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How Literature Inspires Travel – by John Shors

  • John Shors
  • 5 September 2012

I believe that people within the travel industry should look at literature as a means to promote destinations and itineraries. Travel marketing shouldn’t be just about beautiful photos, slick graphics and discounted pricing. The old cliché claims that a “picture is worth a thousand words,” and that may be true, but right now I am finishing a 148,000-word novel about Angkor Wat, and I’m certain that when it is released, thousands of people will plan trips to Cambodia.

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Oxlajuj B’atz’ Maya Women’s Center: Hands-on Cultural Tours in the Heart of Guatemala

  • Oxlajuj B'atz'
  • 6 August 2012

Oxlajuj B’atz’ (OB) – meaning “Thirteen Threads” in the Maya Kaqchikel language – is a non-profit organization in Guatemala supporting indigenous women’s empowerment and education. OB offers travelers the opportunity to tour rural Guatemala and to learn about Mayan women achieving economic independence through innovative and sustainable development projects.

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Join a Paper Flower Tradition in Thanh Thien, Vietnam

  • Rachel Greene, Rose Charities
  • 18 June 2012

For 400 years, the villagers in Thanh Thien, Vietnam, have been making beautiful handmade paper flowers using unique designs passed down through the generations. Today, Thanh Thien is regaining fame for its paper flowers. To develop a program to attract tourists to the village, Thanh Thien has recently partnered with Rose Charities Vietnam.

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Video Spotlight: Nomadism

  • Paul Tavner
  • 27 May 2012

A lot of the films we feature as part of our Video Spotlight are difficult to classify. This week’s entry changes things. It’s a short film that would be equally at home being projected in a gallery as it is shared on a blog or on Tumblr. Canadian photographer and filmmaker Marty Mellway has produced some remarkable footage, filmed during his most recent travels.

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The Top Five Things to Do in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Africa.com
  • 19 March 2012

The economic centre, largest city and former capital of Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam, is rich in culture, heritage, history and sightseeing. It is a starting point for many visitors making their way to other large attractions in Tanzania, such as the coastal islands or inland safaris, but there is also a lot to see and do in this town.

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Video Spotlight: Seconds of Beauty

  • Paul Tavner
  • 19 February 2012

We like this video, compiled as part of a competition organised by Montblanc, because it really captures the wonder of a collection of moments. Sixty events, each of them one second long, were captured by people from around the world and brought together.

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Luang Prabang, Laos P.D.R. – Please Don’t Rush

  • Cindy Fan
  • 15 February 2012

Time is such a precious commodity these days; we’ve been led to believe that if we don’t maximise our scant vacation time by hitting all the major tourist must-dos, we’ve somehow failed. But travelling and living in Laos has taught me that slowing down adds richness to your experience – like seeing the world vividly in Technicolor.

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Video Spotlight: Playing for Change – Stand by Me

  • Paul Tavner
  • 5 February 2012

This clip, produced by the Playing for Change movement, combines a number of delightful human characteristics in a way that just makes you feel downright happy. Musical talent, individual artistic interpretation and diverse locations all come together to produce one of the all-time great covers of Ben E. King’s classic ‘Stand by Me’.

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Photo of the Week: Doors to the Past, Ouro Preto, Brazil

  • Wallace Faria (Photo)
  • 15 January 2012

This shot captures two of the most distinguishing features of the former mining town of Ouro Preto, Brazil; specifically, its pronounced sense of heritage and its elements of outstanding baroque architecture. This doorway almost feels like a portal into the past, with its chipped facade, rusted lintel and worn steps all contributing to a feeling of tremendous age and quiet dignity.

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Voluntourism Innovation: The Mini Grant Program at Sustainable Bolivia

  • Cynthia Ord
  • 13 January 2012

Volunteering abroad, also known as voluntourism, is on fire. More and more, all kinds of people are looking for travel experiences where they can serve the under-served, globally. Who can disagree with such noble intentions? In fact, voluntourism is often hailed as one of the most constructive forms of tourism out there.

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