While traveling regulations and personal comfort levels vary, Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VBR,has devised a plan to allow you to travel from the safety of your home. With a new digital campaign, VBR remains a top-of-mind destination through Six Imperfect Substitutions. With Six Imperfect Substitutions, VBR turns some of the region’s popular attractions into easy and fun DIY experience with common household items.
Shannon Terry, marketing manager at Visit VBR created the campaign. “With my favorite local establishments temporarily closed, I personally started to feel the effects of cabin fever and began brainstorming ways to entertain myself,” said Terry. “What started as a personal joke turned into a light-hearted way to showcase the cool spots in the region that people are missing.”
JA Manafaru Resort in the Maldives collaborated with local partners, guests and the community to undertake a plastic removal and sustainability initiative on a neighboring island
JA Manafaru Maldives recently collaborated with a local school and their ocean activity partner, Best Dives Private Limited, to collect more than 23 jumbo bags of waste from a neighboring island and Marine Protected Area; Gallandhoo for recycling through Parley Maldives.
Parley Maldives is the Maldives branch of Parley for the Oceans, a global collaboration network with a new approach to environmentalism. The mission of Parley is to end today’s major ocean threats through creativity, collaboration and eco-innovation. The private island resort of JA Manafaru itself is spectacularly beautiful and unspoilt, sitting in the crystal-clear waters of the most northern point of the Haa Alifu Atoll. Although the ocean and beach areas surrounding the award-winning resort are pristine examples awe-inspiring nature, other islands in the Maldives have issues with waste, particularly non- biodegradable materials like plastic.
Best Dives Maldives, a local diving, excursion and ocean activity company partnered with the JA Manafaru Resort and a local school – Hoarafushi School, to undertake a monumental task in cleaning up the western coastline of Marine Protected Area (MPA), Gallandhoo. The JA Manafaru Environmental & Sustainability team planned the clean-up with Best Dives, informed guests and arranged resort boats to collect volunteers heading to the island to clean the area. Together more than 50 staff, guests, students and parents filled over 23 jumbo bags of waste in one hour. Marine biologists asserted that Gallandhoo Island looked strikingly different after the team efforts and considerable potential damage to marine life was averted. All the plastic waste collected will be sent to Parley.
To address the fast-growing threat of marine plastic pollution, Parley have devised a strategy that can be scaled across private households, schools, businesses and governments: Parley AIR — Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. Guided by these pillars, they advocate avoiding the use of single-use plastics and promoting responsible disposal of single-use plastics. The goal in the Maldives is to boost the protection of the marine ecosystem through collective change. In collaboration with plastic interception partners, Parley has now exported 48 containers of plastic waste from the Maldives, preventing over 800 tons of plastics from entering the oceans. These plastics are recycled and upcycled to help create a new economy of eco-innovation and collaboration, beginning with reducing the use of raw virgin plastics in production processes.
School students and guests were presented with certificates of appreciation for their participation in the JA Manafaru event, and when asked why there was such an issue with plastic waste on Gallandhoo, the students explained there are low levels of understanding for many people regarding the disposal of plastic waste and of the environmental damage it causes. New General Manager, Karen Merrick commented;
‘JA Manafaru in collaboration with our ocean activity partner Best Dives is committed to improving upon and reducing our environmental footprint here in Haa Alifu, one of the most uninhabited atolls in Maldives. We are honored and humbled to live and work as custodians of this beautiful part of the world and assist with such initiatives whenever/wherever we can. Every day we continue our internal mission to ensure education and awareness play a part of life here at JA Manafaru’.
In order to preserve the coral reef, beautiful beaches and sea life, the JA Manafaru team has an ongoing commitment to environmental awareness and sustainability. The hotel no longer uses plastic bottles for drinking water and instead have their own glass bottling plant, which results in a huge reduction in plastic waste. The JA Manafaru ‘House Reef Cleaning’ also invites guests to give back in a fun snorkelling and underwater reef-cleaning exercise, which certified divers can join. All items collected are logged so that any notable pollution can be immediately addressed. Other initiatives in planning at JA Manafaru include upgrading the water desalination plant for residual water to be used for landscaping, solar panel installation and a campaign for associates that raises awareness about reducing energy consumption.
About JA Manafaru
JA Manafaru is an idyllic 5-star luxury island resort fringed with exquisite powder beaches in pristine, lagoon-ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives. Accessed by private seaplane, the chic tropical hideaway features 84 luxurious beachfront and over-water villas and bungalows, each with their own private plunge pool. Seven scenic dining destinations provide a culinary journey with traditional Indian Ocean cuisine, international fare and seafood feasts. China’s most renowned chef, Da Dong, brings his Michelin acclaim to White Orchid Asian restaurant with a collaborative menu launched in 2019. World-class recreational facilities include Calm Spa, a fully equipped dive, water sports and excursion centre, plus a Marine Research Centre to conserve local ecology. Once-in-a-lifetime wedding and honeymoon celebrations are also a specialty at JA Manafaru, which has been recognised as the Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Resort (2019 World Luxury Hotel Awards). ‘Legend’ hotels by Preferred Hotels & Resorts are the ultimate collection of extraordinary properties in the world’s most remarkable destinations and JA Manafaru is the only property selected in the Maldives. Ranked among the World’s Ten Best Hotels (TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2019), JA Manafaru is a tropical paradise where unique experiences can become unforgettable memories.
For more information on JA Manafaru, please visit;
A legacy UAE brand, JA Resorts & Hotels was born in 1981 and has a widely recognised reputation for excellence, in the management and operation of award-winning resorts and hotels. Taking its name from the original Jebel Ali (JA) Beach hotel, JA Resorts & Hotels portfolio now features 8 distinct properties across the UAE and Indian Ocean, each dedicated to curating unique experiences and creating unforgettable memories. Tropical escapes include JA Manafaru, the idyllic luxury island resort in pristine, lagoon ringed Haa Alifu Atoll, at the northern tip of the Maldives and JA Enchanted Island Resort, an ultra-luxurious hideaway of 10 exquisite villas on a private island, in the middle of the protected Saint Anne Marine Park. Within the UAE, guests can choose from the five-star JA Ocean View Hotel, as well as the deluxe hotel apartments of JA Oasis Beach Tower, both located along ‘The Walk’ in Jumeirah Beach Residence. Other attractive options include the acclaimed JA The Resort – Dubai’s largest experience resort, with 1 million square metres of thrilling activities and 3 unique hotels offering 795 suites and rooms between them– JA Beach Hotel, the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court and JA Lakeview Hotel, a stunning new Golf Course adjacent property due to open in September 2019. The JA Hatta Fort Hotel completes the portfolio as Dubai’s only mountain resort, a secluded getaway amidst the stunning Hajar Mountains landscape. JA Resorts & Hotels is a member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, bringing together more than 30 brands with over 550 hotels in 78 countries.
For more information on JA Resorts & Hotels, please visit;
Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has partnered with Singapore Tourism Board (STB) Middle East, to drive more travelers from the GCC during the winter season to visit Singapore.
Wego and Singapore Tourism Board aim to increase brand and destination awareness to Singapore, showcasing the unique experiences, events and all-year-round activities. Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, with your family or looking to fuel your adrenaline, Singapore offers a spectacular array of experiences that cater to all your needs.
Singapore’s cleanliness, safety, efficient public transport, world-class attractions and quality products and services have always been attributes that attract GCC tourists to Singapore. Beyond the basics, Singapore has many deeper, inspiring stories and authentic experiences waiting for travellers to discover.
The country is a food paradise with a wide variety of halal cuisine where visitors can enjoy their meals from hawker food stalls, up to the mid-class restaurants or fine-dining restaurants. Singapore is unique because you will not only find Michelin star chefs in fine dining restaurants but also at the street food hawker stalls.
Ms. Beverly Au Yong, Area Director Middle East, Singapore Tourism Board, said: “STB looks forward to our first collaboration with Wego in the Middle East. With the wide variety of specially curated experiences available in Singapore under our brand, Passion Made Possible, we have something for every passion tribe. Whether you are a Foodie, Explorer or Action-Seeker, these activities will provide visitors with unique experiences to embrace their passions with like-minded people in Singapore to celebrate their passions with.
From the world-class galleries and museums including the National Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Art Museum and National Gallery Singapore to the high flying thrills and world’s largest wind tunnel for indoor skydiving at Sentosa, the Universal Studios Singapore™ to the local labels and artisans and the green sanctuaries, this country has everything you’re looking for.
Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA and India, Wego, said: “We’re excited to embark this partnership with one of the world’s global metropolis. We saw a 34% increase in the number of bookings to Singapore on our platform in H1 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Through our partnership with Singapore Tourism Board, we aim to educate travellers and showcase Singapore’s unique offerings helping holidaymakers plan and book their next trip. We look forward to forging a long-lasting relationship with our partners offering them the best travel experience.”
Singapore being a little red dot on the world map with an area of 721.5km2 and a population of 5.64m attracted 18.5m visitors in 2018. This is a testimony that you should visit this ‘City in a Garden’ to experience what it has to offer. Look out for what Wego has to offer to make your passions possible.
About Wego Wego provides award-winning travel search websites and top-ranked mobile apps for travellers living in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East regions. Wego harnesses powerful yet simple to use technology that automates the process of searching and comparing results from hundreds of airline, hotel and online travel agency websites.
Wego presents an unbiased comparison of all travel products and prices offered in the marketplace by merchants, both local and global, and enables shoppers to quickly find the best deal and place to book whether it is from an airline or hotel directly or with a third-party aggregator website.
Wego was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Dubai and Singapore with regional operations in Bangalore، Jakarta and Cairo.
About the Singapore Tourism Board The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.
When it comes to adventure travelers, China is an untapped market totaling USD $8.2B per year, according to new research fromBannikin Travel and Tourism, a leading travel consultancy based in Toronto and Hong Kong. TheChina Adventure Tourism Market Study, which surveyed more than 300 Chinese travelers over the age of 18 who had taken a trip in the past year, determined that 16.3% of respondents — 23.49 million people — chose an adventure trip for their last holiday. For a market with outbound tourism numbers continuing to see double digit growth, this means there are considerable opportunities for adventure travel brands looking to expand their product offerings for Chinese adventurers.
“This report delves deep into who Chinese adventure travelers are—their planning habits, income, spending habits and dream destinations,” said Natasha Martin, managing director of Bannikin Asia. “We’ve never had better insight into how to market towards the Asian travel market and break into one of the largest tourism spends out there.” The 2019 study found that 2.7% of departures could be categorized as ‘hard adventure,’ while 13.6% pursued ‘soft adventure’ experiences. Though Chinese consumers do not necessarily associate adventure travel with risk-taking activities, such as rafting or mountain biking, they do associate it with remote destinations that can be perceived as exotic and potentially dangerous.
The survey was sent with the objective of discovering how many Chinese travelers actively seek-out adventure while on vacation. Here are the report’s main findings: The total adventure market size for China (based on accommodation spending only) is USD $8.2B per year. Adventure travel spend from China represents 0.64% of total international tourism spend. The top destinations for adventure travelers were United States, Thailand, Australia and Japan.Time in nature, camping and backpacking are some of the most popular activities for Chinese adventure tourists. 72% of Chinese adventure travelers spend between 4-10 days abroad, lower than Western adventure travelers. Bannikin Travel & Tourism runs a leading travel trade development satellite office in Hong Kong, with a team of Asia market experts to assist destinations and tour operators on how to tap into the burgeoning Asia adventure marketplace.
Minimalism is all the rage at the moment thanks to writers like Fumio Sasaki, so why not apply that approach when planning your next vacation? There’s so much information out there that it can seem overwhelming when you start researching places to go, with so many offers, travel guides, blogs, photos, videos, podcasts and all the rest. Sometimes you just need to drown out the noise and focus on what’s important.
That’s why Expedia has created these minimalist travel posters to help you see the essential elements on 14 of the top vacation destinations in the world. They’ve picked out the most important aspects of each destination, namely where you should go first, what food you should eat and where you can get that one stunning and shareable photo for your Instagram or Facebook page.
If you go to Berlin, for example, a whistlestop tour using these posters would take you to the aptly-named Panoramapunkt for a panoramic view of the TV Tower, followed by a trip to the past at the historic Brandenburg Gate. For food options, currywurst is a spicy taste of Berlin life and culture, while you can finish your stay with an energetic and symbolic bike ride down the Mauerweg, which follows the route of the old Berlin Wall.
Swapping Germany for South Africa, Cape Town has plenty to offer, even in the snapshot form of a minimalist visit. Speaking of snapshots, Bloubergstrand is the place to go to get that iconic photo of Table Mountain while you’ll also want to keep your camera to hand when you’re at Boulders Beach so you can get a shot of the penguins. Yes, there really are penguins there. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is a good place to get souvenirs, while the recommended dish of the trip is potjiekos, a traditional meat stew.
As you’ll have seen from these two examples, there’s so much you can fit into even a minimalist travel poster if the destination is as exciting as Berlin or Cape Town. Others getting the minimalist treatment include Havana, London, Paris and even the Serengeti and Siam Reap, the Cambodian home of 800-year-old temple Angkor Wat. You can probably guess what the iconic photo from that trip would be.
So check out all 14 of these minimalist travel posters from Expediaand see which of the legendary destinations captures your imagination. Given that you can take in all the sights in just one day, you could even do a tour…
The City of New York had a Bermuda Style Session which left a lasting impression. The essence of Bermuda was captured throughout the interior and decor of the locale. Floral pattern seating coupled with pops of pineapples alongside of tropical wallpaper, featuring their iconic fruit.
The ambiance was set with a skillful mix of throwbacks, Soca and Bermudian classics. And, DJ Damon DeGraff really worked the turntables! The music persuaded attendees to two-step, yet tranquil enough to hold a conversation. The guests consisted of the following: Bermuda Tourism Authority; Bermudian, Creative Artist and Sip & Stroke instructor Alshante Foggo; natives displaying their brands and the honorable Bermuda Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, Mr. Jahmal Simmons.
This event threw a great reflection on their culture. The 24-mile long island has an immense sense of fashion, music and adventure for tourist engagement.