Destinations

Destination Wrap: Swiss town’s message of solidarity, Sri Lankan lockdown lifts + MORE

Go on a pretend holiday through all the wonderful destinations featured in this week’s wrap. It’s the closest we’ve gotten to the real thing in months.

Aussie flag projected onto Swiss Alps in message of solidarity

Image credit: ABC News

Messages of hope and solidarity alongside different national flags have been projected onto the Matterhorn mountain overlooking the Swiss town of Zermatt.

Last Thursday local time, the region’s tourism body projected the Australian flag onto the mountain as a show of support.

According to ABC News, the projections are a project by light artist Gerry Hofstetter “to say thank to all these people working hard during this crisis”.

South Australia tourism launches digital training program 

The SA Tourism Commission (SATC) reported that 525 tourism businesses and events have signed up for its Digital Training Program, which kicks off this week offering participants an extensive online course to upskill during this period of reduced business.

SATC is hosting a series of regional engagement sessions with 11 video meetings in total. The sessions will help inform our future planning, as well as help us gather background for when we revisit the 2025 Regional Visitor Strategy which is currently suspended due to the impact of COVID-19.

For more information, go HERE.

Niue invites people to look at the stars 

To celebrate International Dark Sky Week the Pacific Island of Niue, recently declared an official Dark Sky Place by the International Dark Sky Association, invites people across the world to switch off their lights and look to the stars.

When visitors can travel to Niue they will be able to enjoy guided Astro-tours led by trained Niuean community members and witness the wonder of a night sky illuminated by thousands of stars, the Milky Way, Andromeda constellation and the large and small Magellanic Clouds.

Sri Lanka’s 24/7 lockdown now fully lifts 

Based on advice from Sri Lankan health authorities,  the 24/7 lockdown across all districts will be lifted from 27 April.

The night curfew will be in place in each district once their lockdown is lifted in their district.

For updates on COVID-19 in Sri Lanka go HERE.

Washington, DC inspires future travellers through armchair education

Free downloadable and virtual learning resources are the latest armchair education tools to roll out of Washington, DC as the American capital looks to inspire future travellers.

Supporting at-home learning for all ages, the International Spy Museum has launched lesson plans that cover the role the secret service has played in historical events, to fun activities including code-cracking downloads and formulas on how to make invisible ink.

Australians who share a fascination of American history including past president Abraham Lincoln will enjoy Ford’s Theatre’s investigation downloads on Lincoln’s life and legacy through distance learning programs. Teachers and parents can also download narrative writing lessons linked to the assassination of President Lincoln. 

Washington, DC’s Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, has launched a free webinar series on the Mass Extinction – Solving the Dinosaur Mystery.  This webinar video features Dr Kirk Johson, a paleobotanist and director of the museum.  Viewers can see how he and other experts joined forces to figure out what happened at the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago.

Education in visual and performing arts is also amongst the mix with The Kennedy Center offering performance-based lesson plans and activities for download.  The Kennedy Center also features digital downloads on previous stage performances.

Keep calm and Colorado

To keep our minds open and our wanderlust fuelled, Colorado Tourism Office has introduced a Daily Dose of Colorado Calm, revealing a new Colorado moment each day through breathtaking video that allows viewers to escape and perhaps picture themselves in the moment. Check out Colorado on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. #ColoradoCalm.

Switch up your soundtrack from rolling news updates to music inspired by the mountains. A Colorado Calm Playlist features tracks synonymous with the state, such as John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High, Johnny Cash’s You Wild Colorado and local singer-songwriter, Gregory Alan Isakov, who toured Australia for the first time last year.

Maldives Tourism launches webinar 

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), in association with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Tripadvisor, will be hosting a special webinar designed exclusively for Maldives tourism marketeers today at 5pm AEST.

The 90-minute webinar entitled Rethink, Recover: Solutions to the COVID-19 Crisis & the Maldivian Tourism Industry, will be led by Damian Cook (CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers), who has managed global tourism crises including the SARS and Ebola outbreaks.

Throughout the session, Mr Cook will offer practical assistance moving beyond the current reassurance phase, in addition to presenting effective solutions for the recovery phase.

The following expert speakers will also share their insights into the COVID-19 affected global travel and tourism sector during the session:

  • Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, managing mirector, MMPRC.
  • Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA;
  • Mr Paul Pruangkarn, director of communications and external affairs, PATA.
  • Ms Sarah Mathews, group head of destination marketing for Asia Pacific, TripAdvisor.
  • Mr Leon Chan, business development manager for Asia Pacific, TripAdvisor.

Those who are interested in tuning in to the webinar can register here.

Travellers encouraged to explore farm stays in Taiwan

The Taiwan Tourist Board in Australia is encouraging travellers to look outside of the city and consider staying in some unconventional places.

From unexpectedly delightful farm stays to beautifully designed theme stays, there are many to choose from in Taiwan.

At the luxury end of the scale is Fu Wan Leisure Farm. This is an eco-friendly resort with accommodation that, while modern in appearance, fits perfectly within its beautifully landscaped surroundings.

Located down south near Kaohsiung City, this hidden modern paradise happens to be a seafood and chocolate farm as well.

The farm produces international award-winning chocolate bars, and is also famous for its sakura prawn produce And, true to the reputation of its award-winning chef, the food is nothing short of exceptional combining an elaborate mix of flavours and textures.

Hua Lu Flower Home Leisure Farm is run by three sisters with almost every corner of the farm exquisitely designed and decorated with flowers and plants, used to create essential oils.

The Aroma Boutique on the farm is one of the largest of its kind in Taiwan. It houses some of the tools used for extracting citronella and camphor oils in days past, and boasts a vast variety of essential oil products produced by the farm. Visitors can also participate in essential oil and lotion DIY programs to gain insight into how these innovative agricultural products are made.

The farm’s spacious rooms are tastefully designed with large balconies allowing guests to overlook the beautiful floral surroundings and the remote mountains.

At the edge of the beautiful Kenting National Park in south Taiwan is the Ever Spring Eco Farmstay.

The farm is ecologically-friendly and its owners are happy to teach their guests a little about its farming practices and other things such as butterfly cultivation on the farm.

A huge range of herbs, vegetables and fruit, chili peppers, mangoes, papaya, tomatoes, garlic, basil, peppermint, and tea trees are grown on the farm, with all of the produce being used at its restaurant.

Kenting is Taiwan’s oldest national park and stretches out over 180 km of both land and sea and is home to a rich amount of flora and fauna.

Despite the peaceful rural setting, the farm stay is just a few kilometres from Hengchun City which has its own airport.

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