Thursday, June 26, 2014

TripAdvisor reveals the winners of Travellers’ Choice Awards 2014

By: Shania Brendon

The world’s leading travel site, TripAdvisor announced the winners of its sixth annual Travellers’ Choice awards; honouring close to 500 destinations which secured top spots in the world’s top destination list as well as in individual lists catered specifically for Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Asia, Canada, the U.K, the U.S, and so on.
Travellers’ Choice Awards are ranked based on the millions of reviews and opinions posted by TripAdvisor travellers and taking into consideration the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for attractions, hotels and restaurants in destinations around the globe for a period of 12 months.
Stated below are the Top 10 destinations which made it to the Travellers’ Choice World Destination List, 2014:

1. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul sky-rocketed 11 spots higher from its rank on the previous year’s list to the No.1 spot, this year. A holiday here is all about the gorgeous mosques, the grand bazaars filled with thousands of shops to browse through, the Turkish baths and the absolutely breath-taking architecture.

2. Rome, Italy

Rome jumped two spots from previous year’s list and takes the No.2 this year. Rome should certainly be on each and every traveller’s bucket list – the city is filled with giant halls of outdoor museums, piazzas, bustling open-air markets and impressive historic sites. Most importantly, taste the cappuccino and indulge in a plate of authentic pasta – Delicious as ever!

3. London, England

London maintains its No.3 spot from the previous year. This highly-developed city is where history meets fashion, art, food and of course good British ale. A holiday in London is a mix of everything and caters to all kinds of leisure seekers – music, food, culture, museums and nightlife.

4. Beijing, China

Beijing pushed itself 17 spots higher to the No.4 rank on the global list. Beijing boasts a wealth of history – from ancient monuments to the modern architectural buildings. The city also offers diverse sightseeing activities from gorgeous temples, magnificent palaces and of course the incredible Great Wall of China.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

The beautiful city of Prague of Czech Republic has successfully climbed four steps higher to grab the No.5 spot on the list this year. This fascinating capital is filled with incredible cathedrals, historic towers, glittering canals spiced up with an energetic culture, art and music scene.

6. Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech jumps 13 spots from last year. This city that belongs to Morocco will take you on an exciting journey through the bustling streets filled with donkey carts, street vendors, snake charmers and story-tellers. Marrakech is all about the colours, sounds and unique aroma!

7. Paris, France

Paris took a tumble down by six spots from previous year but still holding a prestigious place in the top 10. This city of romance does not need any explanation. Paris is just simply beautiful and provides a unique feel with a mix of leisure, liveliness and love.

8. Hanoi, Vietnam

A new but worthwhile addition to the Top 25, ranked at 8 this year is this charming Vietnamese capital. Hanoi is home to lovely lakes, parks, boulevards, monuments, colonial architecture, and over 600 uniquely built temples and pagodas.

9. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap jumped 13 spots higher from previous year. This unique city of Cambodia appears to be most popular and major tourist hub in the country. Siem Reap offers diverse range of touristic offerings including the Angkor temples. A safe, friendly and pleasant town to experience a unique holiday!

10. Shhaangi, China

Safely securing Spot No.10 – after a 13 spot-jump from previous year; the largest and the most cosmopolitan city of China has impressed tourists offering a unique sense of experience to holiday in the past, present and future, all at the same time.

Dangerous Choice of Cities to Holiday-In

By Shania Brendon

Flights to Cali with Travel Center UK

A dream vacation in foreign climes is every leisure seekers fantasy. Enticing brochures and irresistible holiday offers promoting gorgeous vacation spots are galore and many a time unknowing travellers find themselves in rather ‘sticky’ situations, due to unstable situations surrounding some of the world’s most exotic cities. We have narrowed down the 10 most dangerous, read on and learn.

1. Barquisimeto-Venezuela

Once a major tourist hub, the city has a little over a million inhabitants, unfortunately Barquisimeto records at least one murder a day. Home to many universities and faculties of higher education Barquisimeto is now sadly one of Venezuela’s most dangerous cities, avoided by many tourists.

2. Peshawar-Pakistan

Pakistan on its own is a rather dangerous destination to travel to, with tribal wars and tussles of supremacy. Peshawar has seen lots of violence with suicide bombings and attacks on security forces. Definitely not safe for tourists Peshawar sadly, boasts impressive landmarks and gorgeous parks.

3. Sana’a-Yemen

Deemed as one of the world’s most dangerous cities Sanaa is also one of the most beautiful. Unluckily located in a politically unstable country, the old city of Sana’a is resplendent with gorgeous architecture from a bygone era.

4. Acapulco-Mexico

A beautiful port-city Acapulco was once a tourist hub. However the gorgeous beaches are now deserted owing to drug-lords running the city, and dead bodies turning up almost daily. Not a pleasant experience when on vacation.

5. Distrito Central-Honduras

Beautiful Distrito-Central is made up of three small cities unfortunately Distrito-Central exceeds the standard crime rate, with a maximum murder rate worldwide. Crime and violence are attributed to strong Mafia presence, poverty and corrupt government. Only the toughest travellers visit this city.

6. Maceio-Brazil

Tropical Brazil is home to 14 of the world’s most violent cities. Site of the mighty Amazon Jungle Brazil cannot guarantee your safety in many of its cities. Maceio is by far the worst with roughly 135 murders for every 100,000 residents! Not even the slums of Rio de Janeiro are this bad.

7. Mogadishu-Somalia

The Shabaab Militants of Somalia have been plaguing Mogadishu for over a decade. Residents and tourists alike are in danger here. Despite military advice from the United States since 2013, Mogadishu is still a high risk city for its residents.

8. Nairobi-Kenya

Beautiful Kenya sadly cannot guarantee tourist safety. Just one, of Nairobi’s conflicted cities Kenya especially is unsafe for women. Walking in the streets at night is high-risk. Al Shabaab Militants add to the danger. Not surprisingly Nairobi is not top priority on most tourists list of must visit cities.

9. Chihuahua-Mexico

Drug cartel problems plague most Mexican cities and Chihuahua is unfortunately located on the main Mexico-U.S cocaine smuggling route. Almost daily exchange of fire on the streets is not conducive to a relaxing holiday, no matter how gorgeous the tropical surroundings are.

10. Cali-Colombia

Once again the drug cartels have spoilt another Latin American city. Reporting over 80 homicides on average the city is no popular tourist hub. In fact it is a risk to live here.
So there you have it, beautiful cities, great sightseeing and the highest risk of danger to tourists. Unless drastic changes take place these exotic destinations are best avoided. Remember, no holiday destination is worth risking your life.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Brazil launches new Advertising Campaign – FIFA 2014 is almost here!

By Shania Brendon
Brazil releases the big-exciting news on its launch of its new international publicity advertising campaign, produced by the ministry of tourism through the Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) on May 12, premiering 30 days prior to the opening of the much-awaited 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Brazil, the proud host of the FIFA Wold Cup 2014 – the much anticipated mega event of the year, invites tourists from all over the world to experience a football feast whilst enjoying their stay at multiple natural and cultural destinations.

The world cup comprises of 64 matches between 32 national teams spread amongst a dozen cities in Brazil including Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo.

The advertising campaign consists of two different videos named “Encounters” and “Dance” which highlights various features of Brazil including its culture, attractions, passion for dance and football as well as the happiness of its locals.

“Brazil will be the setting of the biggest sporting event, with an expected 600,000 international visitors in our country and more than 26,300 million viewers across the world, this new campaign aims to show a small preview of what Brazil has to offer,” said Vicente Neto, president of Embratur. ”

VIDEO: Encounters:

The Video “Encounters” shows off the natural attractions of the country, the warmth and energy of the Brazilian people and the diverse cultural and culinary experiences that are available throughout its cities. A highlight of this video is that it includes a jingle sung by the popular singer Ivete Sangalo that was recorded during the 2014 carnaval in Salvador, Bahir and is now presented with a fresh touch.

VIDEO: Dance:

Slightly different from Encounters, the video titled “Dance” conveys the beauty of Brazilian soccer through its unique Brazilian swag, lifestyle and culture. The video Emphasizes on the country’s way of life, culture, attractions and of course the passion for football, music and dance.

This exciting campaign targets to reach about 1.3 million people via television, internet, social networking sites, and public spaces in 113 countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Time for some Football-Loving? Travel Center UK now offers amazing deals on flights to various destinations in Brazil including flights to Belo Horizonte, flights to Manaus, flights to Rio de Janeiro and flights to Sao Paulo. Grab the cheapest flights to Brazil and experience a football feast in a country which eats, sleeps and breathes football!

Best Beach Hotels of 2014

By Shania Brendon

Condé Nast Traveller, the luxury and lifestyle travel magazine has revealed the 18th annual “hot list” highlighting the best hotels to debut the previous year. This year’s list of 33 finalists was considered to be the most selective ever, beating the entire chosen list comprising of over 500 hotels from 400 cities and 93 countries. The Hotels were split under “beach hotels, family hotels, design hotels and way-out-there remote hotels” categories. However, the newly-opened beach resorts across the world have stolen the buzz amongst the travellers. Below are the top five newly opened beach resorts that made to the prestigious Hot List of 2014:

Andaz Maui at Wailea, Hawaii

Hawaii has undoubtedly been a world-famous island destination with its beautiful beaches and resorts to die for. The opening of this incredible beachfront resort and sanctuary, Andaz Maui at Wailea gives travellers a much interesting reason to visit the island. A 15-acre beach resort with more than half of the 297 rooms overlooking the gorgeous Hawaiian beaches and incorporated with private lanais – invites you to explore and experience the best of Maui, from stunning beaches to magnificent peaks and scenic wonders. Nuzzled along crescent-shaped shores, this resort also offers adventurous activities including kayaking, canoeing and surfing along with its amazingly delicious list of food and beverages. Andaz-Maui at Wailea is where you would lounge overlooking the beaches, sipping on a coconut mocktail, while you gaze out at the beautiful skies!
Hotel features include 24-hour room service, bar, gym, spa, restaurant, swimming pool and Wi-Fi.

Prices for doubles start from $450.

Mukul Resort, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is one of the world’s hot eco-destinations and this Mukul Resort has been built with a holistic vision of being conservative and to provide new jobs for the surrounding communities. Mukul Resort comprises of 12 clay-tile-roofed villas and 23 bohios, which are huts with their own plunge pools – located in the shores of the Nicaragua’s emerald coast. The resort offers enthralling activities including biking through the rainforest, day tripping to historical village of Granda and golfing in the jungle or on the ocean shore – the choice is yours. Mukul Resort is where you can relax and rewind on your private palapa, in an organic, romantic atomosphere – Truly a blissful treat!
Hotel Features include bar, free Wi-Fi, gym, restaurant, swimming pool, gold course and spa.

Prices for doubles start from $525

Nizuc Resort & Spa, Cancun

Located in the Maya region at secluded enclave of Punta Nizuc, Nizuc Resort & Spa is the newest luxury destination in the Mexican Caribbean. Spanning a 29-acre property, the resort is set in a wondrous haven of mangroves and lush foliage, overlooking the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, surrounded by the region’s natural wonders and exciting attractions. The resort comprises of 274 luxurious suites and private villas where guests can enjoy the resort’s pools, world-class restaurants, spa while soaking in the warm waters just few metres ahead!
Hotel features include 24-hour room service, spa, bar, gym, restaurant, swimming pool and fee Wi-Fi.

Prices of doubles start from $420

Point Yamu by Como, Phuket

The newest addition to Phuket’s long list of resorts – Point Yamu by COMO sits on the tip of Cape Yamu facing the ever-gorgeous Andaman Sea and the dramatic limestones of Phang Nga Bay. The specialty of this resort is the décor designed by the popular Paola Navone – 106 modern yet airy rooms decorated in a palette of deep blues and whites, simple and soothing. This resort uniquely offers a laidback atmosphere where you could just dip in the extraordinary infinity pool; pamper yourself in the amazing spa with naps in between. Peaceful as it sounds!
Hotel features include 24-hour room service, bar, gym, spa, restaurant, swimming pool and free Wi-Fi.

Prices for doubles start from $277

Salt House Inn, Provincetown

Located in the historic Cape Cod village of Provincetown, Massachusetts; this newly opened Salt House Inn has created quite a stir in the region and is now poised to become the town’s smartest place to stay. Formerly the funky old Dexter’s Inn, today it is the hotel that is both modern and spotless – the exterior gives the whole classic New England feel whereas the interior gives the minimalist look with largely whitewashed walls, shiplap panelling and hardwood floors. The resort is just few minutes away from the beach and your couple-of-days stay at this amazing Salt House Inn would definitely be extended for extra nights!
Hotel Features include Free Wi-Fi.

Prices for doubles start from $185

This article, Best Beach Hotels of 2014, is syndicated from and is posted here with permission.

Beautiful Islands – Beautiful Holidays

By Shania Brendon
Islands are priceless gifts blessed to this world. They are a source of beauty, peace and crazy fun. With the endless opportunities of island adventures booming in the recent times including the over water bungalows, resorts and beaches to die for, Islands are now the biggest inspiration to bring on the ultimate trips. From a getaway with a bunch of friends to a romantic vacation with your loved one – Islands have it all! Take a glimpse of the five most beautiful islands in the world and add to your travel bucket list this year on!

Bora Bora, Society Islands

Just as it is named twice, the island comes along with doubled beauty and doubled memorable experiences. The turquoise lagoons, crystal white sands, scenic views with outstandingly built resorts along with the deep tangerine sunsets never fails to set the scene for the ultimate idealistic island experience for any traveller from any part of the world. A holiday here is a dream come true and brings the feeling of living in a blissful haven. The islands brings unique opportunities of mingling with fishes and turtles in the blue waters, catching breath-taking views of mountains and sceneries, shark feeding and the list never ends. To top it off, indulge in some of the island’s goodness from one of the many fine French restaurants while sipping great tropical cocktails. Amidst all these happenings, make sure you pinch yourself to believe you are actually in one of the most amazing destinations in the world.

Santorini, Cyclades

This volcanic island in the Cyclades group of Greek islands, located in the Aegean Sea is an island like no other. It has been voted as the world’s best island multiple times in the recent years especially for its unique island feel – dramatic views of candy-coloured houses carved into cliffs, absolutely stunning sunsets, sapphire waters, black sandy shores and glistening white buildings. Holiday in this island brings you peace while you roam around the amazing beaches and stroll by the village streets.

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Located amidst the northernmost waters of Belize, Central America and surrounded by the blue Caribbean is this beautiful narrow strip of untouched beauty. With the absence of high-rise hotels and developed amenities, Ambergris is now becoming a favourite destination as it guarantees to offer calm, relaxing and a laidback feel to all tourists. Divers enjoy diving around the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue hole while the rest spend time lazing around on the star-white beaches and barbecuing the nights away with their newfound friends. Ambergris is a laidback yet interesting island and certainly worth visiting.


The island that has been surprising every traveller for decades and even now does not fail to surprise island lovers with its absolutely gorgeous coastlines, fascinating wildlife and of course the high-class resorts woven into these stunning islands. Lying in the beautiful waters of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles is deemed to be one of those islands that offer an organic romantic atmosphere. The island is a perfect destination for weddings, honeymoon seekers and certainly for any couple on the planet. Along with the mesmerizing natural beauty, Seychelles offers a unique lush environment which you wouldn’t have experienced before.

Koh Tao, Thailand

Drifting serenely off the Central gulf coast of Southern Thailand is the country’s best kept secret – Koh Tao. The island is all about pleasant golden sandy beaches, amazing secluded bays, unbeatable scuba diving sites and moreover the abundant sea turtles residing on the island shores. Koh Tao is certainly Thailand’s ultimate tropical island escapes. This island has stolen the buzz of Koh Samui and Ko Pha-Ngan with its turquoise waters offshore and refreshing calm stays. Koh Tao has something to offer every visitor and absolutely nothing is in moderation – from diving with sharks to hiking around in dripping coastal jungles. The island offers long afternoons of lounging with the sun shining almost throughout the year.

This article, Beautiful Islands – Beautiful Holidays, is syndicated from and is posted here with permission.

Earth Day

By : Shania Brendon
Earth Day is a fantastic annual event celebrated by people all around the world, through the participation of numerous events that demonstrate support for environment protection. Thus, this is the season for travellers to celebrate Earth Day by reiterating their holiday plans to something unique, interesting and fascinating.

Take some time off, leave the vibrant city life, the high-rise buildings and the polluted atmosphere to experience peaceful and amazing holidays in pristine environments all around the world. It is time for you to book Earth-friendly getaways and be lost amidst the extraordinary natural wonders which this beautiful planet shares with you!

The infographics provide a list of opportunities which are well worth considering for your next Earth-friendly getaway – from WWOOF-ing in organic farms to cycling around the world!

If you are looking for a way to serve the planet and learn the whole story behind the rice and vegetables you eat, it is time for you to become a WWOOF-er. Make use of these “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” where you’ll have the opportunity to sign up to lend your hand at a farm you wish to visit, in exchange for free food and lodging. This offers a perfect opportunity to travel for free while you deepen your knowledge on the ropes of agriculture.

If you are not much into farming, worry no further – there are ample Earth-friendly getaways catering to every traveller’s needs. You may choose to stay at the fascinating eco-friendly Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji – where the resort’s beach serves to be a protected marine reserve. Relax on the soothing beaches while you indulge in juicy organic fruits and coconuts which the resort serves you with. Truly an outstanding experience!

Is adventure on your bucket list? Join the Tour d’Afrique to cycle your way throughout the continent of Africa from north to south – through the fascinating rivers, deserts, waterfalls and wildlife or experience the life on a Kruger eco-reserve camp where you can hear lions and hyenas while you sleep. Volunteer at the world’s most outstanding National Park where you’d help in counting wild animals, restoring dams and clearing bush.

The opportunities for Earth-Friendly getaways are in abundance – join the Costa Rica’s Certification for Sustainable Tourist program where you lodge at a hotel nuzzled on an organic coffee plantation and pick your own Costa-Rican coffee or join the tour “Cycle of the Vineyards” outside Perth, Australia to experience one of many agriculture-based bike tours around the world. You could also choose to bathe in Austria’s Rogner Bad Blumau spa which is hailed as the world’s largest liveable work of art or snorkel in the tiny oasis off the coast of Zanzibar, the Chumbe Island.

Make use of these amazing opportunities to both travel and serve the planet! Talk to your travel agents in London like Travel Center UK who will assist you in booking the ideal Earth-friendly getaway!

This article, Earth Day, is syndicated from and is posted here with permission.

Marvelous Attractions of China Highlighted in 2014

The mystery and beauty of the orient is reflected in a worldwide campaign to promote China to international tourists in 2014. ‘Beautiful China-2014 Year of Smart Travel’ is the theme under which the China Tourism Administration is promoting the country. An accelerated campaign is launched to put China on the map as being chic and modern while still being steeped in ancient mystery.

One of the oldest civilizations China appeals to tourists of varied taste, from record breaking architecture to ancient relics, monuments and breathtaking scenery, China today is a blend of ultra-modern technology and old world traditions.

Deciding on a region or city to visit is super easy when you log onto we offer complete travel solutions for both, luxurious or budget friendly travel plans. We go one step further by offering you local info in the form of public transport, language, currency and weather patterns.

The 3000 year old capital city Beijing is renowned for its modern architectural structures which revel in the backdrop of the beautiful Yanshan Range and Yongding River.

One the world’s most renowned cosmopolitan cities Shanghai is the biggest city located at the estuary of the Yangtze River. Shanghai faces Japan’s Kyushu Island.

Apart from cosmopolitan cities, China is steeped in tradition and history, from the Great Wall of China to the Terra Cotta soldiers China is renowned for its Dragon Festival, Festival of Lanterns and more.

Cuddly Pandas, Breathtaking river cruises, traditional bamboo rafts, and the Forbidden City etc. keep drawing millions of visitors each year. While a touch of magic courtesy of Disneyworld China guarantees a heap of fun for the kids.

Not forgetting those delectable dishes we all love, sit down to a meal of over 20 dishes, savour each bite, and wash it down with a glass of sake. Enjoy, revel and take back a million memories.

Simply choose the part of China you wish to enjoy by checking out the range of hotels available on our website, all with helpful insights to nearby attractions, amenities and the best deal for your budget.

This article, Marvelous Attractions of China Highlighted in 2014, is syndicated from and is posted here with permission.