When planning a trip, one of the first things that we usually do is make an itinerary of the museums to visit, the best beaches to stroll on, the historical sites that we want to discover or even a list of the shopping we intend to do. But an important part of the tourist experience is related to food and drink, including deciding where to eat out.
Tourism Conference in Madrid - featuredLast week I was invited to Madrid by the huge national Spanish Charity, Once. They are funded from the sales of lottery tickets, and run many projects for disabled people. Their staff and board of trustees are heavily represented by disabled people which I applaud.
As World Tourism Day approaches, yes there is a designated day a year to celebrate tourism! it might be the right time to consider the other side of tourism. Mass tourism, travel in general, and being mobile are often considered as a vehicle towards enlightenment, an educational experience, or as an activity which can 'open our minds'.
Gastronomy and pugilism. One, it seems, begets the other when you're standing outside the Rajadamnern Stadium in modern Bangkok, the beating heart of old Siam. You drink a glass of pennywort and hand over your baht. You sidestep to the next stall and buy some glutinous rice and pork cooked in banana leaves. Then your mind begins to drift.
The death of Cecil the lion has caused global public outrage, the like of which has never been seen before. On World Lion Day it is also important to remember the many thousands of lions whose welfare, and perhaps very existence, remain under threat from the unethical tourism taking place in Africa today.
Those criticising the FCO need to think about this first attack and maybe even change their discourse. Whilst I am sure Tunisia will find the coming year financially difficult, I am less sure that the help they need would ever arrive with its bags packed of suntan lotion, swimming costumes and flip flops.
With less than 100 days to go the countdown is finally upon us, as the Rugby World Cup trophy makes its away around Britain. But what about a host nation legacy plan? Who is set-up to deliver the longer term economic boost for Britain's nations and regions? Over the years VisitBritain, and, the wider tourism industry, has proven it can deliver.
The terrifying financial burdens that come with living in London, the sense of it increasingly becoming a steel and glass playground for the super wealthy, can make us ordinary Londoners feel disenfranchised. The huge pressure to achieve and succeed, if not just survive, leaves little scope for moments of awe and genuine peace in our frantic minds.
The history and culture of a place is best told through its cuisine. So, what better way to get to know Barcelona inside and out, than with a long weekend of food-based adventures? From Willy Wonka style treats, to a neighbourhood tour with a difference, to the most exciting, theatrical meal of my life... these are my top tips to satisfy your inner foodie!