Sanya, China Takes Home One Silver and Two Bronzes at IAI International Travel Awards Ceremony


“STPB has taken an open and novel approach to exploring the integration of culture and tourism as a part of its ongoing efforts to promote Sanya as a travel destination,” said STPB executive deputy director Wu Xiaolin during her speech at the ceremony. “With an open mind, we welcome any and all proposals for new products and campaigns based on a joint marketing model. We will continue to grow the brand by expanding on the reasons that a traveler might choose Sanya as a destination, whether it be the value proposition or the lifestyle options that the city offers, or simply the many ways that holiday makers can have fun there. We actively seek to bring on board high-quality projects, develop new tourism models based on the most demanding of standards while continuing to amplify the message that has successfully branded Sanya in both domestic and international markets as a travel destination of choice. The aim is to make contributions to the development of Sanya as a world-class tourism locale alongside the establishment of the Hainan Free Trade Port.”

STPB launched the promotion campaign themed Wonderland Sanya in December 2020 after completing an analysis of traveler preferences and segmenting source markets based on an in-depth study of the local tourism market. Targeting major consumer groups in the 18 to 35 age bracket in tandem with themes that are more relevant to young consumers, the campaign has attracted an increasing number of domestic travelers who had given up their international travel plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The creator of the campaign leveraged the city’s tourism resources in a move to attract the targeted younger demographic, which, in turn, helped to boost the development of the market.

As for marketing communications, STPB has rolled out a new joint marketing model by integrating product and media resources in tandem with market needs. With an increased focus on the collection of tourism-related data and updates to the subsidy policy, alongside the city’s branding efforts and public-private joint marketing, the Board is proving successful in facilitating the rapid recovery and return to steady growth of the tourism market.

Going forward, STPB plans to raise awareness worldwide of Sanya as a warm-climate, seaside travel destination by adding the following to-dos to its roadmap:

  • Constantly research and put into action marketing models that are in line with the current development trends of the local market;
  • Combine the hosting of innovative offline marketing campaigns with the construction of an online platform that re-enforces the messaging that highlights the uniqueness of Sanya as a travel destination;
  • Create different promotional themes for each target market, including, among others, as a spot for destination weddings, health and wellness tourism, as well as a vacation destination with something to offer every member of the multi-generational family.

SOURCE Sanya Tourism Promotion Board



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10 Most Unique Wine Tastings In The World


There is wine tasting, and then there is wine tasting. There is nothing wrong with visiting a vineyard, looking at the neat rows of vines, and marveling at the large barrels before sitting down at a table to sample the goods. Add in a superb location, a nice restaurant offering wine pairings, or a quirky souvenir shop, and you have a little something extra.

But there are places that go even further to make sure you do not get bored while tasting your wine. Some offer an unusual way to sample the wine; others offer a unique way of making the wine or a location that is just as exciting as the wine itself.

Here is a list of some great experiences that even your non-wine-connoisseur traveling companions will appreciate. If you are looking for a truly memorable experience, then read on.

1. Marathon Des Châteaux Du Médoc, France

Let’s start with probably the strangest way of drinking wine ever: while running a marathon. Each year, the Marathon des Châteaux du Médoc takes place in and around the town of Pauillac in the wine region of Bordeaux. Runners, often donning fancy dress, take to the track to complete 26 miles punctuated by 23 stops. At each stop, they sample some of the region’s finest cheeses and other snacks and drink a glass of wine. Needless to say, closer to the finish line there are barely any runners left, and people walk along in various states of inebriation, but they’re full of cheer! For an unusual event with friends and some superb memories made along the way, why not try it?

Pro Tip: While you are in the region, head down to Cap Ferret, just west of Bordeaux, for some of the loveliest beaches in France.

Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour, one of the best ways to discover Franschhoek Valley in scenic landscape of Wine Region, near Cape Town, South Africa.
Photo Credit: Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

2. Franschhoek Wine Tram, South Africa

Much more sensible than running is sitting in an old-fashioned double-decker tram as it trundles through the South African wine country and stops at regular intervals to let you explore the vineyards. This is a safe and leisurely way of wine tasting, with transfers from Cape Town to the tram stop and back, leaving you without worries about drinking and driving. This is a hop-on, hop-off tram, so you can either move on to the next wine estate or stop for longer at one with a good restaurant for lunch.

Pro Tip: There are several tram routes taking in various vineyards, so it pays to do your research before you start sampling.

3. Submarine Wine Tasting, San Francisco

Yes, it is a bit of a gimmick, but this is about unusual places and ways to sample wines. And the Sottomarino Winery, which arranges tastings in an old United States Navy training submarine on Treasure Island near San Francisco, is about as unusual as it gets. Sottomarino means “submarine” in Italian, and the wines are grown from Italian varieties in California. Treasure Island, a man-made island built in the 1930s for the Golden Gate International Exposition, offers lovely views of the skyline of San Francisco and makes for a nice day out.

Pro Tip: Learn more about the island at the Treasure Island Museum before heading back to the city. 

4. Royal Wine Cellar, France

Built in the 18th century for King Louis XV’s wine steward, this cellar next to the Louvre is a historic, unique, and very appropriate setting for a wine tasting. It’s a complete sensory experience! Learn about French wines on a guided or self-guided tour, at a private wine tasting, or at a dinner with wine pairings in one of the underground rooms. You’ll even meet the resident oenologist.

Pro Tip: Once you have learned some and tasted some, why not hunt down a few of the hidden vineyards in Paris to round out your experience? 

5. Underwater Winery, Croatia 

Located roughly an hour north of Dubrovnik on the stunning coast of Croatia, you’ll find a wine cellar that’s truly different. Underground we are used to, but underwater? Edivo Vina stores its bottles, sealed in amphorae, at the bottom of the Adriatic, and, if so inclined, you can don scuba gear and dive down to pick up your bottle. There is even a sunken ship nearby. Reportedly the even temperatures and quiet underwater benefit the wine — you can see for yourself when on dry land again.

Pro Tip: You can also book a private wine tour on the peninsula and be safely dropped off at your hotel at the end of the day.

Whales of grapes under snow in winter. Grapes are covered with snow
Photo Credit: Evgeniy Goncharov photo / Shutterstock.com

6. Ice Wine, Canada

Originally from Germany and Austria, ice wine is a sweet riesling or vidal blanc wine product. It’s called ice wine because the grapes are left on the vines until after winter and are allowed to freeze, making them much sweeter. The Ice House Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of many vineyards in Ontario, but it’s the only one that produces ice wine, even selling ice wine slushies. Sounds perfect for a summer day, doesn’t it?

Pro Tip: This winery is a couple of miles from Niagara Falls you can decide if the falls or the wine is the main attraction. 

7. Wine And Chocolate, Australia

Hahndorf, just inland of Adelaide in South Australia, is a quaint old German settlement that transports you to Bavaria, complete with southern German architecture, restaurants, and events. It’s a good spot for a day out, and you can add to the fun by booking a wine and chocolate pairing at the Hahndorf Hill Winery. At this perfect event for both chocoholics and wine connoisseurs, you’ll get to sample not just local wines, but also Australian and French chocolates made from Australian-grown cocoa beans.

It’s great fun spending the day meandering through little Hahndorf, shopping for local goodies like their superb honey, and then relaxing over some chocolate and wine before heading to a local restaurant for a good German sausage.

Pro Tip: Hahndorf is the gateway to the lovely Fleurieu Peninsula and a mere 15 miles from Kangaroo Island, a must-visit in the state.

8. Vineyard Cycling Tour, Italy

Umbria, a province in the heart of Italy located roughly halfway between Florence and Rome, is studded with vineyards and wineries. The region is best explored by bicycle. Umbria by Bike offers various cycling itineraries, but the Montefalco Vineyards tour is hands-down the most cultured. You’ll cycle around 60 miles through five main wine regions, stopping at each to sample the goods. Running between March and November, the tour is appropriate for beginner cyclists, with the paths mostly on asphalt. There are various bikes available for hire, even electric ones to make life a little easier. 

Pro Tip: This is a round-trip tour starting and finishing in Montefalco, so why not book yourself a room at the delightful Orto degli Angeli, a palazzo with a gorgeous garden and four-poster beds. It’s the perfect place at which to relax after a day out on a bike. 

A girl picks grapes in Portugal Algarve
Photo Credit: Sergio Sergo / Shutterstock.com

9. Residential Wine Resort, Portugal

If buying a château in France to run your own wine estate is a little out of reach, you can always buy a vacation home in the Algarve in Portugal to have a go at running your own vineyard. The Vines is a new concept of turnkey properties set in vineyards. Together with your vacation home, and within sight of it, you can own or rent your very own private vineyard and start producing your personal label. Local experts are on hand to teach you all you need.

Pro Tip: The Vines is located along the Algarve Wine Route on the southern edge of Portugal. It makes for a perfect road trip, meandering between beaches and coastal towns and select wineries. 

10. South Pacific Tasting, Tahiti

A vineyard on a South Sea island? Yes — on the Rangiroa Atoll, more than 3,000 miles away from any mainland, there is a vineyard. Vin de Tahiti was started by a Frenchman in the 1990s and now produces some 3,000 cases of wine from two or three harvests each year. It’s a 55-minute flight from Tahiti itself, so getting to the vineyard takes dedication, but this is a truly special wine experience. Rangiroa is also a top location for scuba diving, for beaches, and for an idyllic getaway literally thousands of miles away from civilization.

Pro Tip: This distant region of the world lends itself perfectly to cruising, which will allow you to discover more than just one island while you are there. Choices range from straightforward cruises to Paul Gaugin-inspired tours to budget-friendly boat trips.



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LIVE UPDATES: Biden admin plans on traveling to the Middle East this week


The Biden administration is set to travel to the Middle East this week as Israel and Hamas continue to obey a cease-fire after 11 days of fighting.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi in a phone call Thursday that he plans on traveling to the region “in the coming days” to meet with his Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout of the conversation. 

“The Foreign Minister welcomed Secretary Blinken’s planned travel to the region,” the readout stated. It added that the sides will “discuss recovery efforts,” and work “together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Blinken has insisted that the administration wants to ensure an equal peace between Israel and the Palestinians. 

FAST FACTS

    • On Sunday, hundreds of municipal workers and volunteers started a one-week campaign to clear rubble from Gaza City’s streets
    • Critics – both foreign and domestic – have questioned President Biden on his stance after he reiterated his full support of Israel

“It’s vitally important that the Palestinians feel hope and have opportunity and can live in security just as it is for Israelis,” Blinken told ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos. “And there should be equal measures.”

“The president has been very clear that he remains committed to a two-state solution,” Blinken added. “Ultimately, it is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state and of course, the only way to give the Palestinians the state to which they’re entitled.”

The apparent truce followed the most intense clashes between Israel and Hamas since 2014. 

The fighting started on May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem. The barrage occurred following days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The recent war saw Israel unleash hundreds of airstrikes across Gaza. Hamas and other armed groups fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, most of which were intercepted by the country’s missile defense system, known as the “Iron Dome,” or landed in open areas. 

At least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children and 39 women, were killed in the fighting, according to Palestinian health officials. At least 12 people in Israel, including two children, died in the conflict. 

Follow below for more updates. Mobile users click here. 



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Travel news latest: 3-hour queues at Heathrow as ‘terrified’ passengers mix with red-listed arrivals


The Telegraph’s Gordon Rayner is heading back to London from Lisbon after flying out yesterday with the first Britons to travel to a green list country. 

He writes: “Before any of the tourists in Portugal can return home, they must take a Covid test to show they are negative. 

“In my case I had booked a video test, meaning I took a test kit out with me and tested myself under observation by a medical professional, dialling in on a video call. 

“The very patient Alex, from testing firm Qured, talked me through the process over a dodgy WiFi connection and, crucially, watched me do the test to confirm all was present and correct. 

“Once the requisite 15 minutes had elapsed, I sent a photo of the lateral flow device to Qured, who emailed me the certificate I will need to be allowed home. 

“The cost of a Qured supervised test is £33. You can also arrange to have someone local turn up in person to do your test, but the virtual medic system worked brilliantly well.”





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*Update #3* Victim in Serious Crash on Sussex Highway at Seashore Highway Succumbs to Injuries- Bridgeville – Delaware State Police


Date Posted: Monday, May 17th, 2021

Bridgeville- The 55-year-old operator involved in a serious crash that occurred early Sunday morning has died as a result of the injuries sustained during the collision.

On May 16, 2021, at approximately 4:28 a.m., a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser operated by a 33-year-old male of Georgetown was traveling southbound on Sussex Highway approaching the Seashore Highway intersection. A 2018 Toyota Corolla driven by a 55-year-old male of Bridgeville was at a complete stop in the left turn lane of Sussex Highway leading to eastbound Seashore Highway at a red traffic signal. The Cruiser entered into the left turn lane of Sussex Highway, approaching the location of the Corolla. For unknown reasons, the operator failed to observe the Corolla stopped, and the front of the Cruiser struck the rear of the Corolla within the left turn lane of Sussex Highway. Following the collision, the Cruiser came to an uncontrolled stop on the southbound shoulder of Sussex Highway. As a result of the impact, the Corolla crossed over the northbound travel lanes and came to an uncontrolled stop in the grass located outside the northbound shoulder of Sussex Highway.

The 33-year-old male operator of the Cruiser was not injured as a result of the collision, and he remained at the scene until law enforcement arrived.

The 55-year-old male operator of the Corolla sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition. On May 17, 2021, he succumbed to his injuries.

This collision remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Troop 7 Collision Reconstruction Unit. Anyone with information regarding this collision should contact Cpl/1 Andrew Mitchell by calling 302-703-3267. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at http://www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com .

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at debra.reed@state.de.us.

*Update #2* Delaware State Police Investigating Serious Crash on Sussex Highway at Seashore Highway- Bridgeville

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Delta Climbs to Top of Annual J.D. Power Airline Study


Delta Air Lines earned the top rating in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for the first time in more than two decades, while overall customer satisfaction with airlines rose due to easing ticket restrictions and flight crew performance.

2021-05-12 JD Power Airlines

The study, based on responses from more than 2,300 passengers who traveled from August 2020 through March 2021, showed overall satisfaction improved by 27 points year over year to 819 on a 1,000-point scale. Delta earned the top score of 860 and also had the highest score in half of the eight criteria in the study: flight crew, aircraft, in-flight service and baggage claim. Other criteria include boarding, check in, costs and fees and reservations.

This marks the first time Delta has held the top slot in the survey since 1995, according to J.D. Power. In the 2020 study, Delta ranked third for long-haul flights and fourth for short-haul flights.

Overall satisfaction with flight crews was up 26 points year over year, and the category was one of Delta’s strongest, outscoring its nearest competitor by 11 points in that category, according to J.D. Power.

“Delta’s in-flight crew performed exceptionally well with its passengers in 2020 and 2021, getting significantly high scores in friendliness, courtesy and attentiveness to passenger needs,” according to J.D. Power travel practice lead Michael Taylor. “In a particularly difficult year, Delta’s people adapted to the challenges of new procedures and passenger concerns and did so with high marks from its customers.”

Overall satisfaction with costs and fees was up 47 points year over year in the study, reflecting flexibility with waivers and elimination of change fees in the face of fluid flight plans during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Southwest Airlines, which was the top carrier in J.D. Power’s 2020 study, scored second-highest this year and trailed Delta by only four points. Alaska Airlines and JetBlue also had scores above the industry average, as they did in last year’s study.



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How to Plan a D.I.Y. Alaska Trip


Among the many modes of land transportation in Alaska, interior flights are expedient, trains are scenic, buses are a relative bargain and driving may be more economical for a group, according to travel planners.

If you fly into Anchorage or Fairbanks, you’re in what’s known as the “railbelt” of Alaska, served by the Alaska Railroad, which also runs south of Anchorage to Seward. Travelers can upgrade to domed cars for best viewing to Seward on the railroad’s GoldStar Service ($224 one way from Anchorage in early June, compared to $113 in regular cars) or to Denali with the private Wilderness Express service ($249 from Anchorage, versus $176).

A Park Connection bus between Denali and Anchorage costs $100 one way in summer.

Like other parts of the country, Alaska is experiencing a rental car crunch as demand outpaces supply, resulting in higher rates, nearly double statewide compared to 2019, according to Kayak.

“All over the U.S.A., we’re seeing elevated car rental prices, but it can still be cheaper than piecing together train and motor coach combinations, particularly if you’re more than two travelers,” said Anna Harrison, the owner of the agency Travel Observations in Pittsburgh.

Rental cars, however, are hard to find this summer. Clicking around the Avis Alaska site for a rental car recently, I couldn’t find a weeklong rental, a compact for $473, until late August. Travel experts warn against one-way car rentals, which are more costly than round-trips.

Two more ways to save include basing yourself in Anchorage, which has a range of accommodations, and doing day trips, or rent a car, camper van or R.V. and camping.

“Anchorage is great as a base for those who are short on time and who don’t like moving around each night,” Ms. Harrison said, noting that travelers looking to use loyalty points or miles are more likely to be able to do so in the city.



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