Categories
Travel

An intrepid photographer's incredible images of the Nordic islands

From a seahorse-shaped iceberg in Greenland to staggering cliff faces in the Faroes, an intrepid photographer’s incredible images of the Nordic islands, taken over 14 years

  • Renowned photographer Stefan Forster has compiled a stunning collection of images of the Nordic islands
  • He made more than 80 intrepid trips through Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands over 14 years
  • His images appear in a book called Nordic Islands – and here we present 10 pictures from the epic tome

Photographers will go to great lengths to get the perfect shot.

And one man who knows this only too well is Stefan Forster, who has dedicated 14 years of his life to compiling a breathtaking collection of images of the Nordic islands.   

Swiss-born Forster, one of the most renowned nature photographers in Europe, made more than 80 intrepid trips through far-flung Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the islands of Norway to capture their mesmerising beauty. 

His journey saw him walk hundreds of kilometres through the Highlands of Iceland, paddle a kayak along the west coast of Greenland, sail on an old wooden ship through the mighty Scoresby Sound of East Greenland, and scale one of the steepest cliffs on the Faroe Islands. 

All for the love of the lens. 

His images appear in a new book called Nordic Islands and capture staggering cliff faces, vast blue icebergs, the dazzling Northern Lights and intriguing wildlife. Scroll down to view a selection from the tome…  

Beautiful: Forster captured this sunrise shot in Scoresby Sund, a fjord system in Greenland, from an inflatable boat 

Forster’s journey saw him walk hundreds of kilometres through the Highlands of Iceland to capture images like the one above 

Epic: Forster used a drone to capture images of mammoth icebergs in Greenland 






Share this article

Forster said capturing images of the Northern Lights requires ‘a lot of patience’ as you need perfectly clear skies 

Labour of love: Forster spent 14 years compiling the photos for the collection, which includes panoramic images of Iceland’s lakes

Forster said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he caught sight of this seahorse made of ice during his first trip to Greenland in 2012

The photographer’s journey also took him to the Faroe Islands, which are known for harbouring dramatic cliffs

Snap happy: Pictured are the mountains and crystal clear waters surrounding the Lofoten archipelago in Norway

Rugged: This atmospheric image is of Vestrahorn, a 454-metre (1,489ft) mountain in south-east Iceland

Forster encountered this Arctic Fox near Ilulissat, a coastal town in Greenland. Forster reveals in his book that the fox bit the hood off his camera out of curiosity 

Nordic Islands by Stefan Forster is published by teNeues in May and is priced £29.95. Visit www.teneues.com 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Travel

Remember when an event meant meeting people face to face

Yeoh Siew Hoon

I’ve done many things in my life: bungee jumped, tandem skydived, climbed Mount Kinabalu, trekked many trails, ran into armed gunmen in Thailand, rolled a jeep in Namibia, contended with a scorpion sting in the middle of the night in Botswana.

But until recently, I had never run an event in the midst of a pandemic. So I guess it’s worth writing about.

At the time we decided to go ahead with our little event on Penang Island, Malaysia, things were still fairly calm. There was one case of Covid-19 on the island, but local tourism and convention authorities had declared it safe, and our event consisted of fewer than 100 people in a government building with plenty of outdoor spaces (one of those lovely old colonial homes with huge gardens).

Plus, it was a largely local event with a handful of overseas speakers, so we thought, “Let’s soldier on.”

These are trying times for the kinds of small businesses at which our WiT Indie (Web in Travel) event is aimed, and we needed to come together to talk about survival for our businesses.

Thirty-six hours before our event opened, the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. We started rechecking local and national advisories. We called up the state convention body to seek guidance. They told us an event was currently being held and one event was going ahead. They updated their advisory the following day to say it was still safe to hold events but to be mindful of precautions.

So we took all the precautions: temperature checks, health declaration forms, QR codes for registration so there would be no crowding at desks, crisis response processes (isolation room, telephone numbers to call), outdoor catering, individual plated meals (Penang street food is perfect for this), event safety briefing at the start.

I felt a bit like the cabin attendant doing an airline safety briefing, parroting all we had been advised that we should do: wash hands; sanitize; cover your mouth if you cough; don’t sit too close; if you feel unwell, let us know.

In the end, the event was declared a success by attendees. In a way, we all felt like we were survivors of a shipwreck, and it forged a sense of camaraderie. But we didn’t flinch from the reality that a lot of businesses will go under if this crisis is prolonged. So we brainstormed ideas for survival.

Running the event amid a pandemic brought home the fact that events need a major rethinking. This outbreak makes you question everything about events: the way they are organized and delivered, the way people are seated and fed, the way we network in huge clusters, the parties.

Venues, hotels and event organizers are going to have to do some serious thinking about how they reset their services for an industry in full disruption.

When I transitioned from journalist to event organizer, launching WiT in 2005 here in Singapore, I wanted to do things differently, but I was limited to how content is programmed and delivered. It was hard to change the physical nature of events, the way hotels sell their event spaces, banquet offerings and ancillary services (I remember the running battles I had over WiFi).

Even trying to change seating from tables of eight to tables of two or four was a challenge. I wanted to mix it up, give people space yet a sense of intimacy. Now we will have no choice.

Trying to change catering from buffet to individual/bento-style boxes was hard within hotels, but we managed to do that with some of our events held in nonhotel spaces. There’s less waste, I feel, with individual prepackaged boxes.

I understand the restrictions hotels face regarding food. You can’t bring in outside food because there could be liability concerns, but surely there are waivers that can be put in place. Yet, now I think hotels have to rethink how they cater events. If they can’t do it, let someone else.

The events business is essentially a communications business. It’s a medium by which we deliver knowledge, information and learning/education, and they forge networks. They are vital for exchange on the intellectual, social, political and economic level, and they are vital to trade and human exchange.

But today it is undergoing its biggest disruption.

Covid-19 has made it impossible for crowds of people to meet physically, and there’s been a surge in virtual communications and collaboration tools as the business world adapts to the new world of remote work and isolation.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe virtual events alone will do it for society. We need both. And if this crisis has done anything, it has forced us to blend online and offline in a truly dramatic fashion. Remote work with tech tools, video calls instead of physical meetings, cross-border meetings without having to travel, webinars, podcasts — we are throwing every medium of communication into the mix in order to stay connected.

Bless us for our ingenuity in our quest for survival.

So what will the future of events look like? What will a blended experience look and feel like? That’s something we have to explore and experiment with. The execution could be a challenge because physical assets are hard to change, and business models will have to be reexamined.

But if that’s what will give customers confidence to meet physically in the future, it must be done. And we also have to give customers even more reason to meet, which means making events truly live. No more cookie-cutter approaches.

Here’s to life in the time of coronavirus. (Now why does that remind me of a wonderful book?)

Note: Soon after I wrote this, the Singapore Ministry of Health issued guidelines for events in Singapore up to the end of June: No events over 250 people, including rules on event seating, participant screening and ventilation.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Cruises

An Open Letter From the World Travel & Tourism Council

WHY IT RATES: The WTTC is recommending tax cuts, stimulus and incentives and loans with no interest.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer

No one can doubt that we are in uncharted territory. The coronavirus pandemic means the world is facing a threat on multiple fronts not seen in peacetime. The Travel & Tourism sector is uniquely exposed, and we estimate 50 million jobs globally are at risk. To put it bluntly, Travel & Tourism is in a fight for survival.

Travel is the backbone of economies around the world. It brings in essential currency and inward investment, creates jobs and stimulates every sector. WTTC figures show Travel & Tourism contributes to 10.4% of Global GDP and 320 million jobs. It is responsible for creating one in five new jobs and, for eight successive years, has outpaced the growth of the global economy.

Without Travel & Tourism, economies around the world face an existential threat.

To counter this, WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, is calling upon governments of all countries to take immediate action to help ensure the survival of this critical job-creating sector. Not soon. Not in a few weeks. NOW. Any delay will be costed in millions of lost jobs and almost incalculable damage worldwide.

Now is the time to take action. We propose three vital measures, which in addition to recovery funds, will protect the survival of the millions of people who rely on Travel & Tourism for their livelihoods and welfare in the turbulent weeks and months ahead:

Firstly, financial help must be granted to protect the incomes of the millions of workers in the sector facing severe economic difficulties.

Secondly, governments must extend vital, unlimited interest-free loans to global Travel & Tourism companies as well as the millions of small and medium-sized businesses as a stimulus to prevent them from collapse.

Thirdly, all government taxes, dues and financial demands on the travel sector need to be waived with immediate effect at least for the next 12 months.

Travel & Tourism companies are playing their part to protect their employees.

Together, these measures could save a sector which is already facing collapse.

We are calling upon the world to take urgent and immediate action to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a worldwide economic catastrophe. Doing nothing is not an option.

We implore every government to take drastic and decisive action now to preserve and protect the contribution of the Travel & Tourism sector, on which more than 320 million people and their families depend on for their livelihoods.

For more information, visit www.wttc.org.

Source: Read Full Article