Monday, 29 September 2008

Trip Advisor to Donate $1 million to 5 Worldwide Organisations - Vote Now

This morning I opened an email from Trip Advisor's Founder and CEO, Steve Kaufer. Expecting a marketing mail shot or newsletter on top spas or the highest-rated beach hotels, I was pleasantly surprised to read the following note from Steve,

'For years it's been our mission to help travelers around the world plan and take great trips. Now we want to help the places and people that we encounter when we travel. On November 12th, we'll be donating $1 million to 5 great organizations that help these places and people.
Just as we believe in the power of the collective wisdom of our travelers, we believe in the power of your opinion.
Please vote – tell us where the $1 million donation should go.'

Steve wants us to 'think of the $1 million as a pie.' The heftiness of each pie portion heading to each organization depends on how many votes it receives. More votes = more money.

He'll be harnessing the power of the collect voice that's made Trip Advisor what it is: THE place that you always check out at least once before pre-booking any hotel. Steve's turning that collective voice - the urge to be involved in the world of online travel, to make your personal globetrotting experience heard - towards 5 voting buttons for 5 well-known organisations that help keep the world the way we love it.

It's a difficult choice (see below), but one softened by the fact that all will benefit to some extent. Head here to cast your vote.

The 5 chosen organisations to vote for are;
- Conservation International: Ecotourism
- Medecins Sans Frontieres: Emergency relief
- National Geographic: Exploring and sustaining authentic places
- The Nature Conservancy: Environmental protection
- Save The Children: Aiding children around the world

If you're not already a Trip Advisor member, you'll need to register in order to vote. So, yep, you'll be added to their mailing list. But I guess that's not too much to ask if something good comes from it all, is it?
Read more!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

European Region of Culture Campaign – Cornwall bids for success

Sandwagon is backing Cornwall to be the first to achieve Cultural Region status.

Following the success and resulting media, thus tourism exposure, enjoyed by the most recent bevy of Cultural Capital cities(Liverpool, Cork and Genoa), regions of Europe want in on the accolades. And, as a Cornish creative think tank asked in 2006, why shouldn’t they? Hence, EROC (European Region of Culture Campaign) was born.

Cornish-led EROC has spent the last three years lobbying influential European decision makers and challenging them to see that regions have just as much valuable and attention-worthy culture as any city. Yes, cities have always been hotbeds of cultural activities. Writers, musicians and artists have ever flocked to the metropolitan melting pots such as Paris, Prague, Barcelona and London. But just as urban artists race towards cities, there’ll always be freedom and fresh air-seeking creatives spreading outwards, to be inspired by the sea and the mountains.

The European Union’s Culture 2007 Programme must agree, because they've recognised Cornwall’s application to become the first European Region of Culture with a £350,000 funding boost.

So what exactly is on offer, culturally, in county Cornwall?

Miranda Bird, director of the European Regions of Culture Campaign Organisation (Erocco) sent me the following cultural goodies to enjoy ...after your early morning surf and before hat mid-afternoon pasty.

Future Shorts, 8pm, 18th Acorn Theatre Penzance: local film collective presents new international short film directors

Future Shorts, 18th Sep @ 8pm Acorn Theatre Penzance: local film collective presents new international short film directors

19th September @ 8pm Acorn again – local contemporary dance company C Scape present new piece referencing Cornish mining

Leach Pottery
St Ives has recently been refurbed and is gorgeous - you can see potters working, look at Leach’s Japanese kiln, and spend money in the lovely shop if ceramics is your thing.

No Such Thing as Society
13th September - 1st November at The Exchange (in Penzance)
Curated by David Alan Mellor and drawn from the collections of the Arts Council and the British Council, the 33 photographers capture an era of huge social change that has led to the Britain we know today.

Visual Arts Forum: After Hours Thurs 18th September @ Newlyn Art Gallery 7pm

Creative Collaboration: Paula Orel, Curator of Plymouth Ats Centre in conversation with artist Steven Paige.

The Taming of the Shrew, 7.30pm Tolmen Centre Constantine: local theatre company starts their autumn tour in one of the most atmospheric village venues – a former Methodist chapel where audiences sit in the pews!

The St Ives September festival is on, and the IMS Prussia Cove Concert series too.

The Falmouth Art Gallery show looks rather lovely – “Ancient Landscapes, pastoral visions”. It starts 20th September.

Visit Culture Cornwall for more
Read more!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Travellers Tales - Latest Masterclass News

Many thanks to Jonathan Lorie for keeping us all posted on the latest availability of his travel writing and photography courses.

MARRAKECH TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND - a winter sun weekend in the exotic souks and elegant riads of Africa's most colourful city in November: 7 places

ALHAMBRA TRAVEL WRITING WEEKEND - join the editor of Wanderlust magazine and author Chris Stewart in the Alhambra Palace in October: 1 place left.

LONDON COURSES - beginners weekends and NEW advanced masterclasses in travel writing and photography in November.

CELEBRITY EVENINGS IN COVENT GARDEN - with travel writing and photography experts from the Times and the BBC to answer your questions plus a special evening of gorgeous underwater photography. First one on September 30...

Deals and discounts available at the website Read more!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star by Paul Theroux - Book of the Week BBC Radio 4 & Iplayer

Retraces his own steps Read more!

Monday, 1 September 2008

LEAVE THE HANGER! New travel job added

Read more!