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October 21 2016 | ISSUE NO 1,987 |

Activity & Adventure

New options to satisfy your clients’ appetite for exploration this week agent bulletin new booking incentives to boost your earning potential puzzle bulletin play su Doku for your chance to win a £50 M&S voucher conference update news from ABTA’s Travel Convention in Abu Dhabi

usa an update on what’s new across the pond to promote to clients

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EARN LOVE2SHOP Book any USA holiday between 1 Oct – 31 Dec 2016 and earn a £20 Love2Shop voucher for every booking

Top 10 USA bookers Will win a place on the

California and the Golden West FAM trip in 2017! Book between 1 Oct – 31 Dec 2016



e Tha n k s g ivin g Pr iz Every USA booking into will also enter you a prize draw to WIN

a USA hamper!

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FLYING HIGH... Air New Zealand and Santa Monica Tourism teamed up to host 55 corporate and leisure agents earlier this month at the Santa Monica themed rooftop bar in central London. Agents enjoyed a welcome cocktail, food and wine and took part in a themed quiz, including a New Zealand V California wine tasting for a chance to win prizes. Guests also had the opportunity to trial the new Premium Economy seat which will be onboard in 2017. Pictured enjoying the event are, from the left: James Howe and Shaun Leigh, Flight Centre; Jorge Flores-Garcia and Camilla Lymalm, Air New Zealand; Jordan Gill, Flight Centre; Nishi Prasad and Bethany Bond, Air New Zealand; Penny Genge, Flight Centre; Jennifer Guiver, Santa Monica Tourist Board; and Adam Hickmott, Wexas.

Cover Pictures: Main - Alxcrs

Inset - ABTA Conference, Eithad Airways

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report CASH-CONSCIOUS skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe. Bansko in Bulgaria and Kranjska Gora in Slovenia again rate as best value for bargain-hunting skiers in the tenth annual Post Office Travel Money Ski Resort Report, produced by the UK’s leading foreign currency provider in partnership with Crystal Ski Holidays. At just £270.77 for ski holiday staples including equipment hire, lift passes and ski tuition for six days plus a meal and drinks on the slopes, Bansko has retained its position as the cheapest destination for UK skiers for the seventh consecutive year, out of 20 European resorts surveyed. Prices there have risen just 4% year-on-year, despite the weaker pound. As a result, the Bulgarian ski resort has pulled further ahead of long term runner-up Kranjska Gora (£337.62), where local price rises have compounded the impact of the weaker sterling exchange rate. This has made Kranjska Gora almost 20% more expensive than last season and 25% pricier than Bansko. Local prices researched by Crystal Ski Holidays in the traditional ‘Big Four’ ski destinations – Austria, France,

This week 03 08 09

news the latest industry news, updates & developments

notes from normanton Sandy considers putting together a Valentine’s Ball...

agent bulletin it’s prizes galore in this week’s booking incentives

Italy and Switzerland – have either fallen or stayed on par with last season to make them better value than Austria and France. All four feature in the best value top ten. Sestriere (£354.98) has moved up to third place in the table from fifth position last year on the back of an 11% fall in euro ski costs. Once the sterling rate is applied, prices in the resort are level with last season – making this the best deal across the eurozone. Elsewhere in Italy, local euro prices are on par with a year ago in Livigno (fourth place, £363.84) and Selva Val Gardena (tenth place, £470.30), and down 4% in La Thuile (ninth place, £456.45). By contrast, local prices have snowballed across the nine Austrian and French resorts surveyed. Once the exchange rate is applied, skiers can therefore expect to pay an average of 20% more than last season in Austrian resorts and 26% extra in French ones. Despite the price rises, Ellmau (£403.08) in the Tyrol is in fifth place in the Post Office best value chart, dropping only one place since last year and significantly cheaper than the other Austrian ski resorts: Mayrhofen (£490.72); Kitzbühel (£614.08); and St Anton (£664.76). Morzine remains best value among the five French resorts surveyed at £446.33 but has fallen from sixth place in last year’s report to eighth position now. Its barometer cost is around 30% lower than in Val d’Isère (£638.80), the most expensive French resort. continued on next page

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at home with eileen Eileen has been busy attending industry events this month

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

bulletin briefing news and views from Elite Travel Group

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conference update topical debates from the ABTA Convention in Abu Dhabi

usa a look at what’s new across the pond to highlight to clients

activity & adventure new tours & destinations to excite your clients

October 21 2016


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continued from previous page Although Switzerland remains highest-priced of the ‘Big Four’, local prices are level with a year ago. Once the prices in Swiss francs are converted to sterling, this means the increased costs faced by UK skiers are lower than in either Austria or France at between 16-19%. But the cheapest of the three Swiss resorts surveyed, Saas Fee (£718.33) is still 8% more expensive than St Anton, the highest-priced Austrian resort, and more than 12% pricier than in Val d’Isère. Zermatt (£875.24) is the most expensive of the 20 European resorts for the second consecutive year, 53% more than in another world-class skiing option, Courchevel (£570.96). Elsewhere in the eurozone, Soldeu, Andorra (sixth place, £441.64) and Ruka, Finland (seventh place, £443.73) retain their top ten places with lower than average price rises of 20% and 24% respectively.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Ski resort costs are likely to play an important part in destination choice this year as the weaker pound puts pressure on the holiday purse. That’s why it is so important to do your homework before booking and factor in all the costs of a ski holiday to the package price. Despite the price rises we found this year, there are still some great value resorts to choose from in Eastern Europe, while Italy is looking good as well and will appeal to skiers who prefer to head to the slopes in one of the long-established favourites. “Make sure you get more for your money by changing cash before leaving home rather than at the airport or ski resort where you risk getting a poor rate. Take enough cash to cover ski and living costs and be aware that transactions of more than £500 will get you a better rate in our branches or on the Post Office website.”

Two-for-one places for kids this Christmas & New Year from Ski Total SKI TOTAL has launched two-for-one places for all children aged 15 and under, valid on December 23 and 30 departures. Clients travelling at New Year will also receive nine nights for the price of seven to offer additional value. As an example of prices, a stay at Chalet Cascades in Courchevel costs from £2,139 (down from £2,771) for a family of four, departing on December 23. The chalet is located opposite the main gondola and piste, and the price is based on two adults and two children (aged two-15 years) travelling and sharing and includes flights from Gatwick to Geneva, transfers, free Wi-Fi and seven nights' catered accommodation including breakfast, afternoon tea and a four-course evening meal with complimentary wine and a full Christmas dinner.

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased Canada connections

LET’S TALK…The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE) recently held a ‘Talks Shop’ development session for members over breakfast at Grace in the West End of London. Pictured are Kylie Mather (left) from P&P Group and Carol Dray from Visit Britain who shared their career stories with members to offer advice and inspiration. The association is hosting an event at WTM on Tuesday November 8 from 09:00-13:30 in the North Gallery (Room 18) to launch Internationally and bring women in the industry together in a larger network of support.


October 21 2016

AIR TRANSAT has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017. The airline, which next year celebrates 30 years of flying, operates direct year-round services from Gatwick to Toronto and Vancouver, and services to Calgary and Montreal from May to October. Next year the airline will operate eight direct flights a week to Toronto from Gatwick, along with a direct daily service to Vancouver and three direct flights to Calgary and Montreal respectively. Passengers from Gatwick will benefit from services to Quebec City via Montreal three times weekly, as well as increased choice when travelling to Calgary and Montreal with five additional flights a week to Calgary via Toronto or Vancouver and four extra weekly services to Montreal via Toronto. Commenting on the 2017 programme, the company's sales director UK & Ireland, Lesley Kane, said: “Canada is an increasingly popular destination for summer holidays and we’re enhancing our flight programme to reflect this. Our customers are looking to travel when they want with the utmost convenience and to incorporate multiple destinations into their holiday experience. Our 2017 programme caters for that demand with more choice and flexibility of travel.” The carrier is also increasing capacity for travel to Canada from airports across the UK – including Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham – with greater use of new, larger A330 aircraft and a range of additional connecting flights. For more information call 0800- 8726 7283 or visit

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Trolls are on the loose at Park Inn by Radisson FAMILIES ARE in for an additional treat when they book a Park Inn by Radisson hotel room this October half-term as the hotel brand has partnered with 20th Century Fox to promote the ‘Trolls’ movie. The animated film invites the audience to enter a colourful, wondrous world populated by unforgettable characters – and features the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and James Corden, amongst others. To celebrate the cinema release, young movie fans will be able to immerse themselves in the world of ‘Trolls’ when they check into a Park Inn hotel around the UK. Running until November 11, the campaign will have extra special activities in place throughout half-term (the last week of October). Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by staff wearing Trolls wigs and children will receive an exclusive welcome pack containing a Trolls bag, a phone charm and activity sheet – alongside the company's ‘Colour your stay kids money’ for spending in the bar on snacks and drinks, a ‘Colour your stay activity booklet’, Activity pairs game, crayons and a pack of Haribo sweets. All hotels across the UK and Ireland are also offering a ‘kids stay and eat for free' alongside free Wi-Fi and a late check-out for families.

ALL ABOARD...Railtrail Tours has issued its 2017 brochure featuring 11 new products, ranging from the five-day Dorset Coast & Isle of Wight Steam (from £499) to the 18-day Norway’s Majestic Fjords & Steam (from £3,695), which forms part of its limited edition ‘Grand Tours by Rail’ programme. Pictured marking the new launch are, from the left the company’s Dave Felstead, Lisa Berrisford, Rachel Dickin, Mark Dickin, Helen Smith, Maeve Carroll, Carla Wood, Margo Rushton, Pauline Felstead, Rob Carroll and Jacob Grugel. For further information or to book visit, call 01538-382323 or email

Star studded cruise line up from Cruise & Maritime Voyages CRUISE & MARITIME Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure. Fares start from £219 per person for a three-night cruise with a 60s Pop Legends theme sailing from London – Tilbury on May 5, visiting Amsterdam & Antwerp. Also available is an Easter Cruise from Bristol to Avonmouth on April 4 for 15 nights on Marco Polo down to the Azores and Madeira. It includes Dad’s Army vicar Frank Williams plus TV funny man John Archer. On May 5 Magellan sails from Tilbury for three nights and heads to Amsterdam and Antwerp, with The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Dreamers and top Beatles tribute band - The Cheatles - on board. Fares are based on two sharing a twin inner cabin and includes full-board cuisine, afternoon tea and late night snacks. Also included is a Captain’s Cocktail Party (for cruises of six nights or more), complimentary tea & coffee (from 06:00 to midnight), big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes, daytime activities and leisure facilities, guest speakers and arts & crafts, (cruises of five nights or more), porterage of luggage and taxes. For further information or to book see or call 0844-998 3877.

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale EMIRATES HAS announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach. The airline will operate a GE-powered US-built Boeing 777-200LR aircraft in a three-class configuration on the route, offering eight First Class suites, 42 Business Class lie-flat beds and 216 Economy Class seats for travellers, plus up to 15 tonnes of bellyhold cargo for shippers. Passengers looking to travel beyond the Fort Lauderdale-Miami area to onward destinations in the US, Caribbean and Latin America can take advantage of the airline's codeshare partnership with JetBlue Airways

(B6) that offers connection options to more than 26 destinations in the US and 19 destinations throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including the Bahamas, Cancun and Havana. Visitors to the Sunshine State will also benefit from having two Emirates gateways in relative close proximity to each other, providing more options for travellers to make the most of their journey to Florida. For example, travellers to Fort Lauderdale can see several destinations in South Florida for either leisure or business, visit local attractions and towns just a few hours north in Orange County, then fly back to Dubai direct from Orlando International Airport (MCO) or onwards on an Emirates connecting flight.

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Omega Holidays schedules exclusive packages from Leeds Bradford Airport A SERIES of exclusive special departures will take to the skies from Leeds Bradford Airport with Omega Holidays next year to offer Northern Lights, Italy, Austria and Croatia departures along with other destinations for winter and summer 2017. The one-night Northern Lights excursion takes place on February 21 and offers a unique trip to those wanting to see the Northern Lights from the sky. For customers looking for summer departures, the operator will run sevennight tours on four dates - Slovenian Highlights and Lake Bled holiday on June 24, 2017; Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri tour on July 1; Dubrovnik, Montenegro and Elaphiti Islands on July 9; and Austria and Switzerland trips on July 16. The special departures see the operator book chartered aircraft for the trips, so that passengers have an exclusive journey. Passengers then have a variety of sights and cultures to take in across the European destinations. The company's head of trade sales, Dino Toouli, said: LBA is proving to be a success story for Omega Holidays. We are again delighted to offer our unique flights to see the Northern Lights in

DINO TOOULI of Omega and Emma Holliday of LBA mark the special departures from Leeds Bradford Airport.

addition to our exclusive holidays to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia for Summer 2017. “To complement our holidays, we are partnering with Eastern Airways, a UKbased airline flying on its new Embraer

E170 aircraft with just 76 seats in a 2x2 configuration - making it a great way to start any holiday.” To book or for further information see and

New island destinations for Olympic Holidays OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS has announced three new destinations for 2017 - Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. All holidays can be secured with a £49 deposit, with nothing to pay until ten weeks prior to travel, with the price guaranteed at the time of booking. The operator will also be offering celebratory 50th anniversary deals throughout 2017 available from a dedicated page on the website from January at To book or for further information call 020-8492 6868 or visit

• Video Box: learn more about • £100 WORTH of Love2Shop vouchers to be won courtesy of the brand new Hard Rock Hotel opening in Tenerife • FIVE SPARKLING prizes to be won with the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, Austria • WIN £175 worth of Love2Shop vouchers with G Adventures & Amazing Thailand

Visit for details on the above websclusives. GREEK CHIC…Cyplon Holidays took a group of agents on an Athens Riviera and Greek island-hopping fam trip recently. Pictured soaking up the rays are, from the left: Rena Hoerterer, Travel Centre; Susan Watt, Cartwright Travel; Judith Dunkley, Mid Counties Co-Op; Laura Povey, Butterfly Travel; Roxanne Leyman, Travel House; Sarah Thorley, Mid Counties; Michelle Beech, Time to Travel; Hannah Newbury, Co-op Travel; Chris Peristiani, Cyplon Holidays; Paul Baldwin, Not Just Travel; Yadav Bhandari, Young’s Travel; and Elizabeth Van Lynden, Haslemere Travel.


October 21 2016

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GATWICK’S CHIEF commercial officer, Guy Stephenson (left) and Cedric Bolloré of Group Bolloré try out the new electric car sharing service. (See story, below)

Gatwick partners with Bluecity in first 100% electric car sharing service A NEW electric point-to-point car sharing service is being rolled out at Gatwick Airport to make journeys greener and easier for passengers travelling to and from the airport thanks to a new partnership with Bluecity. Electric vehicles are an essential component in tackling London's poor air quality and Bluecity will help further contribute to Gatwick’s strategy to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2020.

With five charging points to be introduced at Gatwick in the coming months, the scheme will be the first of its kind for a UK airport. Passengers will have the freedom to collect vehicles from Gatwick and drop off at dedicated charging points across London, providing greater flexibility and convenience. The airport's chief commercial officer, Guy Stephenson, said: “Gatwick is at the forefront of driving greater sustainability into aviation, and aims to

NEWS BITES ● CUSTOMERS BOOKING a cruise by October 31 on any Swan Hellenic cruise have the opportunity to win a complimentary upgrade to the Owner’s Suite (or next available) upon booking. See ● INSIGHT VACATIONS has issued its Europe 2017 programme with three new itineraries - two in Scandinavia and one in Warsaw/the Baltics. ● LUXURY TRAVEL becomes a timeless adventure on Belmond Road and Belmond Orcaella to Mandalay. Book to travel before the end of March 2017 and a guest’s companion will receive a 50% reduction when quoting RTM50 at the time of booking. Visit ● TRAFALGAR’S NEW 2017 South Pacific programme has launched online and sees the introduction of a new Australian itinerary through the Eastern States of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, commencing on November 10 and running until March 2018. Clients can save up to 10% on land arrangements when booking and paying in full before November 25. ● ON SELECTED cruises between February and November 2017, guests booking a cruise with Hapag-Lloyd during Plan a Cruise Month can save 50% on the price for the second person when travelling together sharing a double cabin. Book a cruise from Hong Kong sailing 14 nights to Singapore and save £3,140 on the second guest - reduced from £6,280 per person. In addition to this, guests can benefit from a beverage credit on every EUROPA 2 cruise of 200 euros per person. See

be the UK's most sustainable airport by 2020. A key component of this is reducing the carbon footprint of surface access, and this unique electric vehicle partnership with Bluecity is an example of how we intend to make this a reality. “This innovative new car sharing service also gives additional sustainable transport choices to 42 million passengers now travelling through Gatwick each year, plus 21,000 people employed across the airport campus. We're sure it will be very popular.”

Non-stop flights to Manchester from Singapore Airlines this month SINGAPORE AIRLINES will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule. In addition, services to Adelaide, Christchurch and Kolkata will increase during peak periods, while seasonal services to Sapporo will be operated in December. The non-stop Singapore-Manchester flights will be operated five times weekly and will continue on to Houston, which is currently served via Moscow. Flight SQ52 will depart Singapore at 02:35 and arrive in Manchester at 09:00. Flight SQ52 will then depart Manchester at 10:15 and arrive in Houston at 15:35. The return flight, SQ51, will depart Houston at 20:15 and arrive in Manchester at 10:05. Flight SQ51 will then depart Manchester at 11:35 and arrive in Singapore at 08:20. Services to Christchurch will meanwhile increase to ten times weekly from seven times weekly between November 13 and February 5, 2017, while services to Adelaide will increase to ten times weekly from seven times weekly between December 1 and January 31, 2017. Services to Kolkata will increase to four times weekly in December, up from the current three weekly flights. To cater to peak winter travel demand, the carrier will also operate seasonal services to Sapporo from December 1 to January 5, 2017, and a total of 24 round-trip Sapporo flights will be operated during this period. With the launch of the Singapore-Manchester-Houston service, existing Moscow-Houston and Munich-Manchester services will be suspended from October 30. Both Munich and Moscow will continue to be served, however, on a non-stop basis to and from Singapore. Services to Munich will be operated daily, while services to Moscow will operate four times weekly. The airline will also operate non-stop daily flights between Singapore and San Francisco from October 23 using Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

October 21 2016


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Flybe's new Berlin route takes off

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


T HAS been a busy couple of weeks! I attended the

Travel Bulletin Cruise Showcase event in Leeds - very interesting and I met a few new people. I’m not just saying this because I write for TB, but I do like the format of their events; nice and simple, proper seating with quick sharp presentations and a lovely sit down meal with a bit of fun to win prizes...if you haven’t been to one, do go if there is one in your area.

Also attended the If Only... dinner in Sheffield with Richard Hey and Andrew Sharpe from Banyan Tree and Jenna Donaldson from Qatar. What a great combination! Have you seen If Only’s... Australia, New Zealand & The Pacific Islands brochure? It’s beautiful! The photos in it just make you want to visit and they are competitive on price so do try them. It seems to be hurricane season at the moment - I can’t believe the devastation that Hurricane Matthew has caused, especially in Haiti which seems to have suffered the most with nearly 1,000 people dead. That’s one thing we don’t get in the UK, thank goodness. I don’t know how we would cope - the country comes to a halt if we get a bit of extra snow! For you tour operators out there - how about sharing the love with your favourite/best travel agents? I’m thinking of having a Valentine’s Ball on Thursday February 16 at the Village Hotel junc 28 M62. Email me if you are interested! Isn’t it great news about James Villas and Hoseasons? Coincidentally, Sarah Smith from Hoseasons was doing a presentation for High Ridings customers which was really interesting, I think a lot of people think ‘oh we can do it ourselves’ if it’s in the UK and they forget that most travel agents do the UK as well. It would be much easier for them, I must admit I would be spoilt for choice with all their different choices - and they have lots of places that are petfriendly as well. ‘To turn an obstacle to ones advantage is a great step towards victory’ and ‘Don’t try to please everyone just do what you think is right’.

by SANDRA MURRAY in Normanton, Yorkshire


To respond to any of Sandy’s comments email

October 21 2016

FLYBE HAS celebrated the launch of its new, twiceweekly service between Cardiff and Berlin Tegel airports. The new route to the German capital's main international airport will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, until March 25, 2017, with one-way fares starting from £34.99 including taxes and charges. Vincent Hodder, the carrier's chief commercial officer, said: “Our commitment to connectivity, both for business and leisure passengers across the UK regions and Europe continues. We are particularly excited to be flying direct from Cardiff to Berlin Tegel, the German capital’s most convenient airport that’s only eight kilometres from the heart of the city’s downtown business district. “This new route will provide our Welsh customers with a fast, reliable and great value service to a thriving European destination. As well as providing an important link for business, this route will open up the opportunity for leisure tourists to soak up Berlin’s booming cultural scene, or experience a real German Christmas market this festive season.” For more information or to book see

Exclusively Villas eases the booking process for long-haul villas BOOKING LONG-haul villa holidays is set to become considerably easier with the launch of Exclusively Villas, a company providing UK sales and representation services for overseas villas. The portfolio features luxury villa resorts and individual villas offering high quality accommodation combined with services such as private chefs, butlers and concierges. Currently the company features Fern Hill Resort and Hamilton Beach Villas in Nevis and C’est la Vie in St Lucia. More properties in other destinations are due to be added shortly. To assist with product knowledge, the company is planning to hold dedicated training sessions. For further information visit

C’est la Vie in St Lucia

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Booking incentives ● To celebrate the launch of

its new film, ‘A Different View’, shot on the island of St. Lucia, Celebrity Cruises has teamed up with British Airways to give agents the chance to win one of three luxury, seven-night Caribbean getaways for themselves and a guest including flights. The incentive runs until November 14 and agents can enter in three ways: Share or comment on the new film and include #CelebrityLovesAgents and #ADifferentView (one entry to the prize draw); make a booking with the company (two entries); and make a booking that includes BA flights (three entries).

● Both Scenic and Emerald have launched

their River Rewards - an uncapped incentive programme offering luxurious gifts and experiences in return for booking and supporting both brands, with basic taxes and NI covered on the prizes. For details see

AGENT TRAINING ● Travel Bulletin will be hosting its Escorted Tours

Showcase at The Grange Holborn Hotel in London on Monday November 14. Agents interested in attending can secure their place by emailing ● Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau has

unveiled its calendar of UK roadshows for 2016. Trade events are confirmed for Manchester, Birmingham and London on October 31, November 1 and November 3 respectively. Agents will be able to pick up the latest destination information and selling tips and have the chance to meet with more than 25 local suppliers, including DMCs, hotels and domestic airlines.To register, email with your full name, job title, company and contact number.

● Agents have the chance to win a

Christmas hamper when they make a booking in each of Newmarket Holidays' festive categories – a Christmas Holiday in Europe by Air, a UK Christmas Market Break and a Lapland Santa Experience Day Trip. Once all three trips have been booked, the agency should send in a selfie with their completed tick list to Nic Newmarket on Facebook – to be entered into the draw. The incentive runs until November 30.

● Titan has launched a new agent

incentive campaign which runs until December 31 and offers agents a £20 Love2shop voucher for every US booking, plus the chance to be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a hamper. The top 10 US bookers will also win a place on a fam trip in 2017. Agents should send their name, ABTA number and booking reference to within seven days of making a booking. Details at

CHILL OUT...Inghams took agents from Thomas Cook and the Freedom Travel Group on a lear n to ski lesson at the Chill Factor in Manchester. Picture d is the winning team from the left: Charlotte Dalle, Ellie Walker and Andrew Earle, all from Andrew Earle’s Tra vel, with Rona Pownell and Sarah Oakes from Thomas Coo k in Ashton under Lyne.

October 21 2015


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e m o h t A n...


e e l i E with

r Eileen eworke h? m o h s a t What h p to this mon been u

HAT A fantastic night at the Travel Bulletin 20th Anniversary Star Awards a few weeks ago! This year the event was held at the Langham Hotel in London for the first time which proved to be a great choice. Following pre-dinner drinks and a very enjoyable meal, it was time for the award presentations. A big roar went up when our host for the evening was announced - Keith Chegwin. Coro, our Spanish colleague representing Port Aventura sitting next to me said excitedly “He must be a very famous star!”. I was sorry to disappoint her and found it hard to explain the reason for his popularity. He’s just “Cheggers”, a sort of national treasure I suppose. There was much excitement as the winners were announced and amazingly for the second year running almost everyone on my table picked up an award, including Coro! The excitement was for good reason as this time Port Aventura won their first ever award outside Spain. Many congratulations to all the worthy winners and nominees and thanks to Travel Bulletin and their sponsors for such a fabulous evening. On the subject of awards, Travel Counsellors have recently been named in “The Sunday Times Top Track 250” for the first time! The league table ranks mid-market private companies with the biggest sales and we’re delighted to receive this recognition. We’re also very proud to have been shortlisted for the Amazon Growing Business Awards – fingers crossed that we are winners! It was the “Open House” weekend in London recently when 800 buildings, many of which are not normally open to the public can be visited free of charge. Private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments are all featured together with lots of walks and tours to bring the buildings alive. I went along a few years ago and really enjoyed it so decided to take a trip again this year. This time, instead of just going to London for the day, I decided to make the most of the weekend by staying in London overnight. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza at Blackfriars, which is in an excellent location for getting around London. Opposite Blackfriars station, a short walk across the river to the South Bank and within walking distance of the historic City of London area, it was an ideal location. I had a great weekend and enjoyed visits to several old livery halls, the Guildhall and Custom House, finishing at Dr Johnson’s House which seemed very fitting, remembering his famous quote “when a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life”.

by EILEEN SAUNDERS of Travel Counsellors To respond to any of Eileen’s comments email


October 21 2016

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares OCEANIA CRUISES has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31. The offer is valid for selected accommodation on five cruises in the Caribbean on Regatta and Marina; and also a transatlantic sailing and a Mediterranean cruise on board Riviera. The line's senior vice president and managing director EMEA, Bernard Carter, said: “This is a great opportunity for our solo guests to make some incredible savings with very generous reduced single supplements. With a friendly and casual elegant onboard ambiance, our ships are perfect for the solo traveller who wants to make friends or spend time relaxing on their own with a varied choice of bars, lounges and other public areas such as well stocked and beautifully designed libraries.” All three ships included in the promotion serve guests The Finest Cuisine at Sea and also include a selection of amenities as part of OLife Choice, with free internet and a choice of free shore excursions, free shipboard credit or a free beverage package. Sailings vary from seven- to 14-day voyages and include, for example, a 12-night 'Celebrate the Sunshine' on Regatta whch sails roundtrip from Miami on November 5, visiting Puerto Rico, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados, Grenada, Castries, and St. Barts. A deluxe ocean view stateroom costs from £3,324 per guest and includes a reduced single supplement of 25%. Call 0345-505 1920 or visit to book.

New 2017 tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring SMALL GROUP tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia. As an example, a 12-day Iberian Inspiration leads in at £2,066 per person, with departures between April and October. The tour includes private transfers; 11 nights’ accommodation in boutique hotels; a tour leader; local guides in select locations; luxury mini-coach transport; breakfast; four evening meals; tapas lunch with wine tasting, olive oil and Iberico ham tasting; a flamenco show and entrance fees to Santa Maria la Blanca, San Juan de los Reyes, Mezquita, Jaen Cathedral, Alhambra, Seville Cathedral and Alcazar, Gruta de la Maravillas. With maximum groups of 18 people (22 on French barge tours), the company takes guests off-the-beaten-track and away from the motorways to quaint traditional towns and historical sites. To ensure a personal touch, guests are given the opportunity to stay in charming and characterful accommodation and take part in unique activities - from local cooking classes to private tours of estates and gardens. For details or to book, visit or call 0208987 0990.

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Su Doku

Where Am I?

Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 040


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, October 27th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 7th October is Aarti Shah, Tecno Travel, London October 7th Solution: A=9 B=7 C=8 D=6


One of the world’s largest mosques, this structure features 82 domes,more than 1,000 columns, the world's largest hand knotted carpet and has capacity for 40,000 worshippers. The mosque's first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake who is buried at the site.

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

Number: 040

Across 1. Butlins is part of this Leisure group (6) 3. Scottish resort town, known as the Gateway to the Isles (4) 6. Capital of Slovakia (10) 8. Somerset attraction, ___ Gorge, sounds cheesy (7) 10. Larnaca international airport code (3) 11. Flows through the capital of the Tyrol (3) 12. West African country (7) 14. State capital of California (10) 16. Hotel chain with a sunburst logo, ___ Inn (4) 17. Ancient temple complex near Luxor (6)

Down 1. Songwriter who recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature (3,5) 2. Norwich international airport code (3) 4. The Romantic Road runs through this part of Germany (7) 5. Inghams offers holidays to this scenic Slovenian lake (4) 7. Capital of Namibia (8) 8. Alberta city (7) 9. Flows through the UK, sounds like a letter (3) 13. Capital of the Puglia region of Italy (4) 15. Carrier initially, with its HQ in Beirut (3)

For the solution to the Crossword and Where Am I? Please see page 22 October 21 2016


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Industry Insight by...


Is there a dangerous side to social media? Neil Basnett, chief executive of Elite Travel Group, thinks so...


LL OF us involved in the travel industry can heave a huge sigh of relief that the future of Monarch has been secured for another 12 months. At a time when there are many uncertainties that we are facing on a daily basis with the current short-term undervaluing of the pound sterling being paramount, the last thing that any of us needed was a major collapse of an airline and related tour operator. This would have resulted in a huge strain on travel agents and the British travelling public as travel arrangements, many booked months before the actual travel date, would have had to be unscrambled with alternatives being secured for those who still wished to proceed with their holidays.

The true worth of the CAA’s ATOL financial protection scheme would have come to the fore yet again for those fortunate enough to have made package holiday bookings. For those travellers who are self-appointed travel agents and who made all the bookings for the various components of their holiday separately as ‘this is cheaper than using a travel agent’, they would have given themselves undue stress but to my mind, don’t deserve any modicum of sympathy. One concerning aspect of the whole sorry saga was the hysteria generated on social media on well known travel social media sites by those working in the industry. Many of the comments made on these sites were alarmist to say the least and much of the information was just plainly wrong. For those unfortunate souls who read the worst of the comments on the night of Sunday 25th September, they would have had a very poor night’s sleep as they would have worked themselves up into a frenzy, petrified as to what they were going into on Monday morning. As it transpired, there was no mention of Monarch in the early news bulletins and so we all went into work none the wiser. The brouhaha however would undoubtedly have led to many refraining from selling any Monarch product probably for the whole of the following week until the


October 21 2016

CAA’s decision to grant Monarch more time to get their finances in order: although perhaps understandable to a certain extent as agents would not want to create themselves more stress if the ATOL application had been declined, a drastic fall in new bookings would have been the worst scenario in trying to keep the company going. This to my mind showed the dangerous side of social media and the potentially harmful impact that can result from unproven and panic-provoking comments. For those of us who have worked in this industry for a long time, we have been through similar situations in the past when there have been big airline failures. Very early in my travel career, we witnessed the demise of Court Line which had been one of the industry’s leading holiday charter airlines. In the 70s, Clarksons Holidays were one of the pioneers of cut-price package holidays and they, along with Horizon Holidays, all collapsed along with Court Line. To their credit Thomas Cook reacted speedily to the situation of holidaymakers losing their money and having to wait a long time for any settlement; they introduced a 24-hour money back guarantee scheme to reassure the public that they would be reimbursed quickly so that they could make new holiday plans. I can’t recall any scheme ever having such an impact on the travelling public and we worked long hours to cope with the massive influx of new bookings. In the early 90s, I was watching elephants at a waterhole in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe when a colleague called home to be told that the ILG Group had ceased trading. As a result of the demise of Air Europe, it meant that household tour operator names like Intasun failed and we all mourned the collapse of a company that had always been very supportive of the travel trade. Having survived the additional work and stress caused by big failures such as Court Line and ILG, it is understandable that we are now so relieved to see Monarch’s future secured for the time being. We must all now rally round and support them to prove how much we value them.

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ABTA's Travel Convention took place in Abu Dhabi last week on Yas Island at the five-star Yas Viceroy. Marking the first time that this event has been held in the Middle East, the destination’s rich heritage and ambition for the future paired perfectly with this year’s conference theme of ‘Time Travel’. ADAM POTTER reports on the sessions and what future trends agents should be aware of…

ABTA sees increase in High Street holiday bookings

PETER BAUMGARTNER, chief executive officer for Etihad Airways, took the opportunity to underline to conference delegates how the airline will continue to develop through its approach to innovation and technological advancement. The airline continues to invest in a next-generation fleet and is expected to take delivery of its first Airbus 350 in 2017.

NEW RESEARCH by ABTA has revealed that the number of people booking a holiday with High Street agencies has risen, with almost one in five (19%) having done so over the last 12 months, up from 17% in 2015. The most affluent households are the most likely to book in store, with more than a third (35%) having done so. Young families also favour the High Street, with 37% having booked a holiday in store over the last 12 months. Interestingly, when it comes to different age groups, younger generations are the most likely to book in store, with 25-34 year olds leading the way at 29%. The association also noted that the use of High Street retailers falls with age, with over-65s being the least likely to book in store (13%) and the most likely to book a holiday by phone (38%). The research found that people are most likely to book in store for trips to new destinations, holidays of seven nights or more and city breaks. For these types of break, it is likely that people value the help and expertise provided by travel experts and are more likely to seek out the personal touch for higher value trips such as a cruise or honeymoon. Victoria Bacon, director of brand and business development for the travel association, said: "We have seen some exciting innovations in the industry in the last couple of years, with a number of travel businesses investing in expanded and improved in-store experiences for customers, recognising that this is a popular way for people to book. With younger people the most likely to book in store, the future for travel experts on the High Street looks bright.”

Going solo: reassurance key to tapping into solo traveller market SOLO TRAVEL is rapidly rising as one of the main growth sectors in the travel industry with an estimated five million British travellers expected to book a solo holiday this year. Ben Ross, head of print for Telegraph Travel, who took the lead in a round table discussion regarding this emergence, commented: “This is a growing market; as more of us reach retirement age and as we live longer, the number of us likely to take a solo holiday will only increase. It's also a lucrative market with many solo travellers having high disposable incomes. This is a huge opportunity for the travel industry to seize.” Presenting data from a group of more than 2,000 surveyed Telegraph readers - from a group of 1,400 who said they have travelled solo before - 90% said they would be keen to do so again. More than half of the solo travellers (55%) were female, and a third of respondents were also married suggesting no


PONTA DELGADA on the island of Sao Miguel in The Azores has been named as the next destination to hold the ABTA Convention, taking place from October 9-11, 2017.

FOLLOWING A PERIOD of uncertainty over the future of Monarch, Andrew Swaffield, chief executive officer for the group, travelled to the convention with the news that it has received a £165million cash injection from its majority shareholder, Greybull Capital. The investment means that the company has renewed its ATOL licences from the CAA for the next 12 months and funded future growth plans.

TOUCHING ON an unprecedented 16 months of change in the wake of unforeseen global events and some of the ‘most complex and unusual’ demand from customers for summer 2016, Chris Mottershead, UK & Ireland managing director for Thomas Cook, shared a message of confidence commenting that the shop is definitely here to stay.

clear correlation between being single and travelling solo. When quizzed about any concerns they might have when researching and booking their trip, the single supplement proved to be the most contentious issue. When asked how much they were prepared to pay for a single supplement the number averaged at £57 per night. However, a sizeable number also stated that they weren't prepared to pay anything. Those who haven’t previously travelled solo but are interested in doing so constituted of around a quarter of all the replies in the survey. Again, a strong female bias was noted as too was a broad age range. A third of the group received a high household income of more than £50,000 a year; however, if they are going to book a solo trip, value for money was a strong factor - coming second to no single supplements - suggesting that solo travellers don’t want to be discriminated against for their single travel status. The reputation of the holiday company was also a key influencing factor. During a panel discussion, Colin Wilson, sales director from Just You, proposed an integral element that customers are seeking (and one which agents are well placed to provide); reassurance. He said: “We've found the biggest decision that customers have to make is not where to go, what to see or when to go - it's actually to go in the first place. They need reassurance that it’s ok to do so and that they're amongst people in a similar position as themselves. “If they're going to places that they wouldn't perhaps normally choose to go to on their own, they seek those destinations as part of a group to give them that sociability and security. Another aspect, even within that group environment, is time and space to be alone; often when they're travelling solo for the first time it’s important that if you build a package or a departure you still include time for them to have their own space and time for reflection. “The spend level of these customers is extraordinarily high and they will often go on multiple trips, three or four times a year.”

October 21 2016


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ORLANDO MAGIC tickets are now on sale with The sporting event sees some of the world’s best basketball players and teams from the NBA and is an ideal evening of entertainment during a theme park holiday. Seats are in the Lower Bowl and are priced in tiers according to the NBA team being played. Entry level game prices start at £48 per person for games against teams such as the Atlanta Hawks or Brooklyn Nets. Mid-level games against Indiana Pacers or Boston Celtics are £76 and top-level games against the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers – featuring LeBron James – are £170. Games last around three hours with transfers included, departing Central Orlando 60-90 minutes before the game. Visit

Agents can score a slam dunk with Orlando Magic ORLANDO MAGIC was recently in the UK to promote its pre-bookable tickets to the trade and to highlight the earning potential of selling to clients pre-departure. The NBA season runs from October to April and, with around 45 games, Orlando Magic plays home games at the Amway Center situated in Downtown Orlando around 30 minutes from the main theme park areas. Chris D’Orso, vice president of sales for the sporting attraction, explained that thanks to dynamic pricing, savings can be made on advance tickets and that attraction operators in the UK also have access to net rates – meaning that tickets are cheaper than booking direct through the likes of Ticketmaster. Along with DoSomethingDifferent, tickets can be also be purchased through Attraction World and NAR. Adding to the all-round experience is a fan fest that takes part outside the stadium before every game, a kids play area and the chance to shoot a few hoops on the court after Sunday matches. Courtside seats are also available (not many basketball venues allow visitors to sit in the front row) and agents can also access premium seating to upgrade the experience by booking private suites or boxes which are closer to the action. Agents who would like to experience a game whilst visiting Orlando are invited to contact

50 years on San Fran prepares for a year of that loving feeling SAN FRANCISCO is gearing up to turn 2017 into a whole year of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 “Summer of Love”, writes Paul Scudamore. It was when hippies gathered in their tens of thousands, with flowers in their hair and ideas in their minds that would question and challenge authority over a whole range of subjects and causes, including civil rights. The general feeling was that anything was possible, and the era spawned a whole raft of new ideas and music, fashion and art. Haircuts were out and flower power was in. To kick-start the year of celebrations, the city sent a delegation to London last week to unveil a vast array of special events, itineraries and tours that follow in the footsteps of some of the great musicians of that time. There will

be exhibitions at some of the top museums, special events and concerts, walking and hopon/hop-off tours, plus various street events and parties. Overseeing the year of celebration is the California Historical Society and the San Francisco Travel Association, whose president and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said while in London that the Summer of Love had made the concepts of peace, love, hope and sharing all part of the landscape of the city. He said: “Next year we invite the world to come and discover the magic that was born 50 years ago in the city which is as welcoming now as it was then.” The association has launched a special website with full information at

Texas sees 17.3% increase in UK visitors TEXAS TOURISM has revealed UK visitor figures to Texas totalled 210,000 in 2015; up 17.3% on the previous year. The UK is the state’s largest overseas market and last year British visitors spent nearly USD$189million in direct spending whilst in the state and stayed an average of ten nights. Singapore Airlines has launched a new direct route from Manchester to Houston, adding to the existing nine daily direct flights from British Airways, United Airlines and American Airlines that currently service Texas from London, to Dallas- Fort Worth, Houston and Austin. Julie Greenhill, the tourism board’s senior account manager, UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted in this impressive increase in visitor figures from the UK and have forecasted this to increase by 46.7% by 2020. UK visitors continue to be attracted to Texas’s western culture but are increasingly visiting for the fantastic food scene, vibrant music, great shopping and exciting outdoors adventures.” For information go to

October 21 2016



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Space Needle, Seattle

New route and Seattle openings make the city one to watch for 2017 SEATTLE IS expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching in March 2017, new hotel openings and exposure of the state through the new Twin Peaks TV series. In the second quarter of this year, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport saw a 10% increase in the number of passengers travelling through the airport, rising to 12million people during that period, making it busier than Gatwick. Overall, the airport’s passenger numbers have increased for 31 consecutive months. In tandem with this, the city's most recent tourism attraction has opened; a three-acre, £16million Pavilion at the Museum of Flight. It features the world's only full-scale NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, Air Force One, Concorde, the B-17, B-29 and B-47 bombers. Founded in 1965, The Museum of Flight is one of the largest air and space museums in the world. For more information see

Head down a mountain lickety-ZIP with Attraction World’s new Zipline tour FOR CLIENTS seeking an extra rush of adrenaline in Vegas, Attraction World has introduced a new Flightlinez Zipline tour at the Bootleg Canyon Zipline for £123 per person. On the tour, travellers will take in the views of Las Vegas, Lake Mead and the Eldorado Valley whilst a guide escorts them on a journey over the desert eco-system. They will be dropped off as close to the top of Red Mountain as is possible and then hike to the first platform, approximately 3,800ft above sea level, before making their way back down on a course of four Ziplines spanning across 1.5 miles of the Mojave Desert. The lines can get adventurers up to speeds of 60mph, with the first line providing bird’s eye views and a rushing 400ft drop.

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch to 2017 brochure

THE TOOTHSOME Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is now open at Universal Orlando. The 19th Century Steampunkthemed restaurant offers guests a unique dining experience where guests can enjoy twists on savoury menu favourites, satisfy their sweet tooth and interact with Penelope and her trusty robot companion Jacques. Visit


October 21 2016

KEEN TO expand on its portfolio of authentic dude ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Ranch in its 2017 brochure, scheduled for release late November. Tony Daly, managing director of the operator, said: “The majority of our clients are in search of a genuine cowboy experience, where it’s all about the people and the horses, but this ranch is also strategically located on a treasure trove of Wild West history. Guests will literally feel as though they are riding through an open air museum. The bonus? Some of these many miles of mountain and high desert paths are not covered by any other ranch in South-eastern Arizona.” The list of historical places that can be visited on horseback includes: Skeleton Canyon where Geronimo surrendered; Fort Bowie where the US army fought battles against the Apache Indians; and the Cochise stronghold, once the summer home of the Chiricahua Apaches. Still sacred to the Native American tribe, Cochise is said to be buried in the exact same location. There are also several places that were well known to legendary Wild West figures including Wyatt Earp and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, with the ranch’s proximity to Tombstone ideal for clients who want to discover more about this fascinating era. Seven nights cost from £1,699 per person based on two sharing including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities and taxes. It excludes transfers, gratuities and flights. Call 01509-618811 or visit for more details.

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Free Premier Passport available at Fashion Show Guest Services by mentioning this publication. •

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Feel tree-mendous with Funway Holidays’ Christmas break campaign FUNWAY HOLIDAYS is getting into the festive spirit with a #tremendoustrees campaign, including a roundup of America’s biggest Christmas Trees. Rebecca Evans, senior marketing executive for the operator, said: “Forget the calendar - once the Rockefeller Center tree goes up, it's Christmas time in New York. This is probably one of the most famous Christmas trees in the world but not

the biggest. We wanted a fun campaign to highlight the best and biggest trees to visit in the USA and enjoy some festive cheer.” The biggest US Christmas trees are located in: 1. Phoenix – 110ft. 2. Los Angeles – 100ft. 3. San Francisco – 80ft. 4. New York City – 74ft. 5. Chicago - 70ft.

For a chance to experience the New York festive cheer in person, the operator is offering three nights at the three-star Wellington Hotel from £775 per person including flights from Heathrow with British Airways. Travel is based on a departure date of November 29 and two adults sharing. Visit for more details.

Singapore Airlines flies to Houston with new transatlantic flights SINGAPORE AIRLINES will launch its first ever transatlantic flights from the UK to the US, flying non-stop from Manchester to Houston. Sheldon Hee, UK and Ireland general manager for the airline, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our UK network with this launch. The new Manchester-Houston flights represent our first ever transatlantic flights departing from the UK and are a huge milestone in our 45-year history flying from this market.” The route will be the second operated by the airline to and from Manchester, in addition to the long-standing route serving Singapore and will commence on October 30. At the same time as launching the new ManchesterHouston route, flights from Manchester to Singapore will also become non-stop from the end of this month. Each destination will be served five times weekly.

Premier Holidays teams up with Virgin Atlantic for new tailor-made campaign

GREAT RAIL Journeys has introduced a new ‘Trans-American Rail Tour’. The 21-day bucket list holiday takes in some of America’s most famous sights including Alcatraz, Las Vegas’ strip, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and travels on some spectacular railroad excursions, including the Grand Canyon Railroad. Priced from £3,995 per person, there are seven departures between April and September 2017, with regional airport options available. Visit


October 21 2016

PREMIER HOLIDAYS has joined forces with ‘Virgin Atlantic’ to launch a campaign promoting tailor-made holidays to the US. The new campaign highlights the operator’s top-selling itineraries with a selection of tactical offers providing added value, savings, special air fares and promotional marketing material for agents. The offers, which are available until October 31, include a seven-night twin-centre taking in New York and Las Vegas from £999 per person, saving up to £484, or three nights in New York followed by four in Miami from £1,049, saving customers up to £430 per couple. Alternatively, clients can choose from a nine-night multicentre break visiting Washington, New York and Boston, including travel on Amtrak trains, from £1,099 which will save people up to £600. If clients fancy relaxing on the west coast, the operator can offer three nights in Los Angeles, three nights in Las Vegas and three nights in San Francisco from £1,299, offering savings of up to £680 per couple. All the offers are based on two adults sharing and include flights from Heathrow (with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines) and hotel accommodation, valid for travel next month or February 2017. Agents can also benefit, earning between £25-£150 for every inclusive US booking made, dependent on the booking value. For more information visit or call 084-4493 7666.


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FUNWAY HOLIDAYS’ latest campaign #thrillseekers is targeting adrenaline lovers to explore the Dominican Republic’s nine distinct ecological zones and try their hand at conquering the great outdoors. The operator is offering seven-night stays at Dreams La Romano Resort & Spa from £1,025 per person including flights with Delta Air Lines from Heathrow, for two adults departing on November 24. Visit

G Adventures launches new trips with National Geographic G ADVENTURES and National Geographic Expeditions have unveiled 18 new itineraries for 2017 as part of the ‘National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures’ line-up, including trips through Namibia, Japan and Canada. Amongst the highlights are seven new itineraries in Africa, including a ten-day ‘Wonders of Namibia’ trip, which features a lecture and guided game drive with the Cheetah Conservation Fund from £1,849 per person. The new ‘Iconic Japan’ trip has travellers making sushi with a local chef, watching an ancient martial arts performance and learning Zen calligraphy for £3,199. Meanwhile, for wildlife enthusiasts, the ‘Canadian Polar Bear Experience’ at £4,379 provides a rare opportunity to see polar bears in their natural habitat, alongside an expert from Polar Bears International. Launched earlier this year, the Journeys collection aims to offer hands-on exploration and meaningful interactions with people and places at an accessible price point, and the trips for 2017 are now available for sale with departures beginning in April 2017. Jeff Russill, vice president of product for the adventure operator, said: “The success of this partnership in its first year has far surpassed our hopes, attracting thousands of new bookings, and rave post-trip reviews from our travellers. It shows us that travellers want experiences that enrich their minds, hearts and spirits.” For more information visit

Race against the clock at Lauberhorn Live in Jungfrau Ski Region THOSE WHO want to watch the pros take part in the world’s longest World Cup downhill ski race during their ski holiday should head to the Jungfrau Ski Region where the legendary Lauberhorn Live race takes place between January 13-15, 2017. Holidaymakers can watch the professionals train in the days running up to the race or ski in the rest of the Jungfrau Ski Region, connected by the Jungfrau Railways. For more information visit

October 21 2016


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Slovenia gets sporty for 2017 with new tourism strategy THE SLOVENIAN Tourism Office will be placing a big emphasis on sports tourism for 2017. Over the past few years, considerable investment has been made into a wide range of facilities including winter sports, new cycling routes and new football training grounds. The creation of these large scale facilities and accommodation is helping to make the destination increasingly appealing for sports including football, volleyball and winter sports, and highlights its comprehensive sporting infrastructure. The country’s high altitude training locations, favoured by a wide range of Olympic athletes including world record holder and Olympic rowing champion Mahe Drysdale, are growing increasingly popular with sports teams. Healthy breaks are also on the rise with UK travellers and the tourism board expects this to increase as a direct result of the recent investment.

Al Fresco gets families active with countryside bicycle rides

River crruising G Adventuresstyle p to Save u

A bold new take on river cru uising; exciting adventure es aboard d small s boats on some of the world’s most amazing rivers and canals. uising Or call the agent hotline on 0344 272 2 2200 * T&C apply pp y, visit www.gadventur g g for full details.


October 21 2016

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AL FRESCO Holidays is promoting the range of activities and facilities available across its portfolio of parks that cater to families who want an activity-filled break away. John Escott, sales manager for the holiday park company, said: “With an amazing water park, fantastic stables and offering well-shaded, spacious and highly individual pitches, Séquoia Parc is ideally located on the south west coast of France for easy access to Marennes, Ile d’Oleron and Cognac. The park is set in 45 hectares of the grounds of a wonderfully restored château, which is surrounded by shrubs and trees that line the many and varied paths, ideal for bicycle rides.” Cycling is highlighted as a way for families to enjoy time together and to make the most of the outdoors. Escott said: “Guests can hire bicycles from the park and will be provided with a map of easy routes they can explore with the family. Everyone will enjoy riding along quaint country roads that lead to places such as picturesque Marennes, three miles from the park. “For those looking to venture further afield, a trip to the forest of La Coubre is a must. It is a cyclist’s dreamland, crisscrossed by undulating paths that snake through the maritime pines.” For more information visit travel-agents

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Europe remains on the travel agenda for young explorers according to Contiki FOLLOWING THE EU referendum, Contiki has been closely monitoring the impact of Britain’s decision to leave the Union on the travel plans of 18- to 35-year olds. According to 2016 sales data, the operator has seen a 22% spike in European holiday bookings post-referendum, suggesting that a group travel model is a popular choice for millennials in the current environment. The company recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 18-35year old UK residents to explore the effect of the Brexit result and found that one in ten young travellers considered bringing their EU travel plans forward in case restrictions are put in place under Article 50, whilst a resilient 12% plan to travel more frequently within the EU over the next few years. Of all the concerns expressed by young travellers following the vote, the cost of travelling to EU destinations was noted as the highest at 49%. However the operator’s increase in sales to Europe suggests that a more inclusive approach to travel might appeal to young travellers as a safer and more cost-effective option post-Referendum. According to those young Brits who have altered their travel plans following the result, non-EU European destinations and long-haul countries were high on the travel agenda. Iceland topped the list (15%), followed by the USA (13%), Montenegro (also 13%) and Norway (12%). Donna Jeavons, UK & Europe sales and marketing director for the operator, said: “It’s no surprise that young British residents are cautious about spending abroad due to a weak exchange rate, but a group trip with more inclusions is proving to be the perfect solution in the current environment. “Our message is that Europe is well and truly open for business and exploration. Our trip managers take care of all transport and accommodation arrangements, they advise travellers of the best places to go in their free time, they help young travellers manage their daily budget and our itineraries include all transport, accommodation, breakfast daily and a whole heap of inclusions so our travellers know broadly the overall cost of their holiday upfront. Plus, they will travel with like-minded people who are excited to immerse themselves in different cultures and discover new places.”

Dominican delights: tourists flock to explore the Dominican Republic’s natural wonders AS THE trend for ecotourism rises in popularity, the Dominican Republic is positioning itself as an attractive destination for travellers aiming to reconnect with nature. The tourist office's numbers reveal that tourists are increasingly seeking holidays beyond the beach, with the destination's protected areas reporting a total of nearly 1.38 million visitors in 2015, 80% of which were foreign visitors. Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, said: “Tourists are looking for new ways to disconnect from daily life and explore nature in an environmentally conscious way. The Dominican Republic is known for its natural beauty, ranging from its famous beaches to lush mountains. We look forward to sharing it with travellers as we continue to develop ecotourism opportunities.” For more information visit

A quick guide to the destination's natural wonders JARABACOA Home to picturesque waterfalls, including Salto de Jimenoa and Salto Baiguate which are often explored on horseback. Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean at 3,087m, is accessible from Jarabacoa on two- to four-day trips or, for less rigorous explorations, a nearby garden hosts the destination's first butterfly exhibit SAMANA PENINSULA Between January and March, tourists head to Samaná Bay to spot humpback whales. The region is also dedicated to ensuring hotels are environmentally conscious and are located close to the beach, offering activities such as snorkelling, horseback riding and hiking. PUERTO PLATA Well-known for its surfing and active travel activities, this area also offers visitors soft adventure options. Puerto Plata is known for its Cabarete Caves – a system of caves where travellers can swim and explore – as well as its series of waterfalls, the Saltos de Damajagua and Ciguapa Falls. Visitors can also visit a local chocolate hacienda to witness cacao processing in action, from planting to the final product. Chocolate facials and mud baths are available for travellers looking to add on a spa-like experience. BARAHONA In the southwest, Barahona offers eco-activities such as bird watching, light hiking and surfing. Visitors can also find the region's lowest point near here at Lake Enriquillo, the largest lake in the Caribbean, while at nearby Isla Cabritos, visitors can observe American crocodiles, flamingos, iguanas and many more island species. CONSTANZA Nicknamed the ‘Switzerland of the Caribbean’, Constanza is bordered by four national parks as well as the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, a hiking destination with more than 600 different species of flowers and plants and more than 100 different types of birds. BAYAHIBE Here, scuba divers can explore the coral reef and the remains of the St. George and Atlantic Princess shipwrecks. Bayahibe's calm, clear waters also appeal to snorkellers and stand-up paddle boarders.

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Savings on new collection of worldwide adventures with Explore EXPLORE HAS launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7. New destinations for next year include Haiti, where guests can witness a traditional Voodou ceremony; Sumatra to visit the indigenous Batak Toba villages; or a trip to the volcanic vistas on a new ‘Reunion and Mauritius’ trip. During the 16-day journey in the Indian Ocean clients can walk on the crater rim of Piton Maldo and cross the scenic Travel Bulletin is published by Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX Tel: 020-7834 6661 Printed by: Buxton Press Subscriptions are £125 p.a. £195 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419

Cirque de Salazie, situated in the forested mountains. They can also go stargazing with a local astronomer, explore the local markets of Mahebourg and learn how to cook traditional creole food during a cookery class in Port Louis. Trips depart in June, August, September and October and cost from £3,399 per person. The price includes flights, 13 nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast, some other meals, transport and the services of a leader, driver and local guides. Alternatively, clients can get off the tourist trail in India or Burma and search for the Asiatic Lions in Gujarat, India – the only place in the world they can be seen in the wild - or camp on the



uninhabited island of Nat Thamee Yedwin in the Mergui Archipelago, southern Burma. Ashley Toft, the operator’s managing director, said: “We’re really excited to be launching our 2017 Worldwide Adventures and the team have worked tirelessly to create this huge range of inspiring new trips. “Whether it’s following the journey of the Klondike Stampeders through Gold Rush country in the USA, soaking up the history of Gdansk or visiting Gandhi’s ashram in India, we’re confident our latest collection offers something unique for every adventurous traveller.”For more information visit or call 01252-884723.

Crossword: Across: 1. BOURNE, 3. OBAN, 6. BRATISLAVA, 8. CHEDDAR, 10. LCA, 11. INN, 12. LIBERIA, 14. SACRAMENTO, 16. DAYS, 17. KARNAK. Down: 1. BOB DYLAN, 2. NWI, 4. BAVARIA, 5. BLED, 7. WINDHOEK, 8. CALGARY, 9. DEE, 13. BARI, 15. MEA. Highlighted Word: VENICE


Where Am I?: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

We asked our staff the following question this week:

What event in your life would you relive if you had the chance to? Jeanette Ratcliffe Publisher

Matt Gill Senior Account Manager

Every minute spent with my lovely son Alex!

Lauretta Wright Editor

Matthew Weinreb Sales Executive

It would have to be my wedding day at Bodrum Castle in Turkey

Paul Scudamore Contributing Editor The renewal of our wedding vows. Just us and the vicar followed by the three of us in the pub across the road. Bliss.

Simon Eddolls Sales Director Tim Podger Account Manager - Far East

Kathryn Frost Sales Executive

Gemma Reeve Events & Sales Administrator University without a doubt!

Nicky Valsamakis Design Team Leader The birth of Justin Bieber

1999 European Cup final in Barcelona

Bill Coad Account Manager Man Utd v Bayern Munich in European Cup in Barcelona.. It was brill.

Happy Birthday !

Miriam Brtkova Designer University

Lucia Mathurin Design Apprentice My first Family Holiday to St.Lucia

Adam Potter Editorial Assistant Holy Smokes Robin - it's your birthday! Just make sure it's a good one! Batman

Nelly Mendes Production School


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Travel Bulletin 21 October 2016  
Travel Bulletin 21 October 2016