St. Petersburg Awarded Best World Travel Destination In Major Awards Ceremony

St. Petersburg was the big winner at this year’s World Travel Awards show. Judges awarded two of the annual competition’s top prizes to Russia’s “cultural capital.”

Not only did St. Petersburg win the title for the “World’s Leading City Destination” in 2017, it also took the prize for the “World’s Leading Cultural City Destination.” St. Petersburg’s only major competition this year was the Vietnamese island Phu Quoc.

This isn’t the first time St. Petersburg has been honored as an exceptional travel destination this year. Indeed, earlier this year St. Petersburg was selected to host the World Travel Awards’ Europe Gala Ceremony, in which it also won the prize for “Europe’s Leading City Destination.”

Andrei Mushkarev, the head of St. Petersburg’s tourism industry, said he wasn’t surprised at all by these high honors. When people visit the “Venice of the North,” it’s hard to deny the city’s “tourist potential,” Mushkarev said.

Over the past few years, St. Petersburg has worked hard to build up its tourism infrastructure and attract global visitors. With about seven million visitors in 2017 alone, it seems that all of those efforts are paying off.

Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city with about 5 million residents. Peter the Great used European models when he was designing this great city in the early 1700s. During the Soviet era, St. Petersburg’s name changed to Petrograd (1914-1924) and then to Leningrad (1924-1991).

The most popular attraction in the city is the Hermitage Museum. This massive museum, which includes the Romonov’s Winter Palace, is the largest in the world and includes great works by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Matisse, just to name a few.

The World Travel Awards was founded in 1993 to access the world’s best travel destinations. Judges who work for this awards ceremony look at various factors for each city they select, including transportation, the local hotel industry, and the quality of hospitality services.

A City Below a City

The Windy City. The crown jewel of the Midwest. Chicago.

Undoubtedly hidden in the shadow of New York City and Los Angeles, Chicago is the cultural capital of the Midwestern United States.

Yes it has had a rough reputation the past few years of violence and crime, but a city that is home to the Cubs, Rise Against, and Barack Obama has to be a place one wants to see.

The highlight of this city seems to be shifting not from its museums, restaurants, or sports venues, but a vast underground neighborhood called, the Pedway.

Not only seemingly beneficial for avoiding the notorious tough Chicago winters or crowded intersections, the Pedway has greatly grown in popularity over the past couple of years.

Seemingly unknown to most people, the Pedway spans over 5 miles underneath the Chicago Loop, and is home to a collection of stores, restaurants, and other sights and sounds that draw people from all over.

The Pedway’s uniqueness and relative obscurity attracts the most adventurous people, and is accelerating a regrowth and revival of this unique neighborhood that has existed since the early 1950s.

Even as a kid from Detroit who has some minor animosity to the city of Chicago (Blackhawk fans I’m looking at you), I would definitely plan to make a stop to the Pedway the next time I visit the Windy City.

Highland Capital Alternative Investment Firm

Highland Capital is a global venture capital firm that uses alternative strategies when it comes to credit accounts like hedge funds, fixed income, mutual funds and collaterized loan obligations. Formerly known as Protective Asset Management Company, the firm is focused on providing their clients with adequate training on the subject of investment strategies.

The independently owned company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and has several other offices in places such as New York, Singapore, Seoul and Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was founded in 1993 by James Dondero, who is its President, and Mark Okada. Both men have more than 30 years of credit management experience, and they are also part of the commercial and mortgage banking company known as NexBank, which provides financial services to corporations. Read this article at Dallas News.

The CEO of Highland Capital is Steve Wishnia, who was also one of its founding members. He brought more than 45 years of experience to the company, having earned a BA degree from New York City’s Pace University, then going on to obtain employment with several businesses during his long career in the financial industry.

In order to help clients learn more about how to invest strategically, Highland Capital offers an online training class through their Trading Academy, because the company feels that to achieve success, an investor has to have the right kind of education, as well as the type of dedication and time it takes. The business is one that also serves as a mentor for aspiring entrepreneurs who seek ways to avoid having failed business ventures. Learn more about Highland Capital at Affiliate Dork.

The company has 200 employees, and has so far generated more than $3 billion in profits, which makes it one of the largest and most successful alternative credit management companies in the world. Highland Capital applies the team approach when it comes to their investment strategies, because they believe that successful investing requires all those involved to keep a curious mind and stay open to different points of view.

Through their consistent performance as strategic investors, Highland Capital has developed trusted and long-term relationships with many of the clients they have worked to educate and partner with by involving them in the investment process.


Travel + Leisure Announces Nominees For Readers’ Choice World Destination 2017

The editors at Travel + Leisure are excited to announce their nominees for the 2017 Readers’ Choice Destination of the Year. Now readers from around the world can cast their vote for the destination they believe deserves this year’s top prize.

In total, Travel + Leisure narrowed down their list to 23 countries and cities. The list includes a great mix of obvious tourist hotspots and “off the beaten path” locales that are just starting to get more attention.

First on the list is the island nation of Bermuda. Editors note that Bermuda has been working hard this year to attract new tourists by hosting dozens of major events such as the America’s Cup. The country has also put a ton of money into travel infrastructure, especially revitalizing the famous Hamilton Princess hotel.

Next on the list is the great state of California. Although much of this western state was devastated by wildfires this summer, Travel + Leisure editors say that California’s famous Napa and Sonoma wineries are intact and booming with business. Nature lovers are also extremely happy that California opened up Highway 1 into Big Sur this year.

Third on Travel + Leisure’s list is the Asian nation of Cambodia. Amazingly, Cambodia’s tourism traffic rose by 12 percent in just the first quarter of this year. The most popular tourist attractions, of course, are the ancient temples such as Angkor Wat. However, more people are also taking advantage of Cambodia’s great beaches and luxury hotels in the capital of Phnom Penh.

The rest of the destinations on this list in alphabetical order include Canada, Cape Town, the Caribbean, Chile, the country of Georgia, Greece, Iceland, South Korea, Mexico City, Minneapolis, Montana, Namibia, New Orleans, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Santa Fe, Sicily, Slovenia, and Vietnam. Travel + Leisure will announce the destination with the most votes on November 15th.

The UAE Wins Big at Annual Travel Awards

Emirati hotels and resorts took home the top awards in the 24th annual Middle East World Travel Awards in Dubai. The awards are given out yearly to the best companies and attractions in the tourism and travel industry.

Emirates airline scored big in the transportation category, snagging awards for Best Airline, Best Airline Brand and Best Airline Website. Dubai International Airport, currently the third busiest airport in the world, won the Best Airport Award. Abu Dhabi-based hotel chain Rotana Hotels carried home 19 separate awards, including one for the Middle East’s Leading Hotel Brand. Meanwhile, London-based Millennium Hotels won a total of 11 awards for its hotels in Dubai, Jordan, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. The company also won an award for the Middle East’s Leading Business Hotel Brand. Additionally, the ceremony recognized Dubai’s status as a tourist hub by naming it the Best Middle East Destination, and the Burf Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, was named the Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction. Properties on Dubai’s man-made Palm Jumeirah island also received accolades. Anantara picked up an award for the Middle East’s Leading Villa Resort, and the enormous Aquaventure Water Park received its seventh award for the Middle East’s Leading Water Park.

The 2017 World Travel awards were held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai; incidentally, the hotel also won an award for the Middle East’s Leading Lifestyle Hotel and was dubbed Dubai’s Leading Hotel for 2017. Award winners will get the chance to compete against other regional champions in the Grand Final Gala Ceremony scheduled for December.

The Career Life of James Dondero

James Dondero has more than three decades of experience in the equity and credit markets. He currently serves as the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management. Before founding Highland Capital Management, James Dondero was working at Protective Life’s GIC subsidiary as the chief investment officer. Here, he led to the growth of the company by helping it to grow from its inception to more than $2 billion from 1989 to 1993. Highland Capital is an alternative asset manager that primarily focuses on fixed income investments that are of high-yield.

The management of James Dondero at Highland Capital Management has seen it provide several award-winning solutions and products for retail investors and institutional investors. The firm has assets of about $13.5 billion under administration, which include affiliates such as NexPoint Capital, Acis Capital Management, NexPoint Residential Trust, and NexPoint Advisors. Highland Capital Management has won several awards under the leadership of James Dondero such as Morningstar’s top-ranked Healthcare Long/Short Equity Fund, Morningstar’s 5-star designation for Global Allocation, and the Lipper Award for Floating Rate Opportunities. Learn more about James Dondero at Affiliate Dork.

James Dondero started his career as an analyst in 1984 after receiving an acceptance into the Morgan Guaranty training program. James graduated from the University of Virginia’s Mclntire School of Commerce in the same year. He earned dual majors in finance and accounting, graduating with the highest honors. James is a holder of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Management Accounting (CMA). In 1985, James Dondero started working as a corporate bond analysis at American Express. In 1989, before leaving America Express, James became a portfolio manager. He was managing about $1 billion in fixed income funds. He was Protective Life’s GIV subsidiary’s chief investment officer before establishing Highland Capital. The branch was established in 1989, and the leadership of James saw it grow to $ 2 billion. Read more about James Dondero at Daily Forex Report.

James is the chairperson of various boards such as NexBank, CCS Medical, Cornerstone Healthcare, and NexPoint. He is also a board member of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Directors of American Banknote Corporation. Dondero supports several charitable activities such as Education is Freedom, SMU’s Tower Scholars Program, George W. Bush, Uplift Education, Perot Museum of Natural Science, and Snowball Express.


Want to Travel the World? Here Are Some Helpful Resources

Do you have a dream of traveling the world? If you do, these resources will help you out, according to the Huffington Post. First of all, you might need a way to bring in income. The American International English Teachers Association will help you get a job teaching students English as a second language. If you have a college degree and you are a native English speaker, you may very well be able to find a job that will also offer you housing. The association will also take care of getting you a visa.

You can also join the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps does not charge you, and they will make sure that you will actually benefit other communities. There are other benefits, such as student loan benefits. You will also get access to housing and dental help.

If you want, you can join The Federation of World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms. They will help you connect with farms around the world so you can get an idea of what the earth is like and work on a farm.

Another thing that you may want to check out is called Escape the City. Escape the City will help you find jobs in remote locations. If you want to have a good job and a good career, but you want to find it in a place that is away from the hustle and bustle and noise of the city, you can find it on Escape the City.

Instagram Reveals Top 10 “Instagramed” Cities For 2017

A team of researchers at social media giant Instagram compiled a list of the top Instagramed cities of 2017. Analysts used geotag data between January 1st and November 17th to come up with this year’s list of the most popular places on earth for travelers to post Instagram selfies.

Unsurprisingly, New York City took the top spot yet again in this year’s survey. The Big Apple is home to three of the world’s most frequently Instagramed locations: Central Park, Times Square, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

The number two spot went to Moscow this year. Study authors say that the Russian capital is becoming a great center for creative talents. Of course, the number one Instagrammed spot in Moscow is the colorful St. Basil’s Cathedral.

London moved down from second to third place in this year’s study. While many people still take Instagram selfies by historic sites like Big Ben and the Tower Bridge, modern buildings like the Shard are also appearing on Instagram more often.

The number four most Instagramed city goes to São Paulo, Brazil. An extremely popular place to take an Instagram photo in this sprawling metropolis is at the graffiti-filled Batman Alley.

La belle Paris comes in at number five on the 2017 Instagram list. Obviously, the most iconic spot to snap a pic in this romantic city is by the Eiffel Tower, but the Louvre Museum is quite popular too.

Counting down from number six to number ten, here are the rest of the cities that made Instagram’s 2017 list: Los Angeles, St. Petersburg (Russia), Jakarta, Istanbul, and Barcelona.

Dublin Travel Pros Share A Few Tips For First-Time Visitors

Everyone who visits Dublin, Ireland, usually heads straight for the Guinness Storehouse. While the Guinness Storehouse is a definite “must-see” attraction, there are so many other wonderful things to do in the Irish capital. Seasoned Irish travelers have just put together a list of great places to visit in “dear dirty Dublin” that often don’t get as much attention in travel brochures.

First off, travel experts advise visitors to wake up early and tour the historic campus of Trinity College before it gets too crowded. It’s a great idea to book a tour so you can skip the line to see the incredible Book of Kells in the college’s library.

After you’re done walking around Trinity College, take a stroll to the nearby Temple Bar area. Although most tourists visit this area to have a drink in one of the many Irish pubs, expert Dublin travelers say there are many underrated shops in this district shop-a-holics must check out.

Classical music lovers should make a quick stop down Fishamble Street near Temple Bar. It in a theatre on this street that George Frideric Handel first performed his celebrated Messiah way back in 1742.

Looking for an excellent distillery (besides Guinness) to tour while in Dublin? Why not try the Teeling Distillery in Newmarket for an authentic taste of Irish whiskey? One great thing for tourists about Teeling Distillery is that it’s only a short walk away from another major Dublin draw: St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Expert Dublin travelers highly recommend visiting Toner’s and Shelbourne Hotel’s Horseshoe Bar for some of the best pints of Guinness in the city. For hotels, travel experts recommend trying out Number 31 and The Dean.

New Study Reveals Top 30 Cities Millennials Want To Live In

The apartment aggregator website Nestpick recently released a list of the top 30 cities for people under the age of 30.

The major factors Nestpick analysts looked at when choosing these youth-friendly cities included the quality of public transport, unemployment rates, and the overall cost of living. Researchers also looked into things that might be important for young people, including Internet connection, the number of tech stores, and LGBTQ equality.

Although there are a few exceptions, mostly all of the cities on Nestpick’s list are in Europe.

Nestpick’s number one city for people under 30 is Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Amsterdam has had a reputation as one of the most liberal and student-friendly cities in the entire world. The cost of living in Amsterdam is also far cheaper than other major cities in Western Europe.

The German capital of Berlin came in at number two on Nestpick’s list. Thanks in large part to the strength of the German economy, Berlin is one of the trendiest and most youthful capitals in Western Europe. Surprisingly, Berlin is also one of the cheaper major European cities to live in and is one of the favorite cities of today’s starving artists.

Yet another German city gets the bronze place prize on Nestpick’s list: Münich. This capital of Bavaria is home to over 1.5 million people and is probably most famous with youngsters for its Oktoberfest beer festival. One thing Nestpick analysts liked about Münich was the employment opportunities in the city’s prominent financial, educational, and engineering centers.

Rounding out the top five on this list include the Portugal’s capital city Lisbon and the Belgian city Antwerp.

From number six to number thirty, the rest of the cities are as follows: Barcelona, Lyon, Cologne, Paris, Vancouver, Lille, Zürich, Valencia, The Hague, Montréal, London, Rotterdam, Nantes, Prague, Helsinki, Manchester, Bordeaux, Auckland, Toronto, Bristol, Oslo, Marseille, Madrid, Vienna, and Glasgow.