WILLIAMS, ARIZONA, April 2022 – It sounds counter-intuitive: a 100-year-old steam engine will chug into Grand Canyon National Park to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2023, but it will showcase how ingenuity can thrive for future generations. The Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) may be the last daily standard gauge U.S. railroad to run steam engines in scheduled regular service – a rare sight and sound to behold.
The Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) is using recycled waste vegetable oil as fuel on No. 4960, a steam engine built in 1923. On select days from now through October, this massive steam engine will pull the daily train running from Williams, AZ to South Rim, Grand Canyon and at no extra cost to the passengers and guests. What saved it from static museum display? Waste vegetable oil (think oil used for French fries and chicken wings and fried shrimp). While such a diet may not be beneficial to the health of most of us, not only does the nearly century old engine run better, but by using recycled fuel (and captured snow melt for water in the boiler where possible) the great machine has a neutral carbon footprint.
As a matter of fact, it is estimated that the Grand Canyon Railway, built and running since 1901, reduces the number of cars in the national park to the tune of around 70,000 per year. Now we’re talking double green vision.
The other ingredient is good old-fashioned ingenuity inspired by the innovation of car mechanics to run vehicles on waste vegetable oil. The Railway strives to utilize biodegradable lubricants on the steam engines wherever possible. GCR is also the first tourism railway in the US to receive ISO 14001 third-party certification of its environmental management system.
For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway, visit thetrain.com or call 1-800-843-8724.
At a time when globetrotters are increasingly choosing eco-friendly trips in an effort to reduce their footprint on earth, Xanterra Travel Collection®, which operates many of the hospitality operations and concessions in and around the national parks, is making inroads to meet this imperative.
These include The Oasis at Death Valley, Glacier National Park Lodges, Cedar Creek Lodge, Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, The Grand Hotel at The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park Lodges, and Zion National Park Lodge. Xanterra also owns and operates upscale biking (VBT Bicycling Vacations), walking (Country Walkers), a railway (Grand Canyon Railway), touring (Holiday Vacations), and cruising (Windstar Cruises) companies with itineraries on six continents.
That also brings a responsibility and an obligation to protect the environment while making bucket-list vacations a reality –whether that is riding a mule into the depths of the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch, climbing the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a small-ship cruise through the islands of French Polynesia, or cycling through the Italian countryside.
Here are some of the most innovative, groundbreaking, and just curious ways Xanterra’s travel properties help minimize their impact on the environment and support a cleaner, greener future.
When One Bad Apple Does Good: When do bad apples help our planet? When they’re fed to the famous mules in the Grand Canyon and come out as manure used by local nurseries and farmers. Since 2013, a mule named Vista along with 147 of its fellow park mules have feasted on 31 tons of shriveled apples and other food scraps such as melon rinds, broccoli stalks, and carrot peelings generated by Grand Canyon National Park Lodges restaurants. Not only does that keep the food waste out of landfills, but those hard-working mules also produce up to 2 million pounds of manure per year. Through Operation Shrively Apples, Xanterra has returned tons of food back to the earth by using their beasts of burden to lighten the load we put on our planet.
All Aboard the “French Fry Express”: Hop on the best — and most eco-friendly — way to arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park and help keep 50,000 to 70,000 cars outside of the park each year. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Ariz., on a scenic 65-mile 2.5-hour route across the Colorado Plateau to the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. But this train does more than just replace those polluting cars, thanks to French fry oil. The big steam engine #4960 turns 100 this year and runs on recycled waste vegetable oil collected from the Grand Canyon’s own restaurants, Instead of using coal or diesel fuel, each locomotive uses about 1,200 gallons of vegetable oil per round-trip journey, significantly reducing the C02 emissions compared to using ultra-low sulfur diesel.
In addition, the train harvests rainwater and snowmelt to operate its steam locomotives, taking advantage of a renewable water resource in this water-stressed area. As a result, it has reduced potable water consumption by more than 1 million gallons to date.
Old Presidents Under Bright Lights: Who better to preside over efforts to reduce greenhouse gases than great visionaries like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln? Just a few years ago, Xanterra built a 975-panel solar carport at Mount Rushmore under the watchful eyes of these past presidents. This structure now generates nearly half the electricity used by the restaurant and gift shop, while 54% comes from a nearby wind farm. Along with buying carbon offsets for the remaining emissions, Mount Rushmore is now a carbon neutral operation.
Sun and Water: The Oasis at Death Valley, a beautiful eco-resort in the middle of the 3.4 million-acre Death Valley National Park, has plenty of sun but not much water. So the property harnesses the power of one while carefully conserving the other. It generates reliable solar energy with the hospitality industry’s largest solar photovoltaic system. And because the park is the driest place in North America (averaging less than two inches of rainfall a year), the resort recycles the precious water from its own natural springs to feed two pools, water the golf course and gardens (planted with native drought-tolerant species), and eventually return it to nature’s watershed. Plus, it reduces the need to water the world’s lowest-elevation golf course by using natural dye on the dormant Bermuda grass in winter.
Pulling Carbon Out of the Big Sky: Feast on sustainably raised beef at the Yellowstone National Park Lodges restaurants and help support native grasslands in a first-of-its-kind project in the U.S. Xanterra helps four ranches outside the park participate in a 209,000-acre project to improve soil health, provide forage for cattle, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help reduce the effects of climate change. The project also offsets all the emissions from electricity used at the lodges while restoring a damaged ecosystem and improving biodiversity. All from regenerative ranching practices.
Starry, Starry Nights: Xanterra, along with the National Park Service, helps the stars at night shine big and bright in the Grand Canyon National Park. By reducing light pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, Xanterra preserves views of the dazzling night sky and protects nocturnal animals and ecosystems in the park. Because nearly 2,000 light fixtures have been replaced since 2013 — nearly half by Xanterra — the International Dark-Sky Association recognized Grand Canyon as the International Dark Sky Place of the Year in 2019.
Xanterra uses similar outdoor lighting best practices at The Oasis at Death Valley, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (which contains Glacier National Park), and Zion National Park, which helped them all become designated International Dark-Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Purple Pipe Majesties: Xanterra’s many national park operations boast some of the most inspiring scenery on Earth: stunning vistas, deep canyons, and desert peaks. But purple plumbing pipes? Yup, they’re used for reclaimed water, one of the key ways to reuse and conserve this precious resource in Grand Canyon National Park. Quite simply, reclaimed water is wastewater that is treated and reused for a variety of purposes, such as drip irrigation and toilet flushing in the lodges, such Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Lodge. By reusing water rather than pumping it from the nearby springs or aquifer, the Grand Canyon lodges used about 3.6 million gallons of reclaimed water in 2021 and plan to switch another 3.9 million gallons a year from potable to reclaimed within the next two years.
Eat Your Greens While Going Green: When you eat at Xanterra’s 56 restaurants, you can expect food that not only tastes good but does good. That’s because the eateries strive for 70% of food and beverages to be sourced locally (within 500 miles) and sustainably, while reducing chemical additives, saving water, reducing transportation, protecting local ecosystems, treating animals humanely, and reducing waste. Locations such as Zion National Park and Mount Rushmore have even created on-site gardens to provide hyper-local produce and compost waste to enrich the soil and avoid synthetic fertilizers. In fact, in 2021 Xanterra composted 23.5% of its total food waste in five national parks, preventing 90% of it from heading to landfills in Zion alone. Meanwhile, at Glacier National Park, composted food waste nourishes the flower beds at Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel — a lovely example of beautifying the environment by preserving it.
What’s more, only 23 (out of 650) Certified Green Restaurants in North America hold the coveted, highest 4-star certification. And three of them are Xanterra-operated restaurants in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Mount Rushmore (whose Carvers Café is the second greenest restaurant in North America according to the Green Restaurant Association) — thanks to on-site gardens, compostable tableware, water reduction, solar power, recycling, and more.
Using Suds for Suds: Instead of simply recycling empty beer bottles into pulverized glass, the Yellowstone National Park Lodges partner with Bayern Brewery in nearby Missoula, Mont., which washes, sanitizes, refills, re-labels, and puts them back into the supply chain. To date, the park has kept about 140,000 bottles in circulation. That’s about 30 tons of glass kept out of the landfill or recycling stream, which saves resources and energy — all by using sudsy water to refill bottles with suds.
The Big Stretch: In a case of bigger is better, three of Windstar’s small cruise ships were audaciously lengthened and re-powered to improve their environmental performance on the high seas. Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride were each cut in two to insert a new middle section, which features more-efficient and less-polluting propulsion and generator engines along with new cabins and restaurants. This increased the capacity on each ship from 212 to 312 passengers, reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20% per-passenger nautical mile. The ventilation systems on the three ships were also upgraded to include HEPA filters and UV-C disinfecting lights to purify the air. Plus, onboard incinerators were removed to eliminate their air emissions. It was a stretch, but it was worth it.
Xanterra Travel Collection®, one of the oldest legacy travel companies in the US, tracing its roots back to the Fred Harvey Company founded in 1875, has long been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment by providing legendary hospitality with a softer footprint. From reducing pollution and conserving water to transitioning to renewable energy and fighting climate change, it has been honored with 42 green awards or certifications.
BILLINGS, MT– Recently merged Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have announced a holiday offer for the travel-starved this Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
From Friday, Nov. 26 through Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, this special offer saves travelers $500 (per person) on trips priced over $3,500 that are sold and operated exclusively by either travel brand. This booking offer for departures now through the 2022 season is valid through phone and/or online reservations. (Note: This offer excludes Australia hiking adventures and cannot be combined with other promotions, discounts or offers.)
Interested travelers can reserve a spot and take advantage of these special savings by calling 800-575-1540.
With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive, small-group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Their teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand-picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining and unique activities showcasing the best of each region.
Each of their 100+ trips are crafted, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com
After a COVID-enforced two-year hiatus, the Global Scavenger Hunt is back in 2022 – an around-the-world travel adventure to crown the “World’s Greatest Travelers.”
Unlike the Amazing Race (which was inspired by the Global Scavenger Hunt), The Global Scavenger Hunt isn’t a race, but rather a contest to amass the most points by doing scavenges designed to immerse you into local culture, heritage and environment of the places you visit.
In the course of 23 days, the teams of two travel to 10 countries, not knowing your next destination until your team is given instructions to get to the airport. You have to figure out how to get around without the benefit of GPS, smartphones or computer. Paper maps are allowed, but asking locals for directions is preferred.
Trusting strangers in strange lands is the shibboleth, as the intrepid travelers circle the globe (which is why you can’t use your own GPS or smartphone). The event has touched down in 85 countries to date.
“We’re thrilled about the growing momentum for travel and are feeling so positive and excited about it, that we have scheduled the takeoff dates for our Spring 2022 event: Wheels up April 22 thru May 14,” writes Event Director Bill Chalmers, who calls himself the “ringmaster.”
“Our last event in 2019 was fully subscribed, and we are currently reserving spots for our 2022 adventure while holding on to our 2019 price structure on all deposits made before December 10th this year.”
(Full disclosure: I was on the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt.)
The event, which will be the 16th Global Scavengee Hunt, pits savvy international travelers against each other by taking them on A Blind Date with the World, visiting ten secret destinations without any prior preparation, and then have them unravel a constant blitz of highly authentic, participatory and challenging culturally-oriented scavenges along the way.
For example: meditating with monks, training elephants, taking flamenco lessons, cooking local dishes with local chefs, searching out Lost Cities, cracking sacred temple mysteries, joining in local celebrations and learning local languages enough to decipher their scavenger hunt clues.
The Global Scavenger Hunt is limited to a small group of world travelers. All travelers are interviewed for suitability and single travelers are welcome to apply (you will be paired up for a team).
For additional information visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com, or contact GreatEscape Adventures Inc., at +1.310.281.7809.
National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) taking place May 2-8 is the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry. This year, it spotlights the critical role that travel will play in driving economic recovery efforts and building the path forward through the theme Power of Travel.
Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to elevate the economic power of travel in the U.S. This year, the 38th annual NTTW arrives at an opportune moment to recognize the importance to the U.S. economy of initiating a post-pandemic travel recovery.
“NTTW takes on a special significance this year as the travel industry looks to rebound quickly from the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The past year was incredibly challenging, but we saw the full power of the travel industry on display in the way we united and supported one another through this crisis.”
“Before the pandemic, travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.—evidence of the outsized role the industry will play in America’s broader economic recovery,” said Dow.
However, this vital revenue source stemming from business and leisure travelers was severely diminished amid the pandemic.
In 2020, the entire U.S. travel industry lost half a trillion dollars in travel-related spending—10 times the economic impact of 9/11. Nationally, total travel-supported jobs accounted for a staggering 65% of all U.S. jobs lost amid the pandemic.
With such disparate losses, it is clear that a broader economic recovery hinges on a recovery within the travel industry.
“While the rapid pace of vaccinations has provided hope that a return to normal is on the horizon, a resurgence in travel demand is not inevitable,” the USTA said in a statement. “Without aggressive federal action to reopen the travel economy and spur demand, the travel industry’s recovery is expected to take as long as five years—far too long to wait for the workers whose livelihoods depend on this vital industry.
“But with the right measures in place, we can get people moving again in a safe and healthy way, restore our workforce and help power a broader economic recovery. The travel industry needs sustained relief to ensure businesses can maintain operation and workers can stay on payrolls until sustained demand can truly take hold.
“Importantly, policymakers must also identify the path to reopening our borders and safely restarting international inbound travel, as well as restarting professional meetings and events; these are crucial segments of our local economy, without which we cannot fully recover.
“The road ahead is challenging, but the travel industry is resilient and has an incredible ability to bounce back from hard times. We recovered after 9/11, after the 2008 financial meltdown, and after health scares such as Zika, Ebola and SARS. This is the toughest challenge the U.S. travel industry has ever faced, but we know travel is one of the best-equipped industries to lead a revival.
“If lawmakers act now to jumpstart recovery efforts and get Americans moving, then all of us can get back to doing what we do best more quickly—providing quality job opportunities for Americans of all background, reconnecting family and friends, and showing the world what makes the U.S. the best place to visit.”
This week, TSA reported the highest number of travelers coming through airports, 1.6 million, while car rentals, hotels, AirBnBs and attractions, especially those around national parks, are booking up, a clear demonstration of pent-up demand being unleashed. Now the question is whether the industry will be able to accommodate it and how long it will be sustained. That will depend largely on the ability of the nation to vaccinate as many people as possible, so that travelers and workers feel safe and venues can increase capacity and operating hours.
National Travel and Tourism Week also reminds travelers of the pleasures and value of travel – of getting together, sharing the delight in exploring and learning and doing new things, meeting new people where they live, embracing other cultures and environments, and sharing memorable, even life-changing experiences.
This is huge for New York State’s tourism and recreational
opportunities: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s is proposing a $300 million plan
to reimagine the Erie Canal by creating recreational activities on the Canal to
boost tourism and recreational
fishing, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and restore wetlands.
“When the Erie Canal was created in the
19th century it set the state and the nation on a path to
prosperity, and this year we will repurpose the canal to fit our state’s
21st century needs,” Governor
Cuomo said. “This bold and visionary plan to transform
this historic waterway will build on the success of the Empire State Trail (750
miles of connected bikeways), grow tourism across Upstate New York,
improve resilience of today’s Canal communities and ensure the
economic sustainability of the waterway into the future.”
“The canals have played a crucial role in New York’s history and
growth, and with the implementation of these new exciting projects, the canals
will remain a vital force and make a positive contribution to the economic
well-being and quality of life in the 225 communities they travel through,”
said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
A first phase of funding starting this year – through the New
York Power Authority Board which oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary
– includes a $100 million economic development fund to invest
in communities along the Canal and a separate $65 million investment
in solutions that will help prevent ice jams and related flooding in the
The remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will subsequently be allocated
to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well
as to solutionsrelated to flood mitigation,
invasive species prevention and ecosystem restoration.
New Economic Development Fund for Canal Communities
In the first phase of the program, a $100 million economic
development fund will support projects that adaptively reuse canal
infrastructure to enhance water recreation, tie the Canal’s new
recreational improvements to the Governor’s Empire State Trail,
celebrate historic canal structures, and develop unique canalside
attractions and activities. Roughly $25 million of that will be allocated
immediately to a set of initial projects:
Connecting Communities: The “Brockport Loop” project in Monroe County will
connect SUNY College at Brockport to the Empire State
Trailand the village of Brockport through
the transformation of a canal guard-gate into a
pedestrian bridge and overlook, with a supporting grant of $2 million
from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.
Celebrating “Iconic Infrastructure”:Interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal “movable
dams” – initially in
Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the
Mohawk River valley – will celebrate the Canal’s
heritage and its history as an engineering marvel.
Expanding Water Recreation: A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca
Falls, will rely on existing water control infrastructure to construct an
active water sports course adjacent to the Montezuma National
Wildlife Refuge, to increase eco-tourism and sport visitors to the region.
Adapting Industrial Property for New
Uses: Winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition,
a canalside pocket neighborhood, will be developed by Madison
County in Central New York at a former industrial
property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal –
demonstrating a new model for 21st century canalside living.
Developing Destination Accommodations: The
historic Guy Park Manor, on the Mohawk River in
Amsterdam, will be reborn as a hospitality destination and a
pedestrian bridge constructed
across the already-existing Canal lock will provide
access to additional overnight accommodation along the Empire
State Trail on the opposite side of the river.
World-Class Fishing and Restored Wetlands
To create world-class fishing in Western New York, the new
plan recommends managing water releases from the Canal to enhance fish
habitat, improve angling opportunities, and extend the fall fishing season in
Lake Ontario tributaries. It also includes funding to expand public
fishing access along key streams in Orleans, Monroe and Niagara
Counties. In addition, it identifies a program to divert Canal water to restore and
re-nourish wetlands in Central New York that were compromised a
century ago by the Canal’s construction. This will allow areas in
close proximity to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory
stopover for more than 1 million birds each
year, to be significantly enhanced to further
attract naturalists, locals, and visitors from throughout the region and
Ideas in this plan originated from the Reimagine the
Canals Task Force recommendations, launched by
Governor Cuomo in May of 2019 to pursue a
comprehensive investigation of how the 195-year-old Erie Canal
could be reimagined for the 21st century. The Reimagine
the Canals Task Force Report was just released.
The Task Force engaged with municipal leaders, stakeholders, local
business owners, scientists and other experts, along with community
members, to identify opportunities and solutions that support a
new vision for future investments in the waterway. Many of the ideas that the
Task Force explored came from the completed Reimagine the Canals competition, held
last year by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal
Corporation. SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, on behalf of
the Task Force, conducted a series of outreach sessions during the summer
in five canal communities – Lockport, Brockport, Schenectady, Utica and
Syracuse – to solicit new ideas from the public at large. Ideas were also
solicited on a Reimagine the Canals website, offering more
distant canal users an opportunity to provide their views to the Task Force.
The “Reimagine” initiative builds on successful
efforts by Governor Cuomo to invest in the canal corridor, including
the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and successful Taste NY program, which have stoked new industries,
businesses and housing in canal communities. Harnessing the Canal’s full
potential to attract more tourism and recreation is a key focus of the
Initiative. Governor Cuomo and state agency and authority staff
will collaborate with Empire Line communities and continue to consult with
Task Force members and other stakeholders to ensure the success
of projects as they move forward.
There are 1.6 million trips taken annually on the Erie Canal Trailway,
the former towpath used by mules and horses to pull barges in the canals’ early
days. The Trailway is part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Trail,
which at 750 miles will be the largest state multi-use trail network when
completed in late 2020. Governor DeWitt Clinton began work on the original
Erie Canal on July 4, 1817.
In addition to investing $300 million in the Canal System, there are
also plans to create two new state parks in the
Hudson Valley, add 4,000 acres of land to parks and introduce a $3 billion
“Restore Mother Nature” bond act.
Meanwhile, registration has opened for the
22nd Annual Cycle the Erie, eight-day 400-mile, fully supported biking/camping
trip, from Buffalo to Albany, operated by Parks & Trails NY, taking place
July 12-19, 2020. For information on
Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York, 518-434-1583, email [email protected] or visit www.ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal.
Lithuania – The
world’s first museum devoted to start-ups has opened in Vilnius, the capital of
Startup Museum hosts twelve stories of local startups that managed to reach global success. The list includes the first Lithuanian unicorn, pre-loved fashion marketplace Vinted (Kleiderkreisel), nanosatellite manufacturer Nanoavionics, image editing software developer Pixelmator, along with Trafi (Jelbi), Deeper, Bored Panda, Tesonet, Oberlo, CityBee, Brolis Semiconductors, MailerLite and CGTrader.
displayed startups come from a broad range of fields – from online platforms
and software to space exploration and laser manufacturing.
aim of the museum is to tell the untold stories of startups that not only found
their way to success but also made contributions to improving the business
culture within the city. Through the stories of individual startups, the
visitors will get to experience the drastic improvement that the startup scene
in Vilnius made in recent years, too.
a startup museum is a great way to highlight how welcoming and progressive our
city is, creating the needed environment for businesses to thrive,” says
Remigijus Šimašius, the mayor of Vilnius. “At the same time, the museum will
honour the brave entrepreneurs that are true ambassadors of Vilnius around the
globe. This museum is also a good reminder that it isn’t just ideas and
investments that matter – persistence, heart, and a strong team are as
startup highlighted in the museum is presented through its journey to success,
including the lessons learned and challenges conquered. Next to each company’s
timeline and story, visitors have a chance to see physical artefacts that each
startup sees as representations of their journey, work culture and values.
example, the pop culture magazine Bored Panda has a panda
costume on display to celebrate their company culture – which was worn by one
of the current employees when he came to apply for the job. While CGTrader,
the world’s largest source for stock and custom 3D models, are showcasing a
bucket that was used to collect water in the early days of the company when
they worked in an office with a leaky roof. Vinted’s exhibition
will feature, among other artefacts, a toy unicorn representing its status as a
first home-grown startup to reach EUR 1 billion in market valuation.
the museum, guests can also get familiar with the state of the startup
ecosystem in Vilnius and get informed about the upcoming startup-related events
Each year, the museum will add four additional Vilnius-based startups that made the most significant strides in that particular year.
The Startup museum was established by Go Vilnius, the official business development agency of Vilnius, together with a coworking space Talent Garden Vilnius.
are currently 35 startup-dedicated spaces in Vilnius: twelve startup incubators
and centres, eleven business accelerators and the same amount of investment
organizations, five sandboxes dedicated to fintech, energy-related and real
estate fields. Finally, the open data policy of the Vilnius city municipality
allows businesses to test their products by using real financial, procurement,
real estate, transport and other types of data.
Go Vilnius is
the official tourism and business development agency of the City of Vilnius.
The agency provides visitors, investors, relocating talent, entrepreneurs and
businesses with all the essential information they need to know about the
Lithuanian capital. Go Vilnius offers information on everything from real
estate to leisure activities in Vilnius, simplifying the process of travelling,
relocating to, or investing in Vilnius.
Calif.- The TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family
of award-winning brands, including Trafalgar, Uniworld, Insight Vacations,
Contiki and Red Carnation Hotels, has announced a new project
partnership with The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Artin
Seville, Spain. The new project falls under TreadRight’s ‘People’ pillar,
which encourages the cultures, traditions and arts of the communities TTC
Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art is a private, non-profit entity,
created in 1993 in Seville by Cristina Heeren, Hispanist and American patron.
Its aims are the promotion, the teaching and the conservation of flamenco both
in Andalusia and Spain, as well as internationally.
TreadRight Foundation is supporting The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco
Art by establishing four scholarships for advanced guitar, singing and dance
students at the Foundation. The TreadRight scholarships will
be dedicated to advanced students who need financial assistance to complete
their third or fourth year of training. These higher-level students display
great skill and competence in their disciplines, however, they often struggle
to find the funds to continue or complete their training. The TreadRight
scholarship will now allow them to see their training through to its completion.
addition, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold guests will have a culturally
immersive and unique experience while visiting The Cristina Heeren Foundation
on select trips. They will start with a flamenco dance
class before taking front-seats for a fiery performance of flamenco to truly
embrace the artform.
who has ever had the chance to experience a flamenco performance can’t help but
be moved by the centuries old artistic tradition. It is obvious why UNESCO
recognized flamenco as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and
Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2010,” says Brett Tollman,
Chief Executive, TTC and Founder, The TreadRight Foundation. “It
represents such an incredible and indelible contribution to Spanish culture and
heritage, as well as world culture and heritage. We are delighted to be
partnering with The Cristina Heeren Foundation to help support the brilliant
young artists working to keep this beautiful tradition alive and thriving.”
our friends at the TreadRight Foundation should have understood the importance
of Flamenco, a unique art form, is close to miraculous,” shared
Cristina Heeren, President of The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art. “Indeed,
few people realize that flamenco is unique, being a product of the numerous
ethnic influences left behind by those groups that settled in
southern Spain over the centuries. Now, thanks to the TreadRight
scholarships, our most promising students will be able to enter the
professional world,” she continued.
1996, the prestigious school has trained more than 6,000 youths from around the
world in song, dance and guitar. It has been recognized with the Flamenco
in the Classroom Prize from the Andalusian Government, the Order
of Alfonso X from Spain’s Ministry of Culture, the National Teaching Prize from
the Chair of Flamencology in Jerez and the distinction Flamenco Thursdays from
the Cajasol Foundation, among other honors.
as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands,
The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to safeguard the planet,
wildlife & people for generations to come. TreadRight’s mission is to
#MakeTravelMatter through conservation, leadership and support for
communities. To date, TreadRight has supported over 55+ sustainable
tourism projects in 280+ communities worldwide. Foundation priorities are set
by the Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF,
Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The
National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include the Wildlife Conservation
Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and inspiring nature advocates
like Céline Cousteau, Costas Christ and Terri Irwin. To learn more about our
past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at treadright.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram,
and Twitter using our hashtag
NEVIS, WEST INDIES – From June to October, the beaches of Nevis come alive with the scurrying of one of nature’s most beloved animals, the sea turtle. Each year, the partnership between Four Seasons Resort Nevis and the Sea Turtle Conservancy aims to educate and create awareness about the protection of these beautiful sea creatures through a joint program that helps researchers study the migration patterns of the endangered species that nest on Nevis’ beaches.
Four Seasons Resort
Nevis sponsors GPS satellite transmitters to support the Sea Turtle Conservancy
in tracking the migration patterns of sea turtles that return to Nevis to lay
their eggs, and this year, even with the Resort’s ongoing renovation, the
research needed to continue.
“This is our 13th
year coming to Nevis and conducting research on these beautiful hawksbill sea
turtles,” says David Godfrey, Executive Director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy.
”For us, this partnership is more than just the research; it’s an opportunity
to be a part of the Nevisian community year after year and see how much they
truly value our efforts and being a part of this very important
Along with the help of
the Nevis Turtle Group and Ignacio Ottley, one of longest
standing sea turtle participants from the Resort, the team was able to
successfully locate and track two new nesting hawksbill sea turtles on the
beaches of Cades Bay, located just 15 minutes from Four Seasons.
As they headed out to
the beach in the late evening, no sooner had they spotted the first turtle
nesting along the beach. The conservation team began taking notes,
measurements, and nesting patterns when another turtle began to make its way up
the banks, just a few steps away. And, just like that “Spongie” and “Patches”
were cleaned up, tagged and sent back to the ocean.
Just one week before the
team came to Nevis, the Nevis Turtle Group was already out looking for turtles
when they found “Sundrop” nesting on Jones Bay Beach. Initially tagged in 2016,
her return to Nevis shows the thriving population on the island and that the
turtles do come back to nest on the same beaches.
Three species of sea turtles nest on the shores of Nevis: the hawksbill, the leatherback, and the green turtle. These majestic creatures journey hundreds of miles each nesting season to return to the same place where they were hatched and, under the glow of the moonlight, lay the next generation of sea turtles that will one day make the same journey. With only 1 in 1,000 to 10,000 baby sea turtles surviving to adulthood, the sea turtle conservation program needs to continue tracking and protecting these animals for future generations. To follow the tagged sea turtles, visit ConserveTurtles.org.
(NOV 20, 2016)–– President Barack Obama shared his thoughts on the important role travel plays and his hopes for the future of the planet with Lonely Planet’s travelers on lonelyplanet.com, during his final foreign trip as President.
President Obama offered to share his thoughts with Lonely Planet on how interacting with people and cultures from different countries is essential for the world’s future. In an exclusive article written, he describes how travel is fundamental to progress and essential to overcome challenges across borders.
The President traveled extensively during his eight years in office, becoming the first sitting US president to visit Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos and Myanmar. He also paid homage at Hiroshima, Japan, and visited Vietnam. Recognizing the value of travel in cultivating face-to-face interactions, he also lifted the more than 50-year ban on US travel to Cuba.
Since the publication of its first guidebook in 1973, Lonely Planet has always believed responsible travel can be a force for good, and continues to today as the world travels with Lonely Planet content on mobile, web and in print. It’s a belief shared by President Barack Obama, detailed in his exclusive article on lonelyplanet.com, highlighting how the optimistic, tolerant and engaged young people he has met around the world give him hope for the future.
A key takeaway from his extensive travels as President is the importance of engaging beyond governments, and connecting with young people – who will determine the future of the planet – in a meaningful way. This is particularly crucial for the future of the developing world, where 90 percent of the global population under 30 lives.
“It is the world’s young people who will determine whether their voices direct the change that is sweeping our world towards greater justice, opportunity, tolerance, and mutual respect,” President Obama stated.
President Obama shared the plans he has put in place to support the empowerment of young global citizens prior to hosting a town hall meeting with young people in Peru.
For more information and to read President Barack Obama’s first person article, visit lonelyplanet.com.
Obama Administration Paves Path for Students, Millennials to Travel
Throughout his presidency, Obama has appreciated the importance of travel to bring people together, forge better understanding. Travelers become ambassadors for America and also bring back to the US appreciation for other cultures and people. The opportunity to travel abroad is particularly important for young people, and the Obama Administration has also facilitated opportunities for students and millennials to study, volunteer, work and travel abroad.
In December 2014, the National Security Council hosted a summit with 100 of the most influential travel bloggers and digital media outlets to highlight U.S. Government initiatives and discuss strategies for encouraging American students to study, volunteer, and work abroad. The summit emphasized that international education and exposure are increasingly essential for the competitiveness of American companies and the American workforce, yet fewer than ten percent of students in the United States choose to study abroad.
By transforming interest in travel into study, volunteer, and work opportunities, the Administration sought to significantly increase the number and diversity of young people participating in educational, cultural, and professional experiences internationally.
Studying abroad is a critical component to deepening and broadening relationships with citizens overseas. Today, fewer than 10% of students take part in study abroad. In 2012 to 2013, the total number of U.S. students taking part in study abroad was under 300,000 — only 1.5 percent of the almost 20 million American students enrolled in U.S. higher education programs.
To combat these trends, the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs created the U.S. Study Abroad Office. This office manages the Department’s study abroad scholarships and capacity building programs for American students and institutions, as well as plays a leading role in promoting the benefits of study abroad to U.S. students and parents, faculty, and education administrators. It provides resources that can help interested U.S. students navigate a complex process to study or intern abroad by offering scholarships, recommendations, and guidelines.
The summit also featured remarks, presentations, and panels of experts on current efforts around studying, volunteering, and working abroad. Experts from National Geographic, iHeartMedia, Institute for International Education, George Mason University, Millennial Trains Project, Minerva Project, Travel Channel, and Yahoo Travel shared their ideas for increasing students’ international interest.