MDEEC has scripted almost 200 stage shows, corporate seminars, workshops, public gatherings, and 500 plus poems. Mehul also represented one of his clients on a radio channel based out of California in a show called “Saturday Swag,” which has a listenership totaling half a million viewers.

MDEEC’s recognition comes in the wake of serving clients from multiple industries. The most challenging industry was serving the Criminal Justice System of California for 15 counties as a training specialist.

“We are happy that we could cater to such a unique and different line of work, and supported [our clients during] such a tough and difficult area of work” says founder Mehul Darooka with a proud smile.

They have also been phenomenally successful at providing customized video and filmmaking solutions. Some of their global and esteemed clients include Suzlon Energy, Trimble INC, Loreal Cosmetics, Solix Tech, Emagia, Draexlmaier, Fujitsu, S&N, Schaeffler India, Cummins India, Symbiosis Institute, Indira, and many more.

Mehul and his company have also been applauded and decorated with awards. They have won the certificate of excellence from the reputed National Film Development Corporation in Mumbai. The company has also been granted recognition from reputed universities and colleges based out of India and US.

Mehul Darooka has also had the extraordinary and amazing opportunity to interview great industry leaders and stalwarts from all walks of life. Some of the dignitaries interviewed by him are Dr. Ganesh Natarajan­: former CEO of Zensar, Mr. Girish Chitale: owner of Chitale foods, Mr. Sidharth Jain: CEO of the biggest book to screen company in India, Mr. Vishal Furia: well known Indian film director, Mr. Kailash Katkar­­: CEO of Quick Heal, Ms. Shubhra Chaddha: CEO of Chumbak, and many more.

With a team of passionate and experienced trainers, facilitators, and consultants, MDEEC is for sure to grow and reach even greater heights. They also boast of an enthusiastic and experienced team of technicians like cinematographers, actors, editors, and more to support the creation of the perfect corporate film for your product, process, or company. You name it, and MDEEC will offer you the best service at the most competitive prices, leaving their customers delighted.

Beyond Green illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Beyond Green) for 360 Magazine

Introducing Beyond Green

INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD

Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well

Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package. 

“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”

“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.

Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information

Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed  global citizens on social media by following its newly launched FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.

I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits

As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.

Celebratory Launch Offer

Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:   

  • Private 1.5-hour Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy session at andBeyond Vira Vira
  • Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
  • Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
  • Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio

With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:

  • Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
  • Europe – Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece); Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland); Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
  • Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)

Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.

About Beyond Green

Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.

About Preferred Hotel Group

Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred HotelsBeyond GreenHistoric HotelsPHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

The Brando
The Brando – photo credit: Beyond Green
Computer illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Your Online Privacy Is in Your Hands

Many Internet users don’t take online privacy seriously because they believe that they have nothing to hide. Even if you don’t want to secure your data from the curious eyes of big brother, you should be aware of other privacy threats on the Internet.

  • Other states: Even if you trust your own government, do you trust other states? Many foreign governments take a keen interest in the online activities of other citizens.
  • Marketers: Advertisers and other businesses use many methods to track your Internet activity to build an online profile that they can sell to other organizations.
  • Acquaintances: Many people who are curious about you will consume your publicly available data that’s of a private nature.
  • Stalkers: Ex-partners, jealous lovers, stalkers, or predators can use malicious software to breach your privacy. Some stalkerware can take your pictures and record your videos through webcams when you’re not aware. Stalkerware can also monitor your physical movements through the GPS on your laptop.

Share Your Data Sensibly

It’s a good idea to take basic security precautions on social media. Accept friend requests carefully. Verify suspicious-looking profiles to ensure that they’re legitimate. Limit posts that carry sensitive information to your friends and avoid sharing confidential information publicly.

When downloading apps, avoid handing out permissions needlessly. For example, does your fitness app really need access to your contacts, camera, and videos?

Of course, set strong passwords for all your social media accounts to keep hackers at bay. A good password should be at least 12 characters long and feature upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.

Avoid Suspicious Websites and Emails

Avoid visiting unknown websites and clicking strange emails and files. Cybercriminals can infect fraudulent websites, emails, and files with malware like adware or spyware that’s designed to breach your privacy, security, or both.

Stay Wary of Strangers

Trust your instincts and be cautious. Avoid friend requests from people you don’t trust. Likewise, please don’t click on links from such people as they may be Trojan horse attacks engineered to install stalkerware on your devices. Similarly, don’t accept tech gifts from strangers. For example, a USB drive or keyboard could be a keylogger that records your keystrokes, allowing a cybercriminal to read your emails or learn your login credentials.

Find a Good VPN Service

Protect your network with a firewall and a top-of-the-line VPN service. For example, Malwarebytes VPN protection will encrypt your data with its technologically advanced software and even mask your IP address.

Without your IP address, states, threat actors find it exceptionally challenging to track you to your location across the Internet. There are other advantages to subscribing to an excellent VPN service too. For one, you can bypass geo-blocks and consume entertainment from different parts of the world. For example, a VPN can allow you to watch Netflix USA while in Canada! But please steer clear of free VPNs as they’re slow, carry spyware, and may even spy on you.

In addition to network security tools, use advanced antivirus software to protect yourself from malware like viruses, worms, spyware, adware, ransomware, and even dangerous stalkerware. With the right cybersecurity software and some vigilance, you can surf the Internet all day stress-free.

travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for 360 Magazine

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Drop

Beijing’s Tourism Revenue Dropped by 53% in 2020 – Loss of Over ¥330B 

The tourism industry was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the city of Beijing saw the momentum of the industry halted in 2020. Beijing had become an increasingly popular tourist destination prior to the pandemic with revenue from inbound tourism recorded at $5.16B in 2019. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms, Beijing’s total revenue from tourism decreased by over 53% in 2020 for a staggering loss of ¥330B, or $50B.

Beijing Revenue From Tourism Dropped By Over $50B After Years Of Growth

China has long moved on from its isolationist policies and has encouraged the mainland as a travel destination for tourists. Revenue from China’s tourism sector grew at a strong 13.8% CAGR from 2010-2019 to ¥5.7T, or almost $880B. In 2019, China was the fourth most visited country by foreign tourists with 65.7M arrivals for the year.

Beijing is one of the leading tourist destinations in China, and the city has been enjoying the growth of the tourism sector until the pandemic of 2020 hit. From 2016-2019, Beijing’s tourism revenue experienced a 5.53% CAGR, rising to a value of ¥622.7B in 2019. However, COVID-19 shut borders around the world, crippling global mobility and disrupting the momentum built up by Beijing’s tourism industry. Beijing’s revenue from tourism dropped over 53% in 2020 to just over ¥291.

Beijing suffered a staggering loss in revenue, specifically in inbound tourism, where revenue dropped from $5.16B in 2019 to just $480M in 2020.

COVID-19 Hit China Early – Caused Massive Disruption in H1 of 2020

China felt the effects of COVID-19 before much of the rest of the world did. A clear example of this is in the drop in weekly Airbnb bookings from the period between January 5th to March 7th. This drop occurred when the coronavirus was just becoming news to the rest of the world of what was happening in various parts of China. Beijing experienced a dizzying 96% drop in weekly Airbnb bookings compared to just 46% in Seoul and 29% in Tokyo in this time period.

The number of domestic tourists is estimated to have dropped by as much as 62% in the first half of 2020 compared to the year prior, with revenues dropping by as much as 77%. By the end of the year, China had experienced a 43% drop in domestic tourists and a 52% drop in revenue from domestic tourism.

Tourism in China Projected To Completely Recover Within 5 Years

In 2019, the absolute economic contribution of tourism in China was estimated at $1.67T. This fell sharply to just $745.5B in 2020-a decrease of more than 55%, but still the largest in Asia and the second-largest overall, after the USA. However, projections have the figure bouncing back up by over 40.5% in 2021 to $1.04T. The figure is projected to surpass pre-pandemic levels for the first time in 2023, when the absolute economic contribution of tourism is projected to be at $1.75T.

Despite the turmoil of 2020, China’s absolute economic contribution from tourism is projected to have an impressive CAGR of 20.75% from 2021-2025, reaching more than $2.67T by the end of the forecast period.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information on TradingPlatforms’ website.

 

 

Rose - BlackPink - illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

ROSÉ OF BLACKPINK

SHARES DEBUT SOLO PROJECT ‘R’

SINGLE ALBUM FEATURES LONG-AWAITED TRACKS

“ON THE GROUND” & “GONE”

LATE NIGHT TV SOLO DEBUT ON THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON ON 3/16

Rosé of BLACKPINK shares her massively anticipated debut solo project, R. Released via YG Entertainment/Interscope Records, the single album consists of two unforgettably vulnerable tracks co-written by the K-pop icon: “On the Ground” and “Gone.”

Watch the video HERE

Go HERE to stream/download R by Rosé now.

Produced by frequent BLACKPINK collaborator TEDDY, acclaimed songwriter/producer/artist Jon Bellion (Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus), Jorgen Odegard (Justin Bieber, P!nk), Ojivolta (Selena Gomez, Halsey), and 24, “On the Ground” is an intimate look at the cost of ambition and chasing your dreams, with Rosé bringing her stunning vocal work to a gorgeous backdrop of soulful guitar tones and radiant beats. In creating the raw and reflective track, Rosé co-wrote with Bellion as well as heavy-hitters Amy Allen (Sam Smith, Zara Larsson) and Raul Cubina (Playboi Carti, Christina Aguilera).

On “Gone,” Rosé matches the pure emotional depth of “On the Ground,” this time offering up a stripped-back breakup ballad produced by Brian Lee (BLACKPINK, Post Malone, Camila Cabello). Accompanied by little more than the track’s hypnotic guitar work, her voice turns heartbreakingly tender as she delivers her confessional lyrics (“Now I’m all alone, crying ugly/You broke my heart just for fun/Took my love and just left me numb”).

Along with “On the Ground” and “Gone,” the CD and vinyl editions of R include instrumental versions of both tracks. Rosé is now the second member of BLACKPINK to release solo material, with singer/rapper Jennie having shared her single “SOLO” in November 2018.

R arrives just months after BLACKPINK dropped their debut full-length effort THE ALBUM. Released on October 2, the record-breaking project debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, marking the biggest chart debut by an all-female group in over 12 years. With guest spots from fellow superstars Selena Gomez and Cardi B, THE ALBUM also smashed the record for highest first-week sales for a debut album from a K-pop group in all of music history. That same month, BLACKPINK premiered Light Up The Sky, an all-access Netflix documentary detailing the hard-fought journey behind the group’s meteoric rise.

ABOUT BLACKPINK:

Since bursting onto the scene in 2016, BLACKPINK have redefined the possibilities of K-pop, transcending all categorization and ascending to global stardom. With their unstoppably catchy single “DDU-DU DDU-DU,” the South Korean quartet broke the record for highest-charting Billboard Hot 100 debut by an all-female K-pop act, while its head-turning video surpassed 10 million views in just six hours and racked up 36.2 million views in one day.

Discovered by YG Entertainment, BLACKPINK is comprised of JISOO, JENNIE, ROSÉ and LISA: four immensely charismatic vocalists, dancers, and burgeoning fashion icons. Released in 2016, their debut “SQUARE ONE” quickly proved their crossover power; in 2018, “SQUARE UP” climbed to #40 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard World Albums chart. Several months after “SQUARE UP” hit the charts, YG Entertainment and Interscope Records announced a global partnership for BLACKPINK, paving the way for the group’s international breakthrough. With their EP Kill This Love arriving in April 2019, BLACKPINK further boosted their popularity by successfully completing a world tour and becoming the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella, the largest music festival in the U.S.

Rosé of BLACKPINK Interscope Records for 360 MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy of YG Entertainment.

Tea illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Tea Drunk

Tea Drunk is a Certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise in New York City and is known for being the most prestigious Chinese tea house in the North America. Founder and Tea Expert Shunan Teng travels to the historic tea mountains of China each spring to commission some of the rarest tea in the world to showcase their top terroir, superb craftsmanship, and true-to-origin varietals. 

Shunan commissions and sources teas in the most conservative fashion to bring discerning connoisseurs the utmost traditional essence of historical teas. Teas that are meticulously curated like Gua Pian Green Tea (Melon Seed Tea) from Lu An. Lu An is one of the oldest tea-making regions in China with over 1000 years of tea-making history. This historically famous style of tea goes through a unique La Da Huo processing step that gives the tea a pleasantly toasty flavor that compliments its grassy umami taste, buttery mouthfeel and bold sugary undertone. We feel this flavor profile and mouthfeel rivals that of the hip Japanese Matcha. Gua Pian is being highlighted as the next trend in tea, with whole loose leaves, there is a lower extraction rate of caffeine, allowing your body to get all of the benefits of the complex compounds found in green tea (such as l-theanine and catechins) with a more body friendly level of caffeine. 

Although many different flowers and herbs can be dried, steeped in hot water, and called “tea,” actual tea leaves come from the plant camellia sinensis. From just this one plant alone, humans discovered that through manipulation of heat, moisture, and physical disturbance of the tea leaves, this one plant can yield almost endless variations in taste and aroma. It’s a fragile ancient art form and through education and access, Tea Drunk aims to cultivate awareness in preserving it for years to come. 

You can also increase your level of tea savvy straight from the source with Tea Drunk. Experience teas such as Gua Pian right from the comfort of your home (or wherever you may be) with Tea Drunk’s Educational Tea Club. Their twice monthly expert led Zoom sessions allow you to travel deep into your cup and senses in a welcoming community of tea lovers. They have two tiers of sessions, a Sampler and a Reserve, with the Reserve specializing in the highest tier of rare teas. Each box is hand curated based on concepts such as vintage, location, or theme to help you develop your palate in comparative tastings. The tea club grants you unparalleled access to transparency and high-quality education while having a blast exploring teas with others virtually. 

Shunan, is an avid educator on tea and has spoken at many prestigious institutions including: Yale University; Christie’s; Van Cleef & Arpels; World Tea Expo; and Stony Brook University. She has collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to execute a temporary Chinese tea house in the museum and is the educator for TED Ed lesson – The History of Tea

It’s truly an experience that goes well beyond any other tea subscription service on the market. You are able to deepen your personal tea knowledge alongside other like-minded individuals and grow together in community while connecting with this ancient art form of traditional tea processing. It’s an act people have been doing for tens of thousands of years, and today we get to do the same thing with people all over the world. With Tea Drunk, tea is not just a beverage; it’s an experience meant to be savored and shared. 

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

Formula 1 Grand Prix’s champion – Lewis Hamilton

The Istanbul phase of Formula 1, the world’s biggest motorsports event, had been completed. Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton has won the season’s 14th race in Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix.  The victory marks Hamilton’s fourth consecutive world championship and his 7th in total. With this win, Hamilton has also equaled Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles. The awards were presented by Prof. Dr. Mustafa Sentop, the Speaker of Turkish Parliament. 

Last year with more than 15 million visitors, Istanbul became the 8th most attractive destination in the world and after 9 years, the city hosted Formula 1 once again. Over 2 billion people from 200 different countries watched the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix that was co-sponsored by Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) and T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism (the two founding partner sponsors).

Noting that he loves and travels to Turkey’s Southern and Aegean coasts frequently in a statement, Lewis Hamilton said that he is impressed by the history of Turkey and the fact that each city in the country has different textures. Hamilton also said that there is no better place than Turkey for the championship. On his Twitter account, Hamilton shared his joy with a series of photos taken after he won the title and wrote, “A day I’ll never forget.” 

2 billion people watched the race on TV 

The video featuring Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri F1 teams were filmed at various places in Istanbul including July 15 Martyr’s Bridge, Topkapi Palace and Sultanahmet Square. The video was first streamed on Formula 1’s social media accounts on Thursday, November the 12th. 

Formula 1 Grand Prix promotional videos were streamed first on F1’s official social media and then on numerous TV and YouTube channels. While the video promoting the collaboration between Formula 1  and GoTurkey got more than 2 million views on Turkey’s official tourism website GoTurkey.com’s YouTube account, the F1 promotional video got more than 5 million views on Formula 1’s official social media accounts. 

In addition to Formula 1, Turkey has previously hosted many global sports events, including the 2005 Champions League Final, the 2009 UEFA Cup Final, the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship, the 2017 EuroLeague Final Four, the 2019 UEFA Super Cup and most recently the 2020 WRC Rally Championship in September.

About Turkey

Located in the Mediterranean and connecting Asia and Europe continents that are separated by the famous Bosphorus, Turkey is a unique destination that welcomed more than 50 million tourists last year. The country that has always been a hub for cultural interaction and home to varying climates inspires the visitors today with its history, nature, and gastronomy that reflect the diversity of civilizations for centuries. Located at the crossroads of cultures, Turkey has a distinctive understanding of art & fashion which is the synthesis of tradition and modernity and its extremely dynamic shopping & entertainment life also attracts visitors from all over the world. Turkey implemented the “Safe Tourism Program” for the 2020 tourism season. The program that has been rapidly adopted by the key players in the industry,  defines a series of measures that must be taken across a vast range of related bodies including food & beverage, transportation and accommodation establishments to ensure the health and well-being of facility personnel and guests, both local and foreign.

For more about Turkey please visit:

www.goturkey.com

Illustrates an Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Pacific Princess

Princess Cruises is one of the premier cruise line offerings in the world, and the Pacific Princess fleet is the significantly smaller version.

Even though the Pacific Princess can only hold 670 passengers, it can still provide an exotic look at the world to those looking for a more intimate adventure.

It has fewer signature attractions and facilities than the larger ships, but what it lacks in spectacle, it more than makes up for in its laid-back, destination-immersive itineraries.

There are seven things to love about the Pacific Princess, specifically, so let’s go over them.

First, there are benefits to a smaller vessel. Even though it’s smaller than the average cruise ship, the Pacific Princess features seven dining venues and three lounges. Travelers looking for a more personal experience might find exactly what they’re looking for aboard the Pacific Princess.

Second, the ships are very recently refurbished. The 338-cabin ships were redone in June 2019.

Third, there is enough food and snacks for everyone. With one main dining room, an Italian restaurant, a steakhouse, a buffet, a grill, a pizzeria and room service, passengers never go hungry.

Fourth, the ships have lounges, a piano bar, a pool bar, a club bar, a casino and places to shop, ensuring that passengers are never bored.

Fifth, the Lotus Spa, fitness center, library, jogging track and saltwater pool help each and every visitor stay relaxed and revitalized.

Sixth, expert lectures are given as part of the Discovery at Sea program.

Seventh, entertainment in the room is just as great as the entertainment outside the room. While theater shows, piano bars and games are happening outside, staterooms have flat-screen televisions and minibars.

Some of the most popular destinations include Asia, Australia, The South Pacific, The Mediterranean, South America and the Panama Canal.

Cruises-N-More has been operating for more than 20 years. For more information or to book a cruise, you can click right here.

K-POP Star Announces First Livestream Concert

Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Wonho, announced today, via Rolling Stone, that he will be partnering with LiveXLive for a global pay-per-view concert. This will mark his first ever live solo act and debut performance for his first solo album ‘Love Synonym #1 : Right for Me.’ The concert is scheduled for Saturday, September 26th at 8PM EST/ 11PM EST / Sunday, September 27th at 12PM KST. Tickets will be open for sale on Friday, September 11th at 11AM EST / 8AM PST at LivexLive.com.

WATCH “OPEN MIND” MUSIC VIDEO HERE

STREAM HERE ON SPOTIFY

STREAM HERE ON APPLE MUSIC

FOLLOW WONHO ON SOCIALS:

TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | SPOTIFY | YOUTUBE

The livestream pay-per-view performance is Wonho’s much-anticipated return to live performing. Wonho recently debuted his first single “Losing You” on August 14th, earning many great reactions from his awaited fans. Following that release, Wonho dropped his first solo mini album ‘Love Synonym #1 : Right for Me’, featuring the title track “Open Mind” on September 4th, which topped the Worldwide iTunes Album charts; taking up the #1 spot under U.S. Pop Album Chart, K-Pop Album Chart in twenty different countries including U.S., and catapulting to #6 under the U.S. All Genres Album Chart.

Immediately upon release, “wonho” was trending #1 worldwide on Twitter, with “open mind,” “#OPEN_MIND,” and “#Love_Synonym” following closely behind. As Wonho makes his first step as a solo artist with this eight-track mini album, he showcases not only his vocal skills; but also his lyrical, compositional, and production skills.

The title ‘Love Synonym’ symbolizes a new start that is different from Wonho’s music style and performances that he has shown before. ‘Love Synonym’ is a new definition of love that Wonho created in order to show his pledges and determinations that he will communicate with his fans. Wonho expressed his earnestness by participating in writing and composing five songs, including the title track “Open Mind” and the pre-released single “Losing You.”

The full performance on LiveXLive will not only feature songs from Wonho’s new solo album among other original and cover songs and a unique PPV experience with behind the scenes footage, docureality-style coverage. Premium tiered pricing includes VIP experiences, exclusive merchandise, meet-and-greets, and other event-exclusive perks. “LiveXLive is fortunate to be able to support Wonho’s return to his fans, the WENEE’s, and the career he loves. Our platform is built for moments like these and we are excited to power this one-of-a-kind concert experience together. We saw an incredible response for the Monsta X live show and anticipate Wonho’s solo breakout performance is perfectly timed to serve as the encore of a lifetime!” stated Dermot McCormack, president of LiveXLive.

Buzz surrounding his pre-released single, “Losing You,” which was dedicated to the fans who thought they may have lost him, took the U.S. Market by storm. Upon release, #WONHO_LosingYou_MV shot up to the #1 Twitter Trend Worldwide; and received notable mentions from publications such as PAPER Magazine, MTV News, Access, iHeart, and Rolling Stone, who stated,

“Performed entirely in English, the sweeping, piano-driven ballad showcases Wonho’s delicate falsetto, as he sings about protecting a cherished love despite all costs.”

Wonho also spoke to Forbes and Teen Vogue about his solo ventures.

“While these weren’t easy moments to face and endure, it was a time that made me think a lot and that allowed me to develop and grow — that was very important and precious for me. I thought of the fans waiting and supporting me … I feel a little more mature, and like I have more to say to the world.”

Late last year, Wonho’s fans tirelessly put forth efforts to show him he wasn’t alone in this world. Their message was heard globally, loud and clear; with multiple hashtags trending worldwide on twitter for weeks on end, online petitions garnering half a million signatures, fans taking it to the streets of Seoul writing supportive notes, and putting up billboards in Times Square, China and all over the world to support him.

As told by Forbes, “…fans had shown their support for the artist by sending the 2017 song “From Zero,” a special track co-written and producer by Wonho, to No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart to help prove his continuing viability and commercial appeal as an artist, songwriter and producer.”

After months of fan-driven fundraisers, online petitions, Twitter trends and love; Wonho is thrilled to be giving back to his fans. His fanbase’s new name is Wenne; and the fandom name represents the special bond between Wonho and his fans, who have been there to support him through the ups and downs.

Wonho sings passionately on the track “Coz anytime or place I’d be your shield, when you feel, like you ain’t got the fight in you to heal.”

The release of “Losing You” is Wonho’s first step forward in his solo career after signing with Highline Entertainment, which is a subsidiary label of Starship Entertainment—the home to K-pop groups including Monsta X, WJSN and Cravity—and houses viral EDM star DJ Soda [Read HERE on Forbes]. Back in early April, Wonho also joined Maverick Management’s roster, alongside Britney Spears, Madonna, The Weeknd, and many more big-name artists.