Let me tell you the most valuable stuff on Earth right now. Some stuff is mythical and others are real.
Time – Time is the most valuable thing in human life and it can be replaced by anything or anyone but God.
Concepts – As I also create concepts, I believe it the second most valuable thing on Earth. It can contribute the mankind or it can bring up a fortune. That’s why I create concepts. In medical times, Land/Precious metals like Gold or Silver as well as some natural gemstones were the most precious thing. Later it became technology. Afterwards, it became the capital. Nowadays, its concepts.
Data or Information – Data and/or information are one of the most valuable things in this computer age. It will become more valuable in the Next Gen AI age.
Knowledge – Knowledge is power. If you know something, you have the power to bargain at the table.
Human lives – Human lives are no less than anything. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a kid or a woman or a man. Lives matter.
Freedom – Freedom is also a valuable thing for more than half of the World’s Population. Only a very small percentage of mankind allows living freely. Others are partially or completely under the rule of anti Freedom handle.
Water – Water isn’t a common resource for the majority of the World’s population. But it is essential to survive.
Right partner – Right partner is a bit of luck by chance. So it’s a rare opportunity to get your ideal partner, not your favourite or your wishing dream partner. You can get your dream partner, but your ideal partner may not be able to identify you. So, it is completely based on blessings or luck if you aren’t a genius person to find your ideal partner yourself.
Good Health – You will underestimate this until you get sick. Health is one of the major things that we need to survive.
Long life and Life long medicine – This is a very rare thing to invent and it is a rare thing to live for a long time. So, both in one category which is really valuable.
Do you know the country which offers Public Transport Completely Free? Yeah… I guess you will be surprised to hear. But it’s real
Luxembourg, a small wealthy nation in European Union offers Public Transport FREE…
Small and Rich European Nation made Public Transportation FREE
Luxembourg is a small nation in European Union. It’s a landlocked country surrounded by France, Belgium and Germany. A very small population enjoy their prosperous rich economy. Nearly 7 hundred thousand people live in this small nation. Other nearly 2 hundred thousand cross-border workforce visits the country on daily basis.
Some 1.2 million tourists visit this country annually. If you got a chance to drive through this nation, it would take just 2 hours scenic ride to finish your journey along the vineyards majestic castles and old-fashioned farmhouses.
On 1st of March 2020, the country announced their new policy over public transportation by declaring completely free access. So, anyone visiting the country will be allowed to use Trains, Buses and Trams are completely free.
This story hit the international headlines and many experts came out with their theories. Some tried to explain the reasons behind it and others tried to balance the pros and cons.
Why did this happen? As you know, many countries struggle with their public transportation and people struggle with their finance as the transportation cost came in huge just after rent. Somehow this country has tried to cut off that cost.
According to the news reports, there were two major reasons behind this decision. The first one is a social benefit. By doing this, the country is expected to narrow down the gap between rich and poor. People can use their transportation costs to upgrade their life while enjoying the same quality service.
Especially the bottom 10% of society would enjoy this benefit the most. Students, Pensioners and homeless people were suffering from cold winters and day to day high cost of public transportation.
Now it is free to use as much as they want.
Further, the country is expecting more employment opportunities to their citizens by making more affordable ways to travel. It means, citizens can travel far for their daily jobs, even if the workplace might little far from home.
In addition, there are some couple of hundred thousand people who travel by crossing the borders. This will help to them. They have a big contribution to the country’s workforce.
The second reason is Traffic. As it is a small piece of land and high in commercial activities, the traffic hits the country very hard. Luxembourg is one of the top commercial and financial hubs in the region. So, it is an extremely high-traffic area.
Free public transportation policy is trying to discourage private vehicles on weekday work schedules. It will encourage people to use Trains, buses or tramps as much as they can. It will save money, save the plant and it might save time if everyone gets used to it.
As you know 40 people can easily fit into a coach instead of 40 cars. One coach and save 40 car traffic time and space.
Luxembourg is one of the wealthy countries and they can afford this cost. But they have planned to recover some small amount of cost by taxation. Even before this, they had only 10% of the total cost of public transportation from fares. So it isn’t making any big impact. Whatever on the taxation policy, they will make sure that it won’t harm their target to narrow the rich vs poor gap.
The moral of this story is not to introduce free public transportation in third-world countries or any other place on Earth. The message is, Encouraging Public transportation is always beneficial.
Try it out Comfort your citizens
And Do not forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube Also, follow on Facebook & Instagram.
The Netherlands and its capital “Amsterdam are so famous for their cycling public transportation method. Do you know why it is very famous? Here is the answer.
Amsterdam is the cycling capital of the World
Bicycles, Tulips, and Windmills are the very first thing you got in your mind when I Said “Netherlands”. Not even inside the country, but some Dutch diplomats around the World have been involved in promoting cycling around the World. What is the reason behind this passion for bicycles?
Besides Dutch people, does your country has bicycle traditions? Let us know in the comment sections to improve our knowledge.
Before disclosing the major reasons, let me explain some cycling-friendly policies and cycling traditions in the Netherlands. Currently, 17 million people live in the Netherlands and 22 million bikes there in the country that makes 1.3 per head bikes in the country.
Bicycles are the priority and not cars
Oh, My God… Netherlands traffic policy is more friendly to cycling than private automobiles. Many infrastructures have been developed for cycling. The average kid who reaches their 2nd or 3rd birthday will get a bicycle for their personal use. So it is common practice to have a bicycle for kids little as 2-3 years. Not like in other countries, they do not wear helmets if not the rider is a racer. Once I disclose the major reason, you will understand the helmet tradition as well.
The World’s largest underground bicycle park
World’s Largest Underground Bicycle park is also located in Utrecht, the Netherlands that can facilitate more than 12,000 (Twelve thousand) bikes. Not only traditional standard form bicycles, but also they have very specific bikes for various matters. If you have kids to travel with, they have special carriages. Some Dutch people make jokes at US people that they have School buses and Dutch have school bicycles.
The average Adult Dutch makes 1,000 kilometres per year by paddling a bicycle. And a Teenager makes double it around 2,000 km per year.
Dutch PM does cycling as a daily habit (Verified with my video’s feedback)
Not only average citizens but also Dutch Prime Ministers also have involved riding bicycles to go work and it is very popular around the world.
If you are from the Netherlands, tell us whether actually Dutch PM ride bikes every day. Let us know in the comments.
Let’s back to the primary reason, why Dutch People love cycling. As we discussed, there are many more trends and motivations for cycling in the Netherlands.
Netherlands Geography and its role
Netherlands or Holland is a nearly flat country compared to many other countries. Not many big mountains and steep roads that it makes difficult to deal with cycling. So, flat land is very friendly for bikes and you never get tired of riding hard to move upwards and riding with danger downwards. You will think that sloppy roads are easy to ride but they are hazardous.
And the Netherlands does have perfect weather year-round. Summer only reaches around 22 degrees Celsius and the average is always much colder and not very sunny to burn you to a crisp. flat, hard, and cycling-friendly roads are the best motivation for cycling in the Netherlands and it offers two other benefits.
In addition to that, I learnt that In the 1970s and around, there were lots of traffic-related accidents and some motor accidents killed even children. As a result of that, Public pressure was high on policymakers to rethink car orient roads. And the government introduced cycling infrastructure and laws to empower the community to switch to bicycles. And pedestrian and cycle-oriented roads were slowly established throughout the country.
Cycling is a healthy option. It is bringing a more healthy lifestyle to you. You will need no more exercises to maintain your beautiful body. And cycling is greener than green.
Many try to blame others for eating meat, endless air travel, and even at electric car industries. But the Netherlands has started without waiting for anyone else. That makes the Netherlands unique and it is a big contribution to their tourism industry too. You can simply rent a bike and ride as much as you need to explore the Netherlands. It will cost around 8 euros per day.
Nuwaraeliya is the hill capital of Sri Lanka. Just in case you don’t know about Sri Lanka, it’s a tropical Island just next to the south of the Indian subcontinent. Even though is just 32km apart from the Indian subcontinent of powerful kings and emperors, it was a small but sovereign nation until Europeans took over the power in 1505. And Portuguese, Dutch and English rulers controlled the country until 1948. In 1815, its last kingdom failed and the entire Island came under the British monarchy.
Since then, the British were exploring the country. Just after they took over, In 1818, the British Surgeon Dr John Davy (Brother of Humphery Davy, the inventor of the Miners’ Safety Lamp) came to the highest area of the country. And they noticed that this place with a similar climate to England and also a place full of wild animals for hunting such as Elephants, and other animals and also full of Asoka trees. They renamed this area “Little England”. Also, locals called it “The City of Light” or “The City of Plains”.
So, this city is so popular among local and foreign tourists as its unique colonial heritage and remarkable climate. Nuwaraeliya is with its own characteristics. So, it is a prominent tourist destination.
Why am I interested in
I was also born in the “Nuwaraeliya” administrative district and lived my childhood in a similar and close climate to there. So, Nuwaraeliya is also feeling like my home. After I learnt about tourism and destination management, and even before, I was visiting the city at least once a year. Later it became a habit. Maybe because of my love for British Style or the reason of my home base, I so loved the city. So, until today, I am visiting the city again and again. Also, I am promoting the city as a destination for other people.
What I was thinking
While I was thinking of new ways to develop tourism in Nuwaraeliya, I had a big problem to solve. Actually, it is nearly impossible to concept creators like us to involve in policymaking here in Sri Lanka. Still, it didn’t discourage me from thinking or designing well in my mind.
So, the biggest problem with Nuwaraeliya was the rain. Pretty much every day, you would expect rain as much as in England. Yet there are lots of days out of 365 days, which are great for travel without rain. But the problem with rain as it is unpredictable. Every couple of minutes, wealth might change if it is winter or autumn. Misty and Rainy conditions are the unique features of the city, yet it is disturbing to some travellers who really hate to get wet or chilled.
The government was proposing to develop a Zipline or Cable car as a recreational activity and yet on paper. But, I was thinking somewhere to spend time with fun and do recreational activities without getting wet even if the weather goes bad.
Currently, most of the recreational activities are based on Gregory Lake park which runs by Nuwaraeliya Municipal council. And none of them is weatherproof. Meaning, you cannot avoid bad weather while enjoying recreational activities.
The next problem is most hotels and holiday bungalows are designed to spend nights and provide accommodations other than nothing. Hotels like St Andrew’s by Jetwing and The Grand Hotel – Nuwaraeliya, are extremely classic colonial establishments and the only issue is those buildings are so open concept hotels. None of them was even close to resolving my concern.
My thought was something like a big closed classy shopping mall that was open for the public with indoor recreational activities and also connected with the city’s colonial architecture and heritage. Also, I was looking for something like glass and nature connected. Probably my opinion was inspired by Kuala Lumpur international airport and Singapore airport. Both airports are similar nature-connected indoor recreational hubs where I have been to.
What is the progress with the Araliya Group?
Even my expectation and the original concept was far beyond, Araliya Hotels and Resorts group have made a big difference in Nuwaraeliya pretty similar to what I was planning. They do not completely comply with Colonial architecture and heritage, yet fair enough. They do not have a complete set of things to do, yet they got something to do when the weather is bad. At least, they have created a venue for guests to socialize and participate in some events. As they are four or five-star hotels, it is arguable about their accessibility to the general public.
Araliya group established three Four or Five-star properties in Nuwaraeliya. Araliya Green hills with 160 Rooms, Arliya green city (as they claim, the only 5-star property in the city) hotel consists of 192 rooms. And finally, the Araliya Red hotel consists of 200 rooms. All three property offers plenty of rooftop restaurants, large lobbies, a mini-mart, lobby cafes, and a few large restaurants.
In general terms, they offer plenty of space for people who don’t want to get wet and yet enjoy the city. The most luxurious property, Araliya Green City while standalone in the heart of Nuwaraeliya, offers a food court which is open to everyone. So, it is the most accessible area for any kind of traveller as it is way more affordable than most city eateries and cafes. It is definitely worth than eateries available in Gregory park. So, instead of eating at less hygienic and expensive eateries in Gregory park, someone can visit this food court to save from bad weather and enjoy affordable perfect star class meals. (These price conditions may change over time).
However, the Araliya group continually hosts some special events for festive seasons and also some off-season events to entertain hotel guests and visitors. So, it is not mandatory to stay in these hotels to experience their solutions for the city. So, it would be a great solution for some guests who need much comfort other than exposure to the city.
So, Araliya Group has achieved something that I was designing and developing as a concept and yet there is a future. But I am glad as someone has done my own concept without consulting me or asking me. It means someone has identified the problem as much as I did in 2013.
The First ever Araliya hotel in Nuwaraeliya, Araliya Green Hills Opened in 2013 as a normal property. The second Araliya Hotel, Araliya Green City opened in September 2017. And that was the game changer that I was talking about. And the newest property of the three sisters was Araliya Red which opened in 2020. I visited two new properties and have yet to visit the oldest one, Araliya Green hills. And I could meet one of the family members of owning family of this group, on Christmas Eve 2022 while I was there to celebrate Christmas. I didn’t expect to meet and yet we met and had a small chat. It’s famous influencer Mr Sajeev Rajaputhra and his wife and the daughter Mr Dudley Sirisena (Founder of Araliya group).
My concept development for Nuwaraeliya won’t last and will continue. Even though I appreciate the contribution of the Araliya group, there is a lot to develop further. So, I am more than happy to assist whoever wanna invest in Nuwaraeliya and I may be able to help with concepts to enrich the value of this destination.