The Bay Tourism Association

The Bay Tourism Association

The Bay Tourism Association

The Bay Tourism Association, formerly known as the Lancaster and District Tourism Association, changed their name in December 2009 and in 2010 hope to welcome a new chapter in the area’s tourism trade.

The association has more than 70 members including restaurants and attractions, as well as accommodation and it was thought that the old name was too restrictive as it didn’t really say who they were. It was decided that the bay was the key to the area but as well as Morecambe it also represent Lancaster, Carnforth and the Lune Valley.

The main focus revolves around promoting quality in the area and giving visitors a high standard of service.

The Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association has 40 members and have joined forces with Bay Tourism. At a full meeting of the Morecambe Hotel and Tourism Association on Monday 8th March 2010, it was unanimously resolved that the MHTA joins with Bay Tourism to become one association under the name of Bay Tourism Association. Any member who is already a member of Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board will receive free membership of Bay Tourism.

The MHTA was unable to attract funding from outside and public agencies. Joining Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board was one option that was considered. However, Bay Tourism are already members of the L.B.T.B. and do attract funding from them to increase their profile and marketing.

The Bay Tourism Association (BTA) is now the new one stop voice representing all the principal tourism and visitor economic interests of Lancaster and Morecambe, the Lune valley and beyond. It makes sense and the Executive has been enlarged however it is felt that they still need to make the Executive more representative of tourism interests across the region and nominations for certain sectors are being actively sought.

The BTA works closely with Lancaster Chamber and organise joint promotional ventures with other tourism associations in the region. They are also looking to forge stronger links with Silverdale and South Lakes to jointly promote the region. It is recognised as a brand and as the voice of the independent tourism entrepreneur they are invited to contribute to a range of consultancies and business meetings. The £275M plus pa attributable to the visitor economy in this area is generated by their members and as local government agencies face cuts and reduction of services, Bay Tourism have to assume a greater role to promoting and supporting tourism in the bay area.

It is planned to launch a member’s privilege benefits card, discuss the benefits or otherwise of the M6 motorway link, organise conference and meetings opportunities and training. And in 2011 they are planning to organise and hold hotel and catering trade fair. Vale Tourism.

The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

The Life of a Travel and Tourism Pro

You want to go to travel and tourism college? Once you obtain the necessary travel and tourism degree, then what? Tracy Snelling, an account manager at Atlas Travel International, a travel agency in Milford, MA, never went the traditional route of going to travel and tourism college, but she can tell you a lot about the career in store for you. The award-winning innovative company in products and services, not only prides itself in their excellent company culture, but her ability to help her clients. So what does it take to be a travel and tourism pro?

How Snelling’s Travel and Tourism Career Began

When Snelling was in college, she was drawn to work at a small agency in North Carolina part time. “I thought it would be nice to travel,” she recalls. “Little did I know it really wasn’t that much about traveling.” But the job did have its benefits. In fact, Snelling’s experience at Atlas Travel International landed her an accounting job. Sure, she was in the back of the Atlas office doing the books, but she soon realized her true calling on the job.

“When I realized that accounting would drive me crazy, I used my customer service skills and moved to the front office as a travel consultant,” explains Snelling who also worked on leisure trips and corporate reservations. “As a travel agent, I loved working with people to provide them what they were truly looking for in travel,” she says. Within a few years, Snelling found herself managing the travel and tourism agency, training agents, and more. Snelling’s largest account hired her to start their client services department. She then moved to Massachusetts where her travel and tourism career flourished.

A Typical Day for a Travel and Tourism Pro

For Snelling, there’s no such thing as a typical day in her travel and tourism career. “It’s so fast-paced that change is the only typical expectation,” she explains. “You can expect that what ever task list you start with will not be the one that you follow throughout the day.” From internal customer service requests to numerous external requests, most of which are not planned on.

When it’s all said and done, the daily stresses are outweighed by Snelling’s satisfaction from assisting those in need of her travel and tourism expertise and assistance. “The industry has never been typical or predictable It keeps my juices flowing,” says Snelling. “Learning about all the great destinations of the world also makes the job incredible.”

Snelling’s Advice: From Travel and Tourism College to Work

Of course, tourism education is paramount. You will need training at a travel and toursim college before you land an awesome job like Snelling. Combine what you learn at a travel and tourism college with experience, advises Snelling. “Get as much experience in customer service and business management as possible,” she says. “If you can learn anything at all about the travel industry, that will definitely help you.”

Snelling adds that travel and tourism careers are very unique, so do your research first. Once you’ve earned the necessary travel and tourism degree at a travel and tourism college, you can find placement with a good company. “Stay with that company and learn from them,” Snelling explains. “Work hard, and enjoy the challenges you face.” Vale Tourism.

Medical Tourism Guide

Medical Tourism Guide

Medical Tourism Guide

Today, cheap yet world-class surgeries are just a flight away. But the deluge of information available out there can overwhelm anybody. So, here is a quick guide to medical tourism to answer most of your questions about the phenomenon.

WHAT IS MEDICAL TOURISM?

Medical Tourism is the process of traveling abroad to receive superior medical, dental and cosmetic care by highly skilled surgeons at some of the most modern and state-of-the-art medical facilities in the world…all at a fraction of the price in the US, UK and Canada.

MEDICAL TOURISM OFFERINGS

1. Incredible Savings: Compare a $7,000 hip resurfacing in India with a $48,000 one in the US. In general you are able to save 50% to 90%.

2. Excellent Quality: Many international providers are accredited by JCI, JCAHO and ISO or by local accrediting organizations. They have world-class facilities, have access to the latest technology and provide personalized service. If in doubt, read testimonials by patients who have experienced treatment overseas.

3. Surgeon Expertise: Most surgeons catering to international patients have either been educated or have received professional training at top schools in the US, UK or in other countries in Europe.

4. No Wait-Lists: Access to immediate service is what attracts those from countries that have public health care system towards medical tourism.

5. Longer Hospital Stay: You can have a longer hospital stay than possible in your local hospital back home under the supervision of your surgeon and physical therapist.

6. Travel Opportunities: While the primary motivation for most customers is affordable surgery, the opportunity to visit exotic destinations is an additional draw for some.

WHO SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN MEDICAL TOURISM?

In general, most medical tourists are either uninsured, underinsured or those seeking elective surgeries. Others resort to medical tourism due to the long wait-lists in their country.

WHICH COUNTRIES OFFER THE BEST SERVICES?

The most popular travel destinations are India, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil, Belgium, and Argentina amongst others. Some of these countries are considered best for cardiac surgery, others for orthopedic surgery and yet others for cosmetic surgery. You should base your selection on: quality, distance and cost.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROVIDER

When choosing a provider, don’t get swayed by attractive packages and fancy websites. Read and watch what others are saying about the particular hospital, clinic or surgeon. Check out the facility pictures and videos. Consider the provider’s accreditation, awards and recognitions, facility and equipments, statistics like success rates, etc.

WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE PAY FOR IT?

Insurance companies are keenly looking into medical tourism as an option though most haven’t adopted it into their plans yet. So check with your health insurer for details.

SHOULD I COMBINE “SUN, SAND, AND SEA” WITH SURGERY?

That depends. Usually after a cosmetic surgery, you are advised not to expose your body to the sun or to sea water. But, you can always choose to enjoy them before your surgery. 
With certain other medical procedures, it’s best for you to stay indoors and relax after your surgery. In any case, you should always consult your surgeon if you have travel or tourism on your mind.

WHAT ARE MEDICAL TOURISM FACILITATORS?

Medical tourism facilitators like Healthbase are specialized facilitators that connect you with the hospital of your choice while providing all or some other valuable services like detailed information about various procedures, detailed hospital profiles and surgeon profiles, medical records transfer, free surgery quote, pre- and post-consultation with the overseas hospital, feedback and testimonials from previous patients, medical and dental loan financing, passport and visa, airport pick-up and drop-off, hospital escort, tickets, travel insurance, hotel booking, tourism services in the destination country, etc.

This medical tourism guide is just a starting step. You should do the proper required research before you fly to your medical tourism destination.

You can learn more about the growing trend of medical tourism, international healthcare facilities and surgeons and the details of the medical tourism process by logging on to http://www.healthbase.com. This is a medical tourism facilitator committed to providing low-cost high quality medical travel services to the global medical consumer. Vale Tourism.

Tourism Linking Cultures

Tourism Linking Cultures

Tourism Linking Cultures

The word culture means a lot of things. It ranges from the culture a child learns at home to the culture of an era. Many civilizations have risen and gone down the sand of times. Only a few have managed to stand the test of time and get elevated to the status of greatness. Tourism is an international phenomenon. This has become an industry only in recent times thanks to man’s never ending thirst for travel. Be it for business or pleasure, travel and tourism are here to stay and has achieved the status of the largest job provider.

Kerala is a unique destination which has gained international repute thanks to it rich diversity in places of natural beauty. The depth of Kerala’s cultural heritage has significantly strengthened tourism in the state. The theme for this year’s Tourism Day which is celebrated every year on September 27th is ‘Tourism linking Cultures’. This theme is particularly true in the Kerala scenario.

There is no doubt that the super brand Kerala -’God’s own country’ has received recognition far and wide as a much sought after’ must see place in a life time’. Cultural tourism will further add to these achievements by linking people across the globe. With the term global village becoming a reality, cultural exchanges have resulted in sharing of ideas, feeling and creating camaraderie among nations. In this sense the concept of linking cultures through tourism is of immense importance

It can be seen that Kashmir is slowly recovering from the menace of terrorism through its tourism based campaign. Even people who were terrorists have thrown away their association with terrorism and have shifted to tourism to earn a livelihood. The fact that Rajasthan has joined hands with Kerala in promoting tourism through a win-win situation is shining example. This is evident in the catch word which Rajasthan is using to promote tourism – “Kerala is God’s own country but God holidays in Rajasthan”. Thus in both the national and international scenario, Kerala stands to benefit through tourism, using cultural interactions.

In this era of technology based exchanges, understanding other cultures is of immense importance. This will help in spreading the message of brotherhood and concern for our fellow beings. Tourism being international in nature is an ideal medium to understand other cultures. It is understood that cultural tourism is one of the largest global tourism markets. This is also the one of the fastest growing branch in global tourism scenario. Even in this era of technology, culture and other creative forms are finding global acceptance. They are being used in a large scale to promote destinations by increasing their attraction and competitive value. Even though there is a line of though which alleges that tourism is destroying culture, it goes without saying that many art forms in Kerala like Kathakali and even ritual art forms such as theyaam have been given a shot in the arm through tourism affiliations.

It can be seen that many locations are developing their tangible and intangible cultural assets. This is being used to develop a marketing edge in face of cut throat competition. It also lends a local flavour to tourism products in these times when globalization is threatening to engulf everything. We can hope that this year’s world tourism day message will give the right impetus in breaking down barriers among nations and cultures and foster tolerance, respect and mutual understanding. In these troubled times and times when the world peace is at stake and often at the verge of war and divide, these values represent the stepping stones towards a more peaceful future. The year 2010 saw 940 million tourists crossing international borders. There has never been so much flow of tourist in recent times when so many people been to so many places, nor been so exposed to other cultures. It goes without saying that this has to continue. This interaction between individuals, communities, and their diverse cultures, leads to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding – the building blocks for a more peaceful world.

Kerala will stand to gain a lot by following this message of peace, through cultural linkages. Kerala tourism has gone from strength to strength and will march forward by imbibing this message of brotherhood and mutual co-operation. A third world war hangs like a sword of Damocles above our heads. The time is ripe to board the tourism bandwagon and exorcise this threat. Vale Tourism.

Honduras Tourism – Important Of Tourism in Honduras

Honduras Tourism Important Of Tourism in Honduras

Honduras Tourism Important Of Tourism in Honduras

Tourism is getting more important these days and its popularity is rising day by day. Its revenue proves its success. Tourism has today become one of the largest industries globally. It was not so important few years ago but today it affects the global economy and helps in earning foreign currency. Honduras tourism is very popular all over the world. Honduras gives priority to tourism as it believes that tourism is one of the most beneficial industries of the country. Tourism not only gets Honduras, foreign currency but it also strengthens it national identity.

Tourism plays an important role in the development of this superb country. Honduras tourism also provides new jobs to the people of Honduras that ultimately raises the standard of living of Honduras. Tourism in Honduras helps this country to remain in the competitive global market. Honduras is famous for its natural and cultural heritage. Its superb cultural heritage is well known all over the world. The natural beauty of this country is amazing and can win any heart. The bay Islands look amazing and coral reef surrounding them is just mind blowing.

Copan is flooded with beaches that are just amazing and attract the tourists from all parts of the world. This place is considered as the Athens of ancient Mayan civilization. If you love natural scenery and singular beauty of beaches then Honduras is a perfect place for a vacation with your family or friends. It is believed that Honduras has huge tourism potential. This country has come up with great tourism in the recent past and is doing well to develop in this field. Honduras is ready to take all the challenges by developing tourism destinations, as Honduras is much dependent on its tourism and gives much priority to tourism industry.

The growth of Honduras tourism is rapid and has high aggregated value. Honduras is working hard and trying to promote its tourism on foreign markets so as to earn more and more foreign currency. The country is also giving importance to security. It is coming up with tourism police force that helps in strengthening the security system of the country. Honduras also allows investments in this sector so as to develop Honduras tourism.

The main aim of Honduras tourism is to prove that yet Honduras is a small country of America, it can beat any nation with its tourism diversity. It is really a five star country with all the pleasures and excitement you can demand for, while exploring any big country of America.

Honduras is economically, one of the poorest countries in the region but its tourism industry is doing well. If you are planning for a vacation and you are having a low budget then Honduras is one of the best destinations for you. It is regarded as a perfect low budget adventure destination whose main source of income is tourism. Although, this country is also dependent on export of agricultural products but at present it is giving more importance to tourism and is trying hard to stay in the competitive market. Vale Tourism.

Indian Tourism – Its Destiny

Indian Tourism - Its Destiny

Indian Tourism – Its Destiny

Though the name of India is not included by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) among the top ten courtiers of the world in terms of “most visited” by numbers of travelers, in terms of tourism earners, in terms of most visited attractions, still the Indian economy has been boosted by new emerging trends of various types of Indian tourism and it continues to grow. There are a number of factors responsible for the growth of Indian tourism at global level. India is a peaceful country without any political disturbance except for few destinations where a tourist is required to get special permission from local authority to enter into that area. The country has a federal structure with elected Governments in States. There are 28 states and 7 Union Territories administered directly by the Central Government. There is healthy competition of tour packages among all the states to attract the tourists from all over the world for speedy economic growth and employment generation. Not only this Ministry of Tourism and Culture has recently launched a campaign called ‘Incredible India!’ in order to encourage different types of tourism in India.

Types of Indian Tourism

All types of tourism in India are projecting the Indian subcontinent as the ultimate tourist spot. The reason behind why India has been doing well in all types of tourism is that India is a multilingual, multicultural, multi-religious and ready to assimilate other diverse cultures which are alien to this land and stable political system with tremendous geographical diversity, hospitality, uniqueness and charm make it one of the four preferred tourist spot of the world. However, the different types of tourism of India which are captivating the imagination of the tourists from all parts of the world can be explained under the following headings:

Religious or Pilgrimage Tourism

Since the ancient time, the name of India is synonymously taken with spiritual activities where the body of mythology related to Hinduism contained in Sanskrit literature such as Vedas, Upanishad, Vedanga, Mahakavya, Mahabharata, Ramayana and many others scriptures are found to make India as pilgrimage centre of the world. Not only this, as a birth place of two great religions – Buddhism and Jainism – India has also become the hub of Buddhist pilgrimage especially from Theravada Buddhist world and from Mahayana Buddhist world with its major centres of Lumbini, Bodhgaya, Sarnath, Shravasti, Sankashaya, Nalanda, Rajgir etc. Today, India’s pilgrimage tourism has gained attention of the tourists from all parts of the world and people of all faiths are coming to India to see the religious places of Narayan Sarovar, Sudamas Porbandar, Kabirvad Shuklatirth, Kayavarohan, Bhadrakali, Haridwar, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Varanasi, Gangotri and Yamunotri, Rishikesh, Shamlaji, Bodh Gaya, Ajmer, Punjab, Goa etc.

Archaeological Tourism

There are a number of places of archaeological importance which can be broadly classified as Stone Age, Indus Valley, Neolithic-Chalcolithic, Megalithic-Early Historic and Late Historic periods. Famous archaeological sites of the Stone Age are abound in Peninsular India, more prominently at Pallavaram in Tamil Nadu, Hunsgi in Karnataka, Kuliana in Orissa, Didwana in Rajasthan, and Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh. The sites of Neolithic-Chalcolithic Age are Inamgaon, Walki, Navdatoli, Ahar, Balathal, Gilund, Budhihal, Sangankalur, Maski, Brahmagiri, Utnur, Golbai, Pandu-Rajar-Dhibi, Chirand and Burzoham etc. Famous sites of Indus Valley Civilisation are Indus and Ghaggar river valleys, Kutch and Saurashtra, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Lothal, Surkotda and Rakhigari. Famous sites of Megalithic Phase are Brahmagiri, Maski and Rajan Kalur, Bhagimari, Gadabas etc. Excavations at Kosambi, Saranath, Hastinapura, Vaishali, Rajgir and Bodh Gaya, Chandraketugarh, Sisupalgarh etc. have revealed fortified cities dating back to this period. Famous sites of Buddhist Phase are Sanchi, Saranath, Ajanta, Kaneheri, Amravati, Sanati and Lalitgiri. Sites of Jainism Phase are Khandagiri-Udayagiri, Mathura. Some Islamic Archaeological sites are Delhi, Agra, Lucknow, Hyderabad, northern Karnataka, Aurangabad, and Bhopal. Vale Tourism.

Ecotourism - Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

Ecotourism – Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

Ecotourism – Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

Eco-tourism

Responsible tourism means all tourism directly dependent on the use of natural life e.g. wildlife and landscape. Nature based tourism include eco-tourism and mass tourism. Uncontrolled mass tourism continues to contribute to the degradation of natural & cultural significance (commercialization of Culture) thus leading or causing loss of biological and cultural biodiversity, and important sources of income. Nature based tourism offers a way of financing unique ecosystems preservation. This provides opportunity for the community living near the protected areas to benefit economically e.g. employment opportunity. But Nature based tourism & travel while sustaining eco-system also degrades them. Much nature based tourism falls short of social responsibility to the local community.

Sustainable tourism is developed and managed in such a way that all tourism activities will focus on a heritage resource, natural and cultural which can be continued imminently and every effort is made to maintain the resource to perpetuity.
According to hector Ceballos-Lascurian (1983) ecotourism means “the tourism that involves travelling to relatively undisturbed natural area with the object of admiring, studying and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals as well as cultural features found there.”

Eco-tourism embraces four basic elements:
• The natural environment as the primary attraction and the cultural environment playing a secondary role
• The sustainable use of the ecological and cultural environment.
• Focus on education and the interpretation of the resource
• Provision of the benefit to the host community
Tourism is about people and places where one group of people leave, visit and pass through places, the people who make the trip possible and the people encountered in the tour, it involves travellers, host communities and governments.

In tourism industry the destination is perhaps one of the most important elements. The destination region represents the raison d’tre for tourism and the tourist attraction at the destination generates the visit. Tourism product is consumed where it is produced (destination). Hence the destination comes under considerable pressure from high levels of demand focused both in time and at specific sites for example the warm East Africa, Indian Ocean coastal beaches during the northern hemisphere winter.

Tourist pressures can lead to alteration of the tourism resource and as tourism resource and as tourist demand continues to raise so have many destinations around the world succumbed to environmental degradation. The impact that some form of tourism development has on the environment has raised concern among environmentalist and other constituents. Therefore professional management and planning of destination are critical if tourism is to contribute to their conservation and to be perceived as an acceptable industry in a world whose survival is threatened.

Tourism demand unspoilt environment in which to operate. It is essential that tour operation should be developed and managed in such a way that as to protect the natural assets. We subscribe to the fact that the extent to which tourism is developed, planned and controlled in an orderly and coordinated manner will affect the long-term quality of the tourism product and subsequently the success of the hospitality Industry. While tourism can be a catalyst for development, it is important for the government agencies plan and develop tourism carefully so that the benefit can be optimized without creating social and environmental problems

Low impact forms of tourism counteracts the effects of mass tourism that poses a number of challenges on the resource base i.e. environment, society, and economy. Low impact forms of tourism create a balance between environment quality and resource utilization. This is mainly aimed at empowering local communities in managing their natural resources that is creating an incentive to conserve the biological resource in the environment by allowing the beneficial effects from tourism filter down to the individual families and households.

Alternative tourism is seen as forms of tourism that are consistent with natural social and community values and which allows both the host and the guest to enjoy positive and worthwhile interaction and shared experience it is also known variously as ecotourism, nature tourism sustainable tourism environmentally friendly, environmentally sensitive, ecological compatible ecologically sound or Green and eco-tour such as Walking tours, Birds Safari, Camel safaris Guided nature walks, horse riding safaris, bicycle tours, home and farm stays, youth tourism.

Many destinations marketed as responsible tourism does not consider the local community development, economical, social welfare and human rights. Indeed majority of them care less about the resource as long as it brings the “green bill “. There must be concern with staff and tourist education i.e. the expected visitors’ behaviour. Thus in this, nature based tourism is formulated as sustainable development. The concept of set principles, Ties 1991 defined it as responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and sustains the well being of the local people.

It is now fashionable to look at tourism development in the context of “sustainability” “alternative tourism” “green tourism” all of which have a particular meaning to different people but majority of this are just eco-labels or marketing and PR slongs. Sustainable tourism is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Vale Tourism.

World Tourism Day - Challenges Galore!

World Tourism Day – Challenges Galore!

World Tourism Day – Challenges Galore!

The first half of 2009 has been sordid thanks to the invasion of the recession, terrorism and new health concerns that have left many key industries across India and the rest of the world in a lurch. The ghosts of 2008 just refuse to die down and continue to haunt the world economies! While the global tourism industry and the Indian tourism industry in particular is no exception to this, experts see this as an opportunity in crisis. The key lies in identifying the problems, fixing them and this is just the right time to do it! However, it will take a concerted effort by India, the winner of three awards of the United Nations World Tourism Organization including Asia’s favourite tourist destination in 2007, to see through this turmoil. All this makes the World Tourism Day on September 27 this year even more challenging and exciting like never before!

This is the time to clean up the system
Globally, the tourism ministries in many countries and in India are gearing up to do well out of this world economic calamity. These efforts assume significance as the global travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries, employing nearly 231 million people and generating over 10.4 per cent of world GDP. And according to the Ministry of Tourism in India, in 2007, 5 million tourists visited India and spent nearly $11.5 billion. The World Tourism Organisation 2020 vision estimates that around 5.08 million tourists will visit India by 2010 which is likely to touch 8.9 million by 2020. India and China have so far been resilient during recession and the recent World Bank report has not only endorsed this but predicts a decent growth for the two Asian giants. Thus, as far as the tourism industry is concerned, India is well poised to cash in on the global recession only if it makes up its mind to roll up its sleeves and work around a host of domestic and international tourism related issues.

The international and domestic issues that affects tourism in India
A weaker American and European economies that are already stung by recession has a spiralling effect on the global corporate world which is on a cost-cutting spree. This means lesser business and personal travels to India. The country is also facing newer challenges in health scares like the Swine flu, racism scandals, and poor protection for foreigners in certain tourists’ locations, climatic changes, inadequate manpower and the monsoon failures. Estimates have put that India would need at least 200,000 people to cater to the country’s growing tourism needs. Then there are the proverbial infrastructure problems like poor road connectivity, non-modernisation of airports, lack of world class food and accommodation facilities in hot tourism spots and the sluggish pace in identifying and developing tourist destinations and circuits. All these could have far-reaching impacts on the tourism industry in India.

Internally, India’s domestic tourism industry is on a boom. Literally a money spinner, the domestic tourism industry too faces similar issues and these will have to be sorted out simultaneously. Hence, it will take collaborative and focused efforts on the part of the Indian tourism ministry and other related ministries to tackle these issues and set up new standards.

Tackling the issues
Tourism is multi sectoral. It has to coordinate and work with other industries and ministries to remove bottlenecks in infrastructure, travel, health, food and accommodation and other facilities. The key is to offer a world class experience for tourists visiting India.

1. Creating a healthy environment, literally
On one hand, the medical tourism industry is on a roll. The country is witnessing a huge influx of tourists from all over the world for medical treatment purposes. This calls for steadying up the healthcare facilities and switching on the ‘always on the ready’ mode in terms of modernisation of equipments and qualified manpower. The invasion of new health scares like the recent H1N1 scare could make a dent on the tourists’ visiting the country. These health scares will have its impact on the domestic tourism scenario as well. The health ministry will have to roll out promising measures and work with the public in creating a safer, healthier atmosphere for all tourists visiting India.

2. Infrastructure woes
Presently, the thrust remains on the construction, maintenance, and development of roads, rails and airways that connect the various tourist destinations in the country. For this the Ministry of Tourism has to coordinate with the ministry of road transport and highways, the civil aviation and the railway ministry. The source of funds for these all-important development activities could also come from the various IPOs. However, this could happen only when the present rule of not allowing banks in India to accept deposits beyond 10 years is relaxed. The finance for infrastructure is a long term plan and runs for 15-20 years. Hence only if banks are allowed to have long-term funds, this mismatch could be removed.

3. Development of world class hotels
Accommodation continues to be the central plank of the development strategy of tourism in India. This is an area where the Government will have to spruce up its coordination with not only the states and union territories but also with private players. Tourists from foreign countries not only will expect safety and world class facilities in the hotels they stay but also close proximity to the tourists’ hotspots. Hence, there is an increasing need to identify, set up and maintain world class accommodation facilities near the heritage sites, and other tourists’ destinations in the country.

On the food front, though it is a fact that tourists’ visiting India loves the spicy Indian food, the lack of stringent food laws and restrictions, however, remains an issue. In addition to the variety, there has to be quality and safety too in the food offered.

Research, plan, and perform!
Tourism is not just about visiting a country. A tourist may visit a country for various reasons. For example, many tourists from different parts of the world see India as a hub of medical tourism. So is the adventure tourism sector which offers mountaineering, skiing, ice skating, paragliding, and rock climbing opportunities in some of the country’s finest landscapes, seas and ice capped mountains. Further cruise tourism which is very popular in the Caribbean, Latin America and some South-east Asian countries is gaining foothold in India’s vast coastlines and unexplored jungles and destinations. Rural tourism, eco-tourism are also good potentials for India’s tourism sector. It is high time the Ministry of Tourism focuses more on eco-tourism as it will serve as an educative tool for domestic and foreign tourists in observing wildlife, learning about the environment and understanding and conservation of the environment. Hence, understanding and solving these issues becomes all the more important. For this, the country needs well chalked out plans, funds from different sources, adequate manpower, and updated technology, round the clock concerted coordination between the various ministries and private players and above all the urge to make India the most favoured tourist destination in the country.

The World Travel & Tourism Council declares that the World Tourism Day is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values. And India, being an important member of the global tourism industry, has to make concerted efforts to understand, draft plans and ease the impact of the repercussions of the recent challenges in the social, cultural, political and economic spectrums. This will not only prove to be an antidote for its own domestic tourism troubles and unemployment concerns but also set an example for the rest of the world. Only then the real meaning of Atithi Devo Bhava, the slogan for Incredible India, will serve its full purpose! Vale Tourism.

Somerset County of England

Somerset County of England

Somerset County of England

Somerset is one of the 48 ceremonial counties of England. Somerset County has an important place in England’s economical growth.

Somerset is situated in South West England. The county of Somerset borders the counties of Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset from south east and Devon from south west.

The River Avon is the traditional border of the county but the administrative boundary has expanded with the creation and expansion of The City of Bristol. It is a rural county of hills such as the Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills and Exmoor national park.

There are several evidences of the human occupation from Neolithic times, and other settlements in Saxon and Roman periods. Later the county played an important part in English Civil War and Monmouth Rebellion. The major business of the county is Agriculture. Farming of cattle (sheep), including for wool and famous cheeses, are traditional and contemporary business.

It is also known for the production of cider. The unemployment is much lower than the national average and largest employment sector of Somerset includes retail, manufacturing, tourism and health and social care. The population growth in the Somerset is higher than the national average. There are different types of landscapes in the county. These landscapes are the limestone karst of the north, the clay vales and wetlands of the centre, oolites of the south and east and the Devonian sandstone to the west.

There is an extensive network of caves and rivers. Its coastline is 64km long which includes Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary which further forms the northern border of the Somerset. It has a temperate maritime climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of the country. The annual mean temperature is around 10 Degrees C (50 Degrees F). Vale Tourism.

Karnataka Hill Stations

Karnataka Hill Stations

Karnataka Hill Stations

Karnataka, the eighth largest state of India boasts large number of tourist spots, dotted in various corners of the state. This beautiful south Indian state is embellished with numerous natural treasures as well as architectural charms of Dravidian style. Apart from its 609 beautiful temples, virgin beaches, wildlife sancturies and modern cities, Karnataka is also well known for its salubrious hill stations.

Hill resorts of this state are visual retreats for those vacationers who wants to enjoy a calm and relaxing vacation amidst the serene ambiance of Mother Nature. These hill resorts of Karnataka which are infested with sandalwood trees, vast expanses of coffee and spice plantations are still undisturbed by commercialization. Apart from these natural charms, Karnataka also offers exciting options for adventure sports such as trekking the scenic mountain slopes, bird watching, visiting the magnificent waterfalls, boating on pristine streams and visiting coffee plantations.

Some of the unexplored but equally alluring hill stations of Karnataka are as follows:

Chikmagalur: Chikmagalur hill station of Karnataka is nestled at an altitude of 1900 m in the lush valley south of the Baba Budan Hills. This small and quaint town of the state is bedecked with lots of pleasant surprises. It is dotted with several lofty mountains, cascading waterfalls, hilly streams and verdant valleys. It is a paradise for trekkers. The rugged mountain trails, the snow-white coffee blossoms and the silent mountain streams are enough for any trekker to aim for higher feats. This hilly town has several interesting tourism spots such as the Kondadarama Temple, the Jamia Mosque and the new St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

Kudremukh: Located just 95 kms southwest of Chikmaglur, Kudremukh is another exhilarating hill resort of Karnataka. It has derived its name from Kudermukh peak which means the horse-faced range that overlooks the vast Arabian sea. Perched at a height of 1894m above the sea level, mountain ranges of this this hill station are interlinked with each other with deep vales and steep cliffs. Kudremukh possess several dark caves, grassy slopes, gushing waterfalls, mountain tracks which are still left unexplored. So, this hill station is very famous among the trekkers who wants to explore new and unknown paths. Apart from its flora and fauna, Kudermukh is also rich in iron ore deposits.

Kemmangundi: Famous as a summer resort of erstwhile Wodeyer ruler, Kemmangundi is another exhilarating hill station of the state. This hill resort is also called K.R.Hills named after the Wodeyar king Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Kemmangundi is located just 8 hour drive from Bengaluru (Bangalore) at a height of 1, 434 m above the sea level in Bab-Budan range. Trekkers love this place to explore as it has numerous mountains cliffs to explore.

Nandi Hills: Situated just 60 kms north of Bangalore at a height of 1478m, Nandi hills is the most famous weekend gateway among the Bangaloreans. This summer resort which is also known as Nandidurga is once served as one of the summer retreats of Tipu Sultan. Similar to other hill stations also showcases great legacies of Britishers such as European style bungalows, lush gardens. Nandi hills is also famous as the origin point of various rivers.

Coorg: Coorg is another most beautiful hill resort of the state. This hill station is bedecked with vast expanses of coffee plantations, deep forests of sandalwood, gushing water falls, verdant valleys, picturesque villages etc. Coorg which is also known as Kodagu was ruled various rulers such as Lingayat, Kodavas, Tipu Sultan and than Britishers in various eras. Some of the famous tourist spots of the town are Abbey Falls, Tadevendamo peak, Nagarhole National Park, Bagamandala Temple, Omkareshwara Temple, Raja’s Seat. Vale Tourism.