Page 1

Travel Trends

Travel industry insights / January 2019

The unexpected and overlooked charms of Madeira – chic and wild in equal turn – have put it among ABTA’s 12 destinations to watch in 2019

Coming together

All-inclusive is hotting up with a plethora of new property openings

Sea change

Freedom, flexibility and fun have revolutionised the cruise experience

Jet2

One of the industry’s biggest success stories shares its secrets


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Explore

ue One

PREVIEW EDITION

December 2016

Travel Trends

D E C E M B E R 2016

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST HOLIDAYS IN THE WORLD

Coming together

All-inclusive is hotting up with a plethora of new property openings

WHY ARE CRUISES M A K I N G WAV E S ? SAILING SOLO O F F T H E B E AT E N T R AC K WHY ARE CRUISES M A K I N G WAV E S ? SAILING SOLO O F F T H E B E AT E N T R AC K

UISE & MORE LIDAYS OF A LIFETIME

ON THE HORIZON THE LATEST CRUISE NEWS

ERALD WATERWAYS IN-DEPTH LOOK

WONDERFUL WORLD FOUR BUCKET-LIST STOPS

thevillagepost Amazing Grace Introducing Tauck’s new ship on the mighty Rhine

Turning the tide An in-depth look at MSC Cruises’ forthcoming Seaside

Issue two

A world of luxury We consider the benefits of all-inclusive river cruising

SECRETS OF THE DOURO Explore the wonders of Porto with our new itinerary for 2017

MEET THE FLEET Introducing a trio of new ships: Emerald Radiance, Liberté and Destiny

RAISE A GLASS Enjoy the world’s finest wines during our new cruise on the Rhône

WHICH RIVER ARE YOU? Find out which Emerald Waterways cruise best suits your personality

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ISS U E 0N E

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Travel industry insights / January 2019

The unexpected and overlooked charms of Madeira – chic and wild in equal turn – have put it among ABTA’s 12 destinations to watch in 2019

WATERMARK

thevillagepost American Queen A music-themed tour of the Deep South on the mighty Mississippi

Fire and ice Explore the Galápagos and Antarctica with our handy guide

Sea change

Freedom, flexibility and fun have revolutionised the cruise experience

Jet2

One of the industry’s biggest success stories shares its secrets

Issue three

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Issue three

Page 1

THE ABTA MAGAZINE GUIDE TO THE

THE ABTA MAGAZINE GUIDE TO

CARIBBEAN

CRUISE 2018

U By Uniworld Innovation at sea European river guide

Incredible cuisine Pulsating carnivals Authentic adventure

ISSUE THREE

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GLOBE

WHY RAIL HOLIDAYS ARE IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN

The added extras that can transform your clients’ holidays

INFOCUS: G ADVENTURES DISPELLING SOLO TRAVEL MYTHS COACH TOURING IN AUSTRALIA

ISSUE FOUR

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

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PLUS HOW TO SELL: EX-UK PORTS OF CALL: COPENHAGEN WAVE: SPECIAL OFFERS ROUND-UP

Jeannine Williamson joins CroisiEurope in the heart of Prague, before exploring the lesser-known Elbe en route to Berlin PLUS 10 OF THE BEST WILDLIFE CRUISES EXCLUSIVE RITZ-CARLTON INTERVIEW CRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES IN AMSTERDAM

BRILLIANT BANGKOK INFOCUS: INTREPID COACH VS CRUISE HOW TO SELL: SOLO TRAVEL

WHY THE THAI CAPITAL IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A BACKPACKER HAVEN

Cruise and all-inclusive big for 2019

H

REATES BEAUTIFUL THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY.

ello and welcome to the first 2019 issue of ABTA Magazine – a very happy new year to all our readers. We hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready for the excitement of January and February, one of the busiest periods of the year for all of us in the travel industry. For this issue, we are taking a look at two types of holidays set to be booked in huge numbers this winter: cruises and all-inclusive holidays. Jane Archer, one of the most established names in cruise journalism, looks at a sector that continues to grow and grow, confounding expectations and erasing preconceptions as it does so. The number of Britons taking a cruise holiday was on track to exceed two million last year, making the UK the secondlargest market in Europe and the fourth-largest worldwide. What’s more, nearly half of UK holidaymakers (42 per cent) who have never been on a cruise are interested in doing so, according to ABTA, while more than half (53 per cent) of 18-24 year olds are interested in taking a cruise, having not done so previously. As Jane writes on p52, it’s no surprise: this is an industry that continues to innovate, from ultraluxury yachts complete with helipads, to megaships with go-karts and laser tag. On p56, Karl Cushing considers recent developments in all-inclusive holidays, picking six resort destinations sure to attract savvy holidaymakers this year in the likes of Greece, Barbados and the Dominican Republic. Elsewhere, Gary Noakes takes an in-depth look at ABTA’s Travel Trends report for 2019, discussing the key trends – such as responsible tourism and what ABTA is calling the return of the trusted travel expert – that are set to feature heavily this year, plus the 12 destinations to watch across 2019, including Thessaloniki, Greece’s historic second city, and Costa Rica, the South American country that is sure to enjoy time in the spotlight thanks to its focus on sustainability. There’s plenty more, too, with news (p28), an expanded UK Holidays section (beginning p42), an interview with Intrepid CEO James Thornton (p24), plus the chance to win a great prize with DriveAway on p65. We hope you enjoy reading – and good luck selling.

ublishing.com to find out more,

Tell us your thoughts

We would love to hear your thoughts about this issue of ABTA Magazine, the fifth created by Waterfront Publishing. The magazine has a new look, fresh editorial focus, and an increased and improved distribution, meaning it now spans the breadth of the travel industry, reaching everyone from frontline agents to the boardroom. We want the magazine to reflect the thoughts and interests of those working in the holiday business, so please send your comments to info@ABTAmag.com.

2019 with ABTA

See p33 for the full list of ABTA events

January 31

February 26-27

February 27

Complaints Handling Workshop, London

Travel Finance Conference, London

Claims Handling in Travel, London

ABTAmag.com

January 2019

3


52

The sky’s the limit when it comes to innovation in cruise

JANUARY 2019

FEATURES Competition Win a Russia cruise for two on the elegant Volga Dream

Coming together All-inclusive has never been hotter

60

65 56

Beyond Boracay Off the beaten track in the Philippines

Industry Insights ABTA’s Travel Trends

4

January 2019

62 ABTAmag.com


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In the January issue

34

03

Editor’s letter The new year marks new travel trends to look out for, including cruise and all-inclusive trips

09 10

Readers’ letters Readers share their views on industry issues

12 42

48 Contributors Gary Noakes is a writer and editor specialising in travel and the nuts and bolts of the industry, particularly aviation. Fred Mawer is a travel journalist with over 20 years’ experience. He’s also a Blue Badge tour guide and lives in Bath with his family. Christine Smallwood is a food and travel writer who has written books on three Italian regions – Lombardy, Umbria and Puglia. Jenny Southan is an awardwinning freelance travel journalist, and editor and founder of trend forecaster Globetrender.

ABTAmag.com

On trend The main takeaways from ABTA’s Travel Trends report and interesting industry stats News The latest travel industry news, including cruise, touring and aviation

23

Out and about Our round-up of images from the latest industry events

24

Interview: James Thornton Intrepid’s CEO talks sustainable travel and shared value at the small group operator

28

ABTA section Key travel trends for 2019 plus all the latest news, campaigns and events from ABTA

34

Business travel Jenny Southan covers the challenges, trends and destinations to look out for in 2019

38

Spotlight on… Jet2. The business has rapidly expanded and now occupies a prominent position in the UK travel market

42

UK holidays Fred Mawer explores the attractions that have given Bath its Unesco World Heritage status

48

City guide The extraordinary city of Matera prepares for its year as European Capital of Culture

64

Gamesroom Play games and win prizes

66

Final word Carolyn Watson gives an insight into her work as ABTA’s director of finance and resources January 2019

7


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Your letters On trend: reactions to the latest Travel Trends report

It is no surprise to see the return of the trusted travel expert. The security of ATOL and ABTA protection cannot be underestimated and there is a definite sense that consumers are more wary about how they spend their money. Speaking specifically about Iglu and Planet Cruise, our incredible relationship with cruise lines and suppliers ensures we can negotiate the very best deal for our customers. Having a friendly voice at the end of the phone is rare in this day and age, but never underestimate the power of personal, tailor-made service in the travel industry. Ottakar Rosenberger, chief operating officer, Iglu.com We’re delighted that Thessaloniki has been named one of ABTA’s destinations to watch for 2019. The city is a melting pot of culture and gastronomy. Its centuriesold multicultural history has been

associated with great empires, as it has known the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule – something that led Unesco to declare 15 of the city’s monuments as World Heritage Sites. Thessaloniki caters to every traveller’s needs, from food aficionados and culture enthusiasts to adventure seekers. Emy Anagnostopoulou, director of the UK and Ireland office, Greece National Tourism Organisation By using a trusted travel expert, customers will be dealing with a knowledgeable, experienced travel professional – something that will be so important during the uncertainty of 2019. Independent agents are focused on finding the right holiday for the customer and know the industry well. The postChristmas blues makes January a great time to book a holiday and have something to look forward to! It’s also the time of year when the trade produces great offers and if customers are looking for

a particular destination or hotel it’s always worth booking early to ensure they get what they want. Paula Lacey, group commercial and membership director, Advantage Travel Partnership I was delighted to see that Costa Rica made the list of ABTA’s top destinations to watch in 2019. Our country offers visitors an abundance of unique and authentic experiences – available all year round. Costa Rica has become a global leader in responsible tourism and a strong contender in wellness travel – two of ABTA’s key trends for 2019. At present, the UK is Costa Rica’s second largest source market in Europe and it has experienced steady growth in the past few years, enhanced by the launch of BA direct flights and a number of trade and consumer campaigns. Ireth Rodriguez, chief of promotion department, Costa Rica Tourism Board

Let us know your thoughts on ABTA Magazine and travel industry issues. Email: info@ABTAmag.com We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and clarity. Please include a name, job title and company. These will be withheld if requested. Other comments taken from ABTAmag.com

ABTA Magazine is created by Waterfront Publishing on behalf of ABTA Waterfront Publishing 12-18 Hoxton Street London N1 6NG waterfront-publishing.com

020 3865 9360

Director Sam Ballard sam@waterfront-publishing.com Director Anthony Pearce anthony@waterfront-publishing.com Head of sales Simon Leeming simon@waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 9337

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Sales manager Emily Norris emily@waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 4815 Sales manager Bryan Johnson bryan@waterfront-publishing.com 020 3865 9338

Head of design Billy Odell billy@ABTAmag.com Business travel editor Jenny Southan jenny@ABTAmag.com Sub-editors Emily Eastman, Nathaniel Cramp

With thanks to: Karl Cushing, Gary Noakes, Fred Mawer, Christine Smallwood, Jane Archer, Sue Bryant, Heidi Fuller-Love ABTAmag.com info@ABTAmag.com Twitter: @ABTAMagazine Facebook: ABTAMagazine LinkedIn: ABTAMagazine ABTA 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ Chief executive Mark Tanzer Chairman Noel Josephides

January 2019

9


News On trend

On trend TRAVELPORT BUYOUT

$4.4bn The amount Evergreen Coast Capital, the private equity affiliate of activist hedge fund Elliott Management, and Siris Capital Group are reported to be buying Travelport for. Doug Steenland, chairman of Travelport, said the deal was “a good

outcome for Travelport’s shareholders” and would enable it to “continue its work to position itself for growth in the evolving global travel industry”. Travelport’s headquarters will remain at Langley in the UK.

Every issue we reveal the numbers behind the biggest stories in travel

£70 million

The amount Jet2.com and Jet2holidays paid in commission between January and November last year. Read our interview with Steve Heapy and Alan Cross on p38.

ABTA Travel Trends 12% increase in overseas summer bookings for 2019 compared to the same time (October) last year, according to industry figures released by ABTA

Return of the trusted travel expert One of the key trends ABTA anticipates appearing in the travel industry this year

12 destinations to look out for These include Japan, where the ABTA Travel Conference will be held next year, Costa Rica and Bulgaria

For more on the ABTA Travel Trends 2019 report, see Industry Insights, p62

10 January 2019

ABTAmag.com


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News

News January 2019

All the latest headlines from the world of travel

INDUSTRY

Tui Group grows in tough year for tour operators

By Emily Eastman Tui Group has survived what it has described as a “challenging year, in particular for tour operators”. The group saw 4.7 per cent growth in customers, plus increases in direct and online distribution. In addition, all markets are now under the Tui branding. However, the markets and airlines unit of the group recorded a decline in earnings from €526.5 million in 2017 to €449.8 million this year. Tui said: “The ability of markets and airlines to outperform was limited by the prolonged hot weather this summer in northern Europe and significant levels of airline disruption, in what continues to be a challenging market environment… The weakness of pound sterling resulting from the Brexit vote, prolonged air traffic disruption caused by French air traffic controller strikes and a prolonged heatwave in northern and central Europe impacted the entire sector and were also reflected in the operating result delivered by markets and airlines, which fell short of the previous year’s levels.” Tui is targeting at least 10 per cent growth in underlying earnings over the next year. Growth from Tui’s “double-diversified” business model, digitalisation and efficiency, and investments is helping to overcome market challenges.

12 January 2019

The group notes continued high demand for its holiday experiences, with its hotels and clubs, cruises and destination experiences all performing well. Tui also saw higher demand for holidays in the Caribbean, Greece, North Africa and Turkey, as well as growth in cruise underpinned by new ship launches in the UK and Germany. Summer 2019 bookings are promising, with the UK more than 20 per cent booked – up five per cent year-on-year, although the average selling price is one per cent down. Group CEO Fritz Joussen said: “We are investing, we are growing with Tui’s high-margin products and services and our businesses are increasingly scaling. “Today, our holiday experiences account for more than 70 per cent of our earnings. This enables us to clearly differentiate ourselves from the competition.” The group says it has considerable potential for new business, turnover and earning. Next steps will see Tui transformed into a digital and platform organisation In a letter to shareholders, Joussen added: “There is no reason and no indication to believe that demand for travel will decline – on the contrary. “We have identified potential in many new markets.” ABTAmag.com

ENVIRONMENT

Cut carbon By Emily Eastman The United Nations Climate Change executive secretary has called for the travel and tourism sector to find new, innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint. Speaking at the UN Climate Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland as the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and UN Climate Change considered how the industry can move towards carbon neutrality by 2050, Patricia Espinosa said: “On a basic level, doing so is simply a question of survival. But on another level, it’s about capturing opportunity. It’s about transforming your businesses to be part of a global economic shift – one marked by sustainable growth and powered by renewable energy.” The call comes as countries continue to experience the effects of climate change. Innovative financing is needed as part of the response, as well as ongoing work between the UN and WTTC. WTTC president and chief executive Gloria Guevara said: “Given our sector’s contribution to social and economic development, it is important that travel and tourism plays its part in the drive towards climate neutrality.” ABTAmag.com

ABTAmag.com


Reinvented destination dining on the water

C

aterers and event specialist, Sodexo, is reinventing dining on the water with the relaunch of two of its classic boats as modern dining experiences, featuring interiors by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. Under the umbrella of Bateaux London, the Glass Room (previously Symphony) will weigh anchor this November with River Room (previously Harmony) completed by Easter 2019. These destination dining rooms on the water, sailing from Embankment Pier, will offer a unique experience for individual diners, corporate dining, celebrations and private charter, with the Glass Room targeted to city visitors and River Room designed to appeal to a London demographic.

The all-glass structure of Glass Room enables guests to enjoy views of London’s most iconic landmark buildings without interruption. It can accommodate 235 for a seated dining experience and 400 guests for a reception. Signature features include an exterior viewing platform for groups of up to 60 and a private dining room seating 10. The Glass Room’s kitchen team, led by head chef Jose Cacciavillani, prepare all the food on board with a focus on fresh and sustainable produce. The modern British menus will be available to book for lunch and dinner with a variety of packages on offer. Afternoon tea and Sunday lunch jazz voyages are accompanied by resident musicians and live entertainment.

The Tom Dixon-designed River Room, along with a new bar and café launching at The Moor Room, both in Spring 2019, are aimed at a London audience and will offer a programme of distinct and immersive dining experiences with a schedule of masterclasses, pop-ups and summer cinema screenings. Catrin White, marketing director at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said: “Bateaux spearheaded dining on the Thames over 25 years ago and we are so excited to be yet again leading the way with a new, elevated offering. Our aim is to bring a truly unique food-led experience to the Thames – a complete on-board package complemented by outstanding design, impeccable service and a quality food offering.’’ Departs daily from Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment, London, WC2N 6NU bateauxlondon.com bateauxlondon.com/glass-room 020 7695 1800 | @bateauxlondon

WELCOME TO ANOTHER LONDON Modern dining on the water. A new experience from Bateaux London.

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G L A S S RO O M. L O N D O N

January 2019 13


News

TOURING

TruTravels acquisition By Emily Eastman

AIR

Easier access to Africa from Manchester By Emily Eastman Ethiopian Airlines will fly four times a week from Manchester to Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. The new direct service is set to benefit 400,000 people across the north of England who currently use other routes to Africa. It also makes other African destinations more accessible, with connections available to Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Ethiopian Airlines will fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on the route, operating on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Return fares start at £499 for economy and from £1,999 for business class. The airline’s CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said: “We are elated to start our service to Manchester, our second destination in the UK next to London Heathrow, which we have been serving since 1973. “The socio-economic implication of the new flight is immense. With vast investment and trade potentials between Africa and the UK, the flight holds the promise of boosting trade, investment and tourism with ample business opportunities for investors and business people from both regions.” For Manchester, it means a crucial route into Africa for businesses in the north, plus new visitors and potential investors. ABTAmag.com

14 January 2019

Leading small-group adventure operator and social enterprise G Adventures has acquired youth travel specialist TruTravels. TruTravels founders Joe Fallon and Mark Pope will continue to run the company as partners and minority shareholders. The partnership means accelerating TruTravels’ path to becoming a global operator, as it now has access to the supply chain and distribution networks that G Adventures has built over the past 28 years. G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip said: “Earlier this year, I realised we were missing a beat with a new, grassroots style of small-group travel that was emerging for young people. When I started digging deeper into what TruTravels does, I discovered that while their ethos is closely aligned to ours, the way they communicate, and how they travel, is so different to G Adventures that we couldn’t compete. “For this reason, we don’t want to change what TruTravels does. Joe and Mark are doing an incredible job in this space with this new style of fun-focused travel which is rooted in meeting new people and driven by social media influences. Our aim is to give them a boost so they can do more of what they already do so well, and we welcome them to the G Adventures family of brands as a complementary business.” ABTAmag.com

Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook: @ABTAmagazine AIR

New routes to Silk Road By Emily Eastman Kazakhstan’s flagship carrier Air Astana is launching flights from Heathrow, Frankfurt and Paris via its Astana hub from March 29. The new routes offer greater access to the Silk Road destinations, including Uzbekistan – one of ABTA’s 12 travel trend destinations for 2019. Flights to Tashkent, Uzbekistan will run three times a week, with a transfer via a brand new terminal at Astana International Airport. Flight timings have been optimised for smooth transfers. Richard Ledger, Air Astana marketing and sales vice president, said the airline expects the route to be highly popular. He said: “Interest in the Silk Road destinations continues to grow and the addition of Tashkent offers passengers the perfect opportunity to combine a visit to Kazakhstan with Uzbekistan to further explore the region’s fascinating history.” ABTAmag.com

CRUISE

First roller coaster at sea Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship Mardi Gras will feature the first roller coaster at sea when it debuts in 2020. Built by Munichbased Maurer Rides, BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster is almost 250m long and will travel at speeds up to 65kmh.

ABTAmag.com


SUMMER 19

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News

INDUSTRY

CRUISE

A-Rosa expansion

Virgin Galactic reaches the edge of space By Emily Eastman Sir Richard Branson’s latest test flight to launch Virgin Galactic into space has been a success. The firm’s SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket ship reached a height of 82.7km. Outer space is said to begin at the Kármán line, a boundary at an altitude of 100km. The United States awards astronaut wings to professional, military and commercial astronauts who travel above 80km. The flight was the aircraft’s fourth test flight. It comes 10 years after Virgin Galactic first promised commercial space flight “within 18 months” back in 2008, following earlier setbacks in its space programme.

By Emily Eastman Delays and a fatal crash in 2014 also stalled Branson’s ambitions. There is fierce competition to be the first firm to fly commercial passengers to space, with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin sharing this goal. SpaceX is working with NASA to launch crewed missions early next year, while Bezos has said Blue Origin plans to send its first crew to space in 2019. Branson said: “Today, for the first time in history, a crewed spaceship, built to carry private passengers, reached space.” More than 600 people have bought tickets or put down deposits for a future voyage, which costs $250,000 for a 90-minute flight. ABTAmag.com

AIR

Qatar Airways upgrades services from the UK By Emily Eastman Qatar Airways is upgrading its services from Manchester and Gatwick this winter. Routes from Manchester will operate on the more spacious Boeing 777, while the frequency of flights from Gatwick is increasing from 14 to 16 flights a week. The London route is served by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

16 January 2019

Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We are dedicated to giving our customers more choice and flexibility when planning their business and leisure trips to and from Europe, enabling them to connect seamlessly at Hamad International Airport to more than 160 global destinations. The carrier now flies direct to more than 50 European cities. ABTAmag.com

The UK market will play a key role in A-Rosa River Cruises’ growth plans. The line will open a UK registered sales and marketing office in early 2019, the first international office to open outside of Germany. In addition, Lucia Rowe has been promoted to the newly created role of UK managing director. New builds and the modernisation of some of the existing fleet are also planned as part of the cruise line’s overall growth strategy. One of Rowe’s first tasks in her new role will be to assemble a team of on-the-road business development managers, officebased sales executives and a marketing team to work with tour operators, partners and agents on a daily basis. It is intended for the team to grow brand awareness and expand the line’s partnership network, plus offer greater trade support and host more educationals so that more agents can experience the product. Rowe said: “These are exciting times for A-Rosa River Cruises and I’m delighted that we are now committed to further growing the UK market going forward. We brought the product into the UK four years ago and it has gone from strength to strength. We will now invest in our own dedicated sales and marketing team who will be both on the road and in the office, supporting the trade and promoting all that A-Rosa River Cruises has to offer. “The new office and team will mean that we can get behind our trade partners more than ever. They are of paramount importance to us in the UK market and we look forward to working with them as we grow and develop going forward.” In addition, having been members of Clia since entering the UK market, A-Rosa River Cruises will now look at expanding this to become accredited by other relevant leading UK industry bodies. Globally, A-Rosa River Cruises is finalising its new build strategy for the coming years. ABTAmag.com

ABTAmag.com


Wien Holding

One of Europe’s largest entertainment groups Wien Holding owns many cultural institutions in Vienna such as museums, musical, opera and event venues. Need to Know

One Day in Vienna

Two Days in Vienna

• Wien Holding runs four museums: Mozarthaus Vienna, Mozart’s only remaining flat in Vienna; Haus der Musik, an interactive “museum of sound”; Kunst Haus Wien, which includes the Museum Hundertwasser; and the Jewish Museum Vienna.

Morning Learn about Mozart’s life and work at Mozarthaus Vienna, Mozart’s only Viennese flat still in existence today, or take part in a Mozartkugel-making workshop.

• Wien Holding’s cultural institutions also include Theater an der Wien, the city’s newest opera house; the Raimund Theater and the Ronacher, homes to Vienna’s world-class musicals; as well as the Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna’s venue for top stars and events.

Afternoon Head to Haus der Musik, birthplace of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and immerse yourself in the world of sound. In this interactive museum, you can give being a conductor a shot or compose your very own waltz.

Morning Start by visiting Kunst Haus Wien, founded by the artist Hundertwasser and home to his unique work as well as international photography exhibitions. True to the late artist’s visionary ecological commitment, it is Vienna’s first “green” museum. Finish with lunch at the quirky Kunst Haus Wien café which is as fantastic as Hundertwasser’s work.

• You can also explore the Danube with Wien Holding. DDSG Blue Danube offers cruises in Vienna and the Wachau region. The high-speed catamaran “Twin City Liner” connects Vienna and Bratislava city centres in just 75 minutes.

Evening Enjoy an evening cruise on the Danube with DDSG Blue Danube, featuring live music and Viennese food and drinks.

• If you need tickets to concerts, musicals, sport events or museum exhibitions, WienTicket are your best bet. They are one of Austria’s largest ticket sellers and part of the Wien Holding family.

Getting There & Around

Best time to travel

Airports: Vienna International Airport Railway: Vienna main railway station

All year round

Find out more on b2b.austria.info

Afternoon Explore Jewish history and culture at the Jewish Museum Vienna which hosts several fascinating rotating exhibitions every year. Evening Enjoy an evening of opera in the historical Theater an der Wien, one of Vienna’s most beautiful theatres.

Germany

Vienna

Italy


News

TOURING

LUXURY

Intrepid Travel expands Belmond range of women-only tours bought By Emily Eastman Leading experiential travel company Intrepid Travel will expand the number of its women-only tours in the Middle East following high customer interest and bookings. The itineraries are guided by female tour leaders and aim to break down cultural barriers in the destinations visited: Iran, Jordan and Morocco. The tours offer an insight into the traditions and routines of local women in each destination and access places that wouldn’t be possible with men in the group. Originally launched as just five departures, Intrepid has expanded to 25 trips across the three countries, with tours departing through to 2020.

The popularity of the tours is providing opportunities for women to find employment and empowerment, with Intrepid now employing 12 female guides in Morocco – up from zero just a couple of years ago. Intrepid’s commitment to women’s equality extends beyond the tours; the company is committed to diversity and inclusion across the business and aims to double its number of female tour leaders globally by 2020. In India, the company recently achieved a 50/50 gender split in the intake of new leaders, made possible by advertising for female applicants, creating targeted social campaigns and educating women’s families on the importance and benefits of female employment. ABTAmag.com

By Nathaniel Cramp Luxury hotel and leisure group Belmond is to be taken over by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for $2.6 billion. Belmond operates hotel, rail and river cruise businesses in 24 countries. Properties include the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and Cap Juluca in Anguilla. It also runs the Venice Simplon-OrientExpress and Belmond Royal Scotsman as well as cruise interests Belmond Afloat in France and Belmond Road to Mandalay. LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said: “This acquisition will significantly increase LVMH’s presence in the ultimate hospitality world.” Belmond president and CEO Roeland Vos added: “[This] is the result of the strong execution of our strategic vision that builds on our pioneering legacy and is an exciting development for all stakeholders, including our employees. “We are confident that, as part of LVMH’s world-class family of brands, Belmond’s ability to deliver timeless, one-of-a-kind luxury experiences will reach new levels.” ABTAmag.com

DESTINATION

FCO changes Lebanon advice The ancient Roman city of Baalbek is back on the tourist map following a revision of government travel restrictions. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) removed advice against travel to some areas of northern and eastern Lebanon, where the Unesco-listed site – one of the largest Roman sites in the world – is located. However, the FCO maintained a warning that terrorists are “very likely” to carry out attacks in the country. Additional security measures are also in place on flights.

18 January 2019

ABTAmag.com


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• Enjoy a guided tour of Bonn and explore its traditional Yuletide market • Cruise through the spectacular, world-famous Rhine Gorge in all its wintry glory • Discover historic Koblenz on our guided tour, dramatically situated at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle Rivers • Soak up the magical ambience of Cologne and explore its seven superb markets • Visit the charming wine town of Rüdesheim, and its pictureperfect Christmas market

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• See Kalocsa cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and Paprika Museum • Guided tour of historic Pecs and Budapest Live classical quartet recital on board • Take a scenic drive to the spectacular etiuS ynoclrock aB exformations uleD – ëtnorBat y l i mE S M Visit to baroque Bratislava, capital of Slovakia Belogradchik and into the ‘Puszta’ Cruise through the scenic Wachau, Austria’s premier wine • Tour the historic city of Belgrade region • Cruise through the Iron Gates Gorge Visit to Melk Abbey, the spectacular baroque monastery • Visit to Pleven Visit to medieval Dürnstein • Guided tour of Bucharest Tour of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart • Visit the ancient Romanian port of Constanta detnioppa yllufituaeb dna suoicapS htiw snoisrucxe dna sruot gnitanicsaF • Visit Lepenski Vir and Veliko Tarnovo Explore the amazing basilica at Esztergom sdeb ely ts-letoh htiw snibac ro set•iusEnjoy a guided tour sreofgacosmopolitan nam ruot dnaNovi sediSad ug t r e p x e Tour of Budapest, Pearl of the Danube

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sweiv revir dDepartures na from April to September 2019 esiurc decneirepxe ruo fo seciv res ehT emoclew gnidulcni draob no s laem llA reganam ruot dna rotcerid eht dna rennid emoclew a ,s liat kcoc CONTACT US FOR FURTHER DETAILSrenniD s’niatpaC nodnoL morf ratsoruE ro thgifl nruteR s t ropria KU morf s thgilF .*sarcnaP tS OR FOR AGENCY SALES SUPPORT eeffoc ,aet draob-no y ratnemilpmoC eTom lbaliavGina a snoitMia cennoDarren c liar KTamzin U dnaPaul Emma Call for support: 01283 744307 | email: agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk iF-iW dna )ylppa yam s tnemelppus( YOUR FRIENDLY AGENCY SALES TEAM sesiuonline: rc detcewww.rivieratravel.co.uk/agents les nO* Call to book: 01283 744370 | Book Departures from April to October 2019

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Promotion

Paradise found Bio-diverse and eco-friendly, the Seychelles is an archipelago of unrivalled beauty perfect for those who want to protect the world as they explore it

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ituated 1,500 kilometres off the mainland of East Africa in the western Indian Ocean, the 115-island archipelago known as the Seychelles, with its white-sand beaches, turquoise cays, and some of the rarest flora and fauna on earth, is a paradise of incomparable beauty. Temperatures rarely dip below 24 degrees Celsius, and rarely rise above 33: it’s no wonder the Seychelles are known as the “land of perpetual summer”. With direct British Airways flights now connecting London and Mahé, where the country’s main airport is located, in just 10 hours, it has never been easier to visit the country. But it is a destination still unspoilt by tourism, welcoming just over 300,000 visitors each year.

PRISTINE PARADISE

In this diverse archipelago, no two islands are the same, with each offering its own geographical character – from granite boulders to coral reefs, dense forests to

22 January 2019

sprawling national parks. It is home to two World Heritage Sites: the Vallée de Mai on Praslin, where the coco-de-mer nut grows, and Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll. What truly sets the Seychelles apart is that, because of its dedication to conservation, its environment remains protected and pristine. The tourist office has been working with WiseOceans and the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles on projects that have helped establish it as one of the world’s great eco-tourism destinations.

ISLAND HOPPING

With 100-plus diverse islands spread across an area of 1.4 million sq km, there is an incredible choice. Of these, only 16 islands currently have hotels, including Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, North Island and Silhouette Island. But one of the joys of a holiday in the Seychelles is the ability to experience several destinations in one trip. Visitors can either sail between islands on the Seychelles Ferry or hire a yacht, allowing them to experience the islands,

both granitic and coralline, at their own leisure. It is, unsurprisingly, also a diver’s paradise.

THE GARDEN OF EDEN

In 1881, when the Victorian hero General Charles Gordon, a devout Christian, set sail to the Seychelles, he arrived in Praslin, and became convinced that the island’s Vallée de Mai was the Garden of Eden, as described in the Book of Genesis. The area, now a nature reserve, is the habitat for the endemic coco-de-mer, a “flagship species of global significance” that can grow to a height of 34 metres. In fact, the Seychelles is known for its endemic species: there are more than 75 flowering plants alone that are unique to the islands, as well as amphibians such as the tiny Gardiner’s Seychelles frog, birds such as the Seychelles black parrot, giant tortoises, and mammals such as the Aldabra flying fox. It is no wonder General Gordon thought he had alighted on paradise. For more information, visit seychelles.travel

ABTAmag.com


Out and about Pictures from the latest travel industry events 1. Agents visit the Hotel Xcaret Mexico at Ella Canta, InterContinental, Park Lane, to announce the launch of the new hotel, Casa de la Playa, located in the Riviera Maya. Pictured left to right: Malcolm Davies from Funway Holidays, Karis Tuñón from Hills Balfour and Rianne Van Groenigen from Hotel Xcaret Mexico. 2. The Jamaica Tourist Board hosted a group of travel agents for a Jamaican Christmasthemed Supper Club to showcase the incredible food culture of the destination. Jamaica Tourist Board’s business development officer Donovan Donaldson (centre) is pictured cooking with the agents. 3. Attendees of EVA Air’s Evening Reception meeting former West Ham United players Carlton Cole and Jack Collison. 4. Lynn Narraway and Wendy Lahmich of Seabourn join Iglu’s chairman Martyn Williams, Simone Clarke and Dave Mills as the travel agency celebrates its 20th birthday. 5. Richard D Fain, Malala Yousafzai (the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who is the ship’s godmother), Lisa Lutoff-Perlo and Captain Costas Nestoroudis christen Celebrity Edge at the ship’s Naming Ceremony at Port Everglades in Florida. 6. Briony Smith from Super Break (right) visits the TUI store in Durham to deliver some goodies and a certificate to Rachael Nicholson (left), who won Agent of the Month for the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside region.

4 ABTAmag.com

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6 Send your travel industry pictures to info@ABTAmag.com and we’ll print the best

January 2019 23


ABTA Magazine Interview Intrepid Group

James Thornton CEO, Intrepid Group Sam Ballard talks sustainable travel and shared value at the small group operator

O

nce a niche interest, responsible travel now attracts more travellers than ever. In fact, in its Travel Trends report, ABTA has said this will be the year that responsible tourism goes mainstream. However, there are a select few that have been promoting it for decades. The Intrepid Group is most certainly on that list. Founded in 1989 by Australians Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester, Intrepid is now one of the leading small group tour operators in the world. It doesn’t just donate money to worthy causes, but looks to create ‘shared value’ between local communities and corporate entities. “Traditionally there was corporate philanthropy and then there was corporate social responsibility,” explains James Thornton, CEO of the Intrepid Group – the first non-founder to hold the position. “Now there’s shared value, which is an initiative we subscribe to. “The idea is that through partnerships you can collaborate on an issue – be it environmental or social – and, critically, create a competitive advantage for the business. Philanthropy is fine, but it isn’t sustainable. It’s too easy for corporates to walk away. If it provides the corporate entity with a competitive advantage then it will capture and engage the corporate in solving a commercial problem.” This is the future of sustainable travel. Essentially, create a business model whereby the company benefits from a sustainable social enterprise and the entire mechanism is self-fulfilling. For Intrepid, which will take 430,000 travellers away this year, it means leveraging the power of that consumer base to do some real good while also making a profit.

24 January 2019

“An example of the work we do is an initiative called Koto in Ho Chi Minh City,” Thornton adds. “It was started by an ex-Intrepid leader called Jimmy Fam. He wanted to set up a cookery school and train up local, underprivileged children to provide them with an income that would enable them to have a livelihood. “We’ve been big supporters. Not only is it philanthropic in nature, but it provides us with a competitive advantage. We can take our groups to Vietnam and through Koto. They get to have a fantastic experience and eat a local meal cooked by trainees in this cookery school. Then they can make donations themselves.” Intrepid went carbon neutral in 2010 and banned orphanage visits in 2016-17 after research it commissioned revealed that as many as 70 per cent of orphans had been sold into orphanages by their parents. One of the more controversial initiatives that Intrepid took a leading stance on had a more surprising effect, however. “In 2014 we became the first tour operator to ban elephant rides,” says Thornton. “We commissioned the charity World Animal Protection to look at animal welfare standards in 118 elephant parks in southeast Asia. They found that only four met even the most basic standards. “Back then, southeast Asia made up 35 to 40 per cent of our overall business and almost every operator would have elephant rides on the front of their brochure. It was a difficult choice. Would people move over to competitors to get that experience? Or should we take a market-leading position.” The ban came in March 2014 and the avalanche of positive coverage that followed – by global media outlets such as the BBC, CNN and the Financial Times – meant they have an ownership of this topic.

“As a result 122 tour operators followed in our footsteps,” Thornton adds. “It’s now socially unacceptable. It also helped us grow. The year after we banned elephant rides more people travelled with us to Thailand than the year before.” Thornton, who joined Intrepid in 2005, held various roles in the business before becoming CEO in March 2017. He now also chairs the Intrepid Foundation – the group’s not-for-profit arm – which is run independently but with its costs covered by the Group. At WTM London last November he picked up a World Tourism Award for the work that the foundation has engaged in. Since becoming chairman, Thornton has brought in a general manager and hired a team of three. There has been a narrowing of focus to target United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Eight – which is about fair work and employment. That is where initiatives such as Koto or the Tourism Hub in Myanmar – an initiative with local women in Yangon – come in. Well thought out social enterprises give Intrepid’s travellers unique experiences. That in turn increases the company’s profits and allows them to create more. “There is totally a business case for responsible travel. We have two overarching things we try and do in our company. The first is that we try and grow the market for sustainable, experience-rich travel. The second thing we try and do is create a business that has a purpose beyond profit. That’s not to say that we don’t want to make a profit. We just want a core reason for being, beyond making a profit. “We fundamentally believe that the more we are able to grow, the more we can do things in the purpose space, and the more we do in the purpose space, the more we are able to grow.” ABTAmag.com

ABTAmag.com


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Spirit of Discovery A new era in luxury British cruising Oceans of space to play and relax

Seafood specialities, from Coast to Coast

Spiced-up dining in East to West

She may be a smaller ship, but you’re sure to be surprised by just how spacious Spirit of Discovery is. Packed with restaurants, sociable bars, comfortable lounges, a gym, theatre and outside space, it’s easy to find your favourite area to play, relax and indulge.

A smaller venue, Coast to Coast showcases modern seafood cuisine: locally-sourced fish, sushi, shellfish and other fruits de mer. Choose from the ‘catch of the day’, or who can resist our tempting take on classic fish and chips, served with thrice-cooked chips. And it’s always free to dine, throughout your cruise.

They say variety is the spice of life, so why not try something completely different? Our exciting, free-to-dine Asian venue will tantalise your clients' taste buds with the fresh flavours of the Orient, thanks to an array of authentic dishes and a frequentlychanging dinner menu, all impeccably presented.

The Playhouse, our first-ever theatre Spirit of Discovery has another exciting first for Saga: the ship’s very own theatre. Raked seating means the best seat in the house for your clients, wherever they sit. Expect colourful shows, live music, guest entertainers, cinema screenings and more. Or why not head to the wonderfully cosy Britannia Lounge for an alternative programme of entertainment, day and night?

The Club by Jools Guests can look forward to live music and incredible cuisine in The Club by Jools, our first-ever celebrity venue, endorsed by musician Jools Holland. Based on a 50s cabaret club, it will be a place to enjoy live music and cocktails in the evenings, with resident and guest musicians entertaining until late.


There’s now just a few months to wait until cruising on Spirit of Discovery becomes a reality. The only luxury ship being built for the British market, she offers worldclass fine dining, an array of entertainment options and the finest cabins afloat. Welcome to boutique cruising. Included in your fare: Traditional, elegant afternoon tea

The finest cabins afloat

Afternoon tea is one of the finest traditions of life on the ocean wave. And on Spirit of Discovery, it is offered free of charge every day in the grand dining room. Served individually to guests at their table étagère-style in a tiered curate stand, it’s the perfect showcase for delicate sandwiches, beautifully-crafted cakes, delicious patisseries and freshly-made scones. Hard to resist.

Taking their design cues from some of London’s top hotels, the cabins aboard Spirit of Discovery have been styled to showcase the best in contemporary, yet classic, British design. With an average floor plan of 215 square feet as standard, they provide a haven to relax and re-energise while enjoying your own personal space. 109 single cabins dedicated to solo travellers.

• Return chauffeur service up to 250 miles of the port

• Or complimentary car

parking near the port, coach/rail travel, or UK domestic flights (subject to availability)

• Optional travel insurance • Porters to unload and carry your bags, free of charge

• A sailaway party with complimentary drinks

• All meals and snacks are

included, in every main and speciality restaurant

• Wine with lunch and dinner • Explore Ashore service to help customers plan their excursions

• Day and night entertainment • Complimentary afternoon tea, served each day

• 24-hour room service • Unlimited tea, coffee, fruit juices and freshly-baked snacks in selected venues

• All on-board gratuities • Complimentary Wi-Fi • Group tourist visas should

you need it to join excursions (for UK residents)

• All inclusive in 2020 A balcony for every guest

The Spa

It’s one of the ship’s most distinctive features: every cabin has a balcony, giving each guest their own outside space. So whether they're in a stunning Norwegian fjord or sailing around the sunny Mediterranean, they will have their own place to relax, enjoy the views and fresh air.

Flooded with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, the serene Aqua Spa is the perfect setting for a hydrotherapy pool, infrared sauna and steam room. From hot stone massage to facials, and manicures to hairdressing, it’s a little bit of heaven, wherever you are in the world.


ABTA Magazine

ABTA news January 2019

All the latest reports, comment, campaigns and events from ABTA – The Travel Association

Responsible travel among key 2019 trends

The Travel Association shares the trends to watch and places to visit this year By Emily Eastman ABTA has announced its key trends and top 12 destinations for 2019 in its Travel Trends report. Its top trends for this year include a resurgence of the trusted travel expert, an increase in wellness travel and the continued rise in responsible travel. Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “Sustainability issues are now firmly in the minds of holidaymakers. Our research shows people are increasingly conscious of the positive influence they can have through their holiday booking choices and are more mindful of the actions they take. “We expect these factors to further inform where and how they holiday next year. The travel industry has been working across a range of sustainability issues for some time now and continues to develop plans and initiatives which support local communities, their economies and the environment.” The report also named 12 destinations to watch this year. They are: Bulgaria; Costa Rica (pictured); Denver, Colorado;

28 January 2019

Durban, South Africa; Galicia, Spain; Japan; Jordan; Madeira (pictured); Poland; Thessaloniki and the surrounding area; Uzbekistan; and Western Australia. According to the Travel Association, in the next 12 months, 46 per cent of people are likely to visit a country they have never been to before, and more than half (53 per cent) are likely to visit a new resort or city. Victoria Bacon, ABTA director of brand and business development, said: “This year’s 12 destinations to watch showcase the diversity available to UK holidaymakers, including a range of vibrant cities, rich cultures, incredible countryside and stunning beaches – all readily accessible from the UK. “Holidaymakers are increasingly looking to make their money go further and many of the destinations we have highlighted do just that, whether it is the abundance of flight routes or a favourable exchange rate. “I hope our choices provide some inspiration for customers when choosing their overseas breaks in 2019.” ABTA.com

ABTAmag.com


UAE health and safety training initiative

ABTA issues further VAT guidance By ABTA Magazine staff

ABTA’s senior destinations manager Angie Hills and Heather Pennock, ABTA destinations manager, together with ABTA Partner IGI International, recently travelled to the UAE to collaborate with the UAE Ministry of Economy, VisitUAE and the hosting Emirates of Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman to provide accommodation suppliers and handling agents with the opportunity to attend a training seminar covering accommodation health, safety and crisis management. Each seminar was opened by a senior representative from the Tourism Authorities of the hosting Emirate who welcomed ABTA and the delegates and reinforced the message that the safety and well-being of mutual customers and staff should be at the heart of every business. ABTA and IGI’s presence was most welcome to share knowledge and advice and provide an update on the new ABTA Health & Safety Technical Guide. The events were attended by more than 250 suppliers from a cross section of the tourism sector including hoteliers, excursion providers, ground agents and local authority personnel. Delegates were provided with the ABTA Health & Safety Technical Guide for accommodation providers in English and Arabic so that they can use the information within their working environments. Nikki White, ABTA director of destinations and sustainability, said: “My team does a great deal of good work helping destinations achieve and maintain the highest safety and hygiene standards, which are of great benefit to destinations, our members and their customers. These recent seminars are the clearest indication of the UAE’s commitment to maintaining high standards and we were delighted by the enthusiasm and professionalism of all those who attended.” ABTA.com

From April 1, 2019, as part of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative, there will be a requirement for companies with a taxable turnover above £85,000 to keep certain records in digital form as well as filing VAT records digitally. Last year, ABTA issued a guidance note on this complex and important area, which should be read in conjunction with the guidance issued by HMRC. Now, ABTA has issued a further note detailing how MTD requirements interact with the Tour Operator Margin Scheme and tour operators’ obligations in relation to VAT calculations. It is important that members plan ahead and make sure that their accounting systems are able to comply with the new requirements. Members will be keenly aware that failure to submit tax returns on time and correctly can have severe financial implications. Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “Both guidance notes are intended to give members a good initial steer through the new requirements and are available in the members’ section of abta.com. “We will be covering this topic at our Travel Finance Conference in February and also have a number of ABTA Partners accountancy firms and systems experts who can provide you with assistance if you need any further help, together with the ABTA tax helpline.” ABTA.com

ABTA online The latest travel advice

The latest on visas, health requirements and destinations. See abta. com/tips-and-latest/ latest-travel-advice

ABTAmag.com

ABTA campaigns The full list of ABTA’s campaigns, which raise awareness of important travel issues. See abta. com/tips-and-latest/ abta-campaigns

January 2019 29


ABTA Magazine

Ask the expert Do you have a burning question you can’t find the answer to? Be it travel trends, a regulatory riddle, or destination dilemmas, send us your query for an expert response

Can I protect my business from fraud? I often read in the press about travel businesses being targeted by fraudsters and last year it happened to me. We lost £4,000 to a fraud but just wrote it off. I would really like to know how can I protect my business, which areas are most at risk and what should I be doing to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Anon

DON’T MISS Cyber and Data Breach Management 5 March, London

Fraud is a real and present issue for travel businesses and the amounts of money involved can be substantial. Online bookings, holiday villas and apartments and airline tickets are the most common areas for fraud, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. Be on the lookout for websites that are identical to your own as fraudsters often use ‘site scrapers’ to copy websites. They will then make minor alterations such as to the phone number and email address. However, it can be very difficult for customers to tell the difference between the fake and your genuine site. If you spot a fake site you should report this to Action Fraud (actionfraud.police.uk), and you can also sometimes contact the website host, such as GoDaddy, for example.  ABTA may be able to help you by also contacting the authorities. Card-not-present fraud remains one of the biggest risks of fraud with both online and telephone bookings. Late bookings where travel commences within a few days of booking is usually targeted as travel will normally have been taken before you even find out that a fraud has taken place. While official stats from banking body UK Finance show that in 2017 this form of fraud dropped slightly year-on-year, it still accounts for £409 million, 73 per cent of overall losses on UKissued cards. Invoice fraud and CEO fraud are two types of crime that are becoming much more common and we have seen recent cases of both of these types of fraud within the travel industry. Invoice fraud is where your supplier invoices are intercepted and then a request is made to you to change bank account details or the invoice is doctored with the fraudsters’ bank details. CEO fraud is where an email is sent from a CEO or chairman while they are out of the office, requesting that an urgent same-day payment is made. The email looks like it comes from that person internally but it’s actually fraudulent. It is very important that you have processes in place to deal with out-of-the-ordinary payment requests from anybody within your business or requests for changes of bank account from your suppliers; a phone call to check these are genuine could save thousands of pounds. If you discover you have been the victim of fraud then report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or speak to a specialist fraud advisor on 0300 123 2040. You can also use the online tool if you suspect you have been targeted. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you always tell the police if you have been the victim of fraud. Fraudsters are often involved in other forms of serious crimes and all fraud reports are passed to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). All of this information can be crucial in the fight against crime. Steve Abrahamson Senior risk manager, ABTA

Got a question? Email: info@ABTAmag.com 30 January 2019

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ABTA comment

Travel in 2019 A

BTA’s Holiday Habits research found that more people took an overseas holiday in 2018 than at any time over the past seven years. This is a tribute to the remarkable resilience of the market, reflecting both the high standard and variety of holidays on offer, as well as the industry’s ongoing ability to provide good value, quality breaks. But last year was not without its challenges. The record heatwave created a difficult lates market for foreign breaks, although the warm summer is likely to give a boost to domestic bookings for 2019. Europe has always attracted the lion’s share of UK overseas holidaymakers and that seems set to continue. Our research found that 61 per cent of people are planning to head to the continent at some stage in 2019. By November, bookings were up on the same time the previous year, which likely reflects people wanting to get in early to ensure value for money and the destination of their choice.

Sixty one per cent of people are planning to head to Europe at some stage in 2019 Last year also saw Turkey and Egypt return strongly to the table, with significant doubledigit growth. This followed a number of years of dramatic falls in visitor numbers due mostly to the public’s concerns over security. This growth partly represented a steady return closer to earlier booking levels as both countries began to regain lost ground, but it is also a reflection of the pent up demand for both destinations. Early bookings for 2019 are also showing similar high levels of

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increase for these popular Eastern Med destinations. Familiar favourites such as Spain and Greece are booking well and Bulgaria – one of ABTA’s Travel Trends 12 Destinations to Watch – is tipped for a bumper year. As for the types of trips holidaymakers want, people are increasingly conscious of the impact their trip has on the places they visit. Responsible travel is no longer niche, it’s now very much in the mainstream: ABTA’s most recent consumer research found that 45 per cent of people – a significant and unignorable proportion – said that sustainability is an important element when booking a holiday, which has almost doubled in the last four years (up from 24 per cent in 2014). The high-profile news stories of the temporary closure to tourists of the iconic Maya Bay in Thailand and idyllic island of Boracay in the Philippines, have raised awareness of the impact unchecked tourism can have, and of the need for effective planning and management. ABTA members are working to ensure a sustainable future for the industry, destinations and local people. Travel companies are taking action by running initiatives across a range of areas, including waste management and carbon reduction as well as taking action to support local economies and workers. Examples include TUI pledging to deliver 10 million “greener and fairer” holidays by 2020 and Thomas Cook looking to remove 70 million pieces of single-use plastics within the next twelve months.

Emma Brennan

Head of media and PR, ABTA

January 2019 31


ABTA Magazine

ABTA campaigns Travel with Confidence in 2019 A nationwide advertising campaign encouraging holidaymakers to book with an ABTA member By ABTA Magazine staff ABTA launched its 2019 Travel with Confidence national advertising campaign on December 25, 2018, to coincide with the industry’s busiest sales period of the year. The campaign comprises a series of four different digital radio adverts that aim to raise awareness of ABTA’s Travel with Confidence brand, while also encouraging people to book with an ABTA member. The radio adverts are expected to reach more than six million listeners and each one has been developed specifically to target a different audience; one for families on Heart DAB, one for young people on Capital DAB and one for the over 55s on Classic DAB. The fourth advert is being broadcast across all three radio stations and provides an overview of the benefits of booking with an ABTA member, including supporting

high standards in health and safety and responsible tourism at home and abroad. All four adverts will also include a new “sonic identity” developed for ABTA by Global; a short piece of music for people to identify the association by. The radio campaign will be followed by an online targeted advertising campaign, beginning in mid-January and serving as a visual reminder for people to book their holiday with an ABTA member. Holidaymakers can also visit abta.com for tips on how to travel with confidence. Victoria Bacon, ABTA’s director of brand and business development, said: “As we move into 2019 people’s thoughts are turning to booking holidays for the year ahead and we want to remind them of the importance of booking with an ABTA member, to ensure they travel with confidence.

“This year’s advertising campaign uses a multi-channel approach to reach holidaymakers right at the point of making their holiday decisions and also reflects the diverse range of holidays our members offer for people across all demographics, whether that’s a winter sports break in Bulgaria or a Caribbean cruise. “I would encourage all ABTA members to get behind the campaign by using the Travel with Confidence logo in their advertising.” ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators that sell £37 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year. It has achieved Business Superbrand status for the past 12 years and, according to independent research, is the UK’s most trusted travel scheme among members of the public. ABTA.com

Millions of Brits take winter sports holidays without correct insurance ABTA launches its Ski Safe campaign to help holidaymakers stay safe on the slopes By ABTA Magazine staff More than 2.5 million British adults who have been on winter sports holidays admit never checking whether they have appropriate insurance, according to new research from ABTA. As Brits prepare for their skiing and snowboarding holidays, ABTA is encouraging holidaymakers to ensure they have the right cover for their activities. Figures show that ABTA members reported two British ski-related fatalities and 197 significant incidents on the slopes overseas in the past 12 months – but these figures only represent those cases reported by ABTA members, and the association

32 January 2019

believes the total number of incidents to be much higher. Twenty-two per cent of people who have ever been on a winter sports holiday never check their insurance, rising to 28 per cent of people aged 55 and over. Meanwhile, 15 per cent of 18-to-24 year olds say they never check whether they have appropriate insurance. Nikki White, ABTA’s director of destinations and sustainability, said: “Thousands of people are hitting the slopes each year without the right travel insurance. Many wrongly assume they are automatically covered for winter sports as part of their travel insurance, putting them at risk of costly medical bills if they have an accident.

“We advise holidaymakers to check their insurance cover before travelling. It’s also important that holidaymakers get ski-fit in order to be safe on the slopes.” Darren Neylon, CEO of Ski Club of Great Britain, agrees. The club is supporting ABTA’s Ski Safe campaign, and Neylon says regular exercise before a ski trip could help prevent injuries. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stresses that it cannot pay medical bills if you are hospitalised abroad or fly you home. Unexpected medical costs or returning to the UK can be very expensive. The FCO is encouraging British nationals to #SkiSafe this winter. ABTA.com

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Events February 6 Advanced Health and Safety Seminar, London Hear from expert speakers on how to identify and manage safety defects within your product portfolio and how best to work with your suppliers to ensure safety standards are met.

ABTA conferences and events deliver practical training for the travel industry and help keep you and your staff up to date on the most important, business-critical issues, with a focus on practical learning. Visit ABTA.com/events to learn more about our upcoming events and register your place.

March 5

March 5

March 19

Social Media in Travel, Bristol Get practical advice on advertising, selling, creating content and measuring the ROI on a variety of channels. Expert speakers will discuss topics including how to track metrics, building brand loyalty and the art of selling on social.

Cyber and Data Breach Management, London This new seminar teaches you how to protect your business against cyber attacks and data breaches with robust breach detection, investigation and internal reporting procedures.

Animal Welfare in Tourism, London Improve your services and products to ensure that you meet your customers’ expectations with regards to animal welfare. A good approach will help you to attract new customers, reduce complaints and avoid costly reputational damage.

March 21

March 21

March 27

Luxury Travel Conference, London Get up to date with the latest luxury products and trends in this fastevolving sector. Learn how to target and build loyalty among specific affluent groups.

Complaints Handling Workshop, Manchester Develop your knowledge and understanding of the complaints handling process. This workshop equips you with the essential skills to deal with complaints effectively.

The Business Travel Law Seminar, London This seminar provides a comprehensive update on compliance and regulatory issues for the business travel sector. Attend for a timely update on Brexit, the new Package Travel Regulations and GDPR.

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January 2019 33


Business travel Trends Artificial Intelligence

New year, new trends Business Travel Report

Business travel is only set to grow in 2019 – here are the trends – and destinations – to look out for

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s we enter a new year, questions arise about how business travel will change as we approach 2020 and beyond. Political uncertainties related to Brexit could potentially be disruptive and companies need to make preparations. But just as technology such as video conferencing didn’t put an end to the need to fly around the world for face-to-face meetings, politics will only go so far in deterring business from continuing. For the frequent corporate flyer, a shift towards work and lifestyle integration (rather than balancing two opposing states) means it is ever-more common to

tag a Saturday night stay onto a work trip: according to expense management company SAP Concur, 19 per cent of people do so in the United States, 27 per cent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and 44 per cent in Asia-Pacific. Here are six more trends gaining momentum and five destinations to keep an eye on in the year ahead… SIX BUSINESS TRAVEL TRENDS 1.Business travel market rises in value A 2018 report from Allied Market Research predicted that, by 2023, the global business travel market will be worth $1.65 trillion, up from $1.3 trillion in 2017 (CAGR is at 4.1 per cent). The Global Business

by Jenny Southan, business travel editor Travel Association (GBTA) had similar findings, anticipating that the market will be worth £1.7 trillion by 2022. In a statement, Michael W McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, said: “This pick-up in growth could signify an end to the ‘era of uncertainty’ in global business travel, but rising protectionism is coming at precisely the wrong time. The direction of trade policy is far and away the biggest wild card that could impact our forecast.” 2. Chinese aviation sets new standards Chinese airports and carriers are investing heavily in improvements to cybersecurity and luggage handling systems. The 2018 Air Transport IT Insights report from multinational information technology company SITA revealed that Chinese airports are putting more money into IT – 7.5 per cent of revenue in 2018, higher than the global average of 5.69 per cent. This year, all Chinese airlines will track bags on at least 50 per cent of their route network, and 95 per cent of airports will put fighting hackers at the top of their agendas. Hopefully the rest of the world will follow their example.

34 January 2019

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The headlines Virgin Atlantic “transforms” Upper Class on A330-200s

By the end of this month, Virgin Atlantic will have completed the revamp of all four of its leased A330-200s (formerly used by Air Berlin), featuring a “complete transformation”, as the airline describes, of its Upper Class product. Arranged 1-2-1, all seats are forward-facing rather than angled in the herringbone style, have larger tables, 20-inch HD screens and, of course, fully flat beds.

DON’T MISS The Business Travel Law Seminar 27 March 2019, London abta.com/events/business-travel-lawseminar-london

3. The dawn of electric planes With air travel currently producing eight per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, electric flight promises to be a less damaging way to get around. To provide an incentive, London Heathrow is offering to waive landing fees worth £1 million to the first airline to schedule regular hybrid electric flights by 2030. Last year, a two-seat electric aircraft was successfully tested at Oslo airport (Norway wants all flights to be electric by 2040) and US company Wright Electric is partnering with EasyJet to introduce electric planes with a range of 500km to its fleet as soon as possible. A nine-seater zero-carbon plane will be tested this year. 4. Medium-haul business class gets upgrade All too often, medium-haul flights of three to six hours tend to have the same business class seating as short-haul routes. However, two airlines recently changed the way they are configuring their planes, fitting them with more luxurious products. Firstly, Turkish Airlines is installing the Rockwell Collins-designed MiQ seat in a 2-2 (as opposed to 3-3) arrangement to its A321 NEOs and B737 MAXs, while Singapore Airlines debuted 40 new business class seats by Stelia Aerospace on its inaugural A350-900 service from Singapore to

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American Express to open Centurion lounge at Heathrow T3 American Express will open a new Centurion lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3 this year, its first in Europe and 13th internationally. For exclusive use by Platinum and Centurion cardholders, the 7,000sq-ft space will offer free food and drink, showers, workstations and high-speed wi-fi.

Uber journeys are “most expensed” travel outlay

Expense travel tracking company Certify has revealed that business travellers in North America expensed more Uber receipts than from any other travel company in 2018. Its Spend Smart report showed that 11 per cent of all expenses submitted were for Uber, followed by Starbucks and Amazon (roughly four per cent each). Overall, 73 per cent of taxi rides were with Uber.

Lincoln Plaza London hotel to open in Canary Wharf

This month, the new Lincoln Plaza London hotel, which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection lifestyle brand, will be unveiled in Canary Wharf. It will feature 129 rooms, an 18m pool, an organic grocery and wine shop, restaurants including Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen by chef Cyrus Todiwala, and seven meeting venues.

British Airways plans to launch electronic bag tags

Also expected this month is an innovation from British Airways in the form of reusable digital luggage tags that sync to travellers’ flight details in the BA app. The tag will cost £60 and can be attached to whatever suitcase or bag people happen to be using.

January 2019 35


Business travel New trends

Previous page: Singapore Airlines’ new business class seats by Stelia Aerospace; the soon-to-open new airport in Istanbul

Adelaide in December 2018. Seats on this twin-aisle aircraft will be arranged 1-2-1, feature personal Thales AVANT in-flight entertainment screens and, most impressive, recline to a fully flat bed. 5. Airlines innovate to fight jet lag Suffering from jet lag in the 21st century seems like an anachronism. Although a panacea isn’t quite in sight yet, airlines are beginning to recognise the value in helping passengers feel better. Japan’s ANA is planning to launch an anti-jet-lag app in April, while Singapore Airlines has designed more nutritious meals and

exercise regimes for people flying on its new 18-hour 45-minute route from Singapore to New York (the world’s longest), plus LA and San Francisco. This is after Qantas launched a new jet-lagfighting menu on its 17-hour London-Perth sector (items include tuna poke salad and cold-pressed green juice). Meanwhile, Air France has a detox bar at its new business class lounge in Paris CDG. 6. Micro hotels go mainstream Although there will always be a place for five-star hotels, often all business travellers need is a clean, comfortable bed and a hot

Five emerging business travel destinations PITTSBURGH, USA

shower. The Japanese have been ahead of the curve on this front for years, with “salarymen” crawling into capsules for power naps. Then came Yotel at Gatwick in 2007 – the company is now opening outposts with rooms as small as seven square metres in Istanbul airport (at the end of 2018) and San Francisco, Singapore Changi, Edinburgh, central London, Geneva and Glasgow this year. It was recently announced that Premier Inn was following suit with its new Zip concept opening in Cardiff in March (rooms are 8.5sq m). Free-standing Airpod sleep capsules are set to arrive at select airports in 2019. ABTAmag.com

SURAT, INDIA

A “smart” city in west India’s state of Gujurat, Surat is the fourth fastest-growing city in the world in terms of population, according to international think tank the City Mayors Foundation. It is known for its textile and diamond industries – 40 per cent of India’s synthetic fabrics are produced here and nine in 10 of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished in Surat.

BELGRADE, SERBIA

After the financial crisis 10 years ago, Pittsburgh has experienced economic transformation. It now excels in innovation, IT, life sciences, communications, healthcare, research and energy solutions. More than 100 global multi-billion-dollar firms are based here. British Airways is launching flights from London Heathrow from April 2, 2019.

On March 31, 2019, Air France will start flying from Paris CDG to the Serbian capital of Belgrade. New Belgrade is one of the Balkans’ most important financial centres, and the city has a particular focus on IT, hosting international companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Asus and Intel. Serbia is making various reforms to gain entry into the EU by 2025.

WUHAN, CHINA

MONTREAL, CANADA

In May 2018 China Southern Airlines began the first non-stop route from London Heathrow to Wuhan. It is considered the epicentre of finance, politics, transport and trade in the region, and already receives a great deal of interest from France (representing over one third of total French investment in the country), with foreign companies located here including Alcatel, Carrefour and PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

36 January 2019

Phase one of a new Four Seasons hotel was completed here in 2018, with its surrounding Golden Square Mile experiencing a construction boom. Foreign direct investment in Montreal was up 50 per cent in 2017 and its tech centre (encompassing AI, gaming, visual effects and aerospace) is exploding. It had higher economic growth in 2018 than any other Canadian city. In December, Qatar Airways added a fourth weekly service from Doha.

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Spotlight on Jet2

Spotlight on

Jet2 Sam Ballard attends the Jet2 VIP Conference in Turkey and hears how the airline and tour operator has become so prominent in the UK travel market

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t is one of the industry’s biggest success stories: from a temporary cabin at Leeds Bradford Airport in 2002 to the third largest airline in the UK. Add to that a tour operator which only launched in 2007, and is already the second largest in the UK, and you can see why Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are worthy of such hyperbole. “Ultimately, we see ourselves as a customer service organisation,” says Stephen Heapy, the CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays. “We want to invest in that experience. If you look after the customer, they look after you by booking again. We are obsessed with customer service. “We keep our prices as low as possible. We might not make as much margin as we could do, but we know that people’s budgets are stretched. The average salary

38 January 2019

in the UK is £26,000 and that’s before tax – take tax off, take mortgages off, take car loans and fuel off and people don’t have a lot of money left over. We’ve got £60 deposits and we try and give customers good value for money. “It has to be simple because Alan Cross [Jet2holidays’ head of trade] and I are very simple people and we need simple messages that both of us can remember.” The message is clearly getting through. At the 2018 Jet2 VIP Conference, Heapy revealed that the company’s revenue had increased by 38 per cent year-on-year, with profit up 13 per cent. The airline will have 103 aircraft next year – 34 of which are new – operating out of nine UK hubs. That growth comes amid one of the more turbulent years in Jet2’s history, with the

looming threat of Brexit and a stuttering economy casting a shadow over much of the travel industry. “One thing that concerns me [about Brexit] is the uncertainty,” Heapy adds. “It’s already caused some major issues – primarily the collapse in sterling making things like fuel and accommodation more expensive. The more that uncertainty continues the more likely it is that people will delay their holiday purchase. There’s not much sign of that so far, but the longer the uncertainty continues the worse it could potentially get. “I’m quite confident that we’ll get the things we want from Brexit. The most important thing is the third and fourth freedoms – the right to fly to Europe from the UK and to the UK.”

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One of the biggest success stories in Jet2’s history has been its ability to develop Jet2holidays to the extent that it has. The most recent Atol figures put the number of passengers Jet2 is licensed to carry at 3.8 million. However, what’s even more impressive has been how the company has positioned its airline, Jet2.com, to feed the business. The numbers don’t lie: when it started back in 2007 only two per cent of Jet2.com’s passengers were Jet2holidays customers. That number is now 49 per cent. “They’re one company,” explains Heapy. “I run both the tour operator and the airline. They are totally integrated and decisions are made for the good of both. We are not an airline or a tour operator – we’re a leisure travel business. It’s quite a simple thing, really. The airline supplies the seat and the tour operator buys seats off the airline. Why wouldn’t you have it all integrated?” One of the approaches that Jet2holidays is perhaps most renowned for is its approach to the trade, which currently makes up around 25 per cent of its overall bookings. The company paid out about £70 million in commission [January to November] on 824,208 holidays booked by travel agents. In terms of revenue that is more than £570 million worth of business. One of the greatest examples of Jet2holidays’ commitment to the trade comes in the form of its annual VIP conference. The 2018 incarnation, the company’s fourth, was also its largest, with 270 independent travel agents flown to Turkey in November. “Jet2holidays was a direct operation for a year,” explains Alan Cross, who joined the company 10 years ago. “It’s more

Pictured

Left: Alan Cross, head of trade for Jet2holidays, with Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp at Jet2’s VIP Conference in Turkey Right: Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays

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complicated to go to the trade – you have to build a separate website and so on, and we did all that. However, what’s been proven over that time is that our trade bookings are incremental, rather than an alternative business. Trade is 25 per cent of our overall bookings, but if we pulled it tomorrow the direct side could not pick it up. The relationship and support that we have with the trade is fantastic. “We’ve got over 1,000 agents who book us,” he adds. “Half book us because of the stock we’ve got out of their bases and the other half proactively go out and bring in more business than what walks in through their door. That’s where our marketing support comes in.” It was at the 2018 VIP Conference that the tour operator unveiled its latest initiative: how agents can become Jet2holidays specialist travel agencies. The scheme involves setting up a

customisable ‘booking pod’ within a store, letting customers know that their agent is an expert in all things Jet2holidays. If agents have the booking pod in their store they will have access to more joint marketing and bespoke training programmes. “Outside the shop it will say that this is a Jet2Holidays Specialist Booking Centre,” Cross explains. “At first we thought we would start decorating walls but it’s messy and agents don’t want that. It’s imposing. If you say you will build a flexible pod that will suit the shop inside it is much better. It’s an experience that the customer can identify with: ‘That’s where I book Jet2holidays’. “Then you back that up. Agents have badges on identifying them as a Jet2holidays specialist. Every four-to-six weeks there will be training bringing them up to speed – we might bring suppliers like Hard Rock in to the store. So, they will be a real specialist. We will guarantee them at least one fam trip a year. They are also guaranteed access to our mobile travel agency at least once a year, too, which they can take to events. There will also be joint marketing initiatives. It might be a bus stop that tells people there is a travel agency 100 metres down the road. “We did a lot of this before, but now we’re creating a checklist and bringing it all under one name.” Judging by the almost feverish support that Jet2holidays garners from the agents at its conference, it’s little wonder that bookings are looking so strong. And, in these times of uncertainty, perhaps more people will seek a bit of escapism on a package holiday. ABTAmag.com

January 2019 39


Promotion

The Algarve for every season More than just a sunshine destination, the Algarve offers world-class gastronomy, year-round outdoor adventure and local experiences

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he Algarve’s cuisine is inspired by the sun, the earth and the ocean. Locals insist on using fresh, local ingredients and the region boasts a wealth of gastronomy, including an abundance of fine seafood that takes full advantage of its coastal location. Fresh daily catches often include cockles, clams, oysters and squid, sea bass, sea bream, mackerel or sardines. In many Algarve fish restaurants, the catch of the day is sold by weight. Visitors can try the much celebrated “cataplana”, a local favourite dish made of mussels, clams, chorizo, bacon, garlic, onions and olive oil. Also recommended is the region’s famous fish stew “Caldeirada”. Inland, poultry and pork, fresh vegetables and dried pulses are the primary

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ingredients in the majority of local dishes. Traditional dishes include delicious slowcooked meat stews, served with pulses and fresh vegetables, smoked and cured meats and traditional Algarvian bread, which is often used as a main ingredient in the preparation of certain dishes. Bread baking here is just as important as wine, cheese and pastries to the local culture. In the summer, fig and orange trees are ready to be harvested and fill the air with a delicate sweet scent. In September, it is time for the almond crop. Unskinned, they are laid out on roof terraces to dry in the sun. When autumn is in full swing, the chestnuts are ripe. Locals enjoy them most at the traditional magustos festivals with wine and watered grape brandy.

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WINE IN THE ALGARVE

The Algarve wine-producing region is coming of age. In recent years there has been a steady increase both in the number of producers and in the quality of the wines produced. The majority of Algarve wines are of above-average quality, putting them on a par with the best that is produced in Portugal’s other wine regions. Due to its geographical location and countryside, the mild climate all year round ensures the grapes ripen sun-kissed to produce high-quality wines throughout the Algarve region. Major towns that lend their names to the region’s four wine DOCs are Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira. For these traditional wines, the main white grapes are Arinto, Malvasia Fina, Manteúdo and Síria, and for the reds Castelão and Negra Mole. More recently, new wine estates are making regional Algarve wine from national and international grapes: Syrah, Negra Mole, Aragonez and Cabernet Sauvignon, Alvarinho, Chardonnay and Viognier. The traditional Aguardente de Medronho brandy (traditional fruit brandy) and various types of liqueurs complement the long list of aromatic liquid delights from the region.

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WHY VISIT THE ALGARVE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS?

With an average of more than 300 sunny days a year, the Algarve offers its visitors great weather anytime of year. Outside of the summer months, its 88 Blue Flag beaches and 200km of coastline take on a different tone, and elsewhere there’s plenty to experience – from lush national parks to a packed calendar of cultural events. What your clients can discover: • The Algarve’s wild side – Nature tourism is on the increase and there’s plenty to do and see here: Via Algarviana, the Costa Vicentina National Park and Ria Formosa Nature Park offer walkers and cyclists a range of routes and rare species that are at their best at this time of year. • World-class gastronomy – The region is well known for its seafood and “cataplana”, its famous stew. Alternatively, head for the region’s Michelin-starred restaurants. • Sports tourism – The Algarve has long been associated with gold heritage, but recently there has been a growth in wellness, spa and cycling activities, all of which are well catered for.

Pictured: Left: The Algarve boasts 88 Blue Flag beaches; below left: world-class restaurants serve fresh seafood; below: wine production here is on a par with Portugal’s best

• Culture – The towns of Faro, Sagres, Lagos, Loule and Tavira offer the winter-season visitor a wealth of options without the heat, including carnivals, festivals and a range of unique festivals, covering everything from the medieval period to food. They also offer a chance to discover and experience local life. • The Algarve of the people who live there – Only locals can show you the hidden-away villages, the most unspoilt walking trails, the best restaurants to eat Xarém (maize porridge), the deserted beaches, the places where flamingos take the wing or the perfect course for a round of golf.

Youtravel offers all of these areas and much, much more – from five-star resorts to 2 key apartments, many of whom are Algarve Tourism Authority (ATA) members, in the main resorts as well as in the less well travelled parts, with prices to suit all pockets and needs. Visit youtravel.com for prices and availability. To open an account visit the website and click the “join us” button in the top right-hand corner January 2019 41


UK holidays Bath

UK holidays

Bath Fred Mawer pays a visit to the stunning Somerset city, which has earned its Unesco World Heritage Site status for a number of reasons

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t’s an underpublicised fact that – unusually – Bath’s Unesco World Heritage Site status actually covers the whole city, which puts it on a par with Venice. This city-wide inscription applies for a number of diverse reasons. For the presence of natural hot springs, and the Roman remains of the town of Aquae Sulis that grew up around them. For the honey-stone Georgian architecture, along with the groundbreaking town planning during the 1700s when Bath was turned into a fashionable winter resort and the remarkable Royal Crescent and Circus appeared. And, something that is often overlooked, for the city’s wonderful setting, in a bowl surrounded by seven green hills.  Throw into the mix a host of museums covering everything from astronomy to fashion and philately to Asian art, plus glorious Bath Abbey – currently undergoing a massive renovation programme to stabilise the floor – and it’s fair to say Bath delivers heritage in spades. 

42 January 2019

But the city is not some fuddy duddy place set in aspic; with a large student population, far from it. Many visitors, notably hen groups, come to party for the weekend. Along with time-stood-still old boozers, Bath has an ever-growing number of fashionable cocktail bars such as The Dark Horse and the Canary Gin Bar, whose own gin has a winking version of one-time Bath resident Jane Austen on the bottle. Bath even had a trendy Caribbeanthemed beach bar venue last summer in the park below The Royal Crescent, and it’s returning this year. Dining options are excellent, too, with a plethora of cosy cafés and gastropubs. Among notable recent openings is Koffman & Mr White’s, an affordable brasserie from legendary chefs Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White.  Shopping is also a big enticement, not just with the Christmas market (one of the country’s biggest and most picturesque), but year-round, thanks to the high quota of independent, one-off boutiques and gift

Great hotels Budget

Henrietta House: A strong contender for the city’s best B&B. Great location on a central but quiet Georgian terrace, elegant bedrooms and superb breakfasts served until late to allow for lie-ins.

Mid-range

The Queensberry: Spread over four townhouses, the privately-owned hotel marries Georgian elegance with contemporary furnishings and a jaunty style. Its restaurant, The Olive Tree, has Bath’s only Michelin star.

High-end

Gainsborough Bath Spa. Its USP is the substantial spa complex, with direct access to Bath’s thermal waters. Bang in the city centre, topflight food and sparkling service.

ABTAmag.com


ABTA Magazine

stores. Every Saturday morning, delicious local produce (think Somerset ciders and cheeses) can be sampled and bought in the long-established farmers’ market at Green Park, a former railway station. Entertainment-wise, the big annual event is the Bath Festival, an important celebration of music and literature in May. The historic Theatre Royal has a first-rate repertoire year-round, including many West End transfers, and you could have a flutter at the city’s new casino, just across from the theatre’s entrance.  Do also find time to take in the lovely countryside that fringes the city. Hike a section, or all, of the National Trust’s circular six-mile Bath Skyline walk (fabulous views guaranteed), or rent a bike and tackle the 13-mile Bath Two Tunnels Circuit, which includes a scenic section of the Kennet & Avon canal.  After all that exercise, you’ll have earned a rest. Head to the open-air rooftop and indoor pools at the Thermae Bath Spa complex and follow the habits of the Romans and Georgians by soaking in the naturally warm and soothing waters.  Which takes us back to Bath’s heritage. It’s recently been announced that the city is to be nominated for a second Unesco World Heritage Site listing, as a leading European spa town. If the application succeeds, Bath would be double-listed, uniquely so in Britain. ABTAmag.com

Pictured

The city’s location, surrounded by seven hills, adds to its beauty; the annual Jane Austen Festival

The Roman Baths This is one of Britain’s most rewarding historical sites. Much of the huge bathing complex that the Romans created in the first century AD can be seen, including the steaming Great Bath – its original lead lining remarkably still intact – plunge pools and changing rooms. The adjacent temple area dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva is if anything even more absorbing, with fascinating finds such as a gilt bronze head of the goddess and curse tablets inscribed with Latin messages. All is explained and brought to life superbly through engaging audio guides, large-scale screens showing Romans bathing and at work, and costumed actors playing Roman characters such as a soldier and merchant. The Roman Baths are easily the most popular attraction in Bath (1.3 million visitors in 2017).

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Avoid the queues and crowds by going late in the day – in summer the baths stay open until 10pm. As an added benefit, after dusk the Great Bath is torch-lit and especially atmospheric. Also make sure you visit the stately 18thcentury Pump Room next door, where you can do as the Georgians did and glug the sulphurous but supposedly health-giving waters, as well as tuck into a traditional afternoon tea while being entertained by a classical trio – a quintessential Bath experience.  Looking ahead, touring the baths is set to become even better. The £5 million Archway project, due to be completed in 2020, is, among other things, opening up a laconicum (sauna) and exercise courtyard, and creating a much-needed interpretive World Heritage Centre for the city.

January 2019 43


Roman Baths, Bath THE FAMOUS FIVE Š 2018, Hodder & Stoughton Limited. All rights reserved. Advertising based on an increase of over 18% in train seats in September 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Correct as of 26/07/18. Selected routes only. Visit GWR.com for full terms and conditions.

More seats. More trains. More adventures.


UK HOLIDAYS

HOTELS

Hard work and innovation Openings needed on domestic tourism and updates By Emily Eastman

By Anthony Pearce The domestic and inbound tourism industry must “work hard and innovate” to attract domestic customers in the wake of Brexit, Simon Altham of Vacation Rentals UK – owner of Hoseasons and Blue Chip Holidays – told ABTA’s UK Holiday Market event. The UK holidays market enjoyed a bumper year in 2018, which many have attributed to a hot summer, England’s run to the semi-final of the World Cup and the weakness of the pound, but Altham said we must not rely on those factors. The event, which was held in November at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, was chaired by Jane Atkins, the managing director of Shearings Holidays. In 2017, the UK welcomed 39.2 million visitors spending £24.5 billion, Mark McVay, the chair of UKinbound, told the conference. He added that tourism is also the UK’s third largest employer and that one in three new jobs created since 2010 are in the sector. He said the top 10 destinations were: London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton and Cambridge. He identified “future visitors” from China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and India. Chinese visitor numbers increased by 135 per cent between 2007 and 2017, with a 300 per cent increase in spending, he added. Bernard Donoghue of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions told the conference that the UK is not just good at tourism, but

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“globally good”. He pointed out that the V&A, Natural History Museum and Science Museum in London alone welcomed more visitors than Venice last year. Giles Smith, deputy director for tourism, heritage and cultural diplomacy at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, began his morning keynote speech by telling delegates that “as we leave the European Union, our tourism sector becomes more important – for the UK as a whole”. He added that 70 per cent of inbound tourism currently comes from the EU and said the government “needs to work more closely and coherently” with the tourism sector. He said that although “funding was tight at national and local level”, strategic investment would be made through a £40 million Discover England fund, including a B2B booking platform. Speaking about opportunities for travel agents, Nick Brooks-Sykes of both the Tourism Alliance and Visit Manchester and Carol Dray of VisitBritain agreed that the government should be working more closely with UK travel trade. “We should be focusing on them,” said BrooksSykes. “That’s where our key markets are. We are missing a massive opportunity.” At the event, Dray, who is also commercial director of VisitEngland, announced the tourist board’s new marketing campaign: the concept of “microgapping” – that is, enriching, lifeaffirming breaks that last a few nights. ABTA Magazine was media sponsor for the event. ABTAmag.com

Z Hotels is set to open a new 123bedroom hotel in Trafalgar Square before the end of 2019. The group, which operates more than 1,000 bedrooms across its 11 sites in London, Liverpool and Glasgow, will convert an office in the central London location. Z Hotels has grown quickly from its first hotel opening in late 2011 to now have 11 hotels in its portfolio and two developments in the pipeline. Jonathan Raymond, director at Z Hotels, said: “Over the years, our customer base has continued to grow and we now have hundreds of clients who stay with us several times throughout the year.”

Hotel Indigo Manchester – Victoria Station has opened its doors to guests, marking the brand’s debut in the city. The hotel features 187 stylish guest rooms, with design inspired by Manchester’s history.

Caer Rhun Hall (pictured below) in North Wales reopened in November, and extensive refurbishment will be completed by the end of 2019. The renovated Victorian mansion will see its room count grow to 76. Caer Rhun Hall is located in the heart of the Conwy Valley.

January 2019 45


UK holidays News

THEATRE UK TOUR

Hair Beginning at New Wimbledon Theatre, London From March 5 After acclaimed seasons in London and Manchester, Hair will tour the country to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary. Winner of a 2018 WhatsOnStage Award, this legendary rock musical is written by Gerome Ragni (book and lyrics), James Rado (book and lyrics) and Galt MacDermot (music), and takes viewers back to the Summer of Love in 1967 with Hair’s hippies in the East Village of New York City.

LONDON

All About Eve Noel Coward Theatre February 2 - May 11 Tony Award-winning Ivo van Hove will direct a new adaptation of All About Eve, the film by Joseph L Mankiewicz, which won six Academy Awards in 1950. Starring Gillian Anderson (The Fall) and Lily James (Baby Driver), All About Eve is about Margo Channing, a huge name on Broadway (originally played by Bette Davis), who is worried her career is fading as she approaches her 40s. Eve Harrington, a young fan, is hired as Margo’s assistant and slowly begins to manipulate her life.

LONDON

Waitress Adelphi Theatre March 8 The hit Broadway musical Waitress will transfer to London’s Adelphi Theatre in spring 2019, with previews available in February. The show features an original score by acclaimed singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, best known for the 2007 hit single Love Song. The musical is based on the film of the same name, about a waitress, Jenna, in an abusive relationship with her husband, Earl. When she unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she begins an illicit affair…

MANCHESTER

The Band Lyric Theatre, The Lowry January 16-27 Featuring the music of Take That, The Band, written by Olivier Award-winning writer Tim Firth, is playing in Manchester ahead of moving to London’s West End. The play is set in 1993 and focuses on five 16-year-old girls for whom the band is everything. The once inseparable group of friends reunite after 25 years apart and try again to fulfil their dream of meeting the boyband. Expect Never Forget, Back for Good, A Million Love Songs, Relight My Fire and more.

UK TOUR

Little Miss Sunshine Beginning at Arcola Theatre, London From March 21 Based on the Academy Award-winning 2006 film Little Miss Sunshine, this musical is heading from Broadway to the UK in 2019. Created by James Lapine (Into the Woods) and William Finn (Falsettos), the offbeat comedy follows the Hoover family as they travel to California to help their daughter Olive compete in a beauty contest. It will run for seven weeks in London before heading on a UK tour from the New Wolsey, Ipswich on May 20, visiting Salford, York, Brighton. Bradford, Glasgow, Birmingham and more.

UK TOUR

Ian McKellen On Stage Beginning at The Space, London From January 25 Ian McKellen starts his one-man UK tour in January 2019 to celebrate his 80th birthday and raise money for theatres. The show blends anecdotes with acting – Gandalf makes an appearance at the beginning, and audience members will be invited to act with McKellen on stage. The show opens at McKellen’s local arts centre, and other venues he’s billed to play at are places he knew as a child or performed in during his career. All profits will benefit specific causes at each theatre.

HOTEL

Hard Rock Hotel London Hard Rock Hotel London will open its doors to the public in spring. With 1,000 rooms and suites, it will become one of the capital’s largest hotels. The hotel has appointed Robert Catlin to the role of hotel manager at the property. He will join general manager Oliver Kahf and sales director Chris Meehan. It will be located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane opposite Hyde Park.

46 January 2019

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City Guide Matera Fez, Morocco

City Guide

Matera, Italy One of Italy’s most extraordinary cities tempts Christine Smallwood to return, as she looks forward to its year as European Capital of Culture

H

owever much you read about Matera in southern Italy, seeing the sassi in real life for the first time always elicits an exclamation – or several. It is the otherworldliness of these stone dwellings, seemingly carved into the hillside, that prompts hyperbole. Matera, in the region of Basilicata, is said to have been inhabited since prehistoric times, and the sassi (stones) were homes to thousands of people up until the 1950s. The city came to international attention in 2004 when the Mel Gibson film The Passion Of The Christ was shot there; its setting was considered to be the perfect evocation of Jerusalem centuries earlier. Still today, parts of it are often described as “biblical-looking”. But before Hollywood arrived, Carlo Levi wrote of the city in his book, Christ Stopped At Eboli. Published in 1945, it included a devastating description of the squalor in Matera. The city was subsequently known as ‘vergogne nazionale’, or ‘Italy’s shame’. That embarrassment eventually resulted in a clear out of the primitive, cramped homes in the sassi, where families lived without heating, running water or sanitation. It’s hard to imagine today,

48 January 2019

especially because so many of the caves have been transformed into swanky tourist accommodation. A few moments spent in a reconstructed dwelling gives a brief glimpse into the past and helps visitors to appreciate how different life was just a few decades ago. Furnished simply with very basic equipment and, with the presence of a life-size model donkey, it becomes clear how crowded these ancient homes were, with humans and livestock sleeping – literally – side by side. In the height of summer the caves certainly provide welcome respite from the heat, yet the challenges of living here remain evident. Of course, it’s not just the individual caves that have changed. Matera has benefitted both from being declared a Unesco World Heritage Site (in 1993) and from the surge of interest in the neighbouring region of Puglia. Flying into Bari and then driving west across the Murgia to the ravine on which the city sits is the most popular route from the UK. Once there, comfortably shod feet are the best transport.

THE MAIN ATTRACTION

Recently, the residents of Matera (known as the Materani) have had a spring in their steps as they prepare for the city’s

Operators Matera and Calabria

Southern Italy experts Esplora offer a trip to the city of Matera alongside visits elsewhere in the region of Basilicata and neighbouring Calabria. £2,495pp esplora.com

Matera and Basilicata

Cultural tour organisers Martin Randall Travel provide a guided trip with a permanent base in Matera and including visits to places of interest nearby. £2,070pp martinrandall.com

Matera and Puglia

Kuoni offer an escorted trip to Puglia, with a day spent in Matera including a visit to the sassi with a local guide. From £1,699pp kuoni.co.uk

ABTAmag.com


tenure as European Capital of Culture in 2019, and the predicted steep increase in visitor numbers. The year will start in style on January 19 with an opening ceremony that promises to kick things off with a bang. Or rather a toot, an oompah and a fanfare of brass instruments, as the launch party begins with 54 marching bands from around the region of Basilicata, as well as from other European Culture Capitals. Two thousand musicians are certain to set the fun in motion. From then, for the next 48 weeks, 117 artists and curators will be involved in an extensive programme of events including collaborative initiatives with Plovdiv in Bulgaria, which will be sharing the European Capital of Culture title. There promises to be something for everyone including, for the first time, a community opera, performed in the sassi. Although the sassi are undoubtedly the reason why most visitors make the journey to Matera, the newer city has its merits and it is worth dedicating some time to wander

ABTAmag.com

around. With an ever-increasing number of stylish bars and restaurants it’s easy to feel on holiday and relax whether travelling solo, as a couple, with a group of friends or with children. There are plenty of opportunities for exploring, from learning about the handsome churches to admiring the piazzas. There’s also the enjoyment of the regular day-to-day of the city, including a lively pre-dinner passeggiata and, often, the unparalleled cityscape is enhanced by the light of a spectacular sunset. Aside from the programme of cultural events in 2019, keep an eye out for goods made from terracotta and papier-mâché, which are enduringly popular and sometimes sold directly by the chatty artisans themselves.

FOOD CULTURE

The gastronomic specialities are far too numerous to mention here, but include the local bread (pane di Matera IGP), as well as arguably the region’s most famous food product, lucanica, a spiced

sausage (note that there are many variant spellings). Or, sit and take in the views with a glass of the acclaimed local wine, Aglianico del Vulture and reflect on how those past, shameful days are well and truly over. Matera may not currently be near the top of many bucket lists, but that could soon change. The visual excitement of first seeing the idiosyncratic sassi stays with travellers forever. It won’t just be that sight, but doubtless the cultural activities lined up in this most extraordinary of settings that will have people talking for a long time to come. ABTAmag.com

Pictured Above: The ancient city of Matera is dramatically situated on top of a hill and the buildings look stunning at sunset Below: Peperoni della basilicata essiccati – dried basilica peppers

January 2019 49


Promotion

New routes and a new fleet for Air Europa The addition of flights to Central and South America positions the Latin America specialist at the heart of growth in this region

A

ir Europa, the Latin America specialist, has established itself as one of Europe’s most modern carriers, and the first private Spanish airline to operate scheduled flights. Proud to be one of the world’s most punctual airlines, it is committed to the environment and utilises state-of-the-art technology, meeting the highest safety standards. At the London World Travel Market in November, the airline announced that from June 3, 2019 it will introduce flights

50 January 2019

to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. The addition of Panama will bring the number of Air Europa routes to the Latin America region to 21 destinations in 15 countries. The Panama long-haul flight will depart from Air Europa’s hub at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport, with connections feeding in from all over Europe, including London’s Gatwick airport. The B787 Dreamliner aircraft will fly this new route five times a week, every Monday,

Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Panama flight will depart Madrid at 15:05, arriving at 19:40 the same day, while the return flight from Panama to Madrid will depart at 21:40 and arrive at 13:15 the next day. Air Europa’s UK director Colin Stewart said: “Panama, after Honduras, is Air Europa’s second destination in Central America, and we are already well known as the Latin America specialist airline. Panama City is an important city of

ABTAmag.com


commerce as well as tourism, and we will cater for both business and leisure travellers who will have the pleasure of experiencing travel on the environmentally friendly Dreamliner aircraft, with its superior level of passenger comfort and on-board services.”

CONVENIENT CONNECTIONS

A new service to Iguazu, Argentina, is also scheduled to begin in June 2019. There, travellers can visit the famous Iguazu Falls, located on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones. This new route will also be operated twice weekly by the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, offering passengers the most comfortable flying experience. The Iguazu flight will depart Madrid at 23:55 and arrive at 07:05 the next day, and the inbound flight will depart Iguazu at 13:25 and arrive at 05:00 the following day. Air Europa operates twice-daily flights between Madrid and Gatwick, which will provide convenient connections for both inbound and outbound Panama and Iguazu flights for UK travellers. Stewart said: “This is a really exciting launch for Air Europa, as it is the only airline in Europe doing this. This new route has come after the $3.5 billion order for 22

Dreamliner aircraft, to be increased to 27 and delivered progressively by 2022.” The new Dreamliner aircraft comes with 30 per cent larger windows, which allow for adjustable brightness and a more pleasant flight. In addition, the Dreamliner’s lower cabin pressure helps the body absorb 8 per cent more oxygen, reducing headaches, sickness and tiredness, while the filter system purifies 100 per cent of the air, eliminating bacteria and odours and reducing dryness with increased humidity. The modernity, efficiency and advanced technology of the 787-9 is complemented by excellent on-board products and service. On-board wi-fi, the latest in audiovisual entertainment and a menu offering

healthy and organic meals promise a comfortable and enjoyable journey. Business class passengers benefit from fully reclining seats and a tasting menu prepared by the prestigious Michelin-star chef Martín Berasategui. The B787 also boasts exceptional environmental performance, with a 20 per cent reduction in both fuel consumption and emissions and a 60 per cent reduction in noise. It is manufactured with 50 per cent compound materials, making it lighter. With its arrival, Air Europa has reached a new landmark and confirmed its position as an airline with one of the youngest, most efficient and most modern fleets in the sector.

Pictured: Left: tourists can reach the breathtaking Iguazu Falls with a new service to Iguazu, Argentina, from June 2019; Right: Panama can now be reached from Air Europa’s hub in Madrid

ABTAmag.com

January 2019 51


Features Innovation in cruise

Sky’s the limit Cruise holidays have changed beyond recognition and agents who have not caught up are missing out on the biggest revolution to hit the travel industry in years, reports Jane Archer

52 January 2019

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peeding on go-karts, zapping foes with lasers, racing friends on fearsome water slides. Who’d have thought you could do any of those things on a cruise ship? Not the thousands of cruise naysayers, who still believe that holidays at sea are boring and stuffy, or indeed agents who have not kept up with the times and only think to offer cruises to their older clients. They are all making a big mistake. Over the past decade cruise lines have reinvented the whole cruise experience by making their ships way more fun and exciting than any land-based resort – regardless of your age. The newest ships have world class wellness and fitness facilities that are as good as those on land, while familyfriendly ships have large water parks, fast flumes, roller coasters and adventure rope courses, as well as kids’ clubs and teen hangouts. They also have numerous places to eat so, just like on land, passengers can book a table in an upmarket French, Asian or Italian restaurant, or go casual in the buffet.

ABTAmag.com

FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY The change in dining arrangements on cruise ships has been revolutionary, moving from a regimented system where passengers were told when and where they could dine – and even who to sit with – to a relaxed environment where they can pick and choose where to eat. Even those cruise lines that still have fixed dining offer a flexi option in the main restaurant and alternative eateries. These often command an additional fee, but serve everything from steaks and seafood to sushi, pasta and Indian cuisine. Crystal Cruises was the latest to adopt open seating on its two ships, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, while P&O Cruises is breaking with tradition by dropping fixed dining on Iona, its new ship launching in 2020. Taking the dining experience a step further, the likes of Crystal, P&O Cruises and MSC Cruises have teamed up with top-named chefs Nobu Matsuhisa, Marco Pierre White and Ramon Freixa, enabling passengers to sample their cuisine for a fraction of the price of their land-based establishments.

STAND BY FOR 2019 The cruise ships themselves have also changed beyond imagination. People gasped when Royal Caribbean International put rock-climbing walls on its ships almost 20 years ago and were amazed when Disney Cruise Line unveiled water coasters on Disney Dream (think rafting on a fast-flowing river) in 2011. Then last year along came go-karts on a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship and glow-in-the-dark laser tag from Royal Caribbean. And still the imagineers keep coming up with new ideas. More than 14 new cruise ships are due to enter service in 2019 that between them have aqua parks, bungee trampolines, skydiving simulators, suites served by butlers and entertainment that equals anything in London’s West End. Passengers can enjoy performances of Kinky Boots on NCL’s new Norwegian Encore from November 2019. Saga Cruises is opening The Club by Jools, a venue created in partnership with music legend Jools Holland on its first ever new ship, Spirit of Adventure. Book clients on MSC Cruises’ new ships MSC Bellissima or Grandiosa, launching March and

January 2019 53


Features Innovation in cruise

November respectively, and they’ll be able to enjoy the colour and spectacle of Cirque du Soleil shows on the high seas. The MSC duo will also have a voiceenabled digital assistant called Zoe in all cabins (essentially Alexa by another name) to answer passengers’ questions about everything from the on-board restaurants to tours ashore. Zoe is part of a digital revolution that is enabling crew on the new big ships to recognise passengers and their likes and dislikes so they can offer a more personalised service. Princess Cruises has the Ocean Medallion, a device no bigger than a 10p piece that passengers can use to open their cabin door, check out their itinerary and locate family and friends. It is due to be on seven Princess ships by January 2019 and will also be on Sky Princess, a new 3,660-passenger ship launching in October 2019. Carnival Cruise Lines is chasing families with its first ever activity zone at sea. It’s on Carnival Panorama, a new ship entering service in December, and will have indoor trampolines, a climbing wall, a toddler play area and dodgeball and basketball for older kids. Not that cruising these days is only about fun and frolics for families. Viking

and Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) are launching ships just for adults aged over 18 or 17 respectively, while a crop of new expedition ships have plenty to excite clients in search of adventure off the beaten track. They can explore the Arctic on Scenic Eclipse, a discovery yacht equipped with helicopters and submarines, peer into the depths of the ocean from Blue Eye, a lounge in the hull of Ponant’s new ships Le Bougainville and Le Dumont D-Urville, and go green on Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen, a vessel built to cruise Antarctica’s icy waters that runs on battery power for short periods of time. River cruise lines aren’t standing still either. Many are building new vessels and refurbishing others to add bigger suites and more places to eat, as well as adding fitness classes and hiking and cycling tours to cater for the more active clientele being drawn to river cruising. The most notable launch for 2019 is AmaMagna – a river ship designed for AmaWaterways that is almost twice the width of regular vessels. It can only cruise the Danube, which has wide locks, but will have four restaurants, larger cabins and even an innovative water sports platform that opens from the stern. ABTAmag.com

Pictured

Clockwise from top left: The elegant Viking Sea; Princess Cruises’ Ocean Medallion; the fastexpanding MSC Cruises, which is targeting the UK market; Norwegian Cruise Line’s go-kart track

54 January 2019

ABTAmag.com


ABTA Magazine

Edge of glory Sue Bryant explores Celebrity’s much-hyped new ship You’d spot the new Celebrity Edge from miles away, thanks to the Magic Carpet. The 2,198-passenger ship, which made its debut in Miami in November, is adorned with a bright orange platform, the size of a tennis court, cantilevered over the starboard side and decked out with chic outdoor furniture, plants and a bar. The Magic Carpet is a smart piece of kit, moving up and down between decks, with different functions at each of four stops. On deck two, it’s used for luxury embarkation. On deck five, it’s an extension of the Raw on 5 seafood restaurant. At deck 14, it’s a chill-out bar next to the pool, and at the highest point, deck 16, an exclusive speciality restaurant. It would be easy to dismiss the Magic Carpet as a gimmick, but it’s already a big hit with passengers. With the sea-facing wall all glass, you really do feel as though you’re perched on the ‘edge’. If the Magic Carpet is impressive, the Eden lounge really had the engineers at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-

ABTAmag.com

Nazaire scratching their heads. According to Celebrity’s president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, it’s the most complex space the yard has ever built, three decks high and sustaining the largest glass wall at sea, the ceiling propped up by slender, tree-like pillars. A circular ramp spirals around the edge, with uninterrupted views of the wake, or a vantage point down over a mass of lush, tropical plants, a bar, restaurant and lounge with all-day entertainment. Meanwhile, the technology in the theatre blows anything in the West End out of the water. A system of 154 speakers, called Constellation, the only one of its kind at sea, provides sound so cleverly engineered that it can give the illusion of being in a cathedral, or at a rock concert in a giant arena. The stage is set against 10 giant LED screens, the tallest at sea (there are a lot of superlatives on this ship), with 18 projectors and 220 lights creating extraordinary effects. Cabins, too, push the boundaries of ship design. In the 918 Infinite Veranda staterooms, the top half of a wall of glass

slides down to create a balcony effect – done before on riverboats, but to fit these on an ocean-going ship, the whole supporting spine of the ship had to be shifted, which involved extensive 3D modelling. There’s a cool app, too, which controls the lights and shutter in each cabin and even opens the door. Perhaps the quirkiest bit of innovation, though, is Le Petit Chef – dinner with a difference in Le Grand Bistro. Four tiny, 3D chefs appear in front of diners at each place setting and scurry around, preparing food and arranging it on the plate. Once the dish has been assembled, the mini chefs sit back with a flourish and waiters appear, bearing the actual food, identically presented. The technology was designed by Belgian company Skullmapping, beaming the 3D images from projectors embedded in the ceiling. It’s so complex that it takes one day for four people to create one second of video. Gimmicky? Certainly, but it’s enormous fun and the combination of whimsy and cutting-edge design really sums up this clever, thoughtfully designed ship.

January 2019 55


Features All-inclusive All inclusive

Coming together With a plethora of new properties on the horizon, the all-inclusive proposition has never been hotter, says Karl Cushing

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ince its early beginnings in the Caribbean the all-inclusive (AI) model has swept all before it, from the package resorts of Spain and Turkey to high-end enclaves such as the Maldives where the advent of more affordable AI packages provided a major catalyst for growth by helping attract a wider audience. The model has even taken seed in the active and adventure space, thanks in part to early innovators such as the Latin American hotel operators Explora and Tierra Hotels, who have gained popularity by bundling activities and excursions in their AI packages alongside top-notch food and drink options. These days AI breaks encompass everything from ski trips and safaris to cruise, from Regent Seven Seas’ all-inclusive Regent

56 January 2019

Experience to European Waterways’ hotel barge breaks. Part of AI’s original appeal, of course, was its inherent value and the transparent pricing that helped travellers budget better and avoid surprise bills. Come the recession of 2008, AI breaks were a natural fit with price-savvy, value-hunting holidaymakers, not least families. More recently, the spectre of security concerns in Europe and North Africa has massively impacted the landscape, the prolonged doldrums of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia proving Spain’s gain. However, with all three showing signs of growth, backed by keen deals to entice back Brits for summer 2019, the battle is truly on. Here, we look at some of the countries and resorts set to wow British holidaymakers this year.

ABTAmag.com


Greece Summer 2019 is hotting up nicely with new routes such as British Airways’ thrice-weekly Gatwick-Kos service. Others upping their game include Jet2, which has added Chania, Crete and an Edinburgh-Corfu service, and Ryanair with its new weekly SouthendCorfu and twice-weekly Liverpool-Corfu routes. Last May saw the opening of the five-star Gennadi Grand (gennadigrandresort.com) on Rhodes, featured by the likes of Jet2Holidays and Olympic Holidays. AI rates start at £248pppn in a Double with Private Pool Sea View, based on double occupancy. From an AI perspective, however, the most exciting mover has to be Ikos Resorts (ikosresorts. com), which opened the 411-room Ikos Dassia in Corfu last May. Selling points include its six à la carte restaurants; the Heros and Just4Teens kids clubs; and included activities, from a complimentary museum pass to the option of borrowing a Mini Cooper for a day. AI guests can also dine at local restaurants as part of their package. Ikos Resorts is also opening the five-star Ikos Aria (ikos-aria.com) on the southwest coast of Kos on May 15 this year. It will feature 373 rooms, eight restaurants and seven bars.

Spain July will see Palladium Hotel Group put its stamp on the Costa del Sol when it opens the 335-room Palladium Hotel Costa del Sol in Benalmádena. Jet2holidays has a seven-night AI Plus stay in a Deluxe Double or Twin at the four-star property for £733pp, based on two sharing, including flights from Manchester departing September 14, 2019 (jet2holidays.com). Spanish newcomers include AMResorts (amresorts.com), which has just inked a deal to operate four former Hesperia-branded properties from next year. First out of the blocks will be Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa, opening in March, to be followed in May by Secrets Lanzarote and Amigo Fuerteventura, Amigo being AMResorts’ new midmarket brand. Dreams Lanzarote Resort & Spa will open in November. Other welcome strangers include all-inclusive pioneer Club Med (clubmed.co.uk), which returns to Spain in 2020 after a prolonged absence. The 486room Club Med Magna Marbella will feature five swimming pools, a family water park, adult-only Zen Zone, and clubs for children aged between four and 17. Another selling point is the included activities, from flying trapeze and tennis to archery. Ambitious Greek operator Ikos also plans to open a Spanish AI property in 2020, the Ikos Andalusia in Estepona.

ABTAmag.com

January 2019 57


Features All-inclusive

Antigua This Caribbean gem is said to boast 365 dreamy beaches – one for each day of the year – and its expanding range of accommodation includes some solid AI options. February sees the opening of Royalton’s new 288-room Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa on Deep Bay, near Five Islands Village (royaltonresorts.com). Operators featuring the property, whose talking points include its Score Brewhouse microbrewery and seven restaurants, include First Choice, TUI and Virgin Holidays, which has an eight-night AI break in a Luxury Junior Suite from £1,680pp, based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick on June 10, 2019 (virginholidays.co.uk). Operators growing their presence on the island include Elite Island Resorts (eliteislandresorts.com), which will open its fifth property on the island in mid-2019. Hammock Cove, a five-star adult-only retreat on the east coast, will comprise 40 onebedroom villas, each with its own private plunge pool. Until then guests can choose between the operator’s neighbouring Verandah Resort & Spa, its St James’s Club & Villas, Pineapple Beach Club or Galley Bay properties. Best at Travel has seven-night AI breaks at the Verandah from £1,119pp including flights, based on double occupancy (bestattravel.co.uk).

Barbados Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook have provided a welcome boost by reprising the Winter seasonal services they introduced last year, from Heathrow and Gatwick respectively. Meanwhile, the impact of the new tourist taxes introduced by the government of Barbados last summer remains to be seen. New all-inclusives include Accra Hotels’ adultonly Abidah (theabidahhotel.com), which opened in mid-December 2018 on the south coast near Oistins. All 44 rooms and suites include Jacuzzis and private balconies, another selling point being the Senses Studio Spa. Sandals opens its third property on the island – a new 600-room Beaches Resort in the St Peter area – next year, although rates aren’t yet available. In the meantime guests can stay in St Lawrence Gap at Sandals Barbados or the Royal Barbados, which opened in December 2017. All 222 rooms at the Royal Barbados are Butlerand Concierge-class suites and the property boasts a number of brand firsts, including its rooftop pool and bar, Lovers Lanes bowling alley and Chi Asian restaurant concept. Seven nights in a South Seas Crystal Lagoon Club Level Barbados Suite cost from £2,075pp, including flights with Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick departing June 14, 2019 (sellingsandals.co.uk).

58 January 2019

ABTAmag.com


Mexico

Dominican Republic

TUI launched a twice-weekly seasonal service from Gatwick to the celebrity playground of Los Cabos in November backed by packages in San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, where the 639-room Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos opens next spring. A seven-night AI stay at the Hard Rock costs from £1,500pp based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick on November 7, 2019 (tui.co.uk). November also saw Palladium Hotel Group (palladiumhotelgroup.com) open two adjoining all-inclusives in Costa Mujeres, north of Cancún. Adults-only TRS Coral Hotel is a member of Leading Hotels of the World, while family-friendly Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa features nine à la carte restaurants. In other news, AMResorts launched its new Reflect Resorts AI brand in the country back in July when it rebranded the three former Krystal Grand hotels in Cancún, Los Cabos and Nuevo Vallarta as Reflect Krystal Grands. Openings set for early 2019 include the Royalton Cancún (royaltonresorts.com) with the Planet Hollywood Cancún; Hilton Playa del Carmen (a refurbed rebrand of the Royal Playa del Carmen); and AMResorts’ 534-room Now Natura Riviera Cancún, a new-build aimed at younger travellers, among those due before the end of the year.

New AI resorts pop up like mushrooms in the Dom Rep. Recent standouts include the 115-suite, adultonly TRS Cap Cana (tiaracapcanaresort.com), which opened in November in the Cap Cana area of Punta Cana. Selling points of the property, a refurb of the Tiara Cap Cana, include the Gravity Sky Lounge Bar, Zentropia Palladium Spa and ‘Ibiza-style’ beach club. Another Punta Cana AI property to open its doors in November was the adults-only Grand Bahia Principe Aquamarine (bahia-principe.com/en). If guests at the 498-room property on Bavaro Beach ever tire of the facilities they can also use those at the three other Bahia Principe-branded properties in the complex. Looking ahead, Lopesan will open its second AI property in the Dom Rep next year. The sprawling Lopesan Costa Bavaro (lopesan.com) in Punta Cana will comprise three distinct areas: Unique, Adults Only and Resort. Meanwhile Club Med has chosen a 93-acre slice of unspoilt Miches, a 90-minute drive north of Punta Cana, for its latest venture. Slated to open in December 2019, the Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda is an Exclusive Collection Resort and will feature four ‘boutique village’ areas. Caribbean Paradise and Explorer Cove are geared towards families, while Archipelago and Emerald Jungle are adults-only, the latter backed by the operator’s Zen Oasis wellness offering. ABTAmag.com

ABTAmag.com

January 2019 59


Section SUBJECT Features Philippines

Beyond Boracay Certain parts of the Philippines are firmly established on the tourist trail, but Heidi Fuller-love goes off the beaten track to visit the volcanoes and beaches – and sample the cuisine – of the lesser-known Bicol region

T

he stabilisers on either side of our bangka outrigger slice through water that shimmers in the tropical heat like turquoisetinted mercury as we glide away from the tiny, near-deserted port of Talisay. A small group of us are heading for Tugawe Cove, a small resort on Caramoan Island that belongs to an idyllic and little-visited archipelago on the south-eastern tip of the Philippines’ main island, Luzon. To get here we’ve had an hour’s flight from Manila, followed by a three-hour bus ride and now this two-hour boat-trip – in fact, this region is so remote that they have filmed reality TV show Survivor here. When our boat finally slides onto the talc-fine sand of Tugawe Cove I half expect to be offered a handful of rice and a plate of grubs and be told to fend for myself. Luckily, however, Tugawe Cove is one of the most luxurious resorts in this region

60 January 2019

and, after hiking 197 steps up the densely wooded hillside, I discover charming individual chalet-style rooms, a restaurant serving local food and an infinity pool with panoramic views of the deserted cove beneath. It’s easy to see why this pristine group of atolls is being hailed as ‘the next El Nido’ by savvy backpackers. Next morning the bangka takes us out for a day of island-hopping. Arriving at Pitogo Island we spot scarlet starfish, big as fists, tiptoeing over the seafloor beneath us. One side of this deserted island is covered in slippery pebbles and on the other the seabed is dotted with the mole-like mounds of poisonous sea snakes. “This is where members of Survivor were sent for some of their trials,” guide Miguel tells us as we clamber through razor-sharp grass to reach the top of a hill that offers breathtaking views of the tree-tousled islands surrounding us.

Sailing out again, past grey humps of granite that remind me of the rocky outcroppings in Vietnam’s Halong Bay, we head for Catanhawan Island. With more marine protected areas than other country in the world, the Philippines’ balmy seas provide sustenance for more than a million small-scale fishers. On Catanhawan a dozen bright-coloured outriggers pulled up on the beach tell us that one of the country’s numerous fishing communities inhabits this far-flung atoll. The fishing village behind the beach is just a cluster of palm-roofed huts surrounded by jungle. There are bright flowers planted around bamboo palisades and a small shop selling sticky sweets and fluorescent bottles of pop. I watch a young woman sorting hooks from tangled fishing lines next to a group of pigs rooting in the dirt. We’re the only tourists here. All afternoon we swim and snorkel

ABTAmag.com


SLEEP Enjoy modern decor and spaciousness at The Hilton Manila: hilton.com Immerse yourself in nature at Tugawe Cove: tugawecoveresort.com Experience history in a former colonial home at Casa Simeon: casasimeon.com Photography: Heidi Fuller-love

in blood-warm waters, then lounge on bright-striped cushions using our fingers to eat crisp-crusted chicken adobo and pork knuckle pata from plates made out of banana leaves. I feel like an explorer who’s stumbled across a virgin paradise. We spend several lazy days in Tugawe, visiting other islands and picnicking on deserted beaches, before heading for Legazpi. The capital of Albay, one of the six provinces that make up the Bicol region, it is the home of Cagsawa, a 16th-century Franciscan church which was destroyed when the nearby Mayon volcano erupted in 1814, burying several hundred people who took shelter inside. From Legazpi we drive past waterlogged rice paddies to Sumlang Lake. The pretty little lake framed by the 2,462m-high Mayon is crowded with Filipino families on a day out. A light breeze ripples the water as we head out on bamboo rafts to take photos of Mayon, which has been dubbed ‘the world’s most perfect volcano’. Back on land we watch a demonstration of local crafts: a local chef cooks pinangat – taro leaves stuffed

with meat or fish – and cooks them in a clay pot, while a craftsman strips fibres from a type of banana plant called abacá, or Manila hemp, which he will use to weave everything from bags to table mats. We end the afternoon with a late lunch at lakeside restaurant Socorro’s, where we tuck into dishes of spicy pork Bicol express, plates piled with coconut and crab-meat dish tilmok, and vegetarianfriendly laing made with taro leaves simmered in a spicy coconut cream. The Philippines belongs to the geologically and volcanically active Pacific Ring of Fire region and has more than 20 active volcanoes. Perfectly symmetrical Mayon is the most active of them all and there is a small plume of smoke spurting from the top of its cone as we straddle ATV bikes and head out to explore the following day. Our plunging, bucking bikes carry us along muddy tracks and through knee-deep streams to the base of the volcano and its lava wall, a vast black wasteland left by the eruption back in 1814. Then a zip line whizzes us on a short, but thrilling,

ride through the tree tops and back to base camp. Our final meal at Casa Simeon, a magnificent traditional wooden house built in the 1920s by the grandparents of the current owners, is like a trip back in time. We wander in wood-panelled galleries lit by stained-glass windows, and then relax in rocking chairs enjoying distant views of Mayon until dinner is served to a long wooden table. The food is inspired by family recipes that have been handed down through the generations. We have tinutungan na manok chicken cooked with lightly braised coconut milk and nilantang pili served Bicol-style: the nut, which looks like a large olive, is simmered with fermented fish to cook the surrounding pulp. We eat the pulp, which is creamy and delicious, and then crack open the nuts to crunch the fresh white pili nuts inside. “Few people outside of Bicol get to taste this dish,” owner Jessica tells us. It’s yet another unique experience that I’ve enjoyed in this incredible far-flung region, which is waiting to be explored. ABTAmag.com

EAT Socorro’s serves affordable local dishes in a lakeside setting: facebook.com/socorrosLRG Sample heirloom recipes at Casa Simeon: casasimeon.com Try sili ice cream at 1st Colonial Grill: Luis San Los Baños Avenue, Legazpi Port District

ABTAmag.com

January 2018 61


Features Industry insights

Industry insights

ABTA’s Travel Trends

62 January 2019

ABTAmag.com


Gary Noakes rounds up ABTA’s trends and destinations to look out for in 2019

H

olidays continue to be a spending priority and some exciting destinations will grab attention over the next 12 months, ABTA reveals in its Travel Trends report. Despite Brexit, summer 2019 overseas package and accommodation bookings in October were up 12 per cent year-onyear as the industry moved into the peak selling period. The weaker pound however means holidaymakers are more costconscious, with 51 per cent saying they would spend the same as last year and only 25 per cent – down six points – saying they would spend more. More people took an overseas holiday in 2018 than at any time in the previous seven years. However, average spend in 2018 was £562, down £24, highlighting the search for value that may continue in 2019 if the pound’s worth shrinks following Brexit. Victoria Bacon, ABTA director of brand and business development, says: “Despite the political uncertainty, forward bookings for the year ahead are positive so far. This is encouraging, however we continue to be cautiously optimistic, as people’s desire to book early may be because they want to get their destination or holiday of choice at the right price and the political and economic situation around Brexit is still fluid.” Other trends that ABTA found included a focus on the longer overseas holiday of seven nights or more in 2018 – bucking previous trends towards shorter durations. ABTA’s research shows consumers cut back on the number of shorter holidays at home and abroad during the year. The number of short breaks (one to three nights) in the UK fell slightly from 1.3 to 1.1 per person, and the number of short foreign breaks from 0.4 to 0.34. However, city breaks remain the nation’s favourite holiday type. Cruise is one key growth sector with, perhaps surprisingly, 53 per cent of 18-24

ABTAmag.com

year olds saying they were keen to try it. Despite cruise lines adding ever more attractions such as rock climbing walls and go-kart tracks, food and drink remains the most important factor for 78 per cent of cruise travellers. Domestically, last year’s hot summer is expected to boost 2019 UK bookings, and Bacon says this “bodes well”, but adds a note of caution: “The UK is competing with many overseas destinations that offer excellent value for money, which is expected to be a big driver for consumers in the year ahead.”

FIVE KEY TRENDS FOR 2019

This year will see responsible tourism go mainstream, ABTA believes. Nearly half of consumers said sustainability was important when booking and 36 per cent said they would opt for one travel business over another if its environmental record were better, compared with 23 per cent in 2014. Travel companies are taking action, with Thomas Cook pledging to remove 70 million pieces of single-use plastic in the next 12 months and TUI looking to deliver 10 million greener holidays by 2020. ABTA also hails the return of the trusted travel expert. The good news for agents and operators is that 45 per cent of ABTA’s 2,000 interviewees said they were more confident booking with a travel professional. The new Package Travel Regulations and better consumer-facing technology will spur the growth of tailor-made, ABTA believes, because more arrangements are now classed as packages. Meanwhile, wellness travel will also feature more, with operators such as G Adventures adding mindfulness and nourishment programmes to their offering. Technology will also begin to make the whole holiday experience seamless, with facial recognition and home luggage collection becoming mainstream.

ABTA’S DESTINATIONS TO WATCH

Bulgaria: Summer bookings are up 30 per cent and Bulgaria’s second city, Plovdiv, shares 2019 European Capital of Culture status. Bulgaria’s value and the spotlight on Plovdiv position it well for 2019. Costa Rica: The focus on sustainability will keep this conservation world leader high on the wish list. Denver: More flight options mean cheaper fares to the Rocky Mountains for hiking, biking and winter sports, with Denver a cosmopolitan city diversion. Durban: New British Airways flights this winter bring South Africa’s surfing hotspot within easy reach. Galicia: Northern Spain’s Atlantic coast remains relatively undiscovered but is also easily accessible. Japan: The Rugby World Cup and new BA flights to Osaka will increase Japan’s profile, while ABTA’s Travel Convention in Tokyo will focus industry minds. Jordan: New budget flights to the expanding Red Sea resort of Aqaba bring another twist to Jordan’s attractions. Madeira: The Atlantic island’s sedate image is changing thanks to its growing reputation as a surfing, adventure and activities destination. Poland: Now served by more UK flights than mainland Spain, Poland offers so much more than just city breaks. Thessaloniki: Greece’s historic second city is enjoying a renaissance after the redevelopment of its 5km waterfront. Uzbekistan: A more relaxed visa process means this Silk Road former Soviet Republic will feature on the adventurous traveller’s radar. Western Australia: Qantas’s 17-hour non-stop flight to Perth has made the west of this vast country the entry point for more visitors. ABTAmag.com

January 2019 63


Gamesroom

Gamesroom Crossword 















 













ACROSS

DOWN

6. H P Lovecraft’s speciality (6) 7. School test (4) 8. In a daze (5) 9. Many northern Iraqis (5) 11. Malaysian capital (5,6) 14. Toward the stern (5) 16. Point in question (5) 19. River predator in Africa or Northern Australia, for example (4) 20. Cruisers pass many of these (6)

1. Commotion (2-2) 2. World’s fifth largest country (6) 3. Triumphant in Paris, perhaps (3) 4. Paddington’s first home (4) 5. Horse-drawn four-wheeler (6) 10. Mischievous person (3) 12. Yet to be delivered (6) 13. Gulf of Oman port (6) 15. Visage (4) 17. A law ____ himself (4) 18. Post-operative area (1-1,1)



 

Word up



How many words can you make out of these letters?

F N K

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64 January 2019

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ABTAmag.com


ABTA Magazine

Where in the world? Each of these four images is of the same city. Can you name it?

Competition time WIN! A river cruise in Russia with Volga Dream

This is your chance to win a cruise along the Volga river in 2019. The elegant Volga Dream is Russia’s luxurious river ship. Accommodating just 100 passengers, it boasts classic décor, exquisite dining and carefully crafted excursions. To be in with a chance of winning, answer this simple question:

Which two cities are connected by Volga Dream cruises? Send answers to info@ABTAmag.com before February 28 with the subject line ‘January competition’. Terms and conditions, see abtamag.com/2018/11/01/terms-2/

Weekend campervan break DriveAway and Easicampers are offering agents the chance to win a weekend’s hire in March or April of a VW California T6 Campervan! Easicampers provides a high level of service and new vehicles from the following locations: North West Blackburn, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport, Preston, Wigan. Midlands Birmingham Airport, East Midlands Airport. Scotland Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow city and airport.

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is book a Easicamper motorhome or campervan through your DriveAway login before February 28. To request your DriveAway login details or to sign up please email uksales@drive-away.com.

November’s answer was: London

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Terms and conditions: weekend must be booked in March or April and excludes the Easter holidays. Mileage included. The driver must hold a valid credit card. The campervans have an excess deposit of £1,500.

January 2019 65


Final word Carolyn Watson

Final word

Each issue we speak to an ABTA employee about their work. This time, it’s Carolyn Watson, director of finance and resources

DON’T MISS

M

y weeks are never typical – I don’t think anyone’s are at ABTA. My role is director of finance and resources: I’m responsible for ABTA’s finances – your usual chief financial officer role. My background is finance, I’m a chartered accountant, but I also look after ABTA’s other resources: human resources; IT, including all our IT development and CRM systems; facilities and business planning. It’s basically all ABTA’s support services: I always say that the common thread between them all – even though they are all so different – is that they all have three core elements. Firstly they support everyone else to deliver ABTA services; secondly they are all about compliance and keeping ABTA legal, be it compliance in health and safety or tax; and thirdly they should add value to the organisation making it more efficient and a good place to work. There is a car analogy: everything my teams do is under the bonnet – plus we’ve got MOT and tax to think about! And we want to have a lovely, smoothrunning and efficient car. My job isn’t just internal, however; on the member-facing side I get involved in Travel VAT issues. I lead ABTA’s VAT working group and, for example, recently commissioned our Making Tax Digital guidance note. It’s something all members need to be aware of – all businesses that turn over more than £85,000 have to comply with this before April. We also do a lot of work on TOMs – the Tour Operators Margin Scheme which is a European scheme that allows tour operators to account for their overseas VAT more simply. Everyone thinks it’s terribly complicated, but it is actually a simplification. The alternative would be far more complicated and would probably mean registering in every European country. Of

66 January 2019

Travel Finance Conference, February 26-27, London

course, there’s the possibility of it disappearing after Brexit – so, on the policy side, this is a big priority for us. Working with ABTA’s Public Affairs team, we have had lobbying meetings with HMRC and HMT, over the years we’ve had a lot of successes on behalf of the members. In recent years we’ve grown our events programme quite substantially, and I have been involved in curating content for our Travel Finance Conference, which we hold every year and I moderate. We launched it three years ago – and it has gone from strength to strength. The first one sold out very quickly. That was a one-day event, as was our second one – now we are doing a twoday conference in February. It is aimed at travel finance directors, CFOs and business owners. Off the back of that, we developed a Travel Essentials course, a more basic travel finance seminar, aimed at people who are maybe new to the industry. Unlike financial directors of commercial organisations, I am not tasked to deliver profits to shareholders, but instead I must ensure members’ monies are spent wisely on delivering the services that they want. I need to make sure that ABTA’s business plans and budgets align. However I am always keen to point out that, although we may be a ‘not for profit’ organisation, we are certainly not looking to make a loss either! ABTA.com Carolyn joined ABTA in September 2011. Her previous roles include Serco, Sussex, Enterprise, Häagen-Dazs and Topshop

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ABTA Magazine FEATURES | R O OM SERVICE MENU | SHORE EXCUR SIONS

Explore

GLOBE

ISSUE ONE

Issue One

PREVIEW EDITION

December 2016

D E C E M B E R 2016

WATERMARK YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST HOLIDAYS IN THE WORLD

WHY ARE CRUISES M A K I N G WAV E S ? SAILING SOLO O F F T H E B E AT E N T R AC K WHY ARE CRUISES M A K I N G WAV E S ? SAILING SOLO O F F T H E B E AT E N T R AC K

FJORD FOCUS A JOURNEY TO WEST NORWAY

Roam Russia

Discover the grand delights of St Petersburg and Moscow year-round

New routes

Low-cost carriers are mapping their way in long-haul airspace

WONDERFUL WORLD FOUR BUCKET-LIST STOPS

Solus

ISS UE 0NE

thevillagepost Amazing Grace Introducing Tauck’s new ship on the mighty Rhine

Turning the tide An in-depth look at MSC Cruises’ forthcoming Seaside

Issue two

A world of luxury We consider the benefits of all-inclusive river cruising

SECRETS OF THE DOURO Explore the wonders of Porto with our new itinerary for 2017

MEET THE FLEET Introducing a trio of new ships: Emerald Radiance, Liberté and Destiny

RAISE A GLASS Enjoy the world’s finest wines during our new cruise on the Rhône

WHICH RIVER ARE YOU? Find out which Emerald Waterways cruise best suits your personality

thetravelvillage

Travel industry insights / September 2018

Soak up the colour, culture and energy of Argentina’s pulsing capital – an unforgettable introduction to the sensual appeal of Latin America

Stepping lightly

Give back with trips that support the local host communities

ON THE HORIZON THE LATEST CRUISE NEWS

EMERALD WATERWAYS AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

thecruisevillage

Buenos Aires

CRUISE & MORE HOLIDAYS OF A LIFETIME

EMERALD EXPLORER

Eastern promises Sailing Asia’s majestic Mekong with APT Touring

thevillagepost American Queen A music-themed tour of the Deep South on the mighty Mississippi

Fire and ice Explore the Galápagos and Antarctica with our handy guide

Issue three

Capital concerns Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest with Scenic on the Danube

All around the world These epic cruises and flights will take you across the globe

Win!

vouchers

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in

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THE GREAT BEYOND WHY TRAVELLERS OF ALL AGES ARE HEADING OUT ALONE

issue 3

issue 2

A new trade magazine from the team at cruise adviser

Issue three

Page 1

ISSUE TWO Issue two | Section Name

H E L P I N G YO U S E L L S O L O T R AV E L

FROM THE TEAM

SOLUS

AT

INDIAN SUMMER WE EXPLAIN WHY THE COUNTRY IS BACK ON THE MAP FOR SOLOS

THE ABTA MAGAZINE GUIDE TO

THE ABTA MAGAZINE GUIDE TO THE

THE ABTA MAGAZINE GUIDE TO

MURCIA

CARIBBEAN

CRUISE 2018

U By Uniworld Innovation at sea European river guide

Incredible cuisine Pulsating carnivals Authentic adventure

Discover Spain’s best kept secret

1

LUXURY GUIDE 2018

A Z A M A R A P U R S U I T | L E L A P É R O U S E | S P I R I T O F D I S CO V E R Y

C E L E B R I T Y E DG E | F R E D O L S E N R I V E R | B U DG E T C R U I S E

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

S E P T E M B E R 2 0 18

OC TO B E R 2018

ISSUE THREE

PRE & POST GUIDE 2018

H E L P I N G YO U S E L L S O L O T R AV E L

WIN!

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HIGH LIFE

ON THE HIGH SEAS The dazzling rise of luxury cruise

Fields of Bali

Island life

Sam Ballard sails on Star Clipper in Indonesia

T H E Y E A R I N R E V I E W | TO K YO | C L I A R I V E R CO N F E R E N C E

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

N O V E M B E R 2018

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

D E C E M B E R 2 0 18

CRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES

AU R O R A E X P E D I T I O N S | R I T Z - C A R L TO N | C R Y S TA L R I V E R C R U I S E S

Anthony Pearce explores the Caribbean with Viking Cruises

HOW TO MAKE A CRUISE

EVEN BETTER

EXPRESS YOURSELF WHY RAIL HOLIDAYS ARE IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN

The added extras that can transform your clients’ holidays

INFOCUS: G ADVENTURES DISPELLING SOLO TRAVEL MYTHS COACH TOURING IN AUSTRALIA

ISSUE FOUR

F E AT U R E S | R O O M S E RVIC E M E NU | S H O R E E XC U R S IO NS

ISSUE TWO

GLOBE

THE ONLY DESTINATION FOR THOSE SELLING CRUISES

YO U R O N B OA R D M AGA Z I N E

M A R C H 2018

JA N UA R Y / F E B R UA R Y 20 1 8

GLOBE

WIN!

Dive in Down Under

Sue Bryant sails on Celebrity Edge, the much hyped new ship that could change the future of cruise

A NIGHT ON MSC’S BRAND NEW SHIP BELLISSIMA

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

PARADISE FOUND We return to the Caribbean with P&O Cruises and find it very much open for business after last year’s hurricanes

PLUS HOW TO SELL: EX-UK PORTS OF CALL: COPENHAGEN WAVE: SPECIAL OFFERS ROUND-UP

EMPIRE OF THE SUN A TRIP DOWN MEXICO WAY 02

James Litston casts off with Coral Expeditions to encounter the rich, diverse marine life of the Great Barrier Reef

Edge of tomorrow

Jeannine Williamson joins CroisiEurope in the heart of Prague, before exploring the lesser-known Elbe en route to Berlin PLUS 10 OF THE BEST WILDLIFE CRUISES EXCLUSIVE RITZ-CARLTON INTERVIEW CRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES IN AMSTERDAM

BRILLIANT BANGKOK INFOCUS: INTREPID COACH VS CRUISE HOW TO SELL: SOLO TRAVEL

WHY THE THAI CAPITAL IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A BACKPACKER HAVEN

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68 January 2019

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Profile for ABTA Magazine

ABTA Magazine – January 2019  

The January 2019 issue of ABTA Magazine featuring ABTA's 12 destinations to watch; Karl Cushing on the growth of all-inclusive; Jane Archer...

ABTA Magazine – January 2019  

The January 2019 issue of ABTA Magazine featuring ABTA's 12 destinations to watch; Karl Cushing on the growth of all-inclusive; Jane Archer...

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