Posted by Glenn Borchardt at 10:54 PM

New York, NY –The Global Wellness Institute™ (GWI) in partnership with Scientific American Worldview recently held an invitation-only roundtable on the topic of “The Science of Wellness: Hype or Hope?” Leaders from the medical, science, business, technology, research, media, workplace wellness and hotel/spa worlds gathered on February 11 at the Everyday Health headquarters in Manhattan for a wide-ranging conversation on the many ways that science and evidence-based medicine are impacting the wellness industry, and how wellness (and the growing medical evidence for wellness approaches) is impacting people, traditional medicine, private companies and public policy.

The discussion, co-moderated by Jeremy Abbate, VP, Global Media Alliances, Scientific American; Publishing Director, Scientific American Worldview and Susie Ellis, president and CEO of the GWI, included executives and experts from American Public Media, Cornell and Rutgers Universities, Delos, Everyday Health, The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine, Optum, Paramedical Consultants, Inc. (PCI), Patients Beyond Borders, Pegasus Capital Advisors, Six Senses, SRI International and Viacom Media Networks.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


... with privately held global investment firm Starwood Capital Group

Starwood Capital Group, a leading global private investment firm, and leading Spanish hotel operator Melia Hotels International announced today that they have established a joint venture that has agreed to acquire a collection of hotels across key resort locations in Spain.

The initial portfolio for the joint venture consists of seven well-established beachfront hotels representing 2,933 keys that are currently owned by Melia Hotels International and will continue to be managed by Melia upon completion of the transaction. The properties will be acquired by the joint venture in a transaction valued at €176 million ($198 million), subject to the approval of the European Union Merger Control Office.

Included in the initial portfolio are the Sol Principe in Malaga, the Sol Lanzarote and Melia Gorriones (Fuerteventura) in the Canary Islands, the Sol Ibiza and Sol Pinet Playa in Ibiza, and the Sol Mirlos and Sol Tordos (Palmanova, Mallorca). The hotels will all be fully refurbished, after which the Sol Principe, Sol Lanzarote, Sol Mirlos and Sol Tordos will continue to operate under the new Sol Hotels brand, with the Sol Mirlos and Sol Tordos being renamed as the Sol Palmanova. Sol Ibiza will become Sol Beach House Ibiza and Sol Pinet Playa will be renamed Sol House Pinet Ibiza. The main portion of the Melia Gorriones property will continue to operate under the Melia brand, and the current annex will be rebranded as Sol Beach House Fuerteventura.

A controlled affiliate of Starwood Capital will own 80% of the joint venture company, while Melia Hotels International will own the remaining 20%. The joint venture plans to seek out opportunities to integrate additional properties into the portfolio.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


INDIA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY | Uganda National Parks

India Tourism on the Rise in the International Arena

Reaction of the India’s tourism industry on the railway budget has swift in response to its announcement in Parliament on February 26, 2015.

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) President, Mr. Subhash Goyal, expressed his happiness with the rail budget saying, “No increase in passenger fares, and tickets can be booked 120 days in advance instead of 60 days, to tackle [the] tout menace is a landmark decision.”

Mr. Subhash Goyal said, “This was our long pending demand with the previous government, and we are happy that the present government has implemented this and our members would be able to book train tickets for their foreign clients well in advance and show them the rich cultural heritage of India through rail journeys.”

Mr. Goyal added: “Some positive steps have been announced in the railway budget which will boost rail tourism, and our members would be able to render better services, which in turn will give greater satisfaction, security for women, and travel comforts. This, no doubt will create a good image of country’s railway system and good business for our members.”

He profusely thanked Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Honorable Minister for Railways, for his innovative thinking.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


Las Vegas Hospitality Association to Hold 28th Annual Golf Tournament ...

Cyndi Martin, business development manager for Freeman, is the 2015 president for the Las Vegas Hospitality Association (LVHA), a Las Vegas tourism industry organization with more than 600 members. The new board of directors was installed at a recent luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel.

“As president my goals for 2015 are to further increase the awareness of LVHA and its members,” said Martin. “I want to continue to provide first-rate education and networking events to raise more money so we can extend our reach in our community by providing scholarships and supporting community outreach programs.”

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours

GENERAL AGRICULTURAL SHOW 2015 | cheap Uganda trips

Each year, the general agricultural competition rewards the best French products. The 2015 edition saw Reunion Island producers reap the fruits of their efforts, with seven medals rounded up to the 2015 Agriculture Show.

The harvest has been good for the producers of Reunion Island at the General Agricultural Show, which takes place at the Agricultural Fair every year.

During 2015, seven medals were awarded to local producers, including two gold, two silver, and three bronze medals.

Topping the list:

• Mascarin won two gold medals for its traditional Rum Extra Old, seven years of age, and for its rum Agricole Opus 5 of the same age;

• The Domaine du Grand Hazier got a silver medal for its Bourbon vanilla;

• Isautier won a silver medal for its rum banana outbreak, and a bronze medal for its rum ginger-lemon;

• Les Saveurs de la Fournaise outweighed a bronze medal for mango jam and honey rum; and

• Ti Gout Lontan reported a bronze medal for its rum Cinnamon-Vanilla.

Note: Alcohol abuse is dangerous for the health; consume with moderation.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


Green Globe is pleased to announce Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai, UAE, as its first certified waterpark world-wide for sustainable operation and management.

Scoring 84% against all criteria on its in augural certification, Wild Wadi Waterpark Manager Chris Swatz said, “Being awarded with Green Globe certification is an achievement for our guests and the community we live in. It was made possible by the passion and enthusiasm of our employees and actually went beyond what we can imagine to be an amazing team-building event. Green Globe Certification has also been a great exercise in identifying the additional areas and opportunities for savings and to plan for the right investments in POMEC and CAPEX.”

Approximately 85% of lights at the waterpark are energy saving CFL or LED and the Engineering team has also installed voltage optimization to lower the voltage consumption throughout the facility. The next stage of energy efficiency is an investigation into energy (enthalpy) wheels for improving energy transfer across the attraction’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

Wild Wadi has also been one of the early adopters of the Definder filter by Neptune Benson, a filter that ensures the highest quality of water purification for safe water recycling. The filter removes over 99.9% of cryptosporidium in a single pass and saves 25% of chemical consumption.

Green Globe Middle East Preferred Partner, Farnek Middle East LLC, has independently verified the sustainability achievement and Sandrine Le Biavant, Farnek Director Consultancy said, “In just one year, Wild Wadi has saved 9% on water consumption. They have also reduced their carbon footprint by 7%, by saving10% on cooling and 5% on kitchen gas consumption. We have tracked this benchmarking data via our Hotel Optimizer and can confirm that this is a remarkable performance.”

The Dubai based attraction is the only waterpark to be certified by Green Globe and its successful certification can be attributed to the dedicated staff who are focused on monitoring the key environmental indicators of water and energy saving and waste management, as well as maintaining an environmentally friendly purchasing policy for all products.

With respect to the local heritage, the waterpark shares local Emirati culture by creating the park’s theme from the much-loved Arabian folktales of Juha. The waterpark also introduces its guest to important local attractions including the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Culture Understanding and Jumeirah Beach Park.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours



... appointed chairman of Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism

A prominent Caribbean hotelier has been appointed Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST).

The appointment is the latest Caribbean tourism sector leadership role for the St. Lucia hotelier, Karen Troubetzkoy, who serves as Executive Director of the storied Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts in Soufrière, St. Lucia.

Mrs. Troubetzkoy, who also serves as President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association as well as First Vice President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, paid tribute to the numerous sustainable tourism pioneers who laid the foundation of CAST.

Troubetzkoy, whose resorts adhere to strict environmental standards, hopes to provide guidance and expertise in best environmental and sustainable development practices for the region, including water and energy management as well as the importance of “reducing, reusing and recycling.”

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


Martinique Cruise Itinerary

Martinique’s cruise sector continued to net strong results in 2014. According to the latest statistics from The Martinique Tourism Authority, cruise passenger arrivals for calendar year 2014 (January–December) were up 71.3% when compared to the same period in 2013.

One of the fastest growing cruise destinations in the Caribbean, Martinique has experienced a 524% increase in cruise passenger arrivals since 2010. For the 2014-2015 cruise season (November 2014–April 2015), The Martinique Tourism Authority is projecting 220,000 cruise passengers among the 176 scheduled port calls.

“All of the major North American and European cruise lines have stops planned in Martinique this year, including visits by Royal Caribbean’s celebrated Quantum of the Seas in her inaugural season, and the magnificent Carnival Splendor,” said Roy-Camille. “We are committed to further investment in the cruise sector and improving our overall tourist product to ensure that the strong results of the past few years will continue in 2015 and beyond.”

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours


American Airlines Boeing 737-800 Safety Instructions Card - 2012

Today, American Airlines’ Senior Vice President for Technical Operations, David Seymour, responded to President Gary Peterson of The Transport Workers Union of America.

The letter reads:

Gary –

I want to address the issues raised in your recent letter to Doug Parker, and to provide you with specific contacts with whom you can discuss these issues.

I’ll start by addressing the issues you’ve raised regarding safety and, again, assure you that we share the same top priority – the safety of our employees and customers.

American Airlines is an industry leader in the development of our robust Safety Management System, which helps us manage risk in a data-driven and proactive way. Our SMS is certified to the highest level (Level IV) by FAA, and bi-annual independent audits also confirm that our program operates to the highest global industry standard. It’s also supported vigorously by our senior management because it helps us run a safe airline.

A couple of the people who I’d invite you to visit with about our safety program, including SMS, are Paul Morell and Callie Choat. As you know, Paul is Vice President – Safety, Security and Environmental Programs. He has responsibility for the development, implementation, maintenance, and oversight of SMS policy, including day-to-day administration of our SMS. Callie is Managing Director – Safety Assurance and Environmental Programs. She is responsible for the policies, processes, and procedures in the SMS Manual. As you know, the Tech Ops area has two Operation Standards Boards which are designed specifically to ensure that safety risks are identified and addressed, and to ensure that senior management is aware of anything that impacts safety.

Safety concerns can also be raised by individual employees through the company’s ASAP program, which are then assessed by an Event Review Committee that includes representatives from the company, the TWU, and the FAA. In short, to the extent that you, Local 591, or any of your members have concerns regarding safety, the company has an avenue to address those concerns. I invite you to schedule time with Paul and Callie, who welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss the SMS.

Many of the other issues raised in your letter should be addressed through the grievance and arbitration process provided in the TWU’s collective bargaining agreement. This process is mandated by the Railway Labor Act, which grants the System Board of Adjustment exclusive authority to resolve contractual and discipline disputes that the TWU and company could not resolve through less formal means.

The company works daily with TWU locals, including Local 591, to resolve grievances before they are arbitrated at the System Board. If no resolution can be reached, the company and TWU meet monthly before a neutral arbitrator for contractual cases, and multiple times per month for discipline and discharge cases. This contractual process fosters a cooperative approach that more often than not leads to resolution of our differences. If we cannot reach a resolution, a neutral arbitrator can assist.

Jim Weel in our labor relations group is available to discuss any questions and concerns you have about the grievance and arbitration process. In the meantime, we’d encourage the TWU to use the contractual grievance and arbitration process, as it is intended, to address your concerns.

I’d like to clear up some things about the procedures associated with an ongoing FAA inquiry. You mention a handful of FAA letters of investigation (LOIs), and seem to assume that LOIs are tantamount to FAA findings of violations. As you know, the airline industry is heavily regulated, and it is routine for the FAA to independently and objectively evaluate concerns such as those that you have raised. The company is in the midst of providing comprehensive responses to the FAA inquiries, but, so far, the FAA has not advised us of any significant violations or findings. We have a transparent relationship with the FAA, which we view as a partner in our mutual goal to run a safe airline. Myles Nichols, managing director for Quality, Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System, and Training, is available to discuss these issues.

You’ve also claimed that members of my management team have compromised safety by threatening mechanics – and that there’s been no response to your requests that the company “disavow” these tactics. We could not disagree more. We do not tolerate or condone any behavior that could cause an employee to feel threatened or that could compromise our commitment to safety. Since you’ve raised concerns about how the maintenance group is managed, however, let’s set up a time for you to discuss those concerns with me and Paul Wroble.

Lastly, you mentioned the litigation that you initiated a few weeks ago. As we have indicated previously, we view the lawsuit as meritless.

I hope you’ll accept the invitation to talk directly with our safety and labor folks, as well as me and Paul. I look forward to your call.


Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours

STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS | Uganda group tours

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Strengthens Leadership In The Middle East ...

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) today announced an agreement with wasl hospitality & leisure LLC, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, to debut the Aloft and Element brands in Dubai. Scheduled to open in 2018, Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will bolster Starwood’s presence in Dubai – the city with the second largest concentration of hotels for the company after New York City. With the debut of both brands in 2018, Dubai will soon be home to all nine of Starwood’s brands.

“We are very excited to introduce the Aloft and Element brands into Dubai, and are delighted to expand Starwood’s successful relationship with wasl hospitality & leisure,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “With the Dubai government promoting mid-scale hotel development ahead of the Dubai World Expo 2020, we believe the timing is right to widen the reach of our signature Aloft and Element experiences, which are revolutionizing the hospitality industry by delivering a modern, urban-style experience at an affordable price.”

Aloft Dubai Raffa and Element Dubai Raffa will be built simultaneously and operate as a unique complex offering 165 and 96 rooms, respectively, upon opening in early 2018. Located near Dubai Maritime City — the new development at Port Rashid — the hotels will be conveniently located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and the heart of Dubai’s traditional commercial center.

Designed to shake up the staid and traditional mid-market hotel sector, Aloft hotels are redefining the category by delivering urban-influenced, modern and vibrant design and a social guest experience at an affordable price point. Aloft Raffa will feature the brand’s signature W XYZ Bar, where guests can mix and mingle over lively music, and Re:fuel by Aloft, the grab and go eatery open 24 hours a day. Other amenities include Re:charge the fully equipped fitness centre and a refreshing outdoor Splash pool. All of Aloft Raffa’s facilities will be accessible to guests of Element Raffa.

Element Raffa marks the debut of Starwood’s trailblazing eco-wise brand in the UAE. Inspired by Westin, Element Hotels provide guests with space to live their lives, offering bright, modern design, green-minded sensibilities and a reimagined extended stay experience, perfect for the traveller who is visiting for a few days or a few weeks.

Starwood currently operates nearly 50 hotels and resorts across the Middle East under eight of the company’s nine distinct lifestyle brands including: The Luxury Collection, St. Regis, Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. The company has plans to further expand its portfolio in the region with a pipeline of over 35 hotels due to open by 2017.

Gorilla trekking and gorilla tours