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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

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ASIA AROUND THE WORLD 33

ASIA AROUND THE WORLD 33 KERALA TOURISM PROMOTES ARATTUPUZHA POORAM - ONE OF THE WORLD’S OLDEST TEMPLE FESTIVALS Hong Kong’s PMQ Launches Tourist Privilege Programme As a treat to overseas tourists, PMQ in Hong Kong has launched a programme called the Tourist Privilege Programme. This redemption programme features a coupon booklet for overseas tourists, and any tourist can claim a coupon booklet with discount offers ranging from 5% to 20% off on items, or even free goodies from selected design studios inside PMQ. Located in the prime location of SoHo in Hong Kong, PMQ is the landmark of creative industries in Asia’s World City. PMQ was transformed into a creative hub in 2014 filled with over 100 Hong Kong Designers showcasing workshops and studios featuring lifestyle, fashion and accessories, architecture, gifts & premium, homeware and a wide range of other designer goods. It is also the hottest venue in town for international arts and cultural events from Hong Kong and all around the world. In Q2 this year, PMQ has launched a brand-new exhibition which focuses on the scenes of yesteryear’s Central and Sheung Wan area. PMQ presents the “Old Town Walkabout” exhibition, which relives the fondest memories of old times to visitors. Through taking snapshots at the booths, visitors will be able to immerse themselves into scenes of yesteryear, including tri-coloured poles of traditional barber stalls and lion dance parade Year after year thousands throng to Arattupuzha, a small serene village in Thrissur district to celebrate one of the oldest temple festivals of the world. With its sheer grandeur and visual extravagance, Arattupuzha Pooram, the Mother of all Pooram festivals of Kerala is, in fact, the State’s cultural juggernaut. This grand gala of the Sree Sastha Temple believed to be 3000 years old unfurls festive hues all around the State. While the temple is a historic site to visit, the festival delights everyone with the magnificence of bejewelled elephants, traditional percussions, and vibrant rituals. As part of the festival, 23 deities from different temples in Thrissur are carried to the Sastha Temple by the majestic tuskers. This ritual has bestowed the festival with the title Devamela (The Conclave of Gods). Who can resist dancing to the rhythm of the dynamic percussions while standing amidst the energetic crowd? Popularly known as Sasthavinte Melam, the percussion orchestra showcases the performance of 200 gifted artists. The festival concludes with the Arattu or the ceremonial bath of the deity in the nearby river ghat, Mandaram Kadavu. The upcoming Arattupuzha festival is on 29 March 2018 FOLLOW THE WHITE UMBRELLA IN BHUTAN Bhutan’s White Umbrella Tours were at ITB Berlin to highlight the rich culture and fascinating history of Bhutan, but above all to promote their new European office. The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is located between India and China. The mighty Himalayas protected Bhutan from the rest of the world and left it blissfully untouched through the centuries. The Drukpa Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism provided the essence of a rich culture and a fascinating history. The Bhutanese people protected this sacred heritage and unique identity for centuries by choosing to remain shrouded in a jealously guarded isolation. White Umbrella was established by Tashi Wangdi and his wife Natalia in 2012. In 2017, White Umbrella Riesen or Wangdi/ Kurr Otero GbR was registered as the European branch of White Umbrella Tours in Hamburg (Germany) to make easier for European clients when they make payment for a tour. White Umbrella organise tours or treks for no more than 12-15 people per group, mainly selling cultural tours to most sacred places of historical significance, trekking in different exotic and pristine locations of the country ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News