Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

THE 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are now open to submissions from tourism destinations that want to wipe the floor with the competition.

After many years analysing tourism trends, the awards’ creators and owners,, aim to show tourism destinations that clean, creative, quirky public toilets go a long way to boosting a destination’s image and generating tourism dollars. People stop to spend a penny and end up spending more.

The 2018 awards will go to public toilets in the following categories: Best Economic Contributor, Best Location, Best Design, Quirkiest Toilet Experience, Best Accessible Toilet, Sanitation Progress (aimed at developing economy destinations that have made big steps in public toilet provision), and Overall Winner.

The 2018 awards were announced open 14 February at the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre in Mittagong, New South Wales -- the destination that won Best Economic Contributor in the inaugural awards last year.

Officially opening the 2018 awards, Carolyn Childs, co-founder of and the awards, told attendees: “More smart destinations around the world are waking up to the power of the loo as a promotional statement. There are brilliant examples around the world. We want to recognise the best of them for a job well done.”

Good Loos a Tourist Attraction in Their Own Right At the launch event, Manager Tourism & Events, Destination Southern Highlands, Steve Rosa, said: “It’s fair to say our loos have become a draw card in their own right since our win last year.”

Childs said the public loos at Destination Southern Highlands were indicative of the transformation destinations can make when they take pride in their public conveniences.

For example, the Southern Highlands Welcome Centre toilets were refurbished in late 2015 as part of a major overhaul of the centre. Today the toilets include a bright colour scheme, posters, audio reel, quirky fact stickers and free Wi-Fi. In recent weeks the centre added a bright mosaic entry wall to the loos.

Rosa told the audience that since the revamp of the centre’s “toilet experience” product sales at the welcome centre’s shop have increased by 20%. “The appeal of our toilets has allowed us to divert visitors into our information centre where we have been able to educate, motivate and sell them products. They also make hotel, restaurant and activity bookings there. It has given us an opportunity to disperse more visitors around the Southern Highlands and keep them longer.”

No Entry Cost for Toilet Tourism Awards The 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are free to enter. Destinations or toilet owners simply fill out an online form here and submit it before the closing date of 1 May 2018. Winners will be announced 4 June 2018.

A judging panel drawn from the tourism and toilet provision sectors will be announced shortly.

The overall winner will receive a AU$2000 donation contributed to the World Toilet Organization for allocation to a sanitation project in a developing economy. The donation will be made in the name of the overall winner, who will also receive a copy of every research publication in 2018 (worth AU$8000), and access to tourism research events. Other category winners will receive the same, minus the donation to the World Toilet Organization.

“The 2018 International Toilet Tourism Awards are up for grabs,” said Bronwyn White, co-founder of the awards. “Let’s see who will ascend the toilet tourism throne and wear the crown for a year.”

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has been certified as a 4-Star airline by Skytrax, the international air transport rating organisation. PAL, joining 40 other well-renowned airlines in this prestigious category, is the first and only airline in the country to have a 4-Star Rating.

PAL achieved this coveted rating after Skytrax conducted a rigorous audit of the airline's inflight and on ground service for both international and domestic flights and noted major enhancements on its end-to-end passenger experience and distinct whole-hearted service called Buong Pusong Alaga.

“This is a big win for the Philippines,” said PAL Chairman & CEO Dr. Lucio C. Tan. “We are elated by this recognition which is a victory for the more than seven thousand members of the Philippine Airlines family. Our achievement is the country's achievement and we share this with all Filipinos around the globe.”

This 4-Star Airline rating is a mark of quality distinction that recognizes excellent standards of Product and Staff service across different assessment categories for both the Onboard and Airport environment.

Commenting on the 4-Star Airline Rating awarded to Philippine Airlines, Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO said: "This recognizes the great improvements that the airline has introduced over the last 2 years, both in terms of product change and development and enhancement of the front-line staff service. New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process, and this looks set to develop further when Philippine Airlines introduces the A350 into their fleet. We look for consistency of quality in the 4-Star rating, and we look to Philippine Airlines to ensure this is duly delivered to customers."

The rating upgrade is a key result of a multi-year top-to-bottom end-to-end enhancement of the Philippine flag carrier. “Our Get That Star journey began in 2016. Our efforts over the last two years have borne fruit,” said PAL President and COO Jaime J. Bautista. “Since 2016, we have embarked on a journey of rolling out in-flight and on-ground innovations, opened new routes, increased connectivity across PAL's route network, added new aircraft to our fleet and importantly, invested in the Buong Pusong Alaga (whole-hearted) training of all our cabin crew, ground crew and service providers domestically and internationally in order to enhance the passenger travel experience and earn a higher Skytrax rating,” added Bautista.

“We want to place PAL at par with the world's best airlines. With this 4-star rating, we are inspired to work even harder. We will continue to delight our customers by giving them their desired experience, the best service in flight and on ground, across all phases of travel,” stressed PAL Chief Customer Experience Officer Jessica Abaya.

National tourism agency VisitBritain is this week launching a new global campaign for 2018 to boost inbound tourism to Britain.

The campaign ‘I Travel For…’ uses short films and story-telling to shine the spotlight on unexpected experiences and less-explored destinations in Britain, alongside its globally renowned and iconic landmarks and attractions. The campaign aligns the passions that motivate people to travel with experiences that can only be had in Britain, inspiring overseas visitors to book a trip right now.

The digital campaign kicks off internationally with a launch film on Facebook and Instagram, followed by a series of films and images promoting destinations across Britain. The digital campaign is launching across social media channels from February to April in Britain’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US and its high-spending markets including China, the GCC and India.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:

“Tourism is one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, driving economic growth and creating jobs right across Britain. It is also a fiercely competitive global industry and we are seizing the opportunity to build on the strong growth we have seen, showcasing that Britain is bursting with fun activities, adventure and wonderfully unexpected experiences to come and discover all year round.

“By shining a spotlight and telling the stories of Britain’s exciting and contemporary culture, innovations in food and drink, the beauty of our countryside and vibrancy of our cities, we want to inspire even more international visitors to book a trip right now.”

The campaign has been developed based on VisitBritain’s global research into people’s motivations, passions and inspiration for travel including adventure, fun, relaxation, discovery, culture, food and drink and the unexpected. The campaign uses these motivators to create tailored content for target audiences, which is then shared on Facebook and Instagram globally.

As part of the global campaign, VisitBritain is also working with commercial partners, including BA and Expedia, across its key inbound visitor markets to convert the inspiration to visit Britain into bookings.

Overseas visits to the UK are forecast to break through the 40 million mark for the first time in 2018, reaching 41.7 million, up 4.4% on 2017. Spending by overseas visitors to the UK is forecast to reach £26.9 billion in 2018, up 6.8% on 2017.

With growing demands for air travel and expanding air services in Kenya, passengers flying within this African nation are now enjoying lower and competitive fares on local flights.

Destination Kenya in East Africa has attracted several airlines to fly its skies to attract more domestic flights with Kenyans enjoying lower fares.

Reported this week by Business Daily was the good news to local and foreign travelers with Kenyan skies, enjoying competitive airfares from locally-registered airlines plying between the capital city of Nairobi and other towns inside this African safari destination.

Airline executives attribute the lower airfares as a result of positive competition in Kenya’s skies.

In the last three months, Kenyan-registered local airlines have launched new routes including the far-flung Wajir, that for many years lagged in developed air transport.

Stiff and increased competition over Kenyan open skies remain the secret behind lower air tickets which dropped to as low as KSh 3,200 – equivalent to US$32 for a one-way ticket to some destinations.

Among key competitors, is the Silverstone which is currently operating 5 planes on its local routes. It has recently introduced daily flights to Lodwar in Western Kenya, attracting rivalry on the route that is also served by Fly540, Safarilink, and other carriers.

Nairobi witnessed an increase in domestic flight seats compared to international average in the first seven months of 2017 according to a travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.

Among the top 10 airports in Africa, Nairobi is the only one that saw a bigger growth in domestic seat capacity, while Lagos slumped on both the local and international fronts.

Air travel analysts had welcomed Kenya’s aviation development with great hopes to observe more changes in air business across the East African region where the rest of the member states are limping with their local airlines.

Kenya is the major connection for tourists and business travelers arriving and leaving the East African region by its fast-growing aviation sector.

Tanzania, the closer business partner with Kenya, is still facing incompatible air fare prices which few passengers can afford to purchase, while hostile government taxes imposed on the aviation sector is the other cause for higher air tickets.

PrecisionAir Services, a privately-owned Tanzanian-registered airline, flies to Nairobi, making a good connection between the Kenyan capital and key safari sites, mostly the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar, the northern tourist of Arusha, and the commercial capital of Dar es Salaam.

FastJet is the other fast-moving airline plying in key Tanzanian business towns, looking to extend its wings to cover more local destinations in East Africa.

Air Tanzania, the government-owned national airline is still recuperating from losses but flying at a snail’s pace with its newly-acquired two Bombardier Q400 equipment.

Would-be princesses and princes can follow in the footsteps of Gudrun, the Viking Princess' footsteps, with a visit to Scotland with their families this half term and Easter. The CBeebies series, made by Glasgow-based indie Maramedia, is narrated by David Tennant and was completely filmed in Scotland.

She may be a small Viking princess, but she has many big adventures: from making friends with reindeer, to learning to fly a Gyrfalcon, to keeping an eye on mischievous red squirrels - it's all in a day's work for Gudrun. The series aims to inspire young people to engage with and explore the wild through a magical story.

The five-minute episodes take young viewers on a journey, using a new innovative format combining live-action drama and factual entertainment, as Gudrun and her father, the kindly King Sigurd, encounter the different seasons in Scotland and many animals to befriend along the way.

Solve the puzzles of our planet this half term at five star Edinburgh attraction Dynamic Earth, with the launch of a brand new interactive programme aimed at families.

Launching this February is a new, interactive experience – Operation Earth - which explores the environment to seek solutions to the challenges of our changing planet.

Running from Sunday 11th February, the Operation Earth programme includes a new family show and bespoke hands-on activities which focus on environmental challenges, such as air pollution and climate change, to involve, engage and excite family audiences. Intrepid explorers can investigate the microscopic world, take part in food chain Jenga, pilot a drone using simulator software, sample wildlife in the venue's indoor meadow and much more.

Marketing manager, Eilidh Massie comments: “At Dynamic Earth, we aim to inspire people and our Operation Earth programme is set to do just that. Where else can you fly a drone simulator, explore the Earth's oceans and discover an indoor meadow all under the one roof?

“The programme offers fantastic opportunities for our visitors to really delve deep into the challenges faced by our changing planet and has just the right mix of fun, and problem-solving activities to encourage the whole family to get involved.”

As well as the Operation Earth activities, regular Dynamic Earth features include Scotland's only permanent 4D cinema, the ever-popular real iceberg, a bone-shaking earthquake and the Deep Time Machine which takes visitors billions of years back in time.

The programme will launch on Sunday 11th February 2018 (until October) and activities are available as a drop-in experience as part of a visit to Dynamic Earth between 10am and 4pm. The activities are included with admission to the Dynamic Earth exhibition and are free for Explorer Pass holders.

A stunning new exhibition showcasing some of the finest examples of Victorian art, as well as the passions and pursuits of the Victorian Dukes & Duchesses at Blenheim Palace, goes on display from February 10th – April 16th 2018.

Victorian Passions and Pursuits depicts the development of art throughout the 19th century with over 40 works on display by artists including J.M.W. Turner, Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, James McNeill Whistler, Richard Dadd and Aubrey Beardsley.

Drawn from the internationally acclaimed Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection it demonstrates how wildly differing styles ranging from the older traditional artists to the Aesthetes, the Pre-Raphaelites to the Decadents and the Social Satirists to the Exquisites all grew and flourished alongside one another.

The new exhibition will also feature magnificent life-size paper sculptures of the 9th Duke of Marlborough's wedding to American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt in 1895 and costumes, props and photographs from the 2007 filming of The Young Victoria, which starred Emily Blunt as the young Queen.

Other displays will reveal the fascinating story of George Spencer-Churchill, Winston Churchill's uncle, and the so-called 'Wicked Duke of Blenheim Palace'.

A scientist and a philanderer, the 8th Duke was given the nickname by his brother, Winston's father, because he sold off so many of the family works of art to fund his Victorian experiments.

He visited Thomas Edison the American inventor and communicated with him about the development of the phonograph. The 8th Duke was also an innovator and had electricity and central heating installed in the Palace as well as a telephone system with 37 lines which connected him with every area of the Estate. Visitors will be able to see an early phonograph on display as well as telephones from the late 1800s – all original to Blenheim Palace.

The Gallery will also contain a display relating to the Blenheim Fire Brigade including a Victorian steam powered fire engine of the type found at the Palace, as well as Victorian helmets, uniforms and fire-fighting equipment and contemporary fire resistant clothing worn by the members of the fire service today.

Two classic Wolseley motor cars will feature alongside the fire brigades display, to reflect the 9th Duke's love of motoring. Visitors can view up close a 1901 Wolseley on loan from the British Motor Museum and a later post-Victorian 1912 model on loan from a private collector.

A vintage early 20th century electric car, similar to the one owned and driven by the 9th Duchess at Blenheim Palace, will also be on display.

Alongside the artworks and sculptures, Blenheim Palace is returning one of its magnificent State Rooms to the way it would have looked during Queen Victoria's reign. Utilising unique early images of the Palace taken by the renowned Oxford photographer Henry Taunt, the Saloon will be given a Victorian makeover.

The Caribbean's largest tourism marketing event will be held in Jamaica next year.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) officially announced that the 37th edition of Caribbean Travel Marketplace will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from January 29 to 31, 2019.

The event will be held in collaboration with the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association and the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Produced by CHTA, Caribbean Travel Marketplace brings together hotel and destination representatives; wholesalers and tour operators; online travel agencies; Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) planners; and members of the media for several days of business meetings, including a busy program of thousands of pre-scheduled appointments.

Chief Executive Officer and Director General of CHTA Frank Comito announced that after an incredibly successful 36th convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico last week, the trade association is delighted to return the event to Jamaica next winter. "Jamaica is synonymous with exceptional hospitality, world renowned culture and incredible beauty. We look forward to continuing to offer our participants a high quality program to engage with industry peers and promote travel to our region," he said.

"I am very pleased to announce that Jamaica will once again play host to an important tourism event," said Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett. "It is an incredible achievement for our country and I am certain we will reap significant benefits."

This year's Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which was produced by CHTA in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Meet Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association, exceeded organizers' expectations.

The meeting received an exceptional billing and showcased the resilience of the people of Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, in particular those destinations which are rebounding from the impact of two Category 5 hurricanes.

CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy remarked at the opening of the convention: "It is indeed a very special Marketplace because it is a recognition of the courage and determination of the Puerto Rican people and our brothers and sisters from the other affected islands to overcome and rise above the many obstacles and challenges thrown at them." She described local Puerto Rican tourism officials as "formidable partners" of whom CHTA could not have asked more.

Blenheim Palace is inviting visitors to take a privileged peek into the Private Apartments which have been lived in by the Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough for 300 years.

The behind the scenes guided tours of some of the Palace's most opulent and luxurious rooms provide an exclusive 'behind the scenes' look at life in the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The rooms, which are normally off-limits to visitors, provide a fascinating insight into family life at the Palace with their mix of precious antiques, tapestries and artworks amongst modern living items and family photos.

The intimate tour begins with climbing the Main Stairs and peeking into the Dressing Room and through the Duke's Corridor taking visitors on a tour of family life, with views into the Master Bedroom and Dining Room. The tour also takes in the Sitting Room where His Grace and family relax and mixes priceless heirlooms with modern technology.

Walking through the ornate corridors, visitors will be led to the Smoking Room which contains full size tapestries from the Alexandra the Great series which were commissioned by the 1st Duke.

The Smoking Room is also home to the famous Stubbs Tiger painting, which is based on a real tiger which lived at Blenheim Palace from 1763 and was gifted to the 4th Duke by Lord Clive, Governor of Bengal.

Visitors will also be taken around the Grand Cabinet*, a room full of unique historical artefacts and family heirlooms. The Visitor's Book will also be on display, and visitors can see the list of illustrious guests who have stayed at the Palace, from royalty to celebrities.

Amongst many rare and incredible historical artefacts, visitors will be able to see His Grace's Dining Room laid with Winston Churchill's own private china set. Churchill, who was born at Blenheim Palace in the West Wing, regularly used the Spode Copeland and Spode Maritime Rose, set which dates from 1891 to 1900.

Guests must book in advance online or at the Welcome Desk or Great Hall on the day; Palace, Park and Gardens ticket is also required.

Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, unveils a collaboration with critically-acclaimed spoken word artist Caleb Femi to launch his new poem A Tale of Modern Britain. Caleb’s piece, a beautiful and modern description of travel, celebrates Heathrow’s role as the gateway to the UK, welcoming and waving off international visitors and returning Brits.

With 78 million passengers travelling through Heathrow each year, this powerful new piece of poetry - written and narrated by Femi - uses his experiences travelling, as well as capturing people and journeys which have taken or taking place at the airport, as his inspiration for the film. Looking to the growing trend for spoken word, the poem explores what it means to be British through the lens of arrivals and departures at the country’s busiest airport.

The short film brings Femi’s words to life with his narration framing moments at the airport – from emotional reunions, excitement as people head off for new adventures at Departures and behind the scenes from the airfield – alongside snapshots of life in and around Britain. The video can be viewed on, on terminal screens across the airport and on the Heathrow Express.

To find out what ‘home’ means to British people today, Heathrow commissioned research asking 2,000 Brits about their views on Britain in the context of travelling.


Brummies are thrill seekers at heart with almost one in five (19%) saying one of their top reasons for jetting off is to seek out an adventure, whilst 23% crave exploration of unusual places. Highlighting what a global community we truly are, a further 21% say their main purposes for travel is to visit their extended family, with one in twenty (5%) making journeys inspired by their family history.




London, the Queen and the Beautiful Game are what people most want to discuss with Brummies when they travel overseas; one in three (31%) stated they are likely to be asked whether they are from London, whilst the same number (31%) are quizzed on which football team they support and a quarter (25%) of us are asked if we have ever met the Queen when on our travels.

With a Royal engagement, a third royal baby on the way and a global obsession with TV show The Crown, the royal family are firmly front and centre of mind for the nation, with The Queen, Harry, William and Kate all identified as our most recognisable representatives. Beyond the royals, David and Victoria Beckham, Mo Farah and James Cordon all feature on the list of ‘18 for 2018’; the British stars voted as the best representatives of modern Britain*.

The spontaneous singing of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ in Manchester following the tragic attacks is the moment that summed up the last year for most (31%) Brummies. Over one in four (28%) felt it was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal engagement, whilst more than one in five (22%) thought that Mo Farah winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year was the moment that best summed up the nation last year.



The welcoming view of our local pub on the journey back from the airport is the moment at which one in five (19%) of us feel truly back in Britain, whilst buying a British newspaper (16%) and hearing different regional accents (19%) also feature high on the list of what makes us feel like we’ve arrived back home.

Caleb Femi explains why he was attracted to the project: “For many of life’s biggest milestones – from exciting departures to emotional reunions – Heathrow is the backdrop. The airport is a fascinating place to keep your finger on the pulse of modern Britain, as the people who travel through it says so much about the country and what we stand for.  I’ve loved immersing myself in the stories of different travellers to piece together a portrait of the country in 2018.”


“I hope people enjoy watching the video, which celebrates what it means to be British and the emotions that unite us all when we travel.”

John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive at Heathrow, commented: “The UK is a culture that thrives on its connections with the rest of the world – for those leaving or returning home, as well as international visitors exploring the country for the first time.  As the UK’s only hub airport, and after more passengers than ever in 2017, we’re proud to help make these connections with the world possible. We hope that people really enjoy this ode to the UK as a celebration of Britain as a nation.”

A record 4.875 million people stayed in Abu Dhabi’s 162 hotels and hotel apartments during 2017, meaning the emirate recorded an impressive 9.8% year-on-year rise.

Figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) for its hospitality sector reveal that the number of guests staying in Abu Dhabi city during the year rose by 10.3% to reach 4,295,030 across its 131 hotels and hotel apartments, which provide 26,821 rooms.

The Al Ain Region recorded a 5.5% increase to 450,328 guests across its 20 hotels and the Al Dhafra Region rose 8.2% to number 130,180 guests at its 11 hotels and hotel apartments.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, DCT, said: “Record numbers of people are visiting Abu Dhabi year after year and we continue to go from strength to strength in positioning ourselves as a distinctive global tourist destination steeped in culture and heritage. A near double digit year-on-year growth in the number of guests staying in all three regions of the emirate is testament to our drive and determination in helping the emirate evolve into a ‘must-visit’ place on any traveller’s itinerary.

“Abu Dhabi’s unique cultural archetypes, combined with diverse natural landscapes, cultural and historic sites, dynamic family-leisure entertainment and ambitious business opportunities, will continue to stimulate visitation and help us grow by 11 per cent per annum to achieve 8.5 million visitors by 2021. However, we more than ever aware of the challenges we face in supporting key metrics such as length-of-stay and occupancy rates for the emirate’s hotels and are working hard to continue the focus on these measures.”

Throughout 2017, key overseas markets continued to perform well with guests from China surging year-on-year by 60% to number more than 372,000 to be Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market, with the numbers swelled by the easing of visa restrictions and Chinese visitors now receiving visas on entry in the UAE.

India is the second largest international source market with more than 360,000 guests recorded during the 12 months, an increase of 11%. The United Kingdom remains the largest European source market, registering a 13% rise to more than 270,000 while the United States’ market also showed a considerable rise of more than 23%.

Domestic tourism from within the UAE increased 2.6% to number slightly over 1.5 million hotel guests.

The emirate benefited throughout the year from a packed calendar of events, with the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 11 being the highlight and garnering worldwide headlines. The museum, built in collaboration with the French government, instantly became an iconic landmark on the city’s geographical, cultural and tourist landscape and is expected to attract huge numbers of cultural tourists.

Other notable events included the hosting in October of WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, the world’s largest vocational skills competition at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), which attracted 100,000 participants and spectators during the three days of competition. The Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was again a resounding success with 195,000 spectators watching proceedings over the four days, while annual events such as the Mother of the Nation Festival, Abu Dhabi Summer Season and Chinese New Year celebrations also swelled domestic and international visitor numbers.

A particularly strong December saw 480,845 guests staying in the emirate, a 17.6% rise compared to the corresponding month in 2016, with numbers boosted by the holding of three prestigious events, the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, Dar Al Zain Festival and the New Year’s Countdown Village.

Guests from France increased by 61%, the numbers supplemented by the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, while other key source markets also performed well with the numbers of American guests rising by 54%, China 39%, India 29%, the UK 22% and Germany 12%.

Domestic tourism in December also showed a noticeable increase of 4.4%. An expanded portfolio of events across the emirate throughout this year is expected to further boost guests visiting Abu Dhabi from other emirates.

HE Ghobash added: “Combined with our ongoing international marketing and promotional activities and our excellent collaboration with strategic partners, including our national airline Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Ports, we will continue to evolve and lead Abu Dhabi’s tourism proposition to achieve new levels of excellence; implementing new initiatives and working closely with the private sector, while striving to achieve new record numbers of hotel guests.”

In a press conference held today at its Burn’s Point headquarters, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) announced the official tourist arrivals data for 2017 from target source markets U.S.A., Canada, the Caribbean, Germany and the U.K.

In the report, overall stayover arrivals for 2017 (146,359) were up more than 8% when compared to 2016 (135,372). These numbers are important for the country as stayover arrivals spend in the destination is the highest of all the visitors to our shores.

With the U.S. being Pure Grenada’s largest source market, the GTA developed and implemented strategic initiatives, which included increased trade show attendance and press trips. As a result, the U.S. market recorded the highest increase of 16% with 67,250 tourist arrivals to the destination positioning Pure Grenada at the top of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) list of destinations with registered growth in 2017.

Other source markets that reported an increase in arrivals included Canada with a six percent increase (14,580), Germany, 21 percent increase (2,499) and the Caribbean, eight percent increase (27,113) with Trinidad & Tobago registering a 14 percent increase (15,692).

The GTA had implemented a year round focus on Trinidad & Tobago with new travel agent familiarization trips, increased advertising and a destination focused presentation to the media and travel trade. The UK arrivals (25,531) decreased by 7% and all efforts were engaged to address this decline culminating with the GTA hosting a Grenada stand at the World Travel Market in London in November, 2017.

The rest of Europe arrivals (5,187) increased by 7%. Year on year, Yachting arrivals (21,993) increased by 8% and cruise passengers (299,449) decreased slightly by 5% while cruise ship calls (291) increased by 13%.

“December 2017 saw growth in cruise visitor arrivals by 25% over December 2016 and we are continuing to see positive movement in these numbers” said Nautical Development Manager, Nikoyan Roberts, who is working well with the key stakeholders to maximize the destination’s strengths in this sector.

CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, is very pleased with the overall statistical performance. “We are even more excited about the fact that Grenada is trending as a destination in the global Tourism Industry. The future for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique looks bright with new hotels and new attractions opening in the next two years.”

Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Rodney George said: “The decision of the Board of the GTA to employ the USA based Public Relations firm, Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications Inc., is really paying dividends as exemplified by the wide exposure that Grenada is receiving in regional and international print and digital media, and the increased tourist arrivals from the USA and Canada.”

Team Grenada is working hard to ensure that visitors get to experience our island life in a real, authentic, memorable way and they will share Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean with the world. 2018 is projected to be a busy year for all of our stakeholders as everyone continues to work together to keep Grenada trending in the global Tourism industry.

More international tourists are visiting the English regions than ever before.

Official statistics released today show that in the first nine months of 2017 there were a record 12.7 million visits to English regions outside London, up 4% compared to the same period in 2016.

International visitors spent £6.1 billion across England’s regions during this period.

There were 909,000 overseas visits to Wales from January to September last year, up 6% compared to the same time in 2016, and visitors spent £337 million.

In Scotland, overseas visits increased 14% to 2.6 million in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the same time in 2016, with overseas visitors spending £1.8 billion.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said:

"It is fantastic news that towns and cities across the UK are benefitting from the boom in tourism, and as the new Tourism Minister I want to ensure that this trend continues.

"Promoting the UK as a must visit destination to the rest of the world is paramount in ensuring that local areas can reap the benefits of tourism and I am committed to working with the sector to drive economic growth across the UK."

VisitBritain Director Patricia Yates said:

“Boosting inbound tourism throughout Britain is at the heart of our work, so it is very encouraging to see the growth across our nations and regions. Tourism is one of our most valuable export industries and we are forecasting that growth will continue in 2018, with 41.7 million overseas visits to the UK and visitors spending almost £27 billion." Of the English regions, the North West and the West Midlands had the largest percentage growth in overseas visits, both up 10% compared to January to September 2016, to 2.4 million and 1.8 million respectively.

Inbound tourism to the UK overall

Overall, there were a record 30.1 million inbound visits to the UK from January to September 2017, up 7% on the same period the previous year.

There were a record 268,000 visits to the UK from China from January to September last year, up 33% and spending up 48% to a record £557 million.

Record spend was seen from visitors from Germany who spent £1.3 billion in the UK, up 5% on January to September 2016 with visits up 2% to 2.6 million. There were a record 1.9 million overseas visits from Spain to the UK, up 11%, and visitor spending up 14% to £861 million.

VisitBritain is forecasting that growth from inbound tourism is set to continue in 2018 with 41.7 million overseas visits to the UK, up 4.4% on 2017.

Spending by overseas visitors is predicted to reach £26.9 billion in 2018, up 6.8% on 2017.

Tourism is worth £127 billion to the UK economy, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across its nations and regions.

In Madrid at the international travel trade event FITUR last night was the day many had anxiously waiting for. The 14th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism was announced.

Starting at 18.00h with a welcome cocktail the event was opened at 19.15 by the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, followed by a short remark by the president of FITUR/ FEMA

Sanjib Sarangi of the Indian Grameen Services (IGS) and Reena from the Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust attended the award ceremony and were overjoyed with the announcement of the award. They accepted the award and unfurled the Indian Tricolour at the stage. Indian Grameen Services overlooks the Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust project. Mangalajodi Trust was the only Indian nomination in this year’s UNWTO awards.

The winning projects, divided into four categories – Public Policy and Governance, Research and Technology, Enterprises, and Non-governmental Organizations –, have been announced at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony held Wednesday, 17th January evening in Madrid at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Spain (FITUR)

Today we honour the vision and commitment of individuals, administrations, companies and organizations that every day build a better future by harnessing the potential of tourism. The work of all the finalists of the 14 UNWTO Awards on Innovation is an inspiration to all of us”, underlined UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, in his opening remarks.

Attended by nearly 500 participants from different countries, the UNWTO Awards Ceremony, co-organized by IFEMA|FITUR, emphasized how the tourism community has embraced sustainable and innovative approaches.

The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism are held annually to highlight and promote the work of organizations and individuals around the world that have impacted the tourism sector. Their achievements have served as an inspiration for competitive and sustainable tourism development and the promotion of the values of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the Innovation in Enterprises category Conservation and Livelihoods: Community managed Ecotourism at Mangalajodi,  Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust was shortlisted. Other nominated enterprises in this category were from Kenya, Italy and Philippines. Mangalajodi is one of the oldest village coming under Tangi block of Khurda district in Odisha, 75 km from Bhubaneswar towards Berhampur with a huge marshland along the northern edge of Chilika Lake. The area (about 10 is primarily a fresh water zone connected by channels cut through the reed beds with the brakish water of Chilika lagoon. The numerous channels that crisscross through the greenery, harbour thousands of water birds, migratory and resident. Part of Chilika, 1165 sq.kms.brakish water estuarine lagoon of international importance. The wetland hosts more than 3,00,000 of birds in the peak season. October to March is the best time to visit this place. This region has is a significant global waterfowl habitat and is declared as an “Important Bird Area (IBA)”.

Last year, Lufthansa and Munich Airport welcomed over 30 million passengers to Terminal 2. To be more precise, 30.6 million passengers used the terminal for their travel needs in 2017, an increase of 10.6 percent compared to the previous year.

Wilken Bormann, CEO Hub Munich, and Munich Airport CEO Dr. Michael Kerkloh both agree: “The numbers show how popular Terminal 2 is with our passengers: a five-star airline and a five-star airport. Together, we offer our customers a 10-star product, translating to outstanding quality on the ground and on board. Munich is the only airport in all of Europe with this rare combination.”

Borman and Kerkloh are certain that this positive trend will also continue in 2018. As of March 25, Lufthansa will will have five A380 aircraft based in Munich and will be serving the destinations Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Beijing in its summer flight schedule. Two days later, a Lufthansa A350 will take off for its first flight from Munich to Singapore. Eurowings also has plans for additional growth in Munich.

Munich’s airport was already named Europe’s first “5-Star Airport” by London-based ratings agency Skytrax in 2015. In December 2017, Lufthansa joined them as the only European 5-star airline when they received the highest level of quality certification in international aviation from Skytrax. Another world best: Terminal 2, along with the Terminal 2 Satellite, which are operated jointly by the two companies, received a special award in March 2017: They were voted World’s Best Airport Terminal at the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

As the January blues settle in and the weather gets wetter our minds turn to travel. Maybe one of your resolutions is to travel more this year, and who better to join you on your adventures than your canine companion.

Taking your dog travelling with you is a great idea but there are a few important things to remember when taking your pet pooch somewhere new.

As part of their ongoing “Happy Dogs, Happy Days” campaign, Lintbells, manufacturers of premium pet supplement YuCALM Dog, works with dog behavioural expert Dr. Emily Blackwell to offer owners some helpful tips and advice on how to keep their dogs happy and calm when visiting new places this year.

Dr Blackwell said: “The new year is a time for planning for lots of people. Whether your plans for 2018 involve moving house, going on a holiday or a day trip, or visiting friends and family a change in environment or routine can be stressful for some dogs. However there are a number of helpful tips you can do to help your dog settle in to somewhere new.


“Wherever you and your pooch are heading to in 2018 take their own bed, blanket and toys and anything else that may contain a familiar scent, this will help to create a consistent environment and will be reassuring to your dog.

Doggie Supplies

“It is also important to pack enough of your dog’s routine medication or supplements to last the whole trip, along with their usual food. And try to stick to their usual feeding times.

Plan ahead

“Before setting off to explore somewhere new make sure you check out potential dog walking places on the way and in the area of your destination -  it is important your dog still gets regular exercise while you are away. Also ensure your dog is wearing a tag with up-to-date contact details, in case they run off and are in an unfamiliar place.


“Try to always allow your dog time to settle in and start with very brief separations, as they may find it distressing being left alone somewhere new. Also remember that your dog may encounter lots of things they may have not seen before, such as babies, livestock, traffic noises and this could cause stress. Try and gradually introduce them to these things, from a distance and associate them with something nice by rewarding them.


“If your dog tends to be unsettled in new places you could consider using a natural calming supplement to help them relax more quickly in their new surroundings.”