Friday, 31 July 2020

Familia Torres Winery

For nearly 150 years Familia Torres has been privileged to call the breathtaking landscapes of Catalonia’s Penedès home.
For five generations we have lived, planted vines and crafted wines in our beautiful vineyards.
Our winery, a stone’s throw from Barcelona, is the perfect venue for a complete wine and gastronomy experience.
We offer wine and food pairings, tastings and exclusive visits, such as our Signature Wine Experiences.

All our experiences can be topped off with a delicious gastronomic meal in our restaurant, El Celleret – an elegant and cosy venue ideal for discovering the diversity and abundance of the Mediterranean cuisine while contemplating our emblematic Mas La Plana vineyard and the Montserrat mountain on the background.
We invite you to become part of our 150-old history and enjoy amazing experiences in unforgettable surroundings.

Familia Torres Winery
Address: Familia Torres Visitors Centre, Finca el Maset s/n, Pacs del Penedès, Barcelona 08796 SpainWebsite:

PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association
Unit B1, 28th Floor, Siam Tower
989 Rama I Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

The Popular Ski Resort of Hakuba in Japan

From the end of April to the beginning of November, the popular ski resort of Hakuba in Nagano Prefecture transforms from a winter playground into a green paradise.

Situated within the breathtaking Japan Alps is Hakuba Mountain Harbour, an open terrace situated on Iwatake mountain peak at an altitude of 1,289m that affords superb views of the surrounding mountains. 

Relax on the breezy terrace with a drink and light snacks from the very popular bakery, "The City Bakery".

In mid-October, you can witness the famous “Sandan Autumn Leaves” when the colour gradations of autumn foliage on the three peaks of Hakuba Sanzan are capped with snow. 


Medical staffs wearing personnel protective equipment (PPE)
are seen before working at the Covid-19 testing laboratory
 at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International airport
amid the spread of the coronavirus disease in Thailand.

Photo: Reuters
Despite the recent scare of two foreigners testing positive for Covid-19 in Thailand, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said that it will allow Thailand’s medical tourism and wellness programmess to go ahead.

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will be disclosing a list of hospitals that pass its criteria next week, and the first group of medical tourists will land in Thailand in the next two weeks, said CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.

“However inbound travellers in the medical tourism and wellness programs will be supervised closely,” said Taweesin, “they will not be allowed to enter public places while in the programme.”

The inbound visitors, arriving under a special visa, will be provided with massage and spa services, fitness programmes, healthy meals and herbal products.

The CCSA has reported that more than 1,700 medical tourists have registered for the programme.

The first batch of visitors will come from 17 countries, including Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, China, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

After their 14-day quarantine and treatment are over, the visitors can then travel around Thailand.

Also, medical tourists who test positive for Covid-19 will be treated for the virus in special areas prepared for foreigners at private hospitals, said Taweesin.

Medical tourists will undergo Covid-19 tests three times, before flying into Thailand, upon arrival and before flying out of Thailand to return home.

Read the full article at The Star:
#medicaltourism, #Thailand, #wellnesstourism

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office 
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Battle Harbour, Labrador - centuries-old fishing village

Many of the community’s historic clapboard buildings
have become boutique hotels.
This centuries-old fishing village takes on a new life as a boutique hotel and living-history museum

The old man on the dock is trying to tell me something, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. After two days spent travelling here by plane, car and ferry, I’m tired and a little disoriented, but surely that doesn’t entirely account for my confusion. He’s definitely speaking English. I think. I smile and wish him well before hopping onto the boat for the final leg of my journey to the remote fishing village of Battle Harbour, Labrador.

“I see you met Alf!” says Peter Bull, executive director of the community’s historic trust, as we chug out to sea on a small ferry. “Did you catch a word he said?” Alf, I learn, is the unofficial welcome committee for visitors heading to Battle Harbour. He’s lived 80-plus years in this remote corner of Canada, and with his Labradorian accent thick as cod chowder, is eager to share his stories about this unique place with visitors.

Before it became a tourist destination, Battle Harbour was one of the most important communities in Labrador. From the 1770s to the 1950s, this tiny island was a thriving fishing port for cod, salmon and seal. Schooners would arrive laden with salt from Spain and molasses from the Caribbean, and leave with their holds full of dried salted fish and seal oil, creating seasonal jobs for thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and an economic engine for the entire region.

Battle Harbour’s fortunes followed those of cod fishery, and the last year-round residents (“livyers” in the local dialect) were relocated to the mainland in the 1960s as part of a mass provincial resettlement scheme. The island was turned over to the non-profit historic trust in the 1990s and, after an extensive restoration, many of its historic clapboard buildings now return to life each summer as one-of-a-kind boutique hotels. Visitors who brave the journey here are rewarded not only with some of the most spectacular scenery in maritime Canada, but an opportunity to be immersed in the region’s deep and colourful history.

While every effort has been made to preserve buildings such as the 18th-century pork store and the church – the second-oldest in the province – Battle Harbour has plenty of 21st-century comfort on offer, too. My room, the Earle Suite, is in the former home of the port’s last owners, and features a soaker tub, a king-sized bed covered with a handmade quilt and postcard-worthy views of the harbour. A cozy communal dining room now takes up the former salmon store, where the island’s culinary team prepares cod cakes, rhubarb crumble and other regional delicacies. The old general store is stocked with handmade Labradorite jewellery, partridgeberry jams and all manner of other locally made crafts. Battle Harbour’s livyers, meanwhile, now lead tours, staff the kitchen and otherwise take every opportunity to serve as interpreters to this unique corner of the Maritimes.

Some of the area’s historic buildings show their age
“All over Newfoundland and Labrador, all of the places like this are gone,” says Nelson Smith of the cod-fishing “rooms” that once flourished along the province’s coast. Smith grew up on the island, the fifth generation of his family to do so, and now serves as Battle Harbour’s restoration carpenter. Smith leads a tour of the island’s historic sites, from the Newfoundland Rangers’ station, to the original Marconi radio towers, to the site of American explorer Robert Peary’s 1909 press conference after his trip to the North Pole. He peppers his tour with anecdotes about growing up in Battle Harbour, where he spent summers gutting cod and winters commuting to the mainland by dogsled.

Thanks to the efforts of the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, life here is now considerably more luxurious than it was in those days, but the wildness and striking beauty of the place remain – as do locals such as Smith and Alf, whose stories bring the place’s history to life. Some translation is occasionally required.

How to get there
Fly into Deer Lake, Nfld., then drive up the coast through Gros Morne National Park to catch the ferry to Labrador at Sainte-Barbe. After docking in Blanc-Sablon, Que., it’s a scenic three-hour drive to Mary’s Harbour to catch the boat to Battle Harbour.

What to bring
Hiking boots, bug spray, bug jacket and binoculars for whale-, bird- and iceberg-watching.

Where to stay
Battle Harbour offers a range of rooms, suites and cottages, from hostel-style bunks in the Cookhouse to the Grenfell Doctor’s Cottage, a historic home with room for up to eight guests.


Waterbiking on the Swan River

Visitors can experience Perth's iconic Swan River from a fun and unique perspective, thanks to the introduction of two new waterbiking tours. 

Perth Waterbike Adventures and Perth Waterbike Co allow guests to pedal and glide across the Swan River. The activity is suitable for all ages and fitness levels – due to the waterbike's safe and sturdy design. 

Both companies operate tours daily, with a range of different experiences available. Perth Waterbike Adventures depart from Matilda Bay, and Perth Waterbike Co depart from South Perth.


Eat Colorado - Palisade Peach Cobbler with Peach Street Bourbon/Vanilla Sauce

Palisade Peach Cobbler, credit Bin 707 Food Bar
Bin 707 Foodbar in Grand Junction is a great spot for lunch or dinner in the northwest of Colorado, which focuses on seasonal Colorado cuisine. The region – as well as being home to the jaw-dropping vistas of Colorado National Monument – is known for the juicy peaches that are grown in Palisade and sold by the roadside, with this fruit forming the base of many regional recipes (and peach wines!). 

Bin 707's Josh Niernberg and Ryan Sylvester have provided us with a peachy recipe to tickle our tastebuds now:
  • For the Batter
  • 150g Plain Flour
  • 150g Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • Pinch Salt
  • 265ml Milk
  • Mix all dry ingredients together.
  • Add milk and mix with wooden spoon until just combined.
  • Keep batter cold until ready to use.

For the Peach Cobbler Filling
  • 1.3kg Peaches
  • 270g Sugar
  • 355ml Bourbon
  • 1 pod (scraped) Vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Halve Peaches, remove pit, then cook Peaches, sugar, bourbon (holding back 1 tablespoon) and vanilla over direct heat in large saucepan until tender but not falling apart and alcohol has evaporated.
Mix cornstarch with remaining tablespoon of Bourbon and then stir into mix.
Cook for another two minutes to allow mixture to thicken.
Remove and cool.

Peach / Bourbon Syrup
As peach filling cools, strain through a chinois to collect excess juice from filling, 
reduce to the consistency of syrup, let cool and reserve for plating

For Assembly:
  • heat oven to 180C / 350F
  • put a small pad of butter in the bottom of the cobbler dish (cast iron pot, stoneware bowl, cereal bowl, etc.)
  • heat dish in oven until butter is melted and dish is hot
  • add 1 cup of peach filling, strain off any excess juices and reserve for the syrup
  • add a 1/2 cup of batter on top of peaches
  • cook cobblers for approx 20 minutes, they should be golden to dark amber in colour and peaches beginning beginning to bubble through the batter. Remove let cool slightly, garnish with Peach Bourbon / syrup, serve immediately.

Colorado Tourism Office

Great Walks Of Australia - Take the path less travelled

Experience Australia’s Most Iconic & Inspiring Wilderness Areas With Our Award-Winning, Guided Multi-Day Walks

Australia has some of the most sensational, achievable and rewarding walks anywhere in the world, and we want to share them with you…Great Walks of Australia is a collection of Australia’s greatest multi-day guided walking experiences – done with a dash of eco-luxury comfort – so you can fully immerse yourself in our most iconic and quintessential wild places.

From Tasmania’s untamed mountains and white sand beaches, the rugged Victorian coastline, volcanic plateaus and ancient rainforest in Queensland, to the jewel coloured oceans of Western Australia, a UNESCO World Heritage listed island paradise, Australia’s longest river, the magnificent outback ranges of South Australia and our red centre, the Northern Territory, we’ll take you on the adventures of a lifetime.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker, or venturing out on a multi-day walk for the first time, 12 epic journeys await you across the country. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable trip into the nature wonderland that is Australia…

Featured Walk
Spicers Scenic Rim Trail, Brisbane, QLD

Join us on the brand new five day Scenic Rim Trail, only 1.5 hours from Brisbane. The region's fascinating plants, wildlife and vegetation awaits walkers, including exploring ancient UNESCO Heritage Listed Gondwana rainforests. Mountains and sweeping ridgelines provide magical views, while wallabies, koalas and lyrebirds are some locals you might meet. Staying in new eco-cabins and enjoying Spicers' hospitality, the Scenic Rim Trail is an exhilarating adventure showcasing Queensland’s best kept nature secret.

Great Walks of Australia

Da Nang suspends receiving tourists amid COVID-19 fears

Golden Bridge - a key tourist attraction in Da Nang
The central city of Da Nang has decided to suspend receiving tourists over 14 days, starting July 26, after two locally transmitted coronavirus cases were detected.

The suspension is to ensure the safety of visitors and the community as well, said Le Trung Chinh, vice chairman of the Da Nang Municipal People’s Committee.

The Ministry of Health announced two locally transmitted coronavirus infections on July 25-26. Local authorities have moved to take drastic measures to prevent the virus spreading in the community.

According to Chinh, after the news about the two cases was published, the Municipal Department of Tourism has requested all accommodation facilities and tourist sites to immediately implement preventive measures against the recurrence of the disease.

The department worked with accommodation facilities and proposed these facilities be transformed into concentrated quarantine camps for foreigners if they fall into the suspect group.

It asked hotels, accommodation facilities and travel operators to provide sanitizer for tourists currently staying in the city to wash hands, while encouraging them to wear face masks and keep a distance when going out.

Da Nang is one of the leading tourist centers in central Vietnam. It houses many tourist attractions, including Ba Na Hill Resort, Golden Bridge, Ngu Hanh Son Marble Mountains complex, Hoa Phu Thanh waterfalls, Than Tai mineral spring, Sunworld Da Nang Wonders, 3D Trickeye Museum or a number of beautiful beaches.
Source: VOV
Tags: #DaNang, #COVID19,

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

2020 Hotel Openings to Add to the Bucket List

Despite travel's most challenging time yet, new hotels are paving the way for new experiences, discovering new neighbourhoods and igniting our desire to explore.

From IHG's first hotel in Tasmania, to the launch of Hotel Indigo in Australia, and Japan's first Kimpton hotel in the heart of Shinjuku, 2020 will be a record year of openings in Australasia and Japan for IHG, providing travellers unforgettable local experiences – or, inspiration for venturing further when the time is right!

Here's the one-stop bucket list to start planning now:

Crowne Plaza Hobart – opened 1 July
IHG opened its first hotel in Tasmania with the brand-new Crowne Plaza Hobart on 1 July 2020. The 235-room hotel is located in the heart of the CBD on Liverpool Street with breathtaking harbour or Mount Wellington views from every room.

The hotel will also feature Hobart's first Club lounge and highest rooftop dining venue, AURA. Inspired restaurant and bar philosophies sit at the heart of the hotel's DNA, with renowned local Executive Chef, John Churchill, at the helm. Chef John instills a powerful farm-to-table philosophy with a focus on small batch suppliers and low waste processes, including a partnership with Macquarie Point's 'Edible Precinct' where organic waste will be dehydrated and composted to fuel the rooftop gardens. Core Restaurant & Bar is the signature restaurant where Chef John says the concepts are 'based on the people in community'.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown – opened 10 July
New Zealand welcomes its first Holiday Inn Express hotel with the brand-new Holiday Inn Express and Suites Queenstown, located in a prime position on the corner of Stanley and Sydney streets in Queenstown. The location provides easy access to popular ski destinations of Coronet Peak, Remarkables, Cardrona & Treble Cone, and is the gateway city to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Milford Sound.

The hotel offers 277 rooms, including spacious suites – a Holiday Inn Express first in Australia and New Zealand – in addition to superior rooms, which provide breathtaking views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown also features a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, onsite parking and a free business centre, in addition to well-appointed rooms complete with a power shower, black-out blinds, high-quality bedding, uncapped Wi-Fi and a free light breakfast option to grab & go.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour – opens September
Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour will return to Sydney's CBD after a 10-year hiatus with a bold, new future-focused design. The new-build $150million hotel is located on the corner of Sussex and Bathurst Streets, moments from Town Hall, Queen Victoria Building and the waterside pocket of Darling Harbour.

152 guestrooms focus on innovative design, each divided into four distinct zones – a desk space for work, a sofa area to unwind, king size beds for a good night's sleep and well-lit, spacious bathrooms featuring sustainable Antipodes amenities. Guests can take a plunge among Sydney's skyscrapers in the rooftop infinity (heated!) pool on level 9 or relax on the rooftop sundeck whilst enjoying the breathtaking views, or unwind with friends in one of three dining venues, 288 Sussex, Café 58, and La Bella Restaurant & Bar.

Crowne Plaza Adelaide – opens September
Crowne Plaza returns to Adelaide with the 329-room Crowne Plaza Adelaide. The new-build beauty is part of the 138m Frome Central Tower One, Adelaide's tallest building, with views spanning the cityscape to Adelaide Hills. Located in the East End, guests are close to Lot Fourteen and Adelaide Botanic Garden with easy access to Adelaide Convention Centre and Adelaide Oval.

As part of the brand's global transformation to build hotels of the future, Crowne Plaza Adelaide will feature flexible lobby and public spaces, zoning in the guest rooms to enable seamless movement from work to play, and an enhanced Sleep Advantage program for a great night's slumber.

Memorable food experiences are at the heat of the hotel. Koomo elevates guests to Adelaide's highest restaurant in the CBD offering a fusion of Australian ingredients and Japanese-inspired dishes, while Luna10 is pure escapism with an infinity pool and deck bar for cocktails, light snacks and share plates.

Hotel Indigo Brisbane Fortitude Valley – opening Q4
Hotel Indigo will debut on Australian shores in 2020 with the opening of Hotel Indigo Brisbane Fortitude Valley. The new build hotel is located on the vibrant doorstep of Brunswick Street – the blueprint of local culture, design and history. The hotel will feature 146 guest rooms, each inspired by the vibe of The Valley and boast local amenities, a ground floor 'eatery' which transitions from a neighbourhood café to a restaurant and bar in the evenings, health and fitness centre and of course, Hotel Indigo's signature neighbourhood experiences.

Perched on the rooftop, guests will indulge in a show-stopping lap pool and bar, offering panoramic views of the city skyline.

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets – opening Q4
Adelaide will welcome its first Hotel Indigo in 2020 on Market Street – a vibrant culinary and produce hub in the heart of the city. The new-build hotel will draw the best of the outdoors, indoors, with the boutique hotel rooms inspired by the legendary festivals of the city. The modern colour palette is brightened by natural light and colourful wall art, inspired by neighbourhood festival posters. Locally influenced decor is celebrated in the famed tessellated tile patterns of Adelaide with copper fixtures harking back to South Australia's copper mining history.

The restaurants and bars focus on innovative flavours, tapping into the best of Adelaide Market's wonderful produce for seasonal appeal. The ground floor features Market & Meander, a modern Australian restaurant and bar, touting multicultural influences from Grote and Gouger Street. On the rooftop, guests will experience the spectacular rooftop raw food bar, Merrymaker.

ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort – opened 7 July

The much-anticipated expansion of ANA InterContinental Ishigaki Resort opened on 7 July 2020. Surrounded by blue coral seas and colourful marine life, the expansion marks a significant milestone for the idyllic Japanese region, now welcoming guests to the island's only true international luxury hotel and Japan's first dedicated Club InterContinental destination within the resort.

Set in its own private enclave, the unrivalled Club InterContinental experience is complete with an exclusive Club InterContinental pool, private gardens and Club InterContinental Lounge.

New to the expansion, guests will also immerse in eight restaurant and bar destinations, four new meeting and event rooms and four indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo – opening Q4

Kimpton Shinjuku will debut in Q4 2020 as Japan's first Kimpton hotel. The hotel is located in the bustling Shinjuku region – the tastemaker of trends in Japan, art and culture – and close to the iconic Shibuya Crossing.

Kimpton Shinjuku embodies a New York-inspired design from international architect and design group, Rockwell Group, with 151 guest rooms and three distinct restaurant and bar concepts; a chapel that doubles as an art gallery and health and fitness room, and three meeting and event spaces. True to Kimpton's distinctive personality, the hotel is pet friendly and features the much-loved hallmarks such as Kimpton Social Hour.

ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon – opened 11 July

Holiday Inn Resort Kuroyon opened on 11 July 2020 as the region's first Holiday Inn and Japan's second Holiday Inn Resort. Located in Shinano-omachi – the centre of Japan and about 1.5 hours from Nagano – the region is renowned for its natural surroundings, including lakes, abundance of hot springs, Kurobe dam and mountain ranges.

The resort is designed to reflect its stunning surrounds with nature-inspired colour schemes and open spaces, flowing in through the hotel's open lobby café, leisure centre and all-day dining restaurant. The resort is a haven for families, offering a dedicated Kids Club with complete fit-out of activity equipment, toys and workshops, a kids welcome pack, and of course the brand's promise where kids under 12 eat and stay free. Guests will also delight in a private onsen, gallery, hot stone sauna and fitness centre.

Grand Pacific Hotel, Suva – open now, rebranding to InterContinental 2022

Fiji's most iconic hotel, Grand Pacific Hotel, will join the IHG family in July 2020 and then rebrand as InterContinental Grand Pacific Hotel Suva by 2022, after a refurbishment.

Grand Pacific is the most famous hotel in Fiji, with more than 100 years of history and having played host to countless celebrities and dignitaries, including Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II. Built in 1914 and reopening on its hundredth anniversary in 2014 with contemporary colonial architecture, the stunning hotel has an incredibly rich history and has a special place in the hearts of Fijians.

Located on the main sea front on Suva's Victoria Parade, the hotel is perfectly located to welcome Suva's mix of leisure and business guests. It offers all-day and specialty restaurants and bars and a club lounge, as well as a 600sqm ballroom, meetings rooms, business centre, gym, swimming pool and spa.


Vienna - the world’s capital of music

Austria’s capital Vienna has a musical legacy shaped by Mozart and Beethoven It is also known for its Imperial palaces, including the Habsburgs’ Schönbrunn. 

Vienna claims to be the world’s music capital with 120 music and venues, 15,000 performances each year, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and a thriving jazz and electro scene. 



A family wearing masks to avoid the spread of the
coronavirus disease arrive at Gimpo international airport
in Seoul on May 1, 2020. (Reuters photo)
South Korea will seek travel bubble or selective border openings with Asian neighbours like Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam where Covid-19 spread has been contained to aid tourism industries of respective countries.

According to multiple industry sources, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently convened a meeting to discuss ways to boost the sluggish travel industry. In the meeting, they reviewed a plan to form travel bubbles other select countries have been experimenting, Pulse reported.

Neighbouring countries Australia and New Zealand and Vietnam and Thailand have been testing out travel bubble arrangement or opening of borders to countries they consider safe from virus spread while remaining sealed to others. The idea is to extend mobility freedom within the bubble, while keeping entries from outside. People with the “immunity passport” would be exempt from mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entering the countries under agreement.

The tourism industry made the proposal and the ministry responded positively, said an official who had attended the meeting. The issue requires further discussions with the foreign and health ministries.

Key issues related to travel bubble and immunity passports will be included as agenda at the 6th National Tourism Policy Meeting.

Taiwan would be the first country that Korea can seek a travel bubble, while Vietnam and Thailand make other candidates, according to the sources. The two countries in exclusive travel bubble partnership will issue immunity passports that prove the travellers are free of Covid-19 to its citizens.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post:
#SouthKorea, #Thailand, #Tourism, #travelbubble

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office 
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Playa Migjorn, Formentera

Formentera, the smallest of the Balearic Islands, offers Caribbean-style white sandy beaches and quiet villages with white-washed houses, all surrounded by turquoise waters. 

All Formentera is a postcard. In a few square kilometres all the ingredients to be considered a paradise are present. Its beaches of gleaming sand contrast with the transparent waters, where the valued Posidonia inhabits. 

You can explore the island on foot, by bike or motorcycle, in search of secret corners and beautiful places where to lose yourself. Its lighthouses are an icon of the purest Mediterranean, its landscapes the best images to remember. Hippie flea markets and megalithic monuments merge into an island that, although small, will not leave you indifferent!

Visitors to Formentera can challenge themselves to explore the entire length of 12 miles by foot or bicycle. The Ses Salines Natural Park, which is home to over 200 different species of birds, stretches from south east Ibiza to the Island of Formentera. One of the spots to consider when looking for peace and quiet is Playa Migjorn located on the southern coast of the island. Despite being Formentera’s longest beach, it offers many isolated corners and coves surrounded by sand dunes and pine trees.

In slightly more popular areas of the long stretch of beach, there are also seaside chiringuitos (beach bars). Insotel Hotel Formentera Playa Insotel Hotel Formentera Playa is situated on Playa Migjorn. The 4-star beachfront hotel offers outdoor terraces surrounded by two large swimming pools and a pool bar with views over the Mediterranean. The three other main Balaeric islands are Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.

Website: and

Brisbane Street Art Festival

The Brisbane Street Art Festival is coming to Ipswich this year! Seven walls will be painted in the CBD from July 27 to August 23. Public viewing opportunities to meet the artists at their walls will be held between 10am and 2pm on August 8 and 9.

There will also be workshops for budding creators to learn from the nationally recognised artists taking part over August 8 and 9 and a live stream broadcast from Studio 188 on Saturday August 8 from 5pm-8pm featuring live artist interviews, local music performances and a live scribble slam battle!

Three artists have strong local connections Fintan Magee's dad was head of art and design at the old Bremer TAFE in Ipswich and he has worked with youth/schools in the region previously to paint public murals, Gus Eagleton has lived in Ipswich previously and his works are featured in the Woollen Mills and Rachel Sarra is a local indigenous artist born and raised in Ipswich.

The walls being painted include 15 Bell St (Ipswich Health Plaza), 131 Brisbane St (Limestone St Centre – facing South St), D'Arcy Doyle Place (Ipswich Art Gallery), 164 Brisbane St (CIRCA 160 Dancing Bean), 34 Nicholas St Precinct (Icon Alley), 101 Limestone St (Fire Station 101) and 188 Brisbane St (Studio 188).

Contact Brenton Waters 3810 6784



Darwin Festival is set to open in a week - the first major capital city event in Australia to go ahead since COVID-19 shut the world down. The DF20 Homegrown program is a celebration of Top End talent with an array of exciting live and virtual events spanning theatre, music, comedy, cabaret, visual arts and more.
Darwin Festival Artistic Director, Felix Preval, says, “Our Festival is officially around the corner, and we couldn’t be prouder of what it’s shaped up to be. We are excited to light up the Darwin CBD with incredible local offerings in Festival Park and to give Territorians the Dry Season good times we’ve all needed. The COVID-19 restrictions won’t stop our interstate friends joining in some of this year’s program with a bunch of exciting virtual events to enjoy.  
The response to our program so far has been nothing short of incredible. It only goes to show that there’s a real appetite for local NT talent — and we are so excited to share it with everyone.”
Acting CEO James Gough added, ““It’s so great to be delivering a Festival and we’ve worked tirelessly with the Department of Health to ensure DF20 Homegrown is the best celebration it can be in this very different world. We want all patrons to enjoy themselves while remembering that that being COVID safe is a shared responsibility. There’ll be signage around Festival venues, but the message is pretty simple: Stay home if you are unwell, maintain physical distancing, wash your hands regularly and download the COVIDsafe app. If everybody does their bit, we’ll not only be COVID safe, we’ll have a lot of fun!”.
National audiences can get their fix of art and culture with the Darwin Aboriginal Art FairNational Indigenous Music AwardsTelstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (Telstra NATSIAA), and the inaugural National Indigenous Fashion Awards — all of which are heading online!
Lovers of classical music across Australia can also enjoy Morning Music — a free, daily offering of sublime violin and piano from renowned artist, Eric Avery, delivered online to early risers every day from 7am (Darwin time). These pieces were composed specially for Darwin Festival, and can only be enjoyed for the first hour of each day, so don’t miss out!
Another daily delight is GIF of Dance — a free, global project from choreographer Matt Cornell and dancer Kelly Beneforti. Performed, animated and sent on the same day, people nation-wide and all over the world can experience a bite-sized slice of the Territory via SMS. Sign up on the Darwin Festival website to receive a daily gif of a brand-new dance performance, shot around Darwin, for the duration of the Festival (except on Monday 10 August).
Due to the huge success of several shows selling out early, Darwin Festival unveiled extra dates to some of the DF20 Homegrown program’s hottest events – and these were quickly snapped up. Just like tickets to the latest addition to the Festival line-up, Electric Fields. This Australian electronic music duo first rocked Darwin Festival audiences back in 2018 with a sold-out gig. In 2019, the pair placed second in SBS’ Eurovision: Australia Decides competition with their track, 2000 and Whatever. They will join J-MILLA, a rising-star of the hip-hop scene, for a show on Thursday 13 August at the Sunset Stage that sold out as soon as tickets were announced
Another program highlight is Distanced Duets, a series of intimate concerts performed by members of the Arafura Music Collective. It features a range of duets from their catalogue of musical talent — from cellists, pianists, guitarists, and many more — for a spectacular at-home concert experience, just for you and your guests.
The beauty and talent of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra are set to enchant audiences with two concerts of musical magic — Metamorphosis I (Saturday 8 August) and Metamorphosis II (Sunday 9 August) at Darwin Entertainment Centre. Featuring new work by Darwin composer, Cathy Applegate, as well as stunning compositions from classical favourites, the Orchestra will be joined by the rising stars of their Young Artists Program.
There’s no better way to wrap this year’s Festival than with a musical love letter to Darwin. Streets of Darwin will feature the talents of local musicians Caiti BakerArran BarkerBroadwingTracey BunnBen EvolentMandy GarlingDavid Garnham and Stevie Jean as they perform an original song each, inspired by their neighbourhoods. Backed by a brilliant house band, each singer will also pick a cover from the Aussie canon on the theme of home. Join them at the Sunset Stage on Sunday 16 August for this huge celebratory finale concert. Look out for the series of accompanying videos shot at Skinnyfish Records’ Studio G, set to be released across the Festival period.


Destination NSW has released a new toolkit for travel trade to arm agents and partners with information and assets to promote NSW’s world-class wine tourism experiences.

Wine Regions of NSW - A Toolkit for the Travel Trade is a practical resource guide that includes six destination fact sheets and destination videos highlighting the key wine regions in NSW. NSW is home to 14 incredible wine regions, each with their own distinct personality, varying topography, grape varieties and signature experiences.

The toolkit aims to inspire, provide information about these regions and give travel agents and trade operators access to commissionable products to create unforgettable client itineraries.

The destination videos feature interviews with local heroes, winemakers and winery owners providing the remarkable and noteworthy insights about NSW wine regions.

The content has been produced in partnership with the NSW Wine Industry Association and celebrates the diverse, engaging and immersive experiences offered by the state’s wine tourism operators beyond traditional cellar door tastings.

Access the Wine Regions of NSW toolkit.

Destination NSW

Thursday, 30 July 2020

European Master in Tourism Management

The main aim of the European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM) is to prepare future professionals who will embrace responsibility in tourism institutions making sustainable and effective decisions. EMTM provides students with an integrated knowledge of the dynamics of tourism development, sustainable management, the role of cultural diversity, innovation, and governance in tourism and provides training for future researchers in the field of tourism management. 

The EMTM is a two-year world-class integrated program promoted and tailor-made by three university partners: The University of Girona, the University of Southern Denmark, and the University of Ljubljana. It is labelled Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree, and it aims to provide students with a holistic and integrated understanding of the challenges and the dynamics of the tourism industry within the framework of sustainability. Students chosen from all over the world follow a mandatory mobility scheme. At the end of it, they are prepared to become responsible future practitioners and decision-makers of tourism.

European Master in Tourism Management
Address: University of Girona, Plaça de Sant Domènec, 3 Girona17004

PATA - Pacific Asia Travel Association
Unit B1, 28th Floor, Siam Tower
989 Rama I Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Whitewater Rafting Experience in Kitayama in Japan

Go on a 20-minute virtual whitewater rafting experience with a difference in Kitayama! These log rafts take thrillseekers through Wakayama Prefecture’s incredibly scenic Dorokyo Gorge.

Logging was a major industry in the region for centuries, and logs were traditionally tied together as rafts to float down the river. 

Today, the logs are repurposed for raft tours that wind around the sheer cliffs of the Dorokyo Gorge.
Steered through the choppy waters of the river by three ikadashi (drivers), riders stand on the rafts with the aid of handrails for support.


Suvarnabhumi airport continues to remain deserted
during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Photo: Somchai Poomlard
If the country does not let foreign tourists in by the end of the year, some 60% of hospitality enterprises are at risk of going out of business, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

“People will be safe from the virus as borders remain closed, but wounds from the economic fallout might be deeper and the government will face more difficulty in helping workers who lost their jobs,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicted international arrivals will nosedive by 80% to 8.2 million, generating only 396 billion baht this year.

He said the tourism industry will contribute only 6-7% of GDP this year, compared with 18% in 2019.

“If the travel bubble scheme can take shape during September until December, tourism is expected to generate 200 billion baht, which can support our tourism goal of 1.23 trillion earned this year,” said Mr Phiphat.

Domestic tourism may generate 700 billion baht this year with the support of government stimulus packages scheduled to kick off tomorrow.

“In my opinion, we have to open some parts of the country to mitigate the impact from the virus and revive the economy,” he said.

The ministry plans to introduce the first phase of designated areas for tourists to spend at least 14 days in a travel bubble on islands: Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan. Tourists going to those areas can travel freely between those islands.

He said Phuket has the potential to carry out 1,000 swab tests per day, but the Public Health Ministry can ask for more health personnel from other provinces to help with the lab tests.

If 200,000 foreign tourists spend 5,000 baht per person per day in Phuket during the last four months, it could generate at least 14 billion baht for the local economy, said Mr Phiphat.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand has discussed with the Tourism and Sports Ministry its readiness to bring tourists to Thailand once the travel restrictions are lifted.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post:
#domestictourism, #Thailand, #travelresumption

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office 
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Port Renfrew, British Columbia

Big Lonely Doug, the second-largest Douglas fir in Canada.
The road in the foreground leads down to the flat land where
This nature-rich outpost on Vancouver Island may not be as famous as neighbouring communities, but locals like to keep it that way

Big Lonely Doug is a perfect symbol for the Vancouver Island outpost of Port Renfrew. The giant Douglas Fir, about 230 feet high, or the equivalent of 20 storeys, has stood, growing and adapting, as everything else around it has changed.

In the case of Doug (nicknamed by the Ancient Forest Alliance), which is one of the tallest trees in the country, that means surviving while much of the forest around it succumbs to logging. In the case of Port Renfrew, that means asserting its identity as development reshapes neighbouring communities up and down the coastlines of the island.

Some say Port Renfrew is the next Tofino, others say it’s what Tofino was 20 years ago. Whichever way you look at it, the community, which hugs a road that runs off the Pacific Marine Circle Route, a road trip-friendly loop on the island’s south coast, is a place to escape to, a place to sit by the water and watch the tide or walk through old-growth forests and be reminded of the resiliency of nature.

And though it may be cliché, it’s a place to unplug (fittingly, when I arrived, a storm had knocked out power for the area so unplugging was literally the order of the day).

The community is bordered by natural landmarks. At one end, there’s Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, where at low tide, you’ll find anemones, snails and other sea creatures and critters in and along the tide pools in the granite outcropping. Along the coast, the other way is Sombrio Beach, where cobblestones separate the water from the trees, and the mist hangs low as it moves inland. There’s a trailhead, too, for hikers, but even if you’re here just to dip your toes in the water, there’s still exploration to be done by way of a hidden waterfall at one end of the beach.

The community of Port Renfrew.
Going inland is Avatar Grove, a treasure trove of easy hiking paths – think boardwalks and viewing platforms with benches, ideal for taking a seat and looking way up to take in the trees that earned the area its title as the tall-tree capital of the country. It’s a self-proclaimed title, but one hard to dispute. Victoria-based company The Natural Connection offers guided tours of various spots on Vancouver Island, and I walked with owner Ryan LeBlanc through both the upper and lower portions of the Grove. He explained the work that the Ancient Forest Alliance has done to protect the area from logging and promote conservancy of the old-growth forest. We had the place almost to ourselves, not always an easy thing to find on the tourist-friendly island. And just a bit further down the road is Big Lonely Doug.

In the midst of it all, this small community is proud of its natural riches, proud that it continues to conservatively manage its growth. This is not to say it’s a sleepy place. You’ll see plenty of faces during a visit to the Coastal Kitchen Café for breakfast, lunch at the waterside Bridgeman’s West Coast Eatery, or a beer at Renfrew Pub – proof that while many know Port Renfrew’s gems, they’re happy to keep the secrets to themselves.

How to get there
It’s an easy, scenic drive, roughly two hours, from Victoria.

What to bring
Layers, and portable batteries. You can get rain, mist, wind and sun in a day’s outing, so best to be prepared for all of it. The inclement weather also contributes to the odd power outage, and given its remote location, BC Hydro needs time to get on-site, which can mean upwards of a day without power.

Where to stay
Wild Renfrew has seaside and coastal cottages, plus a lodge, for a luxe stay among the nature of the Pacific Northwest.


Adventure awaits in Collie

The historic town of Collie in WA's South West is set to become a premier destination for mountain bike enthusiasts, following the completion of the Arklow mountain bike trail.

Winding its way through the Arklow forest, the trail network totals 36 kilometres; with six kilometres of the trail built to accommodate handcycles, allowing mountain bike riders with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy even more of the area. 

Also underway in Collie is a Mural Trail, which will feature a number of murals throughout the town, including a centrepiece mural at the Wellington Dam. 

Queensland artist Guido van Helten has been confirmed as the lead artist, who is known for his realistic large-scale murals that have turned structures into icons across the world – including Portugal, Canada, the United States of America, Italy and Iran. 

Located just a two-hour drive south of Perth, Collie has long been a popular destination for adventure lovers; with nature-based activities such as camping, white water rafting, water skiing, canoeing and bushwalking all on offer.

Listen to Colorado

Red Rocks Amphitheatre Courtesy of Denver
Arts & Venues, photo by Stevie Crecelius
Colorado has hosted a stellar line-up of musicians throughout its music venues and festivals, not to mention the world-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre. 

The state has grown its very own talent too. 

Check out the Colorado Playlist on Spotify and listen to some Colorado Greats – Ho Hey by local band, The Lumineers; Rocky Mountain High by legendary John Denver and modern country folk by local Boulder singer, Gregory Alan Isakov who toured Australia for the first time in 2019.

Colorado Tourism Office

Parrtjima – A Festival in Light announces exciting new program for 10-night spectacular

  • September 11 – 20, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • Dazzling light installations, live music, talks and Aussie films to thrill visitors
The only Aboriginal light festival of its kind in the world, Parrtjima – A Festival in Light has announced its exciting new program of stunning light installations, live music, workshops, meaningful talks, and film favourites in Alice Springs (Mparntwe), home of Arrernte people.

The free festival is themed ‘Lifting Our Spirits’ and runs for 10 nights, proudly showcasing the oldest continuous culture on Earth, bringing stories and ideas to life through engaging, creative, fun and moving performances and installations.

AGB Events, the creative directors and producers of the festival, have again engaged First Nations Adviser Rhoda Roberts as part of their team to work alongside the Parrtjima Festival Reference Group (PFRG) to develop stunning light installations, as well as the program for the Deep Listening talks, Aboriginal films, workshops and live music.

As always, the must-see 2km illumination of MacDonnell Ranges will be magnificent. This year’s light show is called Ebb and Flow of Sky and Country and will be accompanied by a dynamic soundscape and narration by traditional owner Benedict Kngwarraye Stevens and Roberts.

The light installation showcase, Werte, has been inspired by an artwork by Kumalie Kngwarraye Riley, which takes as its central motif Werte (pronounced Woord-da), the concentric lineal work that speaks of meeting places, and is so relevant to the Central Desert art styles.

Among the highlights are artist Greg McAdam’s enormous glowing sphere, Grass Seed, measuring seven metres in diameter and suspended three metres in the air; Rachel Wallace’s Alatye (Bush Yam), reinterpreted into a four metre-high flower; and Lachlan Dodds-Watson’s representation of the next generation of artists, Emu Laying Eggs at Night, a towering eight metre-high emu.

Spearheading the Deep Listening talks program, hosted by Roberts on stage, are renowned journalist, film maker, author and Wiradjuri man Stan Grant who will discuss Race, Identity and Belonging; and journalist, author and educator Tracey Holmes on Sydney 2000 – Representing Aboriginal Culture and Heritage Globally.

In a first for Parrtjima, there will be two nights of mouth-watering cooking demonstrations with high-profile chef Mark Olive and Rayleen Brown, co-founder of Kungkas Can Cook. Rayleen is recognised throughout Australia and internationally for shining the spotlight on Central Australian bush foods.

Hosted by Paul Ah Chee, the Sounds of the Centre music program is a unique mix of locally sourced Territory talent, from Stuart Nuggett, a finalist in the 2020 Indigenous Language Award at the 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards, through to Leah Flanagan’s string quartet, and to metal from the world’s most remote metal band Southeast Desert Metal. Other popular acts include Kirra Voller, Jessie K, and Paul Ah Chee and Friends.

Cinema in Todd Mall will feature free feature films and documentaries including Aussie favourites Top End Wedding, The Sapphires and Bran Nue Dae plus a number of ground-breaking documentaries, including The Australian Dream and In My Blood It Runs.

As part of the festival’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, this year guests are required to register their attendance at Parrtjima. Tickets are free of charge. Registering helps to manage the number of visitors each night, reduce queueing, and support physical distancing guidelines. To register, simply visit:

“We couldn’t be happier with our new program and everyone involved is so thrilled to be able to host Parrtjima this year after having to postpone due to COVID-19 earlier in April,” said Roberts.

“Now is the perfect time for Australians to connect with each other, enjoy themselves, and immerse themselves in wonderful stories, art and performances.”

For more details on Parrtjima’s program of events, head to