Mardi Gras: the colourful winter carnival celebrated in cities all across the world. Bringing in huge crowds, delicious feasts, parades, parties and more. Here are the 5 of the greatest countries to celebrate Mardi Gras:
The Goa Carnival showcases the free, harmonious spirit that makes this Portuguese carnival so legendary. Beautiful floats covered in flowers and graceful dancers manoeuvre their way through the streets of Panjim to traditional the folk songs and strumming of guitars.
Just off the coast of Senegal, the lush Cape Verde islands host a curious mix of Carnival traditions in the run-up to the fast. In the handsome town of Mindelo, jerry-built floats and curvy dancers sway to Creole coladeira punctuated by ululating African shrieks.
If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras by the pristine, exotic beaches of the Caribbean then Trinidad & Tobago is for you. Follow the sounds of the steel pan band as they lead the newly crowned Carnival King and Queen, dressed in dramatic, embellished costumes. The crowds that follow these parades are notoriously passionate, so much so that it can be hard to see where the performers stop and the crowd begin; so dress up, dance and join the party. Brace yourself for all-night parties and raucous steel-pan music. Two days before Ash Wednesday, paint, oil, and melted chocolate fly during the mas (masquerade) parades.
Arguably one of the most famous pre-Lent celebrations, the Rio Carnival draws millions of people to the city for one big samba party. Thousands of performers dance on decorated floats and compete in one of seven divisions for their choice of music, costume and themes. With dancers training all year for the festivities, you know they mean business and that it’ll be the show of a lifetime.
Beginning with a masked ball on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, celebrations build to fever pitch during five days of pre-Lenten parties.
Embrace the chaos and be seduced by the spirit of Carnival. Enjoy lavish parades, masquerade balls and the unforgettable atmosphere of Mardi Gras. It’s said that the first parade float was created by a society of wealthy men called the Mistick Krewe of Comus. From this day, different secret societies, or ‘Krewes’, join the party with their own floats, colours and costumes. One to look out for is the Krewe of Rex, who wear traditional gold, purple and green colours. Newer Krewes like Bacchus, Endymion and Zulu opt for glitz with celebrity appearances, marching bands and more than 1,000 riders.
Maybe you are the type of person who likes to spoil their their significant other? Maybe your looking for an excuse to take your loved one on the holiday of their dreams? Or maybe, as a nice gesture, you just want to be able to spend some time with the person you love. If so, why not treat your other half to a trip out to one of these 6 romantic destinations to this Valentines Day.
Diverse in it’s culture, ethics, religion, architecture and cuisine, China offers some of the most amazing and romantic scenery in the world.
Sānyà offers 40 kilometres of pristine coastline partnered with a bustling city centre next to a long stretch of beaches and hotels. Being situated in the Hainan Province gives Sānyà the tropical monsoon climate it’s known for. Sanya is a noted tourist resort with incredible scenery. Mountains, rivers, beaches and the best seaview in the country, this is a place to spoil your loved one.
If you are a couple that like exploring somewhere new together, Hawaii may be the place for you! Described as a ‘place like no other on earth’, the white sandy beaches, colossal mountain ranges and beautiful nature reserves make Hawaii the incredible place that it is.
There are six major islands to visit in Hawaii: Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii Island each with its own distinct personality.
India may not be the first place you think of when it comes to romance, but India is a place deep with culture and heritage that is guaranteed to move you and your partner.
Goa, Andaman, Agra are all destinations (amongst others) that are great to visit for celebrations! Find a somewhere to join the party or spend quiet romantic time with your lover, this place will cater to all your needs.
Share a kiss at the top of the Empire State Building. The breathtaking views over the city that never sleeps makes this spot for ideal for a romantic date. But if you’re looking to take it one step further, splash out and spoil your significant other by taking them on a helicopter tour of the city!
If you both prefer a more relaxed approach to spending Valentines Day, you should look into exploring the many art museums and galleries dotted around NYC.
A valentines trip to New York City would not be complete without a lazy walk around Central Park – But don’t forget to wrap up warm as you may only experience highs of 4°C. So, if the being out in the cold isn’t your thing, you can check out some of the botanical gardens that New York has to offer.
If you’re ready to brave the outdoors, then why not try out one of the most romantic wintertime traditions in the city – ice skating! Watch the ice-skaters at the Rockefeller Center rink, or tie on a pair of skates yourself.
A romantic trip to Venice wouldn’t be complete without a Gondola ride through the city. This is a great way to get around and to take in the landscape.
Enjoy the ballet or opera the Theatre La Fenice one of “the most famous and renowned landmarks in the history of Italian theatre”.
If you happen to find yourself in St Mark’s Square, head over to the Campanile bell tower which is perhaps one of the most instantly recognisable symbols of Venice. At the top, you can enjoy spectacular views across the canals and roofs of the city. It’s open until the sunsets throughout the year, making for a very romantic evening with your significant other.
Commonly known as the city of love. Paris has to be one the most romantic cities in the world. The world famous love lock bridge can be found in Paris, close to the Notre-Dame. Here, lovers from all over the world attached a lock engraved with a special message to the bridge.
On an island in the middle of a lake in the Bois de Vincennes, the largest public park in the city, you can find the “Temple of Love”. A less well-known landmark in Paris, visiting the Temple of Love (also known as the Temple Romantique) means you won’t be sharing your romantic moment with dozens of other couples trying to do the same.
Take a stroll down the River Siene admiring the boutique houseboats as you go. Below street level of the Quai des Tuileries, you will be able to find peace and comfort away from the crowds of people.
Take in the view of the Eiffel Tower. A popular place for marriage proposals, the sweeping panoramic views of the city make it so perfectly romantic. But if you really want to go all out, make sure you take your loved one to view the Eiffel Tower at night. The 324m Parisian icon lights up the nights sky with a sparkly light show that will leave you lost for words.
Find out your visa requirements on: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk
Wednesday the 25th of January marks India’s National Tourism Day, a day to raise awareness about the importance of tourism to the country and its economy.
India is a vast and beautiful country filled with all manner of things to do and places to see. It comes as no surprise that people from all over the world travel there for the culture, heritage, nature, education, business opportunities, sporting events, and more.
Tourism in India continued to expand in 2016, with a double-digit increase in international visitor arrivals.
Since the introduction of the e-Tourist visa, India has seen a huge growth in foreign arrivals with numbers almost doubling compared to 2015. According to data released by India’s Ministry of Tourism, the country welcomed a total of 8.89 million international visitors in 2016, up 10.7% compared to 2015.
1.08 million e-Tourist Visas were issued at Indian Airports in 2016.
Introduced in 2015, the e-Tourist Visa scheme has seen massive growth after its initial success. As a result, the Indian government decided to expand the e-Tourist Scheme to 113 countries and territories and made available at 16 Indian airports.
Accounting for approximately 12% of total arrivals. The system is now in place for the citizens of 161 countries.
The Travel Visa Company is an award winning visa procurement agency and we are proud to be one of the fastest growing travel visa companies in the UK. We offer a six stage service:
To find out more about the services we offer, or want to get in touch, follow our social media channels…
This year’s 2016 ICC World Twenty20 will be held in India from the 8th of March until the 3rd of April.
It will be hosted in 7 different Indian cities across the country: Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Nagpur, Mohali and Dharamshala; with the first match being played in Nagpur on the 8th of March and the final being played at the Eden Gardens of Kolkata.
For those of you follow cricket you probably already know how it works, but in short, 16 teams enter the competition. There are two rounds with two groups each consisting of four teams:
Teams then battle through the groups to advance to the knock-out stages where they then progress to semi-finals and the finals.
As it is not being broadcast on national television in the UK, you may be wondering how can you watch the World Cup. Australians can watch on Fox Sports, UK and New Zealanders can view the matches on Sky Sports and Americans can watch on ESPN. In India, Start Sports will be showing all the games featured in this event or you could tune in to DD National who will only be broadcasting India’s games.
Alternatively you can stream live on www.starsports.com
Travelling to India? If you are travelling to India for business or tourist purposes, you will need a visa! To request an application pack and receive more information from our Visa Specialists, please contact us on 01270 250 590. Please note that the granting of any Indian Visa is dependant upon consular discretion and requires up to 15 working days in the embassy.
Visit our website to download an application pack: thetravelvisacompany.co.uk/india/
#MakeInIndia has been trending on twitter for the past week, however, it seems that some people don’t really understand what it is all about…
Make In India is an initiative created by the Government of India to encourage businesses to manufacture their products in India.
This is a massive conference that is held in Mumbai. Here, businesses can exhibit, network and mingle in the hopes of making new and valuable contacts as well as gaining more information about the organisations they are interested in.
There was a wide array of popular and diverse businesses that were featured at the Make In India conference, most notable were: Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes, Tata, Air India, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Pfizer and many more with rumours of there being 9,00 companies attending!
This was created as a response to a critical situation in 2013 when the emerging markets bubble had burst in September 2014 by the Indian Prime Minister, Modi.
It was put in place to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub encouraging: foreign direct investment, new initiatives and national manufacturing. This would involve sectors such as travel and tourism, aviation, construction, space, pharmaceuticals and more!
To start a movement, you need a strategy that inspires, empowers and enables in equal measure. Make in India needed a different kind of campaign: instead of the typical statistics-laden newspaper advertisements, this exercise required messaging that was informative, well-packaged and most importantly, credible.
Mumbai week as come to a close today and you’re probably wondering what happened that was worth knowing about. To begin with:
“From profit to progress, friendship to partnership calling the world to #MakeInIndia”
This bi-annual event is the second largest of its kind. It will showcase some of the latest and greatest in the automotive industry, with big names such as Honda, Ford, Nissan, Renault, Jaguar Land Rover, Jeep, Mercedes and many more attending. You can expect to see brand new cars launched, concept cars unveiled and futuristic motor tech shown off!
This week plays host to the Delhi Auto Expo which has been split in to two events: The Auto Expo (components) and The Auto Expo (motor show).
The motor show will be located in Greater Noida, Delhi NCR and will last for 4 days (5th – 9th of February) whereas the components part of the show will be held in New Delhi and will run from the 4th to the 7th of February.
The event has been running for over 30 years and was originally created in 1985 where it lasted for 9 days.
Since day 1 the Auto Expo has been held at ‘Pragiti Maidan’ which is an exhibition centre that has around 72,000 metres of space. It is also Delhi’s largest exhibition centre!
A large part of the show is the concept cars (and bikes) that are revealed. There are some truly crazy concepts on show – here is a selection from past years:
The event organisers state that:
Citizens of all countries require a valid national passport / travel document with a valid visa to visit India. These may be obtained from the Indian Mission / Consular Office in the country of their residence.
If you are thinking of travelling to India there are two types of visa available to UK passport holders:
e-Tourist Visa (eTV). This is for tourists staying in India for up to 30 days click here for further information.
Full Indian Visa. If you are ineligible for an eTV or are planning to stay for over 30 days you will require a full Indian visa. You can click here to apply.
“Nothing beats a good drive.”
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is the festival of lights. It is celebrated by millions of people all over the world but more commonly celebrated by members of the Sikh and Hindu religions. This year, in the UK, Diwali will be held on the 11th of November and will last until November the 13th.
“The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance”
When celebrating the festival, many people decorate their houses, shops, offices and local areas with small candles known as Diyas which transform their homes and create beautiful and colourful settings, but they don’t stop there! You will be able to find families wearing their finest clothes and best jewellery whilst sharing sweet and savoury snacks, lighting various other candles and sparklers!
A stunningly beautiful country with incredible sights and landmarks is a definite bucket list must have! A flight from London to Mumbai will typically take you around 9 hours but once there you have the opportunity to go to a massive amount of different attractions; The Himilayas, The Golden Triangle, The River Ganges and of course The Taj Mahal.
India, being a very popular travel destination, can be painstakingly long and complex when it comes to applying for your visa, however, the team, with over 50 years combined experience, at The Travel Visa Company are here to help! You can apply for your visa with us!! We take the stress out of your visa application process.
You can now obtain what is called an e-Visa as India has now introduced a facility known as the Electonic Tourist Visa Schedule. This is a visa that can be applied for, with the help us, online paid in sterling (£) and then electronically applied to your passport.
NOTE: The time of validity of the visa will depend on the duration of your stay.
For more information you can call us on: 01270 250 590 or head back to our website.
The 27th of September marked the annual celebration of World Tourism Day, an event created by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which has been around for over 30 years! The aim of the day is to help spread awareness about the importance of tourism and the impacts that it has on different countries all over the world.
This year’s theme was “one billion tourists, one billion opportunities”. With more than one billion tourists travelling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful force and, so far, it has been responsible for 235 million jobs, or one in every 12 jobs worldwide.
“Every time we travel, for whatever reason, we are part of a global movement; a movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs and build the sustainable societies we want for our future; a movement that builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage.”
Countries all over the world have taken part in World Tourism Day and contributed to promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. India, for example, gave tourists the opportunity to visit nearly 200 ticketed monuments and museums across the country for free, including the Taj Mahal!
Many tourists and travel enthusiasts took to social media to post and share pictures they had taken using the hashtags #1billiontourists and #WTD2015. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all brilliant platforms to get the message across from the UNWTO and are a great way to encourage people to take part in celebrating their cause.
World Tourism Day was celebrated with competitions, giveaways and charitable donations made by many different individuals and businesses all over the world. All of this was done in an effort to increase awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
For more information about World Tourism Day please visit http://wtd.unwto.org/
Follow them on twitter @UNWTO
Follow them on Instagram @UNWTO
Like their Facebook page: UNWTO