You’ve Seen it on the TV – Now Would You Go?

Hidden Paradise in Brazil

A hidden paradise in Brazil. Will the country see ongoing increases in tourism following the World Cup?

Over the period of the 2014 World Cup, HotelsCombined has seen an 1800 per cent increase in the number of international hotel bookings in Brazil, when compared year-on-year.

While this high number of bookings will not necessarily be sustained over time, it prompted us to ask the question – do world class sporting events, like the Olympics or the World Cup, genuinely translate into increased ongoing tourism in the country?

We decided to look back at some of the most historic sporting events to see the effect they have had on host countries.

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Aye, the Commonwealth Games are in Glasgow this Year

Scotland

The Commonwealth Games are in Glasgow this year

The 2014 Commonwealth Games have officially kicked off in the land of kilts, the Loch Ness monster and whisky. Held in Glasgow, Scotland, the games will run from the 23 July to the 3 August 2014.

It’s an exciting moment for Scotland – despite the fact that it has hosted the 1970 and 1986 Olympic Games; this will be the largest ever multi-port event that the country has ever hosted.

When you are dusting off your tartan and deciding where to stay, it is worth noting that ticket holders are allowed to use public transport for free on the day of the event. Glasgow has a great train system, with additional trains added for the games – so accommodation a little further out might be more affordable.

We took a look through our database of accommodation and pulled out a few of our top-rated accommodation options in and around Glasgow:

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Travelling Green: The World’s Top Eco-Friendly Hotels

Sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism is increasingly important to both travellers and hoteliers

Travellers are recognizing the importance of environmental conservation and are increasingly seeking accommodation that supports environmentally friendly and sustainable tourism. Acknowledging this, hotels around the world are developing award-winning environmental, economic, and socio-cultural programs that preserve both the culture and support the local economy.

Here at HotelsCombined we know that responsible tourism practices are beneficial to both hoteliers and guests.

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San Fermin: The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona

The festival of San Fermin, Pamplona, Spain is better known at the Running of the Bulls

The festival of San Fermin, Pamplona, Spain is better known at the Running of the Bulls

Whether you choose to watch from the sidelines, or run for your life down the streets of Pamplona, the fiesta of San Fermin is a must-see tradition. While customarily a religious festival in honor of San Fermin, tourists from across the globe now journey to Spain for the parties, events and excitement that is better known as the Running of the Bulls.

The tradition is born from practicality – transporting a number of bulls from outside the city to the bullring. When the San Cernin clock strikes the two rockets are launched prompting the bulls to run the 825 metre distance between the corral in Calle Santo Domingo and the bullring.

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Life Experience: Discovering Travel In Your Twenties

Stephanie Yoder, Founder of Twenty-SomethingTraveller.com

Stephanie Yoder, Editor in Chief of Twenty-SomethingTravel.com

Your twenties, it is said, are some of the most important years of your life.  You are still figuring out who you are and what exactly you want from life. Travel is a big part of that discovery. Stephanie Yoder has been roaming the world since she graduated from college in 2007 and in that time has developed on of the top independent travel blogs on the internet.

Steph’s blog, Twenty-SomethingTravel.com, aims to provide fellow twenty-something travellers with the inspiration, encouragement and the advice needed to take a break and have an adventure. Described as the girl who can’t sit still, Steph shares her own experiences and advice as she roams various continents with her husband and fellow travel blogger, Michael.

Steph recently took the time to have a chat with us about the foundations of her blog, provide some advice for fellow travellers and share the travel accessories that she just can’t leave behind:

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Ireland Tops the Good Country Index

Ireland has just been named as the world's number one “good” country

Ireland has just been named as the world’s number one “good” country

Ireland has been named as the world’s number one “good” country in the Good Country Index. The Index looks at how much each country contributes to both the planet and the human race. It aims to highlight the consequences of every country’s behaviour and encourage each nation and its government to be more outward looking.

Nations are ranked by combining 35 separate indicators from international institutions. Each countries score is divided by its GDP so that smaller and poorer countries are not unduly penalised.

The Emerald Isle tops the list followed by Finland, Switzerland, The Netherlands and New Zealand.

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Champion Accommodation at Wimbledon

Wimbledon has kicked off in the UK

Wimbledon has kicked off for 2014 in the UK

While the world for the most part is still talking World Cup, over the other side of the world another sporting spectacle is underway. The 2014 Wimbledon Championships, the third official tennis grand slam of the year, is off to an ace start.

The Brits will surely be supporting reigning champ, Andy Murray, while the women’s title will be fiercely contested after the 2013 winner, Marion Bartoli of France, retired shortly after last years’ win.

After a full day of spectacular serves – both  tennis  and  strawberries and cream – fans will be exhausted and looking for somewhere to stay.

We took a look through our database of over 800,000 properties and feel that the following hotels really hit the ball out of the park:

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Guest Review: An Authentic Experience at Amoy Hotel

Guest blogger, Nicole Connolly of Suitcase Stories shares her experience of the AMOY Hotel in Singapore

Guest blogger, Nicole Connolly of Suitcase Stories shares her experience of the AMOY Hotel in Singapore

Converted from a historical temple complex into a cozy boutique hotel, the property is accessed via one of the former shines. Located just a 10-minute walk from Boat Quay and Marina Bay, it is the perfect place to relax after spending the day exploring Singapore. Couples, small families, and business travelers will all enjoy the authentic Singaporean experience of the hotel which provides a great many home comforts.

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All inclusive indulgence in the Dominican Republic

Guest blogger, Sharon Gourlay from WheresSharon.com shares her experience at the Be Live Grand Marien Resort

Guest blogger, Sharon Gourlay from WheresSharon.com shares her experience at the Be Live Grand Marien Resort

The beautiful Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic is  as well known for its all inclusive resorts as its gorgeous beaches. The city of Puerto Plata is one of the best places to enjoy these beaches and get a real taste of the Dominican Republic’s colonial past.  With many inclusive resorts surrounding the city and we were excited to be checking out the Be Live Grand Marien in Costa Dorada with our young kids.

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Exploring Rio de Janeiro’s Top-Rated Hotels

The beautiful pool at the Belmond Copacabana Palace

The Belmond Copacabana Palace is one of Rio de Janeiro’s top-rated hotels

All eyes are on Brazil at the moment, as teams from around the world compete for the 2014 World Cup title.The  final this year will be played in Rio de Janeiro - a city with 6.3 million people and more than two million tourists per year. With thousands of accommodation options to choose from it can be difficult to decide where to stay while visiting.

That is where we come in. As well as comparing prices from all major travel sites so our users can get the best deal, HotelsCombined also aggregates over 38 million reviews so travellers can find the properties that scored highest in guest feedback.

We took a look through the HotelsCombined database at the 3,000 plus accommodation options available in Rio de Janeiro to find those with the best customer reviews. Of the four and five star hotels in the area, there were just eight with customer ratings of 8.5 or more out of a possible 10:

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