Category Archives: Promotions

Young tourists look for kicks other than waffles

Well, these are maps which are as good as any tourist guide but actually they are so good that they are also souvenir in themselves. That means, when you are visiting a city then in search of a good souvenir, you first get a souvenir in form of a map. And these are no normal maps. These maps are now turning 10. USE-IT, the tourist info for young people, will soon celebrate its first ten years in European capital Brussels. They’re a household name for city maps made by young locals, with no-nonsense tips for how not to be caught as a tourist in Belgium. (Nope, we don’t have fruit on our waffles.)

These maps are starting to conquer Europe, and the research team Expeditions has measured the impact on tourism in the entire network. Does alternative city info really make people move outside of the city centre? Do they stay longer? And what does this imply for the local economy? The results were very positive, and Brussels stands out. 59% of users say they went further from the centre indeed. Desk personnel at hostels and the tourist infos confirm. 86% think also that off-the-beaten track information boosts the investment in the local economy. Furthermore, 14% of the young tourists extended their stay with one or more nights, and nearly everybody (97%) would like to get the same kind of no-nonsense info on their next city trips.

When asked about their best experience in Brussels, the maps’ local tips are mentioned more often than the tourist classics. Highlights include the panorama on top of Parking 58, the vegetable garden on top of the Albertina library, a walk through Molenbeek, going out at Bonnefooi until the morning, and pissing in the public urinal that’s built against Sint-Katelijne church.

The survey ran in the entire European USE-IT network (more than 40 cities) and Brussels came out on top. Of the 4,000 respondents, one out of three had already used the Brussels map. Strikingly, a large number of them (38%) was also motivated to start up a USE-IT map for their own city.

ALSO READ: Travelling to Where Locals Go

“The creative side of Brussels speaks to many tourists’ hearts, and USE-IT embodies that side well. As Alderman for Tourism it’s important that we support young innovative teams. So we’re proud that these city maps have spread out all over Europe from Brussels,” says Philippe Close, the Alderman of Tourism in Brussels.

The USE-IT headquarters is stationed in the Galerie Ravenstein, where it attracts more than 20,000 travellers per year. Apart from all the European free maps, visitors also get tips about nightlife there from the young Brussels volunteers, or they head out together for a walk along the Anderlecht supporters’ bars or the latest genital graffiti in town. Anything but the Manneken Pis.

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Want to have local food while on travel! TTC partners VizEat!

Want to have some authentically local food while travelling abroad, but are afraid of what hotels serve in name of local dishes? Also, you might be interested in having local food in authentically local environments such as homes, but don’t know how to in a new city! Here is a brand new initiative.

The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) award-winning family of brands including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Busabout and Evans Evans partnered globally with VizEat, the innovative and immersive food experience platform, bringing travellers together by offering immersive culinary experiences with their 22,000 local hosts in 110 countries. In 2014, the app was first launched in Paris and it has now become the world’s most popular meal sharing platform with guests being welcomed into a global network of hosts’ homes while making authentic connections with both locals and travellers.

TTC’s travel brands will be able to connect their guests to these VizEat hosts who are trained chefs and home cooks where they will share their delicious meals and learn about new cultures with other travellers  and foodies from across the globe. They will sample regional specialties and traditional cuisine in unique locations with a relaxed ambience. Travelers can enjoy a pasta making class in Rome, embark on an interactive market tour in Barcelona, indulge in a wine and cheese tasting party in Paris or join a Tuscan chef’s table and sample gastronomic delicacies.

“Our partnership with VizEat will enable our guests from across our 30+ TTC travel brands to discover amazing and fun culinary experiences in each destination which we visit while also interacting with the local people and creating unforgettable memories,” said Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation. “We also share similar values by offering experiential experiences and meeting like-minded travellers from around the world.”

Beginning this summer, TTC’s guests will have an opportunity to enjoy these immersive food experiences on selected trips or as optional experiences through the assistance of their knowledgeable Travel Directors and Tour Managers.

“We’re thrilled to announce this global partnership with TTC and this marks a great opportunity for more travellers worldwide the chance to uncover immersive culinary experiences with locals wherever they go,” said Jean-Michel Petit, Chief Executive Officer of VizEat. “It’s a great match for both of us: TTC family of brands plans the most memorable experiences for their clients and VizEat is aligned in this search for unforgettable and authentic moments.”

The Travel Corporation (TTC) is a highly successful international travel group. No matter what your taste, whether you are a family or a couple, a group or traveling solo – TTC offers something for everyone. Its multi-award-winning portfolio ranges from luxury hotels and boutique river cruises, to independent holiday package companies and a variety of guided travel experiences.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, the TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain for generations to come. Founded by Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer, TTC, to date TreadRight has supported more than 40 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. As an official Diamond Sponsor of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, TTC is dedicated to bringing the industry together with a shared goal of benefitting local communities and the environment.

VizEat website and apps are now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Anyone can sign up to become either a host or a guest. The mobile apps for VizEat are available for download for iOS and Android. Apple selected VizEat in the TOP 3 Apps of 2016 and  CEO Tim Cook went for a VizEat lunch in Paris early February.

Experience Ladakh Like Never Before

Ladakh, a land of myriad influences never ceases to amaze travellers with its iridescent colours. Ancient picturesque monasteries adorned with fluttering prayer flags, cobalt blue lakes merging into blue skies, grazing Pashmina goats in the backdrop of mineral rich snow-crowned mountains – every setting here is a dramatic performance with stunning colours.

Escape to another Realm with the Ultimate Travelling Camp

Nestled in the quaint hamlets of Ladakh, The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s widely popular Chamba Camp Thiksey and Chamba Camp Diskit is inviting travellers to fully immerse in the thin airs of Ladakh while being cushioned by luxuries of a glamorous abode. Known to have introduced ‘glamping’ in challenging landscapes of India, TUTC’s seasonal camps in Leh and Nubra Valley is beginning operations from 15th May 2017 until end of September, a favorable time to visit Ladakh. For those looking to deep dive into the soul of Ladakh TUTC’s signature itineraries promise experiential sojourns without comprising on luxury.

Thiksey Monastery near Leh

TUTC weaves together experiences like none other. Guests can rediscover the mystical energy of a Buddhist stupa, discover ancient stories of the divinities of Buddhism hiding beyond the secret symbolisms and colours of the monasteries, offer prayers of peace, raft down glacier fed rivers, cycle down mountain roads, watch a game of polo, a sport of the royals, experience a private séance with the village oracle or simply indulge in the multitude of extraordinary services at the camps.

Diskit Monastery in Nubra valley

At 11,000 ft., TUTC’s exceptional services cater to all the whims and fancies of its esteemed guests. Luxury is exemplified by the aesthetically beautiful tents furnished with wooden chandeliers, four poster beds, exquisite linen to wooden period furniture. The tents are triple layered and protected from the outside and the interiors are climate controlled to suit individual preferences. Each tent offers en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, in-house signature wash amenities, safe deposit, laundry service, private decks, unlimited Wi-Fi at the reception Tent, 24/7 security & paramedic on site, 24/7 electricity, boutique, library and services of a personal butler. TUTC’s in-house Chef uses garden fresh ingredients to prepare and pamper visitors with world class cuisine – Regional, Indian and International that suits the taste of the travellers.
Indian Bloggers

Two weeks of chocolate indulgence!

For the Love of the ChocolateWhat’s a love without chocolate! Countdown to valentine day has already started and chocolate always brings some sweet memories. From 1 – 15 February chocolate aficionados can once again indulge in European capital Brussels. For the third time visit.brussels focuses on chocolate during the Chocolate weeks. Armed with a Chocolate pass, the visitor will be able to sample more than 20 chocolatiers’ delicacies while also enjoying discounts to the chocolate museums and purchases at various chocolate stores.

Belgian ChocolatesWith Valentine’s Day fast approaching and the Salon du Chocolat in Brussels set to run from 10 – 12 February chocolate is again top of mind. This is the third time since 2012 that Chocolate weeks has been organised. Genuine chocolate aficionados will use the Chocolate pass this year. This grants access to more than 20 chocolatiers, offering the chance to sample their delicious creations. In addition, this pass also offers discounts at the Belgian Chocolate Village et Choco-Story museum, where the visitor can delve further into the history of chocolate and make purchases at numerous chocolatiers.

Salon Du ChocolateEarly birds can now buy their Brussels trip voucher for only €5.55 by purchasing the voucher for the pass online at chocolatepass.brussels. The voucher can be exchanged from 1 February at one of the visit.brussels tourism offices and also gives access to the experience.brussels expo free of charge. From 1 February – 15 February the pass can be purchased directly from € 5 at participating chocolatiers and museums, 36 locations spread over 8 Brussels districts, and at the visit.brussels collection offices.

Salon Du ChocolateParticipating chocolatiers are: Art de Praslin, BenoîtNihant, Bruyerre, Café-Tasse, Concept Chocolate, Corné Dynastie, Corné Port-Royal, Delacre, Galler, Godiva, JérômeGrimonpon, L’Alchimie du Chocolat, Laurent Gerbaud,  Leonidas, Mary, Neuhaus, Passion Chocolat, Planète Chocolat, Vandenhende, Wittamer and Zaabär.

Travelling To Where Locals Go

Brussels-based city maps are conquering Europe.  Some tourists can make do with a selfie stick picture at Manneken Pis, but the younger and more alternative kind want to break through the tourist bubble. Where do you guys from Brussels go for free live shows? Where do you lunch? And should we be more careful now, with the attacks and all?

Brussels1The answer is on the USE-IT city map. It shows the way to metal at Magasin 4, lunch at the Albertina library and a coworking space in Molenbeek. “We’ve reached the point where Lonely Planet doesn’t do,” the map makers say. “Those guides are sparsely updated, and they lack those nice tips on how not to stand out as a tourist. For instance: don’t order a waffle with whipped cream and four kinds of fruit, because we Belgians don’t either. And perhaps a mitraillete is more of a Brussels dish than mussels with fries.”

Brussels2The Maps for Young Travellers were first created in Ghent, and since USE-IT moved to Brussels in 2008 (headquarters are at Galerie Ravenstein) the virus has started to spread all over Europe. By now, 41 cities have joined the network, and their number grows fast. USE-IT Brussels has an info desk too, where more than 20.000 visitors drop by per year. They get fresh advice from young Brussels volunteers about nightlife, or they go on a walking tour together along the Anderlecht supporters’ bars or the new genital graffiti. Everything but Manneken Pis.

Brussels3The USE-IT maps now also appear in an app for iOS. Still, the paper maps won’t fade out, not even when roaming costs go down. “Paper is still doing well for travellers. People want to get that overview over the whole city, and a small screen doesn’t suffice. Besides, they prefer to pull a paper map out of their pocket instead of an expensive phone,” says Nicolas Marichal, USE-IT’s editor in chief.

This week, all USE-IT initiatives from the whole of Europe are joining in Brussels for the 2016 European meeting, supported by visit.brussels. “This city will always remain the epicentre. Our info desk and our maps still serve as an inspiration to most startups in the rest of the continent. And we absolutely wanted to get everyone here again, even if only to show how this city has not become that infamous hellhole in March 2016,” Marichal concludes.

A mouse does a ‘Yoga’ and becomes a remote control!

Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker and a significant player in tablets and smartphones, has announced the launch of its latest convertible laptop in India, the YOGA 710. Powered by a 6th Gen Intel Core™ i7 processor, the new 14-inch YOGA 710 boosts high performance and long battery life so users can leave their cords at home for longer. It is the perfect fit for travelers and mobile multi-taskers who are productive on the road. The YOGA 710 comes with one of the most unique accessories – the wireless YOGA Mouse which can also double up as a remote control for an on-screen presentation.

Remarkably connected YOGA 710 for extreme travel-readiness

YOGA 710Beautifully slim and light, YOGA 710 is one of the most powerful and portable convertible laptops in the market that enables users to multitask seamlessly between videoconferencing, emailing, editing photos and more on-the-go. The most promising feature of the Yoga 710 is its innovative antenna that physically integrates into the Yoga hinge, covering a greater surface area, and making signal strength 20 percent better and more stable, avoiding the problem of unreliable Wi-Fi connections among mobile users.

With a Next-Generation NVIDIA® discrete graphics card, YOGA 710 provides richer visuals and a faster operating experience, making the device perfect for gaming and multimedia. The addition of Dolby Audio™ Premium energizes entertainment with rich, powerful sound that dynamically adjusts audio to deliver home theater quality in a virtual surround sound experience. It also has an up to 256GB solid state drive (SSD) for fast access to movies, pictures, and files without having to use an external hard drive. With up to 8 hours of battery, users can enjoy a movie marathon and still have charge to squeeze in a couple of hours of work. The FHD (1920×1080) display makes everything from movies and photos to games and video chat look sharper.

YOGA Mouse – ultimate travel mouse for both work and play

YOGA-mouseThe ultra-slim YOGA mouse is a multifunctional device that’s wireless and can be converted into a remote control for media player, presentations and other applications. The mouse supports both Bluetooth 4.0 and 2.4GHz wireless connection for maximum flexibility and computing on-the-go. It includes a rechargeable battery which is integrated and sealed inside, avoiding the need to buy spare batteries. The mouse also consists of an adaptive touch display when in flat mode provides additional control for presentation and entertainment.

Commenting on the launch, Bhaskar Choudhuri, Director, Marketing, Lenovo India said, “Today, consumers expect their gadgets to add value to their active, on-the-go lifestyles. YOGA 710 is a laptop that caters to these new-gen mobile workers and travel enthusiasts who need work, recreation, and social connectivity on-the-go, and with minimal connectivity hassles. YOGA 710 comes with just the right specs and form factor that enable this. The flexible YOGA mouse adds on to the style quotient of the device. We’re excited to see how Indian consumers respond to this distinctive combination of style and specification.”

ASUS upgrades its Zenfone Selfie

Selfie expert smartphones are selling like hotcakes. Close on the heels of Oppo’s plans to launch its F1s Sefie Expert Camera, ASUS has already launched upgraded version of its Zenfone Selfie in India. Zenfone Selfie, launched last year was a huge success for its selfie specific features.

After that smashing success  ASUS has launched a newer version of the Zenfone Selfie (ZD551KL) in India. Crafted to give selfie habits a makeover, the all-new Zenfone Selfie offers a powerful performance with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor combined with a 3GB RAM and 16GB memory that is expandable up to 128GB. The Zenfone Selfie also comes with a diamond cut back, beautifully fashioned and aimed at delivering a luxury and designer experience to the user. For a price of INR 12,999, the smartphone is available on Amazon now, and will be in retail outlets from September onwards.

Selfie Front_Diamond TextureZenfone Selfie offers a 13MP front camera with a f/2.2-aperture, wide-angle (88-degree) lens, dual color real tone flash and selfie panorama. It also supports macro photography that allows the users to capture objects over 6cm. The phone also sports a 13MP rear camera with a f/2.0-aperture, auto- laser focus lens and a dual-color real tone flash. MicroSD card support ensures that users always have space to save their precious memories. A heavy duty battery of 3000mAh also enables diverse and heavy modes of usage.

Commenting on the launch, Peter Chang, Region Head – South Asia & Country Manager for ASUS India said, “The new Zenfone Selfie perfectly encapsulates the creativity of the ASUS design team with the stunning diamond cut back fashioned to deliver a stylish and luxury experience for the consumers. Apart from the design, the smartphone also offers great performance levels with its 3GB RAM and Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 to match the users’ performance needs.”

Zenfone Selfie is available in a range of exciting colours – Glacier Gray, Sheer Gold, Polygon-Illusion Diamond White, Illusion Polygon Blue, and Illusion Smooth Pink, to suit every user’s personal style and fashion sense.