Colors: Blue Color

Elite Island Resorts Group, a collection of beachfront resorts in the Caribbean, is to team up with W8 GYM, an innovative 'GYM-in-a-Box' created by singer Fleur East and her cousins Nick Meaney and Clive Payne, for an exclusive partnership.

The recently launched W8 GYM is like no other single piece of fitness equipment on the market. Innovative, portable and multi-functional with interchangeable dumbbells, it allows the user to perform over 200 exercises with just one unit.

The W8 GYM has taken over 4 years to develop and the multi-purpose unit can be used as a Step, Kettle Bell, Barbell, Medicine Ball, Dumbbell and much more. The W8 GYM smashes through the three main challenges to fitness:

  • Convenience: small and compact, the W8 GYM is portable and can be easily stored
  • Time: W8 GYM's flexibility makes it easier to fit exercise into busy lifestyles
  • Money: No need for expensive gym memberships or classes, the W8 GYM offers over 200 exercises meaning you can keep your training fresh and interesting
The W8  GYM will be available in Elite Island Resorts locations to use in-room or on the beach on Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados & The Grenadines from May 2019.  The partnership marks another phase in Elite Island Resorts' commitment to bringing even more innovation to the group's growing “wellbeing included” menu. This exclusive partnership between W8 GYM and Elite Island Resorts will launch in May 2019 and comprise of the following elements available to resort guests, marking another fitness “first” in the Caribbean:
  • An In-room video workout with Fleur using the W8 GYM on TV screens filmed exclusively for guests. The video will feature a workout designed specifically for continuing fitness on holiday
  • A W8 GYM beach workout class – scheduled daily – designed by Fleur East
  • W8 GYM Elite Island Resorts exclusive tracks and playlists in partnership with Spotify
Fleur East said: “Being on tour with my music really brought home how challenging it can be to maintain a fitness routine without all your usual gym equipment at your fingertips. That was the beginning of our journey to creating W8 GYM. I needed a 'GYM-in-a-Box' and that's exactly what we made!  Over 200 exercises, infinite combinations, weight and fitness levels, anytime, anywhere. We're delighted to take W8 GYM to the Caribbean and partner with the guys at Elite Island Resorts, so it'll be easier than ever for guests to keep their fitness routines steady whilst on holiday – either in their room or on the beach, they'll just grab a W8 GYM and go.  Back home?  Their newly acquired W8 GYM moves can continue, as it's easy to order one directly from us, even schedule it for delivery right after you land.  Simple!” 

Paula Whitehead, European MD, Elite Island Resorts, said: 'From the launch of our mobile free beaches 11 years ago, we add ideas that encourage guests to maintain or begin wellbeing habits on holiday that benefit them long after their stay with us. Collaborating with Fleur, Nick and Clive on this brilliant fitness innovation ensures that we build on that in a way that allows guests to keep wellbeing easily at the core of their routine both at home and away”

Jamaica’s tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett listens keenly as His Excellency Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Jamaica and Canada makes a point during a recent meeting at the Norman Manley International Airport, in Kingston on October 26, 2018.

During the meeting, they discussed a range of collaborative arrangements including the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. They also shared possible ways strengthen the relationship with Thailand by collaborating with the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI).

The official launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is scheduled for January 2019, during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. It will act as a response to climatic events, pandemics, shifting global economies as well as crime and violence which can be devastating to travel and tourism

Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are to visit The Gambia on the 31st October bringing a welcome spotlight on the destination following its return to The Commonwealth back in February of this year. Planned as part of a wider regional tour to celebrate the UK's dynamic, forward-looking partnerships with the Commonwealth Nations, it will be the first time their Royal Highnesses will have been to The Gambia. Affectionally regarded as West Africa's smiling coast and a former British colony, The Gambia is widely recognised for its warm and friendly people, superb climate, golden beaches and world class birding, with tourism its principle industry.

The Royal couple will be welcomed at a ceremony in the country's capital, Banjul by The Gambia's President, Adama Barrow, democratically elected in January 2017 following his defeat over former leader Yahya Jammeh. During his stay, Prince Charles will be visiting the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia which is working to eradicate malaria, as well as the Gambian Armed Forces Training Centre. The Duchess of Cornwall will be visiting a school whose students are aspiring to enter The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.

The visit coincides with the start of the winter sun holiday season in The Gambia, and the UK's leading holiday provider and specialist to the destination. The Gambia Experience's managing director, Mr Chris Ayling comments: “The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall visiting The Gambia is a fantastic opportunity for the country, as not only will it raise the awareness of its rejoin to the Commonwealth, but also put the country in the spotlight as a superb holiday destination.”

British High Commissioner to The Gambia, Sharon Wardle, described the visit as “a wonderful opportunity to celebrate UK-Gambian friendship as well as those guiding Commonwealth values that unite our respective peoples as part of the wider Commonwealth family.”

Copenhagen has been named the world's top city for travellers in 2019 by world-leading travel authority Lonely Planet. The city receives the accolade in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2019, the highly anticipated annual collection of the best travel destinations, trends, journeys and experiences to have in the year ahead.

“Denmark's capital of cool is unstoppable” raves Lonely Planet in its description of its number one city.

Already world-renowned as a centre for Scandinavian design and architecture, the city's booming food scene, amazing sustainable credentials and new shoulder season activities are mentioned as some of Copenhagen's defining qualities. Copenhagen is in the middle of a hotel boom and over the next four years, some 8,500 hotel rooms will be added to the existing 21,000 rooms while the anticipated mid-2019 completion of the Cityringen metro line means even easier cross-town adventures. Unmissable experiences in the city recommended by Lonely Planet's experts include:

  • Savouring the region's terroir and ingenuity at one of Copenhagen's lauded New-Nordic restaurants such as Noma and Kadeau or more moderately priced Høst and Mes
  • Catching the train to Louisiana Art Museum for its world-class collection of Danish and international modern art, modernist architecture, sculpture garden and dreamy setting.
  • Indulging your inner child with an evening at Tivoli Gardens, which now offers a new Winter season throughout the month of February.
Each year, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet's vast community of editors, researchers, locals and influencers, and are then decided upon and ranked by a panel of judges. The outcome is an eclectic list of destinations with unique, compelling and topical reasons to visit in the year ahead – as well as underlying travel trends to look for.

Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's Editorial Director, said, “This is a city well versed in the cutting edge. Cobbled streets boast groundbreaking menus and trend-setting design. Centuries-old palaces, churches and warehouses share streets and waterways with bold contemporary architecture, while the city's former Meatpacking District hums with galleries, locavore eateries and on-point indie bars. Copenhagen is the epitome of Scandi cool and deserves to be recognised on the global stage.”  

Dennis Englund, VisitDenmark's Director in the UK & US, said, “This accolade highlights the city's fundamental traits and iconic characteristics and proves that Copenhagen is one of Europe's hottest destinations. The city is renowned for its constant innovation in culture, design, architecture and gastronomy and as the epitome for Danish culture, the same characteristics apply to the rest of Denmark where exciting new hotels, restaurants and attractions are set to open in 2019.”

Speakers gathered at Sir Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum auditorium under the auspices of Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Peshawar to track down the path and means to address the water crisis in the country while involving the energetic youth segment of society on 16th October, 2018.

Brigadier (retd.) Muhammad Aslam, Chairman GDAWP said he was very happy that someone has raised water issue. He stressed on the issue of water scarcity and encouraged the youth to promote the cause of building dams in the country. Furthermore, he discussed the climate change and how it is affecting the quality and quantity of water.

Dr. Shahla Nazneen faculty member from Environmental Sciences’ and organizer of the event talked about laws and policies of water in Pakistan. She said major portion of Pakistan drinkable water is at risk and only 1 % of urban waste is treated in Pakistan, while the rest is dumped into surface waters. She enlightened the participants with national drinking water policy and its implications.

Raza Ali Khan from PYPW, appreciated the provincial policy that it has added the youth role of water conservation being the premier policy in the country after Brazilian policy to do so. He presented the seven biggest dream killers for youth which included fear of failure, fear of success, lack of work ethic, excuses, toxic influences, lack of discipline and unwillingness to learn.

Saniya Kiran, a research scholar at the department talked about the thinking patterns of youth on water conservation which she concluded from the recent research, she has conducted on the topic. She talked about water quality changes over time and the activities in which water is wasted; the most. She also enumerated a number of water borne diseases to the participants.

Haris Khan, a youth minister for environment youth assembly talked about the hurdles in the way of youth to practice their efforts to conserve water. “We should be very concerned about drinking water conservation as only 1 % is drinking water”. He talked about the duties of youth towards the environment. He added we should replace the “I” approach with the “WE” approach.

Dr. Asif Khan, a faculty member at the environmental sciences department announced that a new society with the name “Environment Society” within the university campus is going to engage the students at university level and will address the issues of water scarcity. He added that conservation of water is only possible through the coordination and collaboration.

A research scholar, Farhat Ali talked about the implementation of environmental laws at national level. He said from 2005 -2010 disaster risk was the main issue but presently water conservation is the most important issue in the country and need to be addressed from all concerned quarters. Chairman, Department of Environmental Sciences, Prof. Dr. Hizbullah Khan at the end of the seminar appreciated all the speakers and the organizers for arranging a seminar on the most important issue of water scarcity and conservation.

St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been ranked the No. 1 Caribbean destination on Airbnb - with a 600 percent increase in bookings over last year.
The Territory's capital, Charlotte Amalie, earned that distinction on Airbnb, a marketplace for home rentals which has a number of listings in the Caribbean, ranging from cottages to beachfront villas. In its announcement, the sharing economy platform noted tourists are visiting the Caribbean again and bookings are up year over year.
"We have been working diligently to rebuild and revamp our tourism product, and we are encouraged that our efforts to increase overnight visitors to the USVI are bearing fruit. With the return of traditional hotels, resorts and villas - along with the strong growth of sharing platforms - we are pleased with this validation by Airbnb," said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who thanked all Airbnb hosts for showcasing the warmth and beauty of the Territory.
The rankings are based on internal Airbnb data as of September 2018, measuring future guest bookings for November 2018 to March 2019 in the Caribbean (destinations with a minimum of 100 guest arrivals) compared to future guest bookings last year for the same time period and with the same parameters.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty noted as visitors return to the destination in strong numbers, the Department of Tourism was resolved to continue improving the product "to ensure they have the best experience every time they visit the Virgin Islands".

Jamaica Prime Minister, the Most Honorable, Andrew Holness has signaled that Jamaica’s Tourism is ripe for more investments given the consistent growth and development in the sector.

Speaking at the official opening of the Excellence Group’s newest luxury resort at Oyster Bay, Trelawny, yesterday (October 18), Prime Minister Holness highlighted that, “Jamaica has continued on its path of unprecedented growth in the area of tourism over the last two years. Last year 4.3million tourists visited Jamaica’s shores and revenue grew in the sector from US$2.1 Billion in 2016 to approximately US$3 Billion in 2017.

Jamaica is also committed to attracting 5million visitors by 2021 and if we attract this number we will be able to achieve revenue of USD5billion. To investors locally and abroad it is a tremendous time of opportunity to invest in the Jamaican tourism industry and in Jamaica overall as the country’s economic reform program has had a significant positive impact.”

In congratulating the work of the Excellence Group in Jamaica, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said, “The development here has proven that it is possible to have turnaround time for major constructions that are less than eighteen months. This helps to satisfy investors that when they come to destination Jamaica they can start their business quickly after they have broken ground.

We see that this development having completed its turnaround within eighteen months now opens the doors for the continuation of the investment activities as we are expecting that the construction of the villas will start very soon.”

The opening of the adults-only luxury resort in Oyster Bay will bring to total three internationally recognized brands to set up operations in Trelawny – Royalton Resorts and Melia Hotels International. Last year the Excellence Group broke ground for the 315-room property valued at US$110 million. The company has already committed to further investment in Jamaica through additional developments in the near future.

Minister Bartlett added that “We know that you have 2500 rooms within the Latin American region, but we know there is a promise to have 2200 rooms in Jamaica so that makes a statement of the importance of Jamaica as a destination of choice and we are excited about that.”

Overall, Spanish investment in Jamaica’s tourism industry amounts to approximately US$1.7billion and about 25% of the rooms built in Jamaica are the product of Spanish investment.

Reggae legend Freddie McGregor has been confirmed as a headline act for the match between Nottingham Forest Ladies and the Jamaican Reggae Girlz.

The match, which will take place on Sunday 28th October at Nottingham's City Ground, 3pm kick-off, will include the appearance of international Reggae artist Freddie McGregor who will sing the Jamaican national anthem before the match and perform during half time and after the game.

A contemporary of Bob Marley and other reggae greats, McGregor broke into the Reggae scene in the 1980s with the release of "Bobby Bobylon". He is a pioneer of ska and reggae music and remains an icon of the genres. Other popular hits of McGregor's include "Big Ship", "Push Comes to Shove" and "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely" which made it into the top ten in the UK charts. Two of his albums were nominated for Grammy Awards. He has been a part of reggae at every stage of its development and has been crucial in shaping its evolution over the years. He was presented with the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards in Washington DC in 2013.

A Jamaican-themed carnival atmosphere is expected to descend on The City Ground for the match with local Caribbean food and music lined up. The game will be a celebration of the Windrush generation and of Caribbean family culture in Nottingham and the English Midlands. Initiated by Nottingham Forest FC, the match is actively supported by the Nottingham City Council, the Bob Marley Foundation and the Jamaican Government.

Orange Polar Bear, a raw, funny and heartrending new play about today’s younger generation trying to find their place in a fast-changing world has its UK premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 1 – 10 November.

Co-written by Korean writer, Sun-Duck Ko and London-based Canadian playwright, Evan Placey, this bilingual original play is an international collaboration between The REP, the National Theater Company of Korea and Birmingham company, Hanyong Theatre.  Inventively staged, and pulsating with energy, Orange Polar Bear will be performed by an ensemble of 3 British and 3 Korean actors.

William and Jiyoung are fifteen, living invisible lives in chaotic cities on opposite sides of the world. William is British and lives with his mum – a Nigerian immigrant who cleans up after other people who can’t be bothered to do their own hoovering. She doesn’t understand why people want to flee the country, but William does. Jiyoung is Korean, stuck with her dad and grandma in a fifteenth floor flat, and looking for her mother who left thirteen years ago. When the two find themselves adrift in a mysterious space, floating like two polar bears on melting icebergs, they wonder if they’ll ever make it back.

Director Peter Wynne-Willson said:  “Despite a distance of over 5000 miles, younger generations in Korea and the UK are subjected to the same relentlessly bleak 24/7 news cycle.  They share concerns about climate change, threats to national security, a widening gap between the rich and poor, as well as domestic issues that concern us all – family and friendship, just as they are forging new identities as young adults.

“It’s been wonderful to see how our two writers and our international creative team and cast have worked together to tell a story that crosses boundaries and, while firmly rooted in the contrasting cultures of Britain and Korea, could be played on a stage anywhere in the world and still have relevance.”

Playwright, Evan Placey, said:  “The world feels like it’s ending, the future bleak, when you are bombarded by the news on so many sides. How do you deal with this as a young person? When adults are making decisions which will affect your future, and you’re constantly being told things are getting worse – for the environment, for safety, politically, financially – how do you remain optimistic and engage with the present?  Inspired by the passions and worries of teenagers we met and worked with in Seoul and Birmingham, Orange Polar Bear explores that question in a theatrical way through the intertwined stories of our characters William and Jiyoung.”

Producer, Judy Owen said: “Orange Polar Bear is a story about separation and connection on many levels, which couldn’t be more urgent in a world where so many are uprooted. At a time when countries are becoming ever more insular, Orange Polar Bear is determinedly outward looking.  Our extraordinary Korean actors and talented, young British actors perform together as one ensemble to tell a story that is clear and resonates emotionally in surprising ways.”

Orange Polar Bear is an exciting collaboration with one of South East Asia’s leading contemporary theatre companies, the National Theater Company of Korea. Performed in English and Korean, the production features powerful visuals and sound design, with design by award-winning young art director Yeo Shin Dong and original music by internationally renowned composer Yeong Gyu Jang, known for his many film scores (Train to Busan; The Good the Bad, the Weird; A Bittersweet Life) and for his glam rock Korean folk fusion band Ssing Ssing, who recently performed in Soho and at the South Bank Centre.

The cast for Orange Polar Bear is: Ah-ron Hong (Father), Cheongim Kang (Grandmother), Minju Kim (Jiyoung), Michael Kodwiw (Arthur), Rasaq Kukoyi (William), Tahirah Sharif (Sarah).

Orange Polar Bear is designed by Shin-Dong Yeo with costume design by Nuri Na and Kay Wilton, lighting design by Simon Bond, sound design by Lim Seo Jin, music composed by Yeong-Gyu Jang, props design by Kwon Min-Hee, movement by Yun Jung Lee and video projection by Shin Dong Yeo and Byung Mok Jung.  Tessa Walker, The REP’s Associate Director, has supported the writers as dramaturg.

Orange Polar Bear is the third collaboration between The REP and Hanyong Theatre following the presentation of The Bridge a bi-lingual piece about the Korean war co-written by Ko Sun-Duck and Peter Wynne-Willson, and Looking For Yoghurt a play in 3 languages (English, Korean and Japanese) for young audiences and families co-produced with Joyful Theatre (Korea) and Kijimuna Festa (Japan).  The project forms an important strand of the REP’s international work, including productions directed by Calixto Bieito (Hamlet, Celestina and The String Quartet’s Guide To Sex and Anxiety), the partnership with BE FESTIVAL – an annual festival of European performing arts, and a co-production with Teatro Kismet in Bari, Italy of Philip Pullman’s I Was A Rat!

 

As part of the international collaboration on 7 November The REP hosts a symposium, Making Multilingual Theatre. A full day of panel discussions and demonstrations exploring experiences of multilingual theatre and a chance to meet the cast and creatives of Orange Polar Bear and hear in detail about the making of the show.  The symposium is co-convened by the multilingual performance project Creative Multilingualism (University of Oxford) and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (Birmingham City University).

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will arrive at the Kingfisher Bay Resort jetty on Monday 22nd October, as part of the official royal tour in conjunction with the Invictus Games.

The royal couple will meet with the State Premier and local Butchulla People for a 'Welcome to Country' smoking ceremony before the unveiling of a plaque for the Queen's Commonwealth Canopy initiative in the central rainforest on the island.

Harry and Meghan will then head to one of Fraser Island's iconic lakes, to learn about the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of the region. They will also learn about the military history and secret Z Force Commandos that trained on the island during the Second World War.

As the only Queensland destination included on the itinerary, the team at Kingfisher Bay Resort are preparing a warm welcome for the couple and the hundreds of media from around the world that are arriving to document their every move.

Fraser Island is much-loved locally, but with international interest rising, it is anticipated that Fraser Island will fast become one of the most talked-about destinations on the royal agenda.

With 206,970 acres of protected, World Heritage-listed environment and over 100 freshwater lakes, the untamed wilderness of Fraser Island's rugged sandy terrain are a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers around the world.

Kingfisher Bay Resort is the gateway to Fraser Island, and every year thousands of guests choose to stay on the western bay for an immersive nature experience.

As Harry and Meghan experience this piece of paradise for the first time, it will be an opportunity for the rest of the world to see what makes this little-known Aussie icon so special.

Jubilant sustainable tourism campaigners in Aruba are celebrating one of its leading resorts becoming the first carbon neutral hotel in the Caribbean.

This environmental global standard has been bestowed on the Dutch Caribbean island's Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, one of the leading adults-only properties on renowned Eagle Beach.

The award is a major coup for Aruba, which has a number of sustainable tourism initiatives in the pipeline and whose government has set a target of making the island fossil fuel-free by 2020.

Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is featured by a number of UK tour operators, making it an easy option for UK travellers. With the property providing a net zero carbon standard, those guests leave no footprint, but can go home with a memorable, guilt-free vacation.

Ewald Biemans, owner and CEO of Bucuti & Tara and passionate environmentalist, has steadfastly woven sustainable practices throughout the resort's policies and culture since opening in 1987. Recognised as the Caribbean's most eco-certified resort, Bucuti & Tara was the first ISO 14001 certified hotel in the Americas, the first in the Caribbean to achieve LEED Silver certification and has been named the World's Most Sustainable Hotel/Resort by Green Globe. Other awards include being named TripAdvisor's No. 1 Hotel for Romance in the Caribbean for 2018.

Biemans himself has received multiple awards as a green leader, including being the Caribbean Journal's Green Hotelier of the Year and last year he was the first-ever individual to receive Leader in Sustainability Gold Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International and National Geographic Traveler, an honour previously only awarded to organisations. He is often called upon for public speaking engagements and expert insight about sustainability.

Initiatives at the Bucuti & Tara span the simple to the complex with every resort service being scrutinised and improved upon. Giving every guest a reusable water canteen has resulted in keeping 290,000 single-use plastic water bottles annually from landing in Aruba's landfill. Offering healthier portions provided guests with more sensible – and desirable - serving sizes, with a by-product of reducing food waste by 30 per cent. The resort installed the island's largest solar panel system - the maximum the government would allow.

Ewald Biemans explained: 'Our guests have chosen Aruba for our naturally beautiful beaches, stunning turquoise waters and the happy, healthy island community. We must protect and preserve our environment on a meaningful level to deliver this experience in the future.

'I believe the hard work, passion and dedication of our sustainability team to achieve carbon neutrality will inspire others to consider similar action.'

 Inspired by the Caribbean's sounds and sights, the region's leading tourism entities have joined forces to launch "The Rhythm Never Stops" - a vibrant marketing campaign enticing travelers to revel in the Caribbean's incredible natural beauty, diverse cultures and hidden treasures.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) unveiled the fruit of months of collaborative efforts to showcase the Caribbean in a new, dynamic digital campaign, which started on Wednesday, October 10.
Supported by a select group of destinations and private sector partners, the video presentation targets social media, including Facebook, Instagram and Google Display. It features the electronic dance music of "Lean On" by Major Lazer x DJ Snake (feat. MØ), one of the most-streamed songs of all time on Spotify.
Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said the Caribbean aims to be the world's most desirable tourism destination. "With the resilience of our people and the year-round nature of our product, we are determined to ensure that in the Caribbean 'The Rhythm Never Stops'."
"In undertaking this collaborative marketing thrust, we hope to reinforce the power of 'Brand Caribbean', definitively showcasing and celebrating our diverse cultural appeal through a campaign that will encourage visitors to find their own rhythm in the Caribbean," he said.
Frank Comito, Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, pointed out that, from Bermuda in the north to Barbados in the south, the region comprises more than 30 countries, territories and overseas departments, offering constantly evolving rhythmic segues for travelers.
"Visitors, past and present, have not been introduced to the offerings of our vast and diverse region. We will change that by highlighting the charms contained in the million square miles of Caribbean Sea, home to French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Creole, African, Asian, American and many other cultures," he said, encouraging residents and visitors to experience more of the region's rhythms.
The initial phase of the online campaign runs for 12 weeks. It highlights destinations such as The Bahamas in the north; Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the western Caribbean; the French department of Martinique and its eastern Caribbean neighbor St. Lucia, as well as Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago in the south.
Both CHTA and CTO will track results of the digital advertising and social media-sharing campaign and continue to encourage other tourism-related entities to get on board with their longer-term collaborations.
Phase two of the campaign will be announced soon.

A giant rainbow flag draped from the heights of the biggest rainforest in captivity heralds Saturday's Proud Eden event at the Eden Project.

The 37m-long banner was unfurled from the top of the 50m-high Rainforest Lookout, which sits at the top of Eden's Rainforest Biome.

The flag is one of the largest in the world and has been loaned to Eden by Cornwall Pride, who used it as a star attraction for their recent Pride Parade through Newquay. It will now be moved to Mediterranean Biome at Eden where it will serve as the backdrop to the Proud Eden stage.

The grand celebration of LGBTQ culture takes place at the Eden Project on September 29 starting at 6pm.

The special evening will be packed with a diverse line-up of top performers, acclaimed speakers and a cutting-edge exhibition.

Kate Francis, Eden's programme producer, said: “How great to see the Cornwall Pride flag flying at Eden. This iconic symbol proudly flying in our Rainforest Biome is a stunning way to herald our Proud Eden event on Saturday.

“The event promises to be even more vibrant and diverse than last year, boasting a fabulous mixture of music, comedy and performance art."

Proud Eden is being staged in association with Penguin Pride and Gay Times and supported by Cornwall Pride which campaigns for equality and diversity in the county.

Headlining on the Penguin Pride Stage in the Mediterranean Biome is actress, musician and outspoken LGBT activist Heather Peace.

Heather has appeared in London's Burning, Ultimate Force, Lip Service and Waterloo Road and is also an accomplished singer with four jazz albums. She is a patron for Manchester Pride and the LGBT charity Stonewall.

With award-winning beaches, Aruba is a top choice for sun-worshippers. But for those who want to make even more of this Dutch Caribbean island's natural playground, there is an abundance of choice.

The island is widely recognised as a top diving and snorkeling destination but there's plenty of action above the surface, too, and if you've ever fancied conquering the waves on a surfboard, Aruba is the place for you!

With steady breezes, Aruba is also recognised as one of the best wind and kite-surf destinations in the Caribbean and whether you are an experienced surfer or an out and out beginner, you can join the action.

The island boasts a number of watersports companies offering lessons for beginners and friendly locals are always happy to pass on tips. Expect to pay in the region of US$95 (approx. £73) for a two and a half hour surf board lesson (based on minimum of two people), while board rental is around $35 (£27) for a full day.

Aruba's beaches can be roughly divided into two categories: idyllic on the island's west side and rugged on the east side. That means you will find beaches that are perfect for those who are learning to surf as well as beaches that will challenge even the professionals. These beaches are also worth a visit for those with no interest in surfing whatsoever. The acrobatic manoeuvres of the surfers in the waves offer impressive entertainment.

Among the most popular beaches are:

Malmok Beach: The most popular beach for beginners. Here you will find several surf schools and rental facilities. The beach itself is quite narrow but the clear water is shallow for the first 60 metres offshore.

Hadicurari Beach: Also called Fisherman's Huts, this is the surf mecca of Aruba. Every year in June or July, the prestigious Aruba Hi Winds World Challenge takes place here, the largest windsurfing competition in the Caribbean. But during the rest of the year the beach is a popular destination for water sports fans with their colourful sails and kites. The spectators on the beach also enjoy the aerial and water acrobatics of the pro surfers; some jump metres high above the waves.

Boca Grandi: On the most southern tip of Aruba's rugged east coast, this is a great beach for experienced surfers. Swimming is not recommended because of the strong currents and high waves, but skilled surfers will have a great time here. The beautiful beach near Aruba's second city of Saint Nicholas is worth a visit in its own right, if not as a spectator perhaps as a beachcomber - the rugged surf deposits a lot of coral, driftwood, and other small ocean treasures on the beach.

Award-winning American videographer Tim Blanton can walk freely without pain thanks to a successful bilateral knee replacement at Health City Cayman Islands, the popular tertiary care medical facility in the Caribbean.

Blanton had always been a very active man. As a professional videographer, he regularly filmed underwater videos for National Geographic, but for a few years his ability to dive in the ocean to get his shots was limited by serious arthritis in his knees, which gradually reduced his ability to walk even short distances.

His painful condition led him to consult with Dr. Alwin Almeida, Orthopedic Surgeon and specialist in joint replacement at Health City in Grand Cayman, who recommended bilateral knee replacement surgery.

"Six weeks ago I was barely able to walk, I could not go up or down stairs and I had some major problems with my knees. I had my double knee replacement at Health City; it's been an amazing experience beyond my wildest expectations. I saw world-class medical care from some of the finest doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, the medical staff, the administrative staff at Health City, they were outstanding," said Blanton, who resides with his wife Barbara in Roatán in the Bay Islands of Honduras.

Knee replacement surgery is necessary when medications and other support are no longer helping to relieve pain from severe arthritis. A prosthesis is then needed to replace the damaged tissue in the joint. The procedure relieves patients' pain and allows them to resume their normal activities.

Before having his surgery, Blanton went through the necessary preoperative checkups to determine if his case qualified for the total replacement of both knees.

"His knee joints were giving him considerable pain from arthritis. And he was seeking to find a place where he finally could have the surgery. When I checked his knees they were pretty bad, and he needed a knee replacement in both," Dr. Almeida recalled.

Blanton's surgery was performed in two stages, with each knee being operated several days apart. He achieved highly successful results and was able to return to Honduras two weeks after his second surgery. Six weeks after the knee replacements, Dr. Almeida traveled to Roatán for a post-operative checkup to make sure Blanton was recovering well.

He was delighted to find that his patient had made a full recovery, and could go up and down stairs, bend over and even walk short and medium distances without using a walker.

"I feel like a new man," declared Blanton.