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    The World’s Best Airports : 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards

    The airports you can’t wait to fly into again.

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    International travelers are in for a pleasant surprise when they return to their favorite airports: Many major hubs used the pandemic downtime to spruce up their facilities, renovating lounges and expanding common spaces for more social distancing. Some had already undergone dramatic transformations, as starchitects worked their magic, creating bright and airy airports with amenities ranging from spas and yoga rooms to lush outdoor gardens and swimming pools. Read on to see which international airports made the top 10 in our 34th annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

    10. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

    One of Europe’s busiest airports by passenger traffic, London Heathrow continues to add services and amenities for transit travelers; its shopping selection is so good, in fact, that you might even pray for a delay. Aficionados flock to the World of Whiskies shop for its popular Scotch tastings, and to outposts of High Street emporia like Burberry, Harrods, and Fortnum & Mason. Those with cash to burn can also take advantage of a “reserve and collect” service or utilize the airport’s free personal shopper service, another plus that has raised Heathrow’s standing among fashionable fliers in recent years.

    9. Zurich Airport (ZRH)

    As Switzerland’s largest international airport, Zurich is also the main hub for Swiss, which operates business-class and first-class lounges—and those clubs are no joke, thanks to champagne and whiskey bars. Looking for a place to buy some duty-free chocolate? There are dozens of shops here to browse. Readers also like the variety of restaurants and bars, and if the weather cooperates, there’s an outdoor observation deck with sweeping views of the action on the runways.

    8. Athens International Airport (ATH)

    Greece’s busiest airport and the capital home base of Aegean Airlines, Athens International has won praise for its modern facilities, an easy-to-navigate layout, and its convenient location not far from the capital. Since the Greek government became one of the first to welcome vaccinated Americans this year, the airport has enjoyed direct flights from major U.S. cities via American, Delta, United, and now Emirates.

    7. Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK)

    As the gateway to one of North Africa’s most popular tourist destinations, Marrakech’s Menra Airport is a worthy introduction to Morocco; it’s not only close to its home city, but also wins raves from fliers for its “stunning” design. As one Traveler reader put it, “The moment you land, you know you have been transported into Northern Africa. The airport is a direct reflection of the culture.”

    6. Dubai International Airport (DXB)

    As one of the biggest airports in the world overall, Dubai, unsurprisingly, also has one of the world’s biggest duty-free shopping centers. As the base for flag airline Emirates, a Readers’ Choice favorite, it is also served by scores of international airlines, and it’s long been a popular stopover destination for North American travelers heading to East Asia or the South Pacific. Amenities like zen gardens and nap pods help pass the time on a stay of any length.

    5. Hamad International Airport (DOH)

    Doha’s airport is a major connecting hub for Qatar’s eponymous home airline (also a Readers’ Choice pick) and at times, it can seem more like a resort hotel than a bustling transportation hub, with amenities that include a fitness center, squash courts, and an indoor swimming pool. It’s gotten high marks for its premium amenities, with a wide choice of lounges, plus quiet rooms and child’s entertainment zones for passengers in any airline class. For those on longer layovers, there is an upscale hotel right inside the terminal, with half- or full-day rates available.

    4. Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)

    Seoul’s main international airport opened 20 years ago on reclaimed land in the port city of Incheon and has been expanding ever since: A second passenger terminal opened in 2018, part of the airport’s aim to double its capacity to 100 million passengers annually. Primarily serving the country’s two main airlines, Korean and Asiana, Incheon International also gains points for its spacious VIP lounges and amenities, including an indoor skating rink, a spa, and a “Cultural Street” with local cuisine and dance performances. While it’s 30 miles from the capital, a high-speed rail link makes the trip from terminal to city center in 43 minutes.

    3. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

    As home to both Japan Air Lines and All Nippon Airways, Tokyo’s Narita is Japan’s main international airport and a major connecting hub for travelers from North America to Asia. While it’s a lot farther from the city than Haneda, airport express trains help cut the travel time from terminal to downtown to about 40 minutes. Narita’s three terminals offer an array of duty-free shops, and a choice of dining options for those craving ramen or sushi. Transit passengers in need of a shower or nap can book one of the airport’s day rooms; there’s also an in-terminal capsule hotel, fittingly named “Nine Hours.”

    2. Istanbul Airport (IST)

    Opened in 2018 amid great fanfare—and bold ambitions to become the world’s biggest airport—the new IST gets praise for its modern design by Grimshaw Architects, which has netted awards for its emphasis on efficiency and sustainability. With high-tech touches like a fleet of robots to direct passengers through the 818-million-square-foot hub and runway capacity to move a total of 90 flights per hour, the airport is poised to take off as a major global player.

    1. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

    That Changi has once again snagged the top spot among world airports is no surprise, given that it’s home to our readers’ favorite carrier, Singapore Airlines, making it an ideal gateway to dozens of locations in the region. The airport is a destination in itself, with waterfalls and gardens, open-air decks and a variety of restaurants. Traveler readers also like the self-boarding gates and free and fast Wi-Fi, and there’s even a swimming pool if you’ve got time to take a dip.

    Kerala Tourism

    The changing tourism potential of New Kerala

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    The changing tourism potential of New Kerala-storyhunters-in

    At a time when the state’s ever-expanding tourism sector is attracting world attention, Kerala is effectively harnessing the endless potential of post-Covid tourism. The tourism sector is growing to touch people’s lives with the ultimate goal of integrating the tourism industry with normal life. A ‘Kerala model’ is being created in the field of international tourism through the assessment that quality tourism is the specialty of Kerala. It is the crowning example of marking Kerala globally, with the tag line “Visit Kerala during the festival season to enjoy rural beauty” and was ranked 13th among 52 places to visit in the world in 2023 by The New York Times (https://archive.is/idV1SKerala has won the place. The report also mentions the tourist centers of Kumarakam, Maravanthuruth and Vaikom. The New York Times has also highlighted the activities of responsible tourism societies that contribute holistically to the Kerala tourism sector. Placed on the world map with the advertising tagline of God’s Own Country, Kerala is keeping pace with the times as it moves to new levels of tourism.

    Tourism – the backbone of economic growth: The Department of Finance has confirmed that the tourism sector has played an important role in the growth of Kerala’s economy after Kovida. 35,000 crores in revenue from tourism sector last year. 2792.42 crores in direct foreign exchange earnings in 2022. The state has already set a record in terms of domestic tourist arrivals. The number of international and domestic tourists in 2022 is 345549 and 18867414 respectively.

    A number of projects are being planned and implemented to explore the regional and popular tourism potential of the state.

    Street Tourism Project: Street is an innovative tourism development project with the primary objective of promoting participatory and inclusive growth in 10 selected locations across Kerala based on the principles of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’, a new tourism initiative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization. STREET stands for Sustainable, Tangible, Responsible, Experiential, Ethnic and Tourism Hubs. 

    Through this, tourism centers will be created that emphasize sustainable and responsible tourism, which are visible, experiential, and traditional ways of life. The project aims to develop tourist destinations into “thematic” streets with the support of local people and local governments.

    In this way, three categories of tourist destinations will be formed. 1. Tourism destinations
    where tourism activities have not started till date but can be brought up in future  . 2. Areas that are close to international tourism hubs but are suitable for offering new experiences to tourists and extending their stay. 3. Areas where there is little tourism activity at present and which can be turned into better tourist destinations. 

    Various streets such as Green Street, Cultural Street, Ethnic Cuisine / Food Street, Village Life Experience / Experiential Tourism Street, Agritourism Street, Water Street and Art Street will be established in each project area. At least three streets will be implemented as part of the project in each project area. Envisioned to be implemented in a fully public-private partnership, this project will be implemented in such a way that the local self-governing institutions and the local people can play a major role in the tourism process. 

    In the first phase, it will be implemented in 10 areas namely Kadalundi in Kozhikode district, Tyathala and Patithara in Palakkad district, Pinarayi and Ancharakandi in Kannur district, Maravanthuruth and Manchira in Kottayam district, Valiyaparamba in Kasaragod district, Kanthallur in Idukki district and Chekadi in Wayanad district. As part of the project, it is also aimed to form 1000 indigenous units to be associated with the tourism sector. 

    Agritourism Network to know the agricultural culture 

    Kerala Agritourism Network is the flagship initiative of the state’s globally recognized Responsible Tourism Scheme. ‘Kerala Agritourism Network’ was launched in September 2021 under the Responsible Tourism Mission to popularize farm tourism activities and involve more people in farm tourism to ensure economic benefits to the farming community by linking agriculture with tourism. The Agritourism Network aims to integrate tourism and agricultural activities by adopting environmentally friendly measures. This initiative will also help introduce Kerala’s agricultural culture to international tourists and the new generation. 

    Units are registered under various categories. 
    Category 1- Homestead Farming – Up to 25 cents (including terrace gardens) – will be included in the chain of sale of agricultural produce) Category 2 – Farm Visit Units – 25 cents per acre
     

     Women Friendly Tourism:  Kerala is fully becoming a women friendly tourism destination through the ‘Women Friendly Tourism’ scheme launched to encourage women participation in all tourism activities and attract more women tourists to the state. This is the first initiative of its kind in the country. In line with the UN Women’s concept of ‘Gender Inclusive Tourism’, which envisages major participation of women in the tourism sector, the state has formulated a women friendly tourism project.
    Implemented by the Responsible Tourism Mission, Eau’s project includes fully women-managed and run tour packages that include meals, accommodation, transport and community guides. 
    The country’s first women-friendly tourism mobile app is also ready. Apart from presenting information about popular tourism destinations, the app also provides details of women-friendly tourism products and packages, resorts, hotels, women-led enterprises, authorized tour operators, women tour operators, travel agencies and homestays 
    . Tourists also know Kerala’s festivals, experiences and adventure packages through the app.

    Kochi Muziris Biennale: The Kochi Muziris Biennale: The Kochi Muziris Biennale has become a contemporary art fair that reflects Kerala in its entirety against the backdrop of Kochi’s magical beauty. It is estimated that the fifth edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale, which was judged by contemporary art experts to be the best in the world, was visited by more than nine lakh people from different parts of the world. The Biennale has also made a place on the tourism map of Kerala. 

     Destination Challenge – Destination Challenge :  Destination Challenge is a scheme designed to have multiple tourist destinations in one local government body in collaboration with the local governments of the state. The project is based on the goal that if the areas that are not known to the outside world are developed according to their merits, there will be employment for the people there and income for the country itself. What needs to be done is to find a tourist center in a local authority and prepare a plan to develop it and submit it to the tourism department. The tourism department will check it and pay 60 percent of the project. The remaining amount has to be found by the local body. Panchayat can find the amount from their own fund or through sponsorship. Now MLA funds have also been approved for this project. So far 34 projects have been sanctioned through the Destination Challenge which started on 28 June 2022.  

    Kerala on New Paths – Caravan Tourism: Caravan tourism is a project launched by the government to enable the survival of Kerala tourism after covid. This is a remarkable initiative started by Kerala tourism after houseboat. Post-Covid, the foreign tourists who came to India came to know about Kerala’s caravan policy and 31 tourists from Germany and Switzerland in 16 caravans arrived in Kerala. Safe travel, travel to unexplored destinations, low capital for setting up infrastructure etc. are the features of caravan tourism. Local employment has also been boosted by caravan tourism. The first caravan park in Kerala was started at Wagamon. Steps are in progress to start caravan parks at Ponmudi and Ernakulam Bolgatti in Thiruvananthapuram district. 50 cents of land is the minimum space required for caravan parks. The tourism department is giving a subsidy of Rs 7.5 lakh or 15 percent of the investment amount to the first hundred caravan applicants, five lakh and 10 percent to the next hundred and Rs 2.5 lakh or five percent to the next hundred.

    Cine Tourism:   The tourism department is all set to launch a new scheme that will add color to nostalgic movie memories. Cinema tourism is a project to attract tourists by preserving the memories of famous movie locations such as Kirayam Bridge in Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, where Mohanlal’s emotional scenes were shot in Kiryadam movie, Bekal, where the song Uire was shot in Bombay movie. The project will be launched at Bekal Fort in Kasaragod. 

    Adventure Tourism: Adventure tourism is the fastest growing tourism sector in the world today. The adventure tourism sector is also on the rise in Kerala. Rich in biodiversity, our state is well suited for the adventure tourism sector. Blessed with mountains, hills and water bodies, the landscape of Kerala is perfect for adventure. 

     Wedding Destination: People from different states of India travel to different tourist destinations of the state to get married. Kerala is the land that can provide the best wedding destinations. Coconut groves, violas, riverside and beach can be prepared as wedding destinations. The wedding destination project has started in Kerala. The aim of the tourism department is to make Kerala a top destination for wedding tourism. Promotional programs of the wedding destination project of Kerala have already started in major airports of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad. 

                              Realizing that the design of public spaces is essential for the comprehensive tourism development of Kerala, a comprehensive design policy is being prepared. With this, the tourism sector in Kerala will rise to new levels and will be a source of energy for sustainable tourism growth and this will also pave the way for Kerala to be marked more broadly on the world tourism map.

    Last Updated : 2023-10-04 15:24:55

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    The Top 5 Best Vacation Spots in the World

    The Top 5 Best Vacation Spots in the World

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    Discovering the perfect vacation spot can be challenging. There are countless beautiful places in the world, each with its unique charm. Let’s help narrow down your search. Here are our top five picks for the best vacation destinations you absolutely must consider.

    1. Amalfi Coast, Italy

    Renowned for its extraordinary beauty, the Amalfi Coast is undoubtedly one of the best vacation spots globally. This Italian paradise is a vibrant mix of steep cliffs, sparkling blue seas, and pastel-colored fishing villages. The warm Mediterranean climate and the delicious cuisine make this coastal area irresistible.

    • Highlights: Visit Positano, the jewel of the coast, with its pebble beaches and chic boutiques. Explore Ravello, famed for its beautiful gardens and breathtaking views.

    2. Kyoto, Japan

    An enchanting blend of ancient traditions and modern marvels, Kyoto offers a unique vacation experience. With its traditional teahouses, serene temples, and beautiful gardens, this city embodies the soul of old Japan.

    • Highlights: Explore the Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for its iconic Torii gate pathway. Visit Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, an otherworldly forest of towering bamboo trees.

    3. Banff National Park, Canada

    For nature lovers, Banff National Park is a dream destination. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, it offers picturesque landscapes, abundant wildlife, and various outdoor activities.

    • Highlights: Hike to Lake Louise, famous for its turquoise waters and stunning mountain backdrop. Try skiing or snowboarding in Sunshine Village, one of Canada’s premier ski resorts.

    4. Cape Town, South Africa

    Cape Town is a vibrant city offering breathtaking natural beauty, diverse cultural experiences, and world-class cuisine. Its unique combination of urban life and outdoor adventure makes it an unforgettable vacation spot.

    • Highlights: Ascend Table Mountain by cable car for an unbeatable view of the city. Explore the colorful houses and cobblestone streets of Bo-Kaap, a historically multicultural area.

    5. Queenstown, New Zealand

    Dubbed the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, Queenstown offers adrenaline-pumping activities set against a backdrop of dramatic landscapes. From bungee jumping to wine tasting, there’s something for everyone in Queenstown.

    • Highlights: Experience the thrill of bungee jumping at the Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge, the world’s first commercial bungee site. Relax with a glass of local Pinot Noir in the Central Otago wine region.

    Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of nature, an adrenaline junkie, or a foodie, these top five vacation destinations have something for everyone. So pack your bags, it’s time for an adventure!

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    Kerala Tourism

    Conolly Canal Kozhikode to Kochi

    Conolly Canal Kozhikode to Kochi

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    Conolly Canal, sometimes spelled as Canoly Canal, is the part of the West coast canal (WCC) network of Kerala and the canal was constructed by combining the rivers and streams along the coast with the intention of creating a vast waterway from Kozhikode to Kochi. It was constructed in the year 1848 under the orders of then collector of Malabar, H.V. Conolly, initially to facilitate movement of goods to Kallayi Port from hinter lands of Malabar through Kuttiyadi and Korapuzha river systems.

    The construction was from 1848–50. The canal was built almost entirely by human labour at a time when no machinery was in place. The Canoly Canal connects various rivers and streams including the Korapuzha river in the north and the Kallai River in the south thus forming part of the line of water communication from Vadakara to Beypore. The width of the canal varies between 6 and 20 metres (20 to 65 ft), and the water depth during the monsoon ranges between 0.5 and 2 metres (1.5 to 6 ft).

    This was the main waterway for the cargo movement between Kochi and Calicut, trade was the definition of the Canolly canal for more than a century. Major coastal towns such as Chavakkad, Ponnani, Kandassankadavu, Sahibinte palli masjid east, Santhipuram, Sreenarayana puram Kottappuram and Kodungallurdeveloped because of the freight trade along the canal. The main products of the coastal line, coconut oil and coconut fibre (Chakiri), were transported to Cochin by using “kettuvallam” (old house boat) through this canal. Many of the things in the once popular Chavakkadu Kuttakkunnu weekly market came through the Canolly Canal.

    Even the lives of ordinary people were associated with the canal. They used the water of cannoli for all purposes except drinking. The main dependence of the coastal settlers was for bathing and washing clothes. Fishing was also active in small ponds. The sides of most of the canal are lined with dimension stone, but at some locations the lining has collapsed. In a number of places along the canal, trees and bushes and water plants have grown, causing the water flow in the middle stretch of the canal to become weaker.

    The Canoly Canal Development Samithi in Kozhikode had decided to start speedboat service on the canal from Karaparamba to the Sarovaram park site in September 2009.

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