THE MALDIVES WIN THE 2020 WORLD’S LEADING DESTINATION AWARD

THE MALDIVES WIN THE 2020 WORLD’S LEADING DESTINATION AWARD

Maldive Tourism Connection

It was really exciting to learn that the Maldives received the World’s Leading Destination award at the Grand Final of the World Travel Awards 2020 on Nov. 27th, 2020.

World Travel Awards, established in 1993, is the most prestigious awards program in the global travel and tourism industry recognized globally as the hallmark of industry excellence.

This award is very meaningful, not only because it was the first time that the Maldives received this cob in competition with 22 other major destinations, but above all because it is also recognition of the great efforts made by the whole Maldivian tourism sector – public and private – for the reopening of the destination after the blockade caused by the pandemic.

Today the Maldives are a relatively safe destination and a safe haven for visitors, thanks also to the “one island-one resort” concept. In fact, the whole world of tourism was constantly informed about the security measures and the important procedures in place for tourists, which arrived with the reopening of the borders on 15 July 2020.

As Tourism Connection® we are very proud to represent the international chain The Residence by Cenizaro which is present in the Maldives with two luxurious and renowned resorts: The Residence Maldives Falhumaafushi and The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah and we look forward to welcoming you again and to the soon all the Italian guests.

For information on anti-Covid measures, download the video.

VIETNAM – The TET festival (part 2)

VIETNAM – The TET festival (part 2)

Vietnam

As reported in the previous episode, for the Vietnamese the Tet is the most important event of the year. Their origins are remembered, family members are hugged and prayed together for the ancestors.

Every Vietnamese, wherever he has ended up for work reasons, will do everything to return to his birthplace to visit the tombs of his ancestors and spend this holiday with his family. The party is obviously then extended to each village, this means that the big cities become empty during this period and are particularly quiet.

The custom of firecrackers (which crackled continuously in the days before the Tet) was prohibited by the government due to its dangerousness. However, the tradition of the lion dance remains unchanged, performed on the streets by dancers and acrobats, accompanied by a large costume depicting a mythical monster with a lion’s head.

Obviously the whole festive period is accompanied by the preparation of typical traditional family dishes, in particular glutinous rice cakes, eggs and meat, which require a long time (about 12 hours) and the contribution of various family members who have to alternate between facing the fire.

New Year’s day is characterized by great binges and at the stroke of midnight we celebrate and try to make as much noise as possible to make the bad spirits escape for good. Immediately after we move on to prayer.

Once the new year begins, it is also very important that the first person to visit the house is the right one: possibly male, with a good character, rich, with a happy family and with many children. This first visit will be decisive for the fortunes of the entire year. So it is always better to wait for an invitation rather than surprise someone’s home, to avoid being an unwelcome guest and being kindly turned away by the host.

Happy Vietnamese New Year to everyone !!

VIETNAM – The TET festival (part 1)

VIETNAM – The TET festival (part 1)

Vietnam

In Vietnam, the lunisolar New Year, called Tet, is the most important holiday of the year: it is a sort of Christmas, New Year and Easter put together in a single celebration (it is also everyone’s birthday !!).

The date of the Tet is always between January 19 and February 20 and the atmosphere starts to get hectic. There are plants, flowers and various decorations for the home to buy. But also new clothes, especially for children, and if possible jewelry. You must stock up on food and other strictly necessary things as for many days every business will remain strictly closed.

Of course, we must also think about gifts. The Tet, like us Christmas is an opportunity for family reunions and to strengthen social ties, also through the exchange of gifts.

First, brand new banknotes must be bought (it is possible in the markets and from street vendors, at a price higher than their real value) to be inserted in the red envelopes to give to children and old people. Traditionally, the value of the banknotes contained in the envelopes must always be even, as the odd numbers are associated with the money that is given in the event of a funeral. Bills worth at least 2 dollars should therefore be given away.

It is also very common to give sprigs of peach trees, roosters, rice, rice wine in a pumpkin or in traditional amphorae, dogs and red things such as watermelons.

In the days leading up to the Tet all the houses are cleaned up. Doors and windows are kept wide open for days to let out all the “old” and “bad” and let the “new” in.

In front of the altar of the Ancestors (present in every Vietnamese house and which is completely decorated), a small mandarin tree is placed with the function of keeping evil spirits away.

The Tet has not yet arrived, but the preparations are many and continue, we will see others together in the next episode …

BEYOND by MAGIC TRAVELS

BEYOND by MAGIC TRAVELS

Abu Dhabi Armenia Dubai Emirati Arabi Georgia Giordania Magic Camps Oman Partner

Faced with the growing desire for authenticity, space and awareness for sustainable tourism, Magic Travels has decided to mark a new turning point towards eco-responsible and ethical travel, after a first step initiated by the creation of Magic Camps (eco-chic tented camps in the Emirates and Oman).

This new twist has a name: BEYOND by Magic Travels.

“Beyond”: beyond the classic tours, beyond the beaten paths and beyond the travel experiences generally offered up to now.

This new brand will offer eco-responsible tours in the 5 destinations where Magic is present with its offices: United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Armenia and Georgia.

But why BEYOND? Because the goal of this new production, which will initially be aimed at individual customers, will be to take them “beyond” the classic circuits and not only to offer “adventurous” trips off the beaten path, but also intense experiences aimed at encouraging meeting with local communities.

The BEYOND programs will be accessible to both beginners and experienced adventurers, looking for meaning, or simply for adventure and excitement.

Social and cultural exchanges are promoted through many original and unusual experiences for responsible and authentic travel.

Closed doors open to offer unique encounters, to discover places hitherto inaccessible but above all to tell the true story of the country. When the journey is no longer a simple destination but an immersion.

In a responsible tourism approach, all programs are created by a team of enthusiasts with full respect for local populations and their environments.

BEYOND, where the MAGIC happens!

ALTAI (Western Siberia) – The stone idols

ALTAI (Western Siberia) – The stone idols

Regione dell'Altai Siberia

The Altai researchers of the 18th-19th centuries often mentioned kurgan stelae they discovered called balbals or idols. Many of them had mongoloid faces carved into the stone. The discovered burial enclosures and kurgans were called “Chud graves” after the widespread legend of an ancient tribe of Chud. Later, mysterious rock inscriptions were found carved in thin lines with a pointed tool. Other objects were also discovered including iron-melting furnaces. It has taken time to study the mentioned sites in detail and attribute them to one common archaeological culture referred to as the Turkic Culture.

In the mid-first millenium AD, there were several developments in Altai that dramatically changed the course of history of the Eurasian continent. In 460 AD, “500 Ashina families” have been forcibly resettled from East Turkestan to the Altai Mountains. The families possessed a secret of iron production. Legend has it that the tribe was broken by their neighbors. Only one boy survived who had his legs cut off. A female wolf saved and nursed him to health. Impregnant by the boy and retreating in a cave, the wolf gave birth to ten sons. One of these was Ashina, a mighty and gallant warrior. His descendants came to Altai and managed to unite the locals to become the core of a new ethno-cultural group calling themselves “Turkic” people.

The Turkic people were mostly warriors. Skilled blacksmiths, they produced weaponry and armor gaining an advantage over their enemies.

The Turkic people were the first people in Siberia to develop and widely use writing (the 7th century AD). Similar to the Nordic one, the script was called runic. More than 90 runic texts were found in Altai.

 

Credit: Pavel Filatov ph.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Vehicle registration plates

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Vehicle registration plates

Dubai

A bit like in the United States, even in the United Arab Emirates, the craze – original and expensive – of buying a special license plate for your car, and therefore having a personalized license plate, has spread.

It is normal in Dubai to see many luxury car shows: Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin … but it is not the cars that make the difference, but the plates.

In fact, a luxury car can look out of place – in the eyes of the locals – compared to a banal Jeep with a particular number plate.

The hierarchy of the plates is established by the number of digits that compose it.

They generally consist of 5 numbers; however, it is possible to purchase license plates with fewer digits. In Dubai, a license plate with 1, 2 or 3 digits is much more status symbol than the car itself.

Lower figures mean greater importance, prestige and sometimes power.

People who drive cars with this type of license plate are treated differently: they enjoy more respect on the roads, at the valet of restaurants and hotels have the privilege of having the best parking spaces and not having to wait to collect their car.

His Excellency Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum uses a Mercedes G-Class (personally driven), with number 1 plate, for daily commuting, while his son Sheikh Rashid drives a Mercedes G-Class with number 5 plate.

The cost of a plate with 2 digits (with only one figure is practically impossible to find, being all intended for members of the royal family) can exceed € 200,000!

Buying a license plate has also become an investment opportunity, as it can then be resold at higher prices. There are investors who study the different numbers and sequences of license plates available to find out which ones can become more. For example, triple zeroes on a 5-digit license plate number have an exponential value.

The one who draws the most benefits is certainly the Motorization, which leveraging people’s desire to have an important date in their lives on the license plate has set up the winning advertising campaign “Plate your special date”.

TRANSATOUR MAROC – elected “Best Morocco Agency for 2019”

TRANSATOUR MAROC – elected “Best Morocco Agency for 2019”

Marocco

We are very proud and honored to announce that TRANSATOUR MAROC which has been elected “Best Morocco Agency for 2019” by the World Travel Award ™ https://www.worldtravelawards.com/award-moroccos-leading-travel-agency-2019.

World Travel Awards ™ was established in 1993 to recognize, reward and celebrate excellence in all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards ™ brand is recognized globally as the hallmark of industry excellence.

Voting for 2020 is therefore open
To vote: https://www.worldtravelawards.com/

Ad maiora!

GREECE – The Komboloi

GREECE – The Komboloi

Grecia

Anyone who has already been to Greece will surely have seen men of all ages holding a kind of “necklace” made up of small stones and passing it continuously between their fingers. This object is called komboloi and is precisely a row of pearls passed on a thin string whose ends are tied together and decorated with a finish.

As a first idea, it may seem like just a tool against boredom, an anti-stress or a method to avoid smoking too much. In reality, komboloi is much more, for the Greeks it represents a philosophy; accompanies them in every moment of the day, in moments of joy and pain, relieves them of stress, suffers and celebrates with them.

The komboloi is made up of pearls of different materials (wood, ceramic, glass, bone) and is present in different shades of colors. The most prestigious ones are however those in amber.

It is also called the Greek rosary, but unlike these prayer tools, the number of stones in the komboloi can vary and the pearls can slide along the thread that holds them together.

So even if it has no religious value, it is used to recite the Jesus prayer, repeated for all the komboloi grains. Some end with a cross and others with a tassel, which should serve to wipe away the tears following the prayer of the heart.

The komboloi was at first a symbol of power of the upper social classes: the local gentlemen carried with them a heavy and precious komboloi that ended with a silken end to be caressed.

Then with the passage of time, it has conquered all social classes becoming very popular but still remaining a purely male accessory.

In Nafplio there is the Komboloi Museum, which houses – in addition to a collection of rosaries of different religions – hundreds of different komboloi, from the simplest and cheapest to the most valuable.

INDIA – The Asiatic lion

INDIA – The Asiatic lion

India

The Asiatic lion, also called the Indian lion, is a subspecies of lion that lives only in the Forest of Gir, in the Indian state of Gujarat.

The Asiatic lion is one of the five big cats of India, together with the Bengal tiger, the Indian leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard, it is sometimes mistakenly considered the national animal of India, but in reality the animal symbol of India is the tiger.

The Asian lions compared to the African cousins are similar in size and shape, but have differences in the skull (ears and nose), the male specimen has on average a less imposing mane but has a fur that is more developed overall ( for example, the tufts of hair on the elbows are generally more developed than in the African lion, the tail is thicker and longer).

Asian lions are social animals that live in flocks, less numerous than those of African lions and on average they include only two females (instead of four-six), they have less sociable habits and join the other members of the herd only to mate or around to the carcass of a particularly large prey.

They feed mainly on deer, antelopes, gazelles, wild boars, wild buffalo and domestic cattle, so in general they are fairly small prey for which capture requires the collaboration of a few elements.

 

The hunt for these animals was a very popular activity among British settlers and Indian royalty, fortunately the numbers in the last decade have increased, about 700 specimens have been registered.

ACADEMY CONNECTION , e.training platform about our destinations, is online

ACADEMY CONNECTION , e.training platform about our destinations, is online

Academy Tourism Connection

In these months of lock-down where the tourism sector has been devasted, we have decided to focus on the future and how our support can be of real support to the activity of Tour Operators and Travel Agencies.

We have therefore made available a tool that is easily accessible and remains available over time, to be consulted at all times in the daily working reality, from the training of the staff up to the time of sale with end customers.

Within our website www.tourismconnection.it you can access to “Academy Connection“, a portal dedicated to product training with simple but interesting information on the Destinations (highlights of the destination with general information, Insights such as cooking, folklore and costumes,… Images and itineraries) and on the Resorts (with technical and practical info about hotels), downloadable in pdf format and as well as some dedicated videos.

Alongside the basic trainings we will add dedicated trainings on specific themes or products, such as “Knowing and Understanding the Riad in Marrakech”.

The courses currently available online are:

DESTINATION

  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Jordan
  • Madagascar
  • Uzbekistan

SPECIAL INTEREST

  • Know and understand the Riad in Marrakech

RESORT

  • The Residence Maldives Falhumaafushi
  • The Residence Maldives at Dhigurah

IN-COMING:

  • Vietnam
  • Siberia
  • The Residence Tunis

To apply, simply “click” on the following link and fill in the required fields:

https://www.tourismconnection.it/academy/

During the lessons, our experts will be available for any need or study

At the end, a symbolic certificate of attendance will be forwarded

For more info, see the tutorial (in Italian)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUpgHU6a9bs&t=168s