Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Nightmare in Tourism Logistics

A Nightmare in Logistics, the Hajj pilgrimage which involves almost 3 million human beings congregating at Makkah, then moving on to Minah, Arafat, Muzdalifah and back to Mina, over a short 6 day period, is effectively managed by the Saudi Arabian Government and its designated administrative authorities, each year.

The logistics, administration and management of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj by the Saudi Arabian authorities and related public and private sector organizations is truly a nightmare beyond the wildest imagination of any operational exercise in the world. With the volume of pilgrims participating in the Hajj increasing by leaps and bounds each year the authorities have had to spruce up their act, re-define procedures, and come up with better control mechanisms and facilities to provide a smooth and successful process to enable a successful execution of the pilgrimage.
In 2008 Saudi missions abroad issued almost 2 million visas for pilgrims seeking to perform the pilgrimage from overseas. In addition the number of local pilgrims who travel to Makkah from all parts of the Kingdom usually amounts to another million, at least.

The majority of foreign pilgrims in 2008 — 1,645,135 — came by air, 216,532 by land and 30,550 by sea, according to Maj. Gen. Salim Al-Belaihed, Director General of the Passport Department.

About 1,000 foreign dignitaries including 720 from Europe, 200 from Asia and Australia and 61 from Arab countries also performed the Haj in 2008 and the numbers are expected to be similar this year too. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz also invited almost 12,000 prominent Muslim personalities from around the world to perform Haj as his guests over the past several years.

Read the full article here by Fazil Sameer from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

About the Hajj festivities

The main reason Muslims go to Makkah is to pray in the Holy Mosque. Often, they perform the Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage, while visiting the Holy Mosque. Once a year, the Hajj, the greater pilgrimmage, takes place in Makkah and nearby sites. During the Hajj, three million people worship in unison.

If a person performs the Umrah or the Hajj correctly, all his/her sins are forgiven.

Every adult, healthy, sane Muslim who has enough money to travel to Makkah and can make arrangements for the care of his/her dependents during the trip, must perform the Hajj once in a lifetime.

In 2009, the Hajj will begin today Wednesday, November 25.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is the 7th Annual MICE Europe Congress in Dubrovnik, organized by NASEBA?

I have come across this event called "7th Annual MICE Europe Congress in Dubrovnik".

Do you know about it? I didn't. So let's have a closer look:

Looking at the video, I got some interesting thoughts about this event.
Look at the video and check out the following:

After 0:27 (Coffee Break?), I count 15 people
After 1:37 (Exhibition?), I see the table number 29 but this table is already empty. So let's assume there were 29 exhibitors (but where is exhibitor No 29?)
After 1:43 (Dinner?), I count 10 tabels with a total of 18 people
After 3:06 (Exhibiton?), are there two people from the same company talking to each other? At least the name boards suggest this. It must have been a great trade show. (Maybe the lady behind the Name Kerim is not "Kerim"? Is Kerim a man's name?)
After 3:34 (Dinner reception?), I count approx. 30 people

And so on. Did you attend this event? What is your feedback?

I wonder why Event organizers don't do a proper marketing campaign... And start to embraze the entire industry because only if we work together we will become stronger.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Zürich Schlaflos, the other Travel guide to Zurich, Switzerland

The man drinks regularly. He smokes. He is a gourmet and art lover. A voyeuristic gambler with nostalgic tendency to glorification and a toilet fetish. And he is your faithful travel companion for Zurich.

Netcetera, a software company from Zurich, Switzerland, has created this unique podcast available on iTunes Store for your iPod or iPhone.

Two authors on behalf of the transporting enterprises Zurich (VBZ) did come up with the content. Philippe Amrein and Thomas Wyss gathered 60 marvelous stories about cool places along the 32 and 4 Bus lines for the new Podcast “Zurich sleepless” along Langstrasse and Niederdorf.

If you are going to Zurich (and speak German, or have a personal guide...) follow these bus lines and discover Zurich as you wouldn't imagine.