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					 Dear readers,
  Welcome to the May issue of the TR online magazine. Let us invite you to spend an exciting
morning pleasantly floating several meters above the earth. Come and read the Adventure part
about the popular balloon trips available all over the world. Ever watched giraffes and lions from
above? Ever admired the beauties of Cappadocia from the birds’ perspective? Now you have a good
chance. After your landing you might decide to enjoy a bit of Heritage. UNESCO sites are a must
for heritage lovers. However what about the numerous places not on the List? What sites are going
to expand the UNESCO List soon?
  The Spa supplement focuses on various dangers of medical spa and advises the spa-goers how to
be careful enough to enjoy the spa stay without any trouble. The effectiveness of tourist boards and
their work is the topic of the Professional section this time dedicated to the tourism authority of the
Czech Republic. The Destination part on the other hand presents the trends and developments of
the travel trade industry in the Central Europe. All right folks, let’s get started.

      Milada Sovadinova
H E r i tag E                                                                                             Heritage: UNeSCO LiSt CaNdidateS: tO Be Or NOt tO Be .................... 4
       UNESCO LiSt CaNdidatES: tO BE Or NOt tO BE
The world known UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites includes the most treasured properties of
the world. Each country having its site inscribed on the list is rightly proud about it and many state

                                                                                                                 HOw tO… get YOUr PrOPertY ON tHe UNeSCO LiSt...............................................................................5
parties want to add more sites to the list as well. Let us get familiar with countries that do not have
any property listed yet and that have nominated their treasured sites for the UNESCO List.

                                                                                                                 tHe BLUe aNd JOHN CrOw MOUNtaiNS NatiONaL Park, JaMaiCa aS a UNeSCO wOrLd
                                                                                                                 Heritage Site .........................................................................................................................................................7
                                                                                                                 VaNUatU: LUxUrY LiNer aNd diVerS’ ParadiSe......................................................................................10
                                                                                                                 eritrea: aSMara aNd itS MOderNiSt arCHiteCtUre ........................................................................12
                                                                                                                 kYrgYzStaN: iSSYk-kUL BaSiN aNd OPeN-air MUSeUM ........................................................................14

                          tOUriSt BOard PraCtiCES
                                                                                                          PrOfeSSiONaL: tOUriSt BOard PraCtiCeS .................................................. 16
Tourist boards are the most important bodies with respect to the promotion of countries and re-

                                                                                                                 CzeCH tOUriSt BOard: exPerieNCe aNd iMPreSSiON..........................................................................17
gions. Is their work effective though? Do they change in any way the statistics of incoming tour-
ists? Let us focus on one of the central European tourist boards – CzechTourism – and see what
strategies they use in evaluating their work. A good example of effectiveness assessment by the
North Ireland tourist board follows.

                                                                                                                 iNterView: tOUriSM iS NOt tHe tOP PriOritY fOr CzeCH LeaderS ..............................................19
                                                                                                                 CzeCH gOVerNMeNt: effeCtiVeNeSS iS HardLY MeaSUraBLe ..........................................................20
                                                                                                                 MeaSUriNg tHe PerfOrMaNCe Of tOUriSt BOardS: tHe CaSe Of NitB........................................22

sPa and MEdical                                                                                           SPa aNd MediCaL: PrOS aNd CONS Of Medi-SPa ........................................ 26
       P r O S a N d C O N S O f M E d i - S Pa
As the recent statistics show spa and wellness industry is simply booming nowadays. People just

                                                                                                                 tHe BeNefitS Of MediCaL SPa ........................................................................................................................27
love to spend an evening or the whole week in the hands of professionals taking care for their
body and soul. However, there are also various cases of dissatisfied customers. Let’s get familiar
with the dangers of medi spa.

                                                                                                                 daNgerS Of a Medi SPa .....................................................................................................................................28
                                                                                                                 SPa CLieNtS warNed tO Be CaUtiOUS .........................................................................................................29
                                                                                                                 Medi-SPaS: wHeN tHiNgS gO awrY...............................................................................................................30

advEnturE                                                                                                 adVeNtUre: HOt-air BaLLOON VaCatiONS .................................................... 32
                        HOt-air BaLLOON VaCatiONS
Hot-air balloons. Aren’t they fantastic? Come and read what kind of experience does a balloon

                                                                                                                 HOt air BaLLOONiNg iN SOUtH afriCa .....................................................................................................33
flight offer, what you should prepare for, what you should not expect and where to go for the big-
gest balloon fair ever. Hop into the basket and enjoy the flight.

                                                                                                                 CaPPadOCia frOM aBOVe ................................................................................................................................35
                                                                                                                 aLBUqUerqUe iNterNatiONaL BaLLOON fieSta LaUNCHiNg dreaMS ..........................................36
                                                                                                                 tiPS fOr YOUr BaLLOON triP..........................................................................................................................38
                                                                                                                 aUStraLiaN earLY MOrNiNg BaLLOON ride ............................................................................................39

dEstination                                                                                               deStiNatiON: tHe BeaUtY Of tHe CeNtraL eUrOPe ................................... 41
                tHE BEaUty Of tHE CENtraL EUrOPE
«Central European countries» is a broad term assigned to varying number of states. CE is defined

                                                                                                                 POLaNd: greateSt iNCreaSe iN HOteL NigHtS iN eU ...........................................................................42
with respect to the geography or various institutional communities like the Visegrad Four. Not
attempting to solve the relative nature of this term we are pleased to present the Central Europe
from the viewpoint of a travel trade professional. Watch out! Here comes the statistics.

                                                                                                                 rOMaNiaN tOUriSM: MiNiMaL CONtriBUtiON tO gdP ........................................................................44
                                                                                                                 SLOVeNia: tOUriSM grOwiNg faSter tHaN OtHer SeCtOrS ............................................................46
                                                                                                                 tOUriSM figUreS MOderateLY riSiNg iN HUNgarY .............................................................................48
                                                                                                                 BSLOVakia: Yet tO Be diSCOVered...............................................................................................................50

fairs & ExHibitions
       Travel/Tourism in maY 2008 bY regions
                                                                                                          traVeL/tOUriSM fairS & exHiBitiONS
                                                                                                              iN MaY 2008 BY regiONS .................................................................................. 52
                                                                                                                 weSterN eUrOPe .................................................................................................................................................53
                                                                                                                 CeNtraL & eaSterN eUrOPe ...........................................................................................................................54
                                                                                                                 afriCa aNd MiddLe eaSt .................................................................................................................................55
                                                                                                                 NOrtH aMeriCa & CariBBeaN .......................................................................................................................57
                                                                                                                 aSia & PaCifiC .......................................................................................................................................................58
H E r i tag E
       UNESCO LiSt CaNdidatES: tO BE Or NOt tO BE
The world known UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites includes the most treasured properties of
the world. Each country having its site inscribed on the list is rightly proud about it and many state
parties want to add more sites to the list as well. Let us get familiar with countries that do not have
any property listed yet and that have nominated their treasured sites for the UNESCO List.
                                                                                                                                      May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

HOw tO… get YOUr PrOPertY

All     over the world there are altogether 257 countries today.
        Out of them, 115 countries do not have any property list-
ed by UNESCO yet. What does the nomination process for the
                                                                         to the World Heritage Centre, preferably at least one year prior
                                                                         to the submission of any nomination. They are also encouraged
                                                                         to re-examine and re-submit their Tentative List at least every
UNESCO List consist of?                                                  ten years. It is an important step since the World Heritage Com-
  First of all, only countries that have signed the World Heri-          mittee cannot consider a nomination for inscription on the World
tage Convention, pledging to protect their natural and cultural          Heritage List unless the property has already been included on
heritage, can submit nomination proposals for properties on              the State Party’s Tentative List.
their territory to be considered for inclusion in UNESCO’s World           The Tentative List for each country is reviewed every six
Heritage List. Today there are 185 State Parties that signed the         years or so by UNESCO. For each country it would be fortunate
                                                                             waNt tO Be LiSted
   1. Tentative List                                                         There are 40 countries in the world that don’t have any property
   The first step a country must take is to make an ‘inventory’ of              listed by UNeSCO but that submitted (or soon will submit) their
                                                                                tentative list of nominated properties:
its important natural and cultural heritage sites located within             angola, antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina faso,
its boundaries. This ‘inventory’ is known as the Tentative List,               Burundi, Cape Verde, Comoros, republic of the Congo, djibouti,
                                                                               eritrea, fiji, grenada, guinea-Bissau, guyana, Chad, Jamaica, kiri-
and provides a forecast of the properties that a State Party may              bati, kuwait, kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall is-
decide to submit for inscription in the next five to ten years and            lands, federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Niue, Palau, Papua
                                                                             New guinea, qatar, rwanda, Saint Vincent and the grenadines, Sa-
which may be updated at any time. States Parties should sub-                 moa, San Marino, Sao tome and Principe, Saudi arabia, Sierra Le-
mit Tentative Lists, which should not be considered exhaustive,              one, tonga, trinidad and tobago, United arab emirates, Vanuatu

                                                                                                                                 May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e
                                                                        Property, an intergovernmental organization which provides the
                                                                        Committee with expert advice on conservation of cultural sites,
                                                                        as well as on training activities.
                                                                           4. The World Heritage Committee
                                                                           Once a site has been nominated and evaluated, it is up to the
                                                                        intergovernmental World Heritage Committee to make the final
                                                                        decision on its inscription. Once a year, the Committee meets to
                                                                        decide which sites will be inscribed on the World Heritage List.
                                                                        It can also defer its decision and request further information on
                                                                        sites from the States Parties.
                                                                           5. The Criteria for Selection
                                                                           To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of
                                                                        outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten
for a single property from the Tentative List to be included in         selection criteria. These criteria are explained in the Opera-
the UNESCO List, thus it can easily take decades for a site to          tional Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage
go from being considered for inclusion in the Tentative List to         Convention which, besides the text of the Convention, is the
obtaining World Heritage Site status.                                   main working tool on World Heritage. The criteria are regularly
                                                                        revised by the Committee to reflect the evolution of the World
   2. The Nomination File                                               Heritage concept itself.
   By preparing a Tentative List and selecting sites from it, a            Until the end of 2004, World Heritage sites were selected on
State Party can plan when to present a nomination file. The             the basis of six cultural and four natural criteria. With the adop-
World Heritage Centre offers advice and assistance to the State         tion of the revised Operational Guidelines, only one set of ten
Party in preparing this file, which needs to be as exhaustive as        criteria exists.
possible, making sure the necessary documentation and maps                 Neither inclusion in the Tentative List nor inscription as a World
are included. The nomination is submitted to the World Heritage         Heritage Site imposes legal restrictions on owners or neighbors
Centre for review and to check it is complete. Once a nomina-           of sites, nor does it give the United Nations any management
tion file is complete the World Heritage Centre sends it to the         authority or ownership rights to the property, which continues to
appropriate Advisory Bodies for evaluation.                             be fully subject to the local law.
  3. The Advisory Bodies
  A nominated property is independently evaluated by two Ad-  
visory Bodies mandated by the World Heritage Convention: the  
International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World
Conservation Union, which respectively provide the World Heri-
tage Committee with evaluations of the cultural and natural sites
nominated. The third Advisory Body is the International Centre
for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural

                                                                                                                                May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

tHe BLUe aNd JOHN CrOw
Park, JaMaiCa aS a UNeSCO
wOrLd Heritage Site
                                                                           Recognizing an imbalance in the List, with the vast majority
                                                                        of sites being cultural and located in developed regions of the
                                                                        world, notably in Europe, the WH Committee has adopted a
                                                                        Global Strategy to address this situation. The strategy involves
                                                                        efforts to encourage countries to become States Parties, to pre-
                                                                        pare Tentative Lists and to prepare nominations of properties
                                                                        from categories and regions not currently well-represented on
                                                                        the World Heritage List. Between 2004 and 2006, the Caribbean
                                                                        region has been targeted under this strategy with a number of
                                                                        workshops and training activities. Despite this, only a few coun-
                                                                        tries are actively pursuing nomination of sites by UNESCO.

                                                                            teNtatiVe LiSt Of JaMaiCa
                                                                              Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
                                                                           (submitted in 2006)

                                                                           One of the reasons for this situation is that like other Small
                                                                        Island Developing States (SIDS), the islands of the Caribbean,
   World Heritage Sites and the Caribbean                               though rich in natural and cultural heritage, are ecologically
   The Caribbean region consists of twenty four island states,          fragile and vulnerable, and so their heritage is under threat from
most of which are independent. This chain of islands and groups         both natural and man-made factors e. g. hurricanes and global
of islands borders the north and east of the Caribbean Sea with         warming. Also as described in Agenda 21, their small size, lim-
Central America to the west, and countries such as Colombia,            ited resources, geographical dispersion and isolation from mar-
Venezuela and Guyana to the south. The area has been recog-             kets, place them at a disadvantage economically and prevent
nised by Conservation International as one of the thirty-four           economies of scale. A related challenge for Caribbean islands
biodiversity hotspots of the world. The region is also culturally       like Jamaica is that UNESCO Sites must be under legal and
significant because of its history which has brought together           effective management. Reports, such as the 1999 European
people from all over the globe at different times and for differ-       Commission/World Conservation Union on protected areas in
ent reasons, but which has resulted in a unique and distinctive         ACP countries indicate that protected area management in the
culture that is similar yet different in each of the countries.         Caribbean is affected by limited human and financial resources,
   Of the 851 World Heritage Sites (as at October, 2006) only           limited availability of information on species conservation and
12 are located within the islands of the Caribbean, and most of         the economies of scale which tend to promote large-scale de-
these are in Spanish-speaking nations – 7 in Cuba and 2 in the          velopment that may negatively impact protected areas. Thus
Dominican Republic. Within the English-speaking Caribbean,              with respect to the latter, both natural and cultural heritage sites
the World Heritage Sites are: Brimstone Hill Fortress National          may be so impacted by large-scale agricultural or tourism de-
Park in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Morne Tros Pitons National Park          velopment, or sprawling urban environs, that it might be difficult
in Dominica and the Pitons Management Area in Saint Lucia. To           for them to qualify as UNESCO Sites.
date, Jamaica which acceded to the WH Convention in 1983,                  One way in which Caribbean islands are seeking to address
does not have any sites inscribed on this prestigious List, and         these challenges in relation to protected areas, is through part-
only one on its Tentative List – the BJCMNP.                            nerships including co-management agreements between gov-

                                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                          H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e
                                                                          or Yellow Snake and the Jamaican Hutia or Coney. Worthy of
                                                                          mention too, is the fact that of the 23 native and endemic frogs
                                                                          in Jamaica, 11 are found in the Blue and John Crow Mountains
                                                                          and 5 of these are endemic to the National Park.
                                                                             The rugged topography, lush forests and numerous water
                                                                          sources were used by the Windward Maroons to wage their
                                                                          successful guerrilla warfare against the British. The rich cultural
                                                                          heritage of the Maroon communities outside the boundary of
                                                                          the National Park at Moore Town and Charles Town are very
                                                                          relevant. In addition, the area is significant for its colonial heri-
                                                                          tage related to the military e. g. Newcastle, and the history of
                                                                          the world-renowned Blue Mountain Coffee plantations.
                                                                             The BJCMNP is managed by the Jamaica Conservation and
                                                                          Development Trust (JCDT) a non-government organisation and
                                                                          registered charity established in 1998, through a delegation
                                                                          agreement with the Natural Resources Conservation Authority,
                                                                          and a collaborative management agreement with the Forestry
                                                                          Department. Recognizing the international importance of the
                                                                          site and the likely benefits of inscription on the World Heritage
                                                                          List, the JCDT has been pursuing this goal since 2004. Hence
                                                                          both the JCDT’s Strategic Plan and the National Park’s annual
                                                                          operation plans have targets relating to this goal. As part of the
                                                                          BJCMNP’s Recreation and Tourism Programme, the JCDT has
                                                                          recently completed the preparation of a Blue Mountains Sus-
                                                                          tainable Tourism Programme that was developed with local
                                                                          communities and private sector. UNESCO World Heritage Site
                                                                          status would be supportive of this programme.
                                                                             Background to the BJCMNP Nomination Process
                                                                             In September, 2004 Dr. Ron Van Oers, UNESCO World Heri-
                                                                          tage Centre (WHC) visited Jamaica for a regional workshop on
ernment agencies and non-government organisations. In Ja-                 the development of a Caribbean Action Plan for World Heritage.
maica, such a collaborative approach to management of one of              He expressed an interest in the Blue and John Crow Moun-
the Caribbean’s most significant sites – the Blue and John Crow           tains and Mrs. Otuokon, Executive Director, JCDT provided him
Mountains National Park, has strengthened the nation’s pursuit            with an information package on the National Park. Dr. Van Oers
of UNESCO Site nomination for this property.                              agreed to visit the site when he returned to the island in June
                                                                          2005 for a workshop on WH Site, and was taken on field trips
   Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
                                                                          to several potential Sites, including the BJCMNP. He recom-
                                                                          mended that Jamaica pursue nomination of the BJCMNP as a
   The Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was estab-              priority, because of its comparative readiness in terms of its in-
lished in 1993 through the Natural Resources Conservation Or-             tegrity and active management. Later that year, JCDT accessed
der on the boundaries of forest reserve gazetted in 1950, under           support from a special fund within the WH Fund, to help prepare
the old Forest Act of 1937. It is located in the east of the island       a draft nomination dossier and conduct consultations.
and protects about 78,000 hectares (193,000 acres) of forest on
                                                                             In 2006, JCDT presented information on the site to the Ja-
the steep mountain slopes of ten watershed management units
                                                                          maica National Heritage Trust and obtained its approval to
and four parishes. The site includes at its core, the largest con-
                                                                          send information on the site to UNESCO WHC for inclusion on
tiguous area of natural or closed broadleaf forest, believed to be
                                                                          Jamaica’s Tentative List of Sites for Inscription. This was signed
about one-third of the remaining natural forest in Jamaica.
                                                                          off by the Minister of Education and the BJCMNP was placed
   The high elevation and the unusual geology of the Blue Moun-           on Jamaica’s Tentative List in October, 2006. Around this time,
tains have resulted in a wide variety of forest habitats some             JCDT received comments from the WHC on the draft dossier it
of which are unique to this part of the island. The area is an            had sent to them in July, 2006. The WHC recommended more
important refuge for endemic and threatened species of plants             detailed information and analysis for a number of chapters.
and animals, and is internationally recognised for its high bio-          JCDT prepared a proposal to UNESCO WHC for funds to com-
diversity. Fauna of note include the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly,         plete the dossier and this was signed by the Minister of Educa-
largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere, the Jamaican Boa             tion in June, 2007 and sent off to the WH Centre.

                                                                                              May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e
    Current Status of Nomination Process
    The JCDT received support from the WH Fund at the end of
2007 and work started to complete the dossier in order to send
it to the WHC by September, 2008, in good time for the January
31, 2009 deadline. The nomination dossier once completed will
need to be signed by the State Party, whose focal point is now
the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, due to a
change in government. The BJCMNP will be nominated as a
mixed site due to the outstanding universal value of both its nat-
ural and cultural heritage. The JCDT has used its WHF funding
to increase public awareness about the site, its importance and
the proposed nomination. It will also be implementing a series
of community meetings and a public consultation on the draft
nomination dossier before finalizing it for the WH Committee.
    It is hoped that despite the challenges of limited resources,
for preparation of documents and management, the BJCMNP
has a good chance of being inscribed on the UNESCO WH List.
This would help support the conservation of this globally signifi-
cant site.

By Susan Otuokon
(Executive Director, JCDT/Acting Park Manager, BJCMNP)

                                                                                                                                      May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

VaNUatU: LUxUrY LiNer
aNd diVerS’ ParadiSe
                                                                         the mantle a large decorative panel of majorca depicted a ‘lady
                                                                         and unicorn’. The room was fitted with overstuffed, walnut arm-
                                                                         chairs upholstered in green leather, large gaming tables and
                                                                         glass topped smoking stands.
                                                                            As to services, the ship featured a gymnasium, children’s
                                                                         playroom, shopping arcade, soda fountain, barber shop and
                                                                         beauty salon, a marine tea-garden and play deck for golf, ten-
                                                                         nis, handball, squash and quoits. There was even a stock ex-
                                                                         change. Fine passenger dining and a strict schedule made the
                                                                         «Coolidge» a favorite of the Sunshine Route, from San Fran-
                                                                         cisco to Honolulu, Yokohama, Kobe, Shanghai, Hong Kong and
                                                                            However in 1941 with the likelihood of America entering the
                                                                         European War, the Coolidge went into service with the Ameri-
                                                                         can Army as a transport ship for reinforcing Pacific garrisons.
                                                                         When fully converted in 1942 she could carry 5,000 troops. One
                                                                         swimming pool was converted to a hold and most of the luxuri-
                                                                         ous furnishings were replaced with bunk beds and extra toilets.
                                                                         But permanent fixtures such as the Lady, remained.
                                                                            On the 15th July 1941 the President Coolidge began its first
                                                                         voyage, on a full-time basis, for the army, taking it from Ho-
                                                                         nolulu to Manila. On 6th October 1942 it sailed out from San
                                                                         Francisco headed for New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo in
                                                                         Vanuatu laden with the 5,092 officers and troops of the 172nd
                                                                         Regiment, 43rd Infantry division. They were to be much needed
                                                                         reinforcements for the American assault on Guadalcanal and
                                                                         as such, were a self contained unit. The Coolidge was well and
                                                                         truly laden with the machinery of war. On the 26th October 1942
                                                                         however the navy had neglected to give Captain Nelson ‘Spe-
                                                                         cial Instructions’. These instructions could not be radioed due to
                                                                         the necessity of security. Following a series of misadventures
                                                                         and misunderstandings, the patrol boat at the entrance failed
                                                                         to stop her. As the ship began to enter the channel, radio of-
L    aunched on 21st February 1931 the SS President Coolidge
     was the largest passenger ship to be constructed in Amer-
ica (with her twin sister, the SS President Hoover) at that time.
                                                                         ficers had no choice but to break silence and issue a warning at
                                                                         09:30 «STOP, you are entering a…..» – the warning came too
                                                                         late. An explosion struck the aft fire room – an explosion from a
Built by Newport News Shipbuilding Drydock Company in New-               mine, one of many scattered in a deadly mine field across the
port News, the Coolidge was 200m by 25m and had a gross                  channel. Thirty seconds later a second explosion hit the en-
displacement of 21,936 tons.                                             gine room – the ship was mortally wounded. Captain Nelson
  The ship first started as a luxurious passenger carrier. Ev-
erything about the ship combined comfort and elegance. Pas-                  teNtatiVe LiSt Of VaNUatU
sengers could relax in one of two saltwater pools, one with                    Lake Letas (submitted in 2004)
an artificial sand beach. They could enjoy fine music from the                 The Nowon and Votwos of Ureparapara (submitted in 2005)
                                                                               The President Coolidge (submitted in 2004)
Musician’s gallery in the First Class dining Room or enjoy the                 The roimata domain (submitted in 2004)
quiet elegance of a well stocked library. However, perhaps the                 Vatthe Conservation area (submitted in 2004)
most impressive room was the First Class Smoking Lounge.                       Yalo, apialo and the sacred geography of Northwest Malakula
                                                                            (submitted in 2004)
At one end there was a verde antique marble fireplace. Above

                                                                                                                                May, 2008
                          H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

ordered the now listing ship to be turned to the shore and run             Coolidge is also home to a rich array of corals and fish. Schools
aground. Immediately, life boats and nets, Jacob’s ladders and             of barracuda, trevally, sharks and reef fish are permanent resi-
ropes were lowered and the abandon ship order issued. The                  dents, including Boris, a 200kg (440 pounds) grouper that lives
ship sank in 20 fathoms of water at the east entrance of the Se-           on the wreck and can be hand fed.
gond Channel of Espiritu Santo. Nearly all of the 5,000 officers              Although there are numerous ship wrecks throughout the
and men on board were saved.                                               world the wreck of the President Coolidge is unlike any other.
  The President Coolidge is currently known as the largest                 It is considered to be the largest accessible shipwreck in the
most accessible wreck dive in the world. President Coolidge is             world and contains a unique combination of features belonging
particularly interesting because of the diverse range of features          to its dual function as a luxury passenger liner and a military
which can still be seen. It has all of the fine furnishings and dé-        vessel.
cor of a luxury passenger liner as well as military hardware and
equipment. As the wreck is so large, many dives are needed to    
see the wreck in detail.
  Almost completely intact it is possible to swim through the
many holds and decks viewing the many reminders of war,
including the famous «Lady» sitting above the fireplace. The
Coolidge is divided into many different ‘dive sites’. All dives are
accompanied by experienced professional dive guides. The

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

eritrea: aSMara aNd itS
MOderNiSt arCHiteCtUre
                                                                             In the early twentieth century, Asmara represented little more
                                                                          than a tiny highland village which grew incrementally to become
                                                                          a well-established town by 1920s. However, by 1930s, it was
                                                                          clear that Italy, under the rule of Mussolini, intended to invade
                                                                          the neighboring Ethiopia and would use Eritrea as the launch
                                                                          pad for its long-held ambitions. In preparation for this substantial
                                                                          military escapade, an unprecedented quantity of materials and
                                                                          labor flowed into Eritrea throughout the 1930s. During several
                                                                          months, Asmara became a large building site, as over 70,000
                                                                          Italians arrived to establish themselves in the country.
                                                                             The rapid transformation of Asmara from a relatively minor
                                                                          town into Africa’s most modern and sophisticated city at that
                                                                          time overlapped with equally momentous events in the world of
                                                                          design and architecture, which involved the global proliferation
                                                                          of Modernism and its various forms, including Futurism, Ratio-
                                                                          nalism, Novecento, and Art Deco. The spirit of the new age of
                                                                          travel and adventure was embodied in these new architectural

P     erched on a plateau that rises two kilometers above the
      Red Sea, the Eritrean capital of Asmara has one of the
world’s highest concentrations of early modern architecture.
                                                                          forms. Asmara was an ideal blank canvas on which Italian ar-
                                                                          chitects could practice and realize their modern ideals.

Constructed primarily between 1936 and 1941 by Italian colo-
nists under Fascist rule and isolated during a 50-year conflict
with Ethiopia, the urban fabric of Asmara’s city center repre-
sents a bold attempt to create a utopian city based on modernist
planning and architectural ideals. Unconstrained by the more
conservative environment of Europe, Asmara’s architects and
engineers borrowed from a wide range of building styles includ-
ing Novecento, Neo-classicism, Neo-Baroque, Futurism, and,
most predominantly, Rationalism – a distinctly Italian interpreta-
tion of the Modern International Style. The fusion of European
modernism with African highland culture resulted in a unique
urban environment that has survived remarkably intact.
   Asmara represents perhaps the most concentrated and intact
assemblage of modernist architecture anywhere in the world.
The urban design within the Historic Perimeter has remained                  From 1935-1941, thousands of buildings were constructed
untouched since its original implementation and subsequent                in the city, most of which reflect various Modernist styles and
evolution throughout the 1930s, and the architectural elements            some of them represent inimitable architectural forms, such
exemplify a superlative example of modernist architecture in a            as petrol stations mimicking airplanes and boats, commercial
complete urban setting. These two contiguous and exceptional              buildings designed as trains, cavernous cinemas with fine pe-
tangible components have nurtured a unique and distinct intan-            riod plasterwork and Art Dem interiors, fine ultra-modern hotels
gible social environment based on Western Modernist design                and offices, and government buildings with highly politicized
ideals realized in a highland African setting.                            monumental designs.
   Asmara is the site of an ancient highland village called ‘Ar-
bate Asmara’. In 1885, the Italians invaded Eritrea and by 1900             teNtatiVe LiSt Of eritrea:
Asmara had become the capital city. The site was chosen for                  The Historic Perimeter of asmara and its Modernist architecture
                                                                              (submitted in 2005)
its salubrious highland climate, reliable water supply and ideal
geographic location in the centre of Eritrea.

                                                                                                                                        May, 2008
                         H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

                                                                                asmara is the capital city and largest settlement in eritrea, home
                                                                                 to a population of around 579,000 people. at an elevation of over
                                                                                 2,000 meters, asmara is on the edge of an escarpment that is both
                                                                                 the northwestern edge of the great rift Valley and of the eritrean
                                                                                 highlands. in asmara the main language is tigrinya. italian and
                                                                                 english are widely spoken and understood. http://en.wikipedia.

                                                                             Asmara is threatened by a host of development pressures.
                                                                          Since Eritrean independence in 1991, there have been in-
                                                                          creased public and private demands to improve the urban in-
                                                                          frastructure and construct contemporary buildings, which have
                                                                          compromised the city’s built environment. Recognizing the
                                                                          threat, the government established the Cultural Assets Reha-
                                                                          bilitation Project (CARP) in 2000. With support from the World
                                                                          Bank, CARP undertook extensive research and documentation
                                                                          of Asmara’s urban environment, establishing a «historic perim-
   In 1941, the Italian control in Eritrea ended when Allied Forc-        eter» zone around the city center within which all new construc-
es liberated Eritrea as the first victory against fascism in the          tion has been put on hold. Planning guidelines for the zone are
Second World War. No major construction has taken place in                currently in development, and CARP believes the public advo-
Asmara since 1940s, because Eritrea has been subject to con-              cacy benefits of World Monuments Watch listing will help en-
tinuous unrest due to its struggle for independence, which it             sure the adoption of such guidelines as part of an Eritrean legal
gained in 1991. Ironically, this turbulence has served well to            framework to protect Asmara’s historic resources.
protect Asmara’s unique urban heritage.
   Today, more than 400 extant buildings remain from the Italian
occupation period, among them the Asmara Theater. Designed      
in 1919 by renowned architect and engineer Oduardo Cavagnari
(1868–1920), the theater was built as the city’s first performing
arts venue. With an eclectic mix of styles, the theater’s interior
is distinguished by Art Nouveau-influenced frescoes.

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                          H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

kYrgYzStaN: iSSYk-kUL
BaSiN aNd OPeN-air MUSeUM

The        area of the Issyk-Kul basin has been attracting schol-
           ars of the world for a long time. The ancient archaeo-
logical sites here are dated to the Paleolithic period, some
                                                                            Asia and Kazakhstan. In an area of some 42 hectares there
                                                                            are tens of thousands of boulders brought down by land-slides
                                                                            from the slopes of the Kunghey Ala-Too mountain range. Be-
findings refer to the Mesolithic and early Neolithic periods, a             sides petroglyphs numerous prehistoric structures can be
substantial layer is characteristic of the late Neolithic period and        found here like for instance stone circles, tombs, the remains
Bronze Age. Many archaeological sites remained untouched                    of a boundary stone wall or balbals. It is believed that the site
from the period when Turkish tribes were in power in the area.              was once a gigantic open-air temple, where the people wor-
Among the medieval sites the submerged ruins of «Timur’s                    shipped heavenly bodies – especially the sun – and perhaps
Palace» are the most well known. In the Middle Ages the de-                 other gods.
velopment of the region was greatly influenced by lively trade                Cholpon-Ata petroglyphs represent the most important source
between East and West and several branches of the Great Silk                of studies of history, tangible and intangible heritage of the an-
Road went through the Issyk-Kul basin.                                      cient and medieval Kyrgyzstan. The petroglyphs are dated back
   The Issyk-Kul basin is also famous for its petroglyphs. Chol-            to the period between 2000 B. C. and 8th century A. D. The
pon-Ata petroglyphs represent a unique open-air museum,                     most of them however are dated to the period of the 7th and 8th
sometimes referred to as a Stone Garden, reflecting the spiri-              centuries B. C. According to the common opinion of research-
tual world and life of the ancient nomadic population inhabit-              ers this was the peak period of the Saka-Skythian animal style
ing the coast of the Issyk-Kul Lake. The petroglyphs belong to              of art which was widely reflected in the rock pictures art. There
the richest and biggest collections of rock pictures in Central             are figures of hunters taming snow leopards during a hunt. One

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                            H e r i tag e : UNESC O Li st C andi d ate s: To B e or Not To B e

   teNtatiVe LiSt Of kYrgYzStaN
    Burana-Minaret (submitted in 2001)
    issyk-kul as a cultural and natural landscape (submitted in 2001)
    Saimaly-tash Petroglyphs (submitted in 2001)
    Shakh-fazil (submitted in 2001)
    Suleyman-too (submitted in 2001)
    Uzgen (submitted in 2001)

appears to depict hunting leopards in motion and is the only one
of this kind in Central Asia.
  One of the characteristic features of the petroglyphs in Chol-
pon-Ata and in the whole Issyk-Kul basin is the fact that they are

                                                                             found on or near the ancient burial places. Excavation materials
                                                                             of these graves can help to specify dates of rock pictures and to
                                                                             identify their ethnic and cultural context.
                                                                                The art of stone inscriptions gradually disappeared with the
                                                                             spread of Islam, which restricted images of animals and human
                                                                             beings, to Central Asia. However many of the forms used in
                                                                             these petroglyphs are still with us – they form the basis of pat-
                                                                             terns, showing different parts of animals (horns, wings, claws)
                                                                             used in shyrdaks (Kyrgyz felt carpets) and other forms of tradi-
                                                                             tional arts and crafts.


                        tOUriSt BOard PraCtiCES
Tourist boards are the most important bodies with respect to the promotion of countries and re-
gions. Is their work effective though? Do they change in any way the statistics of incoming tour-
ists? Let us focus on one of the central European tourist boards – CzechTourism – and see what
strategies they use in evaluating their work. A good example of effectiveness assessment by the
North Ireland tourist board follows.
                                                                                                                                May, 2008
                                      P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s

CzeCH tOUriSt BOard:
exPerieNCe aNd iMPreSSiON
O      ver the years of its democratic history the Czech Republic
       has become an important destination both for the leisure
travel as well as for business tourism. The country in the heart
                                                                              How many travel trade stakeholders have actually used the
                                                                           services of the national tourist board? 23 per cent of the par-
of Europe is popular among tourists especially because of its              ticipants stated they utilize the CzechTourism’s services very
historical monuments (12 UNESCO listed properties), quality                much, 49 per cent use them only rarely and 28 per cent have
SPA facilities (e. g. Karlovy Vary), affordable prices and friendly        no experience with CzechTourism at all.
people. In 2007 almost 6.7 million people visited the country
which was a 3.8 % increase in the number of incoming tourists.
The Czech Republic is a favorite destination especially for Ger-
mans, British and Italians. The most popular destination was as
in the previous years the capital city Prague.
   With respect to the vast potential of the country, effective
promotion of its possibilities should be of highest importance
to the national tourist board – CzechTourism (CT) – which was
founded in 1993. Notwithstanding the economic importance of
tourism for the state budget (8 % of GDP) as well as the 15 year-
long experience with promoting the Czech Republic abroad the
activities of CzechTourism are in no way systematically as-
sessed. Although it is obvious that CzechTourism affects the
numbers of the incoming tourists and the yearly statistics are
impressive, nobody actually monitors the work of the tourism
authority, nobody systematically evaluates the effectiveness of
its activities.
  Therefore, Tourism-Review. com, the international news por-                As to the opinion of the tourism professionals about the help-
tal, in March 2008 organized a short opinion poll among the                fulness of the board’s staff 50 per cent believe that the clerks
Czech travel trade stakeholders trying to clarify the issue of             are interested in the Czech companies and that they help to
CzechTourism’s effectiveness. The questions were divided into              solve various problems in a sufficient way. 10 per cent even
two groups analyzing the experience of the businessmen with                stated that the staff helps intensively. Only minimal interest in
CzechTourism on the one hand and the impressions that the                  the staff was recorded by 35 per cent and no interest by 5 per
tourist board has made on the other.                                       cent of the participants.
  The original purpose of the survey was to supplement the
existing data and past assessments of the tourist board’s
work. A thorough research of the CzechTourism’s documen-
tation and press releases as well as of the archives of local
media however revealed that there are no publications about
the tourist board as an institution and about its effectiveness.
The executives of CzechTourism as well as the Ministry of Re-
gional Development, which governs the tourist board, seem
both reluctant in designing any assessment tools measuring
the effectiveness of the CzechTourism’s promotion activities.
The survey is thus the first effort to analyze this issue. Among
the 120 participants of the opinion poll there were local Tour
Operators, Travel Agencies, Accommodation Providers, SPA
Service Providers and other local travel trade professionals.
The results are as follows:

                                                                                                                                                 May, 2008
                                     P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s
   Impression                                                                Results
   Does CzechTourism promote the country effectively? 56 per                 As the figures show the work of CzechTourism is perceived
cent of the Czech travel trade believes that the promotion activi-        quite positively. However, there are also vast areas where im-
ties of the national tourist board are effective. 12 per cent have        provements could be done. Especially the problem of commu-
the opposite opinion and almost one third (32 per cent) does              nication between the businesses and the tourist board comes
not know.                                                                 out quite clearly. When there are 28 per cent of travel trade
                                                                          companies who have never used the services of the tourist
                                                                          board and half of the travel businesses use them only rarely, it
                                                                          seems to be a considerable amount of service providers who do
                                                                          not know about the opportunities on offer. Another question of
                                                                          course would be if there are enough services for Czech travel
                                                                          businesses and if they are of any value to them.
                                                                             Over one third
                                                                          of the survey par-         COMMeNtS Of tHe SUrVeY PartiCiPaNtS
                                                                          ticipants stated         «The cooperation especially with the Ct branch in Berlin is very good.
                                                                                                      we use the branch for contacting our focus clientele directly.»
                                                                          that the Czech-         «Czechtourism promotes itself very well at the domestic trade shows
                                                                                                     and other «visible» events. its activities abroad are on the other
                                                                          Tourism’s staff is         hand almost invisible.»
                                                                                                  «when we asked for help we encountered only unwillingness and that
                                                                          not very interested        the staff don’t know how to help or they can’t help. when we asked
                                                                                                     for advice Ct wanted us to pay for it because the information was
                                                                          in the companies’          only for certain hotels!»
                                                                                                  «Cooperating with Czechtourism we succeeded in penetrating into
                                                                          problems and that          new destination. without their help and services it would not be
                                                                          they are not very          possible.»

                                                                          helpful. This sug-
  The promotion activities of CzechTourism abroad are ben-                gests that the CzechTourism’s services do not meet the needs
eficial for the companies in 56 per cent of cases, useless in             of many companies. Furthermore, almost one third of the travel
10 per cent and in 34 per cent of cases the participants could            trade professionals were not able to say if the promotion of the
not state if the board’s activities have some use for their com-          country abroad is effective or not. Adding another 12 per cent of
pany or not.                                                              people regarding the tourist board as outright ineffective there is
                                                                          44 per cent of companies that do not see the results of Czech-
                                                                          Tourism’s work.
                                                                             It seems quite necessary for CzechTourism to focus not
                                                                          only on its image building but also on effective communica-
                                                                          tion with the local businessmen whom the tourist board is
                                                                          supposed to help with promotion. Another issue to focus on
                                                                          is definitely the specific needs and problems experienced by
                                                                          the travel trade.


                                                                                                                                May, 2008
                                     P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s

tOUriSM iS NOt tHe
tOP PriOritY fOr
CzeCH LeaderS
The        Association of Tour Operators and travel agents of the
           Czech Republic (ACCKA) is a national non-profit as-
sociation that represents 240 travel trade companies. Growing
                                                                          encounter in the capital and the city is well known all around
                                                                          Europe for its pickpockets, expensive and rude taxi drivers or
                                                                          deceitful services of the exchange offices. This has been going
numbers of the incoming tourists as well as further development           on for years and nothing has changed. The city authorities don’t
of the travel trade are thus quite important for the association.         even want to discuss these topics. However, the consequences
Tourism-Review. com was interested in their opinion about the             are becoming obvious – the numbers of Germans and British
Czech tourism industry as well as the activities of the national          tourists who spend the most are decreasing and there are more
tourist board – CzechTourism. The following questions were                Polish and Slovaks instead. No wonder that the businesses in
answered by Mr. Tomio Okamura, the member of ACCKA’s                      the centre of Prague report 20-30 % decrease in their profits for
presidium and the spokesperson of the association.                        the last year.
   TR: Do you think that CzechTourism’s promotion of the Czech               TR: What can you say about the communication between the
Republic abroad is effective and sufficient? Do you see any               CzechTourism’s staff and the members of your association?
shortages in their work?                                                  Does CzechTourism help to solve the problems of the local tour
   Okamura: Regarding the financial resources that the tourist            operators?
board has I believe that they do their work quite well and the               Okamura: I can’t speak on behalf of all Czech associations.
effectiveness is sufficient. However, the biggest problem for the         With respect to ACCKA, our communication with CzechTourism
local travel trade is that tourism is in no way the priority here.        so far has been without any problem. I must say there have
When we look at the attention the Czech tourism industry en-              been actually great changes in the tourist board – if I compare
joys in the media and the amounts of money assigned by the                the current situation with the time four years ago, the communi-
government for the development of the travel trade it is surpris-         cation and the work of CzechTourism today is much better than
ingly low. At least much lower than for instance in Hungary, the          it was. I believe they are going in a good direction.
central European country comparable to the Czech Republic.                   TR: What specific strategies do you suggest CzechTourism
The attitude of the political leaders towards tourism is quite ob-        to imply to improve its performance and promotion activities
vious and its negative influence is reflected even in the regional        abroad?
governments all over the country including Prague.                           Okamura: With respect to the current political atmosphere in
   TR: Do you think that CzechTourism strives enough to in-               the Czech Republic I am afraid that the tourist board faces seri-
crease the popularity of the Czech regions not well known                 ous barriers to its developments. I don’t think they can improve
among the foreign travelers?                                              their promotion activities too much unless tourism industry be-
   Okamura: As I suggested in my previous answer, CzechTour-              comes the priority for the state’s leaders which would affect the
ism cannot considerably influence the development of regional             amount of available resources for CzechTourism.
tourism. The regional governments and state authorities are the
ones that should be more proactive in this issue. These bodies            (Mr. Okamura was interviewed over telephone in April 2008)
I am afraid are not only inactive but they even do not communi- 
cate and cooperate with the representatives of the travel trade
like ACCKA and other federations. A sad example of this trend
is the capital Prague which is an important travel destination
with numerous attractions. There are several problems tourists

                                                                                                                                     May, 2008
                                        P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s

CzeCH gOVerNMeNt:
effeCtiVeNeSS iS HardLY
                                                                                  Krizova: Currently, CzechTourism is not engaged in in-
                                                                               vestments at all. The tourist board fulfills the tasks given by
                                                                               the statute. The main objective of CT is the coordination of
                                                                               the national promotion of tourism with the activities of com-
                                                                               mercial businesses. Another issue CT focuses on is the de-
                                                                               velopment of the medium-term and the current strategy for
                                                                               product marketing on the domestic and foreign markets. The
                                                                               activities of CT are continuously monitored by the respon-
                                                                               sible department, inspection committee, internal audits and
                                                                               other mechanisms.
                                                                                  TR: Does the Ministry regularly measure and evaluate the ef-
                                                                               fectiveness of CzechTourism’s promotion of the Czech Republic
                                                                               abroad and how?
                                                                                  Krizova: No assessment of the CT’s effectiveness is current-
                                                                               ly done since there is no relevant methodology available that
                                                                               could be used to realize such a difficult task. However, partial
                                                                               results are brought by media monitoring, the growing number of
                                                                               events organized by CT, post-tests and other outcomes. Also,
                                                                               it is important to point out that even other countries do not dis-
                                                                               pose of such sophisticated tools.
                                                                                  TR: Does the Ministry judge the financing/co-financing, legal-
                                                                               ity, and the effectiveness of the specific commercial projects of
                                                                               the agency?
                                                                                  Krizova: The Ministry naturally cooperates with CT prepar-
                                                                               ing important projects and the effectiveness measurement
                                                                               depends on the nature of the activity (e. g. the support for
                                                                               travel show exhibitors is assessed differently than the proj-
                                                                               ects carried out through structural funds). The inspection
                                                                               committee then has to agree with the activity plan of CT and
                                                                               its budget.
                                                                                  TR: Can you assess the effectiveness of CzechTourism’s

The         Ministry of Regional Development of the Czech Re-                  strategy?
            public is the official authority administering the national           Krizova: CT’s strategy is composed on the basis of continu-
tourist board CzechTourism (CT). The Ministry names the CEO                    ous evaluation. The current strategy reacts to the contemporary
of the tourist board and is supposed to support and monitor its                trends, is in accordance with the tourism concept signed by the
promotion activities. Tourism-Review. com asked the director of                government and thus can be evaluated as corresponding.
the Ministry’s tourism department Ms. Blazena Krizova about                       TR: Could you assess the effectiveness of CzechTourism’s
Ministry’s opinion about the tourist board’s activities and effec-             organizational structure? What criteria do you use in your as-
tiveness.                                                                      sessment?
   TR: Is the Ministry concerned with the investment activities of                Krizova: CT’s organizational structure is based on the cur-
CzechTourism in the way of periodic evaluation? How do you                     rent demand and the tourist board’s work which is directly
assess the investments?                                                        connected with the Organization Strategy. We can hardly

                                                                                                                                    May, 2008
                                       P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s
                                                                            cession especially in USA, the growing standard of living in the
                                                                            eastern Europe or the changes in the demand of the budget
                                                                            British tourists. CT can only use these trends for the benefit of
                                                                            the incoming tourism of the Czech Republic.
                                                                               TR: The number of Russian tourists rose by one third. Do
                                                                            you think that CzechTourism also contributes to this trend? How
                                                                            and why?
                                                                               Krizova: CT contributes to this trend quite considerably. In
                                                                            cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs CT strives es-
                                                                            pecially to make visa more accessible for the Russian tourists
                                                                            and to simplify the visa policies between both countries. Also,
                                                                            every year CT organizes in Russia several road shows focused
                                                                            overwhelmingly on the traditional Czech SPA services. CT also
                                                                            takes part in several international travel shows in Russia. There
                                                                            is also the foreign agency of CT in Russia and another agency
                                                                            will be opened in Yekaterinburg.
measure the effectiveness of the structure; the content is more                TR: According to the ACCKA, 60 per cent of foreign tourists
important.                                                                  stay in Prague and «there is still a considerable disproportion
   TR: Does the Ministry assess the effectiveness of CzechTour-             between Prague and the rest of the Czech Republic, which the
ism’s departments or the top management? What criteria do                   country has not been able to eliminate for a long time». Does
you use in your evaluation?                                                 CzechTourism contribute in any way to this phenomenon? How
   Krizova: The effectiveness is evaluated according to the ac-             and why?
tivities of every CT department. This is not a commercial institu-             Krizova: With respect to the incoming tourism Prague is a
tion; we cannot imply the criteria of the market.                           phenomenon that will always dominate. The effort of the Minis-
   TR: With respect to the incoming tourism, the Association                try is to reduce this trend through the activities of CT and to lure
of Tour Operators and Travel Agents of the Czech Republic                   more tourists even to the other Czech regions. Many interna-
(ACCKA) stated that «… the numbers of Germans, Brits and                    tional metropolises strive to achieve the same. It is not possible
Americans keep lowering. On the other hand there are signifi-               to say that CT contributes in any way to this trend.
cantly more tourists from Slovakia and Poland, who are much                    TR: What is your opinion about the effects of the web www.
less solvent.» Specifically the drop of Germans in 2007 com-                czechtourism. cz designed for the travel trade professionals?
pared to the previous year was 3 per cent; the drop of Brits was            Does the CzechTourism’s site fulfill the visitors’ expectations?
4 per cent. Do you think that the activities of CzechTourism also           Can you identify any flaws?
contribute to the above trends? How and why?                                   Krizova: The CT’s website has to fulfill various functions at a
   Krizova: It is true that the structure of the visitors’ source           time. One of them is also to inform the travel trade professionals
countries is slightly changing now. In 2007 the number of tourists          which the web I believe does sufficiently. Considerable amount
from traditional Germany, France and Netherlands decreased.                 of news is provided for the press, tour operators, regions, asso-
On the other hand, there was considerable increase in the num-              ciations and other institutions. That the CT’s internet promotion
ber of tourists from Russia (33,9 %), Slovakia (10,1 %), Poland             is of good quality is shown in the fact that the agency received
(9,3 %) and Spain (16,6 %), Italy (3,4 %) or Ireland (20,5 %). It is        the prestigious «Internet Effectiveness Award» for its web site
not true that the popularity of the Czech Republic is shifting only         www. kudyznudy. cz. The portal won the category of The Best
towards the less solvent eastern markets; it is not true that all           Web of the Public Sector and thus appeared in the elite com-
eastern markets are less solvent. On the contrary, Russian visi-            pany of the big national and international providers of Internet
tors whose numbers increased significantly are one of the most              portals like e. g. T-Mobile, Pilsner Urquell, Vodafone, Kofola,
solvent tourists. In the total, the number of foreign visitors grew         Komercni banka, Student Agency etc.
by 3,8 % as well as the foreign currency income rose by 4,8 %.
   Naturally, CT contributes to the promotion of the country                (Ms. Krizova was interviewed through email in April 2008)
abroad through a range of various activities (e. g. the work of   
foreign agencies, promotion at travel shows, focused marketing
campaigns etc.). However, CT cannot influence various trends
especially those caused by the change in visitors’ demand
which is brought about by e. g. the long term strengthening of
the Czech currency against EUR and USD, the economic re-

                                                                                                                             May, 2008
                                    P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s

MeaSUriNg tHe PerfOrMaNCe
Of tOUriSt BOardS:
tHe CaSe Of NitB

   The travel trade industry worldwide naturally endeavors to              Phase 2: Stakeholder interviews: Face-to-face interviews
reach the best results and highest profits which would not be           were conducted with a sample of 38 key tourism stakeholders.
possible without certain amount of self-critique and feedback.          These included NITB senior staff, Department of Enterprise,
Since the public sector sometimes tries to defend its strategies        Trade & Investment (DETI), Invest NI and a range of partners
by saying «we are not business, we can’t measure our effec-             and industry stakeholders. The purpose of the strategic inter-
tiveness», let us look at a case showing evaluation is not only         views was to provide detailed qualitative feedback on a range
possible but necessary.                                                 of issues pertinent to NITB in determining how its internal re-
   In 2004 the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) commis-            source base could be best utilized.
sioned an independent study to assess the views of the North-              Phase 3: Telephone survey:
ern Ireland Tourist Industry and key Stakeholders with regard
to the acceptance and capability of NITB as strategic leader for           A telephone interview was conducted with 182 tourism indus-
tourism in Northern Ireland, NITB’s communication with the in-          try/stakeholders randomly sampled from NITB databases. The
dustry and contribution to meeting their needs and objectives.          purpose of conducting a telephone survey was to access the
                                                                        views of a wide range of stakeholders as possible, in a cost
  Methodology                                                           effective manner. The list of interviewees was selected from
  The approach to the assignment was based on a five phase              10 tourism sectors, which included local government, carriers/
methodology. These phases included:                                     transport, hotels, B&B, guesthouses, self-catering establish-
  Phase 1: Assignment planning & communications: The exact              ments, conference venues, product/activity, visitor attractions,
approach and timetable for action was discussed.                        and youth hostels.

                                                                                                                              May, 2008
                                     P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s
   Phase 4: Analysis: The analysis phase included carrying out              pRoducT developmenT
content analysis on the stakeholder interview findings and quan-            One-third of stakeholders commented on the new direction of
titative and qualitative analyses of the telephone survey data.          NITB identified in the Strategic Framework programme areas.
   Phase 5: Performance indicators and action planning work-             They recognised and welcomed the change from a process
shop: An action planning workshop was held with the Chief                focus to an outcome focus. The majority of stakeholders inter-
Executive and Directors of NITB and the findings from the                viewed felt NITB needed to focus more on product development
workshop form the basis of the conclusions and recommen-                 than it was presently doing. Stakeholders wanted to see quick
dations.                                                                 wins emerging and NITB lobbying Government Departments to
                                                                         get others to recognize the importance of Tourism to Northern
   The Findings                                                          Ireland, and actively pursuing opportunities within their remits
   Relevance of nITB To TouRIsm IndusTRy BusInesses                      to do so. The marketing of Northern Ireland to the domestic
   The majority of stakeholders stated that NITB was very rel-           market was perceived by one-third of stakeholders as being in-
evant to the tourism industry and their business. A number               effective and not meeting the needs of industry.
of suggestions were put forth by stakeholders on how NITB                   communIcaTIon/ engagemenT
could increase the relevance of the work it carried out. These              All stakeholders identified the area of communication/en-
included:                                                                gagement with the sector, as one with significant potential for
• NITB needs to obtain a better understanding of the sectors             improvement. Approximately half of those interviewed had
    and their needs                                                      been in regular contact with NITB’s top team and all
• NITB needs to be more influential with Government Depart-              of these valued the time invested by NITB. For a
    ments, Agencies and other bodies in raising the profile of           majority number of stakeholders, concerns were
    tourism                                                              raised in relation to the level of strategic commu-
• NITB needs to raise the profile of tourism within govern-              nication and engagement with NITB. Stakeholders
    ment                                                                 identified a number of opportunities for NITB, includ-
• NITB should provide more research and intelligence in a
    timely manner                                                        • Increased representation at sector meetings
   sTRaTegIc leadeRshIp foR TouRIsm IndusTRy                                          • Being honest with industry – relay
                                                                                        limitations, delays, rea-
   All but one stakeholder stated NITB should be the body pro-
viding strategic leadership for the tourism industry in Northern
Ireland. Two-thirds of stakeholders reported that they did not
feel NITB had been providing strategic leadership; the remain-
der thought that NITB had only been moving into that role re-
cently. The reasons for these perceptions were stated as being
seated in a number of ineffective behavioral styles exhibited by
NITB in the past. These included NITB’s inability to react to op-
portunities quickly enough, the organization’s lack of transpar-
ency in making decisions, the lack of contact with the industry,
the focus on process rather than outcomes and its tendency to
bow to pressure to conform/take the easy way out rather than
confront issues.
   The majority of stakeholders felt NITB should be a Strategic
Leader of the sector. To fully achieve this role it needs to:
• be confident/brave in making decisions in line with the Stra-
    tegic Framework and empower staff with the knowledge/
    skills and responsibility to do likewise
• be more consultative/engage more with all of the tourism
    sector on strategic issues
• build knowledge of each industry sector needs and use this
    knowledge to inform policy
• focus on achieving tourism outcomes not activities and in-
• get rid of red tape or minimize it in order to make decisions

                                                                                                                                 May, 2008
                                     P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s
• Clearly communicate internal structural changes – to medi-                 Familiarization trips were rated by thirty-one percent of re-
     ate confusion and provide information on contact points              spondents as poor or very poor. However, forty-eight percent
• Getting staff out more to talk to industry – to gain more in-           of respondents did rate the effectiveness of this service as ex-
     sight into industry needs and acting on these.                       cellent to fair. Twenty percent of respondents did not rate this
                                                                          service due to lack of opinion or the service having no relevance
   nITB sTaff
                                                                          to their business. A closer look at the data, to identify if any
   The majority of stakeholders were positive and supportive of           particular sectors had any significant impact on the results,
the relationships they possessed with NITB staff, although most           revealed that two-thirds of B&Bs respondents rated the effec-
had little knowledge of staff beyond the Senior Management                tiveness of familiarization trips as poor or very poor. This result
team and Industry liaison representatives. Stakeholders felt that         suggests that NITB may wish to investigate what more could be
staff needed to:                                                          done to improve the effectiveness of familiarization trips to the
• be more responsive and customer focused (most had ex-                   B&Bs sector.
     amples of unproductive behaviors e. g. emails ignored / tele-           Rating for the effectiveness of NITB’s overall industry support
     phone calls not returned)                                            showed that equal percentages of respondents rated excellent/
• follow up on meetings / strategies and are focused on deliv-            good and poor/very poor with over one-third rating the effective-
     ering outcomes                                                       ness as ‘fair’. Respondents indicated the area of transparency
• be accessible                                                           of funding as an area for improvement, with approximately 40 %
                                                                          rating it as poor/very poor.
• be empowered to make decisions
                                                                             Respondents were asked to rate NITB’s current perfor-
• know what their jobs are and how they fit with the strategy
                                                                          mance on a number of activities central to delivering their new
• be confident in themselves and what they are doing and                  priorities:
     what it will achieve.
                                                                          • Approximately twenty-five percent of respondents indicated
   opeRaTIonal seRvIces                                                       that they thought NITB’s performance in setting the strategic
   When asked to rate their overall level of satisfaction with                direction for tourism was excellent/good; forty percent indi-
services delivered to them by NITB, forty-seven percent of all                cated it was fair, with twenty percent indicated it was poor/
respondents indicated that they were very satisfied or satis-                 very poor. Fifteen percent of respondents did not rate NITB’s
fied. Although this finding is encouraging, fifty percent of us-              performance in this area.
ers were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with NITB’s services.          • NITB’s performance in marketing to the Northern Ireland
Respondents suggested that services could be improved                         domestic market and to the Republic of Ireland was rated
through NITB:                                                                 evenly across the three categories of excellent/good, fair,
• Obtaining a better understanding of individual sector needs                 and poor/very poor.
• Increasing communication with the respective sectors                    • NITB’s perceived performance in influencing TIL to deliver
• Increasing support (Advice, Guidance and Financial sup-                     growth in tourism from Great Britain and international mar-
     port)                                                                    kets was perceived by approximately one-third of respon-
                                                                              dents as poor/very poor.
   ImpRovIng suppoRT seRvIces
                                                                          • Ratings showed that NITB’s current performance on the
   Responses identified two opportunities for NITB to improve
                                                                              development of the Northern Ireland on-the-ground visitor
its support to businesses through:
                                                                              experience was not as strong as it could be with over thirty
• Providing more marketing support and advice to businesses;                  percent of respondents providing fair to poor/very poor rat-
     and                                                                      ings. Forty-four percent of respondents however did rate
• Providing more financial assistance and advice.                             current performance in this area as «fair».
   effecTIveness of nITB maRkeTIng acTIvITIes & oTheR seRvIces               Relevance of nITB To The TouRIsm IndusTRy In nI
   The majority of respondents assessed Promotion of events to               The results from survey respondents on the relevance of
visitors; Market planning / promoting opportunities for your busi-        NITB to the Tourism Industry in Northern Ireland were very en-
ness; Destination PR; Promotion of conferences and meetings;              couraging, with eighty-one percent of respondents rating NITB
e-tourism; Consumer & Trade Promotions; Overall support;                  as being very relevant or having some relevance. All respon-
Corporate PR for NITB and the tourist industry; and Promotion             dents provided a number of suggestions on how NITB could
of Cultural Heritage as ‘fair’. However, for many of these items,         become more relevant to individual businesses and to the tour-
there were a higher percentage of respondents rating the effec-           ism industry overall. Analysis of the responses indicated three
tiveness of NITB as poor/very poor rather than excellent/good.            overlapping areas of work that could be undertaken by NITB,
For example, twenty-eight percent of respondents rated mar-               these included:
keting planning poor/very poor, whilst only twenty-one percent            • Increased awareness of the tourism industry and the needs
rated it as excellent/good.                                                   of each sector

                                                                                                                             May, 2008
                                    P rOf e S Si ONa L : Tour i st B oard Prac ti ce s
                                                                        • Be more influential within government, and raise the profile
                                                                          of tourism.
                                                                          There are six areas of work needed to provide evidence
                                                                        to stakeholders that NITB is moving forward on its Strategic
                                                                        Framework. These are the areas which need to be prioritised
                                                                        and structured to ensure that effective delivery takes place. The
                                                                        themes are:
                                                                        • Improving communication and engagement with the tourism
                                                                        • Developing staff in line with the needs of the Strategic
                                                                        • Developing NITB culture to deliver a responsive and ac-
                                                                           countable organisation.
                                                                        • Showing delivery success on the Strategic Framework,
• More on-the-ground contact with the industry                             based on priority needs
• Increased communication and consultation with the indus-              • Influencing others, particularly within Government, to in-
    try.                                                                   crease awareness of the importance of tourism to Northern
                                                                           Ireland and achieve results
  pRIoRITy messages
                                                                        • Providing more timely research and market intelligence to
  Respondents provided a diverse range of priority messages
                                                                           the industry.
that they would like to see NITB act on, to add further value to
their sectors. A number of themes were evident from the analy-
sis and repeat suggestions given throughout the survey. These           (text shortened)
• To increase the level of communication and contact NITB
    has with the sectors
• To increase the level of consultation undertaken, and listen
    to the needs of the sectors

sPa and MEdical
       P r O S a N d C O N S O f M E d i - S Pa
As the recent statistics show spa and wellness industry is simply booming nowadays. People just
love to spend an evening or the whole week in the hands of professionals taking care for their
body and soul. However, there are also various cases of dissatisfied customers. Let’s get familiar
with the dangers of medi spa.
                                                                                                                                         May, 2008
                                      SPa a N d M e di C a L : Pro s and C on s of Medi-Spa

tHe BeNefitS
Of MediCaL SPa
                                                                                    Medical Spa Association to
                                                                                    be supervised by a licensed
                                                                                    healthcare professional.
                                                                                      While many medical spas
                                                                                    focus on providing their clients
                                                                                    with the latest emerging non-
                                                                                    invasive cosmetic procedures,
                                                                                    many others focus on teaching
                                                                                    their clients about alternative
                                                                                    medicine techniques for heal-
                                                                                    ing and health. These medical
                                                                                    spas perform services such as
                                                                                    aromatherapy and acupunc-
                                                                                    ture, as well as traditional spa
                                                                                    services. These spas are also
                                                                                    of benefit to people who are
                                                                                    interested in learning about natural methods of weight and dis-
                                                                                    ease control.
                                                                                      Another common type of medical spa is a more nutrition and
                                                                                    education-based facility. These medical spas teach their clients
                                                                                    about different procedures and lifestyle changes that can help
                                                                                    them reduce the amount of suffering caused by a certain dis-
                                                                                    ease or condition. For example, many medical spas educate
                                                                                    their clients on ways to control diabetes and obesity. Another
                                                                                    commonly addressed medical issue is menopause.
                                                                                      Medical spas can also be of benefit to pregnant women. Med-
                                                                                    ical spas designed for pregnant women offer traditional day-spa

M    edical spas are facilities that combine traditional day-spa
     comforts with common cosmetic procedures. At a medi-
cal spa, you can get the same services offered at a traditional
                                                                                    services as well as personal education. At these medical spas,
                                                                                    pregnant women can take classes on birthing and breastfeed-
                                                                                    ing. They can work with a nutritional counselor to develop a
spa, such as facials, massages, saunas, and body treatments.                        pregnancy-based meal plan. Some even offer resources for
However, you can also get cosmetic medical treatments such                          women interested in having a natural birth or searching for the
as laser hair removal, botox and restylane injections, medical                      services of a midwife.
microdermabrasions, photo facials, hair restoration, laser vein                       Perhaps the greatest benefit of a medical spa is the level of
treatments, laser acne treatments, laser wrinkle reduction, and                     comfort they provide to clients undergoing medical procedures
medical peels.                                                                      that may be otherwise uncomfortable. Clients can relax while
   As anti-aging technologies improve, many people have cho-                        undergoing laser hair removal with a massage. Medical spas
sen to utilize the services of medical spas rather than going                       offer both medical and natural options for women seeking just
through the pain and recovery times associated with plastic                         about any cosmetic service. Medical spas have recently grown
surgery. Medical spas offer non-invasive anti-aging treatments,                     in popularity, and, as a result, more and more medical spas
and all medical spas activities are required by The International                   have begun to operate worldwide.

   Medical spas utilize lasers and fierce pulsed light technology as well as        By Melissa Steele
  medical micro-dermabrasions, photo-facials and botox and restylane
  injections. The benefit is that these new technologies permit these anti-
  aging procedures to be performed without surgery or recovery time.
  Medical spas also offer rehab treatments for alcohol, smoking etc.
 weeklong programs are often carried out to help varied requirements
 including quitting smoking.

                                                                                                                                May, 2008
                               SPa a N d M e di C a L : Pro s and C on s of Medi-Spa

daNgerS Of a Medi SPa
                                                                         strong concentrations or leaving the solution on for longer than
                                                                         recommended. It also is imperative to tell your provider exactly
                                                                         which skin-care products you have been using, and any recent
                                                                         changes you have made to your beauty routine. Your provider
                                                                         also needs to assess the current state of your skin carefully be-
                                                                         fore each treatment and closely monitor how your skin reacts as
                                                                         the peel is applied and for the entire duration it is on. It should
                                                                         be removed at the first sign of discomfort.
                                                                           Did you know?
                                                                           The regulation of medi-spas varies from state to state, so to
                                                                         ensure your safety, make sure the facility you choose has a
                                                                         physician with a board certification that covers cosmetic proce-
                                                                         dures on-site at the time of your treatment.
                                                                            Improper injectors
                                                                            In March 2007, a beautician (who did not have a license) was
                                                                         arrested on charges that she disfigured women by giving them
                                                                         fake cosmetic injections at her home in 2002 and 2003. Cus-
                                                                         tomers were led to believe they were receiving collagen and/or
                                                                         Restylane. The women were actually injected with a substance
                                                                         that has been described as «consistent with silicone.» Although
                                                                         there is medical-grade silicone, no form of injectable silicone
                                                                         is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic
                                                                         use. The women suffered infections and permanent scarring
                                                                         that required surgery to correct.

The        number of medi-spas in the United States has grown               How could this have been avoided? When it comes to inject-
           from 500 to about 2,000, representing a 400 percent           ables, it’s your responsibility to ensure you select an appropri-
increase in just the past three years alone according to the In-         ate provider. First, seek out a board-certified physician who is
ternational Medical Spa Association. Non-physicians as well as           trained in the anatomy of the face and has experience using the
doctors from any and all disciplines have access to the medical          product recommended for you. Also make sure you are receiv-
products and devices that medi-spas offer, sometimes to the              ing a brand-name, FDA-approved product.
detriment of consumers. A report from the American Society for
                                                                           Five questions to ask a medi spa
Dermatologic Surgery has found that nearly half its members
report seeing an increase in complications caused by medi-spa            1. Who is the doctor on staff or supervising the spa; what is his
treatments performed by improperly trained personnel. Thor-                  or her specialty and when is he or she here?
ough research and careful provider selection can help ensure             2. How often are you, as a treatment provider, in contact with
your safety – and results.                                                   that doctor? Do patients/clients have access to the doctor?
                                                                         3. What specifically is the training and experience of my treat-
   Chemical peel pitfalls                                                    ment provider?
   Light chemical peels are often considered risk – and downtime-
                                                                         4. If I have an unexpected reaction, what is your emergency plan?
free, and although these treatments can be safely administered
by aestheticians, there still is the potential for complications.        5. What kind of evaluation must I undergo before my first treat-
                                                                             ment, and what sort of records do you keep for subsequent
   A 29-year-old woman regularly visited a New York City spa for
chemical peels to keep her face acne-free, and she was used
to mild flaking after treatment. But one treatment at the same           (Reprinted with permission)
spa left her face so raw that it oozed blood for six days. Weeks         By Paige Herman and Marie Kuechel
later, she still looked as if she had windburn. How this could
have been avoided?                                             

   There are many factors that can lead to burns after chemical
peels, such as sun exposure before treatment, the use of too-

                                                                                                                                             May, 2008
                                 SPa a N d M e di C a L : Pro s and C on s of Medi-Spa

SPa CLieNtS warNed
tO Be CaUtiOUS
                                                                               Being left alone in a treatment room is not only uncomfortable
                                                                             and stressful for a client, but it can be dangerous. Clients could
                                                                             fall off a facial table, be burned by a steamer or end up with a
                                                                             reaction from a product left on their skin too long.
                                                                               Many people going to spas are looking for stress relief, relax-
                                                                             ation and a little «alone time». Giving a person peace, stress
                                                                             relief and relaxation in a quiet, dimly lit room can be extremely
                                                                             relaxing. But a better, and safer alternative to having a therapist
                                                                             leave the room during a treatment is to have a therapist qui-
                                                                             etly and expertly massage the upper body, hands, arms, feet or
                                                                             scalp of a client receiving a spa treatment.

                                                                                 wHat tO aSk BefOre gettiNg treatMeNt
                                                                                  1. is a free consultation available? You should not have to pay to dis-
                                                                                     cuss the results you want, how they can be achieved and how much
                                                                                     they will cost.
                                                                                  2. is a doctor on-site at all times? if a doctor is not on-site, find out
                                                                                     how far away he or she is. ask to meet the physician.
                                                                                  3. who performs the procedures? How much training have they had?
                                                                                     ask to see degrees and certificates. ask about training seminars –
                                                                                    who taught them, how many hours were spent on each procedure –
                                                                                    and how many patients the person has performed the procedure on
                                                                                    (the more, the better).
                                                                                  4. what are the risks and who treats complications? How are follow-
                                                                                    up appointments scheduled?
                                                                                 5. are there before/after pictures of your patients? Be sure to ask
                                                                                    whether the pictures are corporate photographs, which aren’t a
                                                                                    good indicator of the results from a specific staff.
                                                                                 6. is this treatment fda approved? is it fda approved for this use?
                                                                                    federal drug administration approval certifies that a drug or sub-
                                                                                   stance tested safe and effective for a specific treatment. However, it
                                                                                   is not illegal or uncommon for fda-approved drugs to be used «off
                                                                                   label.» Botox Cosmetic, for example, is only fda approved to treat
                                                                                   worry lines between the eyebrows; however, it’s commonly used in
                                                                                   other areas of the face.
                                                                                 7. Has the spa had any complaints filed against it? Medspas are a
                                                                                   business, so the Better Business Bureau logs any complaints made
                                                                                   against the spa in the past 36 months.
                                                                                http://www. gazette. com/

   Kile Law, Raleigh Day Spa Expert, urges consumers to ask
about a spas policy of clients being left alone in treatment
rooms before scheduling an appointment or purchasing a gift                    In order to determine the policy of a spa, ask the spa manger
certificate.                                                                 before scheduling an appointment or purchasing a gift certifi-
   «One of the most disturbing practices happening in spas to-               cate. A spa experience should be a client receiving 100 % of a
day is leaving clients unattended in treatment rooms,» says Kile             therapists attention, not sharing the therapist with another guest
Law. Rather than giving clients 100 % of their attention, many               at the spa. Kile also strongly recommends avoiding spas with
spas actually have therapists working on two clients in different            sales quotas.
rooms at the same time.
   It is not unusual in some spas for a client to be left alone under
a facial steamer or with a treatment masque on their face while    
a therapist starts a facial on another client in a different room. In
some spas, facialists are performing waxing treatments on one
client while another client is left alone waiting, for the therapist
to return, often for extended periods of time.

                                                                                                                                    May, 2008
                                 SPa a N d M e di C a L : Pro s and C on s of Medi-Spa

wHeN tHiNgS gO awrY
                                                                                «The pain was unbelievable,» said Perez. After having laser
                                                                             hair removal, Stephen says the technician who claimed to be a
                                                                             nurse offered to try to lighten a birth mark on his chest Within
                                                                             seconds, his flesh was burning. Now he is left with a white scar.
                                                                             Gigi underwent an unapproved procedure on her legs called
                                                                             mesotherapy to melt fat and smooth cellulite. She says it left her
                                                                             knees lumpy and scarred.
                                                                                «You know it’s a frightening time because the public feels
                                                                             some medical treatments are really the same as getting a facial
                                                                             or getting your eyebrows waxed,» said Julius Few, plastic sur-
                                                                             geon, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
                                                                                And that’s where the debate begins. Medical and spa profes-
                                                                             sionals are at odds over who can safely perform which cosmetic
                                                                             procedures. Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons say too
                                                                             many unqualified people are now doing these techniques with
                                                                             inadequate supervision in unsafe settings. The American Soci-
                                                                             ety for Dermatologic Surgery says its members are seeing a big
                                                                             increase in unhappy customers of medi-spas coming to them
                                                                             for repairs. Horror stories include laser burns, unsuccessful tat-
                                                                             too removal, bad Botox, even botched micro-dermabrasion.
                                                                                Dermatologist Carolyn Jacob says she is seeing more and
                                                                             more complications.
                                                                                «There isn’t a hard and fast law that the physician has to be
                                                                             on site during the procedure it just has to be directed by a physi-
                                                                             cian and I think that is where we are running into trouble,» she
                                                                                Who can do Botox or laser hair removal? Regulations vary
                                                                             from state to state. For instance, in New Jersey only a licensed
                                                                             physician can operate a laser. In Illinois, current regulations are
                                                                             much looser.

M      any Americans who want a more youthful look are choos-                   According to a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department
       ing laser treatments or injections along with their facials or        of Financial and Professional Regulation, laser, Botox, chemi-
manicure. There is a booming industry of medical spas and a
growing concern about safety.
   It is estimated that the medical spa industry in this country
has grown from just one spa in 1999 to more than 2,000. They
offer cosmetic procedures that are quite powerful. Some doc-
tors say too many unqualified and unsupervised technicians are
now performing these techniques. And the number of botched
treatments is climbing.
   «When I saw smoke come off my chest that really to me said
something is wrong,» said Stephen Perez. «It looked like some-
thing was eating away at my skin,» said Gigi Hinton. Hinton
and Perez don’t know each other, but they have something in
common. Both say they are victims of medical spa treatments
gone horribly wrong.

                                                                                                                              May, 2008
                               SPa a N d M e di C a L : Pro s and C on s of Medi-Spa
                                                                           And just because an MD is on board does not mean that doc-
                                                                        tor has acceptable training. Jody Buckle the owner of Timeless
                                                                        Day Spa in Naperville says she’s been approached by eye doc-
                                                                        tors, even foot doctors who want to do laser or Botox treatments
                                                                        at her spa. That is legal, but Jody says she won’t use them be-
                                                                        cause they are under qualified. «My cut would have been pretty
                                                                        nice but I didn’t trust who was doing it. I mean there were little
                                                                        flags going off,» she said.
                                                                           Jessica Fanning is an esthetician, which means she is a
                                                                        state-certified skin specialist who does laser techniques at
                                                                        Thrive Integrative Medical Spa, 3000 N. Halsted St. She be-
                                                                        lieves her training makes her more qualified than some doctors
                                                                        or nurses.
                                                                           «You want to make sure definitely someone has experience
                                                                        using it because if you go too far you can cause damage to the
                                                                        skin or not enough you don’t get a good result,» she said.
                                                                           The International Medical Spa Association says the reality is
                                                                        most medical spas are safe. But Gigi and Stephen both wish
                                                                        they had spent more time researching who would actually be
                                                                        working on their bodies.
                                                                           So how do you know? You have to ask questions including,
                                                                        exactly who will administer the treatment and what is their train-
                                                                        ing level. How many have they performed? Also, if you have
                                                                        darker skin know that certain lasers could be dangerous. Also,
                                                                        we are told the state is looking at changing regulations for medi-
                                                                        spas and that those changes are in the near future.

cal peels and some microdermabrasion can be performed by                By Sylvia Perez
someone who is not a physician if an M. D. or D. O. delegates 
authority. As for doctor supervision, LDFPR says in Illinois the
physician must be on site. That means they must be in the
building but do not have to be present during the treatment.
That may come as a surprise to some spa owners. «I think this
needs to be taken more seriously by patients and the people
who are giving these treatments to the patients,» said Jacob.

                       HOt-air BaLLOON VaCatiONS
Hot-air balloons. Aren’t they fantastic? Come and read what kind of experience does a balloon
flight offer, what you should prepare for, what you should not expect and where to go for the big-
gest balloon fair ever. Hop into the basket and enjoy the flight.
                                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                      a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

HOt air BaLLOONiNg
iN SOUtH afriCa
                                                                            you are able to have a glorious view of the sunrise as well as
                                                                            keep on the lookout for animals on the ground below. The pan-
                                                                            oramic views that you are privy to from this height leave many
                                                                            speechless as they witness the sunrise and the spreading light
                                                                            extending to the opposite horizon. It’s a magnificent experience
                                                                            and will leave you with a warm glow for weeks after.
                                                                               There is no better place in South Africa for ballooning than in
                                                                            the Magaliesberg region, a mere 45 minutes north of Johannes-
                                                                            burg. Sip on chilled champagne as you watch the scenic Mag-
                                                                            alies River Valley go by beneath. This part of the Highveld, near
                                                                            to the area known as the Cradle of Humankind, has a wonderful
                                                                            year-round climate and boasts the safest and most reliable bal-
                                                                            looning weather in Southern Africa. In fact it is renowned as
                                                                            one of the best areas for ballooning in the world. Other areas
                                                                            of South Africa where you can embark on a hot-air ballooning
                                                                            safari are the North West Province (from Mabula Private Game
                                                                            Reserve near Bela Bela) and Limpopo (at Entabeni in the Wa-
                                                                            terberg Biosphere World Heritage area).
                                                                               Balloon trips are available in KwaZulu-Natal, offering spec-
                                                                            tacular views of the Midlands and the Drakensberg Mountains,
                                                                            and also in the Cape, with views over the wine lands with their
                                                                            Cape-Dutch homesteads and lush vineyards. However, one
                                                                            should remember that this is very seasonal. The Cape weather
                                                                            patterns mean that the odds of having good weather for bal-
                                                                            looning are not very high.

                                                                               Whilst the cost of hot air ballooning in South Africa is some-
           air ballooning in South Africa is arguably the best way
                                                                            what high, the experience is one that you won’t achieve any-
           to take in the landscapes of this beautiful country.
                                                                            where else. Ballooning is incredibly tranquil and is thus ideal for
Floating high above the ground, you have a spectacular, unin-
                                                                            people of all ages – you don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie!
terrupted view of the gorgeous countryside below. Described as
                                                                            There are few physical requirements for hot air ballooning, be-
a somewhat magical experience, hot air ballooning is one of the
                                                                            sides being able to stand or lean for about an hour and be-
oldest forms of flight known to man. Nowadays tailored to meet
                                                                            ing able to climb in and out of the basket. Hot air ballooning in
the needs of the public, hot air ballooning in South Africa has
                                                                            Mpumalanga is an all-year-round activity because of the gener-
become a highly sought after activity.
  In South Africa, hot air ballooning was originally used by the
military for reconnaissance purposes. During the Boer War, hy-
drogen gas balloons were used as observation points for the
army for locating enemy camps and monitoring their enemy
movements. In 1969, the first hot air balloon arrived in South
Africa and in 1972 the Aero Club of South Africa founded a Bal-
loon Section. Four years later, 16 pilots took part in the first In-
ternational Balloon Race from Johannesburg to Durban. These
events led to hot air ballooning in South Africa having a firm
footing in the countries list of activities.
  A hot air balloon trip will usually begin just before sunrise.
You will gently lift off the ground to a height of approximately
10-20m and leisurely float along with the wind. At this height

                                                                                          May, 2008
                                       a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s
ally good weather conditions throughout the year. However in
Kwa Zulu Natal, hot air balloon operators are forced to close
between June and October because of high winds.
   You can expect to spend about four or five hours out with your
organizers from the time of arrival. The actual hot air balloon
flight will last approximately an hour and most hot air balloon-
ing companies will close off your ballooning experience with a
champagne breakfast once you are back on terra firma. Due to
the popularity of hot air ballooning in South Africa, it’s vital that
you book at least two weeks before you wish to do it. Because
of ballooning’s reliance on the weather, most bookings are pro-
visional until a few days before the event to ensure that the
weather is ideal for your journey.
   So if taking in stunning scenery in a perfectly tranquil set-
ting is your idea of spending an afternoon, then make a plan to
enjoy all the wonders that hot air ballooning in South Africa has
to offer.

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                                       a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

CaPPadOCia frOM aBOVe

Our        wake-up call came before dawn, and the instructions
           were to dress very warmly. I took that advice very liter-
ally, wearing two undershirts, two sweaters, two pairs of socks,
in addition to a down jacket, scarf, gloves, and a Polartec bean-
ie. Comfort is definitely more important to me than elegance!
   I had never gone hot air ballooning before, and I must confess
to having some fear, but once our balloon lifted off the ground
and we started floating upward, all anxiety disappeared. Totally
unlike an airplane, a hot air balloon is virtually silent and free of          The winds were extremely calm that morning, and we floated
any shaking or vibrations. Save for an occasional blast of the               above the amazing landscape of Cappadocia, a region in the
propane burner to re-heat the air within the balloon, sending the            southeast corner of Turkey. There had been a recent snow-
balloon higher, the loudest sound you will hear is the conversa-             storm, and the valley was covered with the glistening white of a
tion among your traveling companions. It’s a beautiful, peaceful             clean cover of snow.
experience as you float high above the ground and look out to                  The flight was a magical experience. Talk about a bird’s eye
the horizon.                                                                 view! We looked down at the fairy chimneys, conical rock for-
                                                                             mations for which Cappadocia is known, and as we floated over
  a hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope that is
                                                                             the countryside, we saw the natural beauty of this part of the
  capable of containing heated air. Suspended beneath is the                 world. Cappadocia is a destination rich in history, culture, and
  gondola or wicker basket (in some long-distance or high-al-                scenic landscapes – not to mention wonderful food and gifted
 titude balloons, a capsule) which carries the passengers and
 a source of heat. The heated air inside the envelope makes it               pottery artists. It’s a place you must visit when you come to
 buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air           Turkey.
 outside the envelope. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does
 not have to be sealed at the bottom since the rising hot air only
 exerts pressure on the upper hemisphere of the balloon to
 provide lift. in today’s sport balloons the envelope is generally           By David J. Ourisman
made from nylon fabric and the mouth of the balloon (closest       
to the burner flame) is made from fire resistant material such
as Nomex. recently, balloon envelopes have been made in fan-       
tastic shapes, such as hot dogs, rocket ships, and the shapes of
commercial products.

                                                                                                                               May, 2008
                                     a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

aLBUqUerqUe iNterNatiONaL

E       ach fall, pilots, crews and spectators from all over the
        world come to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fi-
esta, the world’s largest hot air ballooning event. For nine days
                                                                            The «box» is a combination of upper and lower level winds
                                                                         created by the Rio Grande Valley and enhanced by the San-
                                                                         dia Mountains. The box enables balloonists to back track their
during the first full week of October, hundreds of colorful bal-         flight pattern and land close to their launch sites conjuring the
loons float above the city each morning as dawn breaks over              impression of flying inside a box. Cool air from the north near
the Sandia Mountains. It’s no wonder this visual feast is said to        the surface will take pilots one direction while higher winds blow
be the world’s most photographed event.                                  in the opposite direction. Pilots need only to change elevation
   The fall weather in Albuquerque is known for its clear days           to fly back along their original course. Some wind patterns will
and cool morning temperatures. This weather and what is                  allow a pilot to dip his gondola in the Rio Grande for a «Splash
known as the Albuquerque «box» will help to this year’s Balloon          and Dash»; other patterns will move balloons toward the Sandia
Fiesta another spectacular spectator event. When the «box» is            Mountains.
working, visitors are able to see hundreds of balloons creating a           Mass ascensions, when more than 700 balloons lift off, are
kaleidoscope of color in the Albuquerque sky – there is nothing          held on all four weekend mornings and one day mid-week.
like it anywhere else in the world.                                      Mass ascensions begin after «dawn patrol» carefully examines

                                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                      a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s
                                                                             Each year, the Balloon Fiesta hosts the America’s Challenge
                                                                           Gas Balloon Race, which began in 1995. This competition,
                                                                           based entirely on the distance traveled by a balloon, is the pre-
                                                                           mier gas ballooning event in the United States. Over the years,
                                                                           Albuquerque has also hosted two gas balloon World Champi-
                                                                           onships and two editions of the Coupe Aéronautique Gordon
                                                                           Bennett, the world’s oldest and most prestigious gas balloon

                                                                              wOrLd’S LargeSt
                                                                                 The albuquerque international Balloon fiesta is the larg-
                                                                                 est hot air balloon gathering in the world. it was started
                                                                                 in 1972 with 13 balloons. it progressed and in 2000 there
                                                                                were a record 1000 balloons that attended and lifted off in a
                                                                                mass ascension. Since 2000 the officials keep it to no more
                                                                                than 700 registered balloons for safety, and it is the most
the morning’s weather conditions. When the dawn patrol gives                    photographed event in the world.
the green light, balloons from all over the world rise together in 
a harmonious lift-off. The sight of 700 balloons in the sky is as
breathtaking for first-time visitors as it continues to be for vet-
eran Fiesta attendees.                                                        The most unusual and exciting feature of the Balloon Fiesta
   Balloon glow and other balloon illumination events are held             is that spectators are allowed to walk amongst the balloons as
in the evenings, filling the launch field with tethered balloons of        they inflate on the launch field each morning. Visitors are wel-
every color, shape and size. As the propane burners inflate the            come to ask questions and meet the pilots – they may even be
balloons against a dark sky, they seem to flicker like giant psy-          asked to help out a crew member with the inflation process!
chedelic light bulbs. Special shapes balloons come alive dur-              When it is time for a balloon to launch, «zebras» (the traffic
ing magical evening Balloon «Glowdeos». Dinosaurs, bumble                  directors dressed in black and white outfits) will clear a path in
bees, flowers, Mother Hubbard’s shoe, a space shuttle and a                the crowd for each balloon to take off.
cow jumping over the moon can all be seen up close during a                   Nearly 750,000 visitors attend the Fiesta each year, so
glowdeo, and they all launch together during their own mass                make plans early to join the fun. Be sure to book a hotel
ascensions, called «special shape rodeos.»                                 in advance, or arrange to bring an RV and camp at the
   Balloon pilots particularly enjoy the competition of the Balloon        grounds. Don’t miss the chance to experience this one-of-
Fiesta’s precision flying events. Every weekday morning, pilots            a-kind event.
compete in events that are a lot harder than they look. In the key
grab event, pilots must launch at least one mile away from the   
field, then fly back, avoiding collisions with hundreds of other 
balloons, and navigate to the precise location of an envelope
attached to a tall pole. The envelope holds the keys to a new
car and the first one to grab it wins.
   Gas ballooning is the ultimate challenge for balloonists: they
fly higher and farther than hot air balloons, often exposing pilots
to violent weather conditions.

                                                                                                                              May, 2008
                                     a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

tiPS fOr YOUr

Hot       air balloons are unique from all other forms of flight
          because there is no physical sensation of movement
or perception of wind. You are traveling with the gentle air
                                                                         • Also check the number of passengers allowed. Balloon op-
                                                                           erators can carry from two to 10 passengers at a time, de-
                                                                           pending on balloon size
currents that layer the sky. In contrast to standing on a build-         • Dress warmly and casually. Pants, sturdy flat shoes and lay-
ing or structure, there is no fear of height, because your eyes            ers of shirt, sweater, jacket, for example are ideal. Generally
have no linear perspective to judge distance from the ground.              it gets colder by about 3.5 degrees for each 300m of alti-
Balloons usually travel at heights of 150m to 450m, similar to             tude.
the surrounding hill tops. The feeling is one of peace and tran-         • Carry cameras and lots of film. Have a suitable soft case
quility as the earth seems to slowly descend and rotate below              with you in which to stow the camera during the landing
you. Within moments after lifting off, you become completely
at ease while you effortlessly drift over the treetops and float         • Initially some people are worried about heights. Let the pilot
over the countryside in gentle panoramic harmony with na-                  know before the flight, and they will stay low until you are
ture. Before booking a trip go through the following tips for the          comfortable. Sometimes passengers aren’t even aware they
ballooning enthusiasts:                                                    have left the ground. As the balloon is moving with the wind,
                                                                           there is no turbulence so that you could not possibly fall out
• Check whether children are allowed to fly. Sometimes chil-               of the basket. The ride is so smooth that you hardly feel the
    dren as young as 5 years can fly. Sometimes the minimum                slightest breeze.
    age is 12 years.
                                                                         • Be prepared for the flight to be postponed if weather condi-
• Also check whether health restrictions apply. Please inform              tions are not ideal.
    the operating company of any knee, leg, hip or back prob-
    lems. They will also need to know about any recent medi-             • Be prepared for the fact that there are no toilet facilities
    cal treatments, pregnancy, frailty or any physical condition           aboard!
    which may affect your safety during flight.                          • There is a strict non-smoking rule.

      The hot air balloon is the oldest successful human-carry-
      ing flight technology, dating back to its invention by the
      Montgolfier brothers in annonay, france in 1783. The first
     flight carrying humans was made on November 21, 1783, in
     Paris by Jean-françois Pilâtre de rozier and françois Lau-
     rent d’arlandes.

                                                                                                                            May, 2008
                                     a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

aUStraLiaN earLY MOrNiNg
BaLLOON ride

The         perfect way to start a day! Rising before dawn,
            I looked with much anticipation to my first ever bal-
loon flight, to make it even better I was going on my maiden
                                                                           As we quietly floated above the desert, the many inhabitants
                                                                         of the land were quietly awakening and beginning to forage for
                                                                         breakfast. Kangaroos, Wallabies, Dingoes, and birds of all de-
flight in the middle of the outback of Australia!                        scriptions were roaming about, oblivious to our presence. What
   It was still dark as we approached the launch site, prepar-
ing the balloon in the dark was quite an adventure, not know-
ing what to do lead to much confusion on the part of us green
horns. We were mainly reduced to observers as the crew pre-
pared for the flight.
   There would be a covey of four balloons in our fleet, it was
quite a sight as the burners were lit and the balloons began to
inflate just as the sun began to rise above the horizon. I was
fortunate enough to be in the last balloon to launch, which gave
me the opportunity to observe the others ascending into the
early morning light.

                                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                      a dV e N t U r e : Hot-Air B all oon Vacati on s

                                                                                 Clearly many have attempted different ballooning routes
                                                                                 over time, but perhaps the most challenging was attempt-
                                                                                 ing to fly around the world. to this day there has only been
                                                                                 two successful attempts at an around the world balloon
                                                                                 flight. The first recorded around the world hot air balloon
                                                                                flight was achieved in 1999 when Swiss Betrand Piccard and
                                                                                British Brian Jones teamed up. They launched on Monday,
                                                                                March 1st from the Swiss alps and after a mere 19 days, 21
                                                                                hours and 55 minutes they successfully landed over Mau-
                                                                                ritania in North africa. They became the first balloonists
                                                                                to circumnavigate the globe with a non-stop, non-refu-
                                                                               eled flight, having traveled a record breaking distance of
                                                                               42,810 km. Nevertheless, the first balloonist to travel solo
                                                                               around the world was Steve fossett. Having tried a previous
                                                                               6 times, this was a great achievement for him when in July
                                                                               2002 he became the first person to have managed to travel
                                                                               around the world solo in a hot air balloon.

a beautiful sight! As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky,           all the trimmings were presented for our enjoyment. Returning
the landscape changed by the minute.                                       back to our hotel by mid morning, we still had plenty of time to
  Being totally engulfed in the moment, time passed quickly,               enjoy the sights of Alice Springs.
soon our descent began and it was time to come back down
                                                                           By Gary Wonning
to earth. Lightly touching the earth our next task was to fold
the balloon, load it on the trailer to ready it for flight the next
  Now it was time for our reward, a Champagne Breakfast!
Making a table on the trailer, champagne, wine, cheeses, and

               tHE BEaUty Of tHE CENtraL EUrOPE
«Central European countries» is a broad term assigned to varying number of states. CE is defined
with respect to the geography or various institutional communities like the Visegrad Four. Not
attempting to solve the relative nature of this term we are pleased to present the Central Europe
from the viewpoint of a travel trade professional. Watch out! Here comes the statistics.
                                                                                                                              May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

POLaNd: greateSt iNCreaSe
iN HOteL NigHtS iN eU
A    ccording to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European
     Communities, in 2007 the number of nights spent in hotels
in 2007 grew in all the 27 EU member states by 3.1 % com-
                                                                            In 1997 Polish tourism celebrated a record year, with the
                                                                          country welcoming an estimated 19.5 million foreign overnight
                                                                          tourists. A combination of factors saw visitor numbers fall an-
pared with 2006. While the number of nights spent in hotels in            nually between 1998 and 2003, including the slow down in the
2007 grew in all Member States, Poland showed the most no-                global economy, the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001,
table increase (+11.5 %), followed by Romania (+9.1 %), Latvia            Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the 2003 inva-
(+9.0 %), Malta (+8.5 %) and the Netherlands (+8.3 %).                    sion of Iraq and a strong currency, which made it harder for

   The most popular sites in Poland include Warsaw, Kraków,
Wrocław, Poznań, Lublin, Toruń, and Auschwitz. Other at-                       e U rO 2 0 1 2 w i L L g r e at LY i M PaC t
tractions include northeast Poland’s Mazury lake district and                       t r aV e L a N d tOU r i SM
Białowieża Forest. Poland ‘s main touristic products are: city                   in april 2007 Poland and Ukraine were jointly cho-
and historical monuments sightseeing, business trips, qualified                 sen by fifa to host the football european Champi-
tourism, agrotourism, mountain hiking and others.                               onship in 2012. Poland will have to adjust its infra-
                                                                                structure to the needs of hundreds of thousands of
   Since its break with communism in 1989 and its first demo-                   fans who will come from all over europe. This third
cratic election Poland has become an increasingly popular des-                  largest sports competition in the world will inten-
tination choice for foreign tourists. This diverse country boasts               sively impact the development of such sectors as
historically important cities and castles, religious buildings and              hotels, foodservice and transportation. rough esti-
                                                                                mates are that about eUr50 billion will be spent in
a rich culture, as well as myriad natural attractions including                 the coming years to ensure that the complete infra-
beaches, mountains, lakes and national parks. Business tour-                    structure is in place for this large event.
ism, agrotourism and adventure tourism have also become in-                   http:// www.e uromo nitor.c om/
creasingly important components of Poland’s tourism industry.

                                                                                                                             May, 2008
                              de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

Poland to compete with neighboring countries in terms of price          by tourists from behind eastern border even though numbers of
competitiveness. A floundering national economy also saw the            shoppers from Belarus, Ukraine and Russia is steadily dimin-
number of domestic tourists plummet from 11.4 million to 10             ishing. However, the transit traffic through Poland is still very
million during this period.                                             important.
   Poland’s accession to the European Union (EU) in May 2004               The total number of tourist inbound trips shall rise to around
was accompanied by more restrictive border agreements with              19 million in 2012 and 2013. It is assumed there will be several
Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia (Kaliningrad). Despite this the         changes in structure of inbound tourism: in terms of generating
negative growth in overseas tourist arrivals was reversed in            countries as well as in purposes of visits. Leisure and business
2004, as EU membership brought new visitors, primarily from             trips are supposed to grow faster than transit, shopping-ori-
other EU member states, Western Europe and North America                ented and VFR trips. Significant growth can be seen in use of
(the number of domestic overnight tourists, however, declined           commercial accommodation. Consequently, receipts from inter-
by another million people to nine million). The 10.8 % growth           national arrivals are also expected to rise.
in foreign arrivals witnessed between 2003 and 2005 has also
been fuelled by the rapid growth in the number of low-cost air-
lines flying to and from the country.
   Generally, there are three main motivations for foreign trav-
elers coming to Poland. holidays, leisure, business, visiting 
friends and relatives. Besides, Polish inbound tourism has some
special characteristics: relatively large amount of shopping and
transit tourism. The size of these segments is generated mainly

                                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

rOMaNiaN tOUriSM: MiNiMaL
CONtriBUtiON tO gdP

A      ccording to the latest figures, tourism in Romania has a
       minimal contribution to the GDP, while jobs in this sector
are regarded as a ‘last resort’ career option due to the low sala-
                                                                             Although the number of employees in tourism is expected to
                                                                          reach 304,000 this year, almost 10,000 more than in 2007, i. e.
                                                                          around 3.5 % of the entire national workforce, a job in the hos-
ries. Although, in terms of growth rate, the domestic market is at        pitality industry is considered a ‘last resort’ because of the low
the top of the ranking (which includes 176 countries), in terms of        salaries. According to a study compiled by the World Travel and
value, Romania is positioned towards the bottom of the ranking            Tourism Council (WTTC), low incomes lead to good managers
of tourism-derived revenues.                                              being lost, who choose to work abroad instead.
   Last year, travel agencies, hotels and restaurants were among             The growth rate of revenues derived from tourism places Ro-
the businesses with the lowest salaries. In the hotel and restau-         mania at the top of the ranking that features 176 countries, a
rant industry, the average monthly salary stood at 195 euros              rate that reached 8.1 % this year. However, direct revenues col-
(in comparison to the national average of 313 euros a month),             lected in the travel industry are forecast at 3.6 billion dollars (2.2
which made it the worst paid sector in the economy.                       billion euros) this year, which would account for around 2.2 %
   In the case of travel agencies, the average salary stood at 445        of the GDP and places Romania among the lowest ranking
euros a month, far below other sectors such as air transport,
the tobacco industry and the petroleum industry. However, the                   HOt e L S fa i L tO r e V e a L t rU t H
growth rates were among the highest – 31 % in the segment of                      a B OU t Se rV iC e S
travel agencies, and 27 % for the hotel and restaurant sector.                    Hotels in romania are not always telling the truth.
                                                                                 Many tourism units are built without government
                                                                                 approval and display a number of stars that do not
                                                                                 correspond to the equipment or the quality of servic-
• This year’s 9.3 % growth rate places romania at No.                            es they offer. But it is impossible for the authorities
    6 among 176 countries                                                        to verify the quality of accommodation in romania,
                                                                                 due to lack of funds and personnel to carry out the
• in terms of the gdP, the travel sector is ranked                               job. This means the romanian hotel industr y is in
   among the bottom countries, at No. 149                                        a state of self-regulation. Customers have no quality
• although salaries in the travel sector continue                                assurance when they pass through the threshold of
   to grow at a fast rate, they still fall behind those in                       a hotel.
   other sectors                                                                http:// www.t hedipl omat.r o/

                                                                                            May, 2008
                                 de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe
countries in terms of the share of travel revenues in the overall
GDP, according to WTTC data. Considering that activities in the
travel industry also have a major impact on other industries, the
overall value of revenues will amount to 9.3 billion dollars (5.76
billion euros) this year, equivalent to 5.8 % of the overall GDP
for this year. This result places Romania at No. 149 in the rank-
ing. The growth rate will be of 9.3 % this year, which will take
Romania to No. 6 among the 176 countries.
   As for the number of employees, the figure is expected to
reach 600,000 this year, which includes individuals indirectly
connected with the tourism industry (6.9 % of the overall em-
ployees at a national level). A large part of these increases have
been generated by the investments announced in new hotels.
   WTTC studies from 2006 indicate several reasons for tour-
ism’s small share in the GDP. Among these factors are the lack
of political interest in developing this segment, the lack of ad-
equate marketing studies and research, a faulty infrastructure
and the lack of an IT infrastructure, particularly in rural areas; all
of which have a negative impact on travel revenues.

By Roxana Petrescu

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

SLOVeNia: tOUriSM grOwiNg
faSter tHaN OtHer SeCtOrS
                                                                           accommodation and transportation as well as attractions and
                                                                           other sectors have all felt the positive impact.
                                                                              Domestic retail and accommodation industries have finished
                                                                           restructuring and are now in full swing, investing heavily, looking
                                                                           for new niche markets and fearing increased competition. This
                                                                           is coming mostly from small domestic companies, which were
                                                                           usually start-ups in the 1990s and have now become mature. It
                                                                           is quite interesting that foreign multinationals have not entered
                                                                           the Slovenian market yet with the exception of car rentals and to
                                                                           some extent airline transportation. It seems that low recognition
                                                                           is affecting not only tourists but also the foreign competition.
                                                                              The accession of Slovenia to the EU had a visible effect on
                                                                           the level of foreign tourists. Slovenian has found its place on the
                                                                           tourist map and it seems that everything is working in favour of
                                                                           even more tourists. The location near the centre of Europe, nat-

T      ourism is rapidly becoming one of the most important in-            ural diversity from the Alps to the Adriatic coast in less than two
       dustries in Slovenia. Not only the domestic expenditure,            hours, improving accessibility and preference for safe places
which has reached 10 % of disposable income in 2005, but also              are all influencing the rise.
incoming tourists, whose receipts have far exceeded EUR 1                     A Tourism Confidence Index is calculated here based on the
billion are contributing to this growth. Growth rates have been            results of an electronic survey conducted by the Institute for
strong in the past five years, exceeding 5 % for incoming tour-            Tourism of the Faculty of Economics (ITEF) at the University of
ists and reaching only slightly less for domestic spending.                Ljubljana and involves a selection of tourism experts from both
   Both the number of tourists and overnight stays has been in-            public and private tourism sectors. The survey was introduced
creasing as well as expenditure per person. Especially incom-              at the end of 2007 and is repeated every four months in order
ing tourists are about to accelerate growth in future years as             to keep track of short-term prospects and performance of the
Slovenia reaps the benefits of accession to the EU, adopts the             tourism sector. Preliminary results show that Slovenian tourism
euro and fine tunes its marketing efforts to boost recognition.            generated above-average results in 2007 and that the outlook
                                                                           for 2008 is equally bright. It was observed, however, that repre-
   The economic importance of tourism in Slovenia has been
                                                                           sentatives of the private and public sectors have quite different
confirmed in the context of a project called «Assessment of
                                                                           views on tourism performance in 2007.
tourism satellite accounts for 2003 and extrapolation for 2006»,
which was carried out by the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana
and co-financed by the European Commission. Project results                    N UM B e r S U P i N f e B 2 0 0 8
show that tourism experienced rapid growth in the 2003–2006                      with 291,500 tourist arrivals and 978,608 overnight
period, as tourism activities in this period grew faster than other              stays in february 2008, Slovenian tourist accommo-
economic activities. In 2006, gross tourism revenues accounted                  dation facilities registered a 2 % increase in tourist
for 5.5 % of the total GDP of Slovenia (share of pure tourism,                   arrivals and a 2 % increase in overnight stays year-
                                                                                 over-year; figures for the first two months show a
without indirect effects), which corresponds to an 11.3 % in-                   1 % increase in the number of tourist arrivals and
crease over 2003. Added value of Slovenian tourism in 2006                      overnight stays compared to the same period in the
stood at EUR 1,088 million, which accounted for 4.11 % of the                   previous year. The first two months registered more
total gross added value in Slovenia. Compared to 2003, the                      domestic tourists, and the number of overnight stays
                                                                                grew by 5 % year-over-year, while the number of
added value of tourism rose by 32 %.                                            overnight stays by foreign tourists was down by 3 %.
   Furthermore with growing prosperity the average Slovenians                   The larger proportion of overnight stays in this pe-
have more money to spend and since many enjoy travelling this                   riod (51 %) was generated by foreign tourists, mostly
had positive results for outgoing as well as for domestic travel-               from the following six countries: italy (21 %), Croa-
                                                                                tia (20 %), austria (11 %), United kingdom (8 %),
ling. Incoming tourists have strongly added to this positive effect             germany (5 %) and Hungary (5 %).
although it seems that this is just the beginning. Travel retail,

                                                                                                                                  May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

   A new handbook called the «Methodology for constant tourist
satisfaction monitoring» is intended for all developers, operators
and controllers of hotel and tourist destination activities who are
interested in learning the degree of satisfaction of guests and
the ways in which their satisfaction could be systematically im-
proved. The handbook includes a comprehensive, universal and
simple model for measuring tourist satisfaction in Slovenia – at
the tourist area (destination) and hotel level – in the Slovenian,
English, German and Italian languages. The questionnaire is
based on customer satisfaction models used all over the world              and intends to fulfill it, and they will remain the accelerators of
(mostly American – ACSI), but is adapted to the special fea-               growth. If also the government will keep out of the way then
tures of the tourism sector.                                               there is no reason why Slovenia should not reach the level of
   With strong and endurable growth in the whole market, even              development that Austria has attained in the long run.
some slower moving sectors can still operate profitably. Tour-
ist attractions are probably one sector that has not reached its 
potential yet but is growing nevertheless. National carrier will 
probably be worse off with the expansion of the aviation market.
On the other hand, tourism in sectors such as gambling, well-
ness and spa tourism or congress tourism has a clear strategy

                                                                                                                           May, 2008
                            de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

tOUriSM figUreS MOderateLY
riSiNg iN HUNgarY

H      ungary, along with much of East/Central Europe, is
       becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination
among Western Europeans, and especially Britons. While
                                                                      Thanks to the noticeable increase in the number of tourists,
                                                                    hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels and other guesthouses are
cheap tickets offered by low-cost airlines have turned              making more money. According to the statistics hotel revenues
Prague into a well-known stag weekend destination among             rose to 14.5 billion Hungarian forints, which represents a steep
British travellers, Budapest–Hungary’s capital city–tends to        increase of around 12.5 percent. Originally, most hotels had
attract crowds due to its unique abundance of Roman and             only expected to see their revenues rise by around 7 percent,
Turkish baths, the fact that hotels and restaurant meals            which means that the January and February figures have far
are still noticeably cheaper than in most western urban             surpassed initial projections. This is especially positive news for
centers, and this historic town’s scenic location along the         the industry in light of the fact that these winter months–when
Danube. According to Hungary’s Central Statistical Office           the weather in Budapest frequently dips well below the freezing
(KSH), the number of foreign tourists travelling to destina-        mark and city is at its least attractive–have turned out so well. A
tions in Hungary increased by over 8 percent during the             total of 328,000 foreign tourists visited Hungary during the first
first two months of the year, as compared to the same pe-           two months of the year and spent at least one night at a hotel
riod in 2007.                                                       or B&B.

                                                                                           May, 2008
                                de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe
   The outlook for foreign visitor arrivals over the forecast period
to 2011 remains favourable. However, it is predicted that growth
in arrivals will slow from 2008, partly due to weaker economic
conditions in key source markets, but average a favourable 5 %
per annum between 2008 and 2011. After a decline in outbound
traveller numbers in the last years, it is expected this trend will
continue, compounded by the expected slowdown in the Hun-
garian economy.

                                                                                                                                    May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe

SLOVakia: Yet tO Be

S      lovakia experienced accelerated economic growth in the              kia as a result of the general increase in international tourism.
       last years. This spurred an increase in average disposable          The growth of foreign tourists is especially visible in the number
income of 11 %, driving household consumption and expendi-                 of incoming British and Ukrainians. However, Slovak incoming
ture on leisure. Average purchasing power is still low at 51 %             trends are still heavily biased in favour of transit visitors who ac-
of the EU average, according to Slovak Spectator, but higher in            count for over 90 % of all border crossings per year. Neverthe-
the more developed Bratislava region. The Slovak hotel indus-              less, the surge led to a healthy increase in incoming receipts of
try is benefiting from the growing influx of foreign investment.           10 % in current value terms, following several years of decline.
Together with nearby Vienna, Bratislava is fast becoming a re-             While visitors from the Czech Republic and Poland accounted
gional hub for passenger air services, with growing benefits for           for a large part of the total border crossings, they also were the
Slovakia’s tourism sector.                                                 biggest group among those that stayed in paid accommodation,
                                                                           followed by visitors from Germany, Italy, UK, France and the
   A wealth of recreational opportunities at                               Netherlands.
moderate prices
   Slovakia has strong prerequisites for tourism development,
                                                                                 after the fall of Communism in 1989, Slovakia’s
the most important being that it is still a cheap holiday for Eu-                 tourism began to adapt to the condition of market
ropean tourists who are also looking for a new destination. Slo-                  economy. The facilities were gradually privatized
vakia offers a wealth of opportunities for recreational tourism                  and new facilities have been built, also with the
thanks to its numerous ski resorts, spas and nature reserves.                    help of foreign capital. dozens of new travel agen-
It is also attracting growing interest as a city-break destination               cies have been established, and the number of tour-
                                                                                 ist from abroad and income from tourism increased
thanks to the availability of low-cost flights by the domestic bud-              considerably. Outbound tourism increased as well –
get airline, SkyEurope. While the country is easily accessible by                in the 1990s Slovaks travelled predominantly to the
car from most European countries, it is also an important transit                neighboring countries and Croatia, and since the
point for the region.                                                            late 1990s the foreign destinations of Slovaks have
                                                                                 shifted to major world tourist destinations (egypt,
  A surge in incoming visitors                                                   france, indonesia etc.).
                                                                               http:// en.wik ipedia .org/
  Following a number of weak years, incoming numbers yearly
increase by 7-8 % as reported by the National Bank of Slova-

                                                                                                                                    May, 2008
                               de S t i Nat iON : T he B eaut y of the C e ntral Europe
                                                                           holidays in Slovakia and registered continued strong growth in
                                                                           the last years. Their operations continued to be heavily biased
                                                                           towards outbound tourism, with only a few agencies dedicating
                                                                           most of their resources to incoming business. Travel agents’
                                                                           strategies are dominated by last-minute offers but Slovak travel
                                                                           agents show a growing trend towards innovation and coopera-
                                                                           tion with travel agencies in other countries with the aim of de-
                                                                           veloping incoming tourism.
                                                                              Slovakia’s tourist attractions benefit from the
                                                                           growing popularity of short city breaks
                                                                              Although Slovakia’s tourism promotion abroad is still not suf-
                                                                           ficiently developed, its tourist attractions continue to attract for-
                                                                           eign and domestic visitors. The range and volume of sightsee-
                                                                           ing tours increase in line with the substantial growth in incoming
                                                                           visitors as tourists are attracted by Slovakia’s romantic castles
                                                                           and historic buildings/sites, in particular around Bratislava.
   Low-cost flights boost outbound travel                                  Excursions combining wine tasting in Slovak and neighboring
   Both incoming and outgoing travel received a strong boost               Austrian villages proved increasingly popular with tourists com-
from the growing availability of budget flights to all parts of            ing on a city break to Bratislava. The most visited attractions
Europe as well as Slovakia’s entry into the EU in 2004 which               include the national parks such as the Low and High Tatras and
focused interest in Slovakia as a tourist and business destina-            the fast developing amusement parks and aqua parks.
tion. Outbound departures increased considerably, resulting                   Good forecast period prospects depend on raising interna-
in strong growth in outbound expenditure. While the majority               tional awareness of Slovakia
of Slovaks were interested in lower cost packages to seaside                  Slovakia has all the pre-requisites for successful and grow-
resorts in the Mediterranean, demand for exotic destinations               ing tourism, however, it suffers from insufficient international
recorded another strong year, driven by the higher purchasing              recognition of its tourism resources and services, due to few
power of the burgeoning Slovak entrepreneurial class.                      promotion activities during the transition years following the
   SkyEurope keeps air transport in the driving                            country gaining its independence in 1991. There is an urgent
seat                                                                       need for greater and more targeted promotion in Europe and
                                                                           elsewhere which is being addressed by the government and
   The transportation sector growth continued to be almost
                                                                           tourism organisations and supported by EU funding. Together
entirely driven by the rapid growth in low-cost flights pushing
overall transportation revenues up by 11 %. While air travel               with the ongoing construction of top class hotels and tourist re-
dominate international arrivals and account for 56 % of total              sorts, this should help to increase international demand for Slo-
                                                                           vakia as a tourist destination. Dynamic growth is also expected
transportation revenues, bus and coach services remain im-
                                                                           in outbound tourism which is expected to increase by more than
portant for outbound departures and arrivals from neighboring
                                                                           30 % until 2010. This should be helped by the expected steady
countries, taking a share of 36 %. Although limited in volume
and accounting for less than 1 % of total transport revenues,              growth of the country’s GDP and hence the purchasing power
                                                                           of the population.
river traffic grew as a result of the growing popularity of river
cruises and ferry services connecting the three Central Euro-
pean capitals, Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest.                  
  Package holidays and flight only dominate
travel retail sales
  Slovak travel agents and tour operators benefit from the
growing demand for package holidays and flight only bookings
as well as from the rising interest abroad for city breaks/activity

fairs & ExHibitions
 Travel/Tourism in maY 2008 bY regions
                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                            fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

weSterN eUrOPe

    CrOSSrOadS MiLaN – ParagON BUSiNeSS traVeL CONfereNCe & exPO
location         Milan / italy
start / end      15 May 2008 / 16 May 2008
Provider         nbta

    exPOVaCaCiONeS - exPO Of tOUriSM & LeiSUre tiMe
location         Bilbao / Spain
start / end      15 May 2008 / 18 May 2008
Provider         bilbao Exhibition centre

    traVeL diStriBUtiON SUMMit eUrOPe
location         London / Switzerland
start / end      20 May 2008 / 21 May 2008
Provider         Eyefortravel

    eUrOaL: LatiN aMeriCaN aNd eUrOPeaN fair Of tOUriSM,
      art aNd CULtUre
location         torremolinos (Málaga) / Spain
start / end      31 May 2008 / 01 June 2008
Provider         Palacio de congresos y Exposiciones torremolinos

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                          fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

CeNtraL & eaSterN eUrOPe

    CrOtOUr – iNterNatiONaL tOUriSM fair
location         zagreb / Croatia
start / end      07 May 2008 / 11 May 2008
Provider         Zagreb fair

location         Cluj-Napoca / romania
start / end      07 May 2008 / 11 May 2008
Provider         Expo transilvania sa

    SPriNg tOUriSM exCHaNge
location         Poznan / Poland
start / end      09 May 2008 / 10 May 2008
Provider         Poznan international fair cz3onek Polskiej izby turystyki

    Mitf MOSCOw iNterNatiONaL traVeL & tOUriSM exHiBitiON
location         Moscow / russia
start / end      17 May 2008 / 20 May 2008
Provider         rtE Moscow

    LatO – fair Of tOUriSM aNd reCreatiON
location         warsaw / Poland
start / end      18 May 2008 / 20 May 2008
Provider         Mt Polska

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                           fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

afriCa aNd MiddLe eaSt

    OMaN traVeL Market
location         Muscat / Oman
start / end      05 May 2008 / 07 May 2008
Provider         oitE

location         doha / qatar
start / end      05 May 2008 / 07 May 2008
Provider         ifP Qatar

    araBiaN traVeL Market
location         dubai / United arab emirates
start / end      06 May 2008 / 09 May 2008
Provider         reed Exhibitions

    iNdaBa traVeL & tOUriSM trade SHOw
location         durban / South africa
start / end      10 May 2008 / 13 May 2008
Provider         Kagiso Exhibitions (Pty) ltd.

    kwte 2008
location         Mishref / kuwait
start / end      12 May 2008 / 15 May 2008
Provider         KIF (Kuwait International Fair)

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                             fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

    afriCa traVeL aSSOCatiON iNterNatiONaL CONgreSS
location         arusha / tanzania
start / end      19 May 2008 / 23 May 2008
Provider         africa travel association

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                          fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

NOrtH aMeriCa & CariBBeaN

    aMeriCa week/NatiONaL tOUriSM week
location         nationwide / United States of america
start / end      10 May 2008 / 18 May 2008
Provider         travel industry ass of america

    iNterNatiONaL POw wOw
location         Las Vegas, NV / United States of america
start / end      31 May 2008 / 04 June 2008
Provider         tia

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                             fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

aSia & PaCifiC

    MaLdiVeS HOteL & trade exHiBitiON 2008
location         Male / Maldives
start / end      06 May 2008 / 08 May 2008
Provider         artline design service Pvt ltd.

    BOat tHai 2008
location         tBa / Thailand
start / end      08 May 2008 / 11 May 2008
Provider         tMx

    MeetiNgS & eVeNtS iNdUStrY NatiONaL CONfereNCe 2008
location         alice Springs / australia
start / end      09 May 2008 / 12 May 2008
Provider         MEa national Events

location         guangzhou / China
start / end      15 May 2008 / 17 May 2008
Provider         guangzhou Huazhan Exhibition company limited canton universal fair group limited

    aSia iNterNatiONaL tOUriSM exPO 2008
location         kuala Lumpur / Malaysia
start / end      22 May 2008 / 25 May 2008
Provider         aitE

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                                                                                                                   May, 2008
                                          fa i r S & e x H i B i t iON S

    qiNgdaO iNterNatiONaL tOUriSM exPO (qite)
location         qingdao, Shandong / China
start / end      23 May 2008 / 25 May 2008
Provider         conference and Exhibition Management services Pte limited

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