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Giving agents the edge





Agents in Liverpool & Glasgow get the five-star treatment

Take the time to savour Samoa with gastronomic delights

Beach or city break? How to give clients the best of both worlds

Put Brexit differences aside as ‘You have Spain in Common’

Dispel the myths & sell Latin America with confidence

Cover pic : © Andrea

June 28 2019 | ISSUE NO 2,114 |

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JUNE 28 2019 |


FAMILY VALUES As summer finally comes to the UK, parents are under pressure to take a break − but the benefits of family holidays are many.

04 NEWS The latest news from the UK and beyond to help out busy agents

08 AGENT INSIGHT Sandy is looking forward to the 2019 Yorkshire Ball

17 PACIFIC ISLANDS ‘Pick Your Paradise’ with the islands of Tahiti

19 LATIN AMERICA All the highlights from this year’s Experience Latin America

23 SPAIN & HER ISLANDS Catalonia gets creative in cultural campaign

The research found many parents feel guilty about not going on trips with their children.

WE HAVE all muttered ‘I need a break’ to ourselves after a long day in the office, but not everyone has the luxury of heading away – according to research by Nottingham Civic Exchange, parents feel under pressure to afford holidays for their children. The research, which was carried out on behalf of the Family Holiday Association, compiled interviews with ordinary working families in order to explore how people from different backgrounds experience holidays. As a result, the company found that families earning between £12,000-£34,000 per year are struggling to cover the costs of a family break.

Further, 70% of participants felt they travelled with their families less than other people they knew, admitting they felt guilty about not being able to afford to take their children away. As outlined by the Family Holiday Association, many parents feel there is limited time in which to form childhood memories, creating a ‘ticking clock’ effect which makes them feel guilty about what they can provide for their children financially. “While most of the participants had been away for a break within the past year, the interviews revealed breaks are not all that they seem,” began Dr

Paula Black, director of Nottingham Civic Exchange. “Some of our families were combining trips with wider caring responsibilities, others classified a break as even just one night away from home, work and daily routines. The challenges of costs, including saving up for a holiday and time away from work, was a source of worry for many.” Research from the Family Holiday Association has highlighted the positive impacts of having a break every now and then, with some of these benefits including improvements in mental health, reduced isolation, increased school attendance and even job-seeking behaviour.

27 SHORT BREAKS Something for everyone with these trips at home and abroad

Published by : Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place London, SW1W 0EX

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 020 7834 6661

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Spice up your cruise with Virgin Voyages FOLLOWING THE success of the Spice Girls’ UK tour, Virgin Voyages has paired up with pop legend Geri Horner, as well her long-time friend, Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, to promote the ships’ most glamorous cabins. In an exclusive video unveiled by the tour operator, Geri and Sir Richard can be seen exploring the ship’s ‘RockStar Suites’, with Ginger Spice spinning records, rocking out on guitar and sipping Champagne, as well as reading Branson’s book (which is decidedly less rock ‘n’ roll). Speaking of her experience, Geri said: “Virgin Voyages’ RockStar Suites are the perfect blend of luxury, glamour and a little bit of rock and roll opulence – exactly the way I like to enjoy my holidays. After thorough testing, I think it’s safe to say these suites are rockstar-worthy and ready for Scarlet Lady’s debut next year. Everyone deserves to feel like a rockstar at some point in their lives… You’re in for a real treat!” Sir Richard Branson added: “I just love the idea of RockStar Suites. They celebrate Virgin’s musical

Golf and groove at the Swiss Festival da Jazz SWITZERLAND’S KULM Hotel St. Moritz is bringing together jazz and golf in its epic annual Festival da Jazz. By day, guests can make their way across the fairways of the Engadine Valley, marvelling at the stunning mountain backdrops before enjoying a wide spectrum of jazz performances during the evening.

Geri was brought in to give the suite the ‘rockstar test drive’.

heritage and how I got my start in the music industry. Geri and the Spice Girls were a wonderful part of that so I can’t imagine anyone better suited to give our RockStar Suites a whirl. Geri certainly looked like she had a great time! I’m very excited for our sailors on Scarlet Lady to feel like rockstars too.” With 78 RockStar Suites and only 15 Mega RockStar Suites on board the Scarlet Lady – aptly named the Massive Suites, Fab Suites, Posh Suites and Gorgeous Suites – Virgin is committed to keeping customers redcarpet ready with its VIP experiences on board. Each Mega RockStars Suite has a dedicated hair and makeup crew available on request, with access to unlimited complimentary alcoholic and

specialty beverages in all bars and restaurants on board the lavish ship. Sailors can unwind in Redemption Spa’s thermal suite, alongside the ship’s mermaid and merman hideaway complete with a hydrotherapy pool, mud room, salt room, cold plunge pools and quartz beds. Virgin Voyage’s Mega RockStar Suites also offers customers complimentary laundry service, as well as the chance to write up their very own rider list comprised of anything and everything their hearts desire (unless they want to follow in the footsteps of Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, who once asked for a no less than 15ft boa constrictor in his rider). For more information, visit

Established in 1891 as the first nine-hole course in Switzerland, Kulm Hotel’s twoor three-night golf package options will be available during the festival, including a breakfast buffet and daily Gourmet Dine Around (halfboard), complimentary green fees, unlimited use of the hotel tennis courts, and unlimited use of all open mountain railways in the Engadine/St. Moritz region and public transportation in the valley. The two-night package starts from CHF580 per person, while a three-night stay with the golf package starts from CHF810 per person (available until September 1). Festival da Jazz takes place from July 4 - August 4.

A veteran voyage with Fred. Olsen TO COMMEMORATE 75 years since D-Day, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca hosted 250 veterans, alongside their carers and companions, on a trip around the UK and Normandy. Setting sail from Dover, the ship took veterans to Dunkirk, Poole, Pourtsmouth and Le Havre, where they attended a series of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. Guests on board were treated to a range of entertainment, including the only magaician to ever win Britain’s Got Talent − Lance Corporal Richard Jones.

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‘Fly-through’ to the future of London City Airport LONDON CITY Airport has released a new two-minute animation, offering a glimpse into the future of the airport as it continues with its £500m transformation, with some major new facilities upcoming for 2022. The computer generated ‘fly-through’ depicts the airport journey of two pairs of passengers – a departing leisure couple and arriving business travellers – reflecting the airport’s evolving customer base. While business travel to and from the capital remains at the core of London City’s proposition, over the coming years, the proportion of leisure

passengers is expected to continue to increase, reflecting the airport’s broader role, changing mix of destinations, and growing East London population. During the animation, the passengers experience the new check-in area, security, departures lounge, baggage claim, dedicated arrivals area and gate lounges, with interior and external views of the airport. The animation comes ahead of what is expected to be the airport’s busiest ever summer, with annual passengers forecast to reach five million in 2019, and around 6.5 million

following the major overhaul. Peter Adams, the airport’s chief development officer, said: “We are building a new and impressive gateway for London in the heart of the Royal Docks, on the doorstep of the city and fast-changing East London boroughs. This new animation brings to life for the first time what customers can expect – be they international visitors to London, leisure city breakers or business travellers. London City Airport will offer an amazing modern airport experience while retaining the speed and efficiency that we know our passengers love.”

Bowled over with CMV’s cricket cruise CRUISE & MARITIME Voyages has unveiled another cricketing legends-themed cruise, featuring some of the biggest names in the sport’s history. During the cruise, passengers can enjoy a cricket-themed programme spearheaded by TV presenter Nick Hancock, host of ‘They Think It’s All Over’, with events on-board Columbus including watching sporting highlights and an audience with icons Graham Gooch OBE and Roland Butcher. Other famous names taking to the sea include Paul Downton, Paul Grayson, Ray East and Jack Shantry.

ABTA encourages safe holidays for youngsters ABTA IS running a new campaign providing tips and advice for young people to help them have a fun and safe holiday this summer. The campaign is targeting travellers aged between 16 and 23 and provides practical safety tips across a range of different areas, such as the importance of looking out for one another, including the need to take care when on balconies, where many holidaymakers have been injured or killed in falls. As well as publishing advice for holidaymakers on its website, ABTA has adopted a millennial-friendly approach to public safety through Instagram stories and working with social media influencers, as well as sharing tips through the association’s

media channels. ABTA is also supporting the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on a national media story about holiday safety for young people. This campaign coincides with the end of school exams, ahead of the peak holiday season when younger people are expected to travel abroad, many of whom will be going away for the first time without their parents. As a result of this campaign, ABTA hopes to reduce the number of incidents and accidents involving young people abroad, many of which have resulted in serious injuries and fatalities. For more information and advice, visit

Setting off from London Tilbury, the cruise follows CMV’s six-night ‘South Norway Discovery & Oslo itinerary’, stopping at Oslofjord, Oslo, Kristiansand and Stavanger. Optional excursions during Columbus’ South Norway Discovery & Oslo cruise include the chance to explore Oslo and visit the cathedral, Parliament House and National Theatre. Columbus is set to sail from London on November 3, with fares starting from £419 per person.

Making super savings on the slopes DUE TO the popularity of its Ski-All-In package, Skiworld has launched a double discount promotion for selected catered chalets, offering winter sports enthusiasts the chance to save up to £560 per person. As well as no hidden costs, the package includes locked-in exchange rates, flexible ski hire and lift passes upon arrival. During the 2018/19 season, 53% of all Skiworld’s customers booked a Ski-All-In package. This offer is available until July 15. Visit for more information.


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Sailing south with new Antarctic itineraries ONE OCEAN Expeditions (OOE) has launched new itineraries and programmes for the 2020/2021 Antarctic season. Sailing aboard RCGS Resolute, which is about to celebrate her first anniversary, guests can benefit from early booking offers as well as plenty of added value while at sea. For next February and March, experiential voyages with a focus on marine mammals and ocean literacy are scheduled with worldleading experts as guests. Other highlights of the 2020/2021 programme include an extended 19-night voyage to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica via King George Island and Antarctica. This voyage is available from December 2020 through to early February 2021. The fly-cruise voyages include the popular Quest for the Antarctic Circle, which provides direct private air charters out of Punta Arenas to Antarctica in two-and-a-

The cruises are set to explore all areas of Antarctica.

half hours, as well as Ultimate Antarctica, which incorporates the Weddell Sea. Stanley in the Falkland Islands is used as a strategic tourism port for shorter flight times. A complimentary precruise hotel night is included in the voyage fare, and early booking incentives include a travel credit deducted from the fare for all new bookings confirmed by August 31. “Our guests are sophisticated travellers who have chosen to travel to the

ends of the earth with us. Our job is to guide them with ease, options and incredible value for experience. OOE’s One Club [repeat travellers] keeps growing year after year, and this is a wonderful testament to OOE's operation and capacity to deliver personalised experiences to each and every guest travelling with us,” said Catherine Lawton, OOE’s general manager. For more information visit, https://www.oneoceanexped

Lighting the way into the Enchanted Forest TICKETS ARE now on sale for Perthshire’s multi-award-winning sound and light show − The Enchanted Forest. Taking inspiration from the natural Scottish landscape, this year’s event‘ Cosmos’ is set to encourage visitors to admire Scotland’s skies. Set against the stunning backdrop of Faskally Wood, this year’s festivities will see visitors wander down a winding trail, past Loch Dunmore and deep into the forest for a multi-sensory experience, featuring an inspirational soundscape and awe-inspiring visuals. Over 80,000 visitors entered the Enchanted Forest for last year's sold-out show ‘Of The Wild’, bringing an estimated £7.6 million to the local economy along the way. "As Scotland's premier sound and light show, we are proud to offer visitors another hugely original experience where people, young and old, can set their imagination alight in Faskally Wood. Our creative team has once again developed an event that will captivate and enchant our visitors this autumn,” said Ian Sim, chairman of the Enchanted Forest Community Trust. This year's Enchanted Forest will run from October 3 until November 3. For more information visit

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A good cause at Luton Airport TWO HUNDRED runners raced their way across Luton Airport’s runway in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Runners from all over the region travelled to Bedfordshire to take part in the airport’s Summer Solstice Runway Race, raising £4,000 for the charity along the way.

The runway race took place at sunrise on the longest day of the year.

"This is our third and biggest runway race so far and what better way to mark the summer solstice, than seeing the sunrise over the airport. The atmosphere was amazing and it was great to see so many airport staff and local runners enjoying this unique event while raising money to support the excellent work of Macmillan Cancer Support in our local area,” said Neil Thompson, operations director for LLA.

Ticking the bucket list with Azamara Club AZAMARA CLUB Cruises has announced the debut of its largest selection of pre- and post-voyage land programmes for cruises, with more than 1,700 available. Alongside an expanded destination portfolio, these land programmes hope to bring guests closer to the heart of a destination. Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara, said: “We expect our land programming to grow even more as we continue to augment our services. That said, it was a natural next step to take these custom-designed destination itineraries one step further on land and adjust our overall name and expand our strategy.” As of October, the company plans to provide customers with longer stays, more overnights and night touring options. “These bucket list-type experiences are all made possible in collaboration with reputable, independent travel experts to show the Azamara traveller a whole new world,” he continued. All land packages include transfers to and from the voyage, as well as between land tour sites; tour directors and explorations led by local experts, including geologists, naturalists, sommeliers, astronomers and wildlife trackers, to name a few. Most packages also include breakfasts and a variety of authentic meals. For more information visit:

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Notes N O R M from ANTO N THERE’S NEVER a dull moment in the travel industry! I am busy with the Yorkshire Travel Ball (July 18, Village Hotel Leeds South) and I can’t believe I have been doing it for 22 years - where has the time gone? I only have one table left, which can be shared if needs be – come on, you tour operators! Tweak your budgets – you know it’s for great causes for the animals. To book, send me an email at – the Greek Cat Welfare Society and the Soi Dog Foundation do great work with the money we raise. It would be wonderful if a few more tour operators took a bit more action to protect wildlife, such as ending the mistreatment of elephants which are used as amusement rather than appreciated at a safe distance in the wild. The ball will be held on July 18 and I look forward to seeing lots of you there. By the time you read this, however, I will hopefully be sunning myself in Crete. Gouves feels like my second home. I will be staying at the lovely John and Mary Apartments in Gouves, only a few minutes walk to the beach, though they have a lovely pool. No doubt I’ll be taking some dog biscuits for Molly the Alsatian, who is quite old, and treats for the cats. I can’t believe it will be four years this September since I brought Tiger, the cat with one eye, home from Crete. He has settled down very well and even meows with a Yorkshire accent. I’m pleased to see that ABTA has a new campaign to help young holidaymakers stay safe abroad (see page 5). There always seems to be a news story about someone falling off a balcony while on holiday. You can have a look at the campaign on ABTA’s website Why not print an advice or tips sheet and put it in with your young customers’ tickets? Young people might not have been on holiday by themselves before, but they are expected to know everything. They have probably seen a load of rubbish on TV, so I’m sure some friendly advice would be welcome.

by SANDRA MURRAY in Normanton, Yorkshire

To respond to any of Sandy’s comments email

SEAWORLD SAN Diego has welcomed a flamboyance of seven baby flamingos to its resort’s Flamingo Cove. SeaWorld has been working closely with the breed as their existence is being threatened by human activity in South America and the Caribbean.

A spellbinding ride on Hagrid’s Motorbike Adventure HARRY POTTER stars arrived in Universal Orlando to celebrate the opening of the resort’s new rollercoaster – Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Kicking off in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures class, film stars Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick) and James & Oliver Phelps (Fred & George Weasley) were snapped on Hagrid’s bike and sidecar as they weaved their way across Hogwarts’ Forbidden Forrest. There, they encounted some of the Wizarding World’s rarest magical creatures − including a centuar, a swarm of Cornish Pixies, Blast-Ended Newts (never before seen in the films) and, of course, Fluffy the three-headed dog − before becoming entangled in a thicket of deadly Devil’s Snare and falling 17 feet to escape the plant. “I’m excited to welcome you to this new chapter of magic here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” said actor Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid in the films. “Be sure to hang onto your motorbike, and most importantly, have fun everyone.”

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AGENT TRAINING TIME IS running out to complete the Western Australia module on Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist programme for a chance to win one of 15 cases of Aussie wine. Agents who complete the module by June 30 will go into the prize draw. Once you’re qualified as a Tourism Western Australia agent, you will receive invitations to Tourism Western Australia events, webinars, further training opportunities and exclusive fam trips. Log on to to get started. AGENTS WHO complete a simple Visit The USA online course will be in the running to win a Brand USA ‘Music Takes You Further’ toolkit to help you sell more music-inspired American holidays. The toolkit includes marketing materials, a gift card to enjoy some delicious US food and a Bluetooth speaker. To find out more, go to CRUISE AND Maritime Voyages (CMV) is offering continued online training, after attracting more than 1,000 agents to their course. The company has presented a prize to Leslie Allen from Edwards Holidays in Cardiff and will continue to offer incentives for those who take the course. For details, visit

DRIVING FORCE… Alamo Rent A Car ran a travel trade survey for Travel Bulletin readers, to understand their booking habits for car hire. Ten lucky survey respondents won a £50 Love2Shop voucher, including Christopher Jones from Gold Medal Travel.

A-ROSA RIVER Cruises has launched its first online training course, giving UK agents the chance to become an A-ROSA expert. To encourage agents to join, the company will enter every agent who completes the course before November into a prize draw to win a five-night cruise on the Seine for two. Visit

AGENT INCENTIVES ● LUXURY TOUR operator Pure Luxury is giving four agents the

chance to win a day of indulgence in London including being wined and dined, spa treatments to the value of £100 and a £500 shopping spree at Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge. To be automatically entered into the draw, agents must make a qualifying booking with Pure Luxury including a Las Vegas package plus flights with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines by June 30. Agents who submit bookings with Premium flights will receive an extra entry. ● OVER SUMMER, Travelopia is giving two agents the chance to

experience one of their winter holidays with Hayes & Jarvis, Citalia, Sovereign or Austravel. To be in the running, agents need to make three bookings between now and September 30 with Austravel, Citalia, Hayes & Jarvis and Sovereign. The prize is up to the value of £3,000. Ten runners-up will win a surprise Travelopia prize. To qualify, email your name, ABTA, TTA or Global number and booking references to:

COMPETITIONS! Win a Jet2holidays goody bag.

Win an Amazon Echo & a signed astronaut picture with Kennedy Space Center.

Pick up a £100 Love2Shop voucher with Air Mauritius.

● DUE TO popular demand, European Waterways has brought back

Magna Carta hotel barge cruises on the River Thames, including excursions to Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. Bookings for 2020 are now being taken, with prices starting at £3,190 per person based on double occupancy. For every booking, agents will earn 10% commission. Go to for more information.

Win a Michael Kors designer watch with Macerich Shopping Centers & Fashion Outlets.



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City break surge for Istanbul over summer A STUDY of flight booking transactions has revealed that Istanbul will become the city tourism hot spot for the European region in the third quarter of this year. The study was undertaken by European Cities Marketing (ECM) by ForwardKeys, which analyses more than 17 million flight booking transactions per day. The study examined growth in airline seat capacity and flight bookings to 30 major European cities for the ECM-ForwardKeys Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer. The total number of seats on sale to Europe in the third quarter of the year is more than 262 million, 3.8% up on the same period in 2018. Istanbul, with a 5.5% share of the market, is showing a 10% growth in capacity and, as of June 2, it showed forward bookings 11.2% ahead thanks to its new mega-hub Istanbul Airport and decreasing concerns about security. Other destinations tipped to perform well include Budapest, which is also showing a 10% increase in capacity and forward bookings 5.9% ahead, Valencia, with 8.5% increase in capacity and forward bookings 15.6% ahead, and Dubrovnik, with an 8.4% increase in capacity and forward bookings 16.2% ahead. In terms of capacity growth alone, Seville and Vienna,

Istanbul is set to become this summer’s go-to destination.

which are 16.7% and 12.6% up respectively, outstrip Istanbul for percentage growth but neither city handles such a large volume of traffic. Other major airports showing strong capacity growth are Munich, with a 4.3% share of seats, which is seeing a 6% increase in capacity and Lisbon, with a 2.7% share, a 7.8% capacity increase. Looking only at forward bookings, Dubrovnik and Valencia are at the top of the list, ahead 16.2% and 15.6% respectively. However, Barcelona, with an 8.1% market share, looks likely to be the solid performer, as third-quarter bookings are 13.8% ahead. Madrid looks

set to do well with a 7.4% share of capacity and forward bookings 7% ahead. Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights for ForwardKeys, said: “Seat capacity is a very strong predictor of visitor arrivals because once airlines have decided to lay on flights, they set out to fill their planes and, as part of their promotional strategy, they can always flex the price to help them do so. Long-haul bookings are another useful indicator because long-haul travellers tend to book earlier, to stay longer and to spend more money. When we looked at both metrics, Istanbul stood out on both counts.”

LLA: The real winners of this year’s Eurovision THIS YEAR marks Luton Airport’s (LLA) busiest ever May, with 1.6 million passengers travelling through their airport during the month – a 10% increase on last year’s numbers. Among reasons for this stark increase was the Europa League and UEFA Champions League finals, which took place in both Azerbaijan and Madrid, respectively. However, it was the Eurovision Song Contest which tipped numbers over the edge, with the number of passengers travelling to Tel-Aviv increasing by 9% as a result of the show. LLA launched its rebranded Fast Track Security product, including an LED light wall which offers a stress-free route to the departure lounge.

Alberto Martin, CEO of LLA, said: “As our May figures show, growth continues steadily at the airport following a record breaking April. The re-launch of our Fast Track Security product is yet another example of how we’re transforming the passenger experience at LLA following our £160 million redevelopment.”

Norwegian keeps passengers connected NORWEGIAN HAS launched gate-to-gate Wi-Fi so passengers can access the airline’s network as soon as they board the aircraft. Passengers on long- and short-haul flights can stay online for the entire flight until arrival at the destination gate. This is an upgrade on the previous inflight Wi-Fi, which could not be accessed until the aircraft had reached an altitude of 10,000 feet. Earlier this year, Norwegian became the first low-cost airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on intercontinental routes. The choices for passengers are basic free Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights and a premium high-speed option, which is fast enough to stream television shows and movies.

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Complete this Su Doku puzzle and then go to the competition section on and submit the highlighted numbers.


A... B... C... D... Closing date for entries is Thursday, July 4th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week.



The Su Doku winner for June 14th is Peter Rintoul, in Bathgate. June 14th Solution: A=4 B=2 C=8 D=5



1. What is the top selling destination for Families with Jet2holidays? (7) 4. Canberra is the capital, initially (3) 6. Canadian constable on horseback (7) 7. Agents in suits are protecting the Earth again at a cinema near you (3,2,5) 10. Maputo is the capital (10) 14. This author's Tales are a popular Canterbury visitor attraction (7) 15. English singer / songwriter, Rita (3) 16. Pirates of the Caribbean character, Jack (7)

1. Capital of Bahrain (6) 2. Asian country (5) 3. The Leu is the currency of this country (7) 4. Former empire of Mexico (5) 5. An arduous journey (4) 8. West African country (7) 9. Colourful-sounding river in China (6) 11. City in 2 Down (5) 12. Doha is the capital (5) 13. Voice-controlled Amazon device (4)

Solution: Across: 1. MAJORCA, 4. ACT, 6. MOUNTIE, 7. MEN IN BLACK, 10. MOZAMBIQUE, 14. CHAUCER, 15. ORA, 16. SPARROW. Down: 1. MANAMA, 2. JAPAN, 3. ROMANIA, 4. AZTEC, 5. TREK, 8. LIBERIA, 9. YELLOW, 11. OSAKA, 12. QATAR, 13. ECHO. Where am I? - Dubrovnik


This captivating Croatian gem gives a terracotta twist to city life.

For more games and prizes please sign up for emails on the jet2holidays trade site and Partners2success on Facebook…


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Sponsor for both events




A goody bag complete with a bottle of rum & packet of authentic spices was the prize from the Seychelles Tourist Office. Paul Cahill from Hays Travel was the raffle winner and is pictured here with the tourists office’s Christine Vel.

AGENTS WERE in for the five-star treatment when Travel Bulletin made its way to Liverpool and Glasgow. Last week saw our ‘Luxury Showcase’ take place with a prestigious host of lavish properties and premium destinations meeting and training with agents along with the chance for all our guests to pick up some top-notch prizes!

Jutta Lueck (centre) from Bahia Principe delivers the latest product news to, from the left, Not Just Travel’s Tom Melia, Marie Melia and Paulina Twarog with Christopher Kelly from Independent Travel Experts.

Ilenia Cocco, trade manager for the Italian National Tourist Office was on hand to give agents top destination tips and presented Michael Atkinson from Thomas Cook with a goody bag of ‘Italia’ branded goodies and a bottle of red wine from Campania.

Grace James (right) from Hays Travel was the lucky winner of a Black Pearl from the Cook Islands, pictured here picking up her prize from the tourism board’s Kay Jackson. Jessica Matthew (right) from Myriad Travel was thrilled to win a weekend at the Caramel Grecotel Boutique in Crete, gifted by the group’s Penny Naoum.

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From the left, Nikki McGuire from Indulgent Escapes welcomes Maureen Mckenna from Not Just Travel, Murial Morgan from Travel Counsellors, Margaret Wilson of Not Just Travel and Travel Counsellors’ Pauline McCormick.

A prize of an afternoon tea for two at the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh was presented to Lynne Friery (right) from Not Just Travel, gifted by AMResorts’ Amy Drummond.

Standing from the left, the Love to Travel team Emma Gavin, Maria Simonini and Linda Simonini meet with Sandals Hotels & Resorts’ Gary Atwell.

From the left, Emma Rowan for Tourism Queensland provides some great destination insights to: Conor Campbell, Independent Travel Experts; Wendy Ross, Egencia; Claire Knight, Hidden Retreats; and Kirsty Donoghue, Independent Travel Experts.

Loukia Zafeiri from the Greek National Tourist Office was pleased to present a box of Greek delicacies to onthe-spot winner Michael Murphy from Not Just Travel.

Want to be a part of the #TBShowcases action? Our next event will be the Cruise Showcase taking place in Reading on July 15. To confirm your place or find out when we will be hosting our next event near you contact

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TRAIN NING The TravelGym is the location for travel age a nts to access the latest e -learning programmes and co ourse incentives! Open 24/7 at trav ve ve elgym

Suppliers - yyo ou too can beneďŹ t from all-time e high response levels! To disscuss how you can park yyo our e -learning on the TravelGym, or to create yo your very own course through Travel Bulletin, contact yyo our account manager today on 0207 834 6661.

Featuring Courses

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JUNE 28 2019 |


THURSDAY JUNE 13 saw a who's who of the Midlands Travel Trade attend the MTTC Summer ball at Hogarth's Hotel in Solihull. Sponsors were The Elite Travel Group, Emirates, JTA Holidays, Jet2 Holidays, Travel Bulletin and Travel Trade Recruitment. Andy Huntley took the pictures, here's a selection from the evening...


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Image Credit: via Samoa Tourism Authority

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Savour Samoa with seafood, sweet treats & sivas WHEN HOLIDAYMAKERS think of Samoa they may initially picture sandy beaches with turquoise waters, dotted with palm trees and fales, or perhaps diving into the To Sua Ocean Trench. What they might not consider is the abundance of delicacies and foodie experiences that can be savoured in the destination. Seafood lovers can tuck into freshly caught crayfish, snapper, octopus, tuna and no trip would be complete without trying some ‘oka’, a refreshing raw fish mixture marinated in coconut cream, lemon juice, chilli and onions. Traditionally, Samoan food is cooked on a fale where the umu (earth oven of hot stones) is laid three times a day to cook the meals. The food is wrapped in banana leaves to seal in the heat and the parcels are placed amongst the stones

to bake for two hours before the umu is lifted for the piping hot food to be served. Those with a sweet tooth can also sample ‘fa’ausi’, a Samoan dessert combining fa’apapa (sweet coconut bread) with a rich coconut caramel sauce coating or simply indulge in locally grown tropical fruit platters. The best way in which clients can sample authentic Samoan cuisine is to attend a Fiafia night. Held by most local hotels and resorts, a Fiafia provides an insight into Fa’a Samoa – the Samoan

way of life and 3,000 year old heritage. During these celebrations attendees can expect lavish buffets and local entertainment retracing Samoa’s story. Evenings commence with the women performing a Siva Dance followed by a Faataupati ‘clapping dance’ from the men and Siva Afi (a fire knife dance). The evening culminates with the Taualuga (final dance) when guests are invited to join in and learn a few traditional dance moves to take back home with them. Visit for more details.

Flyaway to Castaway OUTRIGGER’S CASTAWAY Island in Fiji has added a new ‘Flyaway to Castaway’ special which includes a helicopter transfer from Nadi Airport to Castaway Island for two, for those who like to start their holiday in style. Based on a minimum five-night stay, guests will receive a scenic fifteen-minute flight across the Mamanuca Islands region, a warm ‘Bula!’ welcome at the resort’s helipad and access to all the amenities found across the fourstar South Pacific island resort. Accommodation is in free-standing thatched bures featuring traditional high-vaulted tapa-lined ceilings and artistic Fijian touches, without the distractions of television, telephone or WiFi (which can be accessed in the public areas of the resort if desired). Valid until March 31, 2020 (excluding September 10-22, 2019) the one-way helicopter transfer is via Fijian domestic airline, Pacific Island Air and can be added for approximately £145 for adults and £87 for children aged 12 years and under. For further information email

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VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY The Moana Explorer programme is giving young adventurers the chance to dive deeper into the South Pacific PAUL GAUGUIN Cruises has announced that it is introducing the Moana Explorer programme, a new way for families to explore Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific together during its summer and holiday voyages. Launched in partnership with Te mana o te moana, a South Pacific marine education and conservation foundation, the programme invites children and teens aged seven to 15 to discover the natural wonders of the South Pacific through interactive learning both on board and ashore. Every day of the voyage will see a combination of naturalist-led island and beach excursions, science activities, crafts, games and other adventures. Itineraries will see young explorers learn about and observe underwater life, conduct water experiments, create natural jewellery, go on a treasure hunt, learn about Tahitian culture, discover island legends and geology, design a Polynesian tattoo and more. There is no fee for the programme and it is included as part of Paul Gauguin Cruises’ all-inclusive cruise fares, although agents are encouraged to reserve the programme for their clients at the time of booking or at any

point before their sailing date. Alternatively, clients can independently book on board, if space is available. The Moana Explorer programme is available on the following voyages in 2019: the seven-night ‘Tahiti & The Society Islands’ on July 20 and 21 and December 28; sevennight ‘Society Islands & Tahiti Iti’ on July 27; ten-night ‘Society Islands & Tuamotus’ on July 10 and August 14; and 11-night ‘Cook Islands & Society Islands:’ on August 3. For more information, go to

Pick Your Tahitian Paradise THE ISLANDS of Tahiti have launched a new international campaign called ‘Pick Your Paradise’ to entice travellers to learn more about and explore the many sides of the destination. The campaign has been designed to reveal the many options available to travellers beyond the traditional itinerary of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora and invites them in a series of videos to ‘Go deep’, ‘Go Far’ and ‘Go Together’ to reach these exotic, untouched places. In addition to highlighting the diversity of the islands, the campaign provides an opportunity to display the broad range of experiences that can be had in The Islands of Tahiti. Thirty-six activities are highlighted, from adventurous escapades such as parasailing or visiting the caves of Rurutu, to more culture-led experiences such as staying at a Tahitian Guesthouse or taking a workshop to learn how to make a traditional tapa cloth or hei. To find out more go to

Do the independence dance in the Cook Islands THE TE Maeva Nui Festival is a week-long cultural and dance festival that takes place annually in the Cook Islands. It celebrates the anniversary of the islands becoming an independent nation and with thousands of performers taking part is the largest and most prominent event of the country’s cultural calendar. This national celebration has grown over the years, drawing international visitors from across the globe to Rarotonga for a week of cultural festivities complete with arts, crafts, music and local food. It makes for a great opportunity for holidaymakers to experience the destination’s arts and culture, and to mingle with locals complete with colourful float parades, singing, dancing and drumming. This year’s event is primed to take place from July 26 to August 5 and highlights from last year’s events can be seen here: The Cook Islands are found halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii. From the UK, they can be easily accessed via Air New Zealand’s direct flight from Los Angeles. Alternatively, Rarotonga is just under four hours flight time from Auckland, New Zealand, and six hours from Sydney, Australia. For more destination details go to

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Colin Stewart, chairman of LATA, addresses ELA delegates.

TRAVEL AGENTS TO PLAY INTEGRAL PART IN LATA’S FORWARD STRATEGY MORE TRAVEL agent engagement and providing them with the tools they need to confidently sell Latin America are the main components of The Latin American Tourism Association’s (LATA) plans for 2019/20. “Travel agents have always been important to LATA. As an association we have built our membership to more than 350 tour operators, hotels, airlines, DMC's and tourist boards but identified early on that there is so much more we can do with travel agents,” said Colin Stewart, chairman of the association, at Experience Latin America (ELA) 2019. Speaking at the annual trade show earlier this month – now in its sixth rendition and touted to be Europe’s leading B2B travel event focused on the Latin American region – Stewart continued: “Part of our strategy is to raise the profile of Latin America and help drive consumers to go visit, so naturally travel agents

are going to play a big role in that. It was evident in some research we did that our exposure to agents was quite limited and so there's a real opportunity for us to make a big difference in a short space of time by simply engaging with them and to pass on our knowledge; they’re a very important part of LATA’s strategy moving forward.” The association will be launching an online training platform before the end of this year, designed to be the first port of call for all agents keen to embark on or expand their learning of Latin America. This will be followed with a series of dedicated Latin America roadshows into 2020, to be held in locations throughout the country. Stewart commented: “We're about to launch a strategy to engage with the travel agents of the UK and part of that is to dispel the myths about Latin America and to establish the hard facts and truths around how amazing the region is …

I think once agents are more familiar with the product and what Latin America has to offer, that will instantly feed into the consumer themselves. The more knowledgeable and comfortable you are with a subject, the more willing you are to talk about it and to sell it effectively.” With this year’s ELA featuring 145 exhibitors (up 10% on last year), next year’s event is already expected to see further growth, with agents invited to be a part of that. Stewart added: “There’s absolutely a place at ELA for travel agents. Following our online training and road shows we hope to be that much more connected with agents, so that as we look to 2020 we can make the event a real opportunity for them to come along and experience. It's an exciting time as this is the start of a new approach to how we engage with the industry and really position LATA as the expert in all things Latin America.”

ELA to become ‘LATA EXPO’ ON THE final day of this year’s Experience Latin America, LATA announced the renaming of the flagship B2B event to ‘LATA EXPO’. The announcement was made with much fanfare at the new London venue for the 2019 edition of the show, Chelsea FC Stadium: a strategic move in itself so as to accommodate the numbers interested in attending, expand the networking opportunities available and increase the overall standing of the event. The new branding will come into effect for the 2020 edition and reflects the event’s evolution into one of Europe’s leading travel trade shows. The rebrand was confirmed as part of LATA’s wider strategy and objective to align the brands and continue to grow the event: raising the awareness of the show on a global scale and continuing to attract hosted buyers from around the world; while promoting sustainable travel to Latin America.

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Official Media Partner

EXPERIENCE LATIN AMERICA 2019 THE TRADE was set abuzz this month talking all things Latin American travel - related. Set over three days at Chelsea FC Stadium in Fulham, Experience Latin America’s new venue brought with it some exciting new opportunities for attendees: from interactive workshops that delved deeper into the latest travel trends to one-to-one business sessions with more than 140 exhibitors, interspersed with an enhanced activities programme for networking and fun-filled evenings injected with a carnival atmosphere. Sustainability was an important focus throughout the event with more organisations signing up to LATA’s Sustainability Charter, promoting responsible travel across the region, and individuals and companies recognised for their exceptional contributions to travel to Latin America at the LATA Achievement Awards.

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For more from this year’s event, go to or for more information about travel to Latin America go to

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HERO’S JOURNEY Travel agents are given an insight to how clients choose their adventures

THIS YEAR’S ELA event saw travel agents take part in an educational seminar addressing the challenges and changes in today’s adventure travel market. Led by Dr Raj Josh – an expedition leader whose experience in adventure travel saw him spearhead Celebrity BBC’s Comic Relief climb of Kilimanjaro alongside Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Gary Barlow and Chris Moyles – the session centred on the many factors which influence why people decide to embark on an adventure. While Raj pointed to a focus on ‘danger’ and ‘physical exertion’ in previous years, he explained: “Nowadays, what people are looking for is being in a natural environment, learning and meaningful experiences.” He highlighted the concept of ‘transformation’ was the most popular reason why people adventure today; followed by

learning, mental health, thrill seeking, discovery and establishing a connection within different cultures and environments. Discussing these topics at length, travel agents and other trade attendees explored the idea of ‘the hero’s journey’ in tailoring the pace of each trip, as well as the importance of disconnecting with a ‘digital detox’ in order for customers to fully undergo a transformation. Addressing the issue of culture vultures in the adventure travel market, Julianna Torres Nieto, senior team specialist for ProColombia, emphasised the importance of inclusive tourism in order to provide opportunities for locals in the community. This includes keeping a focus on sustainability and being respectful when interacting with people from different cultures.

The Foundation for success 2018 PROVED a strong year for the LATA Foundation. Its efforts to raise money in support of environmental and social projects throughout Latin America saw a record sum of £76,683 donated, leading to a successful year in support of good causes. It’s an initiative that shows no sign of slowing down. Christopher Pickard, chairman of the LATA Foundation, said: “I'm pleased to say that 2019 is already on track to comfortably top that. Because we’re a small niche charity run entirely by volunteers we can ensure that even small amounts make a big difference and that every penny goes directly to projects.” Amongst its success stories are ‘Fundacion Calicanto’ in Panama City, which trains underprivileged women for jobs in the tourism industry; a children’s dental clinic in Buenos Aires

The keys to Quito THE QUITO Digital Tourism Platform picked up ‘Best Marketing Campaign’, as part of the LATA Achievement Awards held during ELA. Developed in action of Quito’s wider tourism strategy is an integrated digital platform pairing: a renewed website with detailed information on tourist attractions and essential routes of the city; along with a GOUIO mobile app that allows users to discover the city before and during their trip, both under the renewed city brand. Quito Tourism's strategy looks to extend the average tourist’s stay in the city and diversify the message of its product offering. # Though the city’s historical centre remains an important attraction for cultural tourism and local experiences, the tourist organisation is promoting the many adventurous experiences that can be found such as a visit to the Andean Chocó; the new Biosphere Reserve and home of the emblematic spectacled bear; the surrounding natural spaces in which to spot indigenous flora and fauna, especially bird watching; and as a gateway to wider Ecuador with its Andean, coastal, Amazon and Galapagos experiences. Go to to find out more.

where the money donated amounts to 35,000 treatments a year; funding conservation in the shape of the Azuero Earth Project; and a children’s dance school in Rio’s favelas. However Pickard highlighted that just encouraging travel to destinations across Latin American can have a positive impact, something that agents are well placed to do. He added: “Tourism is so important to the local economy and the local people. If we can send a message to travel agents it’s simply to encourage their clients to go out to visit the local communities and spend money in the local restaurant or bar. It can make such a difference.” If agents want to do more with the organisation, such as volunteering directly on its events or projects team or wish to suggest a good cause in the region they feel could do with more support, they can get in touch via To find out more go to

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#SPAININCOMMON The Spanish Tourist Office launches ‘You have Spain in Common’ campaign equally targeted at leavers and remainers DESPITE THE political uncertainty of Brexit, the desire from Brits to take holidays still holds strong. In light of this, the Spanish Tourist Office (Turespaña) has launched a new campaign entitled ‘You have Spain in Common’, encouraging Brits to put their differences aside and “Enjoy Spain in the same way”. The campaign includes a microsite and series of short videos adapted for social media that showcase what Brits have in common, with the aim to remind them that Spain is open for business despite any concerns they may have over Brexit. The first video, for example, features a group of friends enjoying a day at the beach: as the footage rolls, the text states “this is how remainers spend a day at the beach” shortly followed by a similar scene with the text “this is how leavers spend a day at the

beach”. The video ends with the hashtag #spainincommon and five will run across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, targeting families and groups across the UK. In 2018, Spain welcomed 18.5 million visitors from the UK but is working now to reassure customers that Spain continues to offer high quality sustainable travel options to British travellers. Isabel Oliver, the president of the Turespaña, said: “The aim of this campaign is to reassure customers that Spain is open for business and to help

customers with any misinformation around how to travel to Spain in the run up to Brexit.” Agents can check out the microsite which features all the campaign videos as well as FAQ’s for travel to Spain in the run up to Brexit. In line with advice issued by ABTA, the Brexit extension to October 31 has provided certainty that all current arrangements for travel will remain as they are. Go to for more details.

Hard Rock brings the beat to Barcelona GROWING ITS European hotel portfolio, Hard Rock International has announced plans for the development of Hard Rock Hotel Barcelona. At an estimated cost of 200 million euros, the new hotel will be built on the last available seaside plot in metropolitan Barcelona with construction planned to begin in late 2019, to open in early 2022. The property will feature 504 rooms each with private balconies overlooking the sea, a rooftop terrace and bar with swimming pool, two speciality restaurants, a lobby bar and music bar, and signature amenities such as a Body Rock Fitness Centre, Rock Spa, and the Sound of Your Stay inroom music programme. Todd Hricko, the company’s senior vice president and head of global hotel development, said: “Hard Rock Hotel Barcelona will bring the brand’s dynamic and vibrant hospitality to Barcelona’s Mediterranean Coast, injecting energy and world-class entertainment into the city’s hotel scene.” For more information visit

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GAME ON Catalonia gets creative in new cultural campaign

THE CATALAN Tourist Board is targeting UK holidaymakers with a new campaign designed to drive awareness of its cultural product offering, as part of its ‘Year of Cultural Tourism 2019’. The multi-channel creative will shine a spotlight on the tourism board’s short film ‘Route of Fate’ and the ‘Legends of Catalonia’, a video game developed in partnership with Sony to promote the region’s culture and history. The game, which utilises Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, is the first instance of a tourism organisation using these technologies for destination promotion and sees players take on a series of fantastical challenges as they traverse to iconic sites across the region. The game can be downloaded for free from the PlayStation store, Google Play and the App Store. The campaign was launched earlier this month at a special event held at London’s Guildhall for the travel trade, industry partners and media. It saw immersive virtual reality experiences used to bring to

life a series of six new cultural routes specially created by the Catalan Tourist Board. The routes range from following the Mediterranean Coast to the path of the Pyrenees, discovering the inland heritage to visits to vineyards and monasteries, small historical villages and Barcelona’s famous city product. Aicard Guinovart, the Catalan Tourist Board’s director for United Kingdom and Ireland, said: “The United Kingdom is the second largest source market for tourism in Catalonia attracting over two million tourists in 2018 and generating £1.6 million in expenditure – a 12.8% increase on 2017. So, it is important for us to connect with the UK travel trade and industry to show them what our region has to offer this year. We know that Catalonia’s rich cultural offering is a key area of interest to visitors so hope that through this campaign, and by working closely with our UK partners, we will grow this even further this year.” For more destination details go to

Saga exclusive gives guests the personal touch THE HOTEL Juan de la Cosa in Santona, on Spain’s Cantabrian Coast, will be exclusively available to Saga guests from April to October 2020. The 55-bedroom property provides a new take on the all-inclusive holiday with meals produced by the Santillana-Astuy family who pride themselves on producing home-cooked dishes with authentic regional flavours. Guests can expect a warm welcome with personal service from owners Felipe and Margot and their team. Saga’s Richard Newsome, head of product and purchasing for stays, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer this wonderful hotel to our customers. At Saga, we strive to provide our customers with great quality, excellent value for money holidays that are truly different from the commoditised holiday packages available elsewhere and Juan de la Cosa fits the bill perfectly.” A seven-night stay starts from £729 per person from Gatwick. Bristol and Manchester flights are available, and prices start at £849 for guests travelling from Portsmouth on Brittany Ferries’ Pont Aven to Santander. For details call 0800-092 0803 or visit

Let’s chat about Tenerife FOLLOWING MORE than four million visits to its website in 2018, the Tenerife Tourism Corporation has launched a chatbot to provide personalised advice to its online visitors. The virtual assistant, Goio, is available in Spanish and English and can be accessed through the website, Facebook and Telegram Messenger, and Skype. The handy service can be utilised by agents to find out more about the largest of the Canary Islands and to pass on handy advice to their clients, from where to find some of the best beaches to checking out the villages and historic centres, or quickly signposting to operators who can help facilitate a whale watching tour, stargazing on Spain’s tallest peak, or even a caving adventure inside Europe’s largest lava tubes. Agents can check out the tool at

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THROUGHOUT THE course of 2019, each of the Balearic Islands will see the implementation and development of several important sustainable tourism projects. Each of the initiatives will be funded by the tourism tax introduced back in 2016, to ensure the continued enjoyment and protection of the islands. Ibiza The island will commence with the San Antonio Bay coastal management project which includes the installation of a pedestrian walkway, improvement of the area’s sewage system and the reconstruction/expansion of existing piers. The project will continue through to 2022 and stretch from the beaches of Cala Gració to Port d’es Torrent. Mallorca Improving current signposting of cycle routes across the island is an area of focus in a bid to promote off-season tourism. The new signposts will create a safer transportation model for cyclists and encourage sustainable mobility. Moreover, an initiative to improve the water infrastructure system and drinking supply at Cabrera National Park, an island located 10km off the south east coast of Mallorca, will be launched.

Menorca The Camí de Cavalls trail, a historical footpath across the coast, will be restored. The project aims to recover parts of the trail which have become worn over time as a result of coastal urban development and help develop public road infrastructure on the island. Formentera The sustainable tourism tax was recently used to purchase the Sa Senieta estate; the only property on the island to be declared a cultural heritage asset under the Balearic Islands Historical Heritage Law. The local council have restored the 18th century house in the historical centre of Sant Francesc Xavier, re-opening it to the public, with three museums on site. Multi-island project Promoting the use of electric cars across each of the Balearic Islands will take place with the aim to reduce carbon emissions and other polluting gases. Necessary infrastructure, such as fast charging points, for the use of electric vehicles on the public road network and public transport services will be implemented. For more details visit

A TOTEM-ally great way to see Gran Canaria GRAN CANARIA has a lot to offer British holidaymakers and this July and August will bring with it yet another reason to explore the ‘Continent in miniature’, thanks to Cirque du Soleil. The world-famous troupe will be bringing its critically acclaimed ‘TOTEM’ to Meloneras, wowing audiences with daring acrobatic feats and immersive dance routines as it tells the story of man’s evolution and his infinite potential. It makes for a timely summer attraction available to those seeking to soak up some of that year-round Canarian sun on a beach break on the south of the island. There are some new luxury resorts to be found on Meloneras’ long oceanfront promenade, as too in Amadores and Mogán and some new concept hotels in Playa del Inglés, such as the five-star Bohemia Suites & Spa. For those wanting a more authentic experience on this volcanic isle, suggest heading north (after a stop at the famous Maspalomas dunes) where they can enjoy scenic walks and plenty of stargazing opportunities. Pair this with a few days in the capital Las Palmas to explore its charming old quarter and new Aquarium ‘Poema del Mar’ (Poem to the Sea) by the Loro Park Group. Go to

Oh BLESS, it’s a new hotel for Ibiza BLESS HOTEL Ibiza, the new hotel from the BLESS Collection Hotels brand of the Palladium Hotel Group, has officially opened its doors. An opening party kicked off the summer season in style, with Spanish model and brand ambassador Eugenia Silva, Spanish chef Martín Berasategui, and senior members of the Palladium Hotel Group welcoming more than 700 attendees to experience the property. Located in Cala Nova, the second hotel from the brand – following the recent opening of BLESS Hotel Madrid – is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and features 151 rooms with sea views, a range of restaurants, vermouth bar, two infinity pools, and state-of-the-art spa. For more information go to

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HEIGHT OF SUMMER Jet2 announces its biggest-ever summer programme for 2020 including two new destinations and 19 new routes WITH UK airlines continuing to operate flights between the UK and the EU, and Jet2holidays has unveiled its full Summer 20 programme. It includes the introduction of two new destinations – Zadar in Croatia and Preveza in Greece – and 19 new routes on sale from across nine UK bases. Steve Heapy, CEO of the holiday brand, said: “The UK Government has confirmed that flights to our EU holiday destinations will continue just as last year, providing assurance that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, holidaymakers can continue to book holidays with confidence. On the back of that we are delighted to be announcing even more good news, with the launch of our biggest ever summer programme for 2020, giving

holidaymakers and independent travel agents even more choice and flexibility than ever before. “With 19 brand new routes, two brand new destinations in Preveza and Zadar, and almost 13 million seats on sale in total, this is a programme that we are very proud of. As the UK’s third-largest airline and second largest tour operator, we look forward to taking more Britons away on their well-deserved holidays with our awardwinning airline and package holiday business, and we are confident that the unique benefits that we deliver, such as ATOL protection, a low £60 per person deposit and our famously friendly VIP service, stands us in great stead for a successful Summer 20.” From May through to early November, the

company will operate flights and holidays to Preveza from three of its UK bases – Birmingham, London Stansted and Manchester – with four weekly flights and more than 35,000 seats on sale. Zadar in Croatia, which is now on sale from London Stansted and Manchester Airports, will see twiceweekly flights on sale from both bases over the same duration, representing more than 30,000 seats in total. With more flights and holidays to popular sun and city destinations in Europe, the programme gives holidaymakers more choice and flexibility from the brand than ever before. To support this summer programme, the company will operate more than 100 aircraft – including its fleet of 34 new Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, the last of which was delivered in January.

Eurostar introduces extra service to Amsterdam EUROSTAR HAS launched a third direct daily service from London to Amsterdam. Since the services’ launch in April of last year, more than 300,000 passengers have travelled on Eurostar’s route from London to Rotterdam and Amsterdam; testament to the demand for short breaks in the Netherlands and the ease that the high-speed rail link between these cities provides. Fares start from £35 one-way, with journey times from London clocking 3 hours and 13 minutes to Rotterdam and 3 hour and 52 minutes to Amsterdam. With a journey from London to Amsterdam emitting 80% less carbon per passenger than the equivalent flight, Mike Cooper, the company’s chief executive, reinforced the environmental benefits of using the high-speed rail link, saying: “With environmentally responsible travel rising up the consumer agenda, we’re boosting capacity and offering more flexibility with a third daily service.” For more information visit

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WARNER LEISURE Hotels has introduced the ideal break for those who fancy pairing fun in the sun with a sparkling G&T. Exclusive to Sinah Warren in Hampshire, four Festival of Gin events will take place on selected weekend breaks this summer. Guests have a choice of dates on which they can join the festival: July 19 from £305 per person; August 16 from £289; and September 6 from £255. Each event offers guests a choice of 30 gins stocked at Warner’s outside festival bars, from old favourites alongside unique local artisan and craft gins. All guests attending

one of these breaks will receive a tasting guide packed with ‘ginformation’, as well as a voucher to use on any personalised gin and mixer. All Festival of Gin events come mixed with a mellow jazz backdrop and take place on Sinah Warren’s lawns on the Saturday afternoon between 12:30 and 16:30. The prices quoted are based on two adults sharing Standard accommodation inclusive of the Simply Dine package (English and continental buffet breakfasts and three course evening meals). Visit or call 0330-1009 776 for more details.

Best of both worlds with Funway FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has reported a trend from clients seeking a short break that effectively combines a city and the beach. Malcolm Davies, the operator’s product destination manager, said: “Clients are looking for the best of both worlds – short city breaks including all the most interesting sights their chosen city has to offer but they also want to squeeze in some much-needed sunshine with a trip to the beach. We are promoting short city breaks with a beach nearby, allowing for all that sightseeing clients could want plus a day or two by the sea to enjoy some downtime.” As part of Funway Holidays’ latest #bestofbothworlds campaign, the company is offering four nights in Miami staying at the Four Points by Sheraton Miami Beach. Prices start from £645 per person including return direct flights from Heathrow with American Airlines, based on two adults sharing and departing on September 26. Davies added: “The lure of Miami is that it combines being a cosmopolitan city with a beachy lifestyle and great natural beauty. It’s a fab beachside city and perfect short-break destination as it’s only eight hours away.” Go to

Explore sees fourfold increase on Chernobyl short break EXPLORE HAS seen a fourfold rise in passenger numbers on its five-day ‘Discover Chernobyl’ short break, since the hit series Chernobyl was broadcast last month. The adventure travel brand began offering trips to the destination in 2016 as a specialist short break and following its popularity officially launched its ‘Discover Chernobyl’ itinerary in 2017. Since then the tour has proved to be Explore’s fastest selling trip and the operator has increased the number of departures for 2018 by 50% and then again by a further 23% for 2019. Joe Ponte, the operator’s managing director, said: “The programme has become the highestrated TV series of all time and has inspired many people to discover more about the historical disaster and to want to visit the Exclusion Zone. The safest way to do so is with an expert guide on one of our small-group tours.” The short break features two days exploring inside the Exclusion Zone including the town of Pripyat, the Red Forest, Chernobyl Docks and the ‘New Safe Confinement’ structure shell around Reactor 4. On the trip there is also the opportunity to meet a self-settler – one of the few people who chose to return to their home after the accident and has been living within the outer Exclusion Zone ever since. Departures are available all year round. For more details, call 01252 884 709 or visit

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A Fabula-ous reason to visit Efteling EFTELING IN the south of Holland has announced that its 4D theatre attraction PandaDroom will re-open with a new restaurant, a new 3D film and a new name: Fabula. Fabula will comprise a new 3D film in a 4D theatre, featuring effects such as water, smell and wind. The new film has been created in collaboration with the award-winning Aardman studio – the producers of much-loved British shows Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep. Fons Jurgens, CEO of the fairytale themed theme park, said: “We, at Efteling, are delighted to be working with one of the best animation studios in the world. Working with Aardman on the production of Fabula has allowed us to combine the

latest in film and animation technology with a humorous and dynamic film that also teaches important moral lessons.” Heather Wright, executive director of partner content at Aardman, added: “This is Aardman’s first major piece of original content for the theme park environment, bringing our unique skills of storytelling with brand new characters to a fresh

audience. We have relished the challenge of combining humour, emotion and drama with 4D effects in this exciting experience. The impassioned collaboration of the creative and technical teams from Aardman and Efteling has been critical in delivering a project we are all proud of. We hope fans of Aardman and Efteling alike will love Fabula as much as we do.”

Super Break goes ‘BIG’ THIS AUTUMN, ‘Big The Musical’ will make its West End debut at the Dominion Theatre and short break packages are now on sale through Super Break. With a limited run of just nine weeks, this fun-filled family show, adapted from the hit 1988 film which starred Tom Hanks, is expected to be in huge demand so the operator is recommending early booking as essential. Packages start from £92.50 per person including one night’s three-star accommodation with breakfast and a ticket to the show. For more details, go to agents


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JUNE 28 2019 |

To the top: Street Circus arrives at Butlin’s LIVE ACTION show ‘SBX presents Street Circus’ will be coming to all three of Butlin’s resorts during the school holidays, promising families adrenaline-fuelled performances throughout the summer and October half-term breaks. Included within the price of a family stay, these 30-minute shows consist of world class urban sport stars – including UK and European champions and world record holders – using their skills to amp up the wow factor in activities such as basketball, football, BMX, skateboarding, beat boxing, X-Pogo, scooter riding, free running,

street dance and break-dance. Continuing its efforts to provide fun short break holidays with family time in mind, Butlin’s recently invested £40m into a pool facility at its Bognor Regis Resort, complete with stick-of-rock slides, rapids, a wave machine and areas dedicated purely to toddlers. Families can also spend time on Butlin’s Traditional Fairground, take part in sports and activities from archery and go karts to high ropes and mini Segways, or learn fun facts about creatures great and small with the Animal Antics show. Visit

RIVIERA TRAVEL hosted its largest ever fam, taking 24 travel agents to experience its ‘Portugal’s Douro Valley to Lisbon for Solo Travellers’ tour. Agents enjoyed a tour of Lisbon and Porto along with a relaxing journey along the Douro, during which they had the chance to sample local wine vintages and experience a Fado show. They visited the five-star Douro Elegance, one of the operator’s two river ships in Portugal. The fam comes at a time when the company’s range of solo departures continues to increase in popularity with the trade noted as being a key factor in that. Will Sarson, the operator’s head of specialist products, said: “Interest in our Solo Travellers programme has been going from strength to strength and we have been working hard to increase our offering yet further. For 2020 we will have our biggest ever choice of tours and cruises, exclusively for solo travellers, and we were delighted to be able to invite along a number of our agent partners to experience one of these holidays firsthand.” Go to for more details.

It’s time for a Latin America adventure – where do you want to go? Jeanette Ratcliffe Publisher Brazil please!

Simon Eddolls Sales Director Havana, Patagonia then Los Cabos

Hannah Carter Events Coordinator A road trip all over!

Georgia Lewis Managing Editor - News Argentina. The rugby players...

Matt Gill Senior Account Manager Costa Rica

Ashweenee Beerjeraz Events Assistant Costa Rica

Adam Potter Features Editor Exploring Ecuador

Tim Podger Account Manager - Far East Belize, great diving and golf!

Emmet McGonagle Staff Writer - News Mexico, sippin' margaritas

Bill Coad Account Manager Peru

Vidwan Reddy Online Editorial Assistant Venezuela

Sarah Terry Account Manager Tango in Argentina & then Quito


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Profile for Alain Charles Publishing

Travel Bulletin 28th June 2019  

Travel Bulletin 28th June 2019