Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘tourism

Indian passengers flying Air France allege racial bias

Mumbai, INDIA:Over 50 Indian passengers flying Air France had a “harrowing” time at Paris airport after their aircraft developed a technical problem and complained on Tuesday on reaching here that they were victims of “racial” profiling.

The passengers, who spent 28 hours in Paris, said they were confined to a lounge at the airport there from 10 pm on Sunday till 7 am the next morning and given “hardly any food and water”.

The passengers, on their way to Mumbai from the US via Paris, said while the other Nationals were taken to hotels shortly after their plane returned to the Paris airport due to apparent technical problem following a four-hour flight, Indians were taken to the lounge and given just a bottle of water and a sandwich.

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Giving details of their “harrowing” time, one of the travellers, Vineeta Sengupta said, “No foreigner would have been treated like the way Indians were treated. People were lying down on the floor over there (at a place at the airport) where immigration takes place”.

Accusing Air France of “racial” profiling, a girl passenger said that the officials there even had threatened that they would be handed over to the police if they did not stop protesting.

Sengupta said the 53 to 54 Indian passengers were later “huddled out” of the airport on a “group visa”, which the authorities could have provided much earlier, and taken to a hotel.

No reason has officially been given for the delay.

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British charity fundraiser Ben Southall won the “best job in the world” on Wednesday – caretaker of an Australia tropical island – after an innovative marketing campaign that highlighted the power of social media.

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Southall, 34, was picked from 16 final contestants in a highly publicised contest by Tourism Queensland which attracted 34,684 video entries from almost 200 countries and surpassed all expectations in promoting tourism in the Australian state.

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The job description? Explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for six months and report back to Tourism Queensland and the world via blogs, a photo diary, video updates and interviews.

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Also, if you feel like it, feed the fish, collect the mail and clean the pool – and collect a wage of A$150,000 ($110,000)

While the job itself attracted global attention so did the campaign by the government body Tourism Queensland as it highlighted how companies can tap the power of online social media such as YouTube and Facebook, for marketing.

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“This is probably the first time that a campaign has achieved this sort of reach with so little advertising spend other than a few strategically place job ads around the world,” said Australian marketing analyst Tim Burrowes, editor of media and marketing website Mumbrella.

“This has all been about the power of people passing things on, largely through YouTube. The main lesson to be learned here is that if you have an original, exciting idea that gets people talking you don’t need so spend huge on advertising.”

The “Best Job in the World” campaign began in January with Tourism Queensland launching a tourism advertising campaign centered around the lure of “the best job in the world.”

Within days the campaign went viral as applicants from all over the world sent in 60-second video applications and news of the contest spread progressive on social networking sites such as Facebook and the video sharing site YouTube.


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