Sunday, 26 March 2017

New project wants you to discover Portugal through Science and Culture

“Ciência Viva” and Vodafone Foundation have just launched a "tourism of knowledge" program. Project includes a discount card, interactive guides and a mobile application.

The “Ciência Viva” Circuits want to get the Portuguese to know the country "through science and culture". A trip to the beach that ends up providing the discovery of dinosaur footprints in Lagos, Algarve; a stroll through Estremoz, Alentejo, that turns into a journey through quarries, castles and the solar system, a walk through the center of a city that surprises you with an art in the extinction.

Estremoz, where one of the routes passes by

For now there are 18 available circuits, with "54 routes and more than 200 steps to explore". Each itinerary is part of one of the “Ciência Viva” Centers spread throughout the country: Açores, Alviela, Aveiro, Bragança, Coimbra (there are two centers but only one circuit in the city), Constância, Estremoz, Faro, Guimarães, Lagos, Lisboa Centro, Lisboa Oriente, Lousal, Porto, Proença-a-Nova, Sintra, Tavira and Vila do Conde. The Ciência Viva Center of Porto Moniz, on Madeira Island, is the only one without an associated circuit.

The new "knowledge tourism program" includes a card, an interactive guide and a mobile application (available for Android and iOS). The first one is the epicenter of the project. It is valid for one year for "two adults or one couple and their children up to the age of 17" and gives free admission to the 20 Ciência Viva Centers and access to discounts "in more than 100 science, culture and leisure institutions" - including museums, Monuments, parks and nature reserves, caves, mines, zoos and aquariums, among others - and in partner entities of the project - such as accommodation units, transport companies or restoration establishments.

The card activation also opens doors to everything else, either through the project website or the mobile application: details about the suggested circuits, interactive maps of the routes, "challenges to explorers", sharing of experiences and access to promotional rates. It is also possible to consult a schedule of activities in the different destinations. The circuit kit costs € 50 - it has a card, a guide and a small pocket-sized notebook. 

Lisbon is also included in the program 

The “Ciência Viva” Circuits are an initiative of this national institution, in partnership with the Vodafone Foundation. "We feel that we could be the catalysts for an innovative project of knowledge tourism," says Rosália Vargas, president of Ciência Viva - National Agency for Scientific and Technological Culture, arguing that "this is a sustainable nature project" that "Looks at the future, while valuing tradition and heritage ".

According to Mário Vaz, Vodafone Portugal Foundation’s president, the program "provides users with a complete and highly creative experience", which "allows not only knowledge of the national and regional heritage in a clearer and more practical way but also allows the sharing of trips, photographs and knowledge."It is, above all, a dynamic, pedagogical and fun way to discover or rediscover Portugal", he emphasizes.

Source: Fugas – PÚBLICO 

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

East Africa Tourism

African tourism authorities rely more and more on synergy. In East Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda have decided to join forces to improve their visibility to tourists across the world. After signing a tripartite agreement in October, these countries created their first joint marketing plan in London at World Travel Market.

Source: Tourism Review

The biggest international tourism trade fair opened its doors in London from November 7th to the 9th. Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda opted for a common stand, announced Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi, the Ugandan Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities.
As a reminder, these three countries of East Africa recently signed a common cooperation agreement regarding the tourism sector which consists of joint promotion of the three destinations as if it were only one. The objective: boost African tourism, increase the number of visitors, and indirectly help the economy of each of the three countries.

Countries Where Tourism Counts

In Kenya, tourism, which accounts for about 11% of the GDP, has been in trouble for a few years, a situation in which the attack on the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi—which occurred in September 2013, killing 68 people and injuring over 200—is not foreign.

In Uganda, the tourism industry, which is the primary source of revenue, is traditionally seen as an important aspect of the economy. In 2015, it generated 2.6 billion dollars in revenues, representing 9.8% of the GDP and employing 247,000 people. But according to authorities, the potential of the country remains mostly untapped.


More known for its technological boom, Rwanda is also trying to diversify its economy by focusing, among other things, on tourism. The country has managed to set up a tourism development strategy which has successfully boosted the number of visitors from around 25,000 to nearly one million between 2004 and 2012. And the synergy created with its neighbors also aims to multiply its economic impact.

Single Tourist Visa

The joint agreement between the three countries also aims at the establishment of a single visa. “We are implementing a single tourist visa. This is the first time that we have signed an agreement of this kind and we are committed to promoting our countries' tourism together,” said Ugandan Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi. But he wants to make it clear right away:  the joint promotion is not synonymous with 'less aggressive politics.' “We will continue to be innovative in order to capture the largest market share in East Africa.”
As for the Kenyan government, it has recently called on the other countries of the sub-region (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Burundi, Tanzania, Seychelles, Comoros, and Mayotte) to implement the single tourism visa as well. The aim is to build a strong sub-region and boost East African tourism.


This Rwandan-Ugandan-Kenyan tourism strategy is a first in Africa. It is a sign that the trend of synergy observed here-and-there across the continent, notably in West Africa in the financial field, has spread gradually to different industries. 

Friday, 3 March 2017

Guide to plan your honeymoon

Getting hitched is the most socially accepted reason on the planet to ditch work and undertake your longest, most splurge-iest trip ever. But before you dive head first into checking off the items on your travel bucket list, take a few minutes to consider the practical stuff, because the trip of your dreams won’t just magically appear by itself.

Source: Lonely Planet 

In fact, lousy hotels, missed flights, lacklustre meals and inhospitable weather can significantly hamper a happy holiday, essentially flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet. And while we can’t read crystal balls or do rain dances, we can assure you that proper planning will undoubtedly put the odds in your favour of enjoying the getaway of your dreams.

Timing is everything

You’ve dutifully set aside your collection of vacation days — now it’s time to work out how to spend them on your honeymoon. It’s important to weigh the time you’ve allotted for your adventure against your destination of choice, and make sure that your trip is spent travelling, not transiting.
With two or three weeks, you’ll have a more generous amount of time to take a crack at a faraway destination and overcome the exhaustion of a long-haul journey and/or jet lag. But a week-long holiday, say, is never well served by spending two full days hoofing it from one continent to another, only to turn around a few days later and repeat the gruelling trek back.
The other major timing consideration has to do with seasonality. Tacking your honeymoon on at the end of your already-set wedding date might preclude travel to certain destinations simply due to the time of year. Large areas of the Caribbean, for example, are prone to hurricanes during the months of September and October. Other destinations have annual monsoons – like Thailand, which has two different curtains of rains that sweep across the kingdom during the latter half of the year.
It’s best to educate yourself on the high and low seasons of your preferred honeymooning locales. Prices, of course, increase with a rise in demand during the months with the most favourable climate and during busy periods such as school holidays (when desirable hotels can also become scarce). Low seasons, on the other hand — or better yet, ’shoulder’ or ‘green’ seasons — can be a worthy option if you want to see more bang for your buck at the expense of rolling the dice weather-wise.

How to build a multi-stop honeymoon

As the architect of your own multi-stop trip, you might want to think of your honeymoon as a novel; the action on your vacation should swell and ebb accordingly. Think of the beginning of the trip as the initiation phase — you’re adjusting to a new world (maybe getting over jet lag) and want to ease into the action as it gradually builds. The middle section of the honeymoon is where the plot thickens. Your pulse quickens with adventure sports, or late urban nights exploring. Then, with the end of the story in sight, the last section of the holiday is when the jets cool — a denouement of sorts when you once again slow your pace. It’s the beach in Bahia after Rio and São Paulo, the Amalfi villa at the end of Tuscany and Rome, or the ryokan in Hakone when you’re wrapping up Kyoto and Tokyo. You need an airbag at the end of the trip, so you feel revitalised by the holiday, not desperately needing another.

Picking hotels

Now, with your storybook itinerary you’re going to have to slot in hotels. These should play out in tandem with the pace at each stage of your trip, but you need to slightly trick your future self. Every accommodation option selected should build upon the previous choice. The human mind can’t help but judge, and when you arrive at lodging number two you won’t be able to ignore the instinct to compare it to your accommodation the night before. So, in order to essentially feel like you’re winning at travel, each hotel must get progressively better — or maintain the quality of the previous stay — culminating in your big splurge at the end, which nicely coincides with your itinerary’s finale. The last slice of the vacation is the happy ever after – just like you and your spouse after the wedding.

Honeymoon planning timeline

One year before honeymoon: Dream. Think about where you’ve always wanted to go to celebrate your marriage, and get inspired by guidebooks, magazines and websites.
Nine months before your honeymoon: If you’re budgeting your holiday in tandem with your wedding, you’ll likely know at this point what funds you’re hoping to allocate to your trip and can compare your budget against that dream list of destinations.
Six months before your honeymoon: Properly slot in your travel dates after calibrating for personal commitments and taking into account the optimal time – as you deem it – for visiting your destination of choice.
Four months before your honeymoon (or earlier): Cement the foundations of your plans, scouting airplane tickets, booking must-have items on your checklist (hotels, visa, park permits), and firming up a version – in very broad strokes – of what your itinerary might look like (which days in which destination for multi-stop trips).

Two months before your wedding (note wedding, and not necessarily honeymoon): If you’ve decided to ask your guests to help you fund your dream trip, now is the time to create an online registry detailing tangible activities to be undertaken at a gradation of price points to suit your wedding guests’ varying budgets.
One month before your honeymoon: The internet enables the world to move a million miles a minute, so once you begin the 30-day countdown you can take to your social platforms to snoop for upcoming events and trending bars, and even find friends that might be criss-crossing your itinerary.