Lithuania Tourism Appoints Representative to Target U.S. Travel Agents; Doug Gollan; Travel Market Report

Lithuania – Vilnius Historic Centre

While Lithuania has mainly been a day stop on cruises to the Baltic in recent memory, it is hoping to change that in a big way.

Lithuania now wants to attract U.S. visitors for overnight stays and, to do so, has appointed a U.S. representative for the first time ever, according to Indre Slyziute, marketing manager for Lithuania’s State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of the Economy.

Last year Slyziute attended the ASTA Global Convention in Reno and she told Travel Market Report the response was strong enough that Lithuania is now expanding its U.S. efforts, including appointing Wayne V. Lee, Jr. and Wayne’s World Media as its U.S. representative.

In addition, it also held a trade event for ASTA’s New York Chapter and it is now planning webinars, a training program for U.S. agents and social media activity here.

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Salon Prive packs two concours and a ‘Ladies’ Day’ into a long weekend; Autoweek

UK – Blenheim Palace

Salon Prive is a concours launched in 2006 by British brothers Andrew and David Bagley. The pair had toured all the best concours in the world, including Amelia Island, Pebble Beach (wonder if they saw LeMons?) and Villa d’Este. Their first event was at Hurlingham Club in London, where Salon Prive stayed for five years. Then they moved to Syon Park outside London and thence, in 2015, to the absolutely fabulous Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Blenheim is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sprawling estate built in 1704 as a gift from Queen Anne to Sir John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough, in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim. Among other occurrences, since then it was the birthplace of Sir John’s descendant, Winston Churchill.

With its wide-open expanses and picturesque buildings, it was only a matter of time before someone held a concours there.

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This Country is the Least Visited in All Of Europe; VIVA

San Marino – San Marino Historic Centre and Mount Titano

There are 196 countries in the world – but size isn’t always everything. With increased land mass comes an increasing number of built up areas and, you’ve guessed it, tourists. The world’s smaller countries tend to receive fewer tourists – with a couple of exceptions, Monaco and the Maldives, both of which are popular tourist destinations.

Fifth on the list of smallest countries is a little place called San Marino, which, according to the UN World Tourism Organization, has the lowest tourist numbers in all of Europe. With close proximity to Italy, exceptional mountain views, and home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Mount Titano and the historic city center, it’s a wonder this 23.6-square-mile-country receives so little attention, but whether or not it’ll stay that way is the real question.

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Iran the world’s cheapest travel destination, its tourism industry is booming; CNN

Iran – Persepolis

More than 6 million people visited Iran in the year ending March 2017, up 50% on the previous year and three times the number in 2009, according to official data.

(CNN) — The surge in visitors follows the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that resulted in many sanctions being lifted early the following year.

European airlines such as British Airways and Lufthansa (DLAKY) resumed direct flights to the country, and Iranian authorities relaxed visa requirements. And as more people arrive, demand for accommodation is skyrocketing.

That’s creating opportunities for local entrepreneurs and foreign businesses.

Unlike some Western firms, who are reluctant to invest in Iran because they fear President Trump could yet torpedo the nuclear deal, international hotel chains are moving fast to meet the need for more rooms.

France’s Accor (ACCYY) was the first chain to open in Iran in 2015. It now operates two hotels there.

 

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How I Spent My Two Weeks in Cuba; Donovan Leong; Tripzilla

Cuba – Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios

Two weeks, four cities. Donovan chronicles his journey in Cuba, across Varadero, Trinidad, Vinales and finally to Havana.

Cold war, communist state, trade embargo. These are the three phrases that come to mind whenever someone mentions Cuba. Thanks to our western-dominated media influence, many people do not have a good impression of Cuba. Not surprisingly, when I informed my family that I was headed to Cuba, they were all worried and asked me why I needed to explore that part of the world.

I was undeterred by other people’s opinions and the deteriorating US-Cuba relations. I had already booked my flights and nothing was about to stop me. My plan was to stay two weeks in Cuba, visiting four different cities: Varadero, Trinidad, Vinales and Havana.

I flew in to Cuba via Varadero airport.

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UNESCO World Heritage: Primeval Beech Forests – Northern Velebit and Paklenica National Parks; Filipa Marusic; Total Croatia News

Croatia – Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe

TCN’s Filipa Marušić gives us a closer look at just why these incredible parts of the country deserve much more attention than they get.

This transboundary extension of the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians spreads over twelve European countries, including Croatia. This multi-country World Heritage Site in Croatia covers parts of the popular National Parks – Northen Velebit and Paklenica, both of which are located on Velebit.

The countries included are Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Ukraine. This extension of the World Heritage Site was inscribed on the 41st session of The World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland in July this year.

Where are the Great Smoky Mountains?; Joyce Chepkemoi; WorldAtlas.com

USA – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Smoky Mountains are a popular tourist attraction in the southeastern United States.

The Smoky Mountains are a range of mountains found along the border between Tennessee and the North Carolina. They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. The Great Smoky Mountains are sometimes referred to as the Smoky Mountains and occasionally shortened to Smokies. The range is popularly known for being home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that was established in 1934, and protects most parts of the mountain range. It is one of the country’s most visited parks with more than 9 million visits every year. Following the Great Smoky Mountains wildfires in 2016, the Smokies have received massive international media coverage.

Overview

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Richard Meier & Partners Completes Its Bauhaus-Inspired Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv’s White City; Hadley Keller; Architectural Digest

Israel – White City of Tel-Aviv — the Modern Movement

The residential tower features a unique screened façade.

Tel Aviv has a new architectural marvel. Today, Richard Meier & Partners officially completed its Rothschild Tower, a modern residence with deep aesthetic ties to its city’s history and vernacular architecture. Set along Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv’s White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the building fits in seamlessly with the approximately 4,000 Bauhaus-era buildings that give the city the record for the largest concentrations of Bauhaus buildings in the world. “The great thing about the site is that it’s related to the whole city; it’s related to all of the wonderful buildings of the 1930s and to the historic buildings of Rothschild Boulevard,” said Meier in a statement. “It makes me very happy to be in such company.”

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5 reasons to visit the Mapungubwe National Park; SHINGAI DARANGWA; IOL Travel

South Africa – Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape

Mapungubwe is one of the most significant historical landmarks in Southern Africa. Located at the confluence of the Shashe and Limpopo rivers, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a historical marvel that not only carries cultural significance, but also presents a beautifully scenic travel destination.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to check it out:

The Confluence 

I visited the Mapungubwe National Park over this weekend as part of SANParks’ Cultural and Spiritual Weekend and one of the things I was most excited about was catching a glimpse of the confluence that separates South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It was breathtaking how, during sunset over a raised viewing deck, our tour guide indicated where the three countries were divided by the Shashe and Limpopo rivers.

 

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Travel guide: 9 top places to see in India; Joshua Berida; Rappler

India – The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Here’s what you can see in India aside from the Taj Mahal and the famous pink city.

India is a fascinating country of extremes, beauty, poverty, history and culture. As you may have heard or read before, it can be an attack on the senses on a literal and figurative level. It’s one of those places you’ll have a love-hate relationship with. However, it’s also the kind of place that grows on you when you finally get to peel off the layers.

Places to See

India is a huge country that is different from place to place, some parts may be cold during one part of the year, while another might be summery. Some of the architecture and culture may be the same in one region, but completely different in another. Exploring this country is an adventure in itself. 

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