Monthly Archives

March 2018

Global Tourism GlobalData Spain tourism Trump Travel Slump US Travel Slump World Tourism Data World Travel World Travel Trends

Global Data: International arrivals to Spain increased by 4.8 percent

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  • March 18, 2018
total tourist expenditure in Spain Projected all-time high tourism expenditure
US Travel News Data
GlobalData reports new travel statistics.

For immediate release: 16 March 2018

Information provided courtesy of GlobalData

‘Trump Slump’ leads Spain to overtake US in Global Tourism; says GlobalData

Total Tourist Expenditure in Spain Projected All-Time High

Spain is expected to become the second most popular tourist destination in the world, overtaking the US, as the so-called ‘Trump Slump’ caused a dip in the US tourism industry; says GlobalData a leading data and analytics company.

Rapidly growing tourism flows herald a strong 2018 for the industry however as Konstantina Boutsioukou Consumer Analyst at GlobalData explains “As Spain overtakes the US in the list of the most visited countries in the world, the global tourist community has sent a strong message that divisive and discriminatory policies can greatly hamper sector growth”.

Despite the recent political uncertainty following the Catalan independence referendum and the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last August, the Spanish tourism industry has proved to be very robust and has experienced strong growth in the last 12 months.

According to figures from GlobalData, international arrivals to Spain increased by * 4.8%; from 75.6 million tourists in 2016 to 79.3 million in 2017. The UK, followed by France and Germany are the three largest source markets for Spain, making up 53% of total arrivals to the country. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has also confirmed that early projections reveal that the total tourist expenditure in Spain recorded an all-time high, reaching £77 billion in 2017.

Official statistics by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), have not been released, however current projections from the organization reveal that arrivals to the US are down from 75.9 million in 2016, to 72.9 in 2017. The decline of tourism is estimated to cost the US economy £140 million a week, equivalent to £7.3 billion a year. However, New York City and Los Angeles have fared better than most US cities. Arrivals to Los Angeles have increased by 2.2%, mainly due to a growth in domestic arrivals and Chinese visitors. New York arrivals have increased by 2.1% mainly due to a surge in US visitors.  

Boutsioukou adds, “The travel restrictions are seen by many tourists as state-sponsored Islamophobia, and are putting off many travelers from visiting the US. The ban has given rise to a general wave of withdrawals particularly among Middle Eastern, African and European tourists. Flows from Mexico have also registered a decline, as Mexican citizens seek to boycott the construction of the ‘Trump Wall’ at the border between Mexico and the US.’’

‘*’   source: GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Centre – 2017 estimates
‘**’ source: United Nations World Tourism Organisation – 2017 estimates

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Yogmata Keiko Aikawa: Moving Towards Peace

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  • March 16, 2018
Submitted Photos

Peaceful mind, Tranquil World




Yogmata Keiko Aikawa’s initial attraction to yoga was the promise of a healthier life but her desire to master the teaching of truth has fueled her affinity for yoga.

“Deep down, it was my desire to awaken the hidden harmony and everlasting fulfillment inside.I hoped to be able to love myself and others around me,” Ms. Yogmata said in an email interview.

Ms. Yogmata shared her struggles as an advocate for peace through the practice of yoga and meditation at the celebration of International Women’s Day: Women Leadership Advancing the Culture of Peace, a special evening hosted by Yoga and the UN Culture of Peace on Fri., March 9, 6:30 – 9 p.m. The event was held at the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza, 44th Street between 1st & 2nd Avenue, across from the United Nations headquarters. Ms. Yogmata also led the audience through a meditation session she hopes will help attendees develop mindfulness and individual awareness.

As a world-renowned yoga master, the world’s first female and non-Indian (Japanese) Siddha Master, and only one of two Siddha Masters ever to appear in public, Ms. Yogmata is deemed as “The Mother of Yoga” for her tenacious breakthrough of cultural and gender barriers throughout her journey to learn and practice meditation and yoga. Her efforts have spanned more than 60 years and have empowered women in Japan, India, and Nepal.

What is the correlation between yoga and world peace? Ms. Yogmata says yoga is about harmonizing the mind and body, and our body and mind is a micro-universe made of the same material comprising the whole universe.

“So when we are harmonized ourselves, within each of us, that will have the same effect on the universe as a whole,” she explained. 

Her work began as a teenager and since then, she has blazed a path to peace as a mentor to countless women and children, a compassionate spiritual leader, and humanitarian. Among her contributions to society is an organization she founded –  NPO: Yogmata Foundation, a social welfare service foundation in India, donation of mobile hospitals to remote villages in India, and holding lectures and seminars as part of the World Peace Campaign. Ms. Yogmata has performed 18 public Samadhis, (the deepest level of awareness for the meditation practitioner) and most notably at the Maha Kumbh Mela, a festival held once every 144 years that draws more than 70 million people.

How does yoga facilitate a better balance?

“It encourages everyone to choose goodness over negativity, love instead of hatred, trust rather than doubts. All these choices are leading to the experience of oneness,” according to Ms. Yogmata.

Yoga: A Messenger of Peace

Can yoga and meditation foster peace throughout the world?


Consider Ms. Yogmata’s native Japan, for example…a country Ms. Yogmata says has a history of different cultures existing side-by-side with one another peacefully and an inclination towards eating and living together in openness with less privacy.

“Someone once said to me that, since we are an island nation, there is no escaping from one another. That forced them to accept one another and co-exist,” she says. “And when each one of us is in harmony/balanced, it will naturally create peace and love, and that will lead to a peaceful world. That is the correlation between practicing yoga and world peace. If you look at the Americans and Europeans, they have much greater emphasis on individuality. It is visible in the structure of the language where sentences start with “I.” Japanese does not use the subject word when spoken. This is similar to the concept of yoga – losing the sense of ego, becoming empty. Yoga creates a peaceful mind and will lead to a peaceful world.”

Click here to learn more about Ms. Yogmata.

Denise Scotto, Esq., chair of the International Day of Yoga Committee, was the master of ceremony. Ms. Yogmata; Indian spiritual guru and writer Pilot Baba; Denis Licul, president, Yoga in Daily Life NY, SSMWPC and YIDL-USUN representative; Deepali Sharma, head of HSS, White Plains and HSS Core Committee member; and Dr. Valdemar Prado, Senior Fellow, World Association of Former United Nations Interns and Fellows (WAFUNIF) and Executive Director, Gliese Group were panel members.



UN International Day of Yoga

Interesting Facts:


BACKGROUND: This special event is a continuation of the “UN International Day of Yoga,” proclaimed by the UN on December 11, 2014 (Resolution 69/131), to be celebrated on June 21 every year. Since December 2016, yoga has been declared an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. This event is organized by Coplanet International, with the sponsorship of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations.









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Air Travel Air Travel Delays and delays

Flight Delays Today? Read this post.

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  • March 2, 2018
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Special Report: Air Travelers' Rights

Wondering what to do if your flight is canceled or delayed?

 Carinna Gano, 5W Public Relations, NYC, sent this Special Report to me today, with comments by Paloma Salmeron Planells, a representative from AirHelp, an international air passenger rights company. 

 A Special Report: Flight Delays and Cancellations

What are your rights?

Information provided courtesy of Carinna Gano, 5W Public Relations, NYC, and Paloma Salmeron Planells, a representative from AirHelp, an international air passenger rights company.

Severe snow, wind, and rain are expected across the US, and the nation’s four biggest airlines (American, Delta, United, and Southwest) have already enacted flexible rebooking policies at a number of airports to accommodate canceled and delayed flights. However, with so many passengers being rebooked, flights after the storm may get more overbooked than usual, which can lead to denied boarding for air travelers.
The good news is, US air travelers on flights to the EU could be eligible for compensation if they are denied boarding due to overbookings. Paloma Salmeron Planells, representative from AirHelp, an international air passenger rights company, comments:
“While the airline is not liable under EU regulation EC 261 and other similar air passenger laws to pay compensation as the flight disruption is considered to be an ‘extraordinary circumstance’, the airline does however have an obligation to offer you with assistance, including free food and drink, overnight accommodation if required, two phone calls and access to emails.

Passengers are eligible for these rights if:
• They’re delayed by two hours and are traveling 1,500 km or less
• They’re delayed by three hours and traveling on an internal EU flight over 1,500 km
• They’re delayed by three hours and traveling on a non-internal EU flight between 1,500 km – 3,500 km
• They’re delayed by four hours and traveling on a non-internal EU flight over 3,500 km
“Air passengers experiencing delayed or canceled flights can check their eligibility for compensation at the airport or on-the-go, and make a claim in a matter of minutes through the free AirHelp mobile app, available for iOS and Android.”

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