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DIVE TO THE DEPTHS OF CHICAGO'S SHEDD AQUARIUM - The Windy City is a sweeping metropolis filled with some of the best attractions in the Midwest, and the Shedd Aquarium is no exception. Opened in the 1930s by John Graves Shedd, this popular excursion has grown to be one of the biggest indoor aquariums on the planet. You won't be short of incredible critters worth seeing with over 32,000 species of marine creatures on display, as well as an array of amphibians, mammals, and birds.

Travelers visiting the Shedd Aquarium for the day can drop their belongings off at a luggage storage service in Chicago before exploring this aquarium filled with some of the world's most amazing aquatic life.

Bask in the Sunshine at Shedd's Lush Gardens

The first exhibit you'll ramble through when entering the Shedd Aquarium is the Gardens. This open-air exhibit features beautiful wildflowers, regional grasses, and homegrown vegetables. While there are no guarantees you'll see any wildlife here; you're bound to see the occasional bird and colorful butterfly fluttering around. 

Observe Ocean Predators at the Wild and Caribbean Reefs

This section of the aquarium boasts some of the ocean's most vibrant animals, focusing on how their beauty has helped them adapt and survive. While passing through this exhibit, you'll see everything from luminescent white-spotted jellyfish to dancing weedy seadragons

Coral reefs are home to an array of creatures, including some of the sea's top predators. Lurking in this Philippine Reef are several species of razor-toothed sharks, including sandbar sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and zebra sharks. There's also a variety of other unusual ocean dwellers swimming around this tank, like clownfish, moray eels, and green sawfish. 

The Caribbean Reef is also well worth exploring, with a 90,000-gallon tank bustling with green sea turtles, queen angelfish, and bonnethead sharks. These exhibits also focus on how fragile coral reefs are, with reefs around the world disappearing at an alarming rate. 

Explore Incredibly Saltwater Habitats at the Ocean Exhibit

This Ocean exhibit is truly breathtaking, with long strands of kelp hiding a host of fish, such as flashlightfish, chain dogfish, and leopard sharks. While at this exhibit, learn astonishing facts about intelligent giant Pacific octopi and watch seahorses locked in spectacular courtship dances. 

Learn about Freshwater Fish at the River Exhibit

The world's waterways contain some of the strangest and most interesting aquatic animals around, and you learn about them at the Rivers exhibition. While perusing this section of the aquarium, you'll see ravenous violet-line piranhas, bizarre paddlefish, and adorable fly river turtles.

Learn about the Locals At Home on the Great Lakes

The Shedd Aquarium is perched on the edge of Lake Michigan, and anybody wondering what creatures lurk below the surface can find out at the At Home on the Great Lakes exhibit. Visitors can reach into the water and touch ancient lake sturgeon, as well as gazing at some unusual freshwater natives, like lampreys and alligator snapping turtles. 

Discover the amphibians and lizards at Amazon Rising

The Shedd Aquarium is home to many different creatures, including some of the Amazon's rarest animals. While touring this tropical exhibits, you'll be treated to everything from tarantulas to snakes to cayman. This exhibit also contains arapaima, one of the largest and most dangerous freshwater fish on the planet.

Unleash Your Inner-Child at the Polar Play Zone

You and your kids are sure to love the Polar Play Zone. All ages will relish feeling a variety of sea stars and corals at the touch pool or exploring icy polar waters in miniature submarines. This Oceanarium is also home to many of the arctic's most adorable mammals, like beluga whales, rockhopper penguins, and sea otters.

Make a Splash at Stingray Touch

Shedd Aquarium's mammoth touch pool lets you stroke a variety of marine wildlife, including cownose rays and horseshoe crabs. Great for kids and adults, this touch pool is a unique experience, unlike any other aquarium, with schools of stingrays gliding through the water. 

Come Face-to-Face with Your Favorite Animals

If you're searching for a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Shedd Aquarium, consider booking one of their animal encounters. For an additional fee, visitors can play with beluga whales, sea otters, penguins, and more. You can even become a trainer for the day and see what it's like to work with and train dolphins. Anybody feeling brave can also participate in a shark feeding, and learn more about this unique group of predators.

Rest upon the Terraces

After a long day of exploring the Shedd Aquarium's many exhibits, you'll undoubtedly be looking for the perfect place to relax. Thankfully, the Shedd has two outdoor terraces where you can rest your weary legs and enjoy panoramas of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. If you're feeling peckish, there's also a cafe and food court where you can grab some food. The Terraces also host live bands and parties, with dancing and fireworks over the lake.


ANANTARA IKO MAURITIUS RESORT & VILLAS INTRODUCES WONDER OFFER - One of the most popular destinations in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is preparing to welcome back visitors following the successful implementation of sharp measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. No local cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Mauritius since 26 April and with light at the end of the tunnel, Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas will reopen on 1 September 2020.
First opened at the end of 2019 on Le Chaland Beach, an untouched stretch of coastline on the southeast corner of Mauritius, Anantara Iko Mauritius is one of the newest resorts on the island. The resort has introduced a Wonder Offer to kick start bookings, offering a 40 per cent discount on all stays until 31 October 2021.
This less developed corner of the island has some of the richest history, Creole culture, and nature reserves in Mauritius. Just 15 minutes from the resort is Mahebourg, the first capital of Mauritius, known for its local market, museum, fortifications and the historic battles between the French and British. The nearby nature reserve of Ile aux Aigrettes can be visited on a traditional Pirogue boat, where Anantara’s guests can see conservation efforts by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation which has saved the Pink Pigeon from extinction, and the Blue Bay Marine Park with over 40 different species of coral.  Guests can also navigate the terrain on a guided quad bike trip along the wild coastline and untouched beaches close to the resort, or choose to reconnect and unwind at the Vortex, 30 minutes inland, feeling recharged by the earth’s Chakra point, magnifying the energy correlated to your body’s individual chakras.

Anantara Iko Mauritius will be fully in line with WHO and local health authority regulations and is also introducing additional measures to ensure the highest standards of health and safety at all times including enhanced sanitation and disinfection throughout the property, in-room hygiene kits for guests, increased social distancing in the bars and restaurants and menus restricted to a la carte only.  Ongoing training has been put in place to ensure that all staff are able to offer exceptional guest service while maintaining social distancing and tight hygiene and sanitation standards.

The 164-room resort has a 30-meter ozone-based swimming pool, three restaurants including the signature Sea.Fire.Salt seafood restaurant overlooking the ocean and Bon Manzer, an innovative clean eating restaurant offering organic vegan cuisine. The resort’s Anantara Spa will also re-open with enhanced hygiene protocol and offer more outdoor wellness activities including a daily yoga class.

The Wonder Offer rates start from USD 160 per room per night (a 40% saving on the usual rate) including breakfast and tax.
The offer is also available on half board and all inclusive bookings and is valid for stays until 31 October 2021, when booked by 31 August 2020.


As APAC luxury markets sink by US$2.1bn, brands turn to affordable luxury, says GlobalData

Luxury has been one of the most affected industries in the retail sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis led to the closure of several luxury stores across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, bringing their revenue stream to a standstill during the first half (H1) of 2020. Against this backdrop, brands are turning to affordable luxury to stay afloat and survive in the market, says GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Retail Intelligence Center, APAC luxury sales are forecast to register a negative growth of 3.4% to reach US$60.3bn in 2020, compared to US$62.4bn in 2019.

Suresh Sunkara, the Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “COVID-19 has forced luxury brands to postpone their fashion shows, cancel promotions events, and disrupted supply chains. However, since the start of the second quarter (Q2) of 2020, several countries in the region including China, Japan, and South Korea have lifted most of their lockdown measures to bring normalcy in their economies while countries such as India have begun phased relaxation of lockdown measures. This will bring some relief to luxury retailers as they can now open their stores and resume operations.”

However, due to low consumer confidence in APAC which is currently at an all-time low, luxury retailers are not expected to regain their sales growth anytime soon. In addition, the threat of an extended COVID-19 crisis and an impending global recession will force consumers in the region to cut back on big-ticket items, especially luxury products.

Sunkara concludes: “International travel restrictions are still in place, resulting in continued closure of duty-free stores in airports, a major contributing channel for luxury sales. As a result, store closures and sales decline are bound to force luxury retailers to re-evaluate their price positioning and launch affordable luxury product lines to revive volume sales in these testing times.”  

Wego and German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries join hands to bring the best of Germany to GCC travellers
  • Urging travellers to ‘dream now and visit later’
  • GCC generated over 1.6 million overnight stays in Germany in 2019

Wego, the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), partners with the German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries (GNTO) to invite travellers to discover the destination of Germany and virtually explore its amazing attractions and hidden gems.

Until it is safe to travel again, Wego brings the world to you in the comfort of your home. With the message ‘dream now – visit later’, this joint partnership with ‘Wego’ introduces the global campaign ‘#DiscoverGermanyFromHome’ to tomorrow’s travellers in the GCC by providing them with inspiring and informative content, virtual experiences in its 16 federal states, Spotify playlists, an interactive map, quizzes, recipes and much more to keep their interest in the destination alive until travel is resumed.  

With its natural, historical, and cultural diversity, Germany remains to be one of the most beautiful European countries that GCC travellers can explore. Whether nature lovers, adventurous, people looking for a relaxing retreat, family, or solo travellers, Germany has it all covered. The country is home to more than 100 national parks and nature reserves together with wonderful beaches, stunning islands in the north, serene mountains, and waterfalls as well as the famous ‘Black Forest’ in the south.

Speaking of the partnership, Yamina Sofo, Director Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office, Gulf countries (GNTO) commented: “The Gulf region is among the Top 20 of the most important source markets to Germany and the third-largest source market outside Europe. Our partnership with Wego is a great opportunity to highlight that Germany ticks all boxes of the GCC travellers aiming for wellness and recreation, nature and sightseeing or simply for entertainment and shopping, while enjoying high-quality services, great value for money, luxury accommodation, and facilities.”

For all fans of museums, Germany offers more than 6,000 indoor and outdoor museums, the most famous of which are the "Mercedes-Benz" museum, the "Porsche" museum in Stuttgart and the “BMW” museum in Munich. Furthermore, Germany invites its visitors to explore amazing cultural and natural treasures, being home of 46 of the UNESCO World Heritage sites ranging from medieval castles to spectacular industrial buildings, magnificent natural landscapes and old towns.


Mamoun Hmedan, Managing Director, MENA, and India, Wego, said: “We are bringing the world to our users until it is safe to travel again and we’re thrilled to partner with GNTO to promote one of the most beautiful European countries. Germany entices tourists with its rich and vibrant nature and culture; it’s a must-see destination for everyone.”

Attracting tourists from all countries across the globe, the historical palaces and castles are once in a lifetime experience. The most famous of which is Germany's fairytale castle "Neuschwanstein", as well as the "Castle Road" with 70 castles, fairytale palaces and stately homes spanning for more than 1,200 km from the city of "Mannheim".

Experiencing the lifestyle of the ancient era, travelers visiting this country also look forward to the carnival street parades and traditional performances.
Last but not least, Germany offers to all shopping lovers, exceptional shopping experiences and irresistible offers from bargain finds to haute couture, traditional to cutting edge, international to the typically German local and traditional markets.

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TRAVELING FOR EARTH ZODIAC SIGNS - The world is your oyster as they say and there are many places in the world you can visit. How many are on your bucket list and how many have you not even considered?

We all have different travel styles. For some it may be a trip that involves discovering the local culture off the beaten track and for others, their perfect vacation will involve an all expenses paid resort - where everything is taken care of.

Then perhaps it’s time to let the stars above and astrology guide you as to where you should venture to next. Your zodiac sign can determine a few getaway locations that are right up your alley, so you'll want to make sure you get the full experience at some point in 
your life. 

If you’ve stopped by here, then you might be an earth sign or know someone who is. It is considered a symbol of stability, concreteness, perseverance, materiality, firmness of character and these are exactly the aspects that we will find in each of the earth signs. 

The following earth signs can point you in the right direction:


If you’re a Capricorn, then you are hard-working and driven by success. You will have big ambitions and often will have a lot of plates spinning at once. Capricorns can be ambitious to a fault. People who are a Capricorn are often compared to a rock due their character and controlled nature. They’re often calm, prudent, and firm in their ideas, qualities that often make it a solitary traveler with a very concrete travel style.

Capricorn’s typically tend to go at a slow pace, which makes them great candidates to really enjoy their vacations. They should try Tokyo or Australia to really soak up the cultures.


This star sign makes an excellent travel partner and will prepare their itinerary months in advance and be religious in the research process, using logic and analysis over following any sort of intuition. Check out the horoscope for Virgo sign to see more about their personality traits.

Organization and perfection matter most to this sign, so you won’t find them making any major decisions without a whole lot of thought being put into it, especially when it comes to a vacation. The Virgo sign excels at taking the lead and will gladly handle the daily details of a joint trip, so they make a handy travel companion.

Every Virgo has a strong romantic streak and are naturally drawn to classical, expressive destinations such as France and Greece. 


Tauruses are compassionate people who love the finer things in life but love to share their fortunes even more. They are known for being warm-hearted and personable, this sign will be weary at first of traveling alone, but they may just find a passion for the thrill of a solo experience.
Travelers under this sign are characterized by rationality, honesty, and methodology, they are souls with great strength and courage.
They are very connected to nature, so vast green landscapes are ideal. Ireland and Switzerland are both ruled by Taurus, so could be great places to start exploring.
Looking for your ideal travel companion? Then the perfect people to accompany you on a trip, are of course, other earth signs.