No Picture
General

Seven Things to Do in Athens, Greece

Seven Things to Do in Athens, Greece

Athens is best known for its role in classical history and for the tourist this is still the primary appeal. Other Greek destinations have overtaken Athens in promoting the nightlife and beach holidays, but Athens still reigns supreme for its history and tradition. However, Athens is also a modern city and the capital of Greece, so it still offers plenty more than just the ancient ruins of its glorious past.

Here is a list of seven of the more popular sights and activities for tourists visiting Athens:

The Acropolis. This has been the heart of Athens from antiquity and remains so today. The Parthenon, a massive marble temple in the center of Acropolis, is visible from almost everywhere in the city. The Acropolis actually has more than this and is a whole complex well worth exploring in detail.

Plaka. To get a sense of the modern city, visit the Plaka district. Full of souvenir shops, small cafes, restaurants and other local attractions, this is where you should go to get a feel of modern Athens and its people.

Psirri. This district has been fully renovated since the 2004 Olympics and is now the center of the Athens nightlife. If you want to find a party, head on down. The Gazi district is also happening, but is more popular with the gay scene.

Anafiotika District. To get a feel for the real city and escape the tourists in Plaka, visit this district. A maze of tiny, winding streets and alleys, this is more like the real Athens and is very picturesque.

National Archaeological Museum. This is an absolute must for those interested in Greek history and features the largest collection of ancient Greek artifacts anywhere. These come from all over Greece, not just Athens and Attica.

The Agora. Outside of, and below, the Acropolis, this was the marketplace of ancient Athens. Some of the ancient buildings still stand and some of the newer additions are quite notable in their own right.

Delphi. Along the same theme of ancient Greece, you can take a day trip from Athens to visit the ruins at Delphi, home of the famous Oracle. The organized tours are expensive, so consider just renting a car and going on your own.

Modern Athens is still a dynamic city in its own right, but no one denies that the primary tourist draw is the ancient ruins. For history buffs this place is wonderful while for others a brief visit will probably be satisfactory.…

No Picture
General

5 Indian States To Travel This Monsoon

5 Indian States To Travel This Monsoon

Gone are the days when anyone would advise you not to travel during the monsoons in India.

The travel concept has changed over the years as many travellers wait for the arrival of the monsoons to explore places which offer them enough excitement to make it a memorable experience.

Though India offers plenty exciting destinations but here we have listed out our top 5 states which are a must to travel in India during the monsoon season with minimal hiccups.

1. Jammu & Kashmir: Not the Kashmir Valley but just the region of Leh & Ladakh, which is a part of the Indus Valley and lies in the far flung corner of northern India. This remote place has some of the most exciting popular tourist destinations since it was opened in 1974, especially for adventure sport lovers.

2. Uttarakhand:This northern state comes alive during the monsoons. A part of the Himalayan kingdom, Uttarakhand has some stunning landscape, sanctuaries, hill stations and trekking destinations. Not to forget the river rafting which can be risky but with all the safety gears available is worth the effort.

3. Kerala: God’s own country, how true! During the rains Kerala is the place to be for everyone. The place invites you with open arms to enjoy its natural beauty and its unique safaris in the national parks and backwaters by boat, making it a very peaceful place to be. They say- One can smell the real fragrance of Kerala during the monsoons.

Kerala’s rainy season is ideal for Ayurvedic treatment as the atmosphere is cool, moist and dust free enabling your body to rejuvenate, naturally!

4. Goa:Although not recommended to enjoy the sun, sand and surf during the monsoon, Goa offers lot more than just beaches. Being part of Goa’s spectacular sceneries and vibrant monsoon festivals can be an experience by itself. You can go fishing if you like and be a part of the dance and music of the locals.

Goa can be affordable during monsoons as you can get attractive hotel deals during this time of the year before the peak season approaches and the prices shoot up.

5. Madhya Pradesh:This might be a surprise, but yes, it’s true that this statein central India offers plenty of destinations to be explored. Sanctuaries can be a sticky affair, Khajuraho, Mandu near Indore, Bedhaghat near Jabalpur and Pachmarhi with all its splendid waterfalls leave you mesmerized. Following the Narmada Riverand the sporting adventures that it offers can make your monsoon memorable.…

No Picture
General

Five Easy TripAdvisor Tips That Will Help Improve Online Marketing for Your Tourism Business

Five Easy TripAdvisor Tips That Will Help Improve Online Marketing for Your Tourism Business

My tourism marketing love affair with TripAdvisor has been getting stronger and stronger (well I love TA as a marketing tool for my tourism business but I am pretty sure they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about me!). Recently I discovered a couple of new ways to use TripAdvisor to help with online sales:

I have come up with 5 useful TripAdvisor tips that are helping me with online marketing for my tourism business.

1. Use your customer reviews to help sell your product.

Just a few weeks ago I had an enquiry from a customer for one of our hiking tours, she was very interested in the tour but had some reservations about her fitness and whether she might hold the group up.

I reassured her that we can cater for all different fitness levels and our guides are professionals who can cater to all types of people, but she still seemed a little unsure. Then an idea hit me, I replied to her email and referred her to our TripAdvisor reviews, gave her the link and even the posting dates of a couple of reviews with content addressing the exact concerns she had. The result? Online booking made the next day. The independent reviews of real customers had much more weight than my reassurances.

TripAdvisor Tip No.1

Use your TripAdvisor reviews to help in your sales, refer clients to reviews that address their specific concerns.

2. Use your TripAdvisor reviews/rankings in other promotional material.

Online marketing for your Tourism Business is the focus of this site, but as we all know there are other important channels such as travel agencies/wholesalers/inbound operators. TripAdvisor is becoming so global and is (in my opinion) the default online resource for travelers so I am sure many travel professionals use the site as well.

If you have great reviews on TripAdvisor, tell your trade partners about it. If you have recently been ranked #1 in your area, tell everyone about it. You can do this through your newsletter, your Facebook page, build it in to your sales presentations. Nothing speaks more volumes about the quality of our product than paying customers saying “This was great”

TripAdvisor Tip No.2

Use your best TripAdvisor reviews/ranking in your travel trade promotions as well. Stand up and shout “Our customers say we are the best”

3. Recycle your best reviews as online content for other sites.

My whole TripAdvisor experience has really taught me that the best kind of content is indepently written reviews recommending your product. The words of our satisfied customers are always going to have much more influence than our own self promotional talk.

Another part of my online strategy is posting syndicated content to online travel hubs (I will cover this more in later posts) and your best TripAdvisor reviews are perfect for this. The way you do this will vary depending on where you are posting but here are a couple of ways I do this:

– Post excerpts of reviews on our own blog page. Just take the content word for word and post it on your blog, Say you are posting to your blog once a week and you dedicate one post a month to customer reviews then that is one week of each month taken care of.

– Post reviews to your Facebook Page. Same as above, make sure you include a link in the post back to your site.

– Post reviews to online hubs. In New Zealand we have a new national tourism site which allows user generated content and as tourism business owners we are allowed and encouraged to post content. I take the reviews and post several short ones in an article created by me, I add a disclaimer at the end saying the post is by me and add a link to both our site and the actual review on TripAdvisor as well.

Key Point: Whatever you do, do not post fake reviews to any travel review site. Recycling genuine reviews will be OK on some sites but never create fake reviews. Make sure you follow the rules/policies …

No Picture
General

Yemen Tourist Attractions

Yemen Tourist Attractions

Yemen is often a region situated from the southwest an area of the Arabian Peninsula. Its borders are Saudi Arabia, Red Sea, Arabian Sea along with the Gulf of Aden, and Oman. Of its above 200 islands, the largest is Socotra. It truly is the only nation inside the peninsula that carries a republic type of government. The region has four principal regions: the eastern and western highlands, the Rub al Khali desert, and also the coastal plains. It is hot in Yemen during daytime and cool during the evening. The part that receives the highest amount or rainfall in the whole Arabian Peninsula may be the western highlands. The Rub al Khali desert, all the same, seldom receives rain.

People in Yemen are very classic conventional and this is manifested by their wearing of the classic traditional garb. The land has holidaymaker destinations which are frequented by individuals who fell in love with the beauty of the region. Its capital city Sana’a is declared like a earth heritage website by UNESCO. The metropolis is often a 200-year-old urban centre that’s ideal for sightseeing because of the structures that have substantial elements in the rich culture on the nation.

Marib is the one other area that displays the culture with the ancient Yemenite civilization through its notable structures. You will find 3 major types of tours a visitor can pick from when starting up a tour in Yemen: the Felix Arabia Tours, 1001 Nights Tour, and Queen of Sheba and Gulf Tour. These tours permit the vacationer to take pleasure from trekking and camping. The Felix Arabia Tours enables the visitor to visit the various cities in Yemen and to trek in the surrounding areas to view the vegetation and wildlife on the nation. The 2nd tour, which is the 1001 Nights Tour, offers a 13-day tour that starts at Sana’a. After two days, the group will head to the town of Marib and will then choose a camel ride inside the desert. The tour includes check out to various urban centers and beaches in a rural area. The Queen of Sheba an d Gulf Tours caters to those who would like to explore the state but don’t have sufficient time.…

No Picture
General

KERALA – Why It Is Called the God’s Own Country

KERALA – Why It Is Called the God’s Own Country

Kerala is a small state in India, very famous for its scenic beauty. It is situated at the southern part of India. Malyalam is the mother tongue of Keralites. Kerala is simply a visual treat for the visitors. The typical houses with Mangalore tiles and plenty of coconut trees and greenery all around presents an immense joy and peace to us. One only needs to get rid of the daily work pressure and take the family on a trip to the Paradise. One has to simply enjoy the pleasure of sailing in Kerala backwaters and watch the very attractive snake boat race during the onam season.

The population of Kerala is 33 million, approximately 1.5 times the population of Mumbai. Its area is 38, 863 square kilometres. The state is bordered by Karnataka on its north and north east, Tamil Nadu to the south and south east and Arabian Sea to the west. Thiruvananthapuram is its capital. Other major cities are Kochi, Kollam, Ernakulam and Kozhikode.

There is only one place in India with literacy more than 90% and it is Kerala. The facilities provide are quite great when you compare it with other states of India. People are more broad-minded at every issue. They are friendly and its great to spend some time with them.

Now, the following things you see in only in Kerala, makes it really a god’s own country!

Classical and Folk Dances:

Kathakali:

Kathakali is a spectacular classical dance. It’s the combination of dance, music, drama and ritual. ”Katha” means story and ” Kali” means play. Kathakali literally means ” Story – Play”. The dancers need special skills and plenty of patience since the makeup of the artistes is a time consuming process. Kathakali is famous for the very attractive make-up and elaborate colourful costumes, detailed gestures and well defined body moments in tune with the music.

Mohini Attam:

Mohini Attam is a classical dance. Mohini means lady. Attam means graceful and sensuous body movements. Mohiniattam means dance of the enchantress. The dance depicts the story of the devathas( angels) and the asuras(devils) churning out amrut(nectar) from an ocean. Lord Vishnu transforms himself as Mohini and used her guile to lure away the asuras from nectar and gave it to the devathas.

Theyyam:

Theyyam is also known as Kaliyattam or Thirayattam. It is one of the most outstanding folk dances of Kerala. It’s a sacred ritual dance performed to glorify the goddess Kaali.

Martial Arts:

Kalaripayattu is a well known martial art in Kerala. It means learning exercise of war fight. It comprises strikes, grips, grappling, preset forms, weaponry and healing methods etc.

Nature Cure and Ayurveda therapy:

Kerala is also well known for Nature Cure and Ayurveda therapy. The treatment may comprise Yoga, Herbal medicine treatment, mud bath, Diet Therapy, Stress Management etc.

Politics:

Kerala politics revolves around communism and INC. The ruling parties are either right wing communist combination or left wing communist combination alternating between these combinations.

Temples:

Anantha Padmanabh Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram(treasure trove) has become internationally famous recently due to is new found treasure. Sabarimala, Ayyappa temple, and Guruvayyur, Sri Krishna temple are the other popular temples.

The great positive energy surrounding these temples can, t be explained with words, you have to feel it.

Snake Boat Race:

The Nehru trophy boat race is the popular boat race in Kerala. It’s called ” Vallam Kali” in Malayalam. It means boat game. The race is conducted on the every second Saturday of August every year and it’s a major tourist attraction. The boat is about 40 metres(120 feet) long and comprises of about 120 rowers.

Food:

Idiyappam, Paal- Appam, Puttu and Aviyal are some of their popular food preparations. Coconuts are available in plenty. As such coconut is used in most of the food preparations.

Festivals:

Vishu is their new year. It falls in the month of April. They believe that their good luck will prevail if they see the ‘Kani’ on this day. Coconuts, fruits, Konna flowers and cereals are kept in big pots to prepare the Kani. The other major festival is Onam. This festival is celebrated in the …

No Picture
General

Hair Loss – Embarrassment To Many

Hair Loss – Embarrassment To Many

Hair loss is one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a person especially if it occurs prematurely. Our hair is an important part of our looks which can either make us look fantabulous or weirdly freaky. Loss of hair at a young age can totally devastate your self-esteem and negatively affect the way you socialize. The overall rate of hair loss among people throughout the world has significantly increased over the past 10 years which has led to the popularity of the various cosmetic hair treatments.

The problem of hair loss is prevalent among both men and women but these days it has become more common among the men. Reports indicate that two out of three males and one in five women suffer from hair loss problems. One of the most common diseases related to the hair loss is alopecia which refers to complete baldness. There can be various reasons for the thinning of hair or the hair loss ranging from stress, depression, hormonal problems and sometimes lack of essential nutrients and oils in the body. But due to advancements in the surgical and cosmetic technologies, all the problems related to the hair can now be taken care of without undergoing painful procedures.

Cosmetic Hair implantation procedures offer many potential benefits, the most evident being the improved appearance. Hair implantation can revive your youthful looks which can add a positive influence on your social as well as professional interactions. It can also boost your confidence and hence, improve your self-esteem which can in turn improve your outlook in life. Moreover, pertaining to the advancement in procedures, there are also the benefits such as pain-free treatments which can provide a permanent life-long solution to all your hair-related problems. And the best part is that the results can be seen immediately after the surgery. However, there are also a couple of complications attached to these cosmetic hair replacement or implantation surgeries.

Sometimes, the transplanted hair growth does not look natural, contrary to what you might be expecting. It may rather look like a patch of hair especially if it has been placed next to a thinning area. Bleeding and wide scars can also occur as a result of tension on the scalp area during the course of surgical procedure. Hair replacement or implantation surgeries can also make you prone to number of infections. Also, many a times, such surgeries may require repeated treatments which can prove out to be quite traumatic. The healing period is also long in many cases.

Besides these medical complications, one of the major hindrances in getting such cosmetic procedures done is the excessively high costs of such treatments, especially in the developed countries like the US. Plus, there are long and tiring medical formalities which have led to the rising trend of the medical tourism. Medical Tourism, Costa Rica offers numerous opportunities for various kinds of high-quality cosmetic procedures at affordable costs. Hospitals in Costa Rica are equipped with some of the most advanced technologies to offer world-wide services to the patients from all over the world. Hospital Clinica Biblica is one of the leading and the best-equipped hospitals for all your medical or health-related issues.

So experience natural-looking wonderful hair with the new hair replacement or hair implantation surgeries and get rid of all your hair loss and related problems by taking Medical Treatment Abroad.…

No Picture
General

Looking Beyond the Hype for the Real Expat Lifestyle

Looking Beyond the Hype for the Real Expat Lifestyle

“The times, they are a changin’.” The iconic lyrics from Bob Dylan have rang true over the years in more ways than one, in regards to both politics and finance as well as the state of the global economy and overall population on planet Earth. And if you are looking for a doorway into the reality of the current situation for expats around the world, those lyrics are the perfect description of the current reality.

Every year, more and more people are choosing to live abroad in other countries and the reasons are as varied as there are people on the planet. Yet despite this fact there is a singular reason that stands above all of the rest, which is simply that the times are changing, and with change comes a restructuring of elements that cause panic for some and peace of mind for others. For those who are stuck in the hamster wheel of economic duress, struggling to make ends meet in a reality where their jobs are paying less and less while the cost of living is going up and up, the situation seems dire. But for those of you who have chosen to look beyond your local areas for solutions the change is a positive one.

Once you change your mindset from local to global you will suddenly realize that there are literally millions of opportunities available for both financial independence as well as wealth and ‘s just that these things are no longer available in your home country. This is the reality for many an entrepreneurial expat, because they have chosen to substitute wage slavery in a country where the cost of living is beyond livable for a reality where they are paying a fraction of the costs in other countries. When you can keep your Western salary and trade it for a country where the cost of living is only $10,000 a year at most for all your basic amenities (compared to the U.S. where you need $30,000 to $50,000 a year to barely survive) you can find yourself riding high on the hog rather than living in abject poverty.

However, it does take a certain strength of mind to be able to transition into the expat lifestyle. It’s not something you can simply jump into on a whim and expect to see absolute results. If you want to truly change your life you have to be willing to go above and beyond the average individual’s capability of simply glancing at something and taking it for face value. Look at safety and security in foreign countries, for example. The vast majority of travelers take the State Department and Western media at their word when it comes to how dangerous countries around the world supposedly are, but the reality is that most countries around the world are as safe (if not safer than) the United States. Cancun, Mexico, for example, only has a murder rate of 2 in 100,000 compared to Washington D.C.’s 31 in 100,000 as of 2010 according to USA Today, so you have to be willing to look beyond the hype at the actual truth if you want to get the most benefits of living abroad as an expat.…

No Picture
General

Jaipur Tourism Offers Royal Attractions

Jaipur Tourism Offers Royal Attractions

Experience royalty to the hilt at one of the most enchanting cities of Rajasthan, Jaipur. It is a princely city where royalty, hospitality and luxury are found in plenty. It has rich history and glorious culture. Most of the city is painted in pink which gives it a wonderful look. It is the perfect place to see the charm of the bygone Rajput era. The city is famous for its stunning palaces, majestic forts, historic monuments, heritage hotels, handicrafts, semi-precious and precious stones.

Jaipur is also one of the destinations covered under Golden Triangle Tour. The other two destinations covered under this tour are Agra and Delhi. Jaipur city was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the year 1727. It is a well planned city built according to the principles of Vaastu Shastra.

Major attractions of Jaipur are:

The City palace

It is a stunning palace reflecting the traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. It is a seven-storied royal structure housing fascinating palaces, museum, temple, gardens and courtyards.

Jantar Mantar

It is an architectural wonder which is a must-see attraction of the city. It is an astrological stone observatory which was used to measure movements of the planets, stars and to measure other astronomical events. It was built by Sawai Jai Singh in 1716.

Amber Fort

It is a fascinating fort boasting of wonderful architecture and interiors. The intricate carvings and mirror work are the notable attractions of the fort. The fort is located on a hill and can be reached on an elephant. Surely you will enjoy the ride as it will give you a royal feel. Maotha Lake is located near the fort and can be seen from it.

Nahargarh Fort

Offering birds eye view of the surroundings, this fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II in 1734. It has nine wonderful apartments which were especially built by the king for his nine queens.

Shopping in Jaipur

It is a great pleasure to shop in the bustling bazaars of Jaipur. You will find a wide variety of handicrafts such as embroidered juttis, bags, blue pottery, jewellery, leather products, marble items, semi-precious and precious stones.

The best time to travel to Jaipur is from October to February as the climate remains pleasant during this time. And the perfect places to stay in the city are the heritage hotels. Falling into different categories like budget and luxury, the heritage hotels of Jaipur will surely make you feel like a king or queen.…

No Picture
General

Make Your Stay Comfortable at Rajasthan Wildlife Resorts

Make Your Stay Comfortable at Rajasthan Wildlife Resorts

Rajasthan, the largest state of India is globally known for its splendid mountains, beautiful forts, amazing palaces, terrific temples, gorgeous havelis, rippling sand dunes, rich culture & tradition, heritage hotels, etc. Besides these royal and imperial attractions, Rajasthan is also known for its thrilling wildlife destinations. Adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts from all over the world visit Rajasthan to explore its diverse wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Let’s have a look at top wildlife destinations of Rajasthan that are popular amongst travelers and Adventure enthusiasts.

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary: Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur is a famous wildlife destination of Rajasthan. The compound exquisiteness of this unique & diverse avifauna makes this sanctuary a paradise for bird lovers & Ornithologist. Further, the park is the home to numerous bird species comprising local and migratory birds. Well! Thousands of migratory birds come to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in winters. One finds about 230 species of local birds, here. It is truly a major destination for bird watchers and nature lovers. Also, this famous bird park is a declared UNESCO world heritage site. Some of the famed animals found here are heron, stork, great cormorant, green sandpiper, white spoonbill, sarus crane, bulbul, etc.

Ranthambhore National Park: Ranthambhore is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of India. Situated in Sawai Madhopur district, the park is known for its large population of royal Bengal tigers. In fact, it is one of the famous places to catch tigers in their own home. Further, the park is a home to variety of diverse species of birds, animals, reptiles & vegetation. It is also a known site for world famous banyan trees in India. Famous animals found in this park are leopards, wild dogs, wild boar, hyenas, sambar, deer, sloth bear, spotted deer, nilgai, etc.

Sariska Tiger Reserve: Sariska Tiger Reserve is a popular national park situated in Alwar District of Rajasthan. Being one of the most beautiful national parks, Sariska Tiger Reserve attracts large number of vacationers, every year. Dhok is the dominant tree found in this thrilling wildlife sanctuary. Further, other trees found here are Salar, Kadaya, Dhak, Gol, Ber, Khair, Bargad and a lot more. The park also houses a lot of rare and endangered animals and birds such as royal Bengal tigers, jungle cats, leopards, striped hyenas, spotted deer, golden jackals, caracals, leopard cats, nilgai, sambar, Great Indian Horned Owls Tree Pie, Bush Quail, Golden Backed Wood Peckers, Grey Partridge, etc. It won’t be wrong to say that this appealing destination of Rajasthan is right place for wildlife viewing & bird watching.

So, if you are a true wildlife lover, then get your adored Rajasthan tours, and enjoy.…

No Picture
General

Get to Know Zimbabwe

Get to Know Zimbabwe

Having had various names in the past – Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia – Zimbabwe now goes only by this name. Having regained independence from the United Kingdom in April 1980, the country entered its still ongoing era of Robert Mugabe’s rule.

The controversial leader has been President since 1987, and has been criticised internationally as an unfair ruler, tolerating state-level corruption and torture. His main opponent is Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, the country started experiencing economic turmoil with many industrial firms forced to shut due to high real interest rates.

Elections in 2002 gained international attention as they were found to be rigged, and members of the opposition found to have been intimidated and suppressed. In 2008, Tsvangirai went as far as to withdraw his candidacy for presidency due to violence against his party members.

Since 2009, a coalition government has been in force, with Tsvangirai the Prime Minister. Many believe this is the long awaited start of political change.

Tourism

In light of the political goings-on and the Land Reform programme that was passed in 2000, quite a few international airlines have stopped serving Zimbabwe. Though this has made travelling to the South African country a tad more difficult, it doesn’t in any way imply it’s not worth the journey. In fact, the tourism industry is seeing a gradual revival with international tour operators beginning once more to offer package deals and tours.

Zimbabwe is well worth a visit. Its best known attraction is Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall in terms of the overall size of its sheet of falling water. The falls are located on the river Zambezi, on the border with Zambia. Accommodation and amenities are available at the tourist towns nearby.

The Great Zimbabwe National Monument is the site of a ruined city, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. It was built from the 11th to the 14th Centuries. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The capital city of Harare is definitely worth exploring. Inner city sights worth seeing are the National Gallery, Chapungu Sculpture Park, the National Botanic Garden, and Kopje hill for stunning views.

To ease your travels, look into a cheap calls to Zimbabwe service to book your accommodation and tours.

English is an official language in the country so foreign visitors can communicate very easily with the friendly locals. As a tourist, there’s no need to worry about the political situation unless you do something to provoke a reaction.…