Selling Travel June 2019

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Abu Dhabi • E-learning • Hong Kong • Indian Ocean for wellness • Indochina • Malaysia • New Zealand • River cruising • U.S. space attractions

HOME GROWN Demand for UK holidays is up, but many travellers don't know agents can offer staycations too

how to sell...

Be inspired


Abu Dhabi Indochina New Zealand Indian Ocean for wellness and more...

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Fly to Latin America with Air Europa Discover the wonders of Latin America and experience some of the most diverse landscapes and vibrant cities in the world. Choose from a range of over 20 destinations from London Gatwick via Madrid

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this issue

WE TRAVEL FURTHER TO BRING YOU MORE FEATURES 08 Indochina: A tantalising trio for multi-centres

22 E-Learning: The very latest online training


30 Indian Ocean: A focus on wellness breaks

40 Abu Dhabi: Cash in on

QUICK READS 28 My journey: Malaysia 43 6 of the best: Quirky wedding ideas 50 Introducing: Davao City, Philippines 71 48 hours in: Hong Kong

28 30

THE REVIEW 53 News, show reports and

8 50






TALKING SHOP 13 Competitions, agent opinions, fams and DNSW Roadshow report



culture with the opening of the Louvre 44 UK Holidays: Why the staycation is still strong 66 New Zealand: How to sell to the niche markets 75 US Space attractions: Why 2019 is the year to go to infinity and beyond





an Experience Latin America event preview

RIVER CRUISING 81 River cruise trends 90 New beginnings: What's new on the water

94 Five: River cruise suites 98 At a glance: Essential guide to river cruise





Please note that Selling Travel, owned and published by BMI Publishing Ltd., is not connected in any way to Selling Travel e-magazine published by SMP Training Co. and based in British Columbia, Canada. The latter online publication focuses exclusively on sales skills and all aspects of professional selling within the travel and tourism sectors. To benefit from this travel industry sales training resource visit

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Proudly published by BMI Publishing Ltd © 2019 Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK T 020 8649 7233 F 020 8649 7234 CEO: Martin Steady Managing Director: Matt Bonner

EDITORIAL Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge Deputy Editor: Laura Gelder Staff Journalists: Jessica Pook and Sasha Wood Group Editor: Andy Hoskins Contributing Editor: Julie Baxter

SALES Publishers: Steve Thompson & Sally Parker Advertising Manager: Lisa Merrigan

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Senior Designer: Louisa Horton Designers: Ross Clifford, Zoë Tarrant and Caitlan Francis Production Manager: Clare Hunter Production Controller: Steve Hunter We are members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Visit USA Association, LATA, PATA, MENATA, SATOA, the Foreign Airlines Association and the Institute of Travel & Tourism. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. ISSN: 2056-9319. Cover image: County Antrim, Northern Ireland,

This publication is printed on Revivew 100 Media and Revive recycled coated, recycled paper grades that are FSC® Recycled certified and Carbon Balanced.

welcome I

t struck me, as I was dancing with a cowboy at midnight in Cody, Wyoming last month, that simply hanging out with the locals is the best way to really experience a different culture. I was in the state with seven travel agents for a week-long tour which you can read about later this summer in a supplement which will document our journey. And what a tour it was! We experienced truly awe-inspiring scenery at every turn, but top of my list are the snow-topped peaks of the Tetons and the little-known Flaming Gorge Scenic Byway, with its red rock canyon and vast sea of rolling sage brush. Wildlife spots, in Yellowstone and beyond, included soaring ospreys and eagles, lumbering grizzly bears, big horn sheep, hairy bison and Laura Gelder one lonely otter. DEPUTY EDITOR We ate an awful lot of meat and tasted many varieties of craft beer; we immersed ourselves in the history of the Old West, in all its gun-slinging, whiskey guzzling glory. But standing at the bar and talking to Jerome, a real cowboy, in town to buy a horse, is what I'll remember most of all. It seems this kind of experience is what travellers are looking for and agents who can point them in the right direction – to the truly local bar or the hiking trail which avoids the crowds – may well find themselves getting more business. Our 48 Hours in Hong Kong feature (page 71) covers some of its lesserknown neighbourhoods – proving that even well trodden places evolve and there is always more to learn. I attended the Destination New South Wales UK Roadshow last month and found many of the Aussie suppliers talking about how their tours or hotels offer local insights - you can read about that on page 14. This month we have a special section dedicated to river cruising, one of the fastest-growing sectors in travel and one which has always sold itself as a way to access local culture. Turn to page 81 to discover exotic new ports of call, revolutionary new ships committed to balancing luxury with environmental concerns and much more. Enjoy this issue and the start of the British summer – according to my colleague Jessica, writing about UK holidays on page 44, we're in for a long and hot one again. I do hope she's right!

WITH THIS ISSUE Florida Official Travel Guide: This year's edition focuses on the experiences rather than just the destination, whether that's wildlife encounters, fine dining or designer shopping. Get some bright ideas for two-centre holidays, romantic spots or festivals. Learn how to sell Florida for LGBTQ clients, culture vultures or families looking for fun.

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The countdown is on…

It’s only a month until Spirit of Discovery sets sail on her maiden voyage • No more than 999 guests • All cabins have a private balcony • Included chauffeur service up to 250 miles • Speciality dining at no extra charge

Book online at, call FREE on 0800 074 8021 or contact Agency Sales FREE on 0800 068 8732 Visit our new online training platform at Find us on social media Saga Trade Team Saga holidays are for anyone aged 50+. A travel companion may be 40+. NTA-AP6050

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the big picture


Costa Rica

Victory for tree huggers Costa Rica could be the ďŹ rst country to achieve zero emissions by 2050. Its new National Decarbonisation Plan aims to establish an integrated waste management system, zero emission public transport and a focus on nature-based solutions to ensure that Costa Rica, which houses 5% of the world’s biodiversity, will protect its wildlife and forests for years to come.

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Vietnam 8




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three of a

Kind Culturally rich, scenically beautiful and numbering idyllic beaches and a raft of new luxury hotels among other attractions, the countries of Indochina deserve an extended look, says Kathryn Liston


t’s virtually pitch-black as we leap off waters and beachside barbecues where we the wooden fishing boat and plunge dine on sea bass and barracuda with the into the warm sea - but that’s how sand between our toes. Bliss. we want it, the darker the better. I move my arms and legs rapidly through Moving on up the water. No, I’m not drowning, just New luxury island resorts are contributing witnessing the amazing light show that to Cambodia’s growing success as a erupts before my snorkel-masked eyes. standalone destination. Darting shards of gold and electric blue light Lucy Howard, Marketing Executive at dance all over my limbs - it’s like a starry sky Exsus Travel, says that exciting new hotels all around me. Only visible in the dark, the such as Alila Villas Koh Russey, Six Senses bioluminescent plankton glow when the Krabey Island and Shinto Mani Wild, have water is disturbed.The more rapidly I thrash, moved Cambodia from being a “book-end the brighter the light display. tour location” to a “sole destination in its The experience is so mesmerising that own right,” while existing hotels have also we have to be called had to up their game. from the boat to Chris Greener, “Visit quaint fishing return to shore. The Senior Southeast Asia village Hoi An, join a engine thrums as we Product Executive market tour and cooking at InsideAsia Tours, are whisked back to class and sample its the soft powder-white agrees: “Cambodia is sands of Saracen Bay, now seen much more signature cao lau the main resort of noodles and white-rose as a full destination, Samloem, a Robinsonrather than just the dumplings” Crusoe-like island in the historical Siem Reap Richard Keeling, Pettitts Travel Koh Rong archipelago, add-on to Vietnam an hour’s flight from or Thailand. With the Siem Reap. wealth of idyllic Cambodian island beach Samloem is the perfect place to kick back options, the increase in exposure and bare-foot on pretty-much deserted beaches. high-end properties in Phnom Penh and the Sister island, Koh Rong, the filming location improved road network, Cambodia is an for TV show Survivor, is far busier with incredible country to spend two weeks in.” backpackers and party bars. Mekong river cruises are also selling There are no roads on Samloem, just strongly, particularly between Saigon white-powder sands, turquoise bath-warm (Vietnam) and Siem Reap (Cambodia).

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Cruises in the Mekong Delta and northern Mekong in Laos also feature. John Warr, Global Head of Sales at Wendy Wu Tours, says cruises on its new ship Mekong Victoria are “in high demand” for 2020. “Shorter itineraries give clients a more immersive experience and with our current free upper deck cabin upgrade offer, we’re certain sales will continue to grow,” he says. Filippos Venetopoulous, General Manager for Intrepid’s Adventure Cruise, says the operator expanded its adventure cruises to Southeast Asia at the end of last year. “We are the only small ship operator in this region and as clients start looking for more

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authentic and sustainable ways to travel, our ships offer a greener alternative to a traditional cruise,” he says.

Cambodia The magnificent Angkor temples, relics of the once-great Khmer Empire, in bustling Siem Reap are a big draw along with Phnom Penh, where the Killing Fields are a sober reminder of the brutal Khmer Rouge era. The Koh Rong archipelago’s beautiful islands off the coast of rapidly developing Sihanoukville offer a relaxing laid-back vibe. New Private island resort Alila Villas Koh Russey ( offers experiences like a




pepper and wildlife tour and Khmer cooking class ($95 each), and new Six Senses Krabey Island ( features 40 villas with private plunge pools, an organic market farm and herb garden, and an observatory with an astronomical telescope and stargazing sessions led by an expert. New to the Cardamom Mountains is the Bensley Collection’s luxury tented Shinto Mani Wild (, which offers patrols with Wildlife Alliance rangers, a 380-metre zip-line to access the camp, trekking, foraging with the chef, and waterfall-side spa treatments. Bamboo Travel ( has

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introduced electric bikes so clients can explore the Temples of Angkor with ease. E-bike tours can be added to existing itineraries such as the 11-day Highlights of Cambodia which visits Phnom Penh, Battambang, Udong and Sambor Pre-Kuk. Avani Hotels ( has opened the 60-room French colonial-style FCC Angkor by Avani - its first property in Siem Reap.

“I recommend Nam Et Phou Louey, north-east Laos, for challenging trekking, the Pu Luong nature reserve, Vietnam, for walking and stunning vistas and Koh Rong for an island escape” Chris Greener, InsideAsia Tours

Laos Culturally rich and incredibly beautiful, Laos offers a more relaxed experience than its neighbours. The former royal capital of Luang Prabang and its present capital, Vientiane, boast gilded temples and charming French colonial architecture - plus great French bread and coffee too. Scenic gems include Vang Vieng on the Nam Song River and southern Laos with its impressive waterfalls and temple Wat Phu, which pre-dates Angkor Wat. The remote north features colourful hill-tribes, dense jungle and mountainous scenery. Avani Hotels & Resorts ( has opened its first property in Laos, the 53-room Avani+ Luang Prabang close to the Royal Palace and night market. It offers

visits to waterfalls, cooking classes and daily and overnight Mekong River cruises onboard the two-cabin Gypsy.

Vietnam Attractions run fom Sapa’s lush valleys and Halong Bay’s mesmerising limestone islands in the north to the fertile Mekong Delta in the south, plus: charming Hue with its Nguyen dynasty tombs, elegant Hoi An with its UNESCO-rated Old Town, and the historic Cu Chi tunnels, a relic of the Vietnam war. Intrepid ( has added a 15-day Vietnam cruise to its Adventure Cruising collection which includes a visit to the caves in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. Avani Hotels ( will open three






new properties in the country by 2022 in Vung Tau, Saigon and Cam Ranh, the latter featuring 315 private pool villas The new Anantara Quy Nhon Villas (anantara. com) on the south central coast offers 26 luxury villas with private pools and in-room butler services. Fusion Resorts ( has opened the Hideaway at Fusion Resort Cam Ranh, now manages the Alba Wellness Valley in Hue and will open The Darwin - A Fusion Original hotel in Saigon and Fusion Resort Quang Binh, in 2020; The luxury Melia Ho Tram Beach Resort opened in April. Grasshopper Adventures (grasshopperadventures. com) has a nine-day Mekong Bike and Boat adventure onboard RV Toum Tiou, starting in Ho Chi MInh City and finishing in Siem Reap.

Where to book it WENDY WU – 0808 239 2197 A 23-day tour of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia is priced from £4,490pp and includes a cruise on Victoria Mekong, flights, tours, four-star accommodation and all meals. Departures start in February 2020. 

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spotlight on


RitzCarlton In conversation with Cristiano Moulin, Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at The Ritz-Carlton, Ras Al Khaimah


Tell us about your two Ritz-Carlton resorts in Ras Al Khaimah. They are both ideal holiday destinations. Whether clients are looking for a beach break or secluded desert dune retreat, the properties have every traveller covered. One is set among desert dunes and the other is on the Gulf’s blue shores, just 45 minutes from Dubai. On a 500-hectare nature reserve, with private infinity-pool villas, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert is home to indigenous wildlife and offers wellbeing, adventure, curated dining and unique experiences for the entire family, A short drive away, set on its own island and overlooking the Arabian Gulf, The RitzCarlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach, has just 32 luxurious private pool villas, each with an infinity pool. Guests arrive via a complimentary boat ride and a stay includes breakfast, private beach access and transfers to Al Wadi. Plus, kids stay free.


Is the UK market a strong one for you? The UK is the largest international source market for both Al Wadi Desert and Al Hamra Beach.

Visitor numbers from the UK are growing significantly year-on-year.


What do you put the growing interest down to? More people are looking for those ‘money can’t buy experiences’ and are willing to spend more to have them. Guests are choosing us for the unique experiences both resorts offer. Aside from the luxurious surroundings, other draw cards include adventure options, authentic Arabian culture and history, and easy access to and from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Tell us more about these ‘experiences’. The Ritz-Carlton offers a diverse range of desert and beach experiences. Among the options are: stargazing, heading into the desert on a fat bike, riding a horse surrounded by dunes or cooling down doing some watersports off a pristine private beach. Or they can enjoy a tranquil wellness sanctuary at the newly-opened Rainforest, a healing water oasis with 16 different stations combining European hydrothermal culture with Middle Eastern bathing rituals. Signature spa treatments are also available at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.


What makes Ras Al Khaimah stand out as different from the other United Arab Emirates? The northern-most emirate of the UAE, it offers desert, beach and mountains in a single destination. You can enjoy the adventurous, historical and peaceful vibes of an emirate that is within easy reach of the shopping hubs in Dubai.


What else might help agents ‘switch sell’ to Ras Al Khaimah. from other destinations? It offers its visitors a truly authentic Arabian experience – from golden beaches to lush mangroves to terracotta deserts and the Hajar Mountains. Along with natural attractions and activities, a number of ancient archaeological sites offer an insight into its history and rich culture. It is home to artisanal textiles, delicious traditional cuisine and the tallest mountain in UAE, the Jebel Jais. Then there’s the longest zip line in the world, those horse rides on the sands, sailing on the waters of the Arabian Gulf, golf and hiking in the mountains.


How do you assist and work with travel agents? We work closely with the travel trade across the globe. We offer exclusive offers via our tour operator partners and direct packages. Agents booking via GDS get commission. Growing business via the travel trade is a focus as we build our reputation as one of the world’s leading experiential destinations. 

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Talking Shop INSPIRED BY YOU T h e i n s i d e t ra c k o n t ra v e l

Sarongs for sign-ups

TOURISM Thailand is getting agents in the mood for summer bookings by giving away 500 sarongs. To win this beach staple, agents must register for the Thailand Expert training programme in June and July. By signing up, agents will have access to webinars, training, industry offers and monthly competitions to win a £50 Love2shop voucher or a Thai meal worth £25.

om Read the lateswt fr South Sydney and Ner eve Wales in ou 16nt report, on p

Pride inspires Funway TO celebrate Pride month, Funway Holidays has given their monthly deals brochure ‘DEPARTURES’ a mini makeover, with a Pride theme. The ‘Holidays with Pride’ section highlights resorts in California, New Orleans, Canada and Curacao, as well as details of Pride events in those destinations.

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Earn vouchers with Shearings

July 9 & 10

SELLING TRAVEL DIALOGUE: RIVER CRUISE Join us and six river cruise specialists in Manchester (July 9) or London (July 10) to find out more about the latest in river adventures and to sell them. Food and drink included and great prizes up for grabs. Sign up here:

SHEARINGS HOLIDAYS is giving agents the opportunity to earn a £25 Love2Shop voucher for every 2020 river cruise booking made before June 30, 2019. Agents can also save up to £100 per couple if they book before June 14.





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Liverpool & London

The event WHAT: Destination New South Wales Roadshow, UK WHERE: Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building and Stephen Street Kitchen, London WHEN: May 2019 WHO Destination NSW, Qantas and 11 top suppliers WHY: To educate agents on Sydney and beyond

An Aussie delegation ranging from hoteliers to activity companies and attractions met with agents to talk about their business over an array of Australian wine, specially-selected by Master of Wine Laura Jewell, craft beer from Byron Bay and a delicious spread of NSWthemed food like calamari, pies and chocolate lamingtons. Two agents even went home with a holiday to NSW!

Meet the suppliers… Let’s Go Surfing This family-owned surfing school has been at Bondi Beach for 25 years but is also in Byron Bay. It’s Eco Tourism Australia-certified and offers daily small group lessons to all.

The take-away

New South Wales is a region which encompasses all the factors that travellers want from a holiday to Australia, in one state. Persuade your clients to stay a little longer and they can find not only world class dining, shopping and urban attractions in cosmopolitan Sydney, but miles of beautiful coastline with stunning beaches; fascinating nature and wildlife in areas like the Blue Mountains; red sand outback landscapes in Mungo National Park; award-winning vineyards in the Hunter Valley, and much more.

Tourism Solutions This DMC offers a range of tours including half- and full-day Blue Mountains visits; a Panoramic City Tour of Sydney and a Hunter Valley chocolate and wine pairing day. Sydney Opera House Iconic, UNESCO-listed Sydney Opera House is as stunning inside as it is out but visitors can’t go in unless they purchase a tour or performance ticket. Tours last one hour and uncover the stories behind the building from $42. Hunter Valley Resort Independent and family-owned, this 35-room four-star resort in NSW’s famous wine region offers fun activities like wine tasting, barrell rolling and candy making.

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DNSW ROADSHOW Liverpool & London


The event

The evening was well organised and I had fun while learning lots from the suppliers and enjoying some good food!

Byron Bay and Beyond Experiences on offer include kayaking with dolphins, touring Stone and Wood Brewery and exploring the hinterland. BB&B also represents an array of accommodation. Arts Hotel Sydney The last family owned hotel in Sydney, this 62-room property is located in hip and historic Paddington with a garden and heated pool plus triple rooms for families.


BridgeClimb Sydney This thrilling but accessible adventure sees travellers walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge for stunning city views. There are three climbs from 3.5-1.5 hours in duration. The Old Clare Hotel This 62-room, design-led, five-star boutique is across two heritage buildings in cool, arty Chippendale, a 15-minute walk from Darling Harbour with a rooftop pool and bar. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Currently being refurbished, 65% of this hotel’s rooms offer iconic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and its on the doorstep of Sydney’s historic Rocks area.

Two ways to get to NSW with Qantas

Dreamtime Southern X This aboriginal-owned company offers immersive indigenous experiences of Sydney, taking in sacred spots and teaching travellers about aboriginal culture.

Last year flag carrier Qantas switched its hub from Dubai to Southeast Asia and launched its ultra-long haul service from London Heathrow to Perth. So now there are two ways to get to Sydney and NSW: the award-winning A380 same-plane service via Singapore or the non-stop service to Perth on a new Dreamliner, with a hassle-free, same-day connection between Perth and Sydney which can mean as little as an hour in transit.

Merlin Entertainments There are four attractions in Sydney: Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney and Sydney Tower Eye. Agents can buy passes to one for $44, two for $50, three for $60 or four for $79. They last 30 days.

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agents talk


S e l l i n g Tra v e l l i s t e n s

This month #agentstalk about... Get social with us:




Agents overheard

Travel Agent rants & raves This month Jenny Jackson asked: "8.6 million Brits will travel without insurance this summer. What can we do to ensure our clients are covered?" Jenny Jackson Founder of Luxury

"Client seriously asked whether they could change planes in the air.

Travel Guru

“I guess they think nothing will happen to them, in particular the young who participate in dangerous activities and the elderly who are always at risk!” “Again, something only a travel agent can advise on the faceless internet leaves travellers so exposed!” “If they can afford to go on holiday, then they can afford travel insurance!" "There are so many with the attitude that if anything major were to happen, someone would set up a Go Fund Me page and it will all be ok?"

“I had a client who said it will cost a fortune "because she is 70 plus". We recommend Just Travel Cover who did two weeks insurance for two people for £43...some just expect high prices.” "Wow potentially 8.6 million Go Fund Me requests!" "We can only remind clients about the huge hospital bills

that people have had to pay as a result. It's only when something bad happens that people really understand why insurance is so important." "It's just as bad if people don't declare their medical conditions, otherwise the insurance won't be worth the paper it's written on! "One word...Idiots"

India Tours



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“Can I take my expensive fishing knife onboard the plane? I don't want to lose it.” "Client asked: "What does the sand sound like on Phuket beach?" I replied: "Which beach on Phuket?" Their response: "Oh the one the dreamliner flies too."

"Will I get a refund if it rains? is a good one"

0208 585 4020



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w i t h S h a ro n Mc C o n w a y - K u o n i

Fresh demand for wheels and waterways Sharon McConway, a Personal Travel Expert at Kuoni, describes why she prefers demanding customers and how her specialist knowledge is beating the internet. "A big part of my job is handcrafting tailormade trips by providing a personalised service from start to finish. Having specialist knowledge is vital today and is something that the internet cannot compete with. "I see a huge increase in specialist travel, particularly relating to families weddings, wellness, LGBT, special mobility and dietary needs. No matter how educated a customer is in their decision making, they'll always need advice with these requirements.

What's trending

"People are more demanding when it comes to holidays, they want an educational experience or more activities and are being influenced by social media and celebrities. "In terms of trends, Japan is very much in demand and I expect this will continue in 2020 with the Olympics. I'm seeing a confidence build back for Egypt and Turkey. Latin America will also see huge growth and I am very excited about our new Columbia small escorted group tour. For relaxing, Ajman offers the best beaches in the UAE and is a

important to discuss their requirements, which can be unrealistic, and a face-to-face consultation is best. I get enormous support from the suppliers I work with and I know my team will do what they can to help too.

What's trending

great year-round mid-haul destination. "More clients are asking about motorhome rentals, river cruises, rail journeys and even cycling tours – everyone wants to be on the move! Ocean cruising is also evolving, with options to suit every ones' taste. "Growing up in Ireland I have always been inspired by North America, particularly its music heritage, literature and culture. I have the music cities of Portland, Austin, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville all on my radar and I hope to see more exploration of the US and Canada beyond the popular destinations. "I encourage all my clients to be as demanding as they like. This is their trip and it should be exactly as they want it. It’s

"Over the years I've had some weird and wonderful requests but I can’t say anything has phased me. One of my favourites was a gentleman who wanted to do a world trip to study wild fungi, visiting remote locations in Tasmania, Argentina, Canada and Greenland. I learnt a lot of new airport codes that day! "I put my heart and soul into my job and it is critical to me that my clients don’t just have a lovely holiday but have made memories to last a life time. That's what makes working in travel so worthwhile."

Having specialist knowledge is vital with demanding customers

0208 585 4020



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9nts, Journey through the Clouds at Leisure



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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT Tra i n i n g , e v e n t s a n d f a m t r i p s

Not Just Travel’s fast and fascinating fam

A group of 43 Not Just Travel homeworkers descended on the slopes of Banff, Canada for one of this past winter's biggest ski educational trips. Supported by the Travel Alberta, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, Inghams, JTA Travel and Air Canada, the agents enjoyed skiing and snowboarding on the province's famous ‘Champagne powder’, ice-skating on Lake Louise, dog-sledding, and snowmobiling. They also completed the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk and a spot of star-gazing at the top of the Banff Gondola. One agent even took part in a local 5km ice race when it was minus 17C – and won!

Sweet success for TUI

New heights for Headwater team

Tui Doncaster in St. Sepulchre Gate celebrated with some sugary treats after being awarded Super Break’s Agent of the Month for the Yorkshire, Humberside and North West region. The agency was commended for its efforts in promoting the operator's Tutankhamun packages and Super Break’s show of the month, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

The team from Headwater Holidays, specialists in selfguided walking tours, put aside their sales pitches and instead tested their brawn with an eight-mile hike on Kinder Scout in the Peak District. The ramble marked the anniversary of the ‘mass trespass of Kinder Scout,’ a 1932 event in which walkers disputed being denied access to areas of open country.

Question time for Qatar

The Qatar National Tourism Council's UK & Ireland team hosted two London events as part of the tourism board’s first European roadshow. Agents learnt about the destination's first-class museums, including the recently-opened National Museum of Qatar and its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, before participating in an interactive quiz run by Live the City, with the winner and runner-up both winning holidays to Qatar. Shana Rohn, Qatar NTC and Navdeep Hoonjan, Qatar Airways, presented the prize.

Have you enjoyed an interesting trade event or been on a trip or fam that you would like to see featured on this page? Email

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Making history

Meet... MALCOLM DAVIS Product Destination Manager at Funway Holidays


Anguilla celebrates top figures

The Anguilla Tourist Board celebrated a record-breaking winter season as part of its 'Beyond Extraordinary' events in Manchester and London. Tourist arrivals hit an all time high this year with 1,184 UK arrivals between January and March, representing a 113% increase year-on-year. The tourist board has also launched its month-long Health and Wellbeing campaign which includes a series of pop-up activities, classes, bespoke menus and offers.

As I enter the formidable walls of Brimstone Hill, a military fortress built at the top of a steep volcano, I'm transported back to the 1700s. I can just imagine what it was like here as a young British soldier, waiting for the French to attack in the struggle to colonise St. Kitts. Although the island is now independent, it was a former British colony, where sugar cane production was the dominant industry for more than 350 years. In my opinion, it's this rich history that sets St. Kitts apart from any other Caribbean island. Yes there are great beaches and food, but seeing such impressive military architecture on this tiny island adds that character and uniqueness. Today, Brimstone Hill is recognised as the best preserved site in the Americas and has earned UNESCO World Heritage status.


Hurtigruten cleans up north Wales The Global Travel Group was on hand to spruce up Talacre Beach in North Wales as part of Hurtigruten’s Beach Clean. The team collected two full bin bags of mainly plastic waste, a full section of a wire fence, a large fishing net and one huge tarpaulin. Global Travel Group’s team included Sian Webster, Laura Mitchell, Kirsty Lilley and Rob Griffiths, plus Mark Walter (Hurtigruten's Head of Sales).;

As I venture to the top of the fortress I'm struck by the most fantastic panorama of the Caribbean, with unobstructed views of Sint Eustatius, St. Barts and Nevis in the distance. It suddenly becomes very clear why the British fought so hard to protect this island! Another photo opportunity presents itself in the form of the 24-pounder cannons that are dotted around the site, still poised as if to warn off intruders. It's the perfect place for families and multi- generational groups to relax surrounded by the history and heritage that is at the heart of St. Kitts. As someone who's visited for both work and pleasure I can honestly say it's unforgettable.

ards t and reap the rew lis ia ec sp a e m co Be at stkittsspecialist.c

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Our columnists

TV programmes and protests seem to have brought climate change up the agenda. But is sustainable travel a priority, and if not, should agents make it so?

Paperbark Camp is Anneka's top eco pick...'s in Jervis Bay, New South Wales

Key is striking the balance between sustainable and affordable SUSTAINABLE tourism is a must in this age of travel, but it's still a relatively new concept for our clients and we don’t yet have many enquiries for it. I think it's something we should promote and where possible I try to include a eco-friendlier hotel in itineraries. The key is striking the balance between sustainable and affordable – not all of our customers can afford a top-end, eco-friendly holiday but do want to enjoy themselves whilst reducing their footprint on the earth. A good example of something we sell is Paperbark Camp in Jervis Bay, Australia. We really love the ethos of this property as it offers an authentic Australian bush experience for customers, who sleep in stilted safari tents amongst the gum trees, whilst trying to limit damage to surroundings. It was pleasing to see that Qantas flew the world’s first commercial ‘zero waste’ flight – something all airlines should be striving for. I do struggle with the idea that the travel industry plays a part in damaging the places we send people to, but travel does also benefit individuals, and if we can make it sustainable, that's a more ethical approach to our profession and our passion. This May has seen some lovely bookings for Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Greece, and we’re looking forward to a busy summer! Trevor and Penny (Southern Cross Travel's owners, and my parents!) are off on a small ship cruise with Prestige Holidays and I’m thinking about what to pack for my Greek holiday - and how to make it eco-friendly too!

IN OVER 12 years of selling river cruises – which is the bulk of my business – I have yet to have a single client make a purchase decision based on sustainable travel. This cannot be because the sort of people who book river cruises are not in any way environmentally conscientious - in fact, to the contrary, they are typically people looking to choose a holiday that is, by its very nature, part of the slow travel movement. Despite not being driven by explicit client demand, river cruise operators are continually looking to create more fuel efficient, less-polluting ships, investing in battery-powered options when entering and leaving mooring locations. River authorities, though, are the driving force in demanding

River cruise ships are now more fuel efficient and less polluting that the older ships are bought up to modern emission target levels. Also, as many European river cruise itineraries are viable by rail, a 'rail and sail' river cruise is worth offering to clients who are looking to match sustainable lifestyle objectives. River cruising was well represented at the British Travel Hall of Fame awards when Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst, co-owners of AmaWaterways, were inducted into it. I was honoured to be invited to the ceremony, and noted that the venue was changed from the Brunei-owned Dorchester to the Four Seasons, following the news of Brunei's homophobic laws – credit to all concerned.



Southern Cross Travel, East Sussex

Go Cruise, Cruise specialist, Worcestershire

Anneka Desrosiers

James Hill

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Our columnists

Booking flights with reduced emissions could turn into a USP WHILE we are all aware that flying is a major contributor to carbon emissions, I don't believe it is currently at the forefront of most travel agents' mind. Ultimately, increasing sales and passenger numbers comes first. And to be honest, who can blame us? If a customer is wanting to book a specific holiday then they will do it, regardless of if we agree with the booking or not. However, as travel agents there are three immediate ways we can help encourage eco-friendly travel. The first is to become paperless. At Venture Travel we only email booking confirmations, receipts and tickets to our customers. This not only saves us money in postage and printing costs but also helps the environment so it's a great win-win. The second is to upgrade your back-office systems. With such great advancements in technology, gone are the days where you need to print enquiries, store brochures or track sales data. Google Docs is a fantastic tool to share spreadsheets, word documents and enquiries to everyone in your team without having to print these out. Thirdly, promote to your customers ecofriendly flights and hotels. This is something we can definitely improve on at Venture Travel, especially working in such a price competitive market. One useful tool I found recently is Skyscanner. It show flights with reduced emissions which is definitely worth mentioning to your customers and be a unique selling point for your business.

SUSTAINABLE travel is of great importance to me and has been brought to everyone's attention, along with other environmental issues, thanks to the recent protests. But what can we, as travel agents, do to improve things, if anything? Should our focus continue to be just selling the holidays our clients want or should we be championing more environmentally-friendly travel? I find it’s not something clients mention unless you say something, so I think it’s up to us to remind them that sustainable tourism is about visiting somewhere as a tourist and trying to ensure it makes a positive impact on the environment, society and economy. We could all start with reducing plastic in our hotel room. There is usually a bin in the bathroom and in the bedroom, both with plastic bags in – do you use both bins? I only use one. That means if you're sitting on your bed you will have to get up and walk to the bathroom, but just think how many plastic bags that will save if a hotel has 100 rooms. That's 100 bags a day, 700 bags a week and 36,400 a year! And that is just one saving in one hotel. My thought of the month: ‘One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time’. I'm just back from Cyprus where I stayed at the peaceful Casale Panayiotis in the Troudos Mountains, enjoying its wonderful spa, food and activities like walking and biking, and the five-star St Raphael in Limassol, which has a lovely beach, marina and beautiful gardens of olive trees. But the best thing was that they also look after the local cats, including feeding stations. I wish more hotels would do this!

We can all reduce the use of plastic bags in hotel rooms



Venture Travel, Mold, North Wales

Sandy's Travel Escapes

Sandy Murray

Ben & Hugh

James with AW AM aterways at the Hall of Fame

Sandy fruit picking in Cyprus

Next month our columnists talk about: Overtourism and how to help spread the love

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boost Knowledge

The world is a big place but luckily the virtual world of online training is accessible to all, 24/7. Laura Gelder looks at the latest training out there


Selling Travel survey conducted last month showed that online training is still held in high regard - 78% said web courses are ‘very useful’ or ‘excellent training for agents’. In fact, 80% of agents surveyed had participated in online training courses and they were listed as the second most popular training resource after trade magazines. We last spoke about online training in the December issue, tying in with the peak season for agents pursuing professional development, just prior to the peak selling

months in the New Year. But as peak holiday time looms, many agents will be knuckling down to training over the summer months too and there is a raft of new options out now.

Brand updates The Tobago Tourism Agency has released new online training in line with its recent ‘unspoilt, untouched and undiscovered’ rebrand. has six modules covering brand pillars like sea and beaches; eco

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex themeparksattractions/


he all new Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex UK agent training programme (with OTT) is designed to enhance the knowledge of KSC across the Trade. KSC is much more than a US Space Flight experience, it is an interactive full day adventure surrounded by the heroes and legends of the US Space Programme. The course is split into three modules, each with a short multiple choice quiz, to give a overview of KSC in no more than 30 minutes. You'll be amazed at what's on offer!

The modules Module 1: KSC More than a Museum, Beyond the Basics: This is an introduction to KSC, including its location and how to get there, what clients can do there and how to sell it. This gives agents a solid foundation and the confidence to answer basic customer questions. Module 2: The Visitor Complex: This explores the variety of attractions and exhibits and helps agents understand how visitors can best spend their day. Agents will brush up on top attractions such as Space Shuttle Atlantis, Saturn V Center, Heroes and Legends, The Rocket Garden, The Astronaut Hall of Fame and the KSC Bus Tour amongst others. The new IMAX film showing, Touch the Stars: The Journey has begun 3D, is also included. Module 3: Enhancing the Stay: This builds on Modules 1 and 2, with details on upgrading to the Space Pass and the chance to 'Dine with an Astronaut'. New add on experiences include the ATX (Astronaut Training Experience) and Mars Base 1. The best is saved till last with details of the Rocket Launches at KSC.

Did you know?

On completion of the ered course all agents are ent win into a monthly draw to of item an with bag die a goo ndise, signed astronaut mercha and everyone can claim Complimentary General Admission tickets.

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BEYOND IS THE COUNTRY’S LEADING EXPERIENTIAL TOURISM GROUP. The Journey Beyond Specialist online training program tells you everything you need to know about our suite of incredible tourism experiences, including The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Great Southern rail ROTTNEST ISLAND, WA

expeditions, as well as Cruise Whitsundays and Rottnest Express. Learn more about our unique selling points and how you can curate the perfect Australian holiday for your clients. Access images and videos for your next campaign, including amazing 360 photography of our trains and destinations.


New modules for Cruise Whitsundays and Rottnest Express are now live. Find out how your clients Australia’s Rottnest Island or learn more about the


incredible experience of sleeping under the stars on


the Great Barrier Reef. Watch this space as new modules for Darwin Harbour Cruises and Sal Salis are launched over




the coming months.




can capture the perfect quokka selfie at Western

S I M P LY G O T O J O U R N E Y B E Y O N D S P E C I A L I S T. C O M T O S TA R T Y O U R N E X T J O U R N E Y W I T H U S .

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to the city. Upon completion, agents can download the certificate. TIPTO’s ( latest training incentive runs until June 18. Agents need to complete all supplier training modules online, including its latest ones from relatively new members, Gold Medal and Travel 2. On completion, agents will gain gold star status and be entered in to a draw to win West End theatre tickets.


adventures and nature; romance and weddings; and local culture, people and heritage – plus tips and sample itineraries. Stephen Smith, Sales & Marketing Manager for the Tobago Tourism Agency says, “Our content highlights all the key selling points of the destination and also encourages agents to log their bookings towards rewards including places on a mega-fam trip which is being planned for the end of the year.“ The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has just launched an updated programme with a new easy-to-navigate design, selling tips and revised information on each island. A new section on events and festivals has also been added and in a step to be considered an ongoing resource, the programme matches individual customer profiles with the ideal island to visit and includes a full list of UK tour operators and airlines which feature the Cayman Islands. Agents who complete by June 15 could win £100 of vouchers. The San Diego Tourism Authority has a new Specialist Certification ( travel-trade/san-diego-specialist.aspx) which can be obtained by taking a 25 multiple-choice question interactive quiz designed to help raise awareness of the key drivers of travel

New pastures This spring the Setouchi Tourism Authority launched a new e-learning platform ( for agents to learn about the little-known region in West Japan. It describes its portal as delivering “a complete suite of online training and engagement tools using the latest principles in e-learning.” The platform uses interactive maps to guide agents through Setouchi, highlighting key information from each location as

“80% of agents surveyed had participated in online training courses and they were listed as the second most popular training resource after trade magazines”


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well as allowing agents to learn about the destination through themes like art and culture or food and drink.

Niche areas


Online training increasingly focuses on niche markets and the Malta Tourism Authority demonstrated this recently when it teamed up with Online Travel Training to create a programme dedicated to LGBTQ+ travel. Same sex marriage was legalised in Malta in 2017, gender-neutral passports introduced last year, the island retained its top spot on the European Rainbow Index for a fourth consecutive year in 2019, and aims to educate agents on all this plus the accommodation, activities and places to visit for this market. Peter Vella, Director UK & Ireland, Malta Tourism Authority commented: “It’s important for the trade to be equipped with the right facts about LGBTQ+ travel to help travellers make an informed decision.” Agents who complete the course will receive a certificate and be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 iTunes voucher.

Expert status


SeaWorld Parks’ agent training (seaworldagents. has been updated with a conservation module. It has information about the professional accreditations the parks have, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, SeaWorld Rescue and

more. Agents who complete the training get a goodie bag, park ticket and entry into a competition with prizes like Bose speakers. Carnival Cruise Line is launching a new Gold Level ‘Loyalty Rocks Club: Carnival Cruise Line University’ training programme at, which is designed to reward agents for investing in professional development. The content is video-based and will be followed by Platinum and Diamond levels later in the year. Agents completing the Gold training by July 1 could win a place on the inaugural sailing of Mardi Gras as well as a Merlin annual pass and £50 worth of Loyalty Rock Club points. To enter, agents must complete the training and post their certificate on social media with the hashtag #MARDIGRAS2020.

Future-proof While reading followed by multiple-choice quizzes are still the most-used mode of travel training, webinars are on the up. The Seychelles Tourism Board recently reported plans to expand its training to include virtual reality fam trips. The videos will be available on later this year and will cover a range of topics from how to travel around the islands to airport transfers and accommodation. For more training updates, sign up to Selling Travel’s weekly e-newsletter. For news from our training partner Travel Uni, see page 72. 

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Crystal Cruises Training


oted the 'World’s Best' more times than any other hotel, resort or cruise line, Crystal is more than just a luxurious way to explore the world. It is an adventure, opening up the globe just for you. Whether by ocean, river or yacht, Crystal are taking luxury travel further than ever before. And when you’ve completed all three modules, you’ll receive your certificate and a celebratory bar of chocolate – what could be better!

The modules Module 1: Designed to bring you up-to-date on Crystal’s all-inclusive product and just why Crystal continues to win ‘World’s Best’ awards. After completing this course, you will be able to comfortably describe the All-Inclusive Crystal Experience to your guests. Whether you are booking your first guest, or your one hundredth, you will understand how the cruise line continues to find ways to offer the best value afloat and why it is the perfect choice for your discerning guests. Module 2: Welcome to our Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises module, a mini-course designed to teach you everything there is to know about the Crystal Esprit™ and Crystal Endeavor™. Your clients can pursue their quest for nautical adventure in an extraordinary new way. Designed for just 62 guests who seek privileged access to some of the world’s most beautiful maritime destinations,

Did you know?

The Crystal experience is available across many s different cruise experience and ht yac r, rive – ocean, expeditions – we have it all!

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the new Crystal Esprit™ offers the most exciting cruise alternative in decades. And debuting in 2020, Crystal’s first foray into luxury expedition cruising begins with the inaugural voyage of Crystal Endeavor™. The world’s largest and most spacious premium expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor™ boasts a sleek design built to PC6 polar class specifications, she will explore the farthest reaches of Earth, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and far-away lands in between - far past destinations frequented by most ships. Module 3: Welcome to our Crystal River Cruises module, a mini-course designed to teach you everything you need to know about Crystal River Cruises. Six-star service. Superior dining. The

largest suites in river cruising aboard an exquisite new class of river vessel, and so much more. Guests can explore the Danube, Rhine, Main and Moselle rivers with ever-changing panoramas of enchanting villages and lush landscapes. In-depth explorations and overnight stays in the heart of Europe’s cities and towns provide a vibrant and memorable experience. The hallmarks of the Crystal brand – service, space, quality and choices – usher in a new era in European river exploration. Crystal offers a butler service for every suite; six-star service and exceptional food; unique Crystal Complimentary Adventures and Crystal (Optional) Adventures which all contributes to redefine luxury river cruising.

Our Crystal training modules are designed to educate our travel advisors on all Crystal experiences and ensure they’re confident in selling the World’s Best to their clients.”

5/30/19 09:17 PM 30/05/2019 19:31


my journey

n i s t n e m o m l a c i mag


idyllic tea-planted highlands, d an y rr be w ra st , st fore sia Exploring ancient rain is fascinated by Malay dy ea St n ti ar M , ty ci beaches and a steamy

Park National lking a w canopy ip tr


step off the Bukit Merah ferry and enter a caged walkway. I feel captive, but look out on the freedom of the island beyond where the most beautiful inhabitants imaginable are happily wandering around, lazing, eating, playing and generally getting on with their lives. I think I’ve just fallen in love with orangutans! “This is their island, not ours,” says our guide. “We are the caged ones, not them.” Here, at the Bukit Merah Orangutan Sanctuary, these serene ‘creatures of the forest’ live like kings, mostly untouched by the outside world. I crouch down in front of an impressive young male and we look at each other, curiously. He notices a piece of apple on my side of the fence and lazily finds himself a stick. With almost bored ease, he shoves it under the netting to hook the tasty treat back towards him. I’m impressed and honoured – but also feel sad and angry that human greed for palm oil is decimating the natural habitat of these creatures. The clash and contrast between modern-day life and nature is always close by in Malaysia. I’d arrived in Kuala Lumpur, courtesy of British Airways, days earlier and been whisked into the heart of the city for a restful night high above the hubbub at the towering Hotel Istana. Just hours later I swapped the noise of the metropolis for the sounds of Taman Negara. This vast national park covers more than 4,300sq km - a sprawling,

steaming wilderness that dates back 130 million years. It’s the oldest primary rainforest on the planet and, as such, offers the ultimate jungle experience.

Kuala crossing It takes more than two hours to venture into the forest, and during the zippy boat ride I learn the meaning of ‘Kuala’ that features in so many local place names. And rather unsurprisingly for a nation criss-crossed by waterways, it’s ‘the point where two rivers join’. One loud and exhilarating trip later and we’ve reached our home for the night at the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. My cabin certainly isn’t five-star, but is all the better for it. The local monkeys don’t seem to mind much either and merrily practice their gymnastics on the roof. Lost amongst the endless greenery, there’s nothing to do but marvel at the sheer abundance of life around us. The park is home to tigers, many different types of birds and thousands of plants found nowhere else in the world. The canopy walkways high above the jungle floor are the best way to immerse yourself in nature’s bounty and my guide explains the many uses for the diverse flora. There are also trips to indigenous villages where it’s possible to learn the skills needed to survive in the wilderness. I discover that making fire without matches and hunting food with a blowpipe aren’t

I have just fallen in love with some orangutans

Orangutans ar e so cool


ing a NTS while on a tarantula creep ou t of its ho nature wa le lk with Ha Hill Rainfo bitat Pen rest Expe a n g rience...S favourite eeing m

anim y ne Oranguta als at the Bukit M w nS er they can’t anctuary, especiall ah y be seen a nywhere e as mainland lse in Malaysia

my journey

hinese Straits C ntral L Ce dining, K t a M rke

Pure nature –

Taman Negara jungle walk

things you can master in an hour or two. The boat trip and trek to Kuala Trengga is as ethereal and idyllic as it is wet – and my camera needs to be safely tucked away as we weave and splash our way home via the rapids.

Tea in the Highlands It’s a mark of Malaysia’s rapid pace of development that I exit the jungle entirely by road – which was not possible when I was here many years ago. Heading north west, towards Penang, into the Cameron Highlands, we enjoy a memorable lunch at the well-known Golfer’s Café that overlooks the Chinese beautiful Cameron course. This is a tea-growing Buddhist cave region, and we include a stop at the vast BOH Tea temple Plantation. Founded back in 1929, the enterprise is the biggest of its kind in the country. The Visitors Centre tells the fascinating tale of jungle clearance on steep slopes (with just mules and a steamroller). Hidden in the hills on a seven-acre site between Tanah Rata and Brinchang, and making the most of the region’s cool temperatures, is Strawberry Park Resort. With rates from £45, the modern resort is a perfect base for activities like nature walks and visits to the many apiaries and strawberry farms. Gunung Brinchange – or ‘Mossy Forest’ – is a must-do trek and it’s easy to see how the place got its name. Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple, close to Ipoh, is Stunning street equally wonderful. Chinese Buddhists built it within art in Penang an enormous raw limestone cave in the 1950s, and nuns and monks still live here today. It is filled with impressive art, including a reclining Buddha. Penang itself has enough to fill a holiday on its own, with soft sandy beaches, cultural sites and stunning scenery. The charming nooks and crannies of George Y TO STA is conveTown, Tropical Spice Gardens, Georgetown Cafe and E R E H W a hotel Habitat Penang Hill Rainforest Experience are ticked al ma Sam Internation a S r a t L off my list, along with Komtar Tower – a funky highs K g e o v t in m T he fi cated next e a swim rise hosting a skywalk and observation deck. ntly lo atures includ ennis court ie n Back in Kuala Lumpur Precious Old China Café in dt . Fe Airport asium, spa an the Central Market offers the best in Straits Chinese n m .com pool, gy ahotels m a dining, while the Petronas Twin Towers reveal the s a m sa city in all its chaotic beauty. familyng is a n, a n e But it’s up in the clouds with the orangutans, where P Tow tel in George eca Ho I feel at home in ‘Natural Malaysia’. T he Ar perty close to for a culture o g r • p in m k o n o lo ru g.c

se an otelpen for tho perfect rience. arecah pe rich ex


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indian ocean

Good feeling

There is an increasing range of wellness and good health-inspired options available in the Indian Ocean. Clare Walsh investigates

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palette of colour surrounds me as I take a deep breath and stretch my arms towards the awakening sky. Standing in a vivid, multihued garden, the setting of my usual weekly yoga class in an uninspiring gym hall is a world away. Here, in Mauritius, I ponder how rewarding sun salutations are when there’s actually a sun to salute! The calming voice of the teacher guides us through a gentle vinyassa flow class, a perfect match for the dreamy pace of island life. Ahead of me, the sparkling cerulean ocean is lapping the sand, the only sound breaking the magical morning stillness. Balaclava, where I am staying, lends itself perfectly to therapeutic practices like this. Blending extraordinary natural beauty with sumptuous spa and wellness classes, it’s the perfect place to recharge my batteries and focus on self-care.

Healthy options Like many people, I had arrived in Mauritius frazzled from work and in desperate need of a break. Recent years have seen a marked shift away from fly-and-flop holidays as a way to recharge. Instead, clients now want to experience wellness practices and



indulge in spa treatments that will ensure they return home feeling better than when they arrived. Resorts of the Indian Ocean are an ideal match – their paradisiacal and selfcontained setting is matched by impressive facilities. Many resorts have offered world-class spas and gyms as standard for years, but what they now offer is a much more holistic and tailored approach, which extends to the whole resort experience. George Morris, Regional Manager of wellness and active holiday brand, Robinson, said: “Holiday seekers are continuing to search for transformative and wellness breaks that will leave an impact long after the holiday is over. “Whereas previous wellness escapes focused on one particular aspect of health and wellbeing, an increasing number of people are now looking for more holistic wellbeing holidays which incorporate fitness and nutrition plans to help develop a more active lifestyle.” The wellness world is constantly moving and expanding to target client groups with everything from ‘mumcations’ to ‘divorce retreats’ on offer. And while many resorts have moved

towards a very personalised approach to wellness, they are all tapping into that same desire to slow down, recharge and return home feeling renewed.

Mauritius & Reunion Heritage Resorts in Mauritius hosted a Wellness Festival in May. The first of its kind in the region, it saw international wellness leaders offer workshops and ‘nature connection’ outings, while artists’ areas, healthy food stations and relaxation zones were designed to awaken the five senses. “The festival addressed the expectation and need for experiential travel in wellness which is our fastest growing sector,” said Candice Yon, Heritage Resorts. “Our festival is crafted for travellers whose choice to holiday and choice of destination is motivated primarily by wellness, as well as those seeking to maintain wellness or engage in wellness activities as part of a general holiday,” she added. A personalised approach to health has been adopted by LUX* Resorts, which states that its desire is to be a wellness pioneer in Mauritius. Its philosophy is based around LUX* Me and at the Grand Gaube resort guests can enjoy a re-imagined spa

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and tailor-made plan designed by their wellness concierge. Meanwhile, LUX St Giles is the only fivestar resort in Reunion. Here guests have a range of options from yoga garden sessions to outdoor spa treatments, while more active clients can enjoy tennis and volleyball. Beachcomber’s spa concept is also based on a holistic approach, with treatments personalised to offer a bespoke experience. Treatment programmes include massages and the practice of arts such as Santa Yoga, Qi-Gong and other traditional wellness techniques, as well as lifestyle advice for health-conscious guests to take home. The clue is in the name at SALT – a newcomer to Mauritius that features the first salt room on the island. A range of saltbased treatments invites clients to match their mood and create a personalised scrub from oils, butters and salts. Further holistic highlights include a sunrise run club, morning sun salutations and dawn photography tour. With a sustainable food ethos, the resort is also getting its own farm which will cultivate hydroponic fruit and vegetables for the hotel restaurant. Attitude Hotels’ Spa Attitude bases its care rituals based on the natural elements of Mauritius: its soil, its sea, its sun and its plants, combined with essential oils. It has a range of massages, body care and

facials plus four signature treatments: Earth Attitude regenerating care, Sea Attitude purifying care, Sun Attitude stimulating care and Flora Attitude relaxing care. Paradise Cove Boutique Hotel by Attitude is currently undergoing major renovations and will opens September 2 with an enlarged and refreshed spa. Book it: Beachcomber Tours (beachcombertours. offers seven nights full-board in a junior suite at Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, from £1,715pp, for two adults sharing. This includes return economy flights with Emirates, a one-hour Discover Massage, various complimentary land and water sports and private transfers in Mauritius. Departs September 3 2019.

Maldives In a move to support diet-conscious clients in their food choices, Huvafen Fushi will soon welcome RAW (Revitalising Addictive Wellness), which will feature a range of plant-based, protein-rich foods as well as organic cold-pressed fresh juices and smoothies. The resort is known for boasting the world’s first and only underwater spa, where rituals and treatments such as crystal singing bowls can be experienced. Having opened its doors in April last year, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has just launched its Fairmont Fit

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Step inside our new rooms A totally transformed place, allying a timeless, exotic-chic decoration and a contemporary touch. The fourposter bed and the wallpaper, both reminders of the colonial past, merge beautifully with the more actual rattan, wood and white colour. The new bathrooms with their double shower heads are spacious and comfortable. From the terraces or balconies, just gaze at the Cove, settle down together for a drink, write a postcard or read the latest best-seller.

R E O P E N I N G 1S T S E P T EM B E R 2 0 1 9

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A tropical oasis that weaves its way into your wildest dreams‌ A destination you could never forget! KANUHURA.COM

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To book contact your preferred Tour Operator. For further information contact or call +44 (0)7585 660350

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package. Guests will start their day with complimentary workout wear delivered to their accommodation before choosing from fitness options such as tennis lessons or aerial yoga where a soft parachute-silk hammock is suspended from the ceiling to support the body as guests move from one position to the next. Velaa Private Island has just launched its Energising and Body Transformation Programme. Promising to cleanse the body from toxins, improve BMI, body water balance and visceral fat levels, it combines a mixture of spinning, HIIT, circuits, yoga and meditation. The highlight of the programme is the use of GenSmart which includes a DNA test for each client to ensure a tailored programme. Kanuhura’s Kokaa Wellness Retreat and Spa was named Best Luxury Island Resort Spa in the World Luxury Spa Awards and consists of nine nature-inspired treatment rooms (three of which can be used for couples), a beauty salon, a steam room, a dry sauna, plunge pools, Jacuzzis, an air-conditioned fitness centre and an outdoor beachside spa pavilion. Yoga and meditation are incorporated into packages to ensure mind and soul are renewed as well as body. Book it: Inspiring Travel Company ( has a seven-nightsfor-the-price-of-five deal at Velaa Private Island, priced from £6,799pp and based on two adults sharing a deluxe pool villa. The deal includes breakfast, return economy flights with Emirates

from Heathrow and seaplane transfers and represents a saving up to £1,949pp. It is valid for travel between May 15 to October 15 2019.

Seychelles Clients visiting Azure Spa on Alphonese Island can experience treatments from YiKing products that are classified according to each guest’s ‘master element’ and determined by their date of birth. Products are native to the Seychelles and each element corresponds to the hormones, meridians and organs of the body. Those visiting the spa at Kempinski Seychelles Baye Lazare will also be treated to a variety of treatments infused with local fragrances and oils and inspired by the seasons. Six treatment rooms including a couple’s treatment room are located in traditional bungalows set in a serene relaxation garden. It’s into the wild at Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa where six treatment rooms are dotted throughout the rainforest. Guests are promised they will ‘reconnect with self and emerge brighter’ and can choose from the ‘Escape journey’ or the ‘Essentials Journey’ which span a range of treatments from Chinese acupressure to Egyptian reflexology. At Constance Lemuria Resort, the spa centres around Shiseido’s Qi method. In-suite massages, beauty treatments and steam baths will soothe stressed-out clients, while indulgent therapies such as Shiatsu, Ayurveda, aromatherapy and reflexology are also on offer.


Book it: If Only ( has seven nights at the Kempinski Seychelles resort including daily breakfast, return flights with Eithad Airways, accommodation in a Hill View room and private transfers from £1,805pp based on Manchester flights. Valid for stays September 1-30, 2019. 

“While many resorts have moved towards a very personalised approach to wellness, they are all tapping into that same desire to slow down, recharge and return home feeling renewed” BEACH MASSAGE WITH ATTITUDE HOTELS

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THE MALDIVES. ELEVATED. You first notice its otherworldly beauty when you arrive by seaplane. As you draw closer to Olhahali island, LUX* North Malé Atoll appears like a mirage. A vision in white. This isn’t the Maldives as you know it, with its beachy huts over the water, thatched roofs, and laid-back charm. LUX* North Malé Atoll is something else. You could spend hours floating in the infinity pool if it weren’t for the house reef or the individual rooftops. Early-risers can get a jolt of caffeine at Café LUX*, the resort’s in-house coffee shop, before scuba-diving at the nearby underwater caves. Indulging in caipirinhas and grilled fish at Beach Rouge is basically a rite of passage. You wake up from your nap sun-kissed and in time for your treatment at LUX* Me spa. You walk along a wooden jetty to the spa, which consists of six astonishing glass cubes set over the turquoise water. For dinner, you settle on INTI, which serves Nikkei cuisine, a cross between Japanese and Peruvian cuisines. The flavour-packed dishes are beautiful to both the eye and the taste buds. The resort oozes with modern luxury; each villa is inspired by South Beach, Miami, or a yacht. Yet, somehow the iconic contemporary architecture doesn’t strip the island of its natural beauty. After dinner, you walk along the shore, where the sea meets the sand. If it’s a full moon, the vast Indian Ocean will look like the resort’s swimming pool. To most, this sounds like a dream. LUX* North Malé Atoll doesn’t just live up to the Maldives' promise. It elevates it.


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a dv e r t or ia l

Abu Dhabi is a great winter sun destination, but did you know hotel rates are fantastic during summer months too, and attractions and hotels have great airconditioning

Prepare to be suprised by extraordinary

Abu Dhabi G

one are the days when Abu Dhabi was just a stopover 82 domes, more than 1,000 marble columns and the world’s city en route to the East.Today’s Abu Dhabi is a ‘mustlargest handmade carpet, which weighs 35 tonnes and took 1,200 see’ destination in its own right, regularly surprising women two years to make. visitors with its astonishing diversity. Louvre Abu Dhabi, on Saadiyat Island, Where else on earth can you ride the is home to more than 600 pieces of art, “Looking for the best world’s fastest rollercoaster, or spend drawn from civilisations around the a night in a hotel that straddles an F1 views in the city? Direct world, displayed across 23 state-of-the-art racetrack? Where else can you walk on the galleries. It tells the story of shared human clients to the Observation experience from ancient times to the world’s largest carpet beneath the domes Deck at 300, a sky-high present day. The permanent collection is of the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, or track cheetahs in the restaurant and bar on the complemented by around 300 masterpieces morning on a 4x4 safari before loan from major French institutions, 74th floor of the Jumeirah on snorkelling in the afternoon in the warm including works by Monet, Picasso and da at Etihad Towers hotel” waters of the Arabian Gulf? Vinci. Abu Dhabi city’s oldest stone building, Abu Dhabi City Must-Sees Qasr Al Hosn, has recently opened to visitors following extensive Abu Dhabi’s stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of restoration and provides a fantastic opportunity to learn more the destination’s most popular attractions and is placed third in about Abu Dhabi and its Emirati heritage, through historical TripAdvisor’s list of the world’s top 25 landmarks. artefacts, photographs and memorabilia. Able to accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers, it features Viewed as Abu Dhabi’s entertainment district, Yas Island is

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a dv e r t or ia l

Golfers can tee off at three championship golf courses, all of which have PGA professionals on their books

Guests of Etihad Airways can use their boarding pass to gain discounts for attractions, restaurants and leisure activities, as part of the ‘Extraordinary Abu Dhabi Pass’

home to an array of exhilarating attractions, including the Yas Marina Circuit, which plays host each year to the final race of the Formula One season. Away from the track, Yas Island offers three theme parks – Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa. Yas Mall – Abu Dhabi’s largest shopping centre – the Yas Links Golf Course, Yas Beach and Yas Marina (with its promenade of shops and licenced eateries) round off this fun-filled island.

Explore Al Ain And Al Dhafra

The green city of Al Ain - just 90 minutes east of Abu Dhabi city is home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the tranquil and shady Al Ain Oasis. Built in 1891 to defend the city’s palm groves, Al Jahili is a picturepostcard fort with an inspiring exhibition about British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed the deserts of the Empty Quarter. The modern museum of Qasr Al Muwaiji recounts the history of this fortress and its famous residents, as well as the wider history

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and archaeology of Al Ain. All three are open daily and entry is free of charge. The desert island of Sir Bani Yas (170 kilometres southwest of Abu Dhabi city) is home to the Arabian Wildlife Park, where guests can take safari drives to see the 10,000 free-roaming animals, including Arabian Oryx, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs. The Empty Quarter is the world’s largest uninterrupted region of desert sand and home to the iconic five-star Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Afternoon trips into the desert from Abu Dhabi city are also popular, with guests able to experience dune bashing in 4x4s, camel trekking, sand surfing and dinner beneath the stars before being dropped back at their hotel.

How To Get There?

Etihad Airways offers three flights a day from London Heathrow, increasing to a maximum of five flights during the summer and autumn months. A twice-daily service operates from Manchester and Dublin, while British Airways also offers a daily service from London Heathrow.

5/29/19 09:21 AM


abu dhabi

attraction the art of

Louvre Abu Dhabi is luring culture-loving visitors to the capital of the UAE, says Lauren Jarvis – and there are more worldclass attractions to come



efore me stands a stone stelle, carved with hieroglyphs, dating back to the time of Tutankhamun. To my right looms an imposing sculpture of a seated King Ramesses II from 1279–1213 BCE. And in a dark antechamber beyond, lies the ornate, gilded mummy case of Egyptian Princess Henuttawy. But I’m not in the Valley of the Kings, or even London’s historic British Museum, I’m in the heart of ultra-modern Abu Dhabi, wandering one of the world’s newest and most spectacular art spaces: the Louvre ( Known for its soaring skyline and luxurious resorts, the capital of the United Arab Emirates sprung up from the desert, watered by money from the oil discovered in the 1950s. In the beautifully restored Qasr Al Hosn ( – Abu Dhabi Island’s

oldest building – I see black-and-white photographs of the fortress from the early 1900s and the difference is eye-popping. The skyscrapers are absent and sand, palms and camels surround its bleached coral and stone walls. Built around the 1790s by settlers from the Bani Yas tribe, with a watchtower to protect their fishing and pearling pursuits in the Arabian Gulf, Al Hosn is now home to a museum which follows Abu Dhabi’s rise from a small, coastal settlement to the thriving, global city it is today.

High-brow meets high-rise Abu Dhabi has been more than keeping up with its dazzling neighbour Dubai, focusing on all that is bigger, faster and, they would no doubt say, better – from the thrills of Ferrari World on Yas Island ( to shopping Meccas like the Marina Mall

( But the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi in late 2017 has marked a shift, with ancient wonders of the international and Arabian kind on the rise and culture and the arts now flourishing. Attracting a different kind of visitor to the Emirate’s Gulf shores, the Louvre will be joined by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum – worldclass additions to the city’s Saadiyat Island Cultural District. Throughout the capital, old meets new. The stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ( displays traditional Islamic architecture and design, created using modern techniques and explained in a smart e-guide in 11 languages. At Qasr Al Hosn’s freshly refurbished House of Artisans, we watch women dressed in hijabs and burqa demonstrate ancient skills of weaving, palm braiding

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and embroidery. Nearby, a skilled barista prepares freshly roasted Arabica infused with saffron and rose in the contemporary Bait al Gahwa or House of Coffee – it’s a tradition that was added to UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2015. Perhaps most surprisingly for oil-rich Abu Dhabi, it’s building the world’s first carbon-neutral eco-city, Masdar (masdar. ae), powered by renewable energy, just 10 miles from downtown.

Outdoor lifestyle There’s much here for families to love too. Abu Dhabi Island’s glistening towers rise above the Corniche, a five-mile-long esplanade with restaurants, cycle paths, playgrounds and parks, fringing the white sands and turquoise waters of the Gulf. Yas Island offers thrills of the amusement-park kind at Warner Bros.

World and Yas Waterworld. And 90 minutes from the city, the Arabian Nights Village ( offers a touristy but fun glimpse into life in the desert, complete with camels, bellydancers, sandboarding and heartracing 4WD tours of the dunes. Alongside its cultural pursuits, Saadiyat Island is home to the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club (, nesting hawksbill turtles, passing dolphins, and some of Abu Dhabi’s most luxurious yet familyfriendly resorts. Here, guests will find palatial properties including the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort ( and the Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort (, offering plenty to keep parents and kids entertained on the island’s beautiful beach. Opened in October 2018, Rixos Saadiyat Island ( is Abu


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abu dhabi

“Abu Dhabi offers the best of both worlds. Culture and art await at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Louvre Abu Dhabi, while fun and excitement are guaranteed at Warner Bros. World and Ferrari World” Jessica Harris, Product Manager, Elegant Resorts



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Dhabi’s first and only all-inclusive resort. Set on a sweep of pristine sand, the Rixos has 366 rooms and suites, 12 luxury villas – the Superior Villas offer a private pool – seven restaurants serving international and local cuisine, watersports and a kids’ club. “Until now, Abu Dhabi’s hotels have only offered half- or full-board options, so we’ve successfully filled the gap for an all-inclusive experience,” says Burcak Orak, General Manager at Rixos Saadiyat Island. “The concept has been incredibly well received here. With all drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), dining at all our restaurants and cafés, an array of fitness and water sport classes, as well as our evening entertainment programme included in the price.”

What’s new Hotels: Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa ( opened in February, set in Abu Dhabi’s desert, 40-minutes from the city. Two new Radisson Blu ( properties have opened on the Abu Dhabi Corniche and in the city of Al Ain, home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The new Beach Rotana Residences ( offers 314 serviced studios and apartments, with fully-equipped kitchens and sea views. Yas Island will become home to the Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Resort (hilton. com), due to open in 2019. Attractions: Yas Island will see CLYMB ( open later this year, bringing the world’s widest flight chamber and tallest indoor climbing wall to Abu Dhabi. Al Maryah Central mall (



will open in late 2019 on Al Maryah Island, housing more than 400 international brands, a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and amphitheatre. The Presidential Palace, Qasr Al Watan (, opened to the public for the first time in March this year, with a multimedia show and historic artefacts from the Arab world. Airlines: Etihad Airways ( is offering passengers booking flights to and from all their destinations via Abu Dhabi a complimentary two-night stay at a choice of hotels. Visitors flying with Etihad can also save money on attractions, restaurants, shopping and more with the Abu Dhabi Extraordinary Pass.

Where to book it DESTINOLOGY – 01204 823762 Enjoy seven nights all-inclusive at Rixos Saadiyat Island from £2,440pp in a Deluxe Double Garden View Room, including return flights with Etihad Airways. / 




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six of the best


quirky destination


Sasha Wood finds somemore unusual ideas agents can suggest for couples looking to tie the knot abroad

Back to nature, Costa Rica

Eastern promise, Bali

Couples seeking to get hitched with nature as their witness can channel Costa Rican Pura Vida (Pure Life) with a tailor-made rainforest wedding at Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, where the hot springs are fed by Arenal volcano. Wedding venues include a floral marquee in the heart of the jungle, a sweetheart bridge over the cascades and tropical gardens.

Bursting with exotic flora, the lush ‘Land of 1000 temples’, or Bali, is a heavenly place to say ‘I do’. Set at the heart of the Indonesian island, between the rice terraces and palms of Ubud, The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah offers traditional Balinese marriage blessings in one of five locations, including the water garden or the flowerfestooned amphitheatre flanked by Hindi ganeshas.

Beach bubble, the Maldives

Underwater love, Australia

Many tropical island resorts have wedding chapels, but luxe resort Finolhu in the Maldives’ idyllic Baa Atoll recently launched its Bubble Starlight package offering beach destination weddings with a difference. Following a boho-barefoot ceremony at sunset, newly-weds can retreat to a glass Beach Bubble for a starry night cocooned on a secluded stretch of palm-tufted sand.

Snow castle, Lapland For a truly white wedding in a magical setting of snow-dusted firs, frozen sculptures and aurora-lit skies, couples can head to the Lavattumaa snow castle in Finnish Lapland between December and April for a fairytale come true. The snow chapel is the perfect place to exchange vows before hopping on a reindeer sleigh and overnighting in a glass igloo.

Fans of the underwater world will be hard pressed to find a more spectacular wedding location than a subaquatic chapel on the Great Barrier Reef. Daydream Island Resort in the Whitsunday Islands has an underwater observatory where couples can seal the deal in the presence of stingrays and lobsters, followed by a photo call at a heart-shaped reef.

Shamanic ritual, Peru Adventurous travellers can combine bucket-list Machu Picchu and one of the biggest days of their lives with a marriage ceremony at the Sumaq Hotel at the foot of the Inca Trail. The Peruvian hotel offers traditional Incan weddings conducted by an Andean Shaman who calls upon the ancient Incan gods to witness, bless and guide the relationship.

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UK Holidays









turf home

With another long, hot summer predicted for 2019, agents need not look far to find the perfect break. Jessica Pook looks at coast and country options

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E P,












UK Holidays



’m hauling this bucket of ‘nuts’ across the farm and I can already hear the bleating of hungry ewes and their newborn lambs - it’s almost deafening! I’ve not even entered the barn before silence ensues and bulging eyes are following my every move. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a presence! It’s lambing season, the busiest time of the year in the Yorkshire Dales, and I’m attempting to help out whilst the farmer attends to his pregnant ewes. I’ve just about survived feeding time when he calls: “You’ve got small hands haven’t you lass? I might need a hand with this one”… I convince myself he’s joking but thankfully I’m too deep in a sea of wool to be considered useful! Being able to transport myself to this haven of rolling hills and fresh air is like a form of therapy for me. The tiny village of Askrigg, where I’ve taken refuge in a cosy cottage, consists only of the necessities (a shop and three pubs), and yet I couldn’t be more content. And it seems I’m not the only one, the Dales was among the top five regions for UK bookings in 2018, dubbed the year of the ‘staycation’, and it looks set to remain that way.

Close means comfort According to research from Sykes Cottages, two-thirds (66%) of Brits enjoyed a UK break last year, up from 56% in 2017. These rising figures will continue into 2019 as 50% plan to spend their main summer break here. Jane Atkins, Managing Director at Shearings Holidays says: “Demand for holidaying in the UK has been high this

“We’ve seen a 20% year-onyear hike in higher-end accommodation with features such as a hot tub and fireplace” Sally Henry, Sales Director, Hoseasons

year. The timing of the warm Easter was fantastic in encouraging customers to firm up the UK summer holiday plans. She adds: “Many customers don’t realise that they can book UK breaks through their local travel agent so this is often incremental commission.” Similarly, Gary Gillespie, Head of Trade Sales at SuperBreak, encourages agents to make the most out of

existing customers as each will take an average of three UK breaks a year! “For many agents, selling a UK short break provides an additional revenue stream which can be profitable as the UK is not often discounted. “Many customers who book their cruise, summer sun or long haul holidays will also take a few UK breaks a year. It is up to the agents to talk to their existing customers about what plans they have alongside their main holiday. It can be a great way to boost earnings”, adds Gillespie.

Coasting along When the weather warms up, there’s nothing more appealing than a trip to the seaside, which is why Cornwall’s clear waters and sandy beaches are a popular draw for British holidaymakers. In fact, the South West of England topped the list for bookings in 2018, with seven out of the 10 most popular locations close to the sea. The coastal resorts of Llandudno, Eastbourne, Torquay and Bournemouth are all top summer sellers for SuperBreak while Whitstable remains a favourite for those looking to sample local English wines and fresh oysters.

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UK Holidays


With families among the most popular clientele for a seaside holiday, operator Bourne Leisure has invested in its coastal resorts for 2019. Last month Butlin’s officially opened its new £40m pool facility in its Bognor Regis Resort, thought be one of the largest UK coastal investments in 2019. Haven is also fulfilling its £100 million vision of future investment with extensive developments at five of its coastal parks. Meanwhile, according to Hoseasons, luxury properties have seen a 39% growth since 2017, with glamping and seafront studios proving popular with millennials. “Younger travellers should be a focus when it comes to selling the UK,” says Sally Henry, Sales Director at Hoseasons. “Recent research suggests that millennials are increasingly open to the idea of going on a staycation, so there’s a real opportunity for tech-savvy agents to invest in the right marketing channels, including social media, to attract a new generation of customers.” Sell it: SuperBreak offers a stay at the four-star Grand Hotel in Torquay priced from £62 per person, per night on a B&B basis in early September.

Escape to the country A retreat to the countryside isn’t only reserved for those looking for an active walking holiday, it can be enjoyed just as much via a scenic rail journey or sold to those that just want to cosy up next to the fire in the colder months. The hot tub appeal or ‘Bubble breaks’ as they’re known,

“Selling a UK short break provides an additional revenue stream which can be profitable as the UK is not often discounted” Gary Gillespie, Head of Trade Sales, Super Break

are proving popular autumn/winter sellers, with agency sales up 21% compared to 2018. Opening in July 2019 is Ullswater Heights in Cumbria, part of Hoseasons’ Evermore Lodge Holidays Collection. The accommodation offers views across the Lake District and is priced from £308 for a three-night stay for four. “We’re continuing to see strong demand for higher-end






, RM







Sell it: The Great West Way has added a ‘Royal Journey’ to its portfolio of rail holidays, including visits to Windsor Castle and Eton. 




accommodation, with a 20% year-on-year hike for lodges with features such as a hot tub and fireplace,” says Sally Henry, Hoeseasons. “The couple planning their honeymoon in Bali may be open to the idea of a relaxing post-wedding mini-moon just a few hours from home. Similarly, a weekend away in the Cotswolds with the grandchildren might be a good suggestion for the customers who are counting down to the cruise they’ve just booked.” Luxury rail travel is also on the up, Arena Rail Holidays has added several new UK itineraries for 2019 including a five-day summer break to the Cotswolds and the Avon Valley. The tour journeys on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway through sleepy hamlets and the Malvern Hills. It even serves cream tea onboard... is there anything more British?











, CO





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Get more from a short break with

Super Break...

With over 35 years’ experience working with Travel Agents across the UK, Super Break stands rmly at the centre of all things worth visiting. We pride ourselves on helping your customers get the most for their money and the best experiences from their ideal short breaks.

Create your own break with: London & Regional Theatre UK Rail, Eurostar, Flights & Mini Cruises Dinner Deals Spa Breaks Afternoon & Cream Tea Friday Night Out Concerts & Events Attractions

Visit: Join us on Facebook at Superbreak for Travel Agents for exclusive deals, incentives & product news! Untitled-2 Untitled-9 1

5/29/19 10:40 AM 28/05/2019 09:13


Safety first for Maverick

Premium New York New York City has its first-

ever outlet shopping centre. Empire Outlets has opened its doors on Staten Island. Just steps away from the

MIAMI NICE FOR AMERICAN American Airlines is to launch a new daily flight between Heathrow and Miami in October. American’s Miami hub serves as the airline’s gateway to the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, At the same time, joint business partner British Airways will add three additional weekly flights between London and Philadelphia.;

Staten Island Ferry the 100-plus retail experiences include a Nike store, a Banana Republic store and Levi's.

Orlando's new ride Hagrid's Magical Creatures

Motorbike Adventure opens at Universal Orlando on June 13. The park says the latest addition at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter site will become the 'most highly themed, immerse rollercoaster experience at the resort.'. During the coaster 'flight' guests

MAVERICK Helicopters, which operates flightseeing tours in Arizona and Hawaii, has received a major industry safety award. The award is Maverick Helicopters’ eighth in a row for its Las Vegas and Grand Canyon South Rim locations and the fourth consecutive award for its Maui, Hawaii, facility since it launched there in 2015. “Receiving one of the FAA’s highest honours for so many consecutive years is evidence of our dedication and standards to ensuring the safety of our guests,” said John Buch, President of Maverick Aviation Group, parent company of Maverick Helicopters. Maverick, which flies more than 250,000 guests combined each year from its various North American locations, says it holds the top safety record of any tourism-based aviation company in the world. Maverick offers commission to UK travel agents through key tour operator partners and also by contacting the UK office on Maverick@

will twist, turn and rush backward as they travel through a dark forest with 'live' trees at speeds of 50mph.

Free in Baltimore

Baltimore is again running a

series of free events this summer, from festivals to music events to free entry into city museums. Artscape the largest free arts festival in the U.S. will feature over 150 vendors, and craftspeople and three outdoor stages with live music.

BLOG The car might be king in the U.S.

but travel by train to experience some breathtaking journeys across the country. Whether its the scenic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or Amtrak's contemporary California to Chicago, the options are numerous. More Blog content at Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update for the pick of members' news

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Bradley International Airport (Hartford)


When did you become a Visit USA member? Bradley International Airport (BDL) became a member of Visit USA in September 2018. What are the main benefits of your membership? Visit USA gives us access to trade events and one-onone time with agents we would not get to meet. We will be part of the Visit USA Road Show in October, where we will meet with agents in Glasgow, Leeds and London. What flights serve the airport from Ireland/UK? BDL is the second largest airport in New England. Aer Lingus operates a yearround service from Dublin. Passengers complete preclearance in Ireland; they land at BDL like a domestic passenger, which means a speedy passage through Immigration and Security.

Then check out our Visit USA UK members • Apollo Motorhome Holidays • Cruise America and Canada RV Rentals Inc • EagleRider • El Monte RV • Road Bear RV • The Motorhome Experts


Trade key for U.S. specialist USA specialist Vacations to America is again running a concerted trade campaign to increase bookings through agents in 2019. After being a direct-sell operation for several years, the Hertfordshirebased luxury tour operator has embraced the trade in recent times – and that has helped boost sales, says Managing Director, Richard Wimms. “Sales are significantly ahead on this time last year. Our engagement with the travel trade and our passion behind the product we sell is what has kept us strong in the current market,” he added. The operator plans to visit 200 travel agents – both agencies and homeworkers - during April and May. It is also distributing a new monthly e-newsletter to the trade with features such as Property Of The Month, Agent Support, Destination Discovery and more. Agents can sign up via the Vacations to America website homepage. The operator is also planning a second edition of its agents’ reference guide, Buddy Book.

Where is the airport located? BDL is located in the heart of New England, between New York and Boston, and is easier and less stressful than some of the larger airports in the region. Agents should suggest it as a gateway to the entire New England region. Tell us about the airport's catering/retail opportunities. There's a great range, including national brands and regional favourites.

Subscribe to the Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update at

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Davao City Capital of the Philippines’ second-largest and southernmost island, Davao City is Qatar Airways' newest destination, launching June 18. Laura Gelder finds out more The sprawling city of Davao is the capital of Mindanao, a province known as the bread basket of the Philippines as well as being home to the country's most ethnically diverse population, including many indigenous tribes. It’s a relatively modern city in a troubled region and agents should check for the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice on Davao and Mindanao before they book a holiday. But with its cosmopolitan attractions surrounded by unique nature and some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, Davao is sure to be a tourism star of the future.


City life For a quick history lesson, visitors should head to Davao Museum to peruse galleries on local tribes and Muslim communities, historical landmarks and memorabilia which will give cultural context to the region. Davao has a number of shopping malls but for local goods Aldevinco, next to the People's Park, is crammed with stalls where Mindanao's locals sell their handicrafts, including colourful malong blankets and batik-dyed clothing. Local coffee chain Blugre is a good spot for a snack and visitors can try its famous durian coffee and durian cheesecake durian being the world's smelliest fruit!

Green themes Davao is a city of superlatives. Towering over it is the Philippines’ highest mountain, Apo, it’s home to the largest eagle in the world and you’ll find some of the world’s largest fruit in its markets.


In fact, nature is never very far away in Davao. The Davao Riverfront Complex houses the Crocodile Park, one of the city’s most popular attractions which houses a variety of wildlife as well as the Davao Butterfly House and the Tribu K’Mindanawan cultural village. The Philippine Eagle Center is home to these huge and critically endangered birds, who are cosseted in a forested enclosure in the foothills of Mount Apo along with an

array of other reptiles and birds. Parks and gardens are abundant in Davao. If you’re just looking for a quick stroll, the expansive and breezy People’s Park is a good choice. The Malagos Garden Resort is home to many beautiful blooms including the endemic Waling-Waling orchid. Visitors can also explore the Malagos Chocolate Museum, visit the bird watching deck or bird feeding dome or relax in the Zen Garden or Waling Forest.

Filipino fun

THE DETAILS TIME ZONE: GMT +8 CURRENCY: Philippine peso (PhP) £1-65.86 PhP VISAS: No, British passports holders can stay 60 days LANGUAGES: Tagalog Cebuano, English CLIMATE: Tropical and humid. Rainfall is highest May–Oct.


Dec–May is peak travel time. POPULATION: 1.633 million Davao is the largest city by area in the Philippines and the largest on Mindanao island where it's located. USEFUL CONTACT: tourism. GETTING THERE: cathaypacific.

com;;; qatarairways. com, all with a stop. DID YOU KNOW? The current President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, was the former mayor of Davao City for two decades and still has a home there today.

Eden Nature Park is centred on activities, such as camping, trekking, horse riding, fishing and a zip line. Selling itself on its fresh mountain air, it has a bird walk, deer park and forest walking trail as well as Tinubdan, a cultural village. For more thrilling fun there is the Davao Wild Water Adventure where tourists can try river rafting down a 10km stretch of the mighty Davao River, zip lining with panoramic city views at Outland Adventure, or Deca Wakeboard Park. 

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Explore more of the Philippines Embark on a memorable adventure to the heart of South East Asia and discover what makes the Philippines so magnificent. From the popular island getaways outside of Davao to the historic sights in Manila and Clark, visiting the Philippines is a spectacular journey with unlimited possibilities. Fly with us to any of our three gateways in the Philippines, including our newest destination Davao, launching 18th June.

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48 hours in

Edmonton A blend of city bustle and rural charm makes for the perfect itinerary in Alberta's capital, says Jessica Pook Day 1: City living




Day 2: The wild and wacky

Morning: With so much to see in Morning: Leave the bright lights of such a short space of time, a the city behind and go in search of Segway tour is the perfect way to some of nature’s most iconic creatures – explore leafy Edmonton, home to North the bison. Less than an hour from America’s largest urban parkland. The Edmonton city, Elk Island National Park is two-wheeled tour will guide you through home to the bison conservation facility buzzy cityscapes and the scenic River where visitors can take part in the Bison Valley, which offers over 150km of trails Backstage Tour and learn about these attracting cyclists, walkers and Segway shaggy giants with demonstrations, riders alike. hands-on activities and a tour of the Afternoon: Once you’ve found reserve. Whilst in the national park there’s your bearings, it's time to delve plenty of opportunity to explore by foot or into Edmonton’s history at the new by water with a kayak or paddleboard. Royal Alberta Museum. With a collection Afternoon: Spend an afternoon of 2.4 million artefacts, visitors can learn immersing yourself in the West about Edmonton's archaeological and Edmonton Mall, complete with the world’s cultural background, from its changing largest indoor zipline! With over 800 landscapes to its indigenous people. And shops, a waterpark and countless if you’re travelling with children, the new restaurants, it’s easy to while away the interactive bug room hours. and digital sandbox Evening: Spend an is sure to be a hit. evening at Prairie “Spend an afternoon Fast forward to Gardens and Adventure admiring the West the present with Farm. At a Fire Roasters Edmonton Mall, an on-trend Urban Long Table Dinner diners complete with the Pedal Tour to share a gourmet fiveexplore Edmonton’s world’s largest indoor course meal made with top craft beer organic produce from this zipline and over 800 taprooms and 35-acre farm, cooked over shops!” breweries. Use an open fire. Listen to your pedal power Farmer Tam's stories on this 15-person gathered from over 60 U-shaped bike to take in views of the River years of farming and promoting Valley before stopping for a refreshing sustainable agriculture and responsible brew. If there’s still time, hop over to Old tourism.  Strathcona, one of Edmonton’s trendiest neighbourhoods, and explore the local boutiques, art galleries and music shops on offer. Evening: For those that like to learn a thing or two in the kitchen, Kitchen by Brad offers cooking classes which use ingredients sourced from the surrounding area. Groups can partake in a three-hour class to create a custom menu with the help of some talented local chefs. Finish the evening with a stroll around 4th Street Promenade, a sophisticated neighbourhood featuring fine food, hip boutiques and even a neon sign museum. RIVER VALLEY

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the review

Off-season itineraries for Insight Vacations INSIGHT Vacations is offering an early payment discount for its 2019-20 brochure trips, which includes two new itineraries in the Mediterranean. The new 15-day Glories of Greece and Three Continents Cruise and 11-day Athens and Three Continents Cruise explore Greece by land before setting sail on a seven-night cruise, starting in Athens and taking in the coast of Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes and Kusadasi in Turkey before disembarking in Athens. The tours form part of Insight Vacations’ 2019-20 brochure, a collection of escorted journeys departing between October 2019 and April 2020. Agents can save 5% on any 2019-20 booking when paid in full by August 29, 2019.

Funway unlocks Florida


FUNWAY Holidays has launched a three-month ‘Florida Unlocked’ campaign, designed to provide agents with destination training on the less familiar areas of Florida. The eight state partners highlighted in the campaign are Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa Bay, St. Pete/Clearwater, Panama City Beach, Daytona Beach, SeaWorld, Fort Myers and Sanibel. Key features include an interactive website and app - a first for Funway Holidays - with product quizzes, videos, ‘fun facts’ and events. Agents also have the opportunity to create their own version of Florida Unlocked, to then promote with their customer database. Prizes include Red Letter Days,

vouchers, a stay in Tampa Bay, goody bags and an Apple Watch. Agents must complete all destination quizzes, including on the website, to be entered into the prize draw. Commenting on ‘Florida Unlocked’, Malcolm Davies, Funway’s Product Destination Manager, said: “The campaign has been developed based on feedback from our 500 Club of Preferred Partner Travel Agents. Our research revealed that one of the priorities for travel agents was more destination training.” Funway says it is planning to roll out the Unlocked concept to other destination, with ‘Caribbean Unlocked’ likely to be next.

If Only and Abu Dhabi’s prize draw IF ONLY has teamed up with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism to offer agents a prize every month until December. Agents who make a booking to Abu Dhabi for three nights or more will be automatically entered into the draw to win Ferrari driving experiences, Jo Malone goodies and pampering sessions. The incentive is part of the ‘Abu Dhabi – find your amazing’ campaign, designed to highlight the destination’s appeal to couples, families, thrill-seekers, nature lovers and culture enthusiasts. If Only is also offering themed goody bags to agents who post their ‘amazing Abu Dhabi’ experiences by using the hashtag #myamazingabudhabi.

Virtual reality training from the Seychelles

Travelpack Bangkok, Elephant Hills & Phuket Travelpack has a special deal for 9nts in Thailand starting fr£1499pp, includes flights, accommodation, transfers and excursions. For Travel between 5 Aug - 30 Sep 19. To book contact 0208 585 4020 or email -

THE Seychelles Tourism Board plans to expand its training tool kit to include virtual reality fam trips. The videos will be available at later this year and will cover topics from transport to accommodation. Christine Vel, Director UK & Ireland, Seychelles Tourism Board said: “The trade account for 90% of total sales to the Seychelles, so it’s important they can sell the destination as if they have been there themselves.”

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Win a journey to Jersey

ATMOSPHERE KANIFUSHI MALDIVES FESTIVE SEASON & 2020 NOW ON SALE! Book 60 days prior and receive 15% Discount on Rates! PLUS Book now for a minimum of 7 Nights and receive 50% OFF Return Seaplane Transfers! Valid for stays between 01 Nov 19 – 19 Dec 19 and 01 May 20 – 31 Oct 20 BY JESSICA POOK

PREMIER HOLIDAYS is giving agents the chance to win a trip to Jersey, including accommodation and travel, to celebrate the launch of its latest Channel Island campaign. The promotion includes special deals to encourage clients to travel with Condor Ferries, such as complimentary meals, free afternoon tea packages, free half -board upgrades and five nights for the price of four. For example, agents can book Jersey from £445pp for fivenights at Beachcombers Hotel, staying between July 1-18, including a free three-course dinner on the first night. There’s also a seven-night package at the Pandora Hotel

from £545pp between July 1-18 and September 1-30, with a free bottle of wine on arrival. Agents can also book offers to both Jersey and Guernsey flying from Gatwick and regional airports. Those who book one of the offers will be entered into a prize draw to win a three-night holiday to Jersey, staying at the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel and including sea travel with a car. To enter, agents should email their booking reference and ABTA number to condorbreak@premierholidays. before June 30, 2019. Posters, flyers and social media assets are available to download from Premier’s website at:

ADAARAN SELECT HUDHURANFUSHI MAY OFFER NOW BOOKABLE! Book by 31 May 2019 and receive 15 % OFF all bookings arriving from now – 31 Oct 19 PLUS FAMILY OFFER Up to 2 Kids stay for FREE with parents Valid for all stays between 01 Jun – 31 Jul 19

Osborne & Ebel TRADE-FRIENDLY wholesaler

Osborne & Ebel has a special deal for the Sheraton Full Moon Resort Maldives. Five nights start from £375pp on a full-board basis, including return speedboat transfers. For travel May 1 to September 30 2019. The resort is a short boat transfer from Male Airport with excellent access to great diving spots, pristine beaches and great F&B options. For details contact:


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the review: cruise

Cruise Update

Cruise focus for Shearings

ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director

I’M PLEASED to say that last month was a very busy and exciting one here at CLIA. We held our annual flagship three-day conference in the port of Southampton, where a record-breaking 750 CLIA delegates attended. All agents had the chance to visit two of three ships Celebrity Edge, MSC Preziosa and Queen Mary 2 - hear from expert speakers both in and outside of the cruise industry, and even had a surprise visit from Sir Richard Branson who spoke about his exciting plans for Virgin Voyages. CLIA also announced it will hold a Cruise360 event in Malta from October 28-30. The event offers a panoramic view of the cruise industry by bringing together travel agents, ports and destinations, cruise lines and industry suppliers. Four amazing ships will be docked in the beautiful cruise port of Valetta, with delegates able to visit Holland America Line’s Koningsdam or Regent Seven Seas’ Voyager as well as Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge. There’ll also be time to enjoy the destination. Cruise360 is open to all CLIA agents across Europe. For more information and to register for a space, visit

AGENTS can take advantage of early booking discounts and earn Love2Shop vouchers when booking a 2020 river cruise with Shearings Holidays. The offer follows the launch of the operator’s largest river cruise brochure to date, with a 14-page worldwide rivers section and detailing sailings on its new partner line Amadeus Cruises. Early booking prices, as well as a discount of £100 per couple, can be got until June 14. In addition, agents will earn a £25 Love2Shop voucher for every 2020 river cruise booked before June 30, 2019. Agents can offer a luxury eightday itinerary such as Classic Cities of the Danube, Danube Rhapsody, Spring Gardens Extravaganza or Classic Rhine to Switzerland

onboard the five-star Amadeus Silver II, Amadeus Star, Amadeus Silver III or Amadeus Imperial. Prices start from £1659pp and are bookable with coach, air or rail connections and its Home Connect domestic transfer service. A-Rosa also features heavily within the brochure, with 10 new itineraries including a five-day Paris and Versailles itinerary, priced from £789pp. Various departures on A-Rosa Alva, the newest ship to join the fleet on the Douro, are featured and CroisiEurope will focus on themed and special event-based cruises for 2020. Shearings also has its first Ocean Cruises mini brochure, which includes Hurtigruten and Holland America Line.

CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF CELEBRITY CRUISES is offering double rewards and double the cash on any Edge Class booking made before August 28, 2019. As part of the campaign, clients staying on the Celebrity Edge in Edge Class or in an Ocean View stateroom can enjoy a complimentary classic drinks package for the first two guests, worth £55 a day, and pre-paid gratuities. A third guest will also receive 50% off the cruise-only fare as well as the drinks package offer and pre-paid gratuities. Agents will receive their Celebrity Rewards points at the time of booking. AGENTS can save a guaranteed £1,000 per couple when booking a 2020 Europe river cruise with Scenic. The full collection includes bestselling journeys along the Rhine and Douro as well as new sailings along the lower Danube and South of France. Clients will enjoy free door-todoor chauffeur transfers on any itinerary as well as return flights from UK airports, five-star ships with a Scenic Sun Lounge Butler service for all and complimentary beverages all day.

New ocean and river cruise brochures from Titan Travel WITH 48 new ocean cruises and 13 new river sailings, Titan Travel’s latest brochures showcase the best in luxury cruising, immersive experiences and new paddlewheeling tours. For 2020, clients can set sail on a Fred. Olsen worldwide fly-cruise itinerary such as the new Vietnam, Hong Kong and Singapore with Phuket itinerary. Six new Azamara Club Cruise itineraries will also depart in 2020

including a 16-day South Africa Voyage and Safari. River cruising is up 40% and Titan has partnered with Uniworld for all luxury river cruise 2020 departures. It has added Enchanting Towns of the Rhine, Scenic Sights of the Beautiful Moselle and Voyage to the Danube Delta to its portfolio, along with a new paddle-wheel river cruise along the Loire Valley.

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the review: trade show report



Canada’s dream team on a mission Canada’s indigenous tourism came centre stage at a landmark mission to the UK, as WestJet launched its Dreamliner service to Calgary Julie Baxter reports

APRIL 30 2019

Development dreams... Keith Henry, President and CEO, of the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada led the indigenous tourism delegation. He said: ”Visitor interest in indigenous experiences is very strong from the UK and the mission was designed to help connect travellers to product they will love, via the trade. We now have over 1800 indigenous tourism businesses in Canada and over 130 of those are export-ready with 30 ready-to-go, flexible packages. We can offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities ranging from high-end boutique hotels to remote cultural centres and rural activities. We have product and experiences for every type of traveller, yet currently less than 1% of UK sales includes an indigenous tourism experience, so there is huge room for growth. Indigenous sales are up 23% and out-pacing general tourism sales, something is really beginning to change but the research shows, demand is far greater than the current purchasing figures would suggest. We’re not talking about rewriting itineraries, but rather building diversity into them by adding indigenous experiences along current routes. Once people visit Canada they are seven times more likely to go back, so extending the product is not just about selling product today but building longer term repeat visits.”

Hot competition... WestJet’s new Dreamliners feature new long-haul Business, Premium and Economy cabins with enhanced seats, catering and service. Flights depart daily from London Gatwick to Calgary, and vice versa.



Dreamliner debut... Arved von zur Muehlen, EVP and Chief Commerical Officer at WestJet which hosted the mission onboard the inaugural Calgary-Gatwick Dreamliner service. He said: “WestJet is transforming from a classic low cost carrier to a full-service business and leisure airline. We are doing that by enhancing our popular Economy product, and adding best-in-class Premium and Business cabins. We believe our new Dreamliner cabins now offer the best product flying across the Atlantic. It’s a competitive market but we have some key advantages. Firstly, the hardware – the seats and the food; secondly the staff – delivering WestJet’s unique service and culture of care which comes from the fact that all staff are shareholders. Our’s is an airline with personality, with a fun attitude and a deep connection to the community we come from. That is why working in partnership with the members of Treaty 7 of Southern Alberta and other indigenous groups has been so important. A meaningful connection with the communities we serve is key to all we do. The feedback we get is exceptional, the challenge is to make sure everyone considering a trip to Canada knows about it too.”

“The pathway to a traveller’s wallet is through their hearts. They want transformative experiences” David Goldstein, Destination Canada

Dream destination... David Goldstein, President and CEO Destination Canada He said: “I have a passion for telling Canada’s story and that story is not complete without the stories of our indigenous people. Telling it is vital as we reconcile our history but also to differentiate ourselves. The pathway to a traveller’s wallet is through their hearts. They don’t just want an experience but a transformative experience. Transformative tourism has to begin with the essence of the place and the people, and for Canada that has to include our indigenous people. People talk about the ‘value proposition’ of tourism, but ours is a values proposition, and our values are based around inclusion of all. This new WestJet route is an important pathway between the consumers and the indigenous tourism product and stories of Alberta, and beyond.”

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the review: show preview

Experience Latin America Europe’s only trade event dedicated to Latin America takes place this June 10-12 and will join 145 exhibitors and 400 buyers, including agents, at Chelsea Football Club Organised by the Latin America Travel Association (LATA) Experience Latin America (ELA) is an exclusively B2B event which aims to showcase the best Latin American product and connect key European buyers with exhibitors. LATA and ELA’s mission is to expand and diversify the UK travel market to Latin America and the event will encompass meetings, networking opportunities, seminars covering important issues in the industry and social events.

Monday to Wednesday, are: 2019 Latin America booking statistics and trends, working with the UK travel industry and a LATA Sustainability Charter update. The main seminar topics are: going beneath the surface of wellness and wellbeing, choice, challenge and change in adventure travel and transformation at the intersection of luxury and sustainability. Each will start with an informative presentation before participants are divided into groups to discuss and debate key topics. Speakers include Dr. Raj Joshi an adventurer, expedition leader and MD of the Transformational Travel Council.

Growth update Up until the end of April 2019 there has been a 2.2% decrease in UK departures to Latin America compared to 2018, and that’s despite total UK outbound figures dropping by 3.7% during the same period! The data, provided by Forward Keys, indicates that top LATAM destinations for UK travellers are Mexico, accounting for around 22%, followed by Brazil (17%), Peru (8.9%) and Colombia (8.8%). Key growth areas are Brazil (+5.1%), Peru (+3.7%), Argentina (+7.4%) and the Dominican Republic (+17.7%). Niche destinations have also seen significant growth such as the Galapagos Islands (+20.6%), Guyana (+8.2%), Guatemala (+10.9%) and Honduras (+8.8%). Bookings for May to October show Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica and Ecuador as hotspots.


LATA Achievement Awards

The seminar programme There will be a new, improved and interactive format to ELA’s seminar programme, aimed to engage with attendees and create a dialogue about key trends and issues in the region. New for 2019, each day will kick off with a breakfast seminar. Themes, from

This year travel agents gents will attend for the first time, around 80 are registered

Recognising individuals and companies who have made exceptional contributions to the development of travel to Latin America, the ten 2019 categories will recognise the best airline, cruise operator, destination, DMC, hotel, marketing campaign, tour operator and product launch. There’s also an accolade for sustainability and a ‘people’ award. Winners are selected by a judging panel of key figures, including Danny Callaghan, General Manager of LATA, and announced on the Monday.

Topics cover themes like wellness, adventure, luxury and sustainability

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Still going for green Laura Gelder speaks to Colin Stewart before the sixth Experience Latin America - his second as Chairman of LATA What’s new for ELA 2019? A: After five years we’re moving from Canary Wharf to Chelsea Football Club, an internationally-recognised venue that will give us room to grow. I think it’s a great showcase for what London and LATA have to offer. In the past our seminars overlapped with meetings but this year, every day between 1-2pm, there will be a break in meetings so that everyone can benefit from the programme, which was put together after consulting members and covers themes like wellness, adventure, luxury and sustainability. We’ve also really focused on social activities and have scheduled an event for every evening in an effort to keep everyone together. There’s the ninth LATA Achievement Awards, an informal barbeque hosted by Procolombia, and the ELA Fiesta which will take place in a unique venue under Stamford Bridge.



What are you most looking forward to? A: I’m excited about meeting our exhibitors – we’re 10% up in numbers this year but my objective is to meet with all 145 of them. I like to think of us as a family and I want to engage with everyone - hear about their experiences and learn about their products.


“We are seeing growth to Latin America in 2019, to Brazil, Peru, Argentina and the Dominican Republic especially


What does ELA offer attendees? A: Our exhibitors come for our 400 quality buyers from 18 countries. We offer the value of networking and the potential to connect with new business and increase traffic to Latin America. Our aim is to be Europe’s prime B2B LATAM event.


Are you still majoring on sustainability?A: Since we launched the Sustainability Charter last year we’ve attracted 90 members, ranging from tourist boards to DMCs to tour operators. The idea of it was to put a mark in the sand and make sustainability part of our core values. For ELA we’re looking

at ensuring all brand materials and goodie bags are recyclable and we’ll have hydration stations with glass bottles.


What big issues are on the agenda? A: Brexit, of course, and how it might affect travel to the region, and overtourism – how we can work together to be careful about what we promote. A number of members target the luxury market and I think there’s real opportunity to tap into that and compete with Asia and Africa.


How is the region faring this year? A: We’re seeing growth, to Brazil, Peru, Argentina and the Dominican Republic especially. Niche destinations such as the Galapagos, Guatemala and Guyana are also doing well. Norwegian has a new flight into Rio and Air Europa opens a new route to Panama in June and a codeshare with COPA will also opens up countries like El Salvador and Guatemala. It’s a region that’s growing and there are still undiscovered places.

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the review: trade show report

High five on show out west The 25th International Roundup (IRU) took place in Spearfish, South Dakota, in the state’s Black Hills country. Steve Hartridge, the only UK trade journalist at the show, rounds up the news IRU is ‘essential’ REGIONAL tourism shows like IRU remain an essential shop window for some of the U.S.’s less-visited states, said tourism officials. James Scoon, Director of Global Sales and Services at the Wyoming Office of Tourism, said: “Many excellent tourism products just can’t afford to travel over to meet with tour operators in their own countries. Through the Great American West consortium and IRU, Wyoming can do so much more in terms of outreach.” Nancy Richardson, International Trade Specialist for Idaho Department of Tourism, said: IRU is an essential show as it brings tour operators with a “proven passion for the region” together with destinations and products looking to attract more international visitors. “Our Great American West country offices (including KBC in the UK) do a great job in bringing buyers here that understand the region. That makes our own tourism suppliers very comfortable and focused in the meetings.”

On the tourism trails

APRIL 28MAY 1, 2019

SHOW SHORTS GUNSLINGERS still roam the streets of Deadwood, South Dakota, in the summer. Three live ‘shoot-outs’ take place daily (except Sunday) on Main Street. And each evening sees a familyfriendly re-enactment of the capture and trial of Jack McCall, who shot Wild Bill Hickok, the famous lawman and gambler.

TOUR operators from 10 countries gathered in Spearfish, South Dakota (April 28-May 1), to discover the latest tourism products and attractions in five states: South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, a region collectively known as the ‘Great American West’. The suppliers represented interests that included hotels, ranches, scenic train rides, museums, reptile parks, motor cycle tours, Native American attractions and even the largest mountain carving in progress in the world, the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota. UK tour operators at International Roundup (IRU) included America as You Like it and Discover North America. Cole Irwin, Global Travel Trade Director, South Dakota Department of Tourism, said IRU provides the perfect showcase to talk about “the many great things” the state offers visitors. “International tourism is very

important to South Dakota and the region. We are not the bestknown area in the U.S. but we want to share the state with the world. We have great things here: national parks like the eerie Badlands, where Mother Nature is at her best; real Wild West towns like Deadwood; wildlife in Custer State Park; and kayaking and fishing on the Missouri River.” Marlee Iverson, International Travel Trade Manager for Montana Office of Tourism, said: “IRU is always really good for us. As a five-state association, we collectively use our resources at this show. We know that UK visitors interested in say, our cowboy culture, Mount Rushmore National Memorial or Yellowstone National Park don’t really recognise state borders.” International Roundup contributes around $127 million dollars in future visitor spend in the five-state region, said Mathias Jung, CEO of show organiser,Rocky Mountain International.

RIDE the West Tours offers guided HarleyDavidson excursions – from five to 10 days – on the backroads of the Northwest U.S. “We will be making a big push in 2020 to attract the attention of UK tour operators and their agents,” said owner Todd Godfrey.

HOT Springs, South Dakota, is home to the largest concentration of mammoths in the world. Visitors can tour an indoor active dig and view fossils that date from the Ice Age. There’s also a hands-on learning area for children.

IDAHO State Museum in Boise explores the link between Idaho’s people and the landscapes they live in via a series of interactive galleries. history.

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PERHAPS the least-known of the five Great American West states, “North Dakota is big on natural beauty, legendary trails, small-town charm and outdoor adventures,” said Fred Walker, International Marketing Manager for North Dakota Tourism. “From wagon trails, Native American pow wows, ranches, Fort Abraham State Park – where General George Custer was stationed and there is a reconstruction of his home and barracks – towns like Bismarck and Fargo, great golf courses and mountain biking in beautiful Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we have plenty to offer… and invariably visitors comment on our big skies, clean air, open spaces, uncrowded attractions and roads,” he added.

Join a pow wow THERE are more than 30,000 Native Americans living in North Dakota today and there are plenty of ways visitors can learn all about the many tribes’ cultures and traditions. There are several pow wows year round, with the best-attended being the United Tribes International Pow wow in Bismarck, which takes place September 6-8 2019. The weekend features singing, dancing and drumming competitions, arts and crafts, and both traditional and modern foods.

Wild times live on in Cody


Rich North Dakota

AGENTS should recommend Cody, Wyoming, to clients looking for a genuine taste of the Wild West, says the destination’s Marketing Director. Close to Yellowstone National Park, the town was founded by Buffalo Bill Cody and is also known for legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley (of Annie Get Your Gun fame) – and that history is told in a number of first-rate visitor attractions, says Claudia Wade. “We put a real emphasis on authenticity and being genuine. Our top attraction, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, is a worldrenowned facility. A Smithsonian affiliate musuem, it tells the story of the legends and peoples of the West. The center is actually five museums in one: The Buffalo Bill

Museum charts his life and those Wild West days; The Whitney Western Art Museum features works by some of the first artists who headed west to capture Native Americans and Yellowstone scenes on canvas and through bronze pieces and sculptures; the Plains Indian Museum tells the story of Native Americans when the West was being settled, and how they live today; the Firearms Museum features weaponry used in the settlement of the West; and the Natural History Museum explains the eco-system and wildlife around Yellowstone in a way that enhances guests’ understanding of the park. From June 1 to August 31, Cody also features a nightly rodeo, starring bulls, steers, cowboys and cowgirls.

1880 Train steams through the Black Hills


SHOW SHORTS 320 GUEST RANCH, near Big Sky in Montana, provides cowboy experiences suited to all levels of riders. Located just 45 minutes from the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the ranch also offers Blue Ribbon Fly Fishing and a weekly Chuckwagon BBQ in the summer, as well as trail rides.

UNDER CANVAS offers upmarket glamping close to some of the USA’s most popular parks. The safariinspired tents come with king-size beds and even housekeeping and a wood-burning stove. “We are perfect for those UK visitors looking to wake to the sounds of nature just minutes away from beautiful parks like Yellowstone, Glacier, Mount Rushmore and many others,” said Guest Experience Manager Stephen Nelson.

THE world’s only ‘Corn Palace’, featuring elaborate oversized murals made from maize, is the premier attraction in Mitchell, South Dakota. On Main Street, it was built in 1892 to illustrate the state’s booming agricultural sector. Those who visit for the annual Corn Palace Festival in late August will find food trucks, live music and more.

THE 1880 Train is a scenic steam engine ride through the Black Hills of South Dakota. It travels the one-mile route between Hill City and Keystone in about one hour. Along the way an onboard host points out scenic attractions and talks about the history of the area.

THE next International Roundup will be held in Casper, Wyoming, from April 26-29 2020.

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‘Vivolution’ in Cadiz Advantage members gathered in Cadiz for the consortium’s annual conference, where the emphasis was on adapting for tomorrow

Make most of change


Focus on repackaging MEMBERS at the Advantage 2019 conference in Cadiz were told they will be able to sell competitive flycruise and cruise and stay packages from autumn 2019. The repackaged fares, available from Advantage Holidays, will enable members to design, customise and purchase a Mediterranean or worldwide ocean cruise including flights and accommodation. In 2020, worldwide luxury and river cruise fares will become available, allowing members to

further improve their margins. The initiative is part of the consortium’s ongoing Vision 2020 strategy, which will see improved engagement with its members alongside new commercial opportunities and improved digital solutions. A new Regional Communities Programme will also be implemented with monthly calls and regional Facebook groups, as well as a buddy system whereby a new Advantage member will be partnered with an existing member for mentoring.

Cruise and touring training tools ADVANTAGE has launched two new B2B magazines to further support members with training tools. ‘Navigate’ targets cruise and ‘Explorers’ has a focus on touring. The magazines are available to download in digital format from the Advantage website.

ADVANTAGE is looking to entice new staff into the industry – and boost the training of those already working – with the launch of its Apprenticeship Solutions programme. The scheme, which is being operated as a partnership with Travilearn and TrainingStation, offers potential leisure and corporate travel employees the chance to gain the skills they need to progress within their chosen sector. The new programme incorporates a blend of one-on-one coaching, classroom teaching and self-study online learning modules, with two key qualifications available for students: the Travel Consultant Standard and Pathway to Business Travel Professional. IT might have celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, but Advantage is already looking to the future with the news that next year’s annual conference will be held in Madeira, Portugal, from May 15-18, 2020. Sticking with tradition to unveil the destination 12 months in advance, the group will head to the five-star Savoy Palace Hotel, which is due to open at the end of 2019. Accommodation will be available at the Savoy and properties nearby.


MEMBERS were advised to tap into a new generation of customers by offering personal service and selling sustainability. Panellist and BBC Scotland Editor, Sarah Smith, said the next generation of travellers is more eco-conscious than ever and looking to minimise its carbon footprint. “There is a shift in consumer priority where the environment is of upmost importance,” Smith told delegates. “Environmental stories are the most popular at the BBC, especially for the 20-35 age bracket. It’s the story of a generation and something we must respond to.” Steven Esom, Non-Executive Chairman at Advantage, said that trust between the agent and customer is vital to clinch a sale: “A holiday is the single biggest disposable purchase for the consumer, so ensuring you have their trust can make all the difference.” He added: “Larger brands are struggling to engage with their existing customer base. This is where the independent agent has the edge.”

MAY 17-19 2019

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the review: checking out

Checking out...




THE BACKGROUND: Tobago’s largest resort hotel offers 200 rooms and suites, all with a terrace or balcony overlooking the island’s Atlantic coast. It was fully modernised in 2012. THE LOCATION: The resort is just a short transfer from the airport, on the Tobago Plantations Resort. This includes a PGA-designed 18hole golf course as well as many beautiful private houses, and the grounds make for a delightful stroll or cycle ride. Bikes can be hired free of charge. THE ROOM: Spacious, with kingsized beds and all amenities such as TV, mini-bar, tea/coffeemaking items, and a balcony overlooking one of the resort’s three swimming pools. The en-suite bathroom had both a walk-in shower and bath. It’s


For an all-inclusive stay in one of the Caribbean’s most appealing islands, the Magdalena Grand ticks all the boxes. And if your clients are golfers, it’s the only place to stay. The resort offers classic allinclusive benefits such as all-day food and bottomless drinks. For time out of the resort, it’s easy to organise trips to see the

worth booking a south side room where your clients might be lucky enough to see nesting turtles. THE FACILITIES: As well as the golf course, there are three restaurants, a pub, lounge, café, gym, extensive spa, art gallery, shops and swim-up bar in the main swimming pool complex.

Two ‘satellite’ pools at either end of the crescent-shaped complex complete the amenities. A free shuttle operates to nearby Pigeon Point on the Caribbean coast, if your clients want to explore. THE DETAILS: Tobago Plantations Estate

island’s lush rainforest and

Lowlands, Tobago, West Indies. : 001 868

September 8 departure.

secluded beaches. RATES: £1799 for seven nights’ all-inclusive including Virgin flights from Gatwick, based on a

660 8500 :


THE BACKGROUND: There are fewer hotel options in Sapporo than other Japanese cities, which makes this reasonably-priced property a popular choice. The 587 rooms spread over 28 floors are all within the hotel’s eyecatching, white, round tower.

THE LOCATION: Sapporo is Japan’s fifth-largest city and the capital of Hokkaido, the country’s most northerly island. It’s a short drive from the airport to the cylindrically shaped hotel in the heart of Sapporo. THE ROOM: For a panoramic mountain backdrop, your clients

should aim for rooms on the higher floors. The views are spectacular, especially on a snowy winter’s day. Royal floor suite guests have exclusive access to the peaceful 28th-floor breakfast lounge. KEY FACILITIES: Rooms have all mod cons including free wifi, flat screen TVs and room service. There’s also an open-air hot spring bath and spa. RESTAURANTS/BARS: The hotel uses Hokkaido’s local, sustainable and seasonable food in its restaurants that include the Le Trianon French restaurant, as well as the Sky Lounge, where your clients can enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun set over the city. THE DETAILS: 11 Chome Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8615,

THE VERDICT The hotel’s location is

within walking distance of shops, restaurants and downtown attractions. Rugby fans will appreciate the short drive to the Sapporo Dome when England and Tonga play their first match during the Rugby World Cup in September. The hotel is slightly dated but clean and comfortable and with friendly service and spacious rooms. RATES: Standard twins start from £83, deluxe double rooms from £248.

Japan : +81 11-241-1111 :

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Hotels In Anguilla will offer special promotions, such as free hotel nights, throughout June to celebrate Health and Wellbeing month. The Anguilla Tourist Board has partnered with the ‘Move ya Body’ campaign for the island-wide programme which will feature events such as the Colour Me Happy Walk on June 6, a group beach yoga class on Saturday 22, and bespoke healthy menus.


Founder and MD at JG Collection


WHAT don’t readers know about your company? JG Collection has become a touchstone for high-quality hotel representation in the travel sector. We’re not in just the Caribbean, we work with hotels in London, Scotland, New York, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.



WHAT are the benefits of being a CTO member? Community, communication and access. The CTO is a very proactive organisation, in fact, I’d go as far as to say that Carol and her team are one of the best tourist boards we’ve had the pleasure of working with!


WHAT CTO activities do you get involved in? We attend training days with Virgin and BA as well as WTM and ITB. We also keep up-to-date with the CTO’s social platform interactions.


WHAT’S your top Caribbean tip? We frequently hear that the Island of Bequia is how customers imagine the ‘real’ Caribbean to be. It’s the location, the people and the authenticity that have impact. And if you are going you must stay at The Liming & Plantation House!

Saint Lucia is more than just a fly and flop destination

Adventure fam to Saint Lucia SAINT LUCIA TOURISM is hosting a Dive & Adventure CARIFESTA BRINGS THE CULTURE fam to showcase the island’s adventurous side. The seven-night trip, which departs on September 23, Trinidad and Tobago will 2019, is aimed at agents who specialise in diving or host the Caribbean’s largest art experiential holidays. Ten agents will have the and cultural festival from August opportunity to explore Saint Lucia’s natural wonders, 16-25, 2019. The theme of the including visiting the UNESCO World Heritage status festival is ‘Connect, Share, Invest’ Piton Mountains, diving with exotic fish and hiking and it will feature expressions of through the rainforest. music, dance, theatre, film, visual To apply, agents must complete the online training arts, literary and culinary arts, programme at, which includes modules fashion, folklore and craft. The on the island’s history, nightlife, events, main event will be the Island weddings and more, and log a Beats Super Concert, with minimum of two bookings made performances from international within in the last 12 months. A acts such as Shaggy and show d a contribution of £200 is French Caribbean Zouk band o R O The CT rsey on e J required to cover costs. Kassav. More information can to s head ernsey and Gu be found at 12 e t n a u P J 13. RSV . ru on June u lg e v antra caribbe com ST. AGENTS can now KITTS book a James will add to Bond-themed tour its collection of in Jamaica with high-end hotels Sandals Resorts with a Ritzand Island Routes Carlton, due to Caribbean open in November Adventure Tours. More luxury is coming to St. Kitts Send clients on their own mission 2020. Situated on With the 25th the southeast peninsula, the hotel will feature James Bond film due to hit cinemas next 125 rooms and 25 luxury villas and residences spring, clients may want to revisit Bond with a spa, swimming pools and indoor and scenes such as Dunn’s River Falls which was outdoor dining facilities. It follows the the setting for Ursula Andress’ white bikini opening of the Park Hyatt at the end of 2017. scene in Dr. No. Tours start from £75pp.

don’t miss Sign up to the CTO’s training programme at

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the review: show report



Kiwi Trenz Lisa Young reports from New Zealand’s premier tourism event

Maori welcome

A sustainable agenda

TRENZ guests gathered at a traditional Maori meeting house on the shores of Lake Rotorua to hear the local tribe announce the official opening of the event. Local mayor Steve Chadwick said: “This is our primary meeting place and we consider it to be like a house of parliament. It is where we welcome royalty, so it was appropriate for us to welcome TRENZ here, too.” Integrating Maori culture is a top priority for New Zealand’s travel industry.


Eco economics TOURISM New Zealand’s Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall announced at TRENZ that the country’s travel industry will increase its focus on sustainable growth: “As New Zealand’s top export earner, tourism is the beating heart of New Zealand’s economy and we all have a role to keep it that way,” he said. “Tourism New Zealand is working closely with government and industry to ensure the sector gives back more than it takes.”

SUSTAINABILITY and integrating Maori culture into tourism product topped the agenda at New Zealand’s largest annual tourism trade event, TRENZ, last month. Around 300 New Zealand tourism operators, international travel buyers and media from the country’s key established and emerging tourism markets gathered for this year’s event at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua, from May 13-16, with delegates from around the world filling up most of Rotorua’s big hotels. Placing sustainability at the heart

of New Zealand’s future tourism framework, Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts released a new report, Tourism 2025 & Beyond, at the event, which helps to grow the country’s $39.1 billion tourism industry. Roberts also highlighted the importance of embracing ‘Tikanga Maori’, which translates as ‘behaviour guidelines for daily life and interaction in Māori culture’, into the industry. According to the latest tourism figures, NZ has seen a 35% growth in visitors in the last five years.

New international travel requirements NEW Zealand is introducing a new travel requirement for visitors from visa waiver countries, including the UK, from October 1 2019. Request the NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) via the official mobile app or website:

MAY 13-16 2019


JAMIE TUUTA, Tourism New Zealand’s new Chair, commented on his new role, the importance of TRENZ to the country’s travel sector, and the unique attractions of Rotorua, in New Zealand’s North Island. “I’ve been a board member of Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) for a few years now. The role of TNZ in market is promoting New Zealand as a destination for international visitors. “TRENZ is such an important event because it’s an opportunity to invite not only our local operators, but also some of our international buyers and media, to come here to understand what our proposition is. “The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, and it means the Land of the Long White Cloud. Rotorua is the birthplace of tourism in Aotearoa, or New Zealand, and when you think about what attracted people to this place, it was both people and place. “Rotorua has quite an amazing landscape in terms of geisers, forests, and the lake but also the cultural element. It is a good example of blending our natural and environmental aspects with our Maori culture.”

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new zealand

hobbits and

Hobbies New Zealand may be a country of two halves but, when it comes to special interest holidays, it is anything but half-hearted, says Jo Gardner


ew Zealand’s varied topography provides the perfect habitat for nature, the perfect playground for adrenaline junkies and the most succulent bounty for foodies. And with new product coming on stream all the time, there has never been a better time to sell the country to the niche markets.

For food & drink lovers Put the diet on hold: Kiwis absolutely love their food and it’s easy to help your clients taste their way around the country. Book-end each day with a cup of coffee at a cool café and a craft beer at a local brewery; in between, there are street vendors, farmers’ markets, waterside dining, vineyards, top-notch restaurants, cooking courses and food festivals. For lunch, Auckland Harbour is hard to beat, or try some street food in Wellington’s hip Cuba Quarter. Celebrating an occasion? Many of New Zealand’s fine dining restaurants can be found in luxury lodges in remote (and frankly stunning) locations. Imagine arriving by helicopter and dining in front of dramatic snow-capped mountains. When it comes to produce, the vast coastline (all 14,000 kms of it) can only mean one thing: seafood… tuck into green-

lipped mussels, scallops, crayfish or oysters during a casual lunch or posh dinner. Not a seafood lover? Try the succulent New Zealand lamb. There are more wineries in the country than you can shake a grape at - try the crisp, fresh Sauvignon Blanc or the light Pinot Noir at a pretty vineyard, before buying some to take home. For a complementary snack, dairy farming New Zealand has many award-winning cheese varieties, including blues, vintages and cream soft cheeses. With its inventive menu of fine dining using traditional Maori cooking techniques (in a pit under the ground), Wellington’s newest restaurant, Haikai, is already a hit.


Where to stay HAWKE’S BAY is a large wine region near Napier with vineyards, cellar doors, accommodation and places to eat and drink. Fans of stylish period architecture should set up camp at Omaruni Valley, a great base for touring the vineyards and within easy reach of the Art Deco town of Napier. ( Book it: Bridge & Wickers ( has a 19-day self-drive New Zealand Food & Wine Odyssey tour from £3,375pp including flights, car


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new zealand



“Kiwis may be relaxed by nature but New Zealand has more adventure sports and activities on offer than anywhere else in the world” hire and accommodation, as well as a Food and Wine Lovers’ Delight tour of the Esk Valley, Te Mata, Clearview, Craggy Range and Trinity Hall estates in the Hawke’s Bay area.

For adrenaline junkies



Head for heights? After an adrenaline rush? You’ve come to the right place. Kiwis may be extremely relaxed by nature but they have a head for thrills and spills, with more adventure sports and activities on offer than anywhere else in the world. As for adrenaline rushes, Zegos (quad bikes on water), Seabreachers (waterbased whale-shaped pods) and Riverbugs (inflatable armchairs on river rapids) are the newest crazes to hit the country. Visitors to New Zealand can bungee jump, sky dive, white-water raft, ski, heli-ski, jet-boat, zip-line, abseil, climb and Zorb. You can even jump head first off Auckland Harbour Bridge. With its high mountains and fast rivers, Queensland still wears the adrenaline


capital crown, however. This is where the original (Kawarau) and highest (Nevis) bungee jumps can be found, as well as plenty of places to white water raft, jet-boat, skydive, ski and heli-ski. Canyoning – abseiling down mountain faces, leaping into waterfalls and basically scrambling to safety - takes place in remote mountain locations in Auckland, Nelson, Canterbury and Wanaka, while zip-lining – flying through the air on a wire – is popular in Waiheke Island and Rotorua. Rotorua is also where Zorbing can be done – rolling downhill in a big plastic ball (of course).

Where to stay STONERIDGE ESTATE is a five-star boutique lodge with majestic mountain and lake views. Built using reclaimed iron, stone and slate, the grand property has just 10 rooms, each with beamed ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows letting the outdoors in. After a day of adrenaline-fuelled pursuits sink into the outdoor hot tub with a glass

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new zealand



of wine from the local vineyard. ( Book it: The Roadtrip ( offers an 18-day Best of New Zealand Ultimate Adventure small group tour, taking in both islands, from £7,577pp based on two sharing, and including 17 nights’ four-star accommodation, a private driver, most meals and activities including river rafting, zorbing, skydiving, heli-skiing and jet-boating.

For nature & wildlife Very few countries can rival New Zealand for scenery – think snow-capped mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers, forests, lakes, beaches, fjords and gushing rivers. Over one third of the landscape is located in nature reserves and national parks (of which there are 14), too ensuring their preservation for generations to come. One trip here could see visitors dousing themselves in volcanic mud in Rotorua, riding a helicopter over Franz Josef Glacier, joining a whale-watching exhibition in Kaikoura, standing on picture-perfect beach in Abel Tasman National Park and setting up camp under a 51-metre Kauri tree in the Waipoua forest. Binoculars at the ready for the local wildlife too, with many rare birds and creatures that have survived since prehistoric times. Stewart Island is the best place to spot the country’s national bird, the kiwi, a flightless bird that was once nocturnal but which can now be


spotted hunting for food. The world’s rarest penguin, the yellow penguin, can be seen in nearby Dunedin, while the Takahe bird, once thought to be extinct, has been boosted to a population of 300 off the coast of Auckland thanks to intensive management. In Wellington’s Te Papa museum a new permanent exhibition showcases New Zealand’s natural heritage and has a rare Moa egg on display, one of only 36 in the country. The Hector’s dolphin and Hooker’s sea lion, meanwhile, can only be found in New Zealand waters.

Where to stay THE RESURGENCE is a remote, adult-only eco-lodge set in the outskirts of two national parks and within 50 acres of native bush. Close to Abel Tasman National Park, the lodge offers access to Golden Bay and the migratory birds of Farewell Spit. Dining is a communal, sociable affair. ( Book it: Prestige Holidays ( offers a nine-day Volcanoes and Vines fly-drive tour from £2,127 per person based on two sharing, including international fights, transfers from Auckland, car hire, eight nights’ accommodation and guided touring. The tour includes guided tours of Rangitoto Island, White Island (New Zealand’s only active marine volcano) and a half-day experience on the Tongariro Track. 


“Stewart Island is the best place to spot the country’s national bird, the kiwi, a flightless bird that was once nocturnal but which can now be spotted hunting for food”

spotlight on



Premier Holidays In conversation with... Nikki Hain, Product Manager, Premier Holidays


What are Premier Holidays’ USPs? We are a small, privately owned, independent company, which enables us to give agents the widest choice of destinations, accommodation and airlines, plus greater flexibility. We pride ourselves on offering that personal touch and creating affordable tailor-made trips – we believe every holiday should be as individual as the customer. More than half the team have been with Premier for more than 10 years and we have excellent trade relationships.


How do you work with agents? Agents are so important to us - around 90% of our holidays are sold through the trade. We never direct discount and offer competitive prices with added-value extras. We run incentives to coincide with campaigns and brochure launches and our Sales Managers, Carly Charteris and Karen Milward, travel all over the UK to meet agents. We also run training events with tourist boards and host fams, with Borneo, Guernsey and Thailand coming up.


What is selling well? Short haul has been selling very well for 2019, especially the Channel Islands and Isles

of Scilly, which we’re putting down to Brexit. Sales to Canada and the USA have increased, the former helped by TV coverage like Great Canadian Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo, which has boosted sales for Rocky Mountaineer. In the U.S. there’s demand for self-drive. Also on the up are Indochina, the UAE, Seychelles and Caribbean.


What’s new and in the pipeline for Premier’s product? Agents will receive our new Faraway and Beaches brochure in July, both with a new design and new resorts and multicentre itineraries. We’re excited to be adding Ajman to our Middle East portfolio. A 45-minute drive from Dubai and less expensive, it’s excellent for a relaxing beach break or a stopover and has authentic Arabian culture. We’ll be featuring the stunning Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, framed by mangroves, lagoons, white sand and a Jack Nicklaus championship golf course.

flavour of a destination, whether it be a night under the stars in a traditional desert camp in Oman, cooking classes in Indochina or spending time with a native tribe in the Borneo jungle. Clients want to experience things rather than just relaxing on a beach. One of our most popular itineraries is a South Africa and Mauritius twin-centre where clients can get their safari and sightseeing fix followed by a beach stay.


What’s new to your job? Premier have been promoting the Caribbean for many years but it’s relatively new to my portfolio. Having worked with the Indian Ocean for over 20 years, I was surprised at how different the islands are and how much repeat business hotels have. We feature Barbados, St. Lucia and Antigua, and I’m keen to promote island hopping.


What’s your most memorable travel experience? There are so many, but the first time I visited Vietnam, 25 years ago, I was invited to a local house in Hoi An for tea and and looked through their photo album at all the foreign people they’d met over the years. There’s something really magical about visiting a place before tourism hits, when locals just want to talk to you out of fascination! 


Is Premier onboard with the trend for experiential travel? Definitely! We place a huge emphasis on offering local experiences and giving people a real

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Tap into one of travel’s fastest growing trends and join us for an informative evening with top suppliers and the chance to win prizes including a fam trip. MANCHESTER JULY 9


Suppliers include: CroisiEurope, Emerald Waterways, Fred. Olsen, Leger Holidays, Pandaw Cruises, Sanctuary Retreats, Scenic and Titan

Register to attend at sellingtravelmag

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48 hours in


Hong Kong With hidden neighbourhoods and rural communities, Hong kong is so much more than its iconic skyline, says Jessica Pook Day 1: Fuel up

Grab dinner at Little Bao, a modern Chinese diner, before heading for drinks at Tai Kwun, home to some of the city’s coolest new bars and restaurants, and the perfect place for a post-dinner nightcap.

Morning: Start by taking a walking tour around the Sham Shui Po district, located in Kowloon just north of Boundary Street. Traditionally a working class neighbourhood, tours here introduce Day 2: Step out visitors to shops that have been passed down through several generations, and Morning: Embrace the day with some of the best family-run eateries in the a Hongkonger's favourite pastime city. And it's never too early for noodles in - hiking. Tung O Ancient Trail on Lantau Hong Kong! There are also tours that focus Island is a scenic coastal hike following what on history, local textiles, crafts or a was once an important commuter route combination of all the highlights. between the two rural fishing villages of Tung Chung and Tai O. It offers a taste of Afternoon: Head to Tim Ho Wan for rural Hong Kong and fabulous photo lunch, a wonderful dim sum opportunities. restaurant loved by locals and one of the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred Afternoon: Tai O is known as the establishments. The trick is to get there 'Venice of Hong Kong' for its stilt early, take a number and ask a local to listen village inhabited by the Tanka fishing out for your number community for as when you are generations. The called to eat, they call unusual, inter“Take in the stilt village of in Cantonese! connected stilt the Tanka people, a Once you've structures are set community of fisher folk refueled, jump on over the tidal flats. the MTR and head Villagers living here who’ve built their houses to Victoria Dockside, continue to sun-dry over the tidal flats of the new art and their catch and Lantau Island ” design district of the makes shrimp paste harbour front. Here on their balconies. visitors can explore the Avenue of Stars, Evening: A bar with a view is a must in modelled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Hong Kong so start the evening right and the adjacent Salisbury Garden. with roof-top drinks at Piqniq, one of the Jump aboard Hong Kong's iconic Star Ferry newest rooftop bars in the Central area. It is for stunning views of the skyline, and a located in H Queen’s arts venue, the first connection to the Central district for some vertical gallery in the city. cultural attractions. The Man Mo Temple For traditional Cantonese cuisine, Ding's is one of the oldest and largest temples in Club won't disappoint. Resembling a classic the city. Built in the 1800s, the temple pays Chinese quadrangle, here celebrity chef tribute to the god of literature (Man) and and kung fu star, Steve Lee Ka Ding, offers the god of war (Mo), both of whom were nostalgic menus with a fine dining twist.  worshiped by students in Imperial China. Today the temple is still frequented by students and their families who pray for BOOK IT WITH WENDY WU good fortune in exams. Evening: Take a stroll around PMQ – A three-night Hong Kong in Focus tour a design hub which opened in 2014 includes a full-day coach tour of Lantau in the old Police Married Quarters. This is Island and half-day tour of Hong Kong now a hub for Hong Kong’s creative Island, with time to explore at leisure. Priced industries, and visitors can browse the from £380pp, it includes airport transfers, studios of up-and-coming local talent as well meals and entrance fees. as joining creative workshops.




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Training, competitions, events June 2019


Cruise with Jools NEWS

Quick Quiz Are you a Newmarket Expert?

1. Newmarket Holidays do not offer river cruises TRUE / FALSE


The Seychelles goes virtual

2. Newmarket Holidays is the only operator to sell tickets to Wimbledon Tennis

SAGA has confirmed that Jools Holland will sail on a trio of cruises aboard new ship Spirit of Discovery in 2020. Playing a mix of boogie-woogie, r&b, jazz and soul, Jools and his band of musicians will sail the following: A Baltic Fable, stopping at six Baltic cities; Sounds of Spain, influenced by the Spanish guitar and with flamenco performances; and Western France and the Costa Verde, where music and gastronomy feature heavily.


Seychelles superstar I Modules: 5

Pride for kids News


New York State is hosting a summer of Pride events aimed at families, including Pride on the Beach (June 21-23), Long Island’s biggest pride celebration. Along with the annual Long Island Pride Parade, families can also enjoy the Pride Pet Parade, Pride Family Fun Run and Pride Market Fair on the boardwalk.

1: False 2. True

The Seychelles Tourism Board plans to expand its training tool kit to include virtual reality fam trips. The videos will be available on the online training programme later this year and will cover topics ranging from transport to accommodation. Christine Vel, Director UK & Ireland, Seychelles Tourism Board said: “The trade accounts for 90% of total sales to the Seychelles. To continue to provide the most engaging training we are introducing dedicated virtual reality videos, as if you were there on a fam yourself.” Since the launch of the direct British Airways flight this year, the Seychelles has experienced a 16% increase from UK visitors. powered by

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Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!

Qatar summer deals

Working in partnership



A-Z of available courses

Agents can take advantage of 25% off flights and hotels as part of Qatar National Tourism Council's (QNTC) 'Summer in Qatar' programme. Qatar Airways is offering 25% off all flights to Doha for travel between now and August 16, 2019. There's also the option of Qatar+, a stopover package designed to give travellers transiting through Qatar the chance to stop and discover Doha with free luxury hotel stays and transit visas. Also taking part are eleven hotels, including Marriott International Hotels, Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels by Tivoli and Ritz-Carlton, will offer up to 25% off for stays between 4 June – 16 August, 2019.

ABTA Alaska Aruba Amtrak Vacations Beaches Resorts Bourne Leisure Butlins Centara Hotels & Resorts Cirque de Soleile Costa Rica Elegant Hotels Essential Detail Fiji Finland Flanders Fort Myers & Sanibel Haven Hotels Hawaii


Yas Island appeals to kids

Heritage Resort Jerusalem Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Journey Beyond Las Vegas Macao

Yas Island I Modules: 4

Lunch on the water News

TIPTO is inviting agents to join an exclusive lunch onboard Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Magellan ship, on July 9, 2019 in Liverpool. Agents will enjoy a full ship tour and a three-course meal and drinks while networking with TIPTO'S 25 supplier members. Agents can sign up now by visiting TIPTO registered agents can also email

YAS ISLAND, Abu Dhabi's leisure and entertainment hub, is appealing to families this summer with its Kids Go Free packages, available until September 30, 2019. To qualify for the deal, agents must first book a hotel stay for one night or more through Each child under the age of 12 will then be entitled to stay and visit the island's theme parks free when accompanied by a paying adult. Families visiting Yas Island can enjoy its three theme parks: Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros. World™ as well as Yas Marina's latest attraction, the Serdal Pearl Diving Expedition.

Melia Hotels & Resorts New York state Newmarket Holidays Ontario Qatar Railbookers SAGA Saint Lucia Sandals Resorts Seychelles Simon Malls St Kitts Thailand TIPTO US Airtours Veranda Resorts Windjammer Landing Hotel Yas Island

Win a sarong!

Throughout June and July the first 500 people that register will win a sarong. Register by going to

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5/30/19 5/29/19 04:35 10:08 PM AM


Musical trails Have your clients hit the wide open roads of the U.S. to unlock its legendary musical heritage, from rhythm and blues to country; rock ‘n’ roll to soul

Rhythms of the River

Pacific Coast Music Trail

From the Midwest to the South via the Mississippi River! Begin your trip in Chicago, Illinois with over 200 live music venues and clubs to suit every taste. Head out on Route 66 for a true slice of Americana and hit Springfield, Illinois before continuing onto St Louis, Missouri and Nashville, Tennessee. Don’t forget Memphis, Tennessee, a pilgrimage city for music lovers followed by Cleveland, Mississippi, Natchez, Mississippi and of course, the famous New Orleans, Louisiana!

Musical Roots of the South

Discover Seattle, Washington, the home of the grunge movement (birthplace of Nirvana and Pearljam!) before enjoying the diverse ecosystems of Olympic National Park. Then, head to America’s mecca for Indie Rock, aka Portland, Oregon, to see the city that produced The Dandy Warhols. This itinerary will have you exploring Oregon wine country and the coast, before reliving the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco, California. Finish your journey taking in the California coast, Palm Springs, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Great North Music Tour

If your client is looking for Southern charm and musical heritage, this itinerary is the one for them! From the metropolitan cities of Dallas and Austin, Texas to road tripping on the Mississippi Blues Trail and exploring Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, this route caters to all! Continue on to the Great Smoky Mountains, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia before finishing up in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina!

Follow the sounds of the USA’s trendy cities on this route, from Chicago, Illinois to Detroit, Michigan, and from Cleveland, Ohio to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Immerse yourself in Jazz and Blues while in Chicago before hitting the Motown Museum in Detroit. For the more adventurous clients, don’t forget Cedar Point Amusement Park in Cleveland, Ohio. Head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to enjoy street art and history galore before finishing up in New York City and Boston, Massachusetts!

To win a Brand USA tool kit to promote these itineraries and host an awesome, fun-filled musical event for your customers right in store, visit

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space attractions


Spaced out The story of U.S space exploration and NASA’s role in it are told in visitor attractions across America. Michelle Jackson explains why 2019 is the perfect time to visit them

Washington DC and Virginia For clients flying into Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia with a few hours to spare, recommend The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. It is free to enter and there is a free shuttle bus taking people there from the airport. The space shuttle Discovery is in situ there, along with a vast array of iconic aircraft, including an Air France Concorde and the original Enola Gay aircraft. There’s a spectacular observation tower, and displays include the Space Science exhibition which showcases satellites, orbiters and space probes. The Human Spaceflight exhibition celebrates the 500 men and women who have flown in space.

For those staying in Washington DC, the

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has a spectacular exhibition this year marking the historic moon landing of 1969. The display includes Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit – made available via a kickstarter campaign called Reboot the Suit. On July 19 the museum will host Discover the Moon Day during which visitors will be able to discover lunar science past and present, and follow a display that traces the footsteps of the Apollo 11 astronauts. The following day, a late-night celebration will see the museum mark the exact moment the first steps were taken on the moon with activities running until 2am.

Kennedy Space Center, Florida As the departure site for Apollo 11, the Kennedy Space Center, on Merritt Island, is one of the most important sites for space enthusiasts this year. Here the Astronaut Encounter gives visitors the opportunity to speak to a veteran NASA astronaut about their experiences, take photographs with them and collect autographs. The Center’s Rocket Garden houses replica rockets, which

tower over visitors, and there is a new Heroes & Legends exhibition, and the U.S Astronaut Hall of Fame where films and exhibitions celebrate and honour the astronauts. There are also IMAX films showing footage of earth taken from space, and interviews with astronauts. To mark the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo programme, there is a two-day admission pass offering two full days at the Center complex (to be taken within 14 days), priced $75 per adult, $65 per child.

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space attractions

Rocket City, Huntsville, Alabama Huntsville, aka Rocket City, is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center where scientists developed the first spacecrafts to go to the moon. It is also the earliest home of pioneering NASA scientist Wernher Von Braun who worked here on those initial rockets and he’s a big hero in the town, even having his own beer - a brown ale, of course - served at the Straight to Ale Brewery. Throughout the year there will be daily re-enactments of the moon landing at the U.S Space and Rocket Center – the largest space museum in the world – culminating with a Guinness World Record rocket launch attempt on 16 July, the date Apollo 11 was launched. The centre aims to launch 5,000 rockets into the sky that day, before a street party in downtown Huntsville. The site includes the

historic shuttle park and rocket park, and a world-premiere exhibition, Apollo: When We Went to the Moon. Rocket City is getting ready to party like it’s 1969 and throughout 2019, it will combine commemoration of the Apollo 11 anniversary with Alabama’s bicentennial state celebrations. The key anniversary week in July will also include a Celebration Car Show and a concert. Visitors can also sit in a lunar module simulator as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins and the five female astronaut alumi have done. Attending a three-day adult Space Camp experience costs $549pp including food and accommodation.

“July 20, 2019 it will be 50 years since Apollo 11’s lunar module Eagle landed on the moon, marking the very first moon landing”

Space Centre, Houston, Texas The Texan city of Houston is home to the Apollo Mission Control Center at Nasa Johnson Space Center, now owned and operated by the Manned Space Flight Education Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation offering extensive science education programmes and a space museum. On site visitors get a behind-the-scenes look at human space exploration, touring astronaut training facilities and Mission Control, the historic room that brought the aborted Apollo 13 safely back to earth. Key events include an all-day and evening celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first steps on the moon.

The Center’s Starship Gallery Museum is home to multiple flown spacecraft, national treasures and artifacts. Tickets cost adult $30, child (age 4-11) $25. To celebrate the anniversary, the Space Center, along with a community of backers from around the world, have worked to restore Mission Control so as to accurately portray how the area looked when the landing took place on July 20,1969. The restoration of Mission Control features authentic consoles used to monitor all Apollo Moon missions, including the famous moon landing of Apollo, and the emergency of Apollo 13, along with small details, like the controllers putting out their celebratory cigars.

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space attractions

The Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington The Museum of Flight, Seattle, is hosting The Smithsonian’s Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibition from April 13– September 2, in its only west coast appearance. The exhibition is enhanced with The Museum of Flight’s own space race displays which include rare objects such as a Soviet Sputnik satellite, an early cosmonaut spacesuit and the world’s only display of rocket engine remains from the engines that boosted Apollo missions. There is also a unique gallery focused on the legacy of astronauts, engineers and the


space programme to the Seattle area. Choose the Destination Moon add-on during checkout when purchasing tickets to The Museum of Flight, and the exhibition costs $10pp. Elsewhere in the city, the Space Needle, one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks has a 360-degree spacelift so visitors can take in Seattle views from floor-to-ceiling glass windows.


WHEN YOU’RE SPEECHLESS Feel the power of a rocket launching from Earth. Come witness humanity’s greatest achievements. Only at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Book Now via your Florida Attraction Ticket provider.


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Balcony Southampton, Vigo, Gijon, Le Havre (Paris), Southampton.

13 night Caribbean Fly Cruise Balcony 10 Dec 19 - MSC Preziosa Fly to Barbados, Bridgetown (overnight), Port-of-Spain,

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Hotel prices are per person per night and based on 2 adults sharing unless otherwise stated. Cruise prices are per person and include all taxes and port charges. Offers subject to availability and maybe withdrawn without notice. Terms & conditions apply.

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Book with confidence ACCREDITEDAGENT

5/29/19 10:46 AM 23/05/2019 11:38 11:36

the final word


the quirky side of travel Gryll and Bear it

Adventurous types can put their skills to the test as part of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, described as 'the world's most challenging and empowering course'. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the academy will first operate in Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, from early 2020 in the form of half-day (five to six hours), 24-hour and 48-hour courses. Participants will learn extreme survival techniques including how to make a fire in the wilderness, build emergency shelters, deal with a medical trauma, and gain training in navigation techniques, rock climbing and extreme weather survival. Ras Al Khaimah is one of 20 locations to offer the course along with mountainous locations across the UK, USA and China.

Elusive Europe

The David Hasselhoff Museum in Berlin and Amsterdam's Floating Cat Sanctuary have been voted ‘Europe's Most Underrated Tourist Attractions' by rail specialist Trainline. Other overlooked highlights include Germany's ‘Teledisko’- a nightclub housed within a telephone box and Starkenberger Brewery’s Beer Pools, a place where you could quite literally drown in beer!

Top 5... fairytale castles in Europe According to accommodation booking site,, staying in palaces and castles is shaping up to be the hottest travel trend of 2019. Requests for fairytale hotels are up 55% on last year. Here are the top five royal retreats... 1 2 3


Endangered encounters

Mexico has topped the list of countries with the highest number of endangered species, with 665 in total. Those wishing to sight a baird’s tapir, the largest indigenous mammal in Central America; a volcano rabbit; or an ocelot, a small wild cat, should do so before it's too late. Indonesia is a close second with 583 followed by Madagascar (553) and India (542).


Hotel Pacai: Vilnius, Lithuania Gstaad Palace: Switzerland Esplanade Zagreb Hotel: Croatia Häckeberga Castle: Genarp, Sweden Hotel Dukes' Palace Bruges: Belgium

THE JULY/AUGUST 2019 ISSUE OF SELLING TRAVEL WILL FEATURE: Cruising the Caribbean • Middle East • Mediterranean • 48 hours in Bangkok • South Africa • Luxury Australia • Plus: special sections on Canada and escorted touring CONTACT US: ONLINE reviews • blogs • features • incentives • interviews

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Nan Short Representative Northern Ireland & Eire Tel: 02890 642252

Megan Saunders Trade Sales Support Executive Tel: 020 7399 7602

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Fares are per person, cruise only in UK sterling based on double occupancy in the specified stateroom grade for the first two full-fare guests and include port, security and handling charges, which vary by departure. All fares, offers and itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. Fares may fluctuate and should be used as a guide only. Prices may go up or down. You should contact us on 0207 399 7604 before booking, or visit our website The fares are available to new bookings only and are only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See for complete terms and conditions of all offers. (c) 2018 Crystal Cruises, Inc., Ships' registry: The Bahamas.

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Be inspired by...

River Cruise Trends in River Cruise • New Beginnings: New Product on the World's Rivers • Take Five: Suites • At a Glance

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TRENDING ON THE RIVERS... The river cruising industry continues to grow and innovate, hoping to attract further customers with updated styles and experiences. Jeannine Williamson looks at how the sector is channelling change


ew and refurbished ships, more itineraries and exciting shore excursions coupled with increased onboard attractions are among the innovations contributing to a boom in river cruising, which has seen a record number of UK passengers take to the world’s waterways. Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland Director, says: “The UK river cruise sector is seeing continued growth year-on-year. In 2017, the UK river cruise market reached 210,400 passengers, against 174,000 in 2016. Figures for 2018 won’t be published until June but CLIA is confidentially predicting another year of strong growth. “European river cruises, which account for almost 90% of bookings, were the driving force behind this exceptional growth. The Rhine and Danube lead the way, however, it is eastern and southern European rivers such as the Douro and Russian waterways which are seeing the most growth.” David Sharman, Commercial Director at Newmarket Holidays, agrees. “We have recently launched our 2020 river cruise

programme which is dedicated entirely to the A-Rosa portfolio across the key rivers of Europe. We are delighted to be featuring the Douro for the first time next year, with the A-Rosa Alva, the line’s newest ship. This river is growing in popularity and we are now able to offer agents a destination we haven’t featured before. It is a perfect choice for customers who have sailed the popular rivers such as the Danube and the Rhine and are now looking for something a little different.” Guests are also looking for new experiences. John Fair, UK Sales Director for CroisiEurope, says: “We’ve added an additional ship on the Rhone, which continues to grow in popularity thanks to the combination of beautiful landscapes, world class vineyards, iconic cities and time in France’s gastronomic capital, Lyon. Our gourmet-themed cruises on the Rhone and our Beaujolais cruises are in great demand, as are rivers such as the Guadalquivir and the Loire which are unique to CroisiEurope.” Once the realm of mature clients, there’s a growing trend towards cruises

aimed at younger travellers and multigenerational families. Tauck spearheaded dedicated family sailings and A-Rosa offers free cruises for children under 15 on every departure. U by Uniworld - recently rebranded U River Cruises - pushed the boat out with its eye-catching ships The A and The B aimed at the “young at heart”, and this year Amadeus River Cruises has sailings for millennials. Ship-shape new vessels Larger and greener ships are among the latest developments in the new generation of river cruise vessels. The big news, quite literally, is AmaWaterways’ recently launched AmaMagna. The 196-passenger vessel, double the width of standard river ships, has four restaurants, five bars, a pool, watersports platform and private speedboat American Cruise Lines has named the third ship in its Modern Riverboat Series, American Jazz. American Song is already sailing on the Columbia and Snake Rivers and American Harmony begins cruising the Mississippi in August. The line claims the industry's smallest carbon footprint.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The River Cruise Line's MS Arena; Avalon Waterways' Avalon Envision; American Cruise Line's American Song; Amadeus River Cruises, Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

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The Very Best River Cruises in Europe & Southeast Asia Let Scenic and Emerald Waterways take your customers on the river cruise of a lifetime, from the Danube in Europe to the Irrawaddy and Mekong in Southeast Asia.


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ABOVE: AmaWaterways' AmaMagna

Avalon Waterways, which recently launched its latest all-suite ship Avalon Envision on the Danube, is providing agents with new ‘cruise only’ pricing options across its fleet-wide programme. Additionally, in 2020 the line will introduce shorter three, four and five-day itineraries which are ideal for first-time river cruise clients looking to test the water. Also next year, APT Travelmarvel is introducing three new Contemporary River Ships with features including a garden terrace and pub-style McGeary’s Bar. And a significant development for the River Cruise Line will be the launch of the 96-passenger MS Arena, a four-star ship with hotel-style beds in every cabin plus French balcony staterooms. Onboard activities River cruising will always be a leisurely way to travel, however a key trend to attract active passengers is onboard wellness. This year Avalon Waterways introduced

Adventure Hosts on its European ships to run fitness classes and other heartpumping activities. These complement the Avalon Fresh menu, available across the fleet, which focuses on healthy eating. AmaWaterways has also rolled out a fleet-wide fitness programme, with up to six daily exercise classes. At APT there are new multi-tasting entertainment duos responsible for organising daytime fitness sessions alongside more traditional entertainment such as trivia quizzes. Once a rarity on rivers, an increasing number of ships have pools and spas. Steve Goodenough, Managing Director of the River Cruise Line, says: “In keeping with the provision of fitness and wellbeing facilities in hotels and resorts, there is a growing trend towards an expectation that river cruise ships are similarly equipped. We are delighted that our new ship MS Arena has its own well-equipped wellness suite and clients can book a premium package that includes free use of the suite.”

Following an eight-month refurbishment Uniworld’s River Royale has re-launched in France as SS Bon Voyage, the line’s sixth Super Ship which features an infinity pool. Rivers and ports of call The Douro is this year’s hottest destination. CroisiEurope launched the MS Amalia Rodrigues as its sixth vessel and third premium-rated ship on the ‘River of Gold’ and A-Rosa recently inaugurated its first Douro vessel, A-Rosa Alva. Rob Stapley, Senior Cruise Product Manager at Titan Travel, says: “We’ve seen a huge growth in popularity for the beautiful Douro River in Portugal for 2019. Titan has exclusive sailings onboard MS Gil Eanes and the brand new MS Amalia Rodrigues, and for a more luxurious and intimate experience guests can take a trip on the 28-passenger Spirit of Chartwell, the royal barge used for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.” Further afield, there’s growing interest in Asia. Pandaw has launched three

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river cruising

new routes on the Ganges, plus a combination India itinerary taking in the Ganges and Brahmaputra. The small ship specialist also has a new 14-passenger ship, Kanee Pandaw, capable of sailing to remote stretches of Myanmar’s Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers. Heritage River Journeys, which sells through Kuoni and Abercrombie & Kent, predicts demand for Ganges cruises after its riverboat Ganges Voyager II starred in Cruising with Jane McDonald.

ABOVE: Cocktails with U by Uniworld

Shearings has a range of new worldwide tours that include a cruise element on rivers including the Amazon, Yangtze and Mekong. And later this year Emerald Waterways launches custom-built Emerald Harmony, which can sail into Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, unlike larger vessels. Shore excursions and activities Flexible shore tour programmes and active options are setting the pace for the latest excursion programmes. In addition to dedicated Cruise & Walk itineraries, CroisiEurope offers flexible excursion packages so guests can choose to do as much or as little as they want. Another line with á la carte excursions is Amadeus River Cruises where passengers can ‘pick and mix’ shore tours to suit their interests. For inclusive lines that include shore excursions in the fare there are plenty of options for guests that want to get up and go. Avalon Waterways was the first line to offer Active & Discovery itineraries and the sailings on the Rhine and Danube have been

ABOVE: Emerald Waterways can sail into Ho Chi Minh City

extended to the Rhone for 2019. Passengers can head off on guided jogging tours, hikes, bike rides and kayaking trips. Uniworld is offering more active excursions with 'Let’s Go', featuring golf, gondola rowing and more. APT offers 'Freedom of Choice' where tours are split into four categories with active options including a Bavarian dance class or hike to the Petrovaradin Fortress over the Danube.



All-Inclusive European River Cruises The Douro Explorer 8-days from £1,769 Jun - Sep & Nov 2020 Flying from 3 UK airports or cruise only

Lisbon & the Douro Explorer 11-days from £2,179 Jun - Sep & Nov 2020 Flying from 2 UK airports or cruise only

For bookings, personalised posters, brochure requests & more, visit or call us on 0330 160 7999


*See our website for terms and conditions

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Exotic waterways C

roisiEurope, Europe’s largest river cruise operator, is expanding its worldwide river cruise programme in 2020, giving passengers a taste of the exotic as they sail through waterways in Asia and Africa. By spending time on a country’s waterways, guests are able to tour a mix of small towns and villages, as well as the bigger cities and get an insider look at how the country developed. Just as rivers played an important part in the growth of Europe’s capitals, they fuel the economy and history in Asia and Africa too. Some of the greatest structures of antiquity were built along the Nile! Also, there’s the bonus of wildlife sightings on India’s Ganges River and Africa’s Zambezi and Chobe rivers.

Into Africa

What to expect

Clients can also set sail on a nine-night Cruise of the Ganges aboard a luxury ship which is decked out with romantic canopy-style beds and journeys through bustling Kolkata and its Victorian memorials and finishes in Varanasi, a sacred city that attracts millions of pilgrims a year. On a Mekong cruise in Vietnam and Cambodia, guests on board RV Indochine I and II, can discover silk towns, fishing villages, monasteries and floating markets, with optional preor post-cruise hotel stays in Hanoi, Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh.

An exotic river cruise differs from a European river cruise in several aspects. For one, the trip is usually at least nine days to two weeks or more, which makes sense when one factors in the long flights. Many exotic river cruises are more like ‘cruise tours’ with stops and overnights in different cities. For example, on African Safari cruises only a few days are spent on the water and guests experience stays at beautiful safari lodges, where they can explore national parks and the marvellous landscapes of Africa.

Following popular demand, a second ship will sail on Lake Kariba in Southern Africa. The MS Zimbabwean Dream is the sistership to MS African Dream and both vessels are a central components of an exciting Safari itinerary that offers cruising experiences through Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The MS JAZ Royal will return to the Nile in Egypt as part of the seven-night Cruise on the Nile: The Land of the Pharaohs round trip from Luxor. This cruise sees passengers step back in time to explore majestic temples, tombs, pyramids, and the lively villages that dot the Nile Valley landscapes from Luxor to Aswan.

Oriental shore time

Learn more at trade portal:

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The World, by Water Unrivalled choice for 2020 from the UK’s largest Escorted tour provider

Choose from an extensive range of 62 itineraries, across 32 ships! Our 2020 programme includes a new range of worldwide river cruises, 5 star premium cruises and 25 new itineraries across the rivers of Europe. Your customers can enjoy lazy days on the water or take advantage of our full programme of included and optional excursions to tailor their cruise and truly make it unique. With travel options including by air, coach and rail – ease and flexibility are key. We pay close attention to the fine details so that they can simply sit back, relax and soak up the experience. Need to talk to us online – visit and talk to us via webchat

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The UK’s largest escorted tour company








Why choose Shearings?

2020 BROC

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2020 BROC





Indochina’s Rivers & Treasures

A Danube Rhapsody

Touring cruise itinerary

On board MS Amadeus Star FREE WINE WITH DINNER Enjoy a journey of discovery on the Danube and take in sights including spectacular Vienna, the hidden gem of Bratislava and magnificent Budapest

From the beautiful bays of Vietnam to the mighty rivers of Cambodia, immerse yourself in the colour of daily life of these two vibrant countries.

17 DAYS • SEPT 2019, MAR & SEPT 2020

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Over 100 years of experience

10 DAYS • AUG & OCT 2020



Scenic Rhone to the Mediterranean All Inclusive On board MS A-ROSA STELLA Discover Roman cities, marvel at the ancient architecture of the Pont du Gard and admire the natural beauty of the Camargue with its wealth of wildlife. 10 DAYS • JULY 2020

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KiDS SAiL FREE This luxury river cruise operator is offering free travel for under 18s on selected dates during the UK school holidays. it offers sailings along iconic Asian rivers including the Mekong, irrawaddy and Ganges and each trip has activities suitable for all ages, including daily excursions and cultural performances as well as low-key movie nights and free mountain bike hire.

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E-MOTiON SHiP This is the first look at A-Rosa’s groundbreaking new vessel, due for delivery in spring 2021. With 140 cabins, it will be the first cruise ship on the Rhine sporting four decks, and comes packed with sustainable technology including battery power propulsion and airbubble technology to reduce fuel consumption. There will also be dedicated family facilities including large cabins, a dedicated kids’ club area and a separate children’s pool.

Riviera Travel

THE DANUBE New for 2020 is the vienna, Bohemia and Treasures of The Danube itinerary, taking in the vine-clad Wachau valley, medieval towns like Regensburg and rolling Bohemian countryside – all with a classical quartet on board, Also launching is the 169-capacity all-suite MS Geoffrey, with a sundeck, splash pool, putting green and spa.

American Queen Steamboat Company

THE ULTiMATE USA RivER TRiP A new ‘Around the States in 40 Days’ cruise combines the Mighty Mississippi cruise from New Orleans to Red Wing, Minneapolis on American Duchess, with a Great Lakes cruise on Victory I from Chicago to Toronto plus two nights in New York. Other stops include Memphis, Detroit and Niagara Falls. From £11,695pp with flights, 33 nights onboard and six hotel nights. americanqueensteamboat

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River cruising

The Douro




This river goes from strength to strength. A-Rosa Alva was christened in Porto this April and 2020 departures are available now, either direct or via Newmarket Holidays or Shearings Holidays. Meanwhile, Tauck will set sail on the river for the first time next year with its new ship, Andorinha.

The French line has announced details of its last Oberammergau departures, which combine a six-day Danube cruise with two nights in Oberammergau, Bavaria and the best seats for the 2020 Passion Play. The famous event, which takes place every ten years, goes back to 1634 and involves 2,000 villagers performing on a vast stage.

Shearings Holidays

AMADEUS Shearings' 2020 river cruise brochure is its largest to date, featuring 62 itineraries across 32 ships. Demonstrating the operator’s focus on premium cruising, it has partnered with Amadeus Cruises. Amadeus Silver II, Amadeus Star, Amadeus Silver III and Amadeus Imperial are featured, with four eight-day itineraries on sale covering the Danube, Rhine and Dutch Waterways.

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Quintessentially British


traditionally British experience, Fred. Olsen’s sumptuous menus, attentive service and exciting shore tours have all been specially tailored for British tastes. And the cruise operator is expanding its tours in 2020 to include even more incredible European destinations.

Typically & familiarly British... A river cruise onboard Fred. Olsen’s compact Brabant is a distinctly British experience. Unlike some European river cruise ships, Fred. Olsen’s friendly, attentive crew speak English and guests can pay for any purchases made on board in pound sterling. What's more, the food and fantastic service enjoyed on board, as well as the shore tours in each port of call, have been specifically tailored to suit British tastes. You’ll even find a kettle and tea in all the rooms, and familiar British condiments like marmite and tomato ketchup in the ship’s restaurants. So, while you journey through Europe via its scenic rivers, you'll always feel right at home aboard Brabant.

Close to home Carrying around 150 guests, the stylish and comfortable Brabant has the intimate home-from-home atmosphere for which Fred. Olsen is renowned. Brabant’s compact dimensions allow for mooring as close as possible to the heart of the city, town or village to ensure the local attractions are within easy reach.

Scenic cruises Almost all Fred. Olsen’s expertly-planned itineraries include daytime scenic cruising. Clients can capture all the mesmerising sights as they pass by picturesque countryside, historic castles, terraced vineyards and charming towns. Fred. Olsen has a choice of holidays to suit all types of traveller.

What’s new? For 2020, the cruise tour operator has introduced an all-new programme of European river cruises aboard Brabant – immersive adventures combining enchanting destinations with some of the most spectacular landscapes in Europe. Sailing the beautiful Rhine, Main, Moselle and Danube rivers for another momentous river cruising season, Fred. Olsen will once again showcase the springtime splendour of the Netherlands; the highlights of attraction-packed capitals, and much more. Brabant will take exploration to the next level in 2020 too, uncovering rarely-visited regions such as Luxembourg and the Lower Danube.

What’s new? Join Fred. Olsen in Manchester (July 9) or London (July 10) for a Selling Travel Dialogue: River Cruise to find out more about its fantastic range of river adventures and maybe win a cruise aboard Brabant. Sign up here:

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FIVE RIVER SUITES MEKONG JEWEL: Uniworld has some of the most luxurious ships on the market but launching in Vietnam and Cambodia for 2020 is its new Mekong Jewel, an all-suite ship constructed with sustainable, eco-friendly materials. The ship will also feature a pool, spa, sauna and steam room, gym, hair salon, nail bar, two lounges and a library.


CRYSTAL BACH: One of four Crystal River Cruises vessels, the first and only all-suite and all-butler ships in Europe, with every room category positioned above the water line. All suites feature Panoramic Balcony-Windows, walk-in closets, king-sized beds, ETRO amenities and flat-screen HD TVs.


AMAMAGNA: Nearly twice the width of traditional European ships, AmaWaterways' new AmaMagna has a watersports platform, four restaurants, a wellness studio and 53 suites from 355 to 710 square feet. All have full-width step-out balconies and a marble bathroom with a walk-in multi-jet shower and separate bath. SCENIC ROYAL OWNER'S: The latest version of these suites will be on Scenic's 'Space-Ships' sailing the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers in 2020. The 505-square-feet suites will feature a large balcony, soaking tub with river views, oversized bathroom and queen-sized Scenic Slumber beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and a pillow menu. AVALON ENVISION: New this year, this all-suite ship has two decks of its award-winning 200-square-feet Panorama Suites, featuring wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling Panoramic Windows which turn the living space into an open air balcony and has beds turned to face the views too.



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early bird best price


deposit Book by 28 June 2019*

New River Cruise 2020 brochure is out now


Booking early guarantees your customers the best price possible. If we drop the price of their holiday later on, we’ll automatically refund the difference. • VIP door-to-door travel service† • Price Promise

£99pp deposit Book by 28 June 2019

Fly from an air airport near you

VIP door-to-door travel service

• Fly from an airport near you • Guaranteed departures

£20 Lifestyle voucher for every online booking‡

Book online at *£99pp deposit is available on the majority of Titan holidays. †Mainland UK only. ‡For full terms and conditions please visit www.

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SO MUCH IS INCLUDED Spacious suites and cabins Return regional flights or Eurostar, with over 50 regional connections Overseas transfers Fascinating daily excursions led by knowledgeable local guides Services of our experience cruise director and concierge All meals on board Complimentary tea and coffee in your cabin, plus on board Wi-fi All port charges and airport taxes Price-parity across all channels

NEW FOR 2020




8 days from £1,599PP

8 days from £1,099PP

15 days from £2,599PP

Departures from July to September 2020

Departures up to October 2019 & April to October 2020

Departures up to September 2019 & April to October 2020

CONTACT OUR AGENCY SALES TEAM: Call for support: 01283 744307 | Email:

CALL RESERVATIONS 7 DAYS A WEEK: Call to book: 01283 744370 | Book online: Prices are based on two people sharing and are correct at time of print. Single supplements may apply. Operated by and subject to booking conditions of Riviera Travel, ABTA V4744 ATOL 3430 protected. Subject to availability. Additional entrance cost may apply. Images used in conjunction with Riviera Travel.

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ABTA No. V4744

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THE GANGES From the roof of the world to its biggest delta, this sacred river begins as an icy torrent from a Himalayan glacier and flows into the warm Bay of Bengal. It's seeing huge growth in cruising thanks to timeless rural landscapes, temples and palaces. But its crown is Varanasi, Hinduism's holiest and most colourful city, which smokes with cremation fires but thrums with human energy and religious devotion.

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Amadeus River Cruises

0800 035 6411

£1149pp, 7-night Treasures of Burgundy & Provence, including flights, non-UK transfers and port charges

A-ROSA River Cruises

02922 672 600

£1509pp, 7-night Classic Danube Explorer (via Newmarket Holidays) including flights, meals and drinks


0800 520 2252

£2,029pp, 7-night Melodies of the Danube, incl. all meals with drinks plus excursions

APT River Cruises

0800 012 6686

£2,095pp, 15-day European Gems incl. flights, sightseeing, meals and drinks with lunch & dinner onboard, tipping and more

Avalon Waterways

0330 058 8237

£1,525; 8 days Tulips of Northern Holland, flying from Gatwick, including all transfers and private home pick-up


0845 077 2222

£990pp, 2-night cruise on Road to Mandalay with transfers, meals with wine


020 8328 1281

£332pp for a 4-day short break in Paris

Crystal River Cruises

020 7399 7604

£1,765pp, 7-night Danube cruise, Budapest to Vienna incl. all meals and drinks onboard

Emerald Waterways

0808 115 0469

£1,470pp, 8-day The Charms of Holland and Belgium river cruise incl. flights, excursions & meals on-board with drinks

European Waterways

01753 598 555

£2,590pp, 6-night all-inclusive hotel barge cruises UK, France, Italy, Holland & Ireland

Fred.Olsen River Cruises

0800 0355 131

Fred.\River Cruises

0800 021 3172

£999pp, 7-nights Tulip Cruise including flights, non-UK transfers and port charges

Great Rail Journeys & Rail Discoveries

0800 240 4470

£795, 5-day The Path of the Seine, Paris to Normandy including rail, 11 meals and drinks

Insider Journeys

01865 268 944

£3,093, 16-day Mekong & Beyond small group journey. 7 nights’ cruise, 8 hotel)

Mekong Prestige River Cruise

0808 168 1458

£1,149pp, 8-night cruise only between Saigon and Siem Reap, full-board including drinks

Newmarket Holidays

0330 160 7999

£799pp, 5-night Paris, Normandy & the Seine at Christmas (incl. flights, meals & drinks)


020 8396 7320

Riviera Travel

01283 744 370 / 744 390

£799pp for the lead-in Amsterdam & Dutch Bulbfields cruise


0800 074 8021 t

£399pp 4-nights Holland in Bloom

Sanctuary Retreats

+44 (0)1242 546609

£714pp, 3-night cruise from Bagan to Mandalay, based on two people


0808 115 0463

£1,695pp, 8-day Gems of the Danube five-star river cruise, including flights, excursions, meals and drinks

Shearings Holidays

01942 416123

£429pp, 2-night Keukenhof Gardens Weekend Cruise, full-board with return coach travel.

Tauck River Cruises

0800 810 8020

£3,070pp, 8-day ‘Holland & Belgium in the Spring’ incl. flights & category one cabin


0800 988 5800

£799pp 6-day Tulips and Windmills cruise including meals, transport and VIP transfers

The River Cruise Line

01858 438 466

£429pp, 4-day Amsterdam & Bulbfields Spectacular aboard the three-star MPS Lady Anne


0808 168 9231

£2,089, 8 day all-inclusive Castles Along the Rhine cruise from Basel to Amsterdam


020 8780 7985

£1545pp, 8-day Romantic Danube incl. wifi, meals with wine and beer & daily excursions

Wendy Wu Tours

0800 902 0888

£2,890pp, 14-day fully-inclusive Majestic Yangtze tour with flights and guided touring

£999, 7-night Rhine and Moselle Marvels

£3149pp 7-night Classic Mekong including flights, transfers and pre/post cruise accommodation.

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Upgrade onboard

Pre-paid drink packages

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Rail - local station only

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In Europe

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Murray River, Australia

Mississippi, USA

Yangtze, China

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Nile, Egypt

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Irrawaddy/ Chindwin, Burma

Indian Waterways

Mekong, Cambodia, Laos, and/or Vietnam

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Chobe, Botswana

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Russian Waterways

Po, Italy

French Waterways

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Dutch Waterways

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Rhine, Switzerland to the Netherlands

Moselle, France, Lux, Germany

Elbe, Czech Republic to Germany

Douro, Portugal

Danube, Central Europe

Main Danube Canal, Germany


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Over-the-Water Villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean



Sandals introduces new innovations in luxury that invite guests to leave the everyday world behind. Our new Over-the-Water Villas and Bungalows aren’t just one-of-a-kind, they’re the first of their kind in the Caribbean. Extraordinary cuisine is served in over-the-water restaurants, while at the new Over-the-Water Latitudes Bar, your clients can enjoy a cocktail whilst relaxing in a hammock suspended over the sea. Newlyweds can turn their vows into wows at the spectacular Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel featuring a “sea-through” glass floor aisle. Even our commissions and support are over the top! It’s all exclusively at Sandals.

Over-the-Water Dining

Over-the-Water Serenity Wedding Chapel


23 Years Running




Over-the-Water Bar


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