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April 6 2012 | ISSUE NO 1,773 www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Canada The case for experiential travel in encouraging your clients to book

this week

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sk책l the world over sk책l highlights its eco-tourism awards

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event bulletin Viking River Cruises' Longships launch activity & golf holidays

23 how to highlight the many faces of Namibia for adventure seekers

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southern africa operators unveil new packages & promotions


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newsbulletin

MAKING MEMORIES...Leeds Bradford Airport recently unveiled a special 80th anniversary exhibition at Leeds Central Library with a collection of photographs and previously unseen memorabilia charting the history of the airport through the ages.The exhibition will be on display until April 27 and will then go on tour to local libraries in Leeds before culminating in Bradford later this summer. Pictured marking the launch are, from the left: James Broughton, LBA; VIP guest, 92-year old Vera Marland, who use to check the Tiger Moth pilots ‘in and out’ and then worked in the Avro Factory during WW2; and Emily Hanby and Emma Holliday from LBA.

This Week

Cover Pictures: Main - Ice Hotel, Quebec

Inset - Quad Biking in Namibia

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news the latest industry news, deals & launches

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skål the world over

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agent bulletin

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W-AITO-Go!

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event bulletin

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skål highlights its ecotourism awards Surreal Holidays offers range of incentives for Far East bookings

news & views from AITO Agents the story in pictures of Viking River Cruises' Longships launch

canada the case for experiential travel in encouraging your clients to book

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activity & golf holidays

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southern africa

how to highlight the many faces of Namibia for adventure seekers

operators unveil new packages & promotions

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Pursuit of healthy breaks on the rise THE DAYS of fly and flop holidays seems to be out the window, according to a survey by The Body Holiday Shop, commissioned by Health and Fitness Travel, which found that 94% of people now seek holidays to pursue health and fitness. Findings from the survey revealed that 85% of Brits are now willing to try a health and fitness holiday to improve their body and mind, and that health and fitness is very important to 82% of people when they are away from home with spa treatments, fitness classes, land and water-based sports being the most sought after. Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, said: “Gone are the days when people want to return from holiday feeling sluggish with waistbands that little bit tighter. With our collective life spans increasing by approximately 30 years, the importance of a healthy lifestyle has never been so important. “More people lead cash-rich and time-poor lives making it harder to focus on their own well-being. A health and fitness holiday can be a great way to reset the body, learn a new approach and develop good habits to bring home. Ditching waistexpanding getaways for active and healthy holidays combines the fun of travel with fitness focussed activities such as yoga, beach boxing and hiking. "As British people become more aware of the importance of staying fit and healthy, their holidays are now starting to reflect this trend. People don’t wish to sit on a beach sunning themselves for ten hours a day, they want to return home with lasting benefits, long after the tan’s faded." (Activity & golf holidays - page 23)

Booking an airport hotel becomes a race against time A CUSTOMER poll by Holiday Extras has revealed that more than a quarter of Brits have no interest in the Olympics, which indicates that an escape abroad during the Games is likely to be high on people’s agenda. The operator reports that it has secured good hotel availability during this period at hotels surrounding the London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted) with special deals to help agents offer their customers the best price. As examples, at Gatwick, an overnight stay at the Felbridge Hotel and Spa plus 15 days' holiday parking starts from £149, or the three-star Days ● continues on next page

April 6 2012

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THAILAND TREAT...as part of the launch of its new 2011/12 worldwide holidays brochure, Pure Luxury gave agents the opportunity to win a holiday to the Far East, in co-operation with Qatar Airways and Conrad Koh Samui, including Business Class flights for two and seven nights' breakfast accommodation at the luxury resort in an Ocean View Pool Villa. Agents were automatically entered into the prize draw each time they made a booking to any worldwide destination with Qatar Airways and pictured receiving his prize from the operator's Nigel Ham (left) is Dan Salmon of Ten UK Lifestyle Management.

Hotel with eight days' onairport parking starts from £111. At Heathrow, a family room at the four-star Marriott with eight days' parking starts from £204 or a double room at the Park Inn plus eight days' secured parking is £288. James Lewis, the company's head of online partnerships, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for agents to boost earnings during this peak travel period. Airport hotel rooms will be at a premium this summer with so many Olympic tourists arriving in the UK. Encouraging your customers to book early is a great way to offer them the best choice during this busy period.”

Newsbites ●

GATWICK AIRPORT has announced that Caribbean Airlines will launch non-stop flights between Gatwick and Piarco International Airport, Port of Spain, Trinidad, four times weekly from June 14. A three-times weekly flight schedule will also provide one-stop services via Barbados from June 16. BOOKINGS FOR ABTA's 2012 Travel Convention will open on April 16. This

year's convention will be held at the all-inclusive five-star Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa in Belek, a short drive away from Antalya in the South of Turkey from October 10-12. For details see www.thetravelconvention.com EASYJET HAS launched a new route from Luton Airport to Reykjavik in Iceland. The three times weekly flight operates on Tuesdays, Thursdays and

New Marrakech tour from Specialist Morocco SPECIALIST MOROCCO has launched a new eight-day itinerary called Marrakech Revealed which includes excursions to both the Atlas Mountains and Essaouira on the Atlantic coast, with a special launch price of £399 per person, offering a reduction of 30%. Accommodation is at Riad Africa, a recently-launched eight-room property, located a few minutes’ walk from Djemma el Fna square. Highlights of the tour include a private walking

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tour of Marrakech, a Berber experience and either a drive to Essaouira or a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ait Benhaddou. Prices start from £399 per person for a group of four, or from £499, based on two sharing, including breakfast accommodation, one dinner, private transfers, hammam and massage and private excursions with a guide. For more information call 020-7193 2461 or visit www.maison-africa.co.uk

April 6 2012

Sundays with fares starting from £32.99 one-way and £58.81 return, including taxes. AIR MALTA has rebranded one of its Airbus A320 aircraft to promote Valletta’s bid to become European Capital of Culture 2018. Branded with the words ‘Valletta European Capital of Culture 2018’, the new livery portrays Valletta’s magnificent skyline and features Baroque designs.

New river cruise programme from VoD VOYAGES OF Discovery has launched its first river cruising programme, European River Cruises, which offers cruises along the Rhine and the Danube plus Russia’s waterway, the River Volga, while experiencing a tailormade programme of shore excursions. As examples of prices, a seven-night Romantic Rhine Cruise on Royal Crown costs from £1,195 per person based on a June 2 departure, calling at Düsseldorf, Königswinter, Koblenz, Rüdesheim and Cologne. A seven-night Grand Danube Journey on Royal Crown costs £1,795 per person, based on a July 7 departure and calls at Bratislava, Vienna, Melk, Linz, Passau, Regensburg and Nuremberg. Prices include flights or rail travel and overseas transfers from/to the ship (where applicable), meals on board and wine with lunch and dinner. Shore excursions, gratuities and visas are excluded For details visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com/rivers

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newsbulletin h c t a W o Ones t mmes el progra v a tr p to the A pick of ant to miss... w 't n o d you

Holiday: Heaven On Earth on Thursday 12th April at 19:00 on Channel 5 Emma Wilson travels to St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and checks out the market in Port Elizabeth. Darren Kennedy heads to the Maltese island of Gozo, where he learns about agritourism, while travel writer Sarah Siese journeys to Churchill, northern Canada, to witness polar bears making their way toward the frozen waters of Hudson Bay.

Thomson announces Leeds expansion THOMSON AIRWAYS has announced a new addition to its holiday and fly/cruise programme from Leeds Bradford Airport with the introduction of the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh. The new route will complement an increase in seat capacity to the winter sun destination of Tenerife, offering holidaymakers more choice. Flights to Sharm el Sheikh start on November 8 and flights to Tenerife start on November 9. First Choice offers seven-night holidays in Egypt at the four Sun Holiday Village Red Sea in Sharm el Sheikh, on an allinclusive basis from £699 per person based on two sharing. Departing on December 13 from Leeds, the price includes flights with Thomson Airways, accommodation, transfers and all taxes and charges. To book or for more information visit www.firstchoice.co.uk or call 0871-200 7799.

Balkan partners with Paxport BALKAN HOLIDAYS has become the UK launch customer of ‘Paxpartner’, Paxport’s travel agent interface for ancillary flight services. Agents selling Balkan Holidays flying with BH Air and booking via the dedicated agents' Website, will be able to directly pre-book various in-flight services including a choice of seating, extra legroom, front row seats, extra checked baggage allowance and carriage of skis and golf clubs. For more information see www.paxport.net and www.balkanholidays.co.uk/agents

COTTAGES4YOU HAS expanded its portfolio with the launch of a specialist luxury product range. Boutique cottages is a collection of 38 exclusive properties ranging from converted stables to elegant townhouses. As an example, The Studio in Grafton, Bampton sleeps two and is ideal for couples looking for a romantic escape. Located in the quaint hamlet of Grafton in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, it is an ideal base from which to explore the Cotswolds towns of Cirencester and Bilbury. Prices start from £380 (£47.50 per person per night) for four nights' self-catering for an April 16 arrival. For details see www.cottages4you.co.uk or call 0845-268 1560.

Letter to the Editor

Why we all have a role to play in promoting Greece

Dear Lauretta, In response to Ted Wake's column (W-AITO-Go! March 23) on 21st Century Greek myths, I believe that we all have a role to play in promoting Greece and her islands and presenting the industry with a clear message. The problems of Greece are clear to see with exaggerated media coverage regarding the riots and an overall fall in bookings. Greece will overcome the current issues but for now we can help by encouraging clients to book and see for themselves. Now is the time to support Greece in its hour of need and send the message that the destination is open for business. At the Iliomare we are offering special rates as well as agent rates to come and enjoy our Greek hospitality.

Peter Ward, Iliomare Hotel & Resort Thassos Mediterranean Hotel Collection

Indian state of Karnataka welcomes 300m rupee eco-tourism project A 300M RUPEE, sustainable tourism & golf development is underway in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. Located on the banks of the Kabini River, the Kabini Golf & Eco Tourism Development is planned to open in 2015 and will cover more than 300 acres. The project will offer an 18-hole international standard golf course, a golf academy, Ayurvedic Spa & Wellness Centre, watersports activities, birdwatching reserves and around 50 cottages and villas styled to blend in with the environment. The development will be managed with strict adherence to responsible and sustainable tourism policies. At grass roots level, local communities are being actively encouraged and educated to participate in the project. Accommodation at Kabini will be in villas sympathetically

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designed to blend in with the forest environment using ecofriendly materials sourced locally. The Golf Academy will offer a range of professional golf lessons and courses to provide local residents with training opportunities for course management, caddying and stewardship. The project is being marketed by Deccan Dreams - Four State Of Mind, specialist tours catering for four different holiday styles: temples and historic sites; nature wildlife & ecology; art, culture & history; and rest, rejuvenation & therapy lasting from eight to 21 days, by Karnataka’s premier tour operator Pyramid Tours, which are featured by Avion Holidays. For more information visit www.avionholidays.co.uk and www.pyramidsdeccan.com

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... Holiday Extras Get the VIP treatment with #holidayextras' new package at the http://hxtrs.co/Hr9ZoE Russ Hill Gatwick includes Meet and Greet parking cottages4you Take a look at Camuscross, our brand new Cottage of the Week on the Isle of Skye: http://bit.ly/GYxWVp. Superbreak Treat the Kids this Easter with a Eurostar break to Disneyland Paris http://bit.ly/GYuRVl 3 nights for a Family of 4 from £467 Holiday Designers Easyjet are to trial giving allocated seats to passengers on flights from Luton to Sharm el Sheikh http://bbc.in/Hf77sf Shearings Holidays Ever wondered what the view is like from the top of the Eiffel Tower? Have a look at this amazing 360° panoramic... http://fb.me/14C9o2aoA

Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/ TravelBulletin

Summer savings of up to 45% from Funway FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has unveiled the summer edition of its 16-page ‘DEALS’ brochure, which features savings of up to 45% and prices from £485 per person. As examples, families can choose from a range of family-friendly destinations, with prices starting from £2,349 per family of four, based on seven nights at the four-star Paradise Point in San Diego including flights with United Airlines. The operator is also offering a selection on spa breaks, with prices starting from £695 per person based on six nights at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles with Virgin Atlantic flights. For city breaks, there are choices to suit every budget, with prices starting from £485 per person based at the three-star Arabian Park in Dubai including flights with BA. For more information visit www.funway4agents.co.uk

MSC Cruises' £1 offer is back MSC CRUISES has reintroduced its £1 promotion, available on the company’s 2012 Mediterranean summer sailings. When one adult books a selected 2012 Med summer cruise and pays full brochure price, the second passenger pays £1. The offer is based on two sharing a cabin and bookings must be made by April 30. Flights are excluded from the deal but can be booked through the company's flight centre for £230 per person return. Prices start from £759 cruise-only for the first passenger. For details see www.msccruises.co.uk or call 0844-561 1955.

CYPRUS £40

Quality accommodations from 3# Boutique Hotels to Villas with Pools matched by product knowledge & 40 years experience To request brochure or to booking call us on 020 8340 7612 Email: sales@cyplon.co.uk

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incentive for package holiday bookings (book by 30/6) Holidays Bookings over

£6,999

will receive an amazing gift of Bubbles & Truffles

April 6 2012

Kenya Airways launches New Delhi flights KENYA AIRWAYS has announced its commencement of flights to the Indian Capital city, New Delhi from May 15. The new service will operate four times weekly on a Boeing 767-300 and the new route highlights the carrier’s ambitious growth plans to expand its network as part of its ten-year growth strategy. The carrier's CEO, Dr. Titus Naikuni, said: "New Delhi is the second city after Mumbai that we will be flying to India. We intend to open four more destinations in the sub continent as part of our ten-year expansion strategy. "The destination has great business prospects as New Delhi is one of the largest cities in India, and the most preferred city in terms of information technology, investments, healthcare and government relations."

AMAWATERWAYS IS offering special ‘Jewish Heritage’ tours and excursions on five of its Danube cruises this year, including two sailings on the new AmaCerto, which debuts this month and incorporates advanced design in river cruising, offering spacious staterooms featuring two balconies; a heated swimming pool; and multiple fine dining venues.The free tours are designed to highlight the rich Jewish heritage of the Danube and include visits to Jewish districts, museums, monuments, synagogues and other landmarks of significance to Jewish history. The cruises cost from £1,716 per person, cruise-only, with optional hotel stays (extra cost) in Budapest and, after the cruise, in Prague, with each extension featuring further Jewish-themed tours. Departures are on June 14 for a ‘Romantic Danube’ cruise; July 26 for a ‘Legendary Danube’ cruise; and August 5 and October 17 and 28 for a `Blue Danube Discovery’ cruise. For details call 0808-223 5009 or see www.amawaterways.co.uk

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newsbulletin Half price Egypt deals from C&K COX & KINGS is offering buy one get one half price offers on a range of Egypt tours, saving up to £1,400 per couple, for bookings made by April 30. Tours include an eight-day Wonders of Egypt itinerary which offers a saving of up to £675 per couple, leading in at £1,679 per couple. The tour is available from April 28 to October 20. An 11-day Egyptian Grand Tour is also available from £3,035 per couple and offers a saving of up to £1,012 per couple for travel between April 27 and October 12. Prices include all flights, transfers, excursions and breakfast accommodation with full board on the boats. All fuel surcharges and taxes are also included. For more information call 020-7873 5000 or visit www.coxandkings.co.uk

SpiceRoads adds bike tours to highlight Asian heritage SPICEROADS CYCLE Tours, a bicycle operator in Asia, has introduced five new heritage bicycle tours of Burma, Bhutan, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to highlight the best scenery, historic sites, art and culture of each of the destinations. By cycling short distances at a relaxed pace over seven days, guests have time to take in UNESCO World Heritage sites, meet the locals, sample local cuisine and soak up the atmosphere. As examples, a Bhutan - Paro to Punakha option introduces an isolated country where Tibetan Buddhism is integral to the culture. Guests will take in the mountain ranges, dense forests, historic dzongs (fortresses), monasteries and temples. The next tour departs on April 22 and leads in at US$2,100. Scheduled departures are also available in June, August, September and October. A Burma - Mandalay to Bagan tour starts from Kipling’s Mandalay to travel via the Irrawaddy River to the temples at Bagan and ends with a visit to the Shwedagon Paya in Yangon. Scheduled tours are set for July, October and November and prices lead in at US$1,950. For details visit www.spiceroads.com

Leger marks 21st anniversary of last British Military train LEGER HOLIDAYS is offering customers the opportunity to board The Berliner train, to celebrate the bravery of those railway workers who manned one of the most important rail lines in modern history. The tour, led by a specialist battlefield guide stationed in Germany during the Cold War, offers an insight into the line between Berlin and Hannover and this last British Military train which spent its life on the front line of the Cold War. Highlights for guests joining the five-day

break, which departs on May 10, include time in Berlin and a trip on a vintage carriage, lead by a 1940s steam loco and a vintage East German Reichsbahn diesel. Prices lead in at £399 per person including four nights' breakfast accommodation; joining points at either Birmingham, Florence or Folkestone Channel Tunnel; a specialist battlefield guide; a Second Class ticket on The Berliner; and excursions. For more information visit www.legerbreaks.info or call 0844-504 6250.


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newsbulletin Agent training from Serenity Holidays SERENITY HOLIDAYS is inviting agents to its next training morning which will focus on Corsica and Sardinia. Held at the operator’s Hampshire head office on Wednesday April 25 from 09:30-12:30, the three-hour session will provide the opportunity for agents to learn about the destinations and the company's latest products, available through its specialist brands, Corsican Places and Sardinian Places. To register for the event call 0845-330 2066 or email trade@serenity.co.uk

SKÅL THE VER WORLD O Skål - the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals highlights the importance of eco and responsible tourism. OLLOWING THE United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, Skål International launched its Ecotourism Awards in the same year, to highlight and acknowledge best practices around the globe. As an international organisation of industry leaders, Skål is a powerful force in initialising change and encouraging the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel. The awards, presented on these grounds, while highlighting best practices in tourism around the world, also serve the purpose of highlighting a new concept that puts an emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment of travellers and the need for active community participation for sustainability. Eco and responsible tourism are only a small part of sustainable tourism. To have a greater impact and recognition in the sustainable development domain in tourism, we decided to consider eco and responsible tourism as part of the greater picture of sustainable tourism. Therefore, last year these awards were renamed Sustainable Development in Tourism Awards. The independent judges of the awards are from important institutions and organisations that deal with eco and sustainable tourism. A complete set of entries is sent to each judge separately and they are asked to award points reflecting their judgement. All the evaluation points are then totalled by the general secretariat to determine the winners. This year's winners will be announced by the president of Skål International, Enrique Quesada Barrios, during the opening ceremony of the 73rd Skål World Congress to be held in Seoul & Incheon, Korea, on Wednesday 3rd October. The guidelines and an application form can be found at www.skal.org

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EASTER EGG-CITEMENT...Attraction World's business development manager for the south Leanne Harley (right) tells Louisa Gilbert from Thomas Cook in Dovercourt about the operator's UK-based attractions on offer during the Easter break, including a chocolate making workshop run by Green & Blacks in Manchester, London and Brighton (available as a gift certificate). For details see www.attractionworld.com or call 0871-700 8888.

Go

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WEBSCLUSIVES ●

Brochure of the week: Great Rail Journeys’ ‘Winter, Christmas & Spring 2012/13 Holidays by Rail’ includes over 50 tours. Featuring wintery adventures in Europe, Canada, USA and across Russia; visits to Europe’s spring carnivals; short breaks to Europe’s Christmas Markets; and Christmas & New Year celebrations.

Missed last week’s All About North Africa supplement? You can view it online at www.travelbulletin.co.uk in digital format, with in-depth features on cultural tourism, beach holidays and niche tourism throughout the North African region.

All this and more at:

www.travelbulletin.co.uk The home of the web savvy travel agent 8

April 6 2012

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

SURREAL HOLIDAYS is giving travel agents the opportunity to receive a range of incentives when they tailor-make a booking to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam or Myanmar before May 31. Incentives include 20% commission (excluding flights) and a £50 Love2Shop voucher. The top selling agent for total bookings (minimum value of £10k) will be awarded with a seven-night holiday to Thailand for two people to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and the beach. The holiday includes flights, breakfast accommodation and transfers and is valid for travel until December 10. The incentive is valid for new bookings made between now and May 31 and agents must claim their vouchers by 15 June 15 by emailing agentoffers@surrealholidays.com For more information see www.surrealholidays.com SEADREAM YACHT Club is offering a $200 bonus commission for travel agents on 2012 Mediterranean season bookings made until April 15, plus a $200 spa credit for guests. THE SERIES of voyages runs from May into early October this year and includes the destinations of France, Italy, Monaco, Spain, Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Albania and Portugal. TRAVEL 2 is urging agents to 'Think Thailand' with its latest campaign. The new drive offers agents triple ‘T2 Rewards Points’ with all Thailand bookings that include accommodation, car hire or a tour. The campaign runs through to April 30 and for every qualifying booking made until then, agents receive triple ‘T2 Rewards Points’, which can be redeemed against experiences such as spa days or shopping vouchers. For more information visit www.travel2.com

Fancy a fam? PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS is hosting two agent fam trips for its top selling agents to Canada this year - one to Alberta in June and the second in October, combining a stay in Ontario with the island of Bermuda. The trip to Alberta will take in Calgary, Banff, Jasper and Vancouver and will include a ride on the famous Rocky Mountaineer train. The Ontario fam will feature a three-night stay in Toronto, a visit to Niagara Falls and four-night break in Bermuda.

Agent training THE MOROCCO National Tourist Office and partners will be hitting the road this spring to update and educate agents. They will be calling at Gatwick on April 30, Birmingham on May 1, Manchester on May 2 and Norwich on May 3. Agents will be invited to meet the tourist office and partners, create bespoke client itineraries in an informal reception before taking their seats for dinner. A Moroccan Champions quiz will also take place offering a range of prizes to be won. For more information or to request a place email events@destination-representation.com

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LUCY'S LUCK...pictured celebrating her prize of two flights to India is Lucy Peacock from Fred Olsen Travel in Norwich with Gary Evans from Travelpack. The operator recently held a promotional evening for agents in Norwich in association with the India Touris t Office. April 6 2012

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opinionbulletin

W-AITO-Go! by OLIVER BROAD

C’mon - let’s stick together! ecently AITO Agents went on tour as we visited London, Birmingham, Cheshire and Penrith to welcome members to our spring training roadshow. It was a great opportunity to get the latest developments from our AITO tour operator partners, network with fellow agents and discuss business trends. In London we were hosted by Visit Sweden who provided a wonderfully charming venue near Marylebone, in the Swedish Church. If you’re in the area I can highly recommend The Chapel pub nearby where we enjoyed Swedish nibbles specially prepared by their chef. The evening was a great mix of work and play and members had the opportunity to share their current thoughts on the market. Next up was Marco Pierre White’s Bar & Grill at The Cube in Birmingham. Over 20 storeys high and flanked on all sides by sheer glass, the private dining room had breathtaking views. Owners and managers of our top Midland-based agents joined us for a delightful dinner, along with six of our operator partners who all took a few minutes to update us with their news. This was the first members’ dinner we had held for a while but it was a huge success - so much so, that we are now planning more for later in the year. The highlight of the evening was no doubt Dominic Carrick’s recipe for a successful working relationship between operator and agent. Next we headed to Jodrell Bank in Cheshire for a speed-dating training format in a truly unique setting home of the world-famous Lovell Telescope recently featured on the BBC programme Stargazing Live. Their new visitors’ centre was excellent (a great idea for those in need of ideas to entertain the little ones over Easter!). Finally we held our second members’ dinner in Penrith as far north as we had been for a long time. The hot topic of discussion seemed to be (once again) discounting and margins. Within AITO we have our unique Closer Ties agreement, now in its sixth year. It creates a level playing field to allow our members the same selling price as the public can receive directly from the AITO operator. Whilst a number of large tour operators are attempting to create a level playing field in their market, I wonder how long this will last and am concerned that it is just a tactic to increase their trade sales for this season. Our philosophy as AITO Agents is to build long-term, honest and respectful relationships. Our agent members are encouraged to concentrate on service, as opposed to price (or discounting) and, whilst no one can dictate how

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April 6 2012

to run their business or what practices to follow, we certainly suggest that this is the best route for relationships to prosper. It worries me that some are relying heavily on discounting to form their business model. In my opinion, this attracts a ‘one trick pony’ client who is not interested in who you are, what you represent and what you know, but just simply how much you are going to charge them. Whilst we live in a predominantly price-led society, there is still a strong need for high levels of knowledge and service. By offering quality products from AITO operators, we have a real advantage over our competition. However, this should not be taken for granted. The AITO name is very well respected. The new brand has paved the way for the next generation of our sector to flourish and our involvement in lobbying and industry issues is one of the group’s major strengths - not that many would realise, as a lot of the work goes on behind the scenes. I met our most recent member, CBT Travel, recently and their youthful enthusiasm and desire for fresh ideas to help them tackle the ‘big boys’ was infectious and the foundation of their reason to join our group. And so with knowledge, influence and involvement, AITO is much more than a portfolio of unique products for an agent to sell. I encourage our members to remember this and for those not yet involved to ask and learn more. Mutual respect for AITO’s various interests will assist us all, as we endeavour to survive in our ever-changing, ever-demanding industry.

To respond to any of Oliver’s views email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle

Can you solve the following anagrams to decipher the destination & tour operator?

Acne Rat

Number: 059

A➠

B➠ This operation is well known for its Thailand breaks

C➠

Call Shine New

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, April 12th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 23rd March is Karen Hall, Garstang Travel in Preston. March 23 Solution: A=3 B=6 C=2 D=5

The title of a famous ballet by Tchaikovsky may remind you of this cruise line’s name

Where Am I?

Sam played it again here!

Crossword Fill in the crossword to reveal the mystery location highlighted by the green squares.

Number: 059

Across 1. Carrier operating from Leonardo da Vinci airport (8) 5. Antwerp airport code (3) 6. Flows through Asia (9) 8. American actress, ___ Swank (6) 9. Bard's wife, whose cottage is a popular tourist attraction (4) 11. Celine, singer of the Titanic theme (4) 12. Capital of the Philippines (6) 14. River forming part of the US / Mexico border (3,6) 15. Omsk airport code (3) 16. Famous Royal road in Bath (8)

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Down 1. Strictly speaking, she is now a judge on BGT (6,5) 2. P&O cruise ship (6) 3. Organisation representing the airline industry (4) 4. Holiday consultant (6,5) 5. Capital of Paraguay (8) 7. Egypt and Middle East specialist (8) 10. Popular base for trips to the Great Barrier Reef (6) 13. 4 down could arrange one for you (4)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 April 6 2012

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VIKING RIVER CRUISES recently christened four new state-of-the-art Longships in Amsterdam - Viking Freya, Viking Idun, Viking Njord and Viking Odin. The ships are sailing routes throughout Europe taking in rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Elbe and the company invited UK travel agents to be part of the celebrations with a stay on Viking Odin.

VIKING LUXURY… pictured at the christening day cock tail reception are, fr om the left: Neil Barclay, Viking River Cruises UK; Mervyn Willard, Ba ldwins Travel, Tunb ridge Wells; Scott Anderso n , The Luxury Cruis e Company; Hove and Peter Ruck from Bald wins Travel in Tunbridge Wells.

AGENT CHAT…Laura O’Conno r from Thomas Cook in Peterborough ca tches up with Neil Barclay from Vikin g. 12

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ELEGANT LADIES…at the christening ceremony are Beryl Gibson (left) from Northumbria Travel in Bedlington with Wendy Atkin-Smith, UK managing director at Viking.

GALA GIRLS…Juliet Peters (left) of Blue Water Holidays in Skipton enjoys the gala dinner cruise on Viking Odin with Beryl Gibson from Northumbria Travel in Bedlington.

RIVER TRAILS…Ciaran Brady from Trailfinders in Dublin and Mike Waldon -Smith from Trailfinders in Bristol enjoy the celebratory speeches and presentations.

SUNNY CRUIS ERS…Michael and Laura O’Connor return from an excursion with Tom Ash (right) cruise director at Viking River Cruises. www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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Scott Bearman-Brown The agency sales manager of Abercrombie & Kent loves to walk and always takes Berocca with him when travelling Who is your ideal travelling companion? Anyone with a sense of adventure and who embraces local cultures, foods, and (most importantly for me) authentic experiences - I can’t bear boring trips.

"Given the opportunity, I’d be a full-time musician. Although maybe the people listening to me play will have something to say about that…"

Where was your last work-related trip? Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa on an agent fam in November. The safari experience in Botswana is, in my opinion, the greatest on earth. The game viewing, accommodation and amazing guides will stay in my memory forever. If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I fancy the idea of retreating to a smallholding at some point….just not for a few years yet, although I don’t think I have the hair for it!

Career path ●

What three words would your friends use to describe you? Considerate, outgoing and fair.

What have your travels taught you? Two main themes spring to mind: (1) The most important thing to pack is a sense of humour. (2) Booking through a reputable agent and reputable tour operator always pays off.

What is the best advice you recall? Learn from the past, don’t live in it. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? At current price, gold bullion! Money can’t buy happiness, but it can get rid of your material worries, which then leaves more room in your life for happiness!

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1998–2000: Thomas Cook Flight Savers - tailor-made flights consultant at head office 2000–2004: Thomas Cook Retail various sales & management roles in Leeds, Harrogate, York and Peterborough 2004–2006: Thomas Cook - sales development executive looking after the flights, car hire and independent travel 2006–2011: Audley Travel - training specialist 2011–present: Abercrombie & Kent - agency sales manager

If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? (1) Removing the downward spiral that is discounting - try doing it in Waitrose or Boots…we know what the answer would be, so we shouldn’t entertain it. (2) Not being afraid of saying TripAdvisor and similar Websites are open to abuse and therefore not the final word on what is good and bad (3) Being less conservative and more open to change and progression.

What's your favourite city and why? It may be a cliché, but it has to be New York. After seeing ‘the sights’ as you need to when you first go there, every subsequent visit allows you to peel back another layer. It just offers more and more each time and never fails to surprise me. I’ll live there one day, before I get the small-holding. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? Given the opportunity, I’d be a fulltime musician. Although maybe the people listening to me play will have something to say about that… What is your motto in life? If it is not right don’t do it; if it is not true don’t say it. What is your favourite mode of travel? Walking. I spend so much time in various vehicles that whenever I get the chance to walk I take it, even if it’s only five minutes. It’s the most relaxing thing I know of. What item do you always take with you when travelling? Berocca – I’ve yet to find an everyday travel ailment that it doesn’t help. What special skill do you have? A freakish ability to be holding one conversation whilst listening to a couple of others – then swapping. It comes from being the youngest of four and constantly being talked over when I was growing up! How do you cope with the advances in technology? With open arms! Humans have been successful as we have a fantastic ability to innovate and adapt to changes around us. Burying our heads in the sand is not an option. The trick is to ensure that you find your place with it and use it to your advantage.

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The case for experiential travel in encouraging your clients to book by NICOLAS FOURNIER, travel trade manager, Canadian Tourism Commission N TODAY’S world of opportunity, consumers are more savvy than ever. With internet, blogs, forums, social media and review sites, it has never been so easy for them to get information freely and feel confident to make their own decision. This is especially true for travel. And with the world shrinking, and destinations that were once very far away and hard to reach becoming easily accessible, the choice and competition has never been so great.

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Signature experiences In this context of information overload, and with a background of economic uncertainties, how can destinations stand out, and how can we help retail agents close the sale? The key is to focus on creating emotional appeal and intrigue. With this in mind, and based on solid research (see http://corporate.canada.travel) the Canadian Tourism Commission has launched a collection of signature experiences that showcase the essence of Canada. This collection regroups an array of authentic activities that engages travellers, and moves them from being spectators to travellers, explorers and even advocates. Not all of these experiences are new, some have been part of your itineraries for a long time. And variety is key, with types, ability, level and duration differing widely to match the interests of most travellers. Our signature experiences engage the senses, and are based on their alignment with our international marketing, media and sales activities.

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The CTC has developed a section on its site to allow partners to engage with this collection, (http://canada.travel/sec) its background, as well as a list of experiences, some with assets available to download and use. Please contact us if the assets required are not yet there. The collection will also expand with time, with more joining later on this year. Driving sales And why are these so important to the trade? Canada, by its nature and size, is a destination best tailormade. Expertise and knowledge are of paramount importance when dealing with client enquiries. The ability to become familiar with this growing collection of unique or authentic Canadian experiences as well as highlight and suggest them will meet the desire of customers wanting to immerse themselves in the destination they travel to. Some will intrigue, others will excite. Ultimately, they should help you close the sale. It will also be a way for the trade to tap into the emotional appeal that drives people to purchase. The CTC and its provincial partners will be on the road in the UK in early July. Come and talk to us about the collection. Please keep an eye on trade magazines for details and registration, or even better, become a Canada Specialist, discover the collection and explore Canada. You will also get the latest news and invitations directly to your inbox (see www.canadaspecialist.co.uk). There will also be fam trips for Canada Specialists later this year, with some signature experiences included in the itineraries. It will be your chance to discover what this collection is all about. Finally, we are also planning webinars and training seminars, therefore there will be plenty of opportunities to increase your knowledge of Canada, and reap the benefits. â—? continues on next page

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In the meantime, to whet your appetite, a small selection of these experiences is listed below, with a trade-friendly UK tour operator that can book it as part of a package. Atlantic Canada - Giant Bar Clam Dig Adventure, Prince Edward Island: On the Giant Bar Clam Digging Experience guests don a wetsuit, grab a snorkel and mask and go searching for the big ones in chest-deep ocean water. When you’re done, shake the saltwater out of your hair and choose your own adventure: beachcombing, exploring the dunes or relaxing on the beach as a third generation fisherman gives you the lowdown while cooking your lunch. For more information contact Frontier Canada at www.frontiercanada.co.uk Central Canada - Wilderness fun with style Chic Choc Mountain Lodge, Quebec: The Chic Choc Mountain Lodge, nestled at 615m high in Quebec’s Gaspesie peninsula, is a retreat to get away from it all. Spot wildlife or explore more than 100km of cycling trails in stunning scenery. In the evening, relax by the fire with your loved ones whilst the chef prepares a gourmet meal, produced with local ingredients. For details contact Tailor Made Travel at www.tailor-made.co.uk Western Canada - The Greatest Outdoor Show on earth – Calgary Stampede, Alberta: Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the most famous Stampede is taking place in Calgary in July. Embrace your inner cowboy, meet the friendly locals and get awed by the rodeo, chuck wagon races, calf roping and much more. For details contact Titan Travel at www.titantravel.co.uk Northern Canada - Discover your inner Klondike prospector – Klondike National Historic Site of Canada, Yukon: The National Historic Site of Canada relates the 1896 Gold Rush that hit the Yukon. Relive the history and visit buildings dating back to the period, learn about the colourful characters that came from all over the world to try their luck and learn the technique of gold panning, who knows? ✦

Sucrerie de la Montagne, Quebec

For details visit www.1stclassholidays.com For more information call the CTC on 0870-161 5151 or email visitcanada@dial.pipex.com

Funway promotes seven-night Toronto break to coincide with summer events FUNWAY HOLIDAYS is offering seven nights at the three-and-a half star Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto from June 30 for £935 per person including flights with Air Canada and a special rate reduction on accommodation. The deal is being highlighted to coincide with both the Honda Indy Toronto that takes place from July 6-8 and Canada's 145th birthday celebrations on July 1 where

'Summerlicious', a local restaurant industry event, takes place from July 6-22. The operator reports that following the expansion of accommodation and land-based experiences, the destination has seen strong sales. Casey Hurford, the company's product manager, said: "Canada has seen a strong increase in sales volume as a result of us having access to a

broader range of hotel and land product through direct links. "Chains such as Choice Hotels, Marriott and Fairmont offer very competitive rates and combined with good tactical air offers and increased airlift into our key Canadian cities, has resulted in a 10% increase across the country compared to 2011 and more than 37% in Toronto alone compared to last year."

Ffestiniog Travel promotes 18-day Western Canada itinerary for £4,695 FFESTINIOG TRAVEL is highlighting its 18-day 'The Very Best of Western Canada' itinerary which encompasses the region’s natural wonders as well as the chance to ride the Rocky Mountaineer train. Departing on June 18, the escorted tour costs £4,695 per person, based on two sharing, and includes flights, all rail journeys and transfers, RedLeaf accommodation on the Rocky Mountaineer (upgrades available at an additional cost), roomonly hotel accommodation, some meals, excursions and the services of a tour leader throughout. The operator can also tailormake holidays to Canada with a

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rail element, to suit a client’s specific requirements. The rail element can range from an almost entirely train-based experience to a more general interest holiday with some rail travel. The company also offers ‘special interest’ itineraries, created on a bespoke basis for small groups (of friends, family, clubs and societies, etc) that reflect the party’s interests – and can offer agents their expertise when booking this type of specialist trip for their clients. For more information call 01766-772030 or visit www.ffestiniogtravel.com

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The Executive First® Suite. Give your personal space what it wants. More personal space.

Go to aircanada.com, call us at 0871 220 1111 or contact your IATA travel agent.

Executive First Suites are available on overseas flights on all Air Canada-operated aircraft, except on certain Boeing 767s. ®Executive First is a registered trademark of Air Canada.


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canada Montréal takes inspiration from the Paris Plage to launch Old Port Beach for summer THERE WILL be a new beach in Montréal from mid-June, inspired by projects such as the Paris Plage beach on the banks of the River Seine. Visitors to the destination will be able to relax on brightly coloured beach chairs under beach umbrellas on the sand.

Canadian Affair is offering a direct flight to Montréal this summer, while Air Transit is offering flights from £318 per person return including taxes. For details see www.canadianaffair.com or call 020-7616 9999.

New Virgin Atlantic flight with Frontier Canada VIRGIN ATLANTIC'S new service to Vancouver starts on May 24, running four times weekly throughout the summer, from Heathrow. Frontier Canada is offering flights with the airline as part of its tailor-made summer programme to Vancouver and British Columbia. For more information call 020-8776 8709 or visit www.frontier-canada.co.uk

ATTRACTION WORLD has added tickets to the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto to its product range. Located across from the Eaton Centre department store mall, the memorabilia-stocked restaurant serves up distinctive meals and beverages. Tickets, which lead in at £14 per person, are fully commissionable to agents and entitle guests to a two-course meal with a drink. For details see www.attractionworld.com or call 0871-700 8888.

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Business up by 60% for Prestige Holidays PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS has revealed a big jump in bookings to Canada with business up 60% year on year. The company’s Canada manager, Denise Hunn, said: “We are delighted with the strong support we are getting from the trade. We are keen to reward agents and have recently introduced Love2shop vouchers. Agents will now earn £10 per booking on Canada holidays up to the value of £5,000 and £20 for bookings above this. "The West coast continues to do particularly well with Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska cruises featuring in our top selling holidays. We are also pleased with the growth in business to Ontario and Quebec and tailor made itineraries to Atlantic Provinces, in particular Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, are doing well.” The operator’s “Canada and Beyond” brochure features holidays in Manitoba for the first time this year, including the “Ultimate Polar Bear Tour". This takes place in Churchill and offers guests the chance to view the bears up close from a Tundra vehicle. The fivenight autumn break costs from £3,520 per person based on twin share and includes flights, five nights accommodation, two days bear viewing, a cultural and heritage tour of Churchill and some meals. For details call 01502567222 or visit www.prestigeholidays.co.uk

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Newfoundland & Labrador

Discover the delights of captivating Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada is made up of four distinct provinces, each with its own set of charms, getaways and coastal adventures. But we all share the same sea that has shaped our land, history, culture and cuisine. New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island boast Canada’s most spectacular coastline and every seaside activity imaginable: long walks on uncrowded beaches, nature viewing on a grand scale and hiking high above the arms of the sea. Atlantic Canada is closer to Europe than any other part of North America. An enchanting seacoast holiday awaits in just ďŹ ve hours from the UK. To learn more about Atlantic Canada, become a Canada Specialist agent, register at www.canadaspecialist.co.uk

Nova Scotia

Prince Edward Island

New Brunswick

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All ou our ur Canadian tours inc include clude T Titan’s itan’’s rrenowned enown ned VIP HOME H DEP DEPARTURE PAR A TURE SERVICE Complime Complimentary entary home transfers wher wherever ever clients clie ents live in mainland England and W Wales ales

For the e latest news and of offers ffer f s and to or order der br brochures, ochures, please vis visit sit

www.titanagents.co.uk www . .titanagents.co.uk


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canada Rocky Mountaineer promotes ‘meetings on the move’ add-on deals ROCKY MOUNTAINEER, which features a fullycustomisable experience for meetings and incentive programmes allowing groups to combine business with pleasure between Vancouver, BC and the Canadian Rockies, is offering planners the opportunity to take advantage of a special offer for an add-on of choice when booking 11 adults on a qualifying 2012 holiday package. Options include an additional person on the booking or a free dinner, a free night stay, a Vancouver Adventure Tour, a Whistler Sea to Sky Climb tour or an onboard credit for the entire group. The train's dome coaches in GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf Service offer luxury surroundings and panoramic views of the passing landscapes, while exclusive parlour cars, equipped with LCD screens and boardroom tables, give corporate guests everything they need to conduct

successful business sessions. Meeting planners can customise the event with cocktail receptions, head rests with company logos and more, while tailor-made itinerary options for excursions and activities in Western Canada are also available. For an exclusive meeting or a unique event, groups can charter a rail car, the whole train or Rocky Mountaineer’s train station in Vancouver with 35ft ceilings and event space for up to 1,000 people. The special offer is available on new bookings through to October 15 for packages of four nights or more with components taken from the 2012 brochure and all guests must be booked on the same itinerary. For more information on the offer and other group options, call Craig Upshall on 01293-897181 or email cupshall@rockymountaineer.com

Collette highlights ten-day Canadian Rockies train tour for £2,729 with flights COLLETTE REPORTS that sales of escorted tours to Canada have risen and that customer satisfaction for its Canadian Rockies by Train and Rockies Train Highlights is up at 99%. The operator's general manager, Peter Traynor, said: “Since we revamped the Canadian Rockies

programmes by replacing the Rocky Mountaineer train with the VIA RAIL service, the high standards of service, including a night spent in a private sleeper cabin on the train has proved very popular with holidaymakers.” The ten-day Canadian Rockies by Train tour begins in Vancouver and

included a VIA Rail journey from Vancouver to Jasper, before heading off to Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary. Prices lead in at £2,729 including flights, accommodation in a choice of mainly four-star hotels, 13 meals, a tour leader and door to door pick-up within 100-miles of the departure airport.

ABERCROMBIE & Kent reveals that a key focus this year is the Northern Terrorises where, for example, clients can visit Nunavut to go in search of Walruses and Bowhead Whales in Foxe Basin, with prices leading in at £3,800 per person.

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canada Atlantic Canada highlights Titanic commemorations in Nova Scotia & New Brunswick NOVA SCOTIA and New Brunswick will play host to a of many of her unclaimed victims, the Titanic story range of Titanic commemorative events throughout the remains an important part of Halifax’s history. Halifax year to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the was the closest major port to the 1912 sinking and all Titanic. the recovered bodies were brought to Halifax, along with The closest land-based wireless station to receive the many pieces of the wreckage. Titanic’s distress signals was the In Halifax, at the Maritime Museum Marconi Marine Radio Station at of the Atlantic, Titanic: The Unsinkable Cape Race. From here the Titanic’s Ship is an exhibit of the world's finest fate was broadcast to the world. collection of the liner’s wooden Opening this spring is a reartefacts, from an iconic, near construction of the station named perfectly-preserved deckchair to a for the Myrick family, generations heartrending pair of child’s shoes. of whom worked there from 1874 Also in Halifax, the Bedford to 2007. Find out how they Institute of Oceanography, known as coordinated rescue efforts and BIO, is Canada’s largest centre for watch giant icebergs drift south ocean research. Their Titanic exhibit along ‘Iceberg Alley’. features a model of what the Titanic In St. John’s, the Centre for looks like now, down on the ocean Marine Simulation has a huge floor, as well as images from the 1991 virtual reality production that expedition. recreates Titanic’s bridge, with On the ‘Titanic 100 Year Experience actors, ocean and the menacing ice Tour’, a kilted guide leads guests (April 15 through the summer). through Halifax’s North End on the Also in St. John’s, the Johnson Geo way to the ‘Titanic Cemetery’. Visitors Centre’s Titanic Story permanent will learn about the lives of those exhibit analyses why the tragedy buried here and the role Halifax played occurred, while The Rooms in the days after the disaster. Provincial Museum has a Air Canada offers flights to St. collection of Titanic artefacts, John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, documents and images, and a starting from £746.96 per person. ‘virtual Titanic’ resource guide. See www.aircanada.com or call In St. John’s and on Cape 0871-220 1111. Race, the Receiving Titanic Canadian Affair offers a return Centennial Symposium (April flight from Gatwick to Halifax from 11-16) includes a £318 per person, while seven-day commemoration ceremony, as The gravestone of one of the passengers on Titanic fully inclusive car hire costs from well as iceberg tours and £175. For details see www.canadianaffair.com or call 020-7616 lectures. The 1912 distress signals will also be 9933. reproduced to recreate the events on the fateful night. For more information visit Meanwhile, having played a key role during the tragedy’s aftermath and becoming the final resting place www.atlanticcanadaholiday.co.uk

GRJ reports strong sales for tours following a royal visit GREAT RAIL Journeys reports that sales for Canadian tours are up on last year, following the well-publicised royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year. Now guests can follow in their footsteps by opting for a 14-day Rockies & Western Canada itinerary, which

leads in at £3,858 per person including scheduled flights, 12 nights' accommodation, a full excursion programme, all transfers and luggage handling in Canada and the services of a tour manager. Highlights include a cruise through the Inside Passage, an excursion to

Prince Rupert and the Museum of Northern British Columbia, two daytime journeys on the Skeena, two daytime journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer, a half-day excursion to Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake plus sightseeing tours of Victoria and Vancouver. For details see www.greatrail.com

Titan responds to demand for Polar Bears of Churchill tour with new departure date TITAN HAS added an extra departure date to its Lords of The Arctic - The Polar Bears of Churchill tour, in response to demand. The tour offers two full days of polar bear viewing, conducted from a ‘Tundra Buggy’ on which clients can expect guaranteed window seats and expert commentary. The tour is accompanied by a Frontiers North Adventures interpretive guide, as well as a tour manager and each departure has a maximum group size of 20 clients.

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Activities include a dog-sledding programme, a guided tour of Churchill including the Manitoba Conservation’s Polar Bear Holding Facility and time dedicated to learning about the history and culture of Churchill and its people. The nine-day tour costs from £4,995 per person and includes a door-to-door VIP Home Departure Service. For details call 0800-988 5800 or visit www.titanagents.co.uk

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s e c a f y n a m e h t t h g li How to high s r e k e e s e r u t n e v d of Namibia for a INS, sales & by JUANITA COLL er, Air Namibia UK marketing manag HERE IS something existential about Namibia; the vast open spaces remind us of just how tiny we are and the sounds of animals howling at night remind us of human frailty, and that two legs don’t necessarily guarantee utmost speed and mobility! One can travel for miles without seeing another human being and in Namibia the sound of silence is deafening, all calling into question our very existence.

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Refined activities That Namibia is an excellent destination for adventure travel and adrenaline sports should not therefore come as a surprise. As a destination, Namibia is pegged as a safari destination but the destination has many, many faces. Paragliding, dune boarding, quad-biking, hiking and more leisurely options such as catamaran cruises and golfing are all to be had but so few avail themselves of the phenomenal adventure experience available in Namibia!

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For the discerning travel agent this is of pivotal importance. Why? Because as an originating market, we are a mature one and naturally the tastes of our market are refined; refined in the sense that discerning travellers more and more often look for destinations that are off the beaten track and for experiences that redefine. Naturally this makes the task facing the agent a challenging one that can certainly be overcome. Swakopmund, the area around which most adrenaline activities take place, still evinces its German history in the guise of colonial architecture, rendering the city indescribably charming. As one tourist put it ‘I loved the feeling of being somewhere different and feeling it, I knew I was away from home’. Some have argued that tourism and the tourist experience reinforces identity as ‘the Other,’ in essence, reinforcing our identities by putting us in touch with someone or another culture very unlike ours, and thus reinforcing our perception of self. Namibia in all its raw beauty and unassuming splendour will undoubtedly accomplish this. ● continues on next page

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s y a d li o h lf o g d n a y it activ Take the leap

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Swakop, as it is affectionately called, houses established hotels and accommodation of a notably high standard, belying the lingering notion that adrenaline enthusiasts like only budget accommodation! At its busiest times Swakop is full of adrenaline junkies sky-diving, paragliding and dune karting. The experiences are also decidedly affordable with a one-hour quad bike experience leading in at £25. There are also more novel experiences to be had, such as horseriding in the dunes, with one niche UK operator offering horse-riding safaris. And what with Walvis Bay roughly 35km from Swakopmund, Namibia explorers have an excellent opportunity to experience the bay and try activities such as catamaran charters, yachting, fishing and kayak tours. A family affair The diverse experience is well suited to families since many of the established operators have comprehensive safety measures which allow them to accommodate families young and old. For families it means that children are active and exhausted at the end of day, often a whispered prerequisite by many couples hoping to have the evening to themselves. Remarkably it can often redefine the family dynamic when children see the parental figure in a different light entirely, having seen mum and dad race on a quad bike.

The location of Swakop and Walvis Bay are some distance away from the capital Windhoek but Air Namibia’s early morning arrival allows for the journey in, with enough time even for an activity or two for the die-hard adrenaline junkies wishing to affirm their existence and test man against nature. Risk can of course never be understated, and therefore at no point do we underplay the risk involved in adventure sports and adrenaline-fuelled activities. Insurance cover remains an issue and, as in other destinations, mishaps may garner negative press. Thus it is instructive that agents choose the operators they use carefully and that they research fully the activities requested, ensuring too that adequate insurance cover is in place. Travel agents undoubtedly have considerable power but it is the travel agent in particular who is keen to step outside the box, suggest something new and go off the beaten track, who will excel. These are the agents with repeat custom and loyal customers, with the only challenge being for them to recreate the magic of Namibia. In a utopian world, everyone would have or should have the experience of Namibia; its wide open spaces, diverse landscape teeming with wildlife, the panoramic views heightened by a sparse population, all of which call into question our relationship with nature, with ourselves and with each other, rendering the destination magical and one with many, many guises. Namibia for safari, Namibia for adventure, Namibia for photography, Namibia for birding, Namibia anyone? ✦

Activities Abroad introduces six new family breaks ACTIVITIES ABROAD’S new brochure includes six new family activity holidays – to Montenegro, Fuerteventura, Bulgaria, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Peru and Borneo. Activities appeal to the whole family, eliminating the need for kids’ clubs and there is also an agematching service in place, as well as specific teenage

departures on some itineraries. As an example, a sevennight break to Montenegro includes activities such as kayaking, white-water rafting, orienteering exercises, hiking, swimming, snorkelling and sightseeing. Prices start from £1,245 per adult and £1,215 oer child (aged eight-12), based

Fuerteventura

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on four sharing a twobedroom apartment for departures in July and August. The price also includes flights, transfers, seven nights’ accommodation, eight meals plus welcome food pack, all activities, equipment and fully-qualified instructors. For more information call 01670-789991 or visit www.activitiesabroad.com

Dartmouth Golf & Country Club adds new packages DARTMOUTH GOLF & Country Club in Devon has added a range of new packages for golfers. A three-day package with unlimited golf on the resort’s 27 holes is available from £129 per person while a twoday offer with golf included can be booked from £79 per person. The three-day break includes two nights’ accommodation; one twocourse evening meal; a round of golf each day on the 18hole course; and unlimited use of the nine-hole Dartmouth course. In addition, guests are entitled to complimentary access to the facilities at the Lakeside Health and Leisure Club while the resort is also running free places promotions throughout the year, with one in 12 staying free up until October. For more information call 0800-043 3669 or email reservations@dgcc.co.uk

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Walks Worldwide adds new Albania departure dates to meet demand WALKS WORLDWIDE has added two more departure dates to its ‘The Accursed Mountains’ trek to Albania following demand. The trekking is graded as ‘demanding’, walking between four and eight hours a day at altitudes of up to 2000m. Mark Knowles, the man responsible for researching and creating the treks, said: “Albania is our real big surprise this year. But serious trekkers do their research and realise what a great adventure such a trip can provide; the Accursed Mountains are spectacular, unspoiled and virtually impenetrable. What’s more, even in the height of summer, you are unlikely to come across another soul. “This remote area of Europe can easily be compared with more far-flung and exotic destinations, including the lesser-trekked regions of the Himalaya. We have also just

put together one of our special ‘reccy’ trips for September which explores the ‘Mysterious South’ of Albania for the first time. This will be unique to Walks Worldwide and great for those who have completed the Accursed Mountains trek and fancy another Albanian adventure with us.” The new dates for The Accursed Mountains small group trips (for a maximum of ten people) are on June 30 and September 15. The eight-day itinerary costs from £565 per person, which includes seven nights’ accommodation, most meals, a local guide, overland travel and baggage transfers whilst walking. Flights with BA to Tirana cost from approximately £250. For more information call 0845-301 4737 or visit www.walksworldwide.com

Monte Da Quinta leads fightback over airline golf bag charges MONTE DA Quinta is offering golfers the chance to earn money back on their holidays when they stay at the Portuguese resort at any time this year. The property, located in the Quinta do Lago estate in the Algarve, has guaranteed to refund €40 per person on the cost of golf bag carriage on production of a valid airline transportation receipt.

The resort's decision to help ease the burden on travelling golfers will come as a welcome relief, with prices charged by airlines for transporting golf clubs having risen dramatically over the last few years and some companies now quoting £50 per flight from the UK. The discount is available on any golf packages booked at the four-star resort throughout this year.

As an example of prices, a sevennight break including two rounds of golf with a buggy on the North Course and one each on the South and Laranjal can be booked from €113 per person per night for stays this month and next and also in September. For more information email mqreservas@mqclub.com or see www.mqresort.com

TABER HOLIDAYS has introduced two new activity tours for this summer. The Viking Challenge in Iceland offers white-water rafting, glacier hiking and horse riding, while Sweden’s Wildlife Tour is about getting back to nature, watching for moose, wolves and beavers in their natural habitat. Prices lead in at £1,576 for the six-night Viking Challenge, based in Reykjavik, while the six-night wildlife tour in Sweden costs from £1,204. Both prices include flights, all tours and activities and accommodation with some meals, based on two sharing. For details call 01274-875199 or visit www.taberhols.co.uk

Beachcomber Tours teams up with fitness guru in Mauritius BEACHCOMBER TOURS has teamed up with former ‘Gladiators’ star and fitness guru Kate Staples, to offer guests a week of fitness in Mauritius. Between June 4-8, Kate will run a daily Fitness Camp at the Paradis Hotel & Golf Club, on Le Morne Peninsula. Suitable for both fitness enthusiasts and complete novices, the hour-long sessions will include core balance and conditioning, yoga positions, group exercises, short distance jogging, circuit training, obstacle courses and mat work-outs. A week at the property costs from £1,740 per person, based on two sharing on a half-board basis, including flights and private transfers. The fitness sessions cost £20 per morning or £80 if guests book up for the full week. For more information call 01483-445610 or visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk/fitness-week

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a c i r f a n r e south

SUN INTERNATIONAL'S Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town is offering guests a four-night stay for the price of three until November 30. All rooms and suites have panoramic views that either look over the Atlantic Ocean to historic Robben Island, or across the bay to Table Mountain.

Emirates Tours adds new ten-night boutique tour in South Africa EMIRATES TOURS reports that South Africa is one of its growing destinations this year, with bookings increasing significantly on last year, particularly for its One&Only Cape Town resort, which is currently the operator’s best-selling hotel. The company’s product and marketing manager, Beth Alcorn, said: “In response to growing demand, we’ve recently introduced a new boutique tour in South Africa, offering ten nights in some of the most intimate retreats in the country.

“The tour, which gives clients the chance to discover the best of Cape Town, the Winelands and the Garden Route, represents fantastic value for money and consists of beautiful boutique properties such as Four Rosmead in Cape Town and The Last Word in Franschhoek.” Prices for the tour lead in at £1,775 per person and offer a saving of up to £650 per couple. Based on two people sharing, the price includes three nights at Four Rosmead Guesthouse in Cape Town,

two nights at The Last Word in Franschhoek, two nights at Mosselberg on Grotto Beach in Hermanus and three nights at Emily Moon River Lodge in Plettenberg Bay with daily breakfast included. Flights, car hire and private transfers are also included and the deal is valid for travel between May 1 and June 30, and August 11-31. Bookings must be made by May 31. For more information visit www.emiratestours.co.uk or call 020-7590 1450.

Somak promotes ten-night late deal to Botswana SOMAK HOLIDAYS is offering a ten-night safari to Botswana in May, with discounts of up to £300 per person. The Northern Highlights Safari takes visitors to discover the highlights of the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park and Kwando Linyati Wetlands. Flexible rules allow four-wheel drives to go off-road in search of game, with night game drives and walking tours also possible. Meanwhile, river excursions offer hippo and

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crocodile viewing, along with varied birdlife along the riverbanks. Prices lead in at £4,299 per person, including two nights at Victoria Falls, two nights in Chobe, three nights Kwando private concession and three nights Okavango private concession. Game drives, river cruises and game walks in Chobe National Park, Kwando and Okavango Delta are also included, as well as full board meals on safari, bedand-breakfast in Livingstone, flights and transfers.

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southernafrica Great Rail Journeys adds new Namibian tour to programme

Cape Combo package for families from Abercrombie & Kent

GREAT RAIL Journeys has introduced a Namibian Pride of Africa tour this year featuring a range of Namibian landscapes - from colonial cities to the Sossusvlei and the Etosha National Park. The rail tour features a luxury journey on the Pride of Africa train and costs from £4,995 per person. Highlights include visits to Cape Town, Table Mountain & Cape Point, Franschhoek & Stellenbosch, Swakopmund & Windhoek, an Okapuka Game Drive and a visit to Etosha National Park. The price includes scheduled flights, seven nights' breakfast accommodation, six nights on the Pride of Africa in a twin or double Pullman Suite including all meals with wine and drinks and a free minibar in cabins. For more information visit www.greatrail.com

ABERCROMBIE & Kent is offering a Cape Combo package for families, with a choice of seven- or tennight trips. Activities featured in the package include Shetland pony rides for children aged six and under, chocolate tasting and quad biking. Prices for the seven-night package cost from £9,780 for a family of four (based on two adults and two children under 12) including BA Economy flights from Heathrow, car hire to Kwandwe, transfers from Kwandwe to Port Elizabeth and accommodation. A tennight package costs from £9,950 for a family of four. For more information visit www.abercrombiekent.co.uk or call 0845-618 2212.

Acacia Africa adds value with free activities on group safaris

Chobe National Park

ACACIA AFRICA is offering a range of free activities on its small group safaris, with savings of up to £114 per person on the 13-day Trek South Africa tour. The free activities, along with holding prices at 2011 rates, are being offered to help boost sales for agents. The company's project development manager, Leanne Haigh, said: “Clients are looking for value for money holidays and these savings will be a real selling point. Unlike short term deals, these savings will last throughout 2012 so it’s a huge opportunity for agents looking to drive sales and boost their commissions over the course of the year.” The 13-day Trek South Africa small group safari includes nine free additional activities, including a two-

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hour pony trek through Lesotho, an estuary cruise in StLucia, a Basotho village walk and a full-day Tugela Falls excursion, costs from £875 per person plus a local payment from £497 per person. The tour starts and ends in Johannesburg. Meanwhile, a 19-day Kruger Lesotho & Garden Route small group safari includes nine additional activities including a Zulu village tour, crocodile & snake park excursion, Chintsa village walk and visits to the Nelson Mandela Museum and Cape Agulhas Light House. Savings of £101 per person are offered, with prices leading in at £1,275 plus a local payment from £729 per person. For more information call 020-7706 4700, email info@acacia-africa.com or visit www.acacia-africa.com

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southernafrica African Pride reports that it has seen an annual increase in interest to Mozambique. David Holland, the operator’s sales manager, said “Mozambique is probably most famous as a beach destination with numerous high quality lodges mainly on the offshore resorts of the Quirimbas Archipelago and Bazaruto Islands. The beaches are genuine Indian Ocean standard: palm-fringed with soft sand and turquoise waters. But Mozambique has much more to offer with the interior of the country having several safari options. These are, however, at the fledgling stages and are perhaps best suited to ‘old hands’ who are experienced and looking for something new. Gorongosa National Park and Niassa Reserve offer a real wilderness experience for those looking for adventure off the tourist track.”

Diamonds are a guest’s best friend at Cape Grace, Cape Town CAPE TOWN’S waterfront hotel, Cape Grace, has launched a three-night package in collaboration with Platandia, Africa’s luxury jewellery brand, where guests staying in one of the hotel’s top suites will have the opportunity to try a jewellery experience and leave with a special gift of a ¼ carat diamond. The Rare and Extraordinary

Experiences package gives guests access to view some of the rarest gems from the privacy of their room with a customised design and bespoke consultation with Platandia’s Master Goldsmith. Guests purchasing the package, which leads in at £919 per double room per night, receive free transfers and a bottle of sparkling wine on arrival.

The offer applies to clients staying a minimum of three consecutive nights between June 14 and December 31. Virgin Atlantic flies daily to Cape Town from Heathrow with fares starting from £868 including taxes. For more information call 0844-209 2770 or visit www.virginatlantic.com and www.capegrace.com

Time to rethink South Africa’s marketing strategy, says Protea Hospitality Group SOUTH AFRICA should take its place in the international tourism arena as a destination of choice rather than asking travellers to visit because it’s a cheap long-haul destination, according to Danny Bryer, director of sales, marketing and revenue for the Protea Hospitality Group, which offers 130 properties in eight countries. Bryer said the country’s travel industry had scared itself into slashing prices in the past two years because of the depressed global economy compounded by the words ‘long-haul’, when it should have been concentrating on telling business and leisure travellers why their first choice destination ought to be South Africa. He said: “The country should be marketing itself as a destination of world-class amenities with pricing benchmarked at a level that reflects this value. We keep hearing the words ‘global competitiveness’ in the travel and tourism sector and it’s become the Sword of Damocles

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as to how we present ourselves in the international market. “It’s an affliction that has affected the whole of the African continent; many people in the industry are labouring under the misapprehension that to get business to South Africa it has to be destination that only competes on price. “We’ve opened our arms to visitors gracing us with a few dollars and euros, when in reality we have everything to offer the world in terms of business and leisure travel and we should not under-sell ourselves nor our incredible country. “South Africa is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the global growth in luxury, experiential and adventure travel, with many cultures, the most diverse natural terrain and some of the best five-star hotels in the world offering unquestionable value for their price point.”

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southernafrica

InBrief ● SOUTH AFRICA based Portfolio Collection, founded by Liz

Westby-Nunn 30 years ago, has been sold to Moja Media, owned by James Delaney and Ian Solomon. Moja has built up a collection of tourism guides in Southern Africa, including Moja Heritage Collection, Visit with Visa and Joburg Tourism’s Ultimate Guide. Meanwhile, Portfolio Collection will shortly launch a new app for the iPad, along with updates to www.portfoliocollection.com ● JOHANNESBURG HOTELIERS from The Peech Hotel, Ten

Bompas, The Winston Hotel, Clico Boutique Hotel, 10 2nd Avenue Houghton Estate, The Parkwood and The Hamilton have agreed a collaborative launch of the Johannesburg Boutique Collection (JBC), which comprises of a cooperation agreement between seven of the city’s boutique hotels and guest houses. The benefit of the JBC, which simultaneously seals a quality assurance between members, is the greater ease of booking it promises to agents, tour operators and corporates. ● KENYA HAS formed a national MICE committee to boost

country meetings industry in its key and emerging source markets. The committee is in the process of drafting a new MICE strategy, including a special brochure for the sector and will include all relevant industry stakeholders, including the Kenya Tourist Board, hoteliers and tour operators. ● &BEYOND PHINDA Private Game Reserve has introduced

a new two- to five-hour, boat-based whale viewing expedition at nearby Sodwana Bay in South Africa. Available from June to October, guests may encounter humpback whales and mink whales, and those interested in other marine adventures are able to swim alongside whale sharks and go scuba diving at Sodwana Bay.

Africa Travel extends product range AFRICA TRAVEL has extended its product range for this year by including gorilla trekking in the Republic of the Congo and re-introducing Zimbabwe to its portfolio after a break of ten years. The operator's managing director, Frances Geoghegan, said: "We are excited to be able to offer such a unique and exclusive destination as the Republic of the Congo, an emerging wildlife hotspot, and after a personal fact-finding visit to Zimbabwe I believe that it still remains one of Africa's premier safari destinations, and that there is no better time to re-discover this wonderful country." As an example of prices, a seven-night Snapshot of Zimbabwe itinerary costs from £2,975 per person including flights and transfers, two nights at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, two nights at The Hide Safari Camp and three nights at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, full board at all properties, a sunset river cruise at Victoria Falls and game activities at The Hide Safari Camp and Bumi Hills Safari Lodge. For more information call 020-7843 3500 or visit www.africatravel.co.uk

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southernafrica Baobab Travel awarded Fair Trade Tourism status

We asked our staff the following question this week: Who's the most famous person you've met? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk I did the Hokey Cokey with Sir Matt Busby but probably even more famous than that is David Beckham

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk Michael McIntyre - two weeks ago at Legoland!

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Brian May

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk The Queen (plus Princes Philip and Charles). Oh, and The Beatles. (Hey, I could be into name-drop heaven...)

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk Jim Kerr - front man from 'Simple Minds'

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk Sir Bobby Charlton

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk My wife once made me get my pic taken with Kelly Brook. Although professional model Kelly spoilt the snap by blinking!

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk It has to be George Best - in a nightclub before a England v N.Ireland football match at Wembley

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AAT invests $2.7m in new luxury wing at Victoria Falls CONSTRUCTION IS underway for a new and exclusive room wing at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge (VFSL), Zimbabwe. The 16 rooms and four suites are a US$3m investment by the Africa Albida Tourism Hospitality Group (AAT) at its flagship property and will open in August this year as a luxury private facility named the Victoria Falls Safari Club. The addition will bring the total number of rooms at VFSL to 92. Chief executive of AAT, Ross Kennedy, said: “Victoria Falls is a 'must-seein-your-lifetime’ destination and we’re sure the Induna Club will enchant and attract more discerning international travellers seeking an extra dimension of luxury and superior service. “Such a significant investment reflects our supreme confidence that the revitalisation of Victoria Falls and of our country Zimbabwe as a global tourism jewel is well underway.” The new rooms are 50% larger than the current rooms and the exclusive club ethos will be reflected in features such as a butler service, private check-in and check-out and a “feel-good” multi-functional area that includes a bar, lounge and terrace.

Carrier offers savings of up to £1,820 per couple CARRIER IS offering savings of up to £1,820 per couple on a sevennight 'Cape Town, Johannesburg & Safari' itinerary. The package includes an additional three extra nights at Ellerman House, Cape Town, with breakfast, complimentary visits to Robben Island, Table Mountain and Waterford Wine Estate with transfers; a night's breakfast stay at The Saxon in Johannesburg, a complimentary massage and complimentary transfers; and three nights at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, on a fully-inclusive basis including game drives and a private tree house picnic. The package is valid for travel until December 15 and prices start from £5,915 per person (based on departures from April 30 to May 2) including flights from Heathrow and private transfers. For more information call 0161-491 7610.

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. ALITALIA, 5. ANR, 6. EUPHRATES, 8. HILARY, 9. ANNE, 11. DION, 12. MANILA, 14. RIO GRANDE, 15. OMS, 16. CRESCENT. Down: 1. ALESHA DIXON, 2. AURORA, 3. IATA, 4. TRAVEL AGENT, 5. ASUNCION, 7. PELTOURS, 10. CAIRNS, 13. TOUR.

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BAOBAB TRAVEL has become the first UK-based travel company to have a portfolio of South African itineraries certified as Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) travel packages. South Africa developed a system to measure and certify Fair Trade practices in tourism in 2003. Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) was originally designed for individual accommodation owners as well as local activity providers, and has successfully certified more than 60 tourism products in South Africa. The FTTSA certified has recently been extended to tour operators worldwide, and is open to companies that work with FTTSA certified partners in South Africa. The initiative allows consumers to extend ethical purchasing decisions beyond everyday products, such as coffee, tea and fruit, to include holidays that guarantee a better life for the people of South Africa. Fair Trade Tourism offers the tour operator an opportunity to promote and sell forms of travel that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Baobab Travel has designed four dedicated Fair Trade Tourism packages, which include the Cape & Garden Route, a whale-watching itinerary along the South African coast, a Johannesburg, Kruger & Limpopo tour and a hiking trail through the Southern Drakensberg Mountains.

Audit Bureau of Circulations Business magazines

April 6 2012

Highlighted Word: PRAGUE Travagrams: (top) Centara

(bottom) Swan Hellenic

Where Am I?: Casablanca

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Victoria Falls, Zambia

brand activation 68383B

North West Province, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

AN U N FO RG E TTAB L E J O U R N E Y T H RO U G H A N I N C R E DI B L E L A N D. Discover the beauty and delight of unspoilt Africa as you follow the sun on its travels across the southern tip. Indulge in 5-star luxury and sophistication on your journey from vibrant cosmopolitan surrounds, through an ancient African kingdom and into the untamed thunder of Victoria Falls. Each step you take is made in unparalleled comfort, enjoying all that three of the world’s premier 5-star hotels have to offer. To discover more about the Route of the African Sun call +44 (0) 1491 419600 or email marketinguk@suninternational.co.uk

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NEW BROCHURE NEW SHIPS NEW SAVINGS AMAZING PRIZES TO BE WON! SEE INSERT FOR MORE INFORMATION OR EMAIL US AT agents@vikingrivercruises.com

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Travel Bulletin 6th April 2012  

Travel Bulletin 6th April 2012