Category: Travel n Tour

The predominant factors comprising the frequent vacation spot competitiveness model facilitate to become aware of the important thing fulfillment factors of vacation spot marketing. Among the many approximate sets of indicators used to decide destination competitiveness, neighborhood stories are key points. Elaborate empirical and conceptual studies point out the relative strengths and weaknesses of various tourism destinations that could then be used to study the effect of nearby reviews on travelers and vice versa.

The discerning tourists of today’s global love exploring specific reviews each destination has to offer and move lots past staying within the pinnacle suite of lodges. Choosing the first-class dining options and spas has, in any other case, come to be passed. No online portal can take you to the hidden nuggets of the destination besides the local parents. To fit up with the millennials’ definition of travel, you want to indulge with the locals who are manner beyond any packaged vacation or cookie-cutter alternatives.

Agents

Blurring the borders of the traditional definition of a tour

Travel Agents need to realize that selling tour is, without a doubt, promoting happiness. Imbuing tour desires primarily based on interplay with nearby people makes the journey more significant than ever. Authenticity, simplicity, and tradition are the new watchwords driving the journey tourism quarter’s increase worldwide. The evolution of the complete new journey style is based totally entirely on indulging in nearby reviews. It isn’t always approximately the quality luxurious enjoy; however, the intrinsic neighborhood touch will certainly upload magic to the holiday memory. Remember that the most valued luxury is enjoyment.

Present-day culture vacationers have moved past the familiar environs and revel in the enjoy in itself. Clearly sufficient, travelers that like to interrupt the mold are extra interactive with local citizens. This paradigm shift has now not, however, absolutely stuck up with everybody yet. The awareness of investments nevertheless stays on the traditional tourism-associated additives.

To create a layered tour, the hospitality industry regularly promotes itself as the portals for the local people. Although that might not be necessary, the neighborhood enjoys will truly provide an aggressive advantage.

Blending countrywide subculture and background into luxury travel excursions want careful planning and is bound to decorate vacationer’s experience. Getting certified by the authorities tourism regulations which include inter-cultural training policy, helps make the travel dealers’ outset more brilliant.

Counter homogenization of the travel experience is the new clause of the tourism government. Embracing local cultural tourism can have an impressive lasting impact on travelers with a like-minded outlook. Traditional vertical distribution chains, some of the travel providers have given way to complicated value chains. For that reason, in this increasingly aggressive market, carriers want to capture each opportunity for competitive benefit. Collaborative gain through local and government partnerships is accordingly a new norm. The local way of life and society has ended up a crucial part of the tour cost chain. The incorporated inter-relationships among journey and other socio-monetary sectors are now conceived as a ‘price network.’

Promoting Local Cuisine

Sustainable tourism, which is tantamount to responsible tourism, has been a primary situation inside the tour industry for a couple of years. Experiencing the local subculture largely contours around the traditional gourmet enterprise. Trying conventional meals completes the cultural experience of the place. Talking about the monetary factor, if you are ingesting at McDonald’s, rather than benefiting the local community, a chief bite of it leaves the nearby socio-economic circle. The international visitor’s gang consists majorly the Western tourists, and without a lot of doubt, the want for Western meals is usually better than the neighborhood recipes.

While visiting for a single night’s life, human beings might think it not crucial sufficient to connect to the nearby traditions. However, pennies in the pocket of the neighborhood delicacies enterprise help uplift the local tourism enterprise on a bigger photo. Walking into a McDonald’s or a KFC would possibly fill your tummy but will neither upload to the local tourism region nor decorate your enjoy. For example, Vietnamese pho is now a large pull for travelers in Vietnam, and when in Costa Rica, do now not pass over Gallo Pinto. Building connections with the neighborhood folks aren’t always usually the most effective token you get in return. Still, you honestly assist in building a perception about your nationality as an entire. A country’s background is strongly rooted within the local people’s reminiscences, and because the vintage oldsters say, the way to a person’s heart is thru his belly!

Experiential journey – developing a deeper join

The call for ‘experiential travel’ is arguably the most huge in addition to systematic fashion in international tourism. The time period generally defines the immersive, true, neighborhood, and greater energetic journey trends. While some travel enthusiasts would love to argue that travel is inherently ‘experiential’ by nature and that the time period is overused, the concept is to make it extra mainstream. Travel consumer mindset has varied wildly about local tourism, and its miles its diploma of definition varies extensively how the general fashion is approached.

On a deeper emotional and greater non-public degree, human beings want to tour better in the quiet of the day. Growing numbers of tourists shying far away from the conventionally packaged travel brochure are valid evidence of how local stories depend on the brand new age tourists.

Going Social

Relying on technology and international networks of small and man or woman tour carriers, travel manufacturers impart extra connected experiences. An almost limitless online matrix of social media networks preserves us linked regardless of in which we tour. But mockingly sufficient, those social networks are step by step isolating people in real lifestyles than supporting them make toward human connections. The online sharing portal pair vacationers with the neighborhood citizen community and provide enjoyment to tour like nearby.

With packaged tourism dropping its appeal among modern-day day vacationers, it digs the query of what exactly true travel is. Consumer facts would possibly monitor a section of those solutions, but monitoring social media will deliver a natural result. For travel brands focused on specific niches, evaluating and adapting to the changing tour behavior is plenty essential.

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Tech tools

Undoubtedly, the most influential and dependable tech tool for millennials is the telephone. Mobile telephone region technology has made connections right on niche apps, review-filled maps through Google, and many others. I have made making plans for set-piece activities less complicated than ever earlier. The transparency of peer-to-peer lodging and transportation offerings like Airbnb and BlaBlaCar upload to the authenticity of the tour experiences and their opinions. The underbelly of an area can only be supplied with the aid of the natives of the vicinity and, as a consequence, creates a difference in the authenticity of the tour enjoy.

Experiences

Large enterprise players have additionally been selected to head all the way down to the neighborhood level. The Instagrammable ideas and snapshots of the much less explored destinations are amusing in themselves. With a series of themed courses and commissioned journey recommendation via savvy locals, have discovered intense popularity among the new age travelers. The aim is for tourists to get a proper nearby experience of the vacation spot. Travel Companies can do properly to observe the adage – Think international, act neighborhood!

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What is a charity project?

According to the Institute of Fundraising: “the thing which distinguishes ‘a charity mission occasion’ is that the player is likewise receiving a more than notional gain, which in lots of instances has an economical fee attached and seeks to fundraise from supporters in admiring of their participation.”

Can smaller charities get in on the act?

In a word: yes! Supporters of smaller charities can improve price range by using taking part in any range of ‘open’ distant places challenge occasions, arranged by using charity task tour operators such as Classic Tours, Charity Challenge, and The Ultimate Travel Company’s Ultimate Challenges.

Charity demanding situations: the professionals and cons
There’s no question that overseas demanding situations can have massive advantages for charities:

Publicity: Overseas challenges are a tremendous way of gaining public interest, mainly if a movie star is worried.

Long-time period assists: Charities testify that the intensity of the journey excursion task enjoys, with its sense of shared fulfillment and actual hardships overcome, often interprets as long-term help.

Sustained boost publicity: Kate Favell, World Experiences Event venture manager at the British Heart Foundation, points out that those participating in major foreign places travel demanding situations are probably to be engaged in fundraising for many months before an event takes vicinity. Charities, therefore, advantage substantially from sustained public exposure.

Mission and message – the double whammy: For charities that include the British Heart Foundation, remote places journey demanding situations are also a super manner of reinforcing the lifestyle selections they purpose to sell more commonly: workout, healthy eating, etc.

 Charity

But it’s not all positive. It’s important to think about the subsequent, too:

The financial climate: Charities endorse that the downturn has certainly affected remote places demanding situations but diffused methods. According to Denise Davies, Head of Community Fundraising at the Motor Neurone Disease Association, greater modest weekends and European challenges have suffered; humans are actually focusing on their ‘should do’ reports. In reaction, the MND Association has changed its strategy, which specializes in presenting the overseas charity venture ‘large 3’: Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu, and the Great Wall of China. Kate Favell on the BHF reports that fundraisers are also locating it more difficult and wanting longer to elevate sponsorship. It is vital to preserving in touch with participants to help them if they want more proposals or innovative fundraising ideas.

The charity/assignment stability: Charles Getliffe at charity journey excursion operators Classic Tours warns charities in opposition to being seduced into presenting more than one uncommon occasion. It’s not ‘suitable,’ says Charles, for charities to set themselves up as journey agents: fewer, greater centered activities ship out a higher signal all spherical.

Tour operators: position and desire

The number of organizations specializing in distant places charity demanding situations is growing, and the excursion operator you choose will make sure your achievement is vital. In idea, operators deal with arranging the adventure excursion travel undertaking, while charities are accountable for promoting and collecting monies.

In practice, it is rarely clean reduce, and tour operators commonly provide massive recommendations and guidance on such issues as advertising, felony considerations, and planning. (It’s really worth noting that The Ultimate Travel Company’s Ultimate Challenges advise starting to plan any overseas task occasion 12-14 months earlier.)

The Institute of Fundraising endorse investigating each tour operator and their subcontractors thoroughly – for example, take a look at safety data and moral policy – and piss-take a look at with any relevant industry our bodies. Consider your personal rights as a charity if you cannot proceed together with your deliberate task. Additionally, what type of deal is the operator supplying contributors: are they asked to sign unreasonable liability waivers?

Travel

How a lot can remote places’ challenges boost?

Obviously, this could vary significantly; however, as Charles Getliffe at Classic Tours reiterates, it’s miles important continually to preserve The Charity Commission’s hints in thoughts. Any task has to improve 50 consistent with cent, and ideally 60 percent, greater than the cost of administrating and running the venture.

Denise Davies gives the subsequent example:

A recent MND Association Machu Picchu trek fee each player £2,900. The funds raised using the 38 individuals totaled £191,000. £ seventy-five,000 of this turned into spent on working and administrating prices, consisting of a charge of £67,000 to the excursion operators, ensuing a final overall of £116,000 internet being raised for the charity.

Which travel charity challenge?

The fun bit. But even as a Peruvian pony trek might clutch the eye, a European bike experience is more feasible for some charities. Plus, the latter will earn you low carbon factors as properly: recall thinking about viable vital insurance your occasion would possibly appeal to. Other issues to reflect consideration on consist of:

Other charities’ activities: The Institute of Fundraising suggest researching different charities’ activities to avoid conflicts and over-saturation (Everest can handiest accommodate such a lot of subsidized mountaineers!).

Location: Consider likely hazards – natural and human – and consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if important. Publicity also can be harder to come by way of if the location you choose for your event is obscure.

Current guide: What are the hobbies of your contemporary supporters? Profiling cutting-edge donors to perceive areas of the hobby is critical, plus it’s critical to be guided by their probable competencies. An Everest task is not ideal if the maximum of your supporters is in their seventies!

Bespoke or open? Tour operators usually offer ‘bespoke’ challenges (exceptional to the charity worried) and ‘open’ challenges. Open challenges are conceived and planned through tour operators themselves, and individuals then sign on to raise cash for something purpose they pick out. As Connie Potter of The Ultimate Travel Company factors out, bespoke demanding situations require financial commitments from charities – as an example, a non-refundable deposit for institution flights – and therefore are not continually an alternative for smaller corporations. However, the blessings of bespoke occasions are widespread: one-of-a-kind branding and an extra team spirit (due to a uniting common cause), which is much more likely to translate long-time period support. Classic Tours’ Charles Getliffe advises charities who purpose to enlist an extra than 30 members to choose a bespoke occasion.

Fundraising

Legal problems

As the Institute of Fundraising points out, the legal troubles surrounding distant places charity challenges are extremely complicated, and charities should searching for independent legal advice. While the Institute can’t find the offer recommendation itself, it indicates the Charity Law Association as one assistance source.

The Institute’s own Charity Challenges Events Code of Fundraising Practice is crucial reading for anyone wishing to set up a mission occasion. It gives a supply of best exercise guidance but has not to be used instead for criminal advice. The Institute also emphasizes that the Charity Challenges Events Code should be read alongside the Code of Fundraising Practice as a whole.

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China is a huge united state at a size of nine,596,960 square km. China was handiest partly open to the world from 1980 onwards and has been a communist country for many years. Although there may be an awful lot of development within China’s tourism industry and infrastructure, there continue to be areas that need to be improved before it can shape the level that most tourists would require.

However, plenty of the amusing remains that its far one-of-a-kind from the rest of the world. China may be the host kingdom for the Olympics in the Year 2008. Travel centers and infrastructure will be improving speedily as we method Year 2008.

China is wealthy in tradition and records. Visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing, sip Chinese tea in Xiamen, dance with ethnic tribes in Yunnan, check out 19th Century European homes in Qingdao – there are so lots to do and notice in China!

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Below are a few tour tips to make your journey in China less complicated:

Entry Visa

China requires an entry visa from most nations. Apply to the Chinese consulate or via your journey agent before traveling to China.

Climate

Extremely various; tropical in south to subarctic in north. Be organized with the right seasonal garb.

Foreign Exchange

The unit of forex is called Renminbi(RMB) or Yuan. Get some Chinese Yuan on your nearby u. S . A. Earlier than traveling. When in China, trade overseas currency for nearby foreign money in the banks or on the motel. Banks generally tend to give slightly better quotes than accommodations. Take be aware that some banks close for a noon siesta between 12-2 pm.

Payment facilities

Most higher magnificence resorts and purchasing centers take Credit Card or Travellers Cheques. Smaller lodges and stores take coins best. Once out of the larger cities, credit cards and ATM cards tend to be nearly impossible to utilize. Cash continues to be king in Chinese enterprise and alternate.

Counterfeit notes are not unusual in China. Check cautiously before accepting the exchange, specifically if it is normally composed of 100RMB notes. You can experience a texture distinction wherein counterfeit notes are involved.

Understanding of English

Most civil servants, customs officials, police, hotel personnel, and men on the road no longer speak English or at great a smattering of English.

Most signboards and notices will carry both English and Chinese. However, be aware that a few translations may be so notorious that one could hardly ever recognize what becomes it is original Chinese intention.

Do not assume resorts or shops to apprehend English. Only the very huge accommodations may have a team of workers to recognize English.

Most younger humans can understand primary English in case you speak slowly.

Social Security

China is normally a safe us of a. However, dangle on tight for your wallet, in particular in crowded, popular traveler sites in traveler towns together with Beijing and Xian.

These traveler cities have various touts inside the streets, touting travelers from foreign exchange to jewelry to girl companionships. Avoid all fees!

Business

Domestic Travel

Bus, educate, ferries, and domestic flights are pretty well developed. Avoid the gang on the stations and e-book your tickets thru the lodge excursion table or the nearest tour agent. Prices are possible to be competitive, and tickets may be delivered to your lodge room. Again, avoid ticket touts who approach you in the streets.

Local buses are cheap (US$zero.10 or YS$zero.20), and you could need to strive out. Taxis are convenient and are to be had in any respect hours. Starting fares fluctuate from each city and maybe as reasonably priced as US$zero.70 in Weihai and US$1.50 in Shenzhen.

Avoid journey in China at some point of top vacation seasons or ebook tickets properly ahead.

Local Hotels

There is a great preference for motels in China, starting from one famous person to the most highly-priced 6 stars. Most of the time, the rooms are safe and smooth, and for my part, reasonably priced does no longer imply awful.

Many websites are promoting China inn rooms on the internet. You can also check out the tour counters that are to be had in most teaching, bus stations in addition to the airport.

Book in advance if traveling in top seasons.

Peak Tourist Seasons

Chinese New Year: Date varies; however, usually past due January or early February.

May Day: First weeks of May

China National Day: Middle weeks of October

Avoid traveling at some point of that length. Book rooms and travel modes way early if need to tour. Believe me, the crowds throughout these time frames can be scary. What do you count on whilst the entire Chinese state of eight billion humans are on vacation as well!

Chinese Food

Local food is truely appropriate. Try as a good deal Chinese meals as your wallet or belly can have the funds for. Restaurants are to be had anywhere and open to past due hours. Most restaurants will have a menu that consists of images of the various dishes. Better yet, definitely point on the food that your next-door table is having, especially if it appears delicious!

However, keep away from roadside stalls and drinking directly from the faucets if you have a delicate belly.

Telecommunications

China

Mobile phone insurance in China is ideal for maximum places. Global vehicle-roaming within China isn’t a problem.

Internet

There are cyber cafes anywhere in China, mainly in vacationer areas. Most are patronized via younger people gambling online games, but you still can check your Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail. Access can be a chunk sluggish for international websites.

You will want to show your passport as China has tight guidelines at Internet Cyber Cafes.

Toilet centers

One of the worst enjoy many have with China is the atrocious toilet facilities. Things have advanced very much; however, it can still be an awesome concept to drain your belly or bladder at each possibility in an inn, restaurant, or departmental keep. Public toilets and toilets in small shops may be a nose danger!

* Useful China tour recommendations *

Try to get an English talking excursion manual at every opportunity you can. China has a wealthy and terrific history and culture, and without a manual, one way or the other, the flavor and significance of most excursion websites can be lost.

*Sneaky tip: Hang around a collection that has an English speaker manual if you can’t have the funds for one!

Always ask for a taxi driving force receipt so that you can whine if you have been cheated or for tracing purposes in case you take place to depart your digital camera behind in the taxi.

Try to take the same card for every lodge you are staying at, as these cards could have a Chinese address and a map of your hotel area. This is beneficial if you want to help locate your way back to the English version, or the pronunciation of a hotel or a road name may be pretty extraordinary from the Chinese model.

After a tiring day, test out Chinese foot reflexology or Chinese TuiNa (Chinese rubdown). Wonderful for the frame after a tough day and very cheap also. Look out for shop signs and symptoms that indicate toes! They are anywhere.

Make friends with the Chinese whenever you can. They love to fulfill foreigners and could make accurate excursion guides. Just purchase a small gift as a small token of appreciation.

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The ocean covers most parts of the world, so you can imagine that there are many amazing beaches yet to be explored. Some beaches are plain, but there are also beaches with unique features that you won’t find anywhere. If your dream is to see the world, you should definitely include some beach destinations in your trip. The following are the 4 best beach vacation spots in the world.

Best Beaches in the World

1. Bathsheba Beach

Bathsheba Beach, also known as Soup Bowl, is a surfing beach with lots of rough waves on Barbados’ west coast. Every year, there will be a surfing competition which attracts local and international surfers. The beach is also known for its rock formations. Every day, many big size volcanic rocks will wash up the shore. The most famous boulder is Bathsheba Rock. There are lots of red flags, so it is not a safe place to swim. It is also not a good place for walking by the beach as it has seaweeds that reach as tall as 5 feet. However, it is a good place for enjoying the sea scenery and cool breeze.

2. Bahia de la Chiva

Bahia de la Chiva is a long white sandy beach that stretches with very blue water in Isla de Vieques, Puerto Rico. The US Navy that used to occupy it gives it the name Blue Beach. They are lots of safe swimming spots, but it is not the place for performing body surfing activities. You can drive a four-wheel drive all the way into the water up to a certain distance. If you dive under the water with snorkeling equipment, you will get to see a stingray, pufferfish, clownfish, and corals. There is no restroom, food vendor, or shop that rent lounge.

3. Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach is a crescent shape sandy beach that measures more than 6.3 miles long on Grand Cayman Island. The expansive beach offers plenty of spaces for performing activities like strolling, building a sandcastle, sun tanning, and watching the ocean scenery. There are a few small reefs, for example, Cemetery Reefs, where snorkelers can explore various marine creatures. If you are hungry, you can grab some refreshments at the food vendors on the beach. There is also a wide array of water sports you can do at Seven Mile Beach, including banana boat, paddle boat, jet ski, and wade in the water.

4. Catedrais Beach

Catedrais Beach is a beach with cliff formations that resemble arches in Lugo, Spain. The natural arches that reach as high as 30 meters are a reminder of giant Cathedrals’ buttresses. It is said that the sound made by the wind passing through the arches is similar to the sound from a church organ. During high tide, you can wander on top of the cliffs and get a good view of the seascape. If you want to climb the cliff, make sure you have experience in rock climbing and wear good shoes to prevent slipping. When it is low tide, you will see the cliff’s actual size and explore the big sea caves.

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Eating out in Malaysia is an experience of its own. The warm, sweet, and spicy curries accompany with perfectly cooked proteins are a moment to savor. While several sites offer a wide array of articles, blog posts, and tour guides to explore the culinary heritage via Malaysia holidays and tour packages, we have collated these must-try items so that you do not have to miss the rich, hearty meals while in Malaysia. Read on to find our top picks.

Malaysian Cuisine

1. Laksa

Laksha has been recognized as the second most popular dish globally by Lonely Planet and outranks the buffalo wings, fish, and chips in Britain and the steak tartare from Paris. While there are many versions of laksa available all over Malaysia, the laksa curry or soup is predominantly rice vermicelli or rice noodles in a spicy soup along with some protein, largely prawn, pork, fish, or some other seafood. The spicy soup is available in a wide variety, including sour, sweet, sweet and spicy, sweet and sour, and so much more. We rest our case here. A bowl of laksa in Kuala Lumpur or Penang is a must when you are in Malaysia next.

2. Char Kuey Teow

Chow Kuey Teow is a rice noodle dish originating in Penang and well-celebrated street food served all across the country by small hawkers. The chew kuey Teow includes prawn, egg, cockles, pork lard, and bean sprouts. The fresh spring onions and soya sauce render a rich, dark, characteristic sweet, salty and spicy flavor. The charred flavor of the Chinese sausage, a rare but delicious component over the wok, makes it the delicious and sticky favorite amongst tourists and localities.

3. Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak is fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, pandan leaf and served with an assortment of accompaniments, including hard-boiled eggs, the quintessential sambal, peanuts, slices of cucumber, ikan bills, and much more. This popular dish has several popular in Thailand, Singapore, and some parts of the Philippines. What makes the Malaysian version so popular is their spin and the true roots of the dish originating in the Malaysian coasts for farmers who wanted a hearty meal.

4. Wonton Noodle

Wonton Noodles are a popular delicacy in Malaysia with thinly sliced egg noodles with Chinese kale, kai lan, sliced roasted meat (pork or beef), and wonton dumplings stuffed with minced pork or prawn. This is available in a dry and a wet version throughout Malaysia. While the dry version consists of the noodles tossed in dark soya sauce, the wet version of wonton noodles is soaked in beef or chicken stock. It is wholesome, packs a punch of flavor, and the authentic local ingredients make it a must-try item when in Malaysia.

Beware! You might feel the urge to drop by, again and again, to get your cravings for Malay food satiated.

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France, along with many other countries in Europe and throughout the world, has been affected by wars throughout history. France has been at the forefront of many wars throughout its history, and due to this reason, it is a haven for war and history buffs to visit, both due to the many monuments located throughout the country and the many battlefields and historic locations throughout the country. Many places remain that can be visited, from mansions in France used by the Nazis to palaces lived in by Napoleon. There is history for everyone.

France

Although war and its aftermath will always be controversial, the fact remains they happened. These events’ locations are interesting and intriguing to academics and amateurs who have connections or have read about history. A few countries will always be important to these aspects of history and franchise one of them. Here we have looked at several locations associated with a few different wars in Frances history. We will look at why they are important and how it might be possible to visit these locations.

Schoenenbourg Maginot Line Fort:

This fort was one of France’s series after world war I to stop any future German invasions. These forts and other underground tunnels were built along the German and French border and were designed to last continued assault.

This fort especially contained food and weapons stocks and its own water and electricity supply. Following WWII, it remained in use until the mid-1980’s due to the cold war and several other political reasons. When it fell into disrepair, local councils took it upon themselves to restore the fortifications’ remains and later open it up to the public.

Somme battlefields:

The sight of huge death and destruction during the first world war is now quite a beautiful location in which it is hard to believe that over a million soldiers lost their lives during the enormous battle. Many tours will take you to some of the most important locations on the battlefield or stroll around the area yourself. As not much remains of the fortifications or the battle itself, it Is hard to comprehend the events which took place here, though it is still hugely important to events that took place in Europe in the years after the war.

The region of Piccadilly where the battles occurred can be easily reached by car from Paris as it is located just North of the city. There are several towns in the area where you can glean some history of the area and the battles, and here would also be some of the starting points for the tours.

Oradour-Sur-Glane

The site of one of the many atrocities carried out by the Nazis in world war two. The town of Oradour-Sur-Glane was almost destroyed in 1944, and over 600 residents were killed. The ruins remain a reminder of the war events, and they are now protected by French law, although tours are permitted in the area. A museum has been built at a distance away from the ruins not to disturb the area.

Survivors of the town rebuilt the town a few miles away as they could not return to the site of this incident. The ruins can be reached from the larger town of Limoges, which is serviced by several airlines.

Normandy beaches:

Arguably the most important battlefield in recent French history, the Normandy beaches, was the D-day landings science on the 6h of June 1944. They marked a turning point in the western side of the war in ww2 as allied forces began to push from the west. The beaches now contain many memorials to the events of that day, and there are a few remnants of the battlefield which can be explored.

The surrounding areas contain many museums, exhibits, and tours which you can take. The cemeteries of the fallen soldiers on both sides of the war can also be seen on a trip to the areas with tours organized among these as well.

You can reach Normandy in up to two hours from Paris y car, and there are also ferry and train services available. It may be possible to organize a tour from Paris through your accommodation or a travel agency.

Arc de triumph:

Located along the famous Champs, Elysee is probably the largest and most famous war artifact located in France. Located in Paris’s capital, this monument was probably on your to see list even without its connections to Napoleon and the first world war. Napoleon ordered its construction to commemorate the soldiers lost in the Napoleonic wars.

It contains many engravings of battles and events throughout the wars. Its construction took over 30 years, and later, the tomb of the unknown soldier has added to comfort the lives lost in both world wars. Even for those without an interest in history, this will surely be a location you visit on a trip to Paris.

Although a somber subject, these places are hugely important to world history and France in particular. Take your time to appreciate the significance and impact of each location in history. Some places will be of interest to you, while others may not be, but they are all worth a visit.

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India may give a contract of its second high-speed rail to Japan, and both the countries are planning to work it out during the two-day Japan visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. If it works out, it’s going to be Japan’s second such project in India. The first was also a high-speed rail link based on the Shinkansen bull train technology and will be connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The second project is expected to become up either in southern or central India. Officials from both countries are discussing the proposals. Japan is keen to expand the high-speed rail network in India, and if the project gets completed, it will be a revolutionary step regarding the time taken for train travel in India.

Travel n Tour

Engineering design work for the first link is expected to start by December next month. Japan provides financial help in the form of a loan of up to 81% of the cost at a nominal interest rate of 0.1% annually. The Indian Railways has identified at least five other corridors like Delhi-Mumbai, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Nagpur, and Mumbai-Nagpur, for running 300 kmph or higher-speed trains. Studies regarding feasibility are being conducted for these routes.

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Besides Japan, China is also in the reckoning for developing high-speed rail networks in India.
(Image: Indiatimes)

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Expectations and realities, sometimes, reside on different sides of the galaxy. Inundated with visuals of Rekha dancing to ‘Salaam-e-Ishq meri Jaan Zara Ku bool Kar lo’ in a visually stunning Kotha, the eyes, however, saw the stark reality of what it is to be Zohrabai these days. It’s the darkest beneath the lights, an expression that aptly describes the shanties housing close to a lakh prostitutes co-existing with some of Mumbai’s toniest neighborhoods. Ever wondered what Diwali, or, for that matter, any festival is like in the red light district of the city? Is it colorful? Or is it business as usual for the women, trying their non-existent charm cards on prospective clients? All these questions called for a cab ride to two of the most notorious localities of the city, where prostitutes compose their love songs in grim rooms of despair.

Where the festival lights fail to travel 9

A cabbie, with evident reluctance, agreed to ply two pleasantly dressed women to Kamathipura, lane number 14, which is next door to the old-world ruins of Alexandra Cinema. The reason for reluctance dawned on us once we got to Kamathipura, one of the oldest existing prostitution zones of Mumbai. Located near Belasis Road, it is unlike anything one has been subjected to (or seen through the eyes of celluloid) — the place smells of bodies, stale food, dim staircases, and dead hopes of women. No lanterns, no lights dangled from their balconies to welcome us, but their dead stares.

Lane number: 14

We walked into the dingy lanes a little past 4 pm. The women looked like birds caged in a zoo in the fading sun, with dyed hair and garish loud lip colors on caked-up faces. A brothel was awaiting its prospective customers for the day. A prostitute in her mid-30s grudgingly let us in, although she said it wasn’t a good time for us to be there.

We were anxious about what we’d see once we climbed up the claustrophobic narrow, and dark staircase. There were plastic doors on the first floor and separators that slit a typical one BHK flat into multiple rooms to house one or two people at best. We met three women there. The rest were sleeping in their respective rooms after servicing clients. The younger woman was draping a netted sari and had tucked her mobile inside her oddly fitted blouse.

Tina, in her 20s, has been servicing men for three years now. She entertained our queries while an older lady looked on, and another continued to wash smelly linen and utensils. “Diwali is business as usual for us though it can get pretty lonely. We go back to our native places as there aren’t that many customers around this time. We barely do any decorations here. Whatever we earn is barely enough to suffice our needs. Why just Diwali? No festivals are celebrated here. But it (in the name of a festival) gives us an excuse to take some time off and go back home,” says Tina.

Radha Akka, who was watching us, decided to speak up too. She’s a worker in the two-storeyed building for 30 years now. She has seen the glamor and money swell and deflates. She rewinds, “This place is more than a hundred years old. There was a time when women made ` 5 and could still save money. We celebrated festivals. But now, the earnings aren’t all that high. And there aren’t that many women here either. Once, this place was brimming with faces. Not anymore. Abhi to zyada mard aate Bhi Nahi. Diwali mein Woh Ghar pe hotel house. Idhar Kam aate hai to Diwali zyada gram Nahi Hota,” she says.

Lane number: 11

On our way out, we dodged past lecherous men and moved into another lane, which turned out to be a residential chawl. Nita Gala, a resident for decades, tells us that a cleansing drive, almost a year ago, confined prostitutes in the area to a few lanes. “We’ve faced problems because of them. Bacchon ki Shaadi Nahi ho paati. Not too many people come to our homes on Diwali because of the area we’re living in, but we still try celebrating it in our own way. We don’t have an option, so we’re not moving. But we have a clear demarcation. Their area is across the road.

The schools for their children and their living quarters are all on that side,” she said, pointing to the lane we had just left behind. On our way out, we saw a clinic that provides health-care facilities to the sex workers in the district. We paced towards a couple of other lanes. Outside Lane No 11, we met Lipika, a mother of five children who stay in their hometown in Bihar. Wary of being photographed, she was, however, more forthcoming and confident than her colleagues we met so far.

Women here often don’t know the name of the father of their babies but are mighty protective about them. Who wants their children to be trapped in the drudgery of the sex trade?” counter-questions Lipika, the loneliness in her eyes is hard to ignore. She continues, “Tyohaar ka time hai didi. Baccha log Ghar pe hai. Idhar, aadmi log aata hai jiska aurat gaaon mein hai. Hamara Diwali to dard mein hi jaata hai, koi aaye ya nahi aaye. Pahile bahut accha kamai tha lekin ek saal se bahut kam ho gaya. Kabhi to khaali sau rupiye milta hai din ka.

Festival or no festival, for thousands of women like Lipika, Radha, and Tina, their bodies have to get to work, so there’s a meal at the end of the day. And if the cops nab them for standing on the streets to attract customers, they better have enough to pay the fines. As we walked past the brothels of Kamathipura, on our way out, we turned around for a final glance at the area. More women had appeared at road crossings, doors of their dingy shanties, intersections of bylanes, and some perched at the windows of their homes. Nights become days here. A couple of men glanced at them. We could have called that admiration, except that it wasn’t.

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Kennedy Bridge

We decided to make our way to Kennedy Bridge and learned yet again that hailing a cab to or from a red light area is not easy, not for women for sure. We grabbed one which plied us there and dropped us where the infamous bridge ended. This wasn’t an in-your-face prostitution zone, but the women were all out there. They were younger, dressed in casual clothes, and strolled around freely on the street. Their hideout was tucked inside an unsuspecting colony of shawls. Most of them were at that point hailing taxis to attend to their customers waiting at a lodge, hotel, or maybe, the comforts of their homes. When we tried asking one of the girls, she retreated and mumbled, “Sorry, ma’am.

I can’t talk to you.” That sentence from her in English left us stumped. When we asked around in the neighborhood, it turns out that there is no Diwali celebration here either. It’s as dark as that of their fellow professionals in another zone of the city. Legendary writer Manto, we’re told, once stood near the Falkland Road, another restricted entry zone in Mumbai, then Bombay, and observed the goings-on in the streets. In another instance, in his poem titled Prostitute, Gulzar wrote: Trampled in the midst of a lush field.

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The Dalai Lama is free to travel to any part of India, and China’s objections about Arunachal Pradesh will not be accepted, the BJP has said. As far as whoever wants to visit any part of India, they can do so, and these kinds of comments are uncalled for. They do not help in Bilateral relations in any way,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI in Delhi. China, on Friday warned India that bilateral ties might suffer “damage” if it allows the Tibetan spiritual leader to visit Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims is part of southern Tibet. It routinely objects to visits by the Dalai Lama and foreign leaders to the Indian state.

Dalai Lama free to travel to any part of India, says BJP 11

The border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). India asserts that the dispute covered the Aksai Chin area, which China occupied during the 1962 war. China objected on October 24 to US ambassador Richard Verma’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, saying any interference by Washington in the Sino-India boundary dispute will make it “more complicated” and “disturb” hard-won peace at the border.

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The travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors have been eagerly awaiting the government’s decision on goods and services tax (GST) and how it will get implemented in the country. While finance minister Arun Jaitley has finalized the four-tier tax slabs, the industry players continue to look for more clarity on how positively or negatively GST will impact their respective businesses. When contacted, executives from travel and hotel companies said they could not comment as precise details were not available to decipher the impact of GST on their operations.
According to taxation experts, the impact of GST on the tourism and hospitality sectors will completely depend on the slabs under which the various services are being taxed.

Travel, hotel industries seek further clarity on tax rate, credits under GST 13

For example, said Divyesh Lapsiwala, tax partner – GST, EY India, the tourism sector is taxed at around 30% of the tour value (i.e., an effective rate of 4.5% service tax is levied). “It will be important to understand how such services will fit in the rate structure. The industry was also hoping that the government will bring in the TOMS mechanism, also called tour operator’s margin scheme, which is practiced in the developed markets,” he said. However, there appears to be no clarity on the TOMS mechanism getting introduced in India.

Secondly, agency services about air tickets – domestic and international – are taxed at 0.7% and 1.4%, respectively, on the base fare plus fuel surcharge. “It is not clear whether such presumptive rates will continue, and the impact of this on net tax cost to consumers,” said Lapsiwala. As far as the hospitality sector is concerned, the biggest concern for hotel companies is whether their outstation clients will get GST credit or not. “Currently, a firm in Mumbai can claim GST credit for holding an event in a hotel in Goa. Will that be possible in the GST regime is not clear,” said Lapsiwala.

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For the consumer goods and durables industry, there seems to be a view that goods may be bucketed into two rates categories, viz. 18% and 28%. “The segregation and classification of goods will be significant for this industry, and a detailed description of what will get taxed and by how much will decide the prices of those goods,” Lapsiwala added.
Quoting revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia reports suggested that service tax is likely to go up from 15% currently to 18%. “Its applicability on all the services will certainly make services expensive. In fact, services taxed at lower rates may also get impacted (like transportation) unless a framework similar to current service tax regulations is put in place,” said Lapsiwala.

While the details of the rates, categories, and schedule equivalent are awaited, the first reaction to the slabs is a thumb up for the consumer essentials and other products, said Anil Talreja, partner, Deloitte.”This segment is large and voluminous and captures the local consumer and hence should be given heavy weight. This will result in an overall improvement of the cost structure and possible impact on prices. There would certainly be more pressure on the manufacturers to pass the benefits on to retailers and the ultimate consumer. Consumer electronics and luxury segments are something that needs to be carefully seen,” said Talreja.

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