On beach holiday, desis high on intimacy with strangers

MUMBAI: After Singaporeans, it is Indians who are apparently most likely to indulge in intimacy with complete strangers on a beach holiday, a global survey done by an online travel portal has revealed. The recent survey threw up other improbable findings as well, the most striking being that Indians topped the list of global travelers opting for a sun-and-sand vacation—as many as 95% said they were likely to take a beach holiday this year.

“Eighteen per cent of Indian and 20% of Singaporean respondents said that intimacy with strangers is among the ways in which they typically indulge themselves on beach vacations,” the survey, an analysis of the behaviour and preferences among beachgoers in Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Australia, said. That’s not all. Twenty per cent Indian respondents—26% men and 3% women—said they have gone topless on beaches. Four per cent said they have gone nude, while 11% have done both.

The survey was conducted online across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and South America among 8,606 respondents in 21 countries, including the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Brazil, South Korea, Japan and Australia. The highest number of respondents were from Canada (1,285), while in India the survey covered 485 people.

Among the interesting revelations was the coming of age of the Indian traveller—they now prefer to do their own research, check out reviews, blogs and social media while planning their vacation. They plan a beach holiday months in advance, contrary to the popular perception that Indians are last-minute travellers. They literally work towards the holiday by going on diets and going in for makeovers and shopping to get into that swimsuit.

Twenty six per cent respondents said they had postponed their beach vacation from less than one month to more than a year to get into shape. The trend was led by south Indians (28%) followed by Delhiites (27%) and Mumbaikars (23%). It is not surprising as 56% of Indians surveyed said they buy a new beach outfit for their vacation.

Another interesting finding is that the fair skin-obsessed country values a tan, perhaps aping the West. However, Indians do not get their tan on the beach. Rather, they start their beach holiday with a tanned body. “Forty six per cent Delhiites get tanned before their beach vacation. The national average is 27%.”

Indians were also are among the most fun-loving people when on vacation, with the highest percentage of any nationality being involved in various activities such as spa (47%), playing volleyball (43%), water sports (52%) and running (65%). India has the second highest percentage of shopping lovers on vacation (76%), behind Singapore (78%). The country stands third when it comes to enjoying nightlife and dancing (51%). The trend is led by Brazilians (64%) and Mexicans (57%).

Malaysians, at 68%, were the most likely to share their beach photos on social networking sites, while 57% Indians said they do the same. “About 54% of Indians email/text photos to family/friends, followed by South Koreans at 51% and Americans at 47%. Indians (34%) also blog about their experience, sharing photos/videos, a trend led by South Koreans with 39%,” the survey said.

The Expedia Flip Flop Report 2013 was conducted online by Harris Interactive from April 19 to May 15. Vikram Malhi, general manager, South and South East Asia, Expedia, said, “The survey shows a clear evolution of the Indian traveller with respect to planning and booking behaviour. Their reliance on third party reviews when choosing a holiday destination has increased. Indians topped in consulting traveller reviews (62%), travel guidebooks (58%), travel magazines/ TV shows (54%) and were second in consulting social media (42%), news stories (42%) and travel blogs (47%).”

In fact, nearly nine in ten (89%) vacationers who travelled or plan to travel internationally felt it was important to learn the local culture and history of their international beach vacation destinations, he said.

Source: The Times of India

Gorgeous: Underground resort in China

Sky-high hotels and resorts are invariably impressive – shooting up as if to kiss the clouds. But what if a resort was created inside a deep gorge – would it look equally spectacular? Here are some artist impressions of the Songjiang Shimao Hotel project by engineering and design consultancy, Atkins.

Songjiang Shimao Hotel is a resort that includes extreme sports facilities, visitor centre and a five-star luxury hotel with some levels of the hotel situated under water.

Songjiang Shimao Hotel is a resort that includes extreme sports facilities, visitor centre and a five-star luxury hotel with some levels of the hotel situated under water.

A naturally-lit internal atrium incorporates the existing rock face, with its waterfalls and green vegetation.

The design solution for the resort includes the use of green roofing and exploiting the site’s geothermal heat to generate electricity and heating.

Atkins is providing the architecture, structural and civil engineering services for this leisure resort in China.

The resort includes extreme sports facilities, visitor centre and a five-star luxury hotel with some levels of the hotel situated under water.

(Credit for all Images: Atkins)

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Grand Kerala Shopping Festival – Dec. 1, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012

The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) is a unique shopping fiesta that redefines the very essence and enjoyment of shopping. Kerala the southernmost State in India, popularly known as ‘Gods Own Country’ has always been a favourite for travelers and tourists from around the globe across the ages.

The ever-inviting borders of this land never leave you empty handed once you traverse them. The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival, the signature shopping festival of Kerala, is yet another fascinating event that stands testimony to this fact.

The festival, managed by Government of Kerala, is on its fifth edition, which starts from December 1, 2011 and concludes by January 15, 2012. Fresh enterprises, mind blowing offers and exciting prizes – both for shops and shoppers – make GKSF the biggest shopping extravaganza in the country.

Guaranteed prize for each and every single purchase in the form of scratch ‘n’ win coupons and gift vouchers. Mega prize up to 101 kilogram of gold is also for the taking. Furthermore this year, GKSF will be providing 100% VAT refund for the consumers from outside Kerala. GKSF welcomes you all to get hold of this amazing opportunity to savour the new experiences in shopping.

About GKSF

The festival first started on 2007 Dec 1 to next year Jan 15, celebrated as Grand Kerala Shopping Festival and since then it became an annual shopping festival. The event lasts for 46 days and the very special fact about GKSF is that the entire Kerala is participating in this festival.

As done during the previous years, the festival is conducted by Tourism Department in co-ordination with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department and Local Self Government Department to fulfill the objective. Through this shopping festival, the Kerala Government intends to transform the State into a hub for international shopping experience and there by “Launch Shopping Tourism” in the state. In the process, the brand image of Kerala Tourism would go a long way to help upgrade the infrastructure of traditional marketing centres in Kerala.

The organizers are well set with get show on road of the version-5 of the Biggest ever Shopping Extravaganza, the “Grand Kerala Shopping Festival” with novel initiatives and exciting prizes to the shops and shoppers. Like the government promised, GKSF is shaping up to its full throttle with the experiences from the previous years.

Offers and offers from big brands and MEs for their product, hotels give their special offers, exciting prizes, fun full events and many more!!! With all these special discounts available, GKSF would be the right choice for your shopping terminal.


Prize structure of daily draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of Winners per day
No. of winners in a week
1st week – (10 days)
2nd week – (7 days)
3rd week – (7 days)
4th week – (7 days)
5th week – (7 days)
6th week – (8 days)
Total Winners
Weekly draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of winners/week
No. of winner/6 week
1st prize
10 sov
2nd Prize
5 sov
Mega draw
Prize (Sovereign)
No. of winners
1st prize
1 KG
2nd Prize
½ KG

It is made known to all the concerned that Government has announced 101 Kg gold in the normal carat of 22 carat. But the South Indian Bank will issue gold to the winners in 24 ct only. So the quantum of gold prize to the winners will be regulated in terms of 24 ct. That is the weight in gm of 22 ct will be converted to the corresponding weight in 24 ct. Thus there will be slight reduction in weight due to this conversion. For eg 1000gm of 22 ct gold = 916gm of 24 ct. So for each sovereign this proportionate reduction in weight will be there.

The winner is liable to pay taxes as per existing rules in force.

Scratch and Win Prizes
There will be Gold coin-1 gm (24ct) as instant prizes instead of Gift article, GKSF 5 will have redeemable coupons of value Rs.100 as Scratch N ‘Win Prizes. The winner can avail discount corresponding to the amount won or can purchase from the shops to the value of the redeemable coupon.
Source: www.shoppingfestival.in

Top 10 Places to See Before 2012

Tuesday December 20th, 2011 in International, Places to Visit | 3 Comments »

A world tour is something that features on almost every person’s bucket list.

Your life can simply not be complete before you visit some of the most definitive historical places around the world. With the end of the world edging in, its time to speed up with your travel plans and boook your tickets because we’re deciding the places for you. Here are the top 10 places that you must see before 2012 strikes.

10. The Great Wall of China, China

Be a part of history by visiting this incredible man-made wonder. Built and rebuilt approximately two thousand years ago to secure the Chinese nation against foreign invasion, this tourist attraction never disappoints its visitors. Stretching upto 8,851 kilometres, the Great Wall is a sight to behold and seeing it with your own eyes is way better than how the history books explained them.

9. Vatican Museums, Rome

The Vatican Museum is a place seeped in history. Its collection of art pieces goes back to 500 years ago. Visiting a place that houses revered works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Filipo Lippi and Caravaggio isn’t that bad a deal. Standing there, looking at some of the most defining art pieces of history, will definitely be one of the most enriching experiences of your life.

8. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, a temple built in the early 12th century has fast become one of the greatest tourist places around the world due to its complex architecture, especially inside the temple. Walking through the monument can be a difficult task owing its confusing mix of chambers, porches, stairways and galleries. The challenge that the ancient monument presents, along with its significance in religious history, this place ranks high for adventure-seeking travellers.

7. Petra, Jordan

Jordan’s most prized possession without a doubt, Petra is a unique city created by the Nabateans, the ancient people of Jordan, by carving natural rock. This wonder is a major tourist attraction and give tourists the freedom to explore the place at their own will. The more interesting part of the site is that, it was featured in the 1989 Hollywood film ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’.

6. Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale, meaning cotton castle, rightly gives the impression of being a landscape made out of cotton. The site contains calcium-laden waters that flow through it. The calcium rocks hold pools of water flowing down from the mountain Cal Daa Western Anatolia. The water is said to have healing properties which is one key aspect that drive people to visit it.
Rumour has it that Cleopatra had once bathed in these natural pools.

5. Great Salt Lake, Utah

‘America’s Dead Sea’ is actually a remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville that has been landlocked. Being around the Salt Lake, you can witness the most exotic sunsets ever with distinctly different hues engulfing the sky. Kayaking (canoeing) across the lake is a worthwhile experience as it allows you to see areas that you wouldn’t come across otherwise.

4. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is not one of those places where you just stand and admire the beauty around you. This famed place has a lot to offer to the backpacker in you which includes hikes, boat rides or rafting across the Colorado river, mule rides to the Phantom ranch, etc.

3. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

This is another of the many wonders of the world that continue to astonish us. The excellence of architecture and mystery surrounding its past make it the perfect place to add to your wishlist. It contains of three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. It is also the only surviving one from the Seven Ancient Wonders list. When going visiting the pyramids, it is advisable to go in the mornings as it is quite likely that too many people turn up before you resulting which, you will be denied entry into the pyramids.

2. Santorini, Greece

Santorini is perhaps the first place that springs to mind whenever you think of Greece. The island is a paradise for the sight with the deep blue waters, dazzling white houses and a panoramic view make it a delightful escapade. Hard to believe that it was a deadly volcano that resulted in the crescent shape of the island

1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia

The world’s largest coral reef is also one of its most threatened destinations. The reef is a place that will fill you with wonder on seeing its breathtaking beauty. An ability to dive will be an added advantage as you can see the real abundance of marine life in its true form.


Source : ( MensXP.com)

Eco huts to be set up at Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar

The management of Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in Bihar has decided to set up six eco huts for tourists willing to spend quality time watching wildlife. Four such huts would come up in the Govardhana range of the reserve, about 280 km northwest from Patna. Two huts would come up at Valmikinagar range of VTR. These huts would have all the facilities that are offered at good hotels. Each hut would accommodate two persons. Rs four lakh would be spent to construct each hut. The construction would be carried out in accordance with the design suggested by professional agencies.

Santosh Tiwari, Director, VTR said,“The fund for this project has been provided by the district administration under the border area development programme. We intend to get these huts ready by the end of this fiscal.” As things stand now, VTR does not have dedicated residential facilities for visitors. The only option available is the rest houses of range offices.

Tiwari said tourists staying in the huts would be provided food. The service would be outsourced to local people. They would be selected on the basis of the recommendations made by the eco-development committee of the area concerned. “The selected people would be given training for serving the visitors professionally,” he further added.

The help of local administration would be sought initially for the security of the visitors. Later, this responsibility would also be given to local people. To promote the eco huts as a tourists’ attraction, the VTR management would seek help of the tourism department. It would give their details to the tourism department so that it could disseminate information among tourists about the facility.

Besides, the funds for constructing eco huts, the district administration has provided around Rs 22 lakh to the VTR management for purchasing items required for camp activities. They would be rented out to tourists. The rate of eco huts and the rent for hiring camping equipment would be worked out later. “Though tariff has not been worked out, eco huts would be a bit costly because they would offer all the facilities one gets in good hotels,” Tiwari said.

For tourists having low budgets, the VTR management has sent a proposal to the environment and forests department for developing an abandoned building near the Govardhana range office to introduce dormitory facility. “The VTR management has also sent a proposal for developing the rest house of Ganauli range into a heritage type of staying facility. This building used to be the rest house of Bettiah Maharaj. He used to stay in the two-storeyed building during his visits to the forest. One can see Himalayan range from this rest house in winter. “We have submitted a Rs 14.5 lakh proposal to the department for developing four suites in this structure. The permission is still awaited,” Tiwari stated.

Source: TravelBizMonitor.com