Ecotourism and Agrotourism in Crete

Ecotourism is environmentally responsible tourism, supporting nature, cultural heritage and contributing to the local community, Travellers should be encouraged to minimise their impact on the eco system and support green practices.

Agrotourism – or agritourism – is an expansion of ecotourism in which visitors are encouraged to partake in farming and agricultural activities.

Ecotourism in Crete

The beautiful and diverse island of Crete has much to offer in the way of nature, flora and fauna, archaeological treasures, history, customs and traditions. The old ways of life still prevail in the mountain villages, with Cretans working and living off their land and livestock in many areas.

Although mass tourism and development have made a great (negative) impact on the island’s environment (many areas along the North coast in particular, have become over developed), the heart of Crete remains and holidays in the ‘real’ Crete are popular amongst the environmentally aware. Renting a village house or farm helps to support the local community and encourages the preservation of architectural heritage through the renovation of old buildings.
Eco Activities

Crete has much to offer in sustainable tourism through her nature and cultural heritage such as:

Gorges, mountains – hiking
Flora and fauna – the protection of Crete’s abundant wild flowers, and species such as the kri kri (wild mountain goat), the caretta caretta sea turtle and the bearded vulture.
The local cuisine. Many village tavernas serve only home grown organic vegetables, cheeses and hand reared meat
Visits to local co-operatives, including olive oil factories, folklore museums, craft workshops, wine producers.

Eco Awareness
Preserving Local Resources

Water and electricity resources are stretched to their limit on the island during the peak tourism months of July and August.

Environmentally aware visitors should limit, and not waste, their water consumption. The vast majority of rental properties on the island have air conditioning and visitors should be encouraged to use them efficiently and minimally (close all doors and windows when in use. Never leave the air con on when going out). In the case of solar hot water heating, showers should be taken later in the day when the sun has heated the hot water.

Recycling Flytipping (the illegal dumping of waste) has historically been a large problem in Crete – unwanted household furniture and appliances among other things, would routinely be dumped in the countryside or down a hillside. Fortunately the local municipalities have more recently taken measures to address this problem and provide a heavy waste collection service to citizens. This, along with the education of the younger generations, has helped with the clean up of the countryside.

The local municipalities also encourages the recycling of paper, cans and bottles.There are recycling bins in many locations in all municipalities, but often not in smaller villages. Batteries can also be recycled at electrical and mobile phone shops in the towns.

Agrotourism in Crete

Agritourism activities in Crete, in which visitors can participate include:

Orange picking (January to March )
Picking and treading the grapes for wine making (September),
The making of raki – also called tsikoudia -the local firewater. Distilled from the must of the grapes ( October, November)
Olive picking (November to February – depending on local weather conditions and the area)


Base your stay off the beaten track in a renovated house in one of the many mountain villages, or rent a charming cottage by the sea.

Pure Crete provides holidays in houses and villas in Crete, in Cretan villages at the foothills of the White Mountains in western Crete. Some have been restored from dereliction by Pure Crete in co-operation with local families using traditional building methods. Your stay contributes to the livelihood of the local community and supports the local culture.

They offer walking holidays with botanical experts, list local festivals on their website and have an autumn environmental week when you get to see olive presses in action and grapes being gathered for local wine.

The Milia Settlement is a restored stone built settlement in the mountains of western Crete. The owners farm the land around the guest houses and all edible fruit and vegetables end up in the kitchen of the taverna, while their remnants and other plants feed the animals, who in turn provide milk and cheese, meat, leather, wool and manure. Solar energy provides electric power, along with candles for lighting.

Mining in Space with Prospecting Satellites

Satellite Radio Technology in Prospecting

Science fiction and futurist literature amassed stories of asteroid mining after WWII. In addition to looking to the skies for private transportation (props and jetliners) and a satellite system with which to warn the West about Communist missile attacks, scientists and senators looked for ways of capturing natural resources from space such as the moon and Mars.

Having little idea how to go about this, they fell back to watch Science Fiction give them some answers.

The bicycle building Wright Brothers were not much believed when they took flight, but after success in 1903, Henry Ford offered the first commercial American Airport just two decades later. Writer Arthur C.Clarke invented the notion of ComSat – communications satellites – and scientists laughed at him, until they themselves produced them.

In the 2010s, we have satellite telescopes prospecting for mine-able minerals on Earth and on nearby asteroids. The Wrights, Henry Ford, and Sir Arthur would be happy.
The Leader In Asteroid Mining.

This company, founded in 2012, is so successful, that films are parodying it already in 2013 (please see Asteroid Film).

Arkyd 100 is the first of a series of prospecting satellites designed for use in the field of Near Earth Asteroid Mining. Planetary Resources, the leader in asteroid mining since its inception in 2010, is the producer and user of these satellites. to date, three levels of prospecting satellites are in use:

Arkyd-100: Leo Space Telescope — The first private space telescope ever developed, used in low-Earth orbit only.
Arkyd-200: Interceptor Telescope – Can cut across the trajectory of an asteroid to collect data.
Arkyd-300: Rendezvous Prospector Telescope — Close data gathering.

Arkyd-100 Scale Model
Arkyd, the name, may be a derivative of Star Wars’ Arakyd Industries.
Arkyd, the name, may be a derivative of Star Wars’ Arakyd Industries. | Source
Disposable Satellites

Forbes Magazine tells us that the next level of prospecting satellites is full of disposables. Will this lead to more space debris and finally, a Pacific Gyre Garbage Patch in the sky?

Actually, Forbes says that the satellites are for use in battlefield surveillance, but why could they not be adapted for prospecting in congested areas where prospecting satellites are likely to be destroyed while working? See the Ratheon company website for more information on the $1.5 Million contract they won from DARPA for the SeeME disposables project.
Asteroid Mining Race

The Asteroid Mining Race – Google and Company vs Dee…
New controversy & competition – while pundits and some scientists say asteroids are too far away to mine, a new Asteroid Mining Company in 2013 plans to compete with Google backed Planetary Resources.

Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets (Helix Book)
Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets (Helix Book)
Buy Now

Competition in Near Earth Orbit Asteroid Search

From 1945 through 1998, the world experienced the Cold War and the US-Soviet Space Race. From July 2011 and the final US Space Shuttle Mission, forward, the world was presented with the US Space Mining Race.

NASA began gather its private partners in the NASA Commercial Crew well before the last shuttle went up and returned, but most of America was not paying attention that. In fact, some factions were glad for the in attention, because it helped push forward their agenda of reporting that NASA was going to close down in 2012 and 1,000s more jobs than already predicted would be lost in the aftermath. However,that is not so —

Just from the data from the NASA facility in Cleveland, former Astronaut John Glenn’s professorship at OSU in Columbus, and two astronautical installations near Newark, Ohio (including a post-secondary school), and the aerospace business expansion in 25% of the state in the Ohio Space Corridor from Cincinnati to Dayton/Fairborn to Columbus, Ohio residents know that NASA is active, may become privatized in the future if necessary.

They know that Ohio is involved in space mining, space transportation that includes freight, and related activities through the manufacture of space habitats and vehicles and related parts. As Wright Patterson Air Force Base was instrumental in developing Space Shuttle Technology, so are its personnel active in the next chapter of space exploration and business: space mining; and long term habitation.
The Ohio Space Corridor
The Ohio Space Corridor | Source
Deep Space Nine Revisited

Deep Space Industries playfully patterns itself after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It has its own agenda for mining near Earth asteroids and presents the only major competition for Planetary Resources at this writing. Geologist and chemist John S. Lewis joined that organization in February 2013.

Planetary Resources is ready to send up Arkyd-series satellites in 2013, while Deep Space will not launch until 2015. This is all convenient, because —

At the same time, the Google LunarX Prize competition is ahead of schedule by two years, with Lunar landers in early 2013. The moon is a good platform from which to extend space mining activities now and for space tourism expansion in the future. Among other positives, the lesser gravity of the moon requires less fuel on takeoff than that needed on Earth.

Simultaneously, NASA is working the 2013 Exploration Habitat Prize (X-HAB). In this,NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation chose five American universities to participate in a space habitat design contest and ongoing production project. Member companies of NASA’s Commercial Crew are also at work and have habitats ready to use on the moon. Planetary Resources (Google is part of it) has been a member of the Crew since its company inception, pre-dating their competition. Still, the Space Mining Race is on-

When you step back and see the big picture of LunarX, X-Hab, and Arkyd, a connection is explosive with moon landing equipment available for use in 2013.
Major Asteroid Mining Players
show route and directions
A markerPlanetary Resources, Seattle WA – Seattle, WA, USA
[get directions]

B markerDeep Space Industries, McLean VA – McLean, VA, USA
[get directions]

C markerGoogle, Mountain View CA – Google Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
[get directions]

A partner in Planetary Resources
Mining He3 On the Moon
Back to the Moon
Back to the Moon
Buy Now

Space Mine 1898

Literary websites and university departments think that the Sci-Fi introduction of asteroid mining occurred in a Garrett P. Serviss short story called Edison’s Conquest of Mars in the New York Evening Journal in 1898. I would have guessed H.G. Wells.

Some sites go on to mention Sci-Fi in the 1990s as the next batch of asteroid mining stories, but they miss Star Trek: TOS television episodes of mining colonies and the mining novel Miners In the Sky (Murray Leinster) about the same time in 1967. Star Wars in the 1980s also dealt with asteroid mining.

Tourist attractions of Ladakh; the Land of High Passes or Little Tibet in Jammu & Kashmir

A mysterious ride through the remote, cold, desert passes is a hilarious thrill craved by a nature lover. Ladakh, popularly called as Little Tibet is a land of high passes where you may find such a sojourn. The blend of dry views and a cold climate is the exemplary characteristic of Ladakh. Meander through its ways and explore another unique veil of nature to pamper in your memories!
Ladakh | Source

This hub is the third part of the expansion of my ultimate dream vacation in Jammu & Kashmir. Ladakh is a region of India in the state of Jammu & Kashmir that lies between the Kunlun mountain range in the North and the main Great Himalayas to the South. This sparsely populated region is inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent. The remote mountainous beauty of deserts with Indus River meandering in between having bright hues sketched in some interior spots makes Ladakh, a truly exotic extravaganza. Buddhist Chortens and monasteries bless the place with a peaceful ambience. The main attractions of Ladakh are:
1. Leh
Leh | Source
Buddhist Gompa in Leh
Buddhist Gompa in Leh | Source
Do you know?

Ladakh has so many chortens and gompas of Buddhism. The tranquil horizon sometimes gives the perception of the presence of Lord Buddha here.

It is a district in Ladakh spanning a large area with a historical kingdom of Tibet. There are so many attractions in this eloquent region that deserve to be elaborated in another hub. Leh welcomes the wayfarer with

Shanti Stupa – a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa. Surrounding panorama really establishes the presence of Sri Buddha here.
Leh Palace – Overlooking the Leh town, this palace is in its ruin built in Tibetan architectural style.
Hemis gompa – a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Hemis.
Leh trekking trails- There are several treks through the valleys where snow-clad mountain passes, lakes and cold deserts can be explored.
Chamba temple – Chamba Temple of Leh is dedicated to Maitreya in Sanskrit, also known as Jampa in Tibetan – the ‘future Buddha’ or ‘the Buddha to come’.
Jama Masjid – Situated in the heart of Leh, favorite mosque of Muslims.
Jo Khang gompa- Located in the main bazaar of Leh, this Buddhist monastery houses the crowned Buddha.
Sankar gompa – Another Buddhist monastery in Leh.
Stok gompa or palace – This Buddhist monastery was the residence of Ladakhi royalty for some time.
Zoravar fort- Built by the brave Dogra Rajput King Zoravar Singh
Magnetic hill – The gravity hill, a type of optical illusion created by the rising and descending terrain.

2. Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley
Nubra Valley | Source
Maitreya Buddha statue
Maitreya Buddha statue | Source

This large valley is formed by the result of the confluence of rivers Shyok and Nubra. Scant vegetation in this region makes way for brilliant color combination of sand and blue waters in the higher altitudes. The Khardung La pass from Leh town is the only way to access Nubra valley. Diskit town in the valley is the main congregation centre of people and has got several Government offices with basic facilities. The 32m Maitreya Buddha statue is the landmark of Nubra valley managed by the Nubra monastery. The secluded valley is serene where another facet of nature is unveiled.
3. Lake Moriri
Lake Tso Moriri
Lake Tso Moriri | Source
Tibetan ass at Moriri Lake
Tibetan ass at Moriri Lake | Source

This mountain lake is another distinctive enhancement to the aura of Ladakh. Deep blue water beneath barren hills in snow-covered mountainous backdrop is how Lake Moriri got designed by the eternal hands of God. Rupshu Valley in Changthang plateau is the residence of this lake that has brackish water with marshy lands.

Open only during summer season, Lake Tso Moriri also has several Gompas of which Torzok monastery is 400 years old. Nomadic herders of goats, yaks, and cows live in the lake’s vicinity. The diverse fauna of this region is commendable with several species of birds and animals including Tibetan sheep and ass. Camping is allowed here and some tourists would stay here for luring the serene shadow of this remote, cold mountainous belle.
4. Pangong Lake
Lake Pangong
Lake Pangong | Source
Ducks in Pangong Tso
Ducks in Pangong Tso | Source

Adding to the placid lakes in the higher altitudes of Ladakh, Pangong Lake stretches from India to Tibet. The Line of Actual Control passes through this lake that is a delicate border point. Situated in the upper reaches of Himalayan ranges, the most interesting feature of Lake Pangong is its ever changing hues. Deep blue water engulfed in dry hills with rocky lakeshores is the usual appearance of this lake. A ramp like formation of land into the lake is another favorite spot of the tourists. During winter Pangong Lake freezes completely despite being saline. But in summer, this long, narrow, enchanted lake is in its sublime glory with ducks and gulls floating over it.
5. Zanskar
Zanskar | Source
Phugthal monastery
Phugthal monastery | Source

This secluded, sparsely populated region is the neighbor of Ladakh that gets separated by the Zanskar Range. Zanskar is the sub-district of Kargil with its capital Padum. Here, one may come across several Buddhist gompas and Chortens on the rocky mountain ridges. One may feel that the real way to attain salvation is here because of the hefty isolation in the uplands from the outer world of all comfort and company.

The people of Zanskar called as Zanskaris live in villages surrounding the valleys. They depend upon their livestock especially, the yak. Buddhism is the religion of the major population and several monks reside in monasteries. Sani monastery built in a flat plain land is said to be the oldest religious site in Zanskar. Phugtal and Bardan monasteries also have significant historical importance with huge statues and stupas.
6. Hemis gompa
Hemis gompa
Hemis gompa | Source

This Tibetan Buddhist monastery is situated at Hemis in a magnificent backdrop of rocky mountains. The Ladakhi ruler Sengge Namgyal re-established it that is famous for the annual Padmasambhava festival held in early June. He is venerated as the Hemis representative re-incarnating Sri Buddha. Believed to have been born on the 10th day of 5th month of the Monkey year, he had a noble intention of improving the spiritual condition of all living beings. This day is celebrated every year in the courtyard of the monastery with great ferver. Lamas perform splendid colorful masked dances and plays to the accompaniment of drums and long horns. The Thangka ( Chinese painting) of Padmasambhava, said to be the biggest in Ladakh is displayed to the public once in a cycle of 12 years during this festival.

Hemis National Park, a reserve of the en-dangered snow leopard is also nearby.

7. Thikse gompa
Thikse monastery
Thikse monastery | Source
Maitreya Buddha statue in Thikse
Maitreya Buddha statue in Thikse | Source

Anchored in a hilltop in the Valley of Indus, Thikse resembles most of the Potola Palace of Lhasa and hence called as ‘Mini Potola’. This monastery belongs to the sect Yellow Hat (Gelugpa). Thikse gompa is a massive structure of several buildings in 12 storeys built in the ascending order of their importance. If the foothill buildings comprise of dwelling units, upper roofs house the monasteries and the official residence of the Chief Lama.

Thikse gompa also has a wonderful stock of Buddhist art. The Stupas, statues, Thangkas and wall paintings catch our attention with their elegant dexterity. A 15 metres (49 ft) high statue of Maitreya, covering two storeys of the building is deified in the monastery. A nunnery is also part of the complex.

Thikse celebrates Gustor festival in the ninth month of the Tibetan calendar during which special mask dance, Cham dance is performed

Number Of Chinese Tourists Taking Bahamas Holidays On The Rise

Chinese tourists are becoming more and more interested in spending holidays in the Bahamas and in the Caribbean in general. However, according to a top executive at Air China, direct service to the Bahamas is not yet an option for Chinese travellrs. China’s flag carrier is instead targeting more flights to North America’s centric cities and striking up partnerships with local carriers to funnel traffic into the region.

The vice president and general manager for North America at Air China, Zhihang Chi, stated that the airline has ordered the whopping amount of $10.7 billion worth of new aircraft that will help it to achieve this end. “We still don’t have that airplane to effectively fly direct,” Chi said “It will be based on partnerships through North America and creating connecting traffic. If you want to fly an airplane to Nassau directly, you’re bound to lose money. There is no question about it.”

Speaking at the Routes of America 2012 conference, the Air China chief stated that he is now occupied with a series of meetings in order to prepare the airline’s continued expansion. Chi also added that the carrier has grown between 10 percent and 12 percent for the past few years. “The only way to make flights work into the Caribbean is to fly into a thick getaway city such as Miami, Atlanta or New York City,” he explained “From there, put Chinese passengers on a connecting flight operated by say JetBlue or Southwest or American Eagle.”

Chinese tourism in the Bahamas and in the Caribbean has been a much talked about issue among tourism officials. The $6.2 billion Baha Mar project on Cable Beach, broke ground one year ago. This ambitious development which will help make Bahamas holidays more attractive and appealing to Chinese travellers was funded by the Export-Import Bank of China, with construction provided by China Construction America.

The Bahamian government is pursuing an e-distribution system in order to make the process of obtaining visas for Chinese tourists a lot simpler. Chi expressed he felt his initiative was essential to increasing airlift into the Caribbean. “We cannot get enough passengers,” he said “We see them as gold. If they want to come to Nassau, we want them to fly Air China either to New York or some other location and connect. I don’t want them to fly to a US carrier to Miami and then down here. We want that business. We are completely dedicated to that.”

Zhihang Chi thinks that the Bahamas government should concentrate on doing more to promote the country in China and “spend some dollars”. While Chinese travellers find the concept of a tropical paradise motivating, there are other similar destinations in the Indian Ocean geographically closer to them, and The Bahamas’ tourism industry should work hard to sell Bahamas hotels and resorts, and draw in Chinese visitors with more publicity. The more presence the Bahamas has in China the better.

Chi also made clear that airlift is not the only consideration for potential tourism centres. The average Chinese tourist spends $6,500 each, mostly because they enjoy shopping in foreign locales. “The Chinese tourist is the biggest spender, they have more disposable income and want to splurge. Everything in the U.S. and Caribbean is a bargain. Chinese tourists are already there. And more will be coming.” Chi concluded

Panama’s Tourism Growth

Tourism is booming in Panama. This has resulted in the growth of the Panama real estate as well. There are many Panama properties that are being acquired today by various development companies that look to develop the tourism. Panama property is one of the world’s best spot for eco tourism. There is an abundant flora and fauna found in Panama property. This is because of the tropical climate. The climate and the weather conditions promote the growth of trees and flowers the likes of which are rarely found in the rest of the world. The landscape is beautiful and the mountains are most elegant. There are a large variety of animals and birds available in the area that are not domestic but yet not unfriendly. There is a good balance between nature and development Panama property. The flora and the fauna along with development are given complete support. Panama is extremely safe for tourists. The tourist police are available to help the tourists in Panama in every step so that they have a comfortable visit. Also there are police who are patrolling the streets in cars so that the streets are kept safe from thugs and pick pockets. The taxi drivers are honest and much is done to take care of the security of the tourists. Panama is very economical compared to other places. This is because tourism is in its early stages. However this does not mean that the tourism is lacking. There are massive Panama property development plans that are undertaken to build accommodation for tourists. Tourists from all over the world are coming to visit Panama. The expansion of the canal has made sure that more and more tourists come every year. The prices of are modest and your journey will be very cost effective.

There are many places in Panama that you can visit. The most important attraction of Panama real estate will be however the fantastic beaches of Panama. Weather it’s on the pacific side or on the Caribbean side the beaches in Panama are excellent vacation spots. You can enjoy the topical climate and get that perfect tan that you always wanted. Also there are many comfort facilities in the hotels and restaurants built on Panama property that caters to every need of the customers. The tourists can enjoy many local delicacies that are available in the restaurants. The weather is another reason why you should choose to go to Panama for your vacation. The weather remains warm and sunny and is not cold and at the same time not hot either. This makes weather an ideal time for activities like surfing, jet skiing or swimming. These are the few of the activities that you can do while you are on your vacation in Panama property. If you do not like the beaches then there are mountains that are there to please you. The beautiful mountains play host to a number of adventure activities that you can do to fulfill your thirst for adventure. These would include trekking, river rafting etc. All this makes for the rapid development of tourism and Panama real estate.

Panama’s Tourism Industry

The tourism industry in Panama is on a rapid growth today. The Panama real estate market today is booming. This is because of the tourism sector of Panama is taking up the development of more and more undeveloped land and area of Panama property and turning then into projects of grand hotels and resorts. This is helping to generate more and more tourism in Panama. This is because tourism is one of the major sources of income in Panama. It is estimated that tourists spend over one billion every year in Panama property. This makes it one of the biggest earners in the economy. As such the government has done much to promote tourism and Panama real estate in the country. With the expansion of the canal there are more ships that are passing by bringing in more tourists. Panama property is being advertised as the perfect vacation destination all over the world. From every corner of the world tourists are flooding in and contributing to the development of the country’s tourism. There are many reasons why tourists visit Panama. The beaches are one of the most favorite destinations for the tourists here. These beaches are beautiful and are vast. There are beaches on the Caribbean as well as the tropical side. The tourists who visit these beaches are often lost in their beauty. The beaches have many resorts as well as hotels that take of every facility of the tourists. The tourists can enjoy long vacations in the country with nothing to do but to play around in the sand and the water of the country. The beaches are well maintained and are clean and beautiful.

For the tourists that are looking for something that is a bit more exciting and adventurous than the beach there is the mountains that are beautiful and luxurious. There are many cottages and tourist homes that are developed in the mountains of Panama real estate that make the tourists feel like they are in the lap of nature. The hotels and tourist homes are fixed with every amenity that are present in the mountains have every sort of facility that will make their vacation comfortable. Apart from this there are many sporting adventures like mountain climbing, trekking etc. that are carried out so that the tourist will get a good feel of the mountains. Also the mountains have a host of animals and birds that are rarely found anywhere. Panama property is becoming one of the fastest developing real estates in the world and a large part of this is attributed to tourism and development of the Panama real estate. Therefore much is done to the development of tourism and tourist hospitality here. The safety and comfort of tourists are paid great attention to. There are the tourist police set up that exclusively looks after the safety and the security of the tourists. With the growing infrastructure, a large amount of money from the government is spent on the tourist facilities and development of Panama real estate. The facilities make the visit of the tourists in the country more comfortable and joyful. This helps the tourists to visit the county again and again and maybe finally settle here on Panama property.

Importance of Tourism For Emerging Market Investments

Global mass tourism has been a strong influencing factor in the expansion of foreign real estate investment around the world. Emerging markets with growing mass tourism appeal have gained investor interest for strong rental yields, bargain property prices, fast capital growth potential and high demand enabling good exit strategies. Continued success with economic growth in these markets largely depends upon the lasting appeal of the tourism sector.

Locations with the greatest potential for continued mass tourism and real estate investment growth are those offering year round sunshine, attractive beaches and golfing options. Areas of fast growing interest tend to be in locations within a short or mid haul flights of the tourism sector client base. Currency exchange rates can also have an effect on the popularity of specific locations, as fluctuating rates offer either benefits or disadvantages to certain areas, increasing or decreasing the seasonal attraction.

As tourism interest increases in emerging market locations, property prices tend to rise dramatically over a relatively short period of time. The surge in investment demand enables impressive returns to those buyers entering the market at the earliest stage of expansion. This is also considered to be one of the riskier alternatives, as the success of the tourism sector is yet to be established.

Although the lower cost of property prices in emerging markets can lead to a surge in demand for investment opportunities, the risks of investing tends to decrease as tourism interest strengthens. The continued development of local tourism is a factor closely tied to the ‘make or break’ situation of the buy-to-let market.

The global expansion of mass tourism, assisted by faster traveling times, convenient flight connections, low cost airlines and the internet, has created a potential for strong economic growth in regions of high demand. Government integration to boost the domestic economy through foreign investment and tourism, has lead many nations to develop and improve the infrastructure required for continued expansion and demand.

Areas of limited natural resources benefit significantly from the introduction of mass tourism. Providing additional revenue and sustainable economic growth to the region, the development of the tourism sector creates employment opportunities in the domestic market. Expanding tourism can also provide much needed awareness for the growth and development of local real estate to foreign investors. Benefits to investors can often include taxation advantages, enticing additional potential buyers to consider the market.

Self-catering accommodation has been steadily gaining appeal over recent years amongst holiday makers, visiting for an average length of time between one and three weeks. The abundance of advertising opportunities available on the internet has eased the accessibility, along with communication issues relating to overseas properties in the letting market.

The progression of self catering accommodation has been beneficial to real estate investors in overseas markets, whether through self administration, or contracting the services of professional management companies.

A rise in options such as guaranteed rental schemes has assisted with the growth of the buy-to-let investment market. In regions of strong tourism demand, prominent multinational tour operators are constantly expanding their accommodation options, often providing guaranteed rental schemes to attract investors. Real estate investors taking advantage of guaranteed rental schemes benefit from effortless income generation, with a property located in an area of strong demand.

As the attraction of strong economic gains from investments in emerging property markets has developed in part from mass tourism, the success of a buy-to-let investment market can be tightly linked to the success of the local tourism sector. While holidays continue to extend further afield and for longer periods of time, the market is constantly expanding at a rapid pace. Destinations with long term dedication and maintainable resources for mass tourism growth benefit from increased opportunities, along with continued attraction of foreign real estate investors.

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Settling Florida – The Golden Age of Tourism in the Postwar Era

As millions of soldiers returned from WWII and settled in the newly habitable state of Florida, massive changes to the landscape were underway. The Everglades which had dominated the southern interior of the state had been drained and the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) was established to add dimension to Florida’s burgeoning economy. Sugar became the principal crop in the south as orange plantations stretched northward along the banks of the St. John’s River in towns like Lochloosa, Lake Orange, and the aptly named Citra.

Florida began to develop new cultural facets as the population expanded. Boating, fishing, and surfing (all of which had been popular along the coasts for decades) found a niche in the sinkholes, streams, and lakes that dot the interior of Florida. Freshwater springs like Wakulla Springs and Jennie Springs became outdoor meccas for new Floridians and served as a unique feature that other states couldn’t match. Wakulla Springs in particular became famous as the backdrop for the classic film ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’.

Many cities began to attract various nationalities and reflected the change in their demographics through commerce and culture. In a very short span of time cities like Tampa (Cuban), New Smyrna (Greek), and Miami (Cuban/Pan-Caribbean) began to adopt the look and feel of their new residents’ former homelands.

Major League Baseball expanded its Spring Training operations around the state as improved train and roadways opened up the state to easy access for out-of-town visitors. The presence of baseball in the state helped ease the transition to Florida for the millions of Northerners who had made the move. Also, NASA chose Cape Canaveral as its primary launch site and began an ongoing commitment to the scientific and academic communities throughout the state. These factors combined with the expansion of the state university system and statewide news media helped foster Florida’s sense of cultural identity.

All of this led to the invention of a great American tradition: The Florida road rip. Thousands of tourists from around the nation would flock to Florida to enjoy white sand beaches, fresh citrus, and the novelty of the Florida lifestyle. Countless quaint roadside attractions offered up-close interactions with alligators and other native wildlife. Golf also became a staple activity that drew tourism. Roadside vendors, hotels, and restaurants subsisted on this flow of northern travelers virtually year-round.

The postwar era is generally remembered as a Golden Age for Florida. Opportunities seemed endless, resources boundless, and growth potential infinite. Unfortunately, it was not meant to last as overcrowding, crime, and pollution became significant problems. The final blow to family owned tourism establishments would come in the form of an animated mouse; however, that is a whole other story.

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Financial Mail AdFocus Awards winners to be announced next week

On 23 November 2016, the winners of the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards winners will be announced in Rivonia when the best of the best in the industry will be rewarded and industry can reflect upon itself.
Financial Mail AdFocus Awards winners to be announced next week“There are many challenges within the industry, hence the AdFocus cover theme,” says David Furlonger, co-editor of the AdFocus Awards. “Marketing, advertising and communications have never been straightforward in South Africa, with proposed regulatory changes around black ownership and a new industry ombudsman merely add to the complexity.”

“Existing challenges include new technology, skills shortages, shrinking budgets in a near-recessionary economic environment, and clients demanding more for less. Anyone who can successfully manage all of these deserves a medal.

“It is hard to say where all this is leading us to… but recent South African research suggests most clients want to deal with fewer agencies – preferably just one. By international standards, the average South African client deals with many agencies and they want to reduce the number. Interestingly, three-quarters would like their integrated agency to include media strategy – a reversal of what has happened in the past.”

AdFocus Awards co-editor, Jeremy Maggs, believes that this year’s AdFocus Awards come at a time when the communications industry has to reinvent itself constantly to meet the perpetually changing dynamics of the market and how consumers relate to brands. “It’s not an easy time and agencies who are able to adapt to these needs are the ones that shone in this year’s programme. Next year will be even tougher as the ad industry not only grapples with these ongoing challenges but will also have to up its game in terms of transformation.”

Quiet 2016

AdFocus Jury chairman Craig Page-Lee says that after the flurry of M&A activity in 2015 – the two biggest transactions being that of French multinational giant Publicis acquiring The Creative Counsel for R1bn and South Africa’s incuBeta merging with DQ&A from the Netherlands, valued at about R1,5bn, the advertising and media industry has been relatively quiet in this space during 2016.

“That said, the agency world was, however, awash with a number of substantial pitches the past year, including the likes of Pick n Pay, Edcon, ABSA, MTN and SA Tourism and various alcohol brands.” This resulted in a huge number of resources and priceless value (both in terms of IP and time value committed) being sucked from already stretched agencies across the country.

“The sad reality is that some of the clients seemed not to respect the principles of the pitch process and really exploited a number of agency groups unnecessarily.”

“What is important to note is that many clients have insisted on a total integrated approach to their communications needs, forcing a broad spectrum of agency disciplines to work together. Hopefully, this is the catalyst to driving genuine integration and inter-discipline collaboration across the industry.”

Furlonger adds that the AdFocus Awards see the picture from the agency side but here, too, there seems a growing trend to provide a more integrated service – though, as FCB Africa CEO Brett Morris observes, “Agencies must be careful to provide what clients need, not what agencies need them to need.” In other words, agencies must add only those disciplines that their clients demand.

This year the Awards introduced a new category, Public Relations, which replaces Branding & Design, whose agencies now compete for the Specialist award. Also new this year is the sponsorship of the Partnership of the Year Award of a R100,000 of client-agency performance measurement consultancy by new sponsor The Observatory International.

New $150 million Victoria Falls International Airport officially opens

On 18 November 2016, the new $150 million Victoria Falls International Airport officially opens its new and upgraded facilities to the world. The new airport has the capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers per annum – triple its previous volume – and is capable of landing some of the world’s largest aircraft.

The new Victoria Falls International Airport from the runway. Photo – Tami Walker
The new Victoria Falls International Airport from the runway. Photo – Tami Walker

Zimbabwean hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) welcomes the major development, which is set to usher in a new era of tourism to the region.

“The positive impact of the new Victoria Falls International Airport will be very significant and should take the destination and region to a new level in terms of arrivals,” says AAT’s chief executive, Ross Kennedy. “The socio-economic benefits will be widespread as increased and new access drives the tourism sector’s growth with arrivals from additional source markets.”

Kennedy added that increased interest was shown in the new Victoria Falls International Airport at the World Travel Market – a major global travel trade show – held in London last week. “I met with many tour operators, media, and airlines at the show, and I can confirm that interest is very high and the travel industry is excited by the opening.

“Zimbabwe remains a ‘hot destination’ on the schedules of many tour operators across the globe,” Kennedy said.

The airport

Annajulia Hungwe, PR and communications manager of the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, said the new airport could accommodate more than three times as many passengers as before, and had been built to accommodate further expansion should rising tourist numbers in the future deem it necessary.

The new airport in Zimbabwe’s leading resort town has been fully operational since September. The development included the construction of a new international terminal building and the rehabilitation of the existing one into a domestic terminal.

The airport features a four-kilometre runway, a state-of-the-art control tower – which is one of the most advanced in Africa – and a fire station, equipped to respond to fire and medical emergencies.

Inside the international terminal at Victoria Falls International Airport. Photo – Tami Walker

Facilities at the international terminal include 14 check-in counters, nine boarding gates, three baggage carousels, a dozen shops, two restaurants, 28 aircraft parking bays and parking facilities for 400 vehicles.

Check-in at Victoria Falls International Airport’s rehabilitated domestic terminal. Photo – Tami Walker.

The domestic terminal features six check-in counters, two passenger security-screening facilities, one restaurant and three coffee shops, eight other retail outlets and a business-class lounge.

The airport, funded by a China Exim Bank loan to the Zimbabwean Government, was constructed by the China Jiangsu International Group.