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August 4 2017 | ISSUE NO 2,025 |

Discover the Cayman Islands Experience the Undiscovered with Funway Holidays

A N I W RIP T M FA Efor C A PeLback pag.e Se



To book call 020 8290 9754 or visit

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Expeerience Thhe Caymaan Islands with Funway Holidayyss Experience the t undiscovered in the Cayman Cy Islands. Located in the Western e Caribbean, nestled n in an unparallelled tropical setting, the islands are world renowned d fo or their luxury dining, snnorkelling and diving. Endless posssibilities await w in the Caym yman Islands. A luxury holid day can be combined with an abundance of activities, making it the perfeect desttination fo or all ages and inter terests. It’s also the perfec ect place to sit back and do nothingg at all,, jjust enjo joy the view and feeel the saand between your toes.

Discover more with the NEW W Online Tra r vel Tra raining course at www.caym

Travel in i style with Britissh Airways y Travel to Grand Cayman y from London Heathrow arriving inn paradise in less than 13 hour h s. ;MXL¾MKLXWJSYVXMQIWE[IIOXLIVIEVITPIRX]SJ depar turees to choose to escape to o the pearl white sands and d cr ystal blue waters of thee Cayyman Islands. Add a tou uch of luxury and upgrad de to World o Tra raveller Plus fro om £189pp ppp one way

S ial Spec i l Offer e 4.5* Wes estin Grand Cayman y Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

7 nighhts from

4th n ight



London Heathr H ow with British Airwa A y ys Based on 2 adults sharing travelling on 12 October 2017

To T o book call 020 8290 9754 or visit w w

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August 4 2017 | ISSUE NO 2,025 |

Weddings & Honeymoons

Ideas on new venues and deals to sell to clients this week


puzzle bulletin play Su Doku for your chance to win a ÂŁ50 M&S voucher


event bulletin images from our Cruise Showcase event in Birmingham

xmas markets operators unveil new itinerary options for the festive season



middle east a look at new developments, programme additions & savings

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PLACE YOUR BETS... THE GLOBAL Travel Group’s (TGTG) managing director, Andy Stark, hosted the company’s Global Advisory Panel (GAP) of agents to thank them for their ongoing support at an evening of horseracing at Chester Race Course. The GAP plays an important role in ensuring TGTG's agents’ views and specialisms are factored into every decision the consortium makes. Pictured ready to place their bets are, from the left: Olein Webster, Diamond Travel; Sian Webster, TGTG; Jugal Kantelia, Platinum Travel Lounge; Bill Lowe, Love2Shop Holidays; Tiffany Woodley, Myriad Travel; Rhian Herbert and Andy Stark, TGTG; Richard Avery, Spitfire Travel; Darren Vurnum, Escape Worldwide; and Sean Fletcher, Travel Four Seasons.

Cover Pictures: Main - linute Silzeviciute

Inset - Cologne Christmas Market, River Cruise Line

Head east to cut cost of family holidays new Post Office report reveals AS THOUSANDS of families head off to European hotspots in the coming weeks, the annual Post Office Travel Money Family Holiday Report reveals that holidaymakers who want to curb their spending on children’s extras would be well advised to consider resorts in the Eastern Med or the Balkans where the price tag can be less than half the cost of more expensive destinations in the west of Europe. Prices for 12 typical beach holiday extras vary dramatically in the 15 European resorts surveyed for the Beach Barometer, produced for the Family Holiday Resort. Marmaris is the resort where family fun will cost the least – thanks to a 24% slump in the value of the Turkish lira against sterling since last summer. Families can expect to receive £96 more in Turkish lira on a £500 foreign exchange transaction at the Post Office. At £57.37 for the Beach Barometer items, the Turkish resort is one of five in the Eastern Med and the Balkans where fun in the sun will have the least impact on the holiday purse. The others are Sunny Beach, Bulgaria (£63.56); Crete, Greece (£69.88); Limassol, Cyprus (£69.90) and Porec, Croatia (£73.75). The report found that pester power by kids set parents back

This week

03 08 09

news a round-up of this week’s industry news & developments

notes from normanton find out what Sandy from Sandy’s Travel Escapes has been up to lately

agent bulletin agent offers, booking incentives & training updates

11 12 14

£184 on their last holiday, which explains why two-thirds of families who set a budget overspent by nearly a quarter. Some 92% admitted splashing out almost £39 on ice-creams, up 28% year-on-year, while other budget busters were water park visits (£61), pedalo rides (£31) and beach gear like buckets and spades, swimming goggles and lilos (£53). While the Eastern Med and the Balkans look good value, families visiting Ibiza (£97.12), Sorrento in Southern Italy (£114.17) and Nice in the South of France (£117.78) can expect pester power to have more of an impact on the wallet. However, the survey found that prices have fallen since last year in six of the resorts surveyed. Aside from Marmaris, where a 14.9% price fall is due to the weaker Turkish lira, prices have fallen 5.4% in Crete, 4.6% in the Algarve and around 0.5% in both Sunny Beach and the Costa Blanca. Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “The clear message is to plan ahead: pack what you can to avoid forking out cash on basics like suncream and insect repellent and squeeze last year’s beach gear for the kids into the suitcase. The Beach Barometer reveals just how much these items can cost – especially in some of Europe’s more expensive resorts. “For those who haven’t already booked, it is worth checking what late deals are available to the best value resorts in our survey. Marmaris, Sunny Beach and the Costa del Sol all look good value and the general message is to head east for lower prices.”

puzzle bulletin play Su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher

event bulletin images from our Cruise Showcase event in Birmingham

bulletin briefing news & views from Advantage

15 21 24

weddings & honeymoons ideas on new venues and deals to sell to clients

xmas markets operators unveil new itinerary options for the festive season

middle east a look at new developments, programme additions & savings

August 4 2017


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PURE GOLD...Gold Medal’s head of trade support, Karen Fletcher (second from left), celebrates the opening of Gold Medal and PURE LUXURY branded Freedom Travel Penwortham with owner Maureen Evans (left) and manager Laura Hobson.

Holidaymakers could save more than £3,000 says FairFX CONSUMERS BOOKING breaks for the summer stand to save thousands with a few smart moves, research by travel money specialist FairFX reveals. To put it to the test, the company looked at a family travelling in the peak August school holidays and costed out potential savings adding up to a staggering £3,153. Suggested actions included: • Be flexible with the length of your holiday – if you’re not fixed being away for exactly 14 nights, check out the cost of departing on alternative days. FairFX found that a flight from Gatwick to Malaga on Saturday, August 5, returning two weeks later costs £232 per person. However, coming back a day earlier will reduce the cost down to £188. It’s also cheaper to return home a day later at £192. That’s a saving of £44 a person – or £176 or a family of four – and you add an extra day to your break. • Visit two holiday hotspots for less – consider a stopover en route to your destination. For example, a direct flight

from Stansted to Barcelona costs £76 on Friday, August 25. However, flying to Milan for two nights before travelling on to Barcelona came in at £57. That’s a saving of £19 a person - £76 for a family of four. • Switch your home airport – sometimes departing from a bit further afield can mean big savings. A summer holiday return flight from Cardiff Airport to Portugal costs £358, but flying from Bristol Airport just over 60 miles away can more than halve the cost to £151 that’s a saving of £207 a person or £828 for a family of four. • Consider unsociable flights - FairFX found that a week’s package holiday for a family of four to Rhodes from Manchester Airport dropped from £6,854 to £6,061 when travelling overnight - a saving of £793 for a family of four. Other suggestions included book parking in advance; be flexible with travel dates; and book hold baggage, airport parking and currency in advance.

Business Flex addition from Pegasus Airlines offers flexible options PEGASUS AIRLINES has launched its new flight package, Business Flex, to make its guests' journey more comfortable and flexible. Guests who purchase a Business Flex ticket can change their tickets and cancel without charges, receive 15kg of free check-in baggage on internal flights in Turkey and 20kg on all international flights including to and from Turkey, as well as 12kg free cabin baggage and seat selection (including seats with extra legroom). Half price savings are also offered on a selection of other services. For more information visit

Icelandair boosts Glasgow service by more than 2,000 extra seats from November ICELANDAIR WILL increase its Glasgow service by more than 2,000 extra seats. From the beginning of November until the end of December, four flights a week from GLA to KEF will increase in capacity by 39 seats per leg jumping from 183 seats per flight to 222 seats. Steven Marshall, head of airline marketing and development at Glasgow Airport, said: “Icelandair is one of our longest serving airlines and we are delighted that they have seen the potential for increased demand between Glasgow and North America this winter. In winter time New York is especially popular from Glasgow and we are pleased to see Icelandair offer incredible value in its fares; return fares start from as little as £370 per person.” The Glasgow to Keflavik route will also remain a daily one allowing for hassle-free connections to Icelandair’s 18 trans-Atlantic North American gateways. The increased capacity on the Glasgow flights will also be complimented by an additional flight to New York’s Newark from Keflavik that will begin on Wednesday November 15 until January 11, taking the Newark route to a daily service. The Glasgow flights, along with the other six from UK gateways, will connect into this service.


August 4 2017

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Debut Austrian Alp launch from Six Senses SIX SENSES Hotels Resorts Spas has announced the latest project in the group’s expanding portfolio with its first resort in Austria. Set in the Austrian mountains, Six Senses Kitzbßhel Alps will be open year-round and will feature 80 rooms including 50 residences and a selection of chalets available for purchase. The resort, which is located in Salzburg, is within comfortable driving distances of several major cities with international airports, and is scheduled to open in 2020. For informations see


A-ROSA River Cruises teams up with Shearings Holidays SHEARINGS HOLIDAYS is to feature A-ROSA River Cruises in 2018, which are packaged into commissionable, all-inclusive tours for agents to sell. With both operators keen to capture more of the UK market, the new partnership will see Shearings Holidays take a full ship charter alongside selling 19 departures on 12 itineraries on six rivers. In addition, a joint marketing fund has been allocated to drive awareness amongst the travel trade and help both operators engage fully with agents. Jane Atkins (left), managing director of Shearings will package the river cruise with either Shearings Holidays and Lucia Rowe, head coach travel from the UK to the ship, rail options of A-ROSA UK mark the new partnership. including Eurostar and local rail (where appropriate) or flights from a range of UK airports. In addition, where available a dedicated Home Connect service is offered to all A-ROSA cruise customers. For those booking early, a range of ‘Early Booking Offers’ are available that offer savings off the total package price. Jane Atkins, managing director at Shearings, said: “Partnering with A-ROSA means we can now offer the next level of ship class, in a move to capture a wide audience. Historically our river cruise product has featured entry-level ships and the addition of A-ROSA provides us with new product to attract new customers. We are especially excited about the multigenerational opportunities that our partnership offers.â€? Over the coming months a range of agent focused marketing activity is planned including educationals, competitions, a VIP trip and a host of social media activity. Overall package prices lead in at ÂŁ559 per person for a six-day Paris & Versailles itinerary that includes four nights' all-inclusive cruise on A-ROSA VIVA with free drinks on board, an excursion to the Palace of Versaiilles and a guided waking tour of Rouen, plus return travel from the UK by coach based on November 27 and December 5, 2018 departures. For more information see






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Channel Islands promotion from Premier Holidays & Condor Ferries PREMIER HOLIDAYS has joined forces with Condor Ferries to promote the benefits of travelling by car to the Channel Islands. The new campaign, which runs until the end of August, highlights the convenience of travelling by car to Jersey and Guernsey. Several tactical offers (including accommodation and travel) are available, offering travellers a £30 discount on travel with Condor Ferries from Poole, based on two people sharing and taking their own vehicle. Agents can download posters and jpeg images from Premier's website to feature in their shop window and on social media. They can also earn £10 in shopping vouchers for all Channel Islands by sea bookings. Tactical offers include three nights at the Talana in Jersey from £365 per person, valid for travel until September 5; four nights at Jersey’s Norfolk Lodge from £479 travelling until August 25; four nights at La Villette in Guernsey from £429, valid until September 5; and a luxury four-night stay at the Duke of Richmond from £525, travelling until September 30. For more information or to book visit or call 0844-493 7444.

New 'Trust Us' campaign for members from The Travel Network Group THE TRAVEL Network Group (TTNG) recently distributed its new marketing campaign materials to members, under the theme of ‘ Trust Us’. Si Morris-Green, the consortium's group marketing director, said: “We are really excited with this campaign, which perfectly summarises how many customers feel about their local independent travel agent. A holiday is one of the biggest purchases that consumers make in a year, and they put a lot of trust into their travel agent to make sure it’s

the best time of the year for them and their families.” The campaign features bright and colourful images that will make members’ retail windows inviting and eye-catching. Point-of-sale materials include leading-offer cards, personalised window POS and an Escape flyer with holiday deals at less than £1,000 per person. All materials are also available in digital format on the group’s marketing portal – The Hub – which is accessible to members. ‘Trust Us’ campaign videos,

especially personalised for members to use in their local market places, have also been produced. Meanwhile, in addition to the core campaign materials, the group’s homeworking division – Independent Travel Experts – has an exclusive ‘Win £500 holiday spending money’ offer to promote with its customers. Morris-Green said: “Within one hour of launch, homeworkers had already submitted more than 20 entries, and we are expecting more than 500 entries before the winner is announced on Friday September 29.”

• NEW: 150,000 MeliaPRO Reward points to be won! • Win a five-night stay, £100 Love2Shop vouchers and a summer hamper with Outrigger resorts • Win a four-night stay for 2 at Secrets St. James Montego Bay with AM Resorts

THE MOORINGS is urging agents to capitalise on the recent media coverage around the America’s Cup in Bermuda, which saw Emirates Team New Zealand take the cup home. A seven-night Moorings 5800 private charter in the British Virgin Islands in October costs from £1,803 per person based on ten sharing including yacht charter, all meals, snacks and beverages, housekeeping, Wi-Fi and all onboard equipment. Flights are extra. For details see


August 4 2017

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New launches from Eating London Food Tours FOLLOWING DEMAND, Eating London Food Tours has announced the launch of two new tours – Brick Lane, which offers ‘Flavours of India & Beyond’, and Old Docks, which travels back in time to explore historical pubs. The Brick Lane tour offers a lunchtime itinerary that takes in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of ‘Banglatown’. Not only will guests get to sample a great range of cuisine, they’ll also boost their knowledge on

the local area, its community and the range of food. The two-and-a-half tour departs at 14:30 from Monday to Sunday and prices are £46 for adults, £38 for those aged 13-17 and £28 for children aged between four and 12. The London Old Docks option takes in the historical pubs along the docks of old London town to sample the city’s best craft brews and pub grub. The four-hour itinerary departs

Monday to Fiday at midday and prices are £79. For further information or to make a booking see or call 01223-793177.

Montenegro addition for summer 2018 from Thomson & First Choice AS DEMAND for mid-haul holidays continues to soar, Thomson and First Choice have unveiled Montenegro as its latest destination for summer 2018. Resorts including Ulcinj, Budva, Becici and Petrovac are now available to book with direct flights taking holidaymakers to Podgorica from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports. Thomson has also announced new long-haul city breaks with more hotel choice and exciting locations in its cities programme for late summer/early autumn 2017. Four new cities – Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dubai will join New York, Las Vegas and Miami in the City Destinations collection from autumn. All hotels are in desirable central locations and have been carefully curated to reflect the best of each city. A variety of hotel options are available to suit all tastes and budgets and, to ensure maximum choice and flexibility, a range of flights with leading airlines enables holidaymakers to decide when they want to fly and where from. As an example of prices, a four-night stay in New York flying with Norwegian Airlines and staying at the 3T Amsterdam Court Hotel near the Rockerfeller Centre costs £789 per person from November 25-29.

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Notes from . . . n o t n a m r No


DON’T KNOW about you but one of my favourite flowers is the Sunflower. It is a gorgeous sunny yellow and makes me think of the sun and warmer climates. Bring back proper seasons I say, not this mish mash of weather we have at the moment. No one would think it was July with all the rain – I’m waiting for a nice stretch of hot sunny days; meanwhile, I will keep buying the sunflowers from Lidl & Aldi! Good news - the UK Foreign Office has amended its travel advice for Tunisia, enabling holidaymakers to travel to most of the country, including the capital Tunis and the popular tourist resorts such as Sousse. Sami Tounsi, trade manager at the Tunisian National Tourist Office, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ and praised the trade for all their support. It’s been a long time coming let’s hope it’s all positive going forward now. Have a guess at who the most annoying people are on planes – yes persistent seat-kickers made the top of Expedia's annual airplane etiquette study for the third year in a row (followed by the inattentive parents that let their kids slam their tiny toes into your back over and over and over). In fact, 64% of the study's respondents said they were most irritated by the ‘Rear Seat Kicker’, while 59% said they were frustrated by ‘Inattentive Parents’ who have no control or who don't pay attention to their unruly children. It does sometimes make you wonder whether families would be better off sitting with other families; the children would have friends to talk with and the parents wouldn’t be getting stressed trying to keep them under control! Read a good tip by Martin Lewis about saving money on buying water at airports; have an empty water bottle in your bag and when you have passed through customs you can fill it up at one of the water stations dotted about in the airport. That is, if they have them! But I’m sure many do. I'm not sure about Leeds Bradford though - I will have to check that one out next time. ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’ and ‘Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets’.

by SANDRA MURRAY in Normanton, Yorkshire


To respond to any of Sandy’s comments email

August 4 2017


Last-minute summer tour options to Scandinavia to promote to clients SCANDINAVIA IS encouraging agents to highlight lastminute summer holiday bookings to the destination as it has a range of new tours still with availability for the coming weeks, including the six-week school holiday. They range from a traditional Swedish summer holiday, ideal for families, to a castle stay in Demark, with prices leading in at £1,130 per adult and £600 per child for a week in Sweden. As an idea of tour options, a new seven-night ‘Sommarhagen and Stockholm’ fly/drive break to Sweden is ideal as an outdoor activity holiday for families with young children. After arriving in Stockholm, guests will make their way to Sommarhagen, a traditional red house and former vicarage in the wilderness of Östergötland. Set amongst lakes, meadows and forests, the small hotel provides an ideal base from which to explore the area. A wide variety of different activities are available including horse riding, canoeing, cycling, walking, swimming in a lake and wildlife watching. For younger children, Tumbo Farm is next door and features cows, sheep, chickens, horses, rabbits and other small animals. After five nights, the remaining two are spent in the capital Stockholm, home to Skansen open-air museum, complete with wooden buildings, Nordic animals and an aquarium. Prices lead in at £1,130 per adult and £600 per child including flights from Heathrow, seven nights' breakfast accommodation, car hire with unlimited mileage and entrance to the Skansen open-air museum in Stockholm. The tour departs daily until September 30. For more information or to book call 01274-875199 or see

CHESTER CHEER… Agents gathered for Bright’s latest workshop in Chester recently, hosted by members from Kirker Holidays, Hurtigruten, Veloso Tours, African Pride, Oceania Cruises, Inside Japan, Cox and Kings, Mark Warner, Sunvil and Viking Cruises. Pictured getting the lowdown from Matt Spiller of InsideJapan are, from the left: Kerry Ashley, Personal Travel Advisor; and Caroline Houghton and Joanne Hughes from Travel Places.

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Booking incentives ●

Agents hAve the chance to head off on their own hoseasons holiday as part of a new agent incentive campaign. two winners will receive a £500 holiday voucher each to spend on a break of their choice. For a chance to win, agents need to register every booking they confirm by August 13 by emailing the booking reference along with their name, travel agency name and ABtA number to by August 15. see for details silverseA, in partnership with British Airways, is giving agents the opportunity to win a place on a fam trip this november. Departing new York on november 2, the winners will embark on a voyage to Bermuda, with four nights on the line's silver Whisper and British Airways' flights from gatwick. For a chance to win, agents should make a booking on any 2017, 2018 or 2019 voyage in conjunction with a British Airways flight by August 31 and email the booking reference to the company is also giving ten agents the chance to win a £250 treatwell gift Card this month as part of its silversea Advocates recognition programme. the treatwell gift Card can be used to purchase a variety of indulgent salon and spa treatments on Agents will be chosen from a shortlist provided by the line's regional sales managers, with each putting forward agents based on their sales performances, marketing promotions or events. the selected agents also have the chance to experience the product themselves on a viP fam trip at the end of 2017. Details at the CAYmAn islands Department of tourism has teamed up with Funway holidays to offer agents making a booking of at least five nights with the operator by August 31 the chance to win a place on a Cayman islands fam trip hosted by the operator later on this year. it has also created a new online training module in conjunction with Online travel training (Ott). Agents successfully completing the onemodule course will automatically be entered into a separate prize draw to win a place on the same fam trip.

AGENT TRAINING TRAVEL 2’S T2 Academy is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a ‘birthday bonanza’ giveaway of five mystery prizes worth £500 each. For a chance to win, agents need to complete one training module before August 16. See for full details.

WIN FOR WILSON...Dawn Wilson from Imp Travel in Lincoln was one of three agent win ners and bagged herself an Amazon Echo Dot in Sea World's June competition, which ran online wit h Travel Bulletin. Samantha Clay from Thomas Coo k in Gillingham, Kent and Jenny Baxter from Travel Cou nsellors in Royston, Hertfordshire were the other two winners.

Agent offer U BY UNIWORLD is giving agents the chance to win an exclusive spot on an invitation-only 'Sneak Peek' four-day Paris sailing between October 7-11. To enter, agents aged 21-45 must create a 30-second video demonstrating how they are going to sell U, then tag #ImGonnaSellU and post to the Facebook page, by August 15.

August 4 2017


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NEWS BITES KANUHURA MALDIVES A stunning re-opening with fresh new look and fantastic offers! SUPER SA AV VER OFFER! Book by 30 Sept 17 and receive: 45% DISCOUNT ON R ROO OOM RA ATE TES Valid V alid lid for f stays t b t between now – 20 Dec D 17!

COCOON MALDIVES 2018 Rates released with Summer 2018 Offers now on sale: Book 90 days prior and receive 15 % Discount PLUS FREE NIGHTS STA AY Y 7 PA AY Y6 Valid V alid for selected stays between 01 May 18 – 31 Jul 18

BATHA T LA MALDIVES The perfect paradise for Divers and Snorkellers A true Robinson Crusoe Maldives Experience 2018 Rates now on sale up to 31 Oct 18 including Exclusive Offers ers GET IN EARLLY Y FOR NEXT SUMMER AND DONT MISS OUT!

CENTARA RAS FUSHI MALDIVES RA ATE TES NOW AV AVAI AILA AB BLE UP PT TO O 30 APR 19 ! Special Discounts available for Super Early Bird Bookings Book 90 days prior and receive 15% Discount on Room Rates Valid V alid for stays between 11 Apr 18 – 30 Apr 19!

NEW LOOK WEBSITE NOW ONLINE SRI LANKA - MAURITIUS - SEYCHELLES - INDIA - UAE - CARIBBEAN C Over 230 hotels and a selection of tours available on ou ur website Including exclusive offers for Summer 2017 2018 RA ATES TES NOW RELEASED

www ww ww w.os All above offers are subject to availability. TTer erms & Conditio ons Apply

● THE BAHRAIN Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) has launched its first online training programme designed to promote the destination and build awareness, educating the travel trade about Bahrain and its tourist attractions. Through it, the BTEA plans to develop a team of accredited travel trade experts with the necessary knowledge to act as effective ambassadors in selling Bahrain as a destination of choice in the UK market. Details at ● CIRQUE DU Soleil has opened its doors at PortAventura World until August 13. The circus troupe is holding twice-daily performances at 18:00 and 21:30. For details see ● STENA LINE will add extra North Sea freight capacity on its Rotterdam to Harwich route. The current RoRo ships, the Capucine and Severine, operating twice-daily from Europoort in the Netherlands and Harwich in the UK will be replaced by larger ships, the RoRo ships MV Misada and MV Misana, when their present charter contracts expire in January 2018. ● SEPTEMBER 22 will see the opening of Zeitz MoCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art) in South Africa - the biggest and most significant museum to be built on the African continent for more than a century. With Table Mountain as its backdrop, the museum is a leap forward for contemporary African art and is a major design feat, with galleries carved from the historic Grain Silo Complex to create a unique space. ● HOTELBEDS GROUP has strengthened its fast-growing Transfer & Activity Bank (TAB) business through a global partnership with Big Bus Tours, the largest privately owned operator of open-top sightseeing tours in the world. The long term deal is projected to deliver a significant increase in passengers for Big Bus Tours with consistent annual growth into the next decade. ● PARK PLAZA Hotels & Resorts, currently operating in the UK, Germany, Croatia and the Netherlands by PPHE Hotel Group, has unveiled its new Employer Branding and Team Value Proposition as it expands its portfolio by nearly 900 rooms in London and embarks on major renovation projects across the Netherlands. ● JUST A Drop has marked its 20th year with the launch of a new website and a brand refresh, to reflect the breadth and impact of its work, and the 1.3 million people whose lives have been transformed with access to clean water, health and sanitation programmes since the charity launched in 1998. See ● SERENA HOTELS & Resorts' Serena Mountain Lodge in Kenya has a new kids club to support the brand's new child policy at both Serena Mountain Lodge and Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp to allow children from the age of three years and above. Activities include mini golf, mini basketball, magnetic darts, puzzles, toys, chalkboards, a hip hop mixer ● REGISTRATION IS now open for the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) fourth annual Port and Destination Summit. The event is scheduled a day before the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Convention on Tuesday September 5 and takes place in the historic port city of Hamburg, at the Hamburg Messe and Congress GmbH. The event, which is exclusive to members of the CLIA Executive Partner Programme, will offer one-to-one pre-bookable business sessions with cruise lines’ decision makers, to generate further business openings for members.

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Su Doku


Where Am I?

Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 030


B➠ C➠

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: Closing date for entries is Thursday, August 10th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 14th July is Mark Hallam, Travel Counsellors in Bolton. July 14 Solution: A=7 B=5 C=4 D=3


For Lord of the Rings fans seeking their own Middle-earth adventure, this Tolkien tourism destination offers daily guided tours of the set where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began.

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

Number: 030

Across 1. Fred. Olsen cruise ship (5,5) 5. Rita, in the charts with Your Song (3) 6. Darling Harbour is a popular recreation area of this city (6) 9. Jomo Kenyatta, Nairobi International airport code (3) 10. City home of Opera North (5) 11. National flag-carrier of Lebanon (3) 12. Surrey town and racecourse (5) 14. Gardeners' World presenter, Monty (3) 15. State capital of Montana (6) 16. Regional airline with HQ at East Midlands airport (3) 17. Jane Austen novel (10)

Down 1. Competitive triathlon brothers (8) 2. Rent A Car company (5) 3. Florida destination, close to the major amusement parks (9) 4. Greece's largest island (5) 7. Spiritual leader of Tibet (5,4) 8. Capital of Paraguay (8) 13. Wildlife presenter, ___ Backshall (5) 14. Popular Middle East destination (5)

For the solution to the Crossword and Where Am I? Please see page 26 August 4 2017


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Travel Bulletin recently cruised on over to the Crowne Plaza in Birmingham with some exciting cruise lines at the helm. Birmingham agents had the chance to learn more about this increasingly popular sector from the experts and the USPs of cruise operators and their ships. The evening culminated in a delicious dinner, fine wine and prize giveaways! Programme Sponsor

#TBSHOWCASES TIME FOR TEA…Andy Jacques from Debonaire Travel Limited is presented with an Afternoon Tea for two voucher at Coombe Abbey, courtesy of Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Moira Gregson.

STUDYING SCENEIC…Learning more about Scenic and Emerald Waterways are: (back row) Jason Veal, JTA Travel and Wendi Hardy from Scenic Tours with (front row), from the left: Emily Soden, Sue Kinton and Sally Simmons from Peakes Travel Elite.

VIKING VOUCHERS…Andrew Schweitzer (left) of Viking Cruises presents Mark Rickwood from Time4aholiday with a £50 John Lewis gift voucher.

CRUISE NEWS…Michelle Daniels from Voyages to Antiquity presents the latest product updates to a room of attentive agents.


August 4 2017

WINE WINNINGS…Saga Holidays’ Suzanne Warren presented a case of wine to prize winner Dave Allen from Andara Travel.

PAMPERED BY UNIWORLD…Francine Mills from Not Just Travel was the winner of a L'Occitane gift set, courtesy of David Chidley from Uniworld.

TRAVEL TABLE…From the left: Travel Counsellors’ Gwyneth Prosser and Suzanne Barney chat with Charlotte Brailsford of Princess Cruises, along with Helen Davis, Joanne Kemp and Laura Kitson from Travel Counsellors.

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SHOPPING SPREE…Chantelle White from Norwegian Cruise Lines gifts Lee Chaplin from Not Just Travel with a £50 Love2Shop voucher. SILVERSEA SUCCESS…Paul Fallows from Silversea Cruises presents Anna Farmer from Travel Counsellors with a £50 shopping voucher.

MEETING RIVIERA…From the left: Travel Counsellor Kate Copland, along with Errol Howe and Penny Howe from Travel Solutions Worldwide, and Travel Counsellors’ Ruth Pearson and Anna Farmer get together with Amanda Weir and Tamzin Bishop of Riviera Travel. OCEANIA WIN…Jason Veal (left) from JTA Travel collected a £50 Love2Shop voucher from Oceania Cruises’ Alex Farquharson.

CHATTING CORAL…Jan Jepsen (right) from Coral Expeditions chats with, from the left: Kim Davey, Travel Club Elite; Daniel Reed, Travel PA; and Elaine Price and Isabel of Lakin Spear Travels. ADVENTURE TIME…Palvi Harvey from Not Just Travel was the lucky winner of a £500 voucher to be put towards the adventure of her choice, gifted by Stu Darnley from G Adventures.

Want to get in on the #TBSHOWCASES action? Join in the fun at our next Cruise Showcase in Norwich on September 20 and our Adventure & Activity Showcase in Newcastle on September 26. Reserve your place now by emailing

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Industry Insight by...

Why analysing sales to understand growth areas can pay dividends says David Moon, head of business development at Advantage FOLLOWING THE completion of our first-ever member operators with specialisms in a country or experience, to summer holiday booking survey, the results highlighted cater to other growing trends such as solo travel within a the importance of understanding sales patterns. Whilst group tour or adventure holidays. Ultimately, the data the survey results showed that many British holiday creates an understanding of what is profitable. makers are or have jetted off to islands across Europe, If agents have not historically sold long-haul holidays there were destinations that offer business’ the and wish to start, then they should always follow and opportunity of growth and diversity. become knowledgeable on FCO advice. By understanding customer booking patterns agents It is down to business owners to maximise can make informed decisions rather than go on a ‘gut’ opportunities for themselves and employees. We know at feeling. The data shows which countries or cities are Advantage that hosted evenings with tour operators and gaining traveller interest – the next trending places. This destinations work well as an educational and networking helps agents either add additional packages to a event – so don’t be afraid to speak to fellow companies to destination or remove it to refocus on new countries that pull resources to add value and attract customers. are becoming popular. Strategy is key to agents staying Analysing data regularly will show which packages or ahead during this economic period destinations aren’t selling and when the Office of National "Strategy is key to agents social media offers the best Statistics reported that household channels in which to promote these staying ahead during this deals for free or at a low cost. disposable income is being squeezed and so, customers may Social media also creates a economic period..." reconsider the total to be spent on platform in which agents can inform a holiday. and inspire customers to want to The Advantage summer holiday survey results showed explore a new place, by tapping into #bragability. that long-haul holidays are not as popular this year. By Agents are there to listen, give advice and make ideas noting this dip, companies can choose to improve their come to life. By understanding the market through data knowledge on specific destinations to give consumers agents can, through their rapport with clients, push confidence and alternative options. Agents can also go one customer boundaries to change their habits because you step further and make new relationships with tour have changed yours.


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SITUATED IN the gated community of Playa Mujeres outside of Cancun is Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort. Surrounded by white sandy beaches and the Caribbean Sea, the resort offers a completely private and exclusive wedding event in the Preferred Club Paramount Suite for couples wanting to celebrate their wedding in a spacious, ocean view terrace. The Dreams Paramount Wedding Package includes a rehearsal cocktail party, wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, reception and more in a private 460m.sq space.

Saint Lucia showcases selection of enticing wedding packages OFTEN CITED as one of the most popular wedding islands in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia is promoting a range of honeymoon and wedding settings with a wide selection of accommodation and packages. Its famous Piton mountains make for an iconic backdrop for wedding photos and, with a fast-track wedding license, couples can get married from the day they arrive or simply apply for a license two days before the date of marriage. As an example, Coconut Bay is offering a free wedding package performed in the Oceanfront Gazebo for guests staying in the Concierge Junior Suite Harmony, or any of the two-bedroom interconnecting Splash room categories for seven nights or longer. Alternatively, the adult-only Serenity at Coconut Bay – which opened in May - offers an all-inclusive holiday experience with a private enclave of 36 spacious suites, each with plunge pools and butler service. Set in the sheltered west coast of St. Lucia, Marigot Bay Resort and Marina is a tranquil resort for honeymooners with only six Penthouse Suites. Perched at the top of a hillside with a private plunge pool, high-beamed ceiling, fully equipped kitchen, four-poster bed and sweeping views over the hillside, the accommodation provides a home from home feel. Couples can enjoy the service of a personal assistant, who will call ahead of arrival to ensure that everything is arranged according to the couple’s preferences. With one restaurant, a café, two bars and a rum cave, couples on their honeymoon can also enjoy signature dishes and culinary theatre with exclusive rum-tasting experiences, bistro dining at dusk and authentic tasting samples of the island. Meanwhile, Calabash Cove became an adult-only resort at the beginning of this year. The hotel offers a variety of wedding packages such as ‘Lover’s Cove’ for $1,500, ‘Blissful Love’ for $3,500 and ‘Perfect Paradise’ for $7,000 and up to 20 guests. It also offers a ‘Pop the question’ package. Visit

Kulm Country Club now available for Alpine weddings THE KULM Country Club at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz is now available for weddings of up to 150 people. Set within the hotel’s extensive grounds, the new venue offers privacy and tranquillity for couples to celebrate their nuptials. If it’s a small intimate wedding, the first floor private dining room seats up to 20 - or the restaurant can be hired exclusively for 40 guests. For larger gatherings, newlyweds can hire the entire building for a cocktail reception and a buffet for up to 150 people.

The Club is the new incarnation of the hotel’s historic ice pavilion, which originally opened in 1905 and has been refurbished at a cost of 12million Swiss francs. Additionally, the main building of the Kulm Hotel is home to six stylish event rooms that have hosted wedding receptions for up to 350 guests. A dedicated team of event staff is on standby to take care of the planning and the smooth running of the special day. For more information visit


Travel 2 sees popularity of safari honeymoons rise TRAVEL 2 HAS seen a double digit growth for honeymoons to South Africa and triple digit growth in Tanzania. Melanie Burton, the operator’s assistant product manager for Africa, said: “The most popular multi-centre honeymoons booked is a safari in Tanzania combined with a beach stay in Zanzibar, a Kenyan safari with a Mombassa beach extension or a trip to Cape Town followed by a Kruger safari. “We recommend safari honeymoons as a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience with a beach extension. Africa is the perfect place to discover the ‘Big Five’ (buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino) and South Africa is home to the popular Kruger National Park and the Eastern Cape, while neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania offer world-class safari options.” As an example of prices, a six-night Kenya Classic Safari (Superior) on a Kenya safari combined with Zanzibar costs from £2,469 per person. It includes four nights’ half-board stay at the Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa and flights from London. Visit or call 0800-022 4182.

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First wedding booked via conducted in Paphos JUNE 22 saw the successful execution of Cyprus' first civil ceremony booked via by Thomas Cook. The occasion saw a British couple choosing to exchange vows in the seaside town of Paphos in a ceremony conducted by its Mayor, Phedon Phedonos. Phedonos said: “It is with great pleasure that I conducted the first civil wedding that was booked through the innovative platform. We are proud that Paphos Town Hall was the first Town Hall to partake in this inspiring initiative, well aware of the great importance of promoting wedding tourism in the historic seaside town and recognising the multiple benefits that it bestows on our island and its economy as a whole.” For further details see

Amari Hotels and Resorts highlights romantic packages & hotel options AMARI HOTELS and Resorts is highlighting its wealth of wedding packages available at the Amari Phuket in Thailand and its Maldivian property, the Amari Havodda Maldives, as an ideal honeymoon destination for newly weds. Guests heading to Thailand for the Amari Phuket can choose between a range of wedding packages, one of which is ‘The Gold Dream’ priced at approximately £1,956. The package covers all the wedding essentials including a personal wedding planner to

ensure celebrations go without a hitch. The property is able to tailor wedding packages to suit couples’ tastes with optional extras such as firework displays. After the initial excitement is over, newlyweds’ can then jet off to the Maldives and slip into honeymoon mode at the Amari Havodda Maldives. The property features signature Maldivian overwater villas, some complete with a private infinity pool; a spa offering rejuvenating spa

treatments; watersports; and a scuba dive centre for couples seeking adventure and a host of culinary options headlined by Amaya Food Gallery. A ‘Hot Deal package’ offers three nights in a Beach Villa on a full-board basis for £1,300 based on two sharing. It includes free domestic flights and speed boat transfers for two adults and a 50% discount on treatments at the Breeze Spa. For more information visit

Malta showcases venues & welcomes legalisation of same sex marriages

Dunton Hot Springs is offering an alpine escape for couples set deep in the San Juan Mountains. Taking guests back to the romanticised era of Colorado’s pioneers, the exclusive resort is in a restored mining town which features hand-hewn log cabins, a saloon serving quality local produce, miles of hiking trails and soothing hot springs that can be enjoyed year-round. Visit or for more information.


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TOGETHER WITH sister island Gozo, Malta has a wide range of outdoor and indoor wedding venues suitable for small or large, gay or straight, civil or religious ceremonies. Same sex marriage has also just been legalised and, with more than 300 days of sunshine per year, blue skies are virtually guaranteed. For couples looking for a stylish wedding, the Hotel Phoenicia in Valletta provides the opportunity for clients to say their vows amid the garden blooms in a gazebo overlooking the Bastion Pool, with views over the harbour and Valletta’s medieval fortified walls, followed by cocktails and a gourmet meal on the terrace. Alternatively, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands is located on one of the island’s only sandy beaches making it a strong contender for those looking for a venue close to the Mediterranean sea, with sand beneath the toes for the vows and access to hotel facilities for the banquet. Other options are available from a variety of hotels including the Intercontinental, The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux and Palazzo Prince d’Orange. For more information visit

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Each of our resorts hotels offers a complimentar y symbolic wedding package, when booking the relevant room categor y and duration required, containing all the essentials you need for your special day.

UPGRADED WEDDING PACKAGES Celebrate your special day with your f amil y and friends! We offer upg raded wedding packages for up to 25 guests. Additional inclusions are a cocktail hour and dinner reception, f loral arrangements, makeup and hairstyling, spa treatments and much more.

HONEYMOONS, ANNIVERSARIES & RENEWAL OF VOWS Already married? Extend the celebrations by adding one of the honeymoon or anni versar y packages to your stay. Extra special touches include breakf ast in bed and a bottle of sparkling wine to help you celebrate in style.



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Soma Bay unveils Romantic Delights package

GRECOTEL turns on the charm for Greek weddings WHETHER CLIENTS are looking for a beachfront hotel, a break in the heart of Athens or something a bit more remote for their wedding or honeymoon, GRECOTEL is highlighting its range of more than 30 fivestar city and resort hotels. Cape Sounio offers a beach backdrop for weddings and honeymoon on the Athenian Riviera, with the option to arrive by limo, yacht or even helicopter to turn on the style in the shadow of the Temple of Poseidon. Alternatively, clients might like a stay at the White Palace with the option to visit Agreco Farm for a classic Cretan village experience, where they can say their vows in a traditional Greek chapel in the island’s countryside.

For those looking for more of a royal affair, the Corfu Imperial makes for a good honeymoon option, while the Mykonos Blu offers access to one of the most exclusive beaches in Greece, Psarou. The hotel group offers a range of wedding honeymoon package options at all its hotels, including chilled sparkling wine on arrival in the room, Melokarido (a Greek tradition of honey and walnuts, symbolising fertility and the sweetness of life), a deluxe breakfast served in the room, bed decoration with sugared almonds and scented rose petals, massages for two in the spa and candlelit dinners to name a few.

THE KEMPINSKI Somabay Red Sea Resort in Egypt has launched a Romantic Delights package for honeymooners, starting from £158.86 per night for two. Upon arrival guests will be treated to a bed of roses and a strawberry cake to enjoy as they settle into their honeymoon. To make the trip even more special, an aroma bath, private in-room breakfast and romantic dinner can also be arranged, while newlyweds can take advantage of an exclusive limousine transfer to and from Hurghada Airport. Beyond the hotel, Somabay offers a wealth of activities for couples such as an indulgent ‘Together Time’ massage at the Cascades Spa & Thalasso, dive trips and kitesurfing.

British Virgin Islands teams with ITC for fairytale Caribbean getaways THE BRITISH Virgin Islands (BVI) in the Caribbean has teamed up with the Inspiring Travel Company to launch four exclusive and limited edition offers created specifically with couples in mind. With an increasing number of flight options, getting to the BVI is easier than it has been before and whether it’s a sleepy, slow-paced luxury honeymoon, a little bit of adventure or a combination of the two, the destination has it all, with the added benefit of idyllic surroundings. A 20-minute boat ride from the airport, Guana Island is an 850-acre, privately-owned island with seven secluded beaches, beautiful scenery and space for just 35 guests. Available through the operator from £3,295 per person, the offer includes seven nights


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in a Sea View Cottage on a full-board basis, Economy flights from Gatwick, inter-island flights and water transfers. Guests will receive one Garden of Eden private dining experience including Champagne, worth US$250 and can be booked up to October 31. For couples not content on lying by a pool, Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda is one of the Caribbean’s leading watersport resorts. Lying on a stretch of mile-long shorefront, accessible only by boat and with one of the most secluded, deep-water harbours in the Caribbean, it is ideal for couples looking to frolic in the surf, snorkel, scuba dive, windsurf and sail. There’s also a choice of dining options, including an English pub with live entertainment on most evenings.

A stay costs from £2,675 per person, which includes a saving of up to £535 per person, along with seven nights in a Garden Room on a full-board basis, Economy flights from Gatwick, interisland flights and water transfers. Couples can also select one option from a trio of bespoke experiences to enhance their stay including a gourmet picnic on the beach; an Out of Bounds sailing lesson with an instructor and a private beach dinner. Bookings must be made by August 12 for travel by December 22. Offers are also available for Peter Island Resort & Spa, the largest private island in the British Virgin Islands and Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island. For more information visit gns/britishvirgin-islands


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Maritim highlights facilities for couples to get hitched without a hitch in Mauritius WITH MORE than 27 years' experience in delivering bespoke weddings and set against a 25-hectare backdrop of tropical vegetation, the five-star Maritim Resort & Spa Mauritius features two dedicated and exclusive Bridal Preparation Suites in its Tropical Flower Spa. The spa provides comprehensive beauty treatments, hairdressing, manicures and pedicures and make-up facilities and also features double cabins and garden suites for couple’s massages and unique pampering treatments. The property also organises pre-wedding ‘Spa Parties’ alongside a waterfall, wet treatment areas, saunas, steam baths, a whirlpool and outside shower. A special oasis within the wellness complex is also reserved for honeymooners. A wide range of ceremonial venues are available at the hotel, with the option to arrive by horse to the Beach Gazebo, overlooking the Turtle Bay marine park. The property offers five restaurants which can be booked exclusively for wedding receptions; these include Château Mon Désir which is housed in a colonial style mansion overlooking the ‘Historical Ruins of Balaclava’, and which serves fine dining cuisine. Specially designed fireworks can also be arranged prior to dinner, ensuring the bride and groom enter married life with a bang. Bridal parties can also choose a more informal reception with a beach barbecue following pre-dinner cocktails at the La Marée beach restaurant. For honeymooners, the resort offers a dedicated package which includes free accommodation for the bride (blackout dates apply), a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, a romantic candlelit dinner and a free room upgrade, subject to availability, at the time of check in. For more information visit

Allow us to be part of your dreams

Sandos Hotels & Resorts is the ideal place, the only thing missing is the perfect couple. Live your special day in Mexico and choose your Sandos experience: beach, eco or lifestyle. Our unique venues will create unforgettable memories. Call Center: +44 20 305 137 68

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FIVE-STA F AR CHR RISTMA AS M MARKET T RIVER R CRUISSES Discover the maagical ambience of German ermany’s traditional Christmas markets with w their host of unique, inspired gift ideas, eas, plus the stunn ning Rhineland in its wintry splendour. ᅚ Return travel by Eurostar or fly from m 8 regional airpor ts** ᅚ Full bo oard on brand new fivve-star ships ᅚ Visit 4 Christmas Markets; Frankfur t, Rudeesheim, Koblenz & Cologne ᅚ Guideed tours of Frankfur t & Koblenz

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OVER THE FESTIVE season in Copenhagen, Tivoli Gardens invites guests into a winter wonderland where Christmas stalls can be found dotted around the gardens, interspersed with Christmas trees that light up the evening sky, whilst the aroma of Danish Christmas cookies, honey biscuits and cinnamon fill the air. The market will run between November 19 and December 31. Details at

Jet2 offers largest Christmas Market programme for 2017 JET2CITYBREAKS IS running its biggest ever programme of Christmas Market weekend breaks with 12 available for 2017. Included in the winter wonderland offering are the European capitals of Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague and Vienna, as well as the popular German favourite - and home to one of the largest Christmas Markets in Europe - Munich. To make the most of the Christmas festivities, each two-night break departs on a Friday morning and returns on a Sunday evening. The operator reports that the programme has proved a success among independent travel agents, with the breaks completely selling out in 2016. This year’s Christmas market trips also depart from more UK bases, including Leeds Bradford, Newcastle, Belfast International, Manchester and’s new base, Birmingham. Flight-only options are available from £111 return or flights and hotel can be booked together with Jet2CityBreaks from £259, and secured for a £60 per person deposit.

The company can also offer a range of flight-only and flight and hotel options to a range of other Christmas market destinations from across its network of nine UK bases. With almost 110,000 seats, an increase of 36% from last year, packages are available to festive locations including Budapest, Krakow and Salzburg and festive shopping trips to New York. As an example of packages, a two-night breakfast stay for two at the three-star Austria Trend Beim Theresianum in Vienna costs from £249 per person, based on a December 15 departure from Manchester. Clients can visit the Christkindl Markt, 20 markets set in the palace courtyard, and grand squares of Vienna; browse the selection of silk scarves and hand painted ornaments at the Schönbrunn Market; and sample roasted chestnuts to get into the Christmas spirit. For further information call 0800-408 5587 or visit

Trafalgar launches seven-day festive holiday in Russia TRAFALGAR’S NEW autumn, winter and spring 2017/18 programme features 34 itineraries including a new winter trip to Russia designed to showcase the wonders of Russia at Christmas. With departures throughout December, a seven-day Festive St Petersburg and Moscow trip begins in St Petersburg where guests can visit iconic sights such as the Tsar's Winter Palace, Nevsky Prospekt, St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Hermitage Museum. The journey then continues in Moscow via high-speed train through scenic winter landscapes in rural Russia. Moscow’s annual Christmas festival is complete with grand scale ice-rinks, snow sculptures and light installations. Prices start from £1,495 per person. Agents can also save customers up to 7.5% across all itineraries in the operator’s 2017/18 programme with early payment discounts of £378 per couple when booked and paid in full by August 25. Visit for more details.

Swiss markets, parades & railways from Railtrail RAILTRAIL’S FORTHCOMING festive offering includes a new eight-day Swiss St Nicholas Snow Train Adventure. The trip features Hergiswil’s village Christmas Market, Einsiedeln’s famous market set beneath a monastery and Lucerne’s Christmas Market, appropriately located inside the railway station. The tour, which departs London St Pancras and has prices leading in at £1,375, also includes a snowbound train journey over the Brunig Pass, the Rigi Mountain Railway, the Titlis revolving cable car, Lake Lucerne’s steamboats and two St Nicholas parades. Rob Carroll, the company’s commercial manager, said: “Our aim is to provide interesting tours that can’t be found anywhere else. We have great relationships with agents and appreciate their help in increasing the coverage of our family business’ unique tours.” For details email

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Insight Vacations discovers the magic of Christmas in Russia

A-ROSA promotes Rhineland Christmas cruise with GRJ CUSTOMERS LOOKING to enjoy a variety of Christmas markets in different cities whilst on a short break might like to consider embarking on a festive river cruise this December. Great Rail Journeys is offering a six-day Rhine package on A-ROSA Brava with the opportunity to explore the markets of Strasbourg, Cologne and Mainz en-route. The package includes Eurostar travel from St Pancras to Brussels and then an onward train to Cologne. The first night is spent in Cologne with the chance to enjoy up to six markets across the city, before boarding the ship on day two and sailing toward Mannheim to explore. On day four, the ship arrives in Kehl where customers have the option to visit Strasbourg and its Christmas market, which has been held around the cathedral since 1570. The final stop is Mainz on day five which is famous for its Romanesque cathedral of St Martin, which has been the backdrop to the Mainz Christmas market for more than 200 years. It offers more than 100 stalls and is the final stop before the ship heads back to Cologne. Priced from £870 per person, the package includes four nights on A-ROSA Brava with all meals and drinks, overnight in Cologne and Eurostar travel, a guided walking tour of Cologne and the services of a tour guide. Call 0800-240 4470 or go to to find out more.

AS PART of Insight Vacations’ ‘Seasons’ brochure is a collection of European Christmas Market holidays, including a new festive adventure in Russia. The operator will showcase the Christmas Markets of St. Petersburg and Moscow on an eightday ‘Easy Pace Russia with Christmas Markets’ itinerary, with departures in December into January 2018. Prices for the new Russia winter trip start from £1,526 per person based on twin share which includes seven nights’ hotel accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, regional dining experiences, sightseeing, high-speed Sapsan train transport, private VIP door-to-door transfers and a dedicated tour director. Early payment discounts of 7.5% per person are also available for bookings paid in full before August 24. Call 0800-533 5625 or visit for more details.

Simply Sweden combines Christmas and Sami culture on new trip SIMPLY SWEDEN is offering an exclusive festive experience with its new break; Jokkmokk Christmas Market. A key highlight of the three-night escorted trip is a new Christmas Market in the town of Jokkmokk which, like the world-renowned February Winter Market, is a place where the Sami showcase their traditions and sell handicrafts. For more than 400 years, Jokkmokk has been a meeting place of the indigenous people, where they still come together in winter to trade handmade crafts, clothing, food and jewellery. Launched last year, the Christmas Market is now an annual event aimed at helping the Sami preserve their endangered nomadic way of life. A far cry from the usual festive market experience, the Jokkmokk Christmas gathering is a way for travellers to gain a deeper insight into this fascinating culture as well as an opportunity to shop for some more unusual and authentic gifts. In line with its sustainable tourism policy, the operator is offering a maximum of 16 places on the December trip, which is now available to book. Other highlights of the new break include the chance to have Sami guides explain the customs and lifestyle of this reindeer-herding people, and a wilderness’ meal that takes guests on a culinary journey through a range of seasonal Lapland delicacies. Northern Lights excursions, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing are also on offer. Guests will stay in the traditional Hotel Akerlund, which received its first guests in 1928 and has been the hub of the Jokkmokk cultural scene ever since. The local restaurant Viddernas Hus will be the venue for the wilderness meal, where reindeer, moose, mountain fish and capercaillie are on the menu. Free time is also incorporated into the itinerary and Jokkmokk’s location just inside the Arctic Circle makes it a good base for exploring the frozen lakes and snow-covered Taiga – the boreal forest – where thousands of reindeer roam. Priced from from £1,375 per person, based on two sharing, this includes all flights, transfers, three nights’ half-board at Hotel Akerlund and a full-day Sami cultural experience. The departure date is set for December 7. For more information visit or call 01427-700115.


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Arena Rail Holidays discovers trio of festive markets ARENA RAIL Holidays still has availability on a number of festive breaks for 2017, including a fourday itinerary to the Liège, Valkenburg and Aachen Christmas markets. The festive tour is based in Liège throughout and takes in a trio of markets, starting with the Liège Christmas Village, followed by a day excursion to the spa town of Aachen in Germany, where guests will have the opportunity to feast on sweet gingerbread and warming glühwein. Another full day excursion takes in historic Valkenburg for more markets in the caves beneath the town and a Christmas parade that passes through the centre of the town with decorated floats and costumed dancers. The trip draws to a close on the last day with a visit to the ‘Disneyland Paris Ice Dreams’ festival in Liège. Prices lead in at £369 per person with departures on November 27 and December 3, based on two sharing breakfast accommodation in Liège. It includes Eurostar travel from London, onward rail connection to Liège, all transport and excursions, plus the services of a tour manager. For more information visit or call 01858-435644.

The River Cruise Line has expanded its selection of Christmas market cruises on the four-star MS Serenity this year to include a popular German Christmas Markets route along the Rhine, with stops in Rudesheim, Cologne and Bonn. The four-day cruise leads in at priced from £399 per person, departing on November 29 and December 2. Visit

Christmas Cribs & seasonal festivities in Slovenia FESTIVITIES COMMENCE and colourful Christmas lights illuminate Ljubljana’s city centre from November 17, making the city an attractive option for clients seeking a festive city break. Whilst there travellers can explore the Christmas markets that run throughout December with the smell of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine in the air and quaint wooden stalls adorned with ornaments, lights and authentic crafts and local specialties. For details see Alternative winter fairy tale options include festive events taking place throughout December and January at Lake Bled. This year the Festive Promenade returns from December 1, with lakeside stands featuring festive gifts, Slovenian delicacies and drinks from the country’s wine region of Gorenjska (see Slovenia’s second largest city, Maribor, is also hosting a range of events over the winter season including a festive fair and market. Events include a live nativity in Pivola, iceskating plus Christmas and New Year concerts. Festive fairs take place in the old town centre, with artists and masters of cottage industries presenting their arts and crafts, as well as antique collectors from across Slovenia showcasing a selection of gifts for the forthcoming festive holidays. Visit Meanwhile, Postonjna Cave will also be getting into the seasonal spirit by putting on the biggest live nativity scene set in an underground cave. Using light and music to create a surreal Christmas atmosphere, visitors can explore the cave (which was recently extended by 3.5km following the discovery of new passages) and meet the rare proteus dragon babies, which were born in June last year. Visit

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Muhurraq, Bahrain

Dubai lays foundations for the world’s tallest building

Bahrain’s Muhurraq to be crowned Islamic Capital of Culture THANKS TO its significant contribution to the preservation of Arab and Islamic culture in both local and international arenas, Muhurraq in Bahrain is to be appointed with the title of Islamic Capital of Culture in 2018. Muhurraq is the second largest city in Bahrain and the second largest island in the archipelago kingdom. The title is in light of the conservation projects being carried out across the city, particularly that of the Pearling Trail. The trail, which earned UNESCO World Heritage status four years ago,

encompasses 17 listed buildings including a fortress, residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy. Restoration work on the listed buildings has been progressing over the last four years and the trail is scheduled to be completed in line with Muhurraq being named the Capital of Islamic Culture for 2018.

THE FOUNDATIONS have now been laid for The Tower which is set to become a new and iconic landmark in Dubai’s skyline. It is set to open in 2020 and is located at the heart of the Dubai Creek Harbour, ten minutes from Dubai International Airport. Now that the pile foundations have been completed, the first structural facets will soon become visible. It is planned that the structure will include The Pinnacle Room and VIP Observation Garden Decks, designed to recreate the splendour of the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon,’ one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For further information go to

Premier Holidays explores highlights of Oman in new tour for 2018 PREMIER HOLIDAYS has unveiled a new Highlights of Oman package for 2018. The seven-night privately escorted tour has been designed to enable travellers to gain an insight into local culture, with visits to historic towns and villages plus off-the-beaten-track adventures to see mountain and desert vistas. Guests will spend one night in Muscat, a night in Ras Al Junaiyz, one night at the 1,000 Nights Camp, a night in Jabal Akhdar, two nights in Nizwa followed by another night in Muscat. Tour activities include a visit to the historic city of Sur, a visit to one of the Bedouin tribe houses to learn about their lifestyle and a visit to Jebel Shams - the highest peak in the Jebel Akhdar range which offers views over Oman's equivalent of the Grand Canyon. The tour includes breakfast accommodation, lunch and dinner on selected days, private transfers, flights, sightseeing and the services of an English speaking guide. The tour is one of several new additions in the Middle East in the operator’s 2018 Faraway brochure and agents can earn between £25 and £150 for every inclusive Middle East booking, dependent on the booking value. Visit for more information.


August 4 2017

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Jordan’s Shaumari Wildlife Reserve reopens following refurb

PETTITTS TRAVEL has created a new 12-day ‘Enchanting Oman’ tour. Guests start their journey in Muscat before heading into Oman’s mountainous interior, a region famed for its military architecture, to visit the castles at Jabrin and Bahla, before continuing to the historic town of Nizwa and the desert dunes of the Wahiba Sands. The tour ends with time to relax on the coast outside of Muscat. Priced from £3,470 per person, it includes flights, a private car and driver, all hotel accommodation and taxes, some meals and sightseeing with guides. Visit for details.

Jebel Jais Observation Deck ready for October launch A NEW observation deck located close to the summit of Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak, is close to completion and due to open to the public in October. Developed by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, the Jebel Jais Observation Deck will offer a series of viewing platforms from which visitors can experience the vistas, bird life, flora and fauna of the emirate’s Al Hajar Mountain range. In addition, the observation deck will serve as a base camp for hikers and bikers looking to test themselves on the rugged mountain range. Haitham Mattar, CEO of the tourism authority, said: “The deck will offer stunning sea and mountain views and will also feature a versatile events arena and a permanent area for food trucks serving guests who want to experience the fresh mountain air in temperatures that are traditionally around 10 degrees lower than the UAE average.” As part of its Vision 2019 tourism strategy, which aims to attract one million visitors by the end of next year, the tourism authority is investing in a range of adventure and wellness products which leverage the emirate’s array of natural assets, with a key focus on Jebel Jais and the surrounding area.

Gold Medal combines city stay & desert adventure in Dubai GOLD MEDAL has packaged a stay in Dubai with an overnight desert safari for clients looking to experience the city and who want to go on an Arabian adventure. Tricia Birmingham, the operator’s senior product manager for the Middle East and Indian Ocean, said: “I would recommend spending three nights at Manzil Downtown Hotel on the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rasheed Boulevard which is within walking distance of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountains and the attractions of Dubai Mall with its aquarium and ice-rink. Whilst in Dubai, it is also worth visiting the many souks to get a flavour for life in the city. “The perfect combination of a city stay is an overnight Arabian Adventure desert safari. Clients will be picked up from the

hotel and enjoy a camel ride to the camp and an overnight stay in comfortable, furnished tents. There will also be a barbecue dinner in the gazebos or ‘majilis’, which includes grilled meats, fresh salads, sweets, hand-picked beer and wine, a chance to see the Arabian Oryx in the Dubai desert conservation resort and also try the desert sport of fat biking.” Including flights from London, a fournight stay at the four-star Manzil Downtown Dubai in a deluxe room, including breakfast, costs from £999 per person. The overnight safari is also included and the price is valid for travel between September 10 and October 25. Visit or call 0800-014 7777 for details.

THE SHAUMARI Wildlife Reserve is again welcoming the public this summer following a fiveyear maintenance and refurbishment programme. Originally opening in 1975, the wildlife protection reserve was the first of its kind in Jordan and is home to some of the rarest species in the Middle East including Oryx, gazelles, hyena, Imperial Eagles and onagers. Guests can explore the story of the reserve inside its renovated visitor centre, before taking in the sights and sounds of the semidesert landscapes on a guided Oryx Safari Tour. Nasr Al-Tamimi from the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Wild Jordan, said: “Shaumari Wildlife Reserve is a fantastic experience for tourists visiting Jordan as it showcases the diversity of our country and passion for conservation - whether it’s wildlife, history or culture. Every visitor that comes will also be helping to safeguard this important reserve as money will be reinvested in breeding programmes to continue reviving species that are endangered or rare.” Situated south east of Amman, the centre is open daily to visitors. Advanced booking is recommended as spaces on the Oryx Safari tours are limited to just seven people on each excursion. For more information see and

August 4 2017


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ABU DHABI Ports is celebrating the close of its most successful cruise season at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal with a recorded 40% increase in vessel calls and a 48% overall increase in passengers from last year. The 2016/17 cruise season saw more than 345,662 tourists visit the emirate, up from 232,605 in 2015/16. Likewise, vessel numbers increased from 115 to 161. Abu Dhabi Port’s two cruise destinations are Zayed Port and the Sir Bani Yas Island Cruise Beach, which was launched during last year’s season as the first dedicated cruise beach and eco-tourism stopover.

Travel Bulletin is published by Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place London, SW1W 0EX Printed by: Buxton Press Subscriptions are £125 p.a. £195 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419


020 7834 6661


Crossword: Across: 1. BLACK WATCH, 5. ORA, 6. SYDNEY, 9. NBO, 10. LEEDS, 11. MEA, 12. EPSOM, 14. DON, 15. HELENA, 16. BMI, 17. PERSUASION. Down: 1. BROWNLEE, 2. ALAMO, 3. KISSIMMEE, 4. CRETE, 7. DALAI LAMA, 8. ASUNCION, 13. STEVE, 14. DUBAI.


Highlighted Word: BRASILIA Where Am I?: Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand.

We asked our staff the following question this week:

What really annoyed you most recently? Jeanette Ratcliffe Publisher

Oliver Barton Events & Sales Administrator

The gutter falling off from my roof

Commuters thinking they are much more

Lauretta Wright Editor

important and pushing to get on public transport.

Getting a parking ticket even though I'd parked

Nicky Valsamakis Design Team Leader

on private property.

Johnny & Tyla from LoveIsland

Adam Potter Editorial Assistant

Miriam Brtkova Designer

Falling ill last week

A pigeon getting stuck in my chimney

Paul Scudamore Contributing Editor Embarking on a simple DIY job at home that should've taken

Lucia Mathurin Design Apprentice

30-mins max - turned into all day.

Too much rain for summer

Simon Eddolls Sales Director

Nelly Mendes Production

Losing to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy.

Adam always asking me staff questions

Tim Podger Account Manager - Far East

when I’m at my most busy!

Happy birthday Birthday Bill, soon to be tanning himself

Matt Gill Senior Account Manager


pink on a Balinese beach (hopefully it won’t rain this time!) Enjoy a cold cider on us Bill and many happy returns as

My shampoo washing out the ink on my work receipts.

you celebrate your 40th birthday (again).

Matthew Weinreb Sales Executive

Bill Coad Account Manager

Council tax.

Forever paying out for my car

August 4 2017

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Invites you to attend a

c a s w e o h S ng ent networki evening An ag

Wednesday 20th September The Mercure Hotel, Norwich Travel Bulletin is excited to announce our latest Cruise Showcase, a fun and informative agent networking evening focused on leading cruise suppliers. Agents, you will have the opportunity to learn about a variety of cruise lines and ships, extraordinary onboard entertainment and accommodation options available in this increasingly popular escape. You will enjoy delicious food and drinks, great entertainment and a fabulous free prize draw with a number of fantastic prizes to be won.

Registration: 18:00 hours Networking & Presentations: 18:30 hours Dinner, Entertainment & Prizes: 20:00 hours Carriages: 21:30 hours To confirm your place at this amazing event, email the names of up to 5 staff members by Monday 11th September 2017 to: or telephone:

020 7834 6661 for more information.

Headline Sponsor


These events are by invitation only and will be booked on a first come first served basis

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g in t ra ars b le Ye e C 21

Travel Bulletin Star Awards 2017 finalists revealed...

Tickets for the Travel Bulletin Star Awards Gala Dinner on 4th September at London’s 5* Langham Hotel are selling fast! Email to confirm your place now. #TBStarAwards Star Awards Proud Sponsors

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Profile for Alain Charles Publishing

Travel Bulletin 4th August 2017  

Travel Bulletin 4th August 2017