Selling Travel May 2019

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From testing hikes to gentle meanders, walking holidays are hotfooting it into tourism's mainstream

how to sell...

Japan Be inspired


Mauritius Escorted Touring Dominican Republic Ecuador and Galapagos and more...

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Media Partner:



ROADSHOW LOCATIONS 12 June – Jersey 13 June – Guernsey 18 June – Edinburgh 19 June – Dundee 20 June – Glasgow 02 July – Guildford 03 July – Tonbridge 10 September – Nottingham 11 September – Leeds 18 September – London Join the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Partners for an informative evening of Networking, Fun and a delicious Caribbean-inspired Buffet, PLUS a chance to win some Great Prizes We kick off the events at 6.00pm and close at 9.30pm

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Untitled-2 Untitled-4 1 For further details call: 020 8948 0057

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this issue


30 37 46 52 64

QUICK READS 36 Introducing: Chad 50 Six of the best: Theme

46 52



37 30



Bucket list itineraries made simple Walking holidays: Ditch the car and reap the rewards Mauritius: More than just a honeymoon hotspot Ecuador: From animal encounters to the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes’ Japan: Where tech meets tradition Dominican Republic: An adventure island Thailand: Actionpacked holiday ideas

parks for young kids

TALKING SHOP 21 News, competitions, agent opinions, fams and more





THE REVIEW 56 News and a special report



on Guernsey



LUXURY TRAVEL 72 What is luxury? 76 New beginnings: High-end new openings

80 Luxury in unexpected places

84 Thematic escapes 88 Celebrity sells: Places inspired by famous faces

90 Five rail journeys



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: Los Glaciares

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 was with mounting sadness and a profound sense of empathy that I followed the terrible news from Sri Lanka over the Easter weekend. Aside from the awful human toll – around 360 deaths at the time of writing – the impact on the country’s collective confidence and immediate tourism prospects will be devastating. The oft-used description of Sri Lanka as a tear-shaped island has probably never been more apt. Selling Travel has long had an affinity with this stunning island. We have written about it extensively over the years and, after the ceasefire in May 2009 which brought to an end a 26-year-old Civil War, we were the first UK travel trade magazine to visit the country. Steve Hartridge Just three weeks after the war was declared over, I stood on a glorious EDITORIAL DIRECTOR and empty beach at Arugam Bay, drinking in its beauty. Located towards the southern end of the east coast, even back then it was popular with independent travellers, drawn by the charms of its unspoilt, palm-fringed sands. As I chatted to agents from the UK and Ireland, monkeys flitted in the trees and hawkers selling hats, sarongs, wooden boats – even massages – strolled the beach, eager to start cashing in on this new era of peace and stability. Since those days tourism has boomed in Sri Lanka: hotels have opened rapidly and its unique range of attractions – from World Heritage sites and wildlife parks to boutique hotels in the tea-growing hill country – has become well known. Late last year the country’s tourism board launched its latest campaign, using perhaps the shortest tagline ever devised by a destination. The SO Sri Lanka brand, as intriguing as it is simple, somehow manages to capture the essence of Sri Lanka, its authenticity, diversity and its richness. In the wake of what happened at Easter, there are plenty of questions for the country’s politicians and security chiefs to answer, but when they do Sri Lanka will quickly return to being one of the planet’s most sought-after destinations. It has too much going for it not to.

WITH THIS ISSUE Namibia Travel Guide.... The Southern African country's tagline is 'Endless Horizons' but this doesn't convey just how varied and unique the country is: from the rocky enscarpments of Fish River Canyon – the largest chasm in Africa – to the wind-sculped sands of a desert with the largest sand dunes in the world. Discover more by reading our in-depth guide.

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UK & Europe

DESTINATION NSW ROADSHOW 2019 LIVERPOOL: The Royal Liver Building, Pier Head - 16 May 2019 from 6-10pm LONDON: Stephen Street Kitchen, Fitzrovia - 20 May 2019 from 6-10pm Come along and meet Sydney and New South Wales tourism suppliers at a fun and informative event. Be in with a chance to win great prizes on the night including one of two tickets to Sydney with Qantas at each event!

Don’t miss out – register now!

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the big picture

Manshausen Island Norway

Leading light ‘A harmony between people and nature’ would be a fine thing in the UK following the recent Extinction Rebellion riots, but polar explorer Børge Ousland seems to have done just that. These organic cabins sit on Manshausen Island in Norway, a protected haven that in five years intends to be climate neutral. The cabins enjoy 24-hour sun in the summer and unobstructed views of the Northern Lights in winter.

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In style


s a pioneer in the river cruise market, Europe’s largest river cruise operator, CroisiEurope Cruises, leaves nothing to chance. Whether it is having a huge variety and the best selection of worldwide cruise itineraries or assembling one of the most well-appointed fleets operating today, this innovative line leads the way in offering holidays that suit the needs of all clients. To maintain its place at the head of the pack, the Strasbourg-based cruise line continues to invest. Half of its 56 vessels are rated ‘premium class’ and many have been built specifically with itineraries in mind. Newest arrival MS Amalia Rodrigues is the perfect example. Launched in March 2019, it is the sixth CroisiEurope ship on the Douro – and for ‘the river of gold’ you need a real treasure. Accommodating 132 guests in 66 double-occupancy cabins, including four charming and spacious suites, the ship’s many French balconies and large picture windows make it ideal to soak up the sun and

watch the Unesco-acclaimed scenery float by. Currently operating six- and eight-day sailings from the Atlantic to Spanish border, guests have the opportunity to experience colourful Porto, Teron Vega, Salamanca and Pinhao – all while enjoying the produce of the Douro’s celebrated vineyards, of course. Meanwhile, the newly refurbished MS Van Gogh is cutting a fine figure on the Rhone and Saone this summer. Tastefully decorated in a modern palette, this elegant, premium rated ship is inspired by its artist namesake, and calls at many of the places that Vincent once painted. For more French fancies, guests can also choose CroisiEurope’s MS Loire Princess, Europe’s first, intimate 90-metre paddle-wheeler that winds its way through the country’s most famous wine region. Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Angers, and Saumur are ready to be uncorked! Sister-ships MS Elbe Princess I and II open up new possibilities, too, with their paddle-wheel technology allowing these

sleek, 80-guest vessels to navigate the low waters of Germany’s heartland year round. Travel further afield and the investment continues. MS La Belle de L’Adriatique – the company’s only ocean vessel – has a small-ship feel and was built specifically to navigate tiny ports along the Croatian coast. Away from Europe, RV Indochine II has the look of the rich colonial vessels that once sailed the Mekong. It is one of few vessels that can dock in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. And in Southern Africa, the eight cabin elegant MS African Dream continues to delight guests on unique, once-in-a-lifetime safari cruises sailing across Zambezi river Lake Kariba. Croisieurope continues to innovate on further expansions onto exotic, worldwide waterways and more refurbishments are in the pipelines for 2020 and beyond, a mark of CrosiEurope’s commitment to a sector that continues to go from strength to strength. So, watch this space… For agents, now is the time to step aboard!

Learn more at trade portal:

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escorted touring

de force tour

From African safaris and mountain treks to cultural city breaks and country-wide journeys, escorted tours are about delivering dream holidays without the hassle, says Sasha Wood

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escorted touring


ong gone are the days when escorted tours were synonymous with octogenarians on coach trips. All-inclusive bookings are now about helping clients of all ages seamlessly tick off bucket list destinations that might require serious planning and stressful logistics. According to most tour operators, one-off adventures and authentic experiences to far-flung destinations such as Japan, Sri Lanka, Chile and Colombia are selling well, alongside off-the-beaten track itineraries in more familiar destinations such as the USA. Not only have tours become more adventurous, experiential and exotic, they are increasingly being designed to suit different groups, from millennials and solo travellers to families and the more mature market.

Wendy Wu Tours’ Head of Product, Peter Crane, says: “The challenge for agents and tour operators is that the market has become increasingly segmented as customers are becoming more aware and demanding. It encourages us to use our expertise and work a bit harder.” Tucan Travel’s Marketing Manager, Rosanna Neophytou, says the company’s response to the changing market has been to curate holidays with a less prescriptive approach: “Our tours are designed with enough free time so that people can explore but still be reassured there is a tour leader there to organise the important things,” she explains. Scenic has also adapted by introducing elements of tailoring to its group tours with Freechoice options giving greater flexibility on excursions and meals. As well as tour operators offering more


breadth of product than ever before, responsible travel is becoming more mainstream as people choose to book with companies that reflect their own values. Responsible travel-focused Intrepid says it has just marked its third record year of growth, while new-on-the-scene semiescorted tour provider Large Minority is also embracing responsible travel with 10% of profits going towards its Meaningful Travel projects in various destinations.

Mature travellers The market demographics may be shifting, but mature travellers are still most likely to take an escorted tour. Many operators say the over-50s are their core market, but their holiday criteria has changed. “The over-55s continue to get more and more adventurous, and we have expanded our products to cater for this. These

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Unforgettable Worldwide Adventures

Our worldwide escorted tours visit all seven continents and include adventurous itineraries to Vietnam, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and even Antarctica! Trust the experts in delivering top quality, award-winning adventures.

Where will 2019 take you?

Why choose Shearings? The UK’s largest escorted tour company


Over 100 years of experience

Award-winning holidays

Low deposits, from £65pp∆

Up to 20kg luggage included in price†

Over 600 pick up points nationwide

Trusted hotels in excellent locations

Over 200 destinations worldwide

Flexible travel options by coach, car, air and rail

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Borneo Wilderness

Indochina’s Rivers & Treasures

Wilds of Sri Lanka

Touring itinerary

Touring itinerary

Touring itinerary

With three included river cruises, there's plenty of chances to spot the arrary of wildlife! Visit Mari-Mari Cultural Village, take a jungle trek, visit Kinabalu National Park, visit Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, all the time whilst enjoying breathtaking tropical beachside resorts and rainforest.

From the bays of Vietnam to the Rivers of Cambodia, this tour immerses you in the colour of daily life of these two vibrant countries. See Monasteries and Palaces through to The Killing Fields and local village life from floating markets to temples.

From the wilds of the national parks to the colonial history, tea plantations and spice gardens through to the culture of ancient temples and caves, this tour of Sri Lanka will immerse you in island life both current and ancient.

16TH JUN & 8TH SEP 2019 • 10TH JUN & 15TH SEP 2020 HOL CODE: AW020

8TH SEP 2019 • 8TH MAR & 6TH SEP 2020 HOL CODE: AW019A














Australia By Rail – The Indian Pacific

America's Rhythms

India’s Golden Triangle & Tigers of Ranthambore

Touring itinerary

Touring itinerary

Touring itinerary

Join us on board the Indian Pacific as we follow in the footsteps of gold rush prospectors and bush pioneers. Explore Perth, discover Adelaide, cruise Sydney's harbour and see the sights from the water and join us for wine and chocolate tasting on a Margaret River Vineyard tour.

Experience the rhythms of the south that modern day American music was founded on. We'll visit Nashville, learn to line dance at the Wildhorse Saloon, visit Graceland in Memphis and discover New Orleans and enjoy a Jazz brunch in the Big Easy.

We'll show you the best of the colourful country that is India! See the Golden Triangle with its bustling cities and amazing wildlife, seek out the Bengal tigers at Ranthambore National Park, explore the 'Pink City' of Jalpur and visit the world famous Taj Mahal at sunrise.

SEPT 2019 – MARCH 2020 HOL CODE: AW028


8TH OCT 2019 • 8TH MAR & 6TH NOV 2020 HOL CODE: AW021

All holidays include return flights from a wide choice of regional airports, resort transfers including airport meet & greet, welcoming accommodation throughout your tour and visits to amazing attractions and historic sites. Need to talk to us online? Visit and talk to us via webchat Terms and conditions apply. All prices are ‘from’ prices and are based on 2 people sharing a standard twin/double room. Single/room/flight supplements may apply. Advertised prices already include any relevant saving. ∆£65 deposit is based on UK coach holidays of 2-5 days only. †On UK and European coach holidays only. Prices correct as of 16/04/2019. E&OE.

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Business Class Flight Upgrade† For only £299 per person


FREE 2-Night Stopover¥ In a choice of incredible locations

Unrivalled Luxury in Australia & New Zealand Scenic are well known as market leaders in luxury Europe river cruising, but you may not know that our roots are in escorted touring, with over 30 years of experience. Vast desert outback, rocky mountain ranges, winding ocean roads and cosmopolitan cityscapes, guests can take the Scenic route through Australia as the allure of true adventure beckons. At Scenic, we carefully handpick each and every unforgettable experience to ensure that our innovative itineraries continue to set the standard for 5-star luxury touring.

5-STAR LUXURY INCLUSIONS ü Return flights from UK airports ü All internal flights throughout Australia and New Zealand ü World-class hotels & Special Stays ü Scenic Enrich once-ina-lifetime experiences ü Scenic Sundowners exclusive cocktail receptions

20-day Grand Australia

18-day Royal New Zealand

13-day Taste of South Australia

Perth > Sydney Departs Oct 2019 - Apr 2020

Christchurch > Auckland Departs Sep 2019 - Apr 2020

Adelaide > Adelaide Departs Sep 2019 - Apr 2020

From £6,695 per person

From £5,695 per person

From £4,395 per person


 Asia & The Far East

 Africa & The Middle East

ü Scenic Freechoice excursions ü Scenic Freechoice Dining ü Fully-escorted touring ü Expert Tour Directors and local guides ü Complimentary Wi-Fi at selected hotels And of course, all tipping and gratuities

Book the ultimate in luxury, call: 0808 115 0463 Get in touch with your local Sales Manager at: Terms and Conditions: Terms and Conditions: New bookings only, made between 16 March and 11 June 2019. †£299 Business Class Flight Upgrade is limited and is valid one way only on our 2019/20 Australia & New Zealand itineraries. Offer is available on qualifying flights and upgrades are subject to availability. Supplements may apply if traveling on non-specified routes and from regional departure points. Upgrades are non-transferable and no cash or credit alternative will be offered. ¥Free 2-night stopover depends on airline availability and routing, and applies to selected hotels in Bangkok and Pattaya. A small supplement will apply to other destinations, please call for more details. Offers can be withdrawn at any time and are only applicable to residents of the UK. For full itinerary, inclusions and terms and conditions, please refer to the website at

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escorted touring


customers are time rich, have good disposable income and are more active than ever. They want soft adventure, they want unique experiences but all with the comfort of knowing that a company with expertise and knowledge has organised every detail,” says Matthew Herbert, Product and Yield Director at Shearings Holidays. One way Shearings has adjusted is to introduce new small group Go By Air tours to lesser-explored regions across Europe. This includes Bulgaria, to tie in with Plovdiv being named European Capital of Culture for 2019. It also runs tours for the mature market that offer in-depth exploration of more familiar destinations. “Our most popular USA tour, The Great America Crossing, visits lots of landmarks along the way, staying in a range of accommodation that for many would feel complicated and stressful to plan,” says Herbert. Similarly Wendy Wu Tours still considers more mature travellers as its main market, but “they are increasingly looking for more adventurous, unusual and challenging trips with local experiences,” says Crane. The company has worked hard to stand out in the marketplace, differentiating its tours by including local add-ons. “We’ve added experiential moments and extras to our classic tours. For example in Cambodia, guests visit Angkor Wat with a local expert on architecture and stone masonry,” explains Crane. SELL IT: Wendy Wu Tours’ ( has added new dates for its sold-out 17-day Japan Uncovered journey, from £6,490pp. Shearings ( has an Authentic Bulgaria trip, including rustic villages, Sofia and the European Capital of Culture for 2019, Plovdiv, From £1,552pp.





The millennial market In recent years, there’s been a rise in demand for flexible and affordable escorted tours geared towards the youth market. Tour operator Tucan points out that nowadays the youth and mature markets make up the lion’s share of passengers booking onto escorted tours. “We have a couple of main markets – the 20-30s and those that are 50- plus,” says Tucan’s Marketing Manager, Rosanna Neophytou. “And within those demographics the company is seeing a steady rise in demand for destinations that are a bit more off the beaten track, such as Colombia and Myanmar.” To cater to the young solos market in particular, those who are looking for an adventurous but secure and smooth backpacker-style experience, Tucan has launched new itineraries in Central America, including one which goes from Mexico to Costa Rica via Belize and Guatemala. A little ahead of the curve, tour company G Adventures launched its small-group

“We’ve added experiential moments and extras to our classic tours. For example in Cambodia, guests visit Angkor Wat with a local expert on architecture” Peter Crane, Wendy Wu Tours

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escorted touring


“Escorted tours have the largest potential for expansion, over half of travellers say they would be interested in taking this type of holiday” Matt Howard, Just You


youth product, YOLO, in 2012, which buoyed passenger growth by more than 85%, outpacing the operator’s other tour brands. Now relaunched as 18-toThirtysomethings holidays, the itineraries are the most affordable in G Adventures’ portfolio, using budget-friendly accommodation such as upmarket hostels and including elements tailored to young travellers such as Big Nights Out and chances for travellers to get the most from the trip for social media. SELL IT: Tucan Travel’s ( best-selling 14-day Classic Colombia tour takes travellers from Bogota to Cartagena on a trip spanning salt pans, archaeological parks and deserts. On sale from £1,217pp, excluding flights.

Family adventurers


People’s sense of adventure doesn’t just disappear when they have kids, but the convenience of taking an escorted tour may seem more appealing with children in tow. For families after more than a fly and flop, ballpit and buffettype holiday, tour operators are finally catching on. Adventurous trips specifically with families in mind are becoming increasingly popular, offering immersive highlights such as tuk-tuk tours, natural attractions and local exploration. Adventure travel specialist Intrepid doesn’t just accommodate families, it has gone one step further, introducing specific trips for solo parents with young children, and families with teenagers, all with adventurous itineraries to suit travellers of all ages including African safaris, a family holiday on the Inca Trail and wildlife adventures in Borneo.


SELL IT: Intrepid’s ( eight-day Kenya Family Safari covers the Great Rift Valley and includes the chance to join in the Maasai warrior jumping dance. From £1,160pp including flights.

Going solo Market research giant Mintel reports that 17% of UK adults had taken a solo holiday in the last five years, representing an increasing trend. As such, several tour operators have recently introduced solo tours with no single supplements, which have been extremely well received. For example, Titan chose to double its solo tours’ collection this year, adding a selection of European countries. Mercury Holidays has also launched a suite of solo tours, and in line with the recent explosion in adventure tourism some are more akin to an expedition than a holiday. Clients looking for a real challenge can book a guided adventure in the Himalayas along the famous Annapurna Circuit, consistently voted the best long-distance trek in the world. Just You is doing a roaring trade. PR manager Matt Howard says: “The future looks extremely positive and it is a tremendous opportunity for Just You and their trade partners. In the groups market, escorted tours have the largest potential for expansion as over half of travellers say they would be interested in taking this type of holiday.” SELL IT: Just You’s ( 13-day Spirit of India tour includes the Taj Mahal and going in search of tigers in Ranthambore National Park, from £2,599pp. Mercury Holidays’ (mercuryholidays. 14-day Hiking the Himalayas’ Annapurna Trail for Solo Travellers is from £1,399pp.

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early bird best price

deposit Book by 28 June 2019*

New Worldwide 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 them the difference.

£20 Lifestyle voucher for every online booking Book online at *£99pp deposit is available on the majority of Titan holidays. £20 Lifestyle voucher for bookings between 1 April - 28 June 2019. To claim email within 7 days of making the booking.

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escorted touring


Dynamic duos As escorted tours become more dynamic than ever, expedition-style holidays for duos – couples or friends – are growing in popularity. The touring market has also evolved to include semiescorted trips with a lighter touch. Wendy Wu’s Go Beyond range is much more flexible, going to lesser-visited places, with smaller group sizes and fewer inclusions. The tour operator has a new trip that travels to the borders of Tibet and Nepal, visiting little villages that no other tours reach. Adventure tour company Large Minority Travel’s scheduled Kerala and Sri Lanka trips, targeted at teams of two or three, are breaking the mould for escorted touring. Large Minority’s founder Julian Carnall says: “It’s exciting the industry is starting to pay attention to non-traditional operators in the escorted touring space. In the twn years I’ve been running adventure


challenges in far-flung destinations, the demographics have changed significantly. In the early days the 20-30s were our primary demographic. Now our fastest growing segment is the over 50s. These are people who want a degree of autonomy on their semi-escorted tours; they’re seeking out unusual experiences and they’re often desiring a broader travel companion group, in terms of age and life experience.” Itineraries are semi-escorted in that the logistics are pre-arranged and there is a guide that sets challenges, targets and check-points, but teams are encouraged to use local transport such as tuk-tuks to get immersed in the destination over eight to ten days. SELL IT: Large Minority’s ( Sri Lanka Challenge costs from £1,406pp and covers challenge logistics, all accommodation, daily breakfast and dinner. Agents booking trips receive 10% commission. 

SAVE £100pp

off selected departures quote tour100






• City tours of Shanghai, Xi’an and Beijing • Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors • The Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and Summer Palace • The giant pandas of Chengdu • Four-night Yangtze River, sailing past the Three Gorges and Fengdu Ghost City cruise


£1 ,7 99



16-Day Escorted Tour FROM £1 ,9 99

£ 49






• City tours of Saigon, Hoi An and Hanoi • Overnight cruise through Halong Bay • Two-day tour of the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia • Dragon boat ride along the Perfume River • The Cu Chi tunnel network 13 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 10 lunches & 14 dinners

CALL 01732 775 009

*Wonders of China: From prices applies to departures on 28/11/19 & 06/02/20. A visa is required before travel. *Vietnam: From prices applies to departures on 05/06/19 & 17/06/20/ A visa is required before travel +Additional £200pp required 4 weeks after booking. See website for full details, terms and conditions apply. All offers are subject to availability & can be withdrawn without notice. Terms & conditions apply. Prices are per person based on 2 adults sharing. For detailed itineraries, visit our website

Untitled-6touring.indd 1 Escorted 16


£ 49



For solo travellers looking to meet new people, we now offer a selection of tours for solo travellers only, ensuring you travel with like-minded people looking for a similar travel experience.

£ 49

All Meals Included



WONDERS OF CHINA 16-Day Escorted Tour


























15 DAYS *




















*Beyond India: From prices applies to departures on 17/06/19. *Kerala: From price applies to departures on 26/09/19. *Essence of India: From prices applies to departures on 30/06/20. *Himalayas: From prices applies to departures on 01/05/20. *China: From prices applies to departures on 06/12/19. *Vietnam: From prices applies to departures on 17/06/20. *Royal India: From prices applies to departures on 04/06/20. *Wonders of India: From prices applies to departures on 26/05/20. *Peru: From prices applies to departures on 21/11/19. ALl tours will need a vias before arrival except for Vietnam and Peru.

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how to sell


RV tripping in Alberta A quintessentially Canadian experience, hiring an RV means freedom to roam Alberta’s wide-open spaces and get off the beaten track, says Laura Gelder Why sell it An RV-based road trip of Alberta can save money as well as offering a bespoke way to see the province. With the value of the British pound uncertain, a value-led holiday will be an attractive prospect for many, but for some the idea of being in the driving seat for their holiday will be the biggest selling point. Canada is the perfect introduction to this kind of holiday, with wide, safe roads, English-language signs, and plenty of high-quality campgrounds to choose from – although you need to book well ahead for the national parks. There’s a huge choice of RV operators in Alberta, all with multiple depots and a range of vehicles.

Who to sell to An RV holiday can be tailored to almost anyone, but how it’s sold will differ. For families it’s likely the value proposition, while the kids will be excited by the idea of a mobile home. Taking it with you means that there’s no need for transfers or hotels and you can stock up on provisions and cook for yourself, saving the money you would have spent on restaurants for attractions and experiences. For couples, the romantic aspect is obvious. Really hone in on the privacy couples can expect and the chance to go at their own pace – whether that’s the prospect of sitting out under the stars every night with a glass of wine, beating


the tourist crowds at major attractions by setting off early or the freedom to change their mind, sleep in or stay another day and change the route. Younger travellers will love the savings – it’s the best value way to spend the night inside the national parks themselves, where accommodation can stretch the budget. But do mention the fact that RVs offer the freedom to get off the tourist trail and stop at that quirky small town they pass through to take a picture.

What to sell


Get your clients to Calgary or Edmonton and from there the open road is waiting! For some alternatives to the well-trodden routes around Banff and Jasper, suggest the De Cho Trail, which runs north from Edmonton to High Level, half way to Yellowknife! This drive is a wilderness adventure offering the chance to spot the Northern Lights and explore historic sites which uncover the tough days of the pioneers – like Fort Vermilion Trapper’s Shack. Clients can enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and kayaking at spots such as

Fish RV Resort, explore Peace River while staying at the Hidden Lake Mile Zero Camper Park, or spot wildlife at Aspen Ridge Campground in High Level. Alternatively, head south from Calgary to the Alberta Badlands for unique weather-whipped landscapes, lakes and dinosaur fossils. Highlights are the Royal Tyrell Museum and digging for bones at the UNESCO World Heritage Dinosaur Provincial Park. Classic RV stops include Dinosaur Camping Car Park, nestled in a valley by the Red Deer River, shaded by cotton-wood trees and with its own amphitheatre, or the Ross Creek RV Park close to quaint Medicine Hat. 

SELL IT WITH… CANADIAN AFFAIR The 13-night Roaming the Rockies option starts from £833pp and includes one night’s accommodation at Calgary Airport with 13 days in a motor home and return flights with Air Transat from Gatwick, Manchester or Glasgow (with seat selection).

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walking holidays

boots fill your

Think walking holidays are for hardened hikers? Think again. A spate of new on-foot tours include leisurely meanders with good food and boutique hotels. It’s a hot trend, says Phoebe Smith

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walking holidays



n San Diego, California, a distinct down: “We have seen bookings growing buzz fills the air. Office workers begin for the last four years,” says Steve Berry, to filter out from their buildings, Managing Director of Mountain Kingdoms, cars begin to choc up the highways, and which has offered mountain hiking trips one by one the lights start to twinkle to the Himalayas since 1987 but now sells against the skyline. But I’m watching South East Asia, Central Asia, the Americas, all this chaos feeling distinctly calm. the Middle East and Africa. That’s because around 15.00 I made my But where are people going and why? way to Cowles Mountain, for a walk. As a “Japan has really taken off thanks to Joanna keen hiker, I’ve enjoyed a host of walking Lumley,” says Berry. “Uzbekistan is also a big holidays around the world. I’ve undertaken surprise hit this year and again all thanks to a two-week altitude battling trek to Everest Lumley’s programme on the Silk Road.” Base Camp in Nepal; I’ve walked innTV Adventurer Levison Wood, who to-inn along the Camino de Santiago in walked through the Caucasus (Georgia and Spain; section-hiked chunks of the USA’s Armenia) in 2017, has impacted numbers Appalachian Trail and on Explore’s trip climbed the highest to that region, “With the apparent point in Japan. But according to its benefits to physical and it doesn’t have to be Walking Programme an all-encompassing Manager, Caroline mental health from multi-day hike to walking, it’s little wonder Phillips. She make it worthwhile. that walking holidays are says it’s led to The two-hour stroll customers “looking increasing in popularity” outside of Western up Cowles Mountain Simon Wrench, Head of Marketing, Inntravel was a happy add-on Europe for more to a city break that adventurous short included the usual museums, excursions haul destinations that are good value.” She and good food. Yet, standing atop that small adds: “Turkey and Jordan have made big hill, being able to watch the cityscape fade comebacks in 2019 and further afield places into the horizon, against the border with like Madagascar are also doing well.” Mexico, a patchwork of wetlands and the Pacific Coast stretching out in front, gave me Pitching it right an instant understanding of the place. So, who is going on these walking trips? It I spoke to Californians who were out may not be who you expect. Wild Frontiers’ walking their dog or going for a jog – many Marketing Manager, Michael Pullman, says: gave me tips on where to eat or pointed out “For the retired demographic, who are now the American kestrel soaring overhead. staying healthier and more active for longer,

Simon Wrench, Head of Marketing at Inntravel. says more people are discovering specialist operators. “They’re recognising that we can design holidays as much for leisure strollers as for hardened mountain hikers, where they can walk light as their luggage is transferred between hotels, go at their own pace instead of being part of a group, and where the standard of accommodation is a delight.” Andrew Turner, Head of Sales for Intrepid, adds: “Walking gives clients the chance to see a country up close, rather than from a tour bus window, local interaction, and a sense of accomplishment.” And, despite the feeling of uncertainty around Brexit, it seems that when it comes to hiking the numbers are not slowing

walking trips are proving popular.” But he says there’s a growing number of young travellers interested too: “They © INNTRAVEL

The rise of holidays by boot


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“That is what walking tours really offer – the chance to get off the beaten path into beautiful natural surroundings and forget about email, Twitter, Netflix and the like, and just enjoy the scenery”


Michael Pullman, Marketing Manager, Wild Frontiers


walking holidays



want to get away from city noise and the all-pervasiveness of technology,” he says. The UK is a great starting point, with trails like the popular seven-day West Highland Way an achievable undertaking in Scotland. Europe also offers the chance to sample some great routes while a ‘sherpa’ luggage transfer service carries bags from hotel to hotel, making circular routes such as the Tour de Mont Blanc – passing through Italy, Switzerland and France – and the Camino de Santiago in Spain easy even for newcomers to hiking (offered by companies including Headwater, Explore and Ramblers Walking Holidays). For those nervous about committing to a whole week (or more) spent walking, there’s the option of self-guided ‘centred’ walking trips, like those offered by Inntravel, where the accommodation is located somewhere with plenty to do and provides the base for several walks of different levels. The itinerary is flexible and self-guided, that way if days off are required or one member of the party wants to walk and one doesn’t, there’s plenty to explore from the hotel door or the option to do nothing at all. Companies, such as Intrepid have noticed that “many clients want to combine walking with other activities such as kayaking or cycling on multi-activity trips”. Or consider adding on hiking – perhaps a section of the Amalfi Coast as part of a relaxing break to Italy. Or a visit to Jordan to see Petra and the Dead Sea, with a two-day hike and overnight in Wadi Rum.


Germany: The country has unveiled 10 new hiking routes for 2019. These include the foodie-themed 8km Rundweg Bussard


in the Bavarian Forest, which takes in small, independent restaurants and local produce, and the art-themed TalaueKunst Weg in Stuttgart, which circles the city in 4.5km alongside rivers and half-timbered houses. Spain: Camino Ways can work with agents to take clients on the established Camino de Santiago pilgrimage’s hottest new route – the Sea of Arousa Camino Walk and Boat. It combines walking the dramatic coast of O Salnes with a boat trip across the Ria de Arousa and up the River Ulla to Padron, where the boat carrying St James is said to have first landed in Galicia. Portugal: The Algarve’s popular Rota Vicentina coastal route has been extended to include 16 new circular side trails. Recommended is the Fisherman’s Trail, which will now continue on to Lagos. Tenerife: The fifth Walking Festival takes place May 21-25 and enables participants to explore its volcanic scenery, ancient laurel forest and starlit skies on a series of routes aimed at families, couple and individuals.

Where to book it WILD FRONTIERS – 020 8741 7390 Walking in Northern Albania: Into the Accursed Mountains is an eightday trip following highland trails past remote mountain villages, high passes and lakes. From £845pp, including accommodation, all meals, guided excursions and transfers. INNTRAVEL – 01653 617 001 From Cape to Castle – A Journey through Portugal’s Arrábida Natural Park, is accessible from Lisbon. Vineyards, coast and castles complement cheese, wine and olives. Seven nights’ B&B from £695pp, plus some meals and luggage transfers. 

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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

If Only... you choose to book with Emirates IF ONLY... and Emirates are offering agents the chance to win a place on a fam trip. Flights booked before June 18, 2019, from Glasgow on the A380 to Asia, Arabia, the Indian Ocean or Australasia qualify. Bookings to all four destinations receive ten entries while agents earn two entries for a First or Business Class ticket.

TIPTO gears up for summer roadshow dates

sts Travel Albertakehdo fam an action-paclgary & including Ca 25 Ban, on p

TIPTO'S next roadshows will see events taking place in Cardiff, May 8; Swansea, May 9; Huddersfield, May 14; and Stirling, May 22. TIPTPO will also visit Exeter Racecourse on June 4 and the County Ground, Swindon, on June 5. Agents can sign up at

Contents 24


Global Rocks returns

May 16 & 20

DESTINATION NEW SOUTH WALES ROADSHOW There's still time to sign up to this and meet Sydney and New South Wales suppliers. Come along to London or Liverpool and you'll enjoy a fun night with food and drink plus the chance to win two tickets to Sydney with Qantas! Register at:

THE GLOBAL Travel Group is hosting Global Rocks, a members' summer party, on July 4. Global Rocks will be a day-into-evening festival-style event that mixes a dedicated supplier marketplace with live music, networking and more.





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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

An ice way to celebrate

Inghams celebrated its 85th year of operations by hosting a three-day super fam to Ischgl in Austria. The trip offered agents the chance to test out Inghams’ product and enjoy the in-resort service. Those in attendance included: Iglu, Ski Solutions, Interactive, Snowfinders, Baldwins, Skiline, Travel Time World, Born 2 Ski, and some of Inghams’ own reservations team members. Leading the trip was Julie Franklin, Inghams’ Head of Agency Sales, who said: “The fam trip was a perfect opportunity to thank our agent partners for all their support over the years!”

CTO kicks off first Roadshow

Travel Texas comes to town

Agents couldn't help but #LoveCaribbean as the CTO Roadshow made its first appearance in Cardiff on April 9, followed closely with stops in Gloucester on April 10 and then Southampton on April 11. Various Caribbean representatives were on hand to give agents advice on how to sell as well as a real taste of the Caribbean with a themed buffet. The roadshow will visit the Channel Islands of Jersey on June 12 and Guernsey on June 13 before heading to Scotland.

Visit Seattle gets back to nature

Visit Seattle hosted airline partners, tour operators, travel agents and members of the media for a VIP viewing of Chihuly: Reflections on Nature, the latest exhibition at Kew Gardens. Featuring works by Seattle-based glassblowing artist Dale Chihuly, the colourful exhibition proved the perfect backdrop for the tourist board to reveal the latest news from the destination as well as announcing a new glass art experience, Refract, showing in Seattle from October 17 to 20, 2019. The event will feature talks, tours and demonstrations as well open studios and art parties.

Selling Travel joined agents in an all-singing all -dancing Texas Takeover hosted by Travel Texas and United Airlines. Angelina Periskic from Travelbag, who is pictured with Anja Puschmann from Visit Houston and Sara Ellis from Travel Texas, was the lucky agent to win a trip to Texas. She will visit some of its popular attractions, such as the Nasa Johnson Space Centre and Texas Hill wine country.

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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Tree top adventures


Luxury Travel Specialist at Elegant Resorts


Hong Kong highlights

Tour operator If Only… and the Hong Kong Tourism Board invited agents to learn all about Hong Kong with a night out in Manchester. The dinner formed part of the ongoing ‘Belong in Hong Kong’ campaign, which focused on promoting the authentic side of this eclectic city and encouraged visitors to live like a local by frequenting hip neighbourhood eateries, taking part in exciting local events and embracing the vibrant culture. The campaign also offered agents the chance to win a holiday for two to Hong Kong when they made a booking.

I’m standing at the drop-off point at Brimstone Blast, the longest and highest of five lines on my St. Kitts Zipline Tour, and I can’t help but burst into laughter! Is it nerves? Is it excitement? Who knows, but something about looking out across the vast jungle ahead makes me determined to zip through it at top speed! Our 2.5-hour tour starts at base camp located at Romney Manor. We are given a briefing on how to use our equipment and fitted with a harness and helmet before being introduced to Line 1 (Monkey Trainer), one of the more leisurely slopes. We then embark on a short off-road drive to fly the next three lines: Line 2 (The Boss), Line 3 (Mango Tango), and Line 4 (Brimstone Blast), which is over 76 meters above the valley floor and 411 meters in length – be sure to keep your eyes open as it offers impressive views right down to the sea.


Taste of Barbados

Selling Travel joined agents at the Taste of Barbados Roadshow to hear the latest product news and, of course, sample some traditional Bajan delicacies for a true taste of the island. Special guest Hon. Kerrie Symmonds – Minister of Tourism and International Travel – was on hand to tell us about the 'Year of the Gathering' in 2020, when Barbadians around the world will be invited home for a grand coming together. Themed holiday packages reflecting the campaign will available throughout 2020.

Whilst making our way through the rainforest the local guides explain all about the flora and fauna and do their best to capture that perfect Jungle Jane action shot. Of course, not everyone in our group shares my same enthusiasm for heights, but safely sandwiched between the two guides, who are both encouraging and extremely safety conscious, we all gradually build in confidence. And by the final Line 5, it’s a race to beat Derek, the oldest member of the group, down to the river pool for the chance to cool off! It's only with my feet firmly back on the ground that I reflect on what a memorable experience this has been and how I just want to do it all again! Next up the Fly and Walk Tour?

at for your bookings Get cash incentives uk

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Our columnists

InteleTravel has been criticised for being unregulated and amatuer, but, now it's got an ABTA license, is it time to stop the carping and wish them well?

Sandy suns herself in Tobago

James at the AmaDouro christening in Porto

I'm determined that being a travel agent is seen as a profession HAVING trained ‘on the job’ in travel, rather than studying at college, I'm certainly not averse to the idea of homeworkers joining a travel company with no previous experience. We all have to start somewhere, and I think a passion for travel and a desire to learn about the industry and the world is a huge part of being a successful agent - not to mention great time management skills, being efficient, patient, friendly and having a keen eye for detail. All with a smile on your face! It's essential that we move forward as an industry and welcome new businesses into the fold, including those with a different model. It is an ever-changing playing field. However, it's also vital that new companies recognise the skills and knowledge required and train staff to a high standard to reflect well on the rest of us. I do feel our industry is misunderstood by the public, Some people think our job consists of hitting a few keys and going on free holidays (we wish!). I'm determined that being an agent is seen as a profession and we're recognised as experts in our field. If trained well, this new generation should endorse the importance of agents and the role we play in turning dreams into a reality. Holidays are precious, and each customer is an individual needing expert advice and care. If Inteletravel can provide it, I think there’s room for all of us. So let’s welcome those who want to be part of this fantastic industry. On a personal note, I've just booked a holiday to Skiathos for June and I can't wait!

IT WOULD be very hypocritical of me to deny any new entrant into the travel industry when, like so many other home workers, I started with GoCruise as a franchisee with plenty of business, sales and marketing experience but no actual travel trade experience. I wonder to what degree the opposition to InteleTravel is due to a certain tendency by some to equate the word 'homeworker' with 'amateur' or 'part-timer', when in fact many homeworkers, including several of my colleagues, are incredibly successful, professional and high-earning full timers. As long as new entrants are correctly bonded, operate within a correctly constituted umbrella organisation and work

There are no short cuts to being a successful travel agent! in an honest manner with the appropriate training, then they have to be welcomed. But there are no short cuts to being a successful travel agent! In other news, I was honoured to attend the christening of the AmaDouro, the new AmaWaterways ship based in Porto, with Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said, who became the line’s first ever UK Godmother. I enjoyed great food and excellent local wines, not to mention the odd glass of port! The Douro is such a growth area for river cruising. Ships are nearly always fully booked, with demand from the USA as well as the UK. Porto is also perfect for a city break!



Southern Cross Travel, East Sussex

Go Cruise, Cruise specialist, Worcestershire

Anneka Desrosiers

James Hill

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Our columnists

It only provides further opportunities for my business to grow WHEN I see other agents moaning about InteleTravel being granted an ABTA license, I think, great! The reason why? They aren’t focusing on their own business and, meanwhile, that provides me with a fantastic opportunity to grow my own. This doesn’t just apply to obsessing about InteleTravel, it applies to anything you focus your time and attention on that you can’t affect or change. When looking at InteleTravel gaining this endorsement, only two things can really happen: the first is that they excel in selling great holidays and the second is that they provide poor service and advice and sell bad holidays. Either one of these only provides us opportunities, but we can’t control which one happens so why focus on it? If they sell great holidays then it builds customers' trust in booking protected holidays through professional agents - and especially homeworkers, which is only good for my business. If they provide poor service and advice then it only highlights how good our customer service is, which is great. Therefore, I only see InteleTravel providing further opportunities for my business to grow and won’t worry about the big picture of them de-valuing travel agents. The internet is a much bigger killer of that (but that’s a topic for another day!) As for us, we're still riding the wave from speaking on stage at the Global Travel Conference in Orlando, where we even had the chance to mingle with Stephen Mulhern!

I'VE HEARD quite a lot of chat about InteleTravel but I must admit I hadn’t really heard of them before. It seems they have been going for 25 years and their website states: "a full-time career opportunity or a side interest that pays". Well, that’s quite a big canvas! Also, you don’t have to be qualified or have any training. I would have thought anyone wanting their own business might be concerned about risk, but then again, is it a chance to dip your toe in the water? It will be interesting to see what happens – if anything! I always think it’s either all or nothing in travel, either everything happens at once or nothing at all. A classic case in April: NotreDame catching fire, a coach crashing in Madeira and then, to cap it all, the bombings in Sri Lanka with more than 360 people killed. I can’t help but wonder about all the money that has been promised to Notre-Dame and what will happen with Sri Lanka. Those millionaires won’t think to donate to the latter, will they? I am afraid I am one of those people that think humans and animals are more important than buildings. Buildings can be rebuilt but unfortunately people cannot. I hope this won't deter people from holidaying in Sri Lanka – it is such a beautiful country and will need all the help it can get. I think, all things considered, it’s going to be a good year. People are fed up with politics and they will go on holiday whatever happens - and that's something to be positive about! I always say: Your mind is like a parachute – it functions only when it's open.

People will go on holiday whatever happens



Venture Travel, Mold, North Wales

Sandy's Travel Escapes

Sandy Murray

Ben & Hugh

Ben & Hugh at the GTC in Orlando

Anneka just booked a break in Skiathos

Next month our columnists will talk about: Sustainable travel. Is it on their agenda?

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w i t h M i c h a e l M u r p h y - No t J u s t Tra v e l

From pandas & the Pope to travel sales Having spent seven years working at Edinburgh Airport, Michael Murphy describes why he swapped his air-side job to become a homeworker for Not Just Travel. "I've always had an interest in travel and working at the airport gave me my first taste of the industry and the logistics behind people going on holiday – something that has proved handy in my current role. "During my seven years there I had the pleasure of boarding the Pope and was present to welcome giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang on their journey to Edinburgh Zoo! "However, I always felt a desire to learn more about the world and become more involved in travel, which is why I decided to become a franchisee of Not Just Travel."

Supply chain

"I've been a travel consultant for just over two years and having the support from a company such as Not Just Travel has been invaluable. As they are an independent company, I have the freedom to sell the holiday that is right for my clients and for a competitive price. "I work with over 450 suppliers, from leading brands such as Thomas Cook, Kuoni and First Choice to more specialist companies

a five-star package but wanting to pay the price of a two-star holiday - I'm afraid it just doesn't add up! "The number of airlines going bust is another worry for agents. Since 2017 19 airlines have collapsed, which leaves an air of uncertainty when booking low-cost carriers."

Exploring the unknown

for those that want something a bit different. "Working from home allows me to give clients that extra attention, and as I'm dealing direct it gives them added confidence that I am always contactable. "I'm finding all-inclusives are on the up, with customers wanting everything from luggage, meals and flights to transfers, carry on bags and even hotel check-in included within the holiday price. I'm also selling more tailor-made holidays, to customers looking for that personal touch."

"I make an effort to attend as many events as possible – they are the next best thing to having actually visited the destination. "I enjoy researching destinations that I know little about, but recently returned from a trip to India where I was enchanted by the temples and friendly people. Having been there, I would definitely recommend India for those looking to immerse themselves in a culture and enjoy an authentic experience."

Customers want more than ever included in the price

Airline woes

"Customers are becoming more demanding, but with tighter budgets - which can be tricky to live up to. I've had clients come to me with

Far East Holidays



9nts, Bangkok, Elephant Hills & Phuket

in the office.indd 26



7nts, Keemala Phuket

0208 585 4020



7nts, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi

4/26/19 12:41 PM

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 you: "How generous and appreciative are the companies you work for?" Here are some of your replies Jenny Jackson Founder of Luxury

"Client asked: If I go to Spain after we leave the EU will they speak Spanish to me rather than English?"

Travel Guru

“Last year I celebrated 10 years at the same shop. I was rewarded with an all expenses paid three-night trip to Prague, for both myself and my partner.” “I just did a £178k booking and got a very nice gift from Gold Medal.” “I get lovely little morale boosters: scented candles, chocolates, Champagne, etc." "We have an incentive to take the whole company to Mauritius if we hit the two-year target – but if we hit it in one year we all fly Business Class too! I wouldn’t work or do anything else now,

the company appreciate every single one of their staff.” “For my 25th year award I got flowers, Champagne a commemorative glass globe and £250 of Love2Shop vouchers” “I work for Hays Travel and they have been great. We were rewarded when the company made one billion and if you work for 10 years or more

you get a long service award plus a gift and dinner. Also every time you make a high-value booking you are recognised and they send a thank you.” "Any of my colleagues will agree our boss shows us appreciation 365 days a year. Very flexible, approachable and extremely generous. We are all very lucky."

Canada Tours



14nts, The Wild West

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15nts, Rockies Trail

“A client complained their hotel in India had only Indian food... but they wanted a fry up” “When finalising an itinerary I informed the client she had a night in transit. She replied: 'Which hotel in intransit are we staying at?”

0208 585 4020



7nts, The Canadiana

4/26/19 08:26 PM



on the move V L AD I S L AV SAV E L I E V

MEET... Sherwin Arends New Trade Training Relations Officer

What are South African Tourism’s core values? To contribute meaningfully to the growth of the South African economy through empowerment and enabling local businesses to create authentic experiences. In short, being proudly South African, which is important to me. What's your focus? As Trade Training Relations Officer I plan to support the wider trade team and strengthen SAT’s current relationships, whilst also establishing new relationships with key trade anda stakeholders. What's new for the trade? We will run our annual one-stop shop SAT School again in 2019. We also plan to increase our presence within the UK and Ireland, running further training events, roadshows, workshops and hosted agent fam trips in the destination. What's your top SA tip? Walking tours are a great way to find out more about local culture. Often tours are led by local guides who have a great relationship with the community and know all the local hotspots too.

H E L E N TAT E & S T E P H AN I E R O B E R T S O N TO: Travel Trade Sales Executives, Canadian Affair

Helen will cover sales in the south west of England, whilst Stephanie will drive sales in northern England. The new team members will report to Travel Trade Manager, Jane Fraser, who was appointed in February. The team will continue to develop its trade engagement programme which launched six months ago.

V L AD I S L AV SAV E L I E V & P I E R R E H E R NAN D E Z TO: UK Central & North Sales Developer & UK South account manager, PONANT

S U K I E R APAL TO: Head of River Cruise, Fred.\ River Cruises, part of Fred. Olsen Travel

Vladislav Saveliev will grow key accounts in the south of the country while Pierre Hernandez will develop relationships in central and northern UK. Their main objectives will include spreading the word about PONANT's new product, including its partnership with National Geographic Expeditions.

Sukie's primary focus will be on growing Fred.\ River Cruises’ General Sales Agent brands which include Amadeus River Cruises, American Cruise Lines and Pandaw; alongside the Volga Dream and Far Horizons of India for whom they act as preferred sales agents. Sukie will also explore new opportunities online and through the trade.



L I SA M U S C H AM P TO: Caribbean and Mexico Business Development Manager, AMG

TO: Head of Sales for the North, First Class Holidays

TO: Business Development Manager, APT

Lisa will act as a national brand ambassador on the road visiting tour operators, consortia and travel agents on behalf of AMG’s clients across St Lucia, Barbados, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Antigua. Lisa has over 25 years of experience in travel business development, including the role of Trade Sales Manager, South of England & South Wales at Jetset.

Nisha will be looking after all First Class Holiday agent partners in the north and will continue growing current relationships as well as developing new ones. Nisha has previous experience at Travel 2, Jetset and Hays Travel. She will be working closely with Katie Daniels, who was also recently promoted to Head of Sales for the South.

The appointment of Becky marks APT's 'complete' trade team which has expanded from three members to six. Becky's primary role will be to support UK agents based in the south west. The new team will support agents throughout the UK, which currently makes up two- thirds of all sales. Becky has more than 10 years’ experience in travel.

Have you just got a new job and want agents to know about it? We'd love to hear about it. Email:

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Tra v e l A l b e r t a ’s W i n t e r B u s i n e s s Tr i p

Cityscape to 'bubble' lake From exploring Calgary’s urban playground to skiing, snowshoeing and even flying across mountains to explore frozen ‘bubble’ lakes, Alberta certainly proved an adventure for intrepid agents who joined a recent winter fam trip hosted by Travel Alberta. Starting in Calgary, the agents enjoyed a walking tour where they learned all about the ways of Calgarians and the city's rich tradition of art and architecture. The group then climbed one of its most iconic landmarks: the Calgary Tower. The more adventurous had the chance to ‘step out into space’ by trying out the glass floor observation deck, which is 36 feet long and more than four feet wide – apparently it can hold the weight of three hippos though! Their feet firmly back on land, the group visited Calgary Zoo, one of the top zoos in the world for conservation research and the best way to learn about Canada’s bears and cougars without a face-to-face encounter. Leaving the city behind, the group transferred to the snowy town of Banff, where they picked up SkiBig3 passes to use across three resorts: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt. Norquay. The spectacular views of mountains, glaciers, lakes and forests made partaking in winter sports a must – even for novices. The agents enjoyed more than 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, ranging from gentle beginner runs to extreme mountain piste at Sunshine; 4,200 acres spread across four mountain faces at

Lake Louise, one of the largest ski resorts in North America; and learned that Mt. Norquay offers the only night skiing in Banff, including a fully-lit terrain park for boarders. They also tested their skills in Jasper's Marmot Basin, which offers 45cm of natural snow from November through to May. Away from the slopes the agents were treated to the ultimate high in the form of a Rockies Heli Canada Bubbles Tour. They flew to a snowshoeing location in the Rockies and then experienced the Abraham Lake ice bubbles – a natural phenomenon which sees methane gas bubbles freeze under the lake surface to stunning effect. Also for non-skiiers, a Johnston Canyon ice walk presented a great opportunity to get close-up to a natural wonder. The agents walked among the gigantic pillars of ice with views into the gorge below before arriving at Upper Falls – a glittering tower of ice that rises 30 metres above human heads! Following what was quite the active itinerary, there was just enough time to relax, unwind and reflect at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, complete with a relaxation lodge, five outdoor pools, five steam and sauna cabins, and massage therapists. The perfect way to ease away those boot aches. “Alberta in the winter is truly spectacular and dare I say it's even more beautiful than summer,” said Laura Kirton of First Class Holidays. “A personal highlight of mine was taking a helicopter over the top of Rockies to get that amazing birds-eye-view – it was simply breathtaking.”

From top: Abraham Lake; Beauvert Lake view - Jasper Park Lodge; posing by the Banff sign; Maligne Canyon Ice Walk

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rounder all

After a strong 2018 celebrating 50 years of independence, this year sees new resorts and renovations. Clare Walsh looks at five ways to sell Mauritius



hotel revolution is underway that is transforming Mauritius’ accommodation portfolio. Veteran resorts such as LUX* Grand Gaube, One & Only Le Saint Géran and Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa have all undergone extensive refurbishments, while fresh new brands such as SALT, part of the Lux Collective, have also moved in. This instagram-ready concept hotel located on the east coast has homed in on the trend for enriching experiences and is ideal for clients looking for holidays that offer cultural authenticity without compromising on luxury. The hotel’s farm supplies its food, bikes

and cars are available for exploring and guests can take part in a ‘skills swap’ with locals. SALT believes this enables guests to ‘connect at a deep level with the people who make places’ and ‘take home more than a tan’. For clients on a budget, three-star Veranda Tamarin Hotel opened in November, while Thomas Cook is targeting a new audience for the traditional package holiday - winter will see the opening of its first long-haul hotel in Turtle Bay. With beachside swim-up rooms, a yoga pavilion and swimming platform at the end of a natural lava pier, it will target the premium market.

Another new arrival is Anantara Mauritius. Located just 15 minutes from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the resort will be situated near to prime snorkelling spot Blue Bay Marine Park. It will feature 164 rooms and suites with eight luxury pool villas to be added in the first half of 2020. Competition is high in Mauritius and as a result the resort offerings are constantly evolving. In addition, a plethora of activities across the island affords agents the opportunity to sell Mauritius to a variety of clients. Here I suggest five different approaches to recommend to clients.

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For family time Far from being the preserve of starry-eyed loved-up couples and honeymooners, Mauritius has developed a strong family offering with several resorts featuring excellent facilities. Six of Beachcomber’s eight properties on the island have kids’ clubs with an extensive programme of activities. At the five-star Paradis Beachcomber, children can get involved with waterskiing, glass-bottom boat trips, golf and even have their own restaurant! This resort classifies guests up to the age of 17 as children, enabling agents to sell value and substantial savings. Mauritius also appeals to multigenerational families. At the five-star Long Beach, premium all-inclusive stays enable guests of all ages to indulge. It is situated on the longest beach in Mauritius and features five restaurants, sports, a kids club, spa and pools.


A further benefit for families is that direct overnight flights keep disruption to a minimum, while a time difference of just three hours ensures jetlag needn’t be a concern. Casela World of Adventures in the west of the island is a superb option for a family day trip. With an exceptional amount of activities such as Segway tours, camel rides, canyoning and zip-lining, it also offers a quad biking safari where visitors will come face to face with big cats and giraffes.

For total relaxation Relaxation comes with the territory in Mauritius and resorts consistently go the extra mile to look after their guests. Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa in the east offers the ultimate in luxurious relaxation. It’s three beach villas feature staff and a personal chef available around the clock, with private limousine transfers from the airport.



84 Lushury Rooms - 4 Beach Suites - 2 Beach Suites Family - 2 Beach Villas Lush garden, outside shower and bath in all room categories 1 infinity pool (excluding private ones) - 2 Restaurants and 1 Bar - Spa with organic products by Thémaé

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It’s the only resort in Mauritius to have its own private island and the resort recently introduced five beach cabanas offering a ‘Dine by Design’ experience complete with private butlers. Guests also have the option of relaxing with an outdoor massage next to the Indian Ocean with treatments from Carita and Decleor.

For culture vultures Mauritius’ capital, Port Louis, has plenty of treasures for those seeking a culture fix away from the sunshine and splashing around in the Indian Ocean. Highlights include Government House and La Place D’Armes Square, along with the UNESCO-listed Apravasi Ghat, where immigrant labourers from India first landed. Once the sightseeing has been done, suggest clients sample some tasty street food. The city is quickly gaining a reputation as a foodie hot spot with its diverse influences represented in eclectic dishes. Keeping with the foodie theme, One&Only Le Saint Géran invites guests to join their executive chef for a ‘Shop, Cook & Eat’ experience. Starting with a visit to the local Flacq Market to learn about the island’s produce and shop for local groceries, this is followed by meeting local fisherman and seeing their catch. Once back at the resort, guests are taught how to use their ingredients to cook a Mauritian-inspired meal. In the south of the island, Mahebourg is the first capital of Mauritius and known for its local market, museums, fortifications and historic battles between the French and British. Resorts such as Anantara are well placed for visiting these areas of the island with Mahebourg reachable in just 15 minutes.



Mauritius-focused Attitude Hotels has a unique concept running through all its properties on the island named ‘otentik’ – meaning ‘authentic’ in Mauritian. Despite being an all-inclusive , the brand wants its guests to experience the island. An example activity guests can book is dinner in a Mauritian home, as a guest of one of its ‘Family Members’ (staff) and to share a typical Mauritian meal.

For hopeless romantics Mauritius is an iconic wedding and honeymoon destination - and for good reason. With soul-stirring views and a level of luxury that’s hard to top, it’s become adept at providing world-leading romantic holidays. Many resorts offer bespoke wedding and honeymoon packages with a dedicated wedding coordinator. Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort has recently introduced a wedding package at its newly restored 19th century Heritage Le Chateau. Surrounded by a 2,500-hectare nature reserve, couples can choose to get married in the grounds, on a private beach or in a glass marquee. Honeymooners are often drawn to Mauritius by the promise of dreamy days on white sands lapped by cerulean waters. But resorts now also recognise the value of experiential holidays.

“Suggest clients sample some tasty street food. Port Louis is quickly gaining a reputation as a foodie hot spot with its diverse influences represented in eclectic dishes”

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“At the newly-restored 19th century Heritage Le Chateau,surrounded by a 2,500-hectare nature reserve, couples can choose to get married in the grounds, on a private beach or in a glass marquee”


At Beachcomber resorts, honeymooners can enjoy a complimentary romantic experience such as the use of a minimoke (car) to explore the island, a parasailing tour over Grand Baie or a speedboat outing on the Eastern lagoon. There are also unique accommodation options for those looking for something a little different. Last year saw the expansion of semi-transparent eco-domes from Bubble Lodge, enabling couples to sleep under the stars immersed in nature. Three domes opened on Île aux Cerfs, off Mauritius’s east coast with plans for more in 2019 in Bois Cheri.

For action and adventure Mauritius is an island made for exploring and adventurers will have plenty to keep them busy. An exhilarating ride through the forest canopy is promised on the world’s third longest zip line. At 1.5km long, it’s a real treat for adrenaline junkies and is set in the beautiful Vallee des Couleurs nature park – a perfect setting for reducing the heart rate afterwards! Canyoning at Tamarin Falls isn’t for the faint-hearted but if scrambling over rock faces, abseiling down waterfalls and jumping into lagoons appeals, this is definitely worthy of the bucket list. Located in the southwest of the island,

it’s a beautiful spot suitable for beginners. Also located in this part of Mauritius is Black River Gorges National Park. With 6,500 hectares of natural beauty packed with walking trails, it’s a haven for nature lovers. The forested plateaus and gorges may even afford lucky explorers a glimpse of monkeys. Many visitors flock to Mauritius for its beautiful waters, its 330km of coastline encircled by a dazzling coral barrier reef offer superb snorkelling and diving opportunities. One of the most popular dives is the Cathedral located off Flic-en-Flac, while at Gunner’s Coin clients will be treated to displays of large parrotfish and an ethereal underwater world. Mauritius is an above-par destination for golf, with ten 18-hole courses. Ile aux Cerfs golf course – reached by a short small-boat boat crossing – has natural features like volcanic outcrops, lakes and tropical trees, while Gymkhana Golf club is the oldest on the island. So Sofitel Mauritius offers a luxury experience with its spa and butler service for suites and villas, but is located on the wilder south coast, near an 18-hole golf course and the Frederica Nature Reserve which has 4WD trails and mountain biking.

Where to book it TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS – 01494 678400 Book a seven-night stay at LUX* Belle Mare between May 11 and October 15 2019 and receive a 45% discount - plus kids under 12 stay free with parents. Prices start from £4,195 for a family of four including private transfers and international flights. 


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AM Sell

Air Mauritius new A330neo is coming to London – All ights from May 2019



 Full at Business Class seats

 More personal space with 18 inch wide seats

 State of the art entertainment system

 31 to 33 inch seat pitch with 30 degree recline

 Individual 15.4 inch HD LED screens

 Individual 11.1 inch HD LED screens

 All seats have aisle access

 More spacious cabin including ambient lighting

In both cabins enjoy the warm Mauritian welcome, an excellent choice of food styled on the multicultural essence of Mauritius and friendly on board service

For more information: Tel: +44 (0) 20 8834 5800 Email: Web: Trade web: Air Mauritius Training Site:

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Chad Pioneering UK operators are among the first to open up a little-known Central African nation that is attracting adventurous travellers, writes Mark Stratton The young boys’ faces glisten with sweat as they dance under the Sahelian sun. They pogo in unison, chanting mesmerizing songs and pulling exaggerated faces to reveal the whites of both their teeth and eyeballs, the truest signs of classical male beauty in Wodaabe society. They are watched by gyrating young women with kohl-edged eyes who have come to choose a man. Chad’s Gerewol celebration occurs every October. The Wodaabe nomadic tribespeople congregate to watch the bachelor males sing and dance in the hope of being selected by the women for marriage or a night of passion. I was among just 30 tourists camping amid the savannah grassland to watch this genuine cultural celebration.


On the map If you look at the travel advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, it’s apparent why Chad, one of Africa’s largest countries, receives so few visitors. Over the decades it has battled with banditry, terrorism and poverty, keeping it off the tourist radar. Yet during two visits over the past year I never felt anything less than secure. Chad’s combination of Saharan landscapes and national parks is not going unnoticed as a handful of pioneering UK tour operators – such as Native Eye and Undiscovered Destinations – now offer a range of itineraries to this niche destination. The FCO still warns against all but essential travel for much of the country, so it should be recommended only to those with a real sense of adventure.


Chad's capital, N’Djamena, has several international-class hotels, such as a Hilton, but otherwise is a little dilapidated. However, every Sunday afternoon there is an unmissable spectacle of street horseracing when Arab thoroughbreds tearup an improvised circuit. The Gerewol itself lasts one week and most UK operators use the services of a long-standing Italian DMC called Spazi d’Avventura, who have contacts with the

THE DETAILS TIME ZONE: GMT+1 CURENCY: Central African Franc. £1 = 760XAF VISAS: Required and must be purchased before travel. There is no embassy in the UK so seek the help of a specialist agency. Getting there:, Languages: Arabic, French and several tribal dialects Climate: Rains AprilSeptember, hot and dry October-March. BOOK IT: Native Eye covers both the Gerewol festival and Ennedi Mountains in an epic

22-day adventure. Priced from £5,599pp, it includes return flights from Paris, meals, transport, camping and hotel stays, the capital N’Djamena, a four-day stay with the Wodaabe for Gerewol and a tour of the Ennedi Mountains.


Wodaabe and will drive guests by 4WD to where the gathering nomads congregate. Gerewol can be doubled up with one of Chad’s other two great highlights: a trip to the Ennedi Mountains or Zakouma National Park. Deemed the natural and cultural masterpiece of the Sahara Desert, Ennedi is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its ancient rock art. Its rare wildlife includes barbary sheep and desert crocodiles that bury themselves away and hibernate without water for months waiting for the rains. Zakouma National Park is a two-hour flight, in a small Cessna aircraft. Here I saw great knots of pelicans choking its main river, cheetahs with new cubs, over 50 lions in five prides, a rare striped hyena at night, and was stared at by elegant nosey Kordofan giraffes, a rare sub-species of the more familiar southern African variety. Chad may never become a fixture like Kenya yet for adventurous travellers this is offbeat Africa in technicolour brilliance. 

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call of the

wild From the Galápagos Islands to the Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador boasts unique and varied landscapes, says Adam Coulter

art way along the street which encircles the bay in Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island, there is a small harbour, mainly for fishing boats, and just above that is a tiny open-air fish market. I am walking towards it on this, my first day in the largest town in the Galápagos Islands, when I notice – or rather hear – some sort of a commotion in the distance around the market. It sounds like a frantic barking, mixed with birds squawking. As I get nearer I can make it out – a sealion, beside the fish counter. Just like a big dog, its head leans over the edge, desperate to get hold of the scraps being thrown to the birds; several pelicans stand beside the sea lion, waiting for their moment. It strikes me as a scene out of a cartoon, and also the only place on earth where a scene like this would be an everyday occurrence. A few yards further on and a pair of marine iguanas lay sunbathing on the pavement; I have to step round them as they have no intention of moving for me. And at the jetty, where I am catching the boat to the Finch Bay Hotel, a huge heron sits on the quayside, from where he watches me impassively. I have never visited anywhere else in the world where animals are so indifferent towards or less afraid of humans, and this is just my first day in the Galápagos!


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London – Santo Domingo Discover Santo Domingo with Air Europa on board the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the most unique flying experience. Daily flights from London Gatwick. All flights are via Madrid.

For more information, please call 020 8016 4455 or visit

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The might of a microcosm


“Ecuador is best visited during our spring and summer months, when days in the Andes are warm, sunny and dry” Laura Rendell-Dunn, Journey Latin America


This year marks 60 years since the Galápagos Islands became a National Park and the establishment of the Charles Darwin Foundation ( The foundation, which is based in the capital Puerto Ayora and is one of the few places you can see the islands’ most iconic animal, the Galápagos Tortoise, will be commemorating the milestone with events throughout 2019, including the release of a film in November. The Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel ( will open a new spa this summer, complete with gym equipment and two treatment rooms on the ground floor and a yoga room on the second floor with views over the bay. Mashpi Lodge, which lies in the heart of the Choco-Andean Cloud Forest, three hours north of Quito, is creating a Scientific Station for guests to learn about this unique biosphere and the ongoing conservation efforts in the region. In addition, work starts this year to double the size of the protected area in which the lodge is built, from 2,500 hectares to 5,000 ha. Why not experience the country by train? While train travel is not a common form of exploration and travel in Latin America, Ecuador has a luxury train called Tren Crucero (, which is an ideal way to see the stunning scenery in style and comfort. Latin Routes ( offers this as part of its Ecuador tours. Ecuador is like South America in miniature – you can visit the Amazon,


the coasts, colonial cities and the Andes mountains, all in one country. Says Laura Rendell-Dunn, PR and Business Development Manager at Journey Latin America: “Ecuador is best visited during our spring and summer months, when days in the Andes are warm, sunny and dry”.

The Amazon The Amazon offers a unique insight into the region, its people, and its wildlife. Fly to Coca, just 25-minutes from Quito, and venture into the rainforest. Most stays in Ecuador are lodge-based and will be a fully-inclusive, incorporating guided walks, canopy walks, night treks, canoe trips, visits to local communities and piranha fishing. Animals that can be spotted include various species of monkeys, pink dolphins, jaguars and capybaras, as well as plenty of birdlife. Says Jess Dennison, Head of Trade Relations, Latin Routes: “The Cloud Forest is just a two-and-a-half hour drive from Quito, the capital, and is home to more than 1,500 species of birds as well as jaguar, sloth, howler monkey, puma and spectacled bear”.

The Andes Around 200 miles south of Quito, you’ll find the ‘Avenue of the Volcanoes’, a breathtaking landscape of seven peaks rising to more than 17,000 feet. One of the best ways to see the Andes is by train, as Alexandra Waterhouse, Travel Consultant, Journey Latin America,


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explains: “Ecuador’s newly restored rail network now allows you to discover the verdant beauty of rural Ecuador and its tiny traditional hamlets. However, if your clients is short on time or the dates don’t fit, fans of rail travel and spectacular scenery should at least do the worldfamous Devil’s Nose section of railway that zig-zags its way impossibly down a near-vertical Andean mountainside.”

The Coast Ecuador borders the Pacific and has more than 1,000 miles of coastline, where you’ll find the country’s biggest city, Guayquil (see below). The coast is largely unspoilt and is popular with backpackers and surfers, many of whom are drawn to the party town of Montanita. The coast varies in terms of geography and climate: lush and wet in the Esmereldas province in the north, to more arid and humid in the southern part.

The Galápagos Islands There are not many places in the world that can truly be described as unique, but the Galápagos is such a place. Lying a two-and-a-half drive from Guayquil, the Galápagos Islands are top of many people’s bucket list and a must-

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visit for anyone touring Ecuador. This pristine natural wilderness is one of the few places in the world where animals are genuinely unafraid of humans. They are either indifferent to your presence or, in the case of the sealions, will naturally interacting with you. Tourism is strictly monitored and controlled and the only way to see the islands is by boat. There are a large number of operators offering different tours and routes, the longestestablished is Metropolitan Touring (, which also owns the Finch Bay Hotel. It operates the Isabela 2, Santa Cruz 2 and La Pinta ships.

The Cities Quito is the capital of Ecuador and famously lies right on the equator, allowing you to step from one hemisphere to another. It’s chilly up here, lying some 9,350 feet above sea level and has a year-round temperature of just 16C. It’s small, too, with just 1.4m inhabitants, but has an abundance of architectural heritage and is, in fact, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It takes a day or two to get acclimatised to the altitude so be careful not to walk too far or too fast when you first arrive.

Guayquil is the biggest city in Ecuador, with around 2.5m inhabitants. Founded in 1538, the city played a key part in the history of the region: it was here that Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin met to map out the future of an independent South America. It is the nation’s most important port, but it’s not really a tourist spot despite attempts to spruce it up. For most visitors it’s the jumping off spot for a trip to the Galápagos or to the party town of Montanita in the north. In the south of the country you’ll find the beautiful whitewashed university city of Cuenca. Sitting at a lofty 8,400 feet above sea level, the city centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its colonial heritage and many historic buildings.

Where to book it LATIN TRAILS A nine-day Ecuador and Galapagos trip is from £6,744.65pp based on two sharing. The price includes transfers, a Quito city tour with English-speaking local driver and guide, three nights at Illa Experience Hotel in the city and five nights onboard the Sea Star Journey with meals, excursions and a Naturalist Guide. 

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With more than 20 years’ experience, Latin Trails specialises in organising customised tours and unique With more than 20 years’ experience, Latinthe Trails specialises in organising customised tourstoand unique experiences for visitors to Ecuador, including Galápagos Islands. Latin Trails not only works coordinate With more than 20 years’ experience, Latin Trails specialises in organising customised tours and unique experiences for visitors Ecuador, including the aGalápagos Latin Trails not only works to offerings coordinate your travel needs on theto but also owns number ofIslands. luxury tourism products. Among the is experiences for visitors toground, Ecuador, including the Galápagos Islands. Latin Trails not only works to coordinate your travel needs on the ground, but also owns a number of luxury tourism products. Among the offerings is our boutique yacht, Journey, which contemporary design and supreme comfort to sailings your travel needs onSea the Star ground, but also ownsbrings a number of luxury tourism products. Among the offerings is our boutique yacht, Sea Star Journey, which brings contemporary design and supreme comfort to sailings around the Galápagos archipelago. In Ecuador’s capital Quito, Latin Trails also operates new hotel Illa our boutique yacht, Sea Star Journey, which brings contemporary design and supreme comfort to sailings around the Galápagos archipelago. In Ecuador’s capital Quito, also newcraft hotel Illa Experience, where rooms occupy a beautiful colonial house and Latin whereTrails staff are onoperates call to help highly around the Galápagos archipelago. In Ecuador’s capital Quito, Latin Trails also operates new hotel Illa Experience, roomsaround occupy a beautiful house and where staff are on call to help craft highly personalised where experiences country. colonial Experience, where rooms occupythe a beautiful colonial house and where staff are on call to help craft highly personalised experiences around the country. personalised experiences around the country.

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Aquatic adventures


rom the sparkling waters of Rottnest Island off Australia’s west coast to the idyllic Whitsunday Islands and the iconic Great Barrier Reef, Journey Beyond offers travellers exceptional marine experiences that will elevate your next beach holiday to a brand new level.

Natural wonder Whether it be basking in the crystal waters of Whitehaven Beach, widely considered the world’s most beautiful beach, or getting up close and personal with colourful marine species on the Great Barrier Reef, Cruise Whitsundays will deliver you experiences to be remembered for a lifetime. Where else in the world can you fall asleep under the stars, above a reef teeming with life, 40 nautical miles from land? With Cruise Whitsundays’ Reefsleep, this unique experience becomes a reality. Divers and snorkellers can descend into a world brimming with 1400 species of corals and 1600 species of tropical fish, while those not keen on getting their feet wet can view the reef from a semi-submarine or a dedicated underwater viewing chamber positioned below the pontoon. Meet Maggie, the resident Maori Wrasse and keep your eyes peeled for turtles and tropical fish that

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call the reef home. Picking up from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island and Hamilton Island, Cruise Whitsundays is your ticket to explore.

Treasure island Rottnest Island is a mere 25 minutes from the Western Australian mainland by Rottnest Express ferry, but you’ll feel a million miles away once ensconced on one of the island’s 63 secluded beaches. A car-free island, the best way to get around the pristine environment is by bike, available to hire from Rottnest Express. Board the Adventure Boat tour and see the island from a different perspective while also seeing the local colony of New Zealand fur seals and humpback whales in whale watching season. Back on land, pose for a photo with a quokka – known as the world’s happiest animal thanks to its permanent smilelike face. For those who prefer exploring at a leisurely pace, board the Discover Rottnest bus tour and learn about the island’s colourful heritage and history. Rottnest Express offers an extensive range of both fully-escorted and self-guided day tour packages including a variety of on-island activities. For more information about Journey Beyond’s marine products visit : 

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INCREDIBLE JOURNEYS. UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES. Venture beyond the tracks with Journey Beyond’s extensive range of holiday packages encapsulating some of Australia’s greatest rail journeys. Whether your client is keen to discover the outback, embark on a gourmet escape or explore Australia’s natural and coastal wonders, Journey Beyond has tailored packages for every type of adventure, ranging from one-day city stops through to 21-day rail and cruise odysseys. Book your Australian Rail Holiday packages now with Travel 2


Call the Travel 2 Touring & Incredible Journeys specialists on 0800 022 4302 for the latest package prices including flights from your preferred regional airport.




G O L D S E R V I C E / T W I N S H A R E / I N C LU S I O N S: 10 DAYS


o o o o o o o


6 nights accommodation in Perth including breakfast daily 1 day Pinnacles and Lobster tour Half day Perth and Fremantle City tour 1 day Discover Rottnest tour 1 day Explore Margaret River tour Transfer from hotel to East Perth Rail Terminal 4 days/3 nights aboard the Indian Pacific, Perth to Sydney, including all meals, beverages and Off Train Experiences in Kalgoorlie, Rawlinna, Cook, Adelaide, Broken Hill and the Blue Mountains o 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 3 dinners J O I N T H E J O U R N E Y B E YO N D N E W O N L I N E T R A I N I N G P R O G R A M TO L E A R N M O R E A B O U T A U S T R A L I A’ S G R E AT T R A I N J O U R N E Y S A N D B E C O M E A R A I L S P E C I A L I S T. 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


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New Broadway Temptations

Rocky success

Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park recorded its largest-ever visitation levels last year. The 4,590,492 visitors that dropped by moves it among the top three most


American Airlines has launched a new year-round service between Heathrow and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The morning departure complements the existing afternoon flight to Arizona's capital city that is operated by transatlantic joint business partner, British Airways. americanairlines.;

visited national parks in the country, after the Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Canyon National Park.

Norwegian's 14

Norwegian has launched new services to Miami and San Francisco while its summer service to Seattle has also recommenced. From Gatwick, Norwegian operates 14 flights to 12 U.S. destinations. Earlier this year it became the first low-cost airline to offer free wifi on long-haul flights, with

Broadway Inbound, specialists for U.S. theatre tickets, is alerting the trade to the latest stage productions showing in New York. Tootsie, Bettlejuice, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child all join the company’s Broadway Collection this year. Tootsie, the musical adaptation of the 1982 film, is playing at the Marquis Theatre, and Bettlejuice, the stage version of the Tim Burton film, is wooing audiences at the Winter Garden Theatre. Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations, the legendary Detroit soul quintet, opened at the Imperial Theatre in March while fans of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film will want to catch Moulin Rouge! The Musical when it opens at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on July 25. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, with its theatrical witchcraft and wizardry, has been playing at the Lyric Theatre since last April.

more than 50% of its fleet expected to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020.

Surf's up at Hyatt The Hyatt Regency

Huntington Beach has completed a renovation of all 514 guest rooms. Other innovations this summer at a hotel that is a popular stop on Southern California driving itineraries include oceanfront pop-up cabanas and sunrise beach yoga classes.;

BLOG The USA is packed with iconic

cities, picturesque small towns and the world’s best theme parks –but some of its most exciting sights are its natural assets. From Alaska to Maine you’ll discover canyons, beaches, mountains, deserts, forests and wildlife ranging from humpback whales to grizzly bears. More Blog content at Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update for the pick of members' news

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Do you support Visit USA's many annual activities? We support a lot of them, like the agent roadshows in October and the Unite Visit USA trade day in March. It is important to be out there, doing – and being seen doing – activities like these. How well do travel agents know North Carolina? There's always more to be done but over the past six years or so we have been raising awareness of the state in the UK, explaining its diversity and how it fits into a Southern driving tour.

Check out our airline/airport Visit USA UK members

Aer Lingus Ltd • American Airlines • British Airways • Delta Air Lines • Icelandair • Norwegian • Singapore Airlines • United Airlines • Virgin Atlantic • Bradley International Airport (Hartford, Connecticut)

What are the main benefits of your Visit USA membership? It gives us profile among the travel trade and consumers and provides opportunities to network with tour operators and the media.

Georgia's latest screen test Georgia, a state long popular among crews filming movies, TV shows and adverts, will again be showcased on the silver and small screens in a number of high-profile productions over the coming months. Avengers: Endgame, the fourth and final saga of the superhero film series, was released in the UK on April 25. The movie was shot largely at Pinewood Atlanta Studios – the largest purpose-built studio outside Hollywood – in Fayette County, Georgia. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence filmed the third Bad Boys film in Atlanta, and keep an eye out for Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland 2, filmed in Macon, and Kevin Hart and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson who stayed in Atlanta during the filming of Jumanji 3. Forrest Gump (Atlanta), Baywatch (Tybee Island), and The Hunger Games trilogy – the Atlanta Motor Speedway provided the site of the Quarter Quell chariot parade – were also shot in the Peach State.

Tell us about that diversity. You can go from sea level to the highest mountains in the eastern USA in around just 500 miles. We have the Outer Banks, a 130-mile stretch of barrier islands, English history, and great cities like Asheville, Charlotte and Raleigh. Do you have a memorable North Carolina experience? Last year I stayed in a log cabin near Waynesville. There was a thunderstorm, which illuminated the dancing patterns of fireflies on the mountains opposite.

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

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land of the rising


feel like I’m in a spaceship but I’m actually touring one of Japan’s main sports venue. You might think I’m exaggerating, but read on. Sapporo Dome, primarily used for baseball and football, will host England and Tonga when they play their first match in the Rugby World Cup this September but from where I’m standing there’s no pitch, just a wooden floor. So where’s the grass? My guide, beaming with pride, answers by directing his glance outside, to where the turf field grows year-round, through rain, shine, snow – and earthquakes! But how, you may ask, does it get into the stadium? The pristine 120m x 85m field (weighting 8,300 tons) rises like a hovercraft before travelling inside at a speed of four metres a minute, via some retractable seats. Japan has developed an exhilarating prowess at all things technological and new, while preserving a traditional culture renowned for its courtesy and orderliness. Take Sapporo, Japan’s fifth-largest city and the capital of its most northerly island Hokkaido – it’s home to this futuristic stadium but equally proud of being the birthplace of miso-based ramen.

fun Japan’s unique culture has many facets and fascinations. Lisa Young picks out some itinerary ideas targeted to key interests

For culture collectors If it’s tradition rather than tech that your clients yearn for, the mountainous Kii Peninsula, an hour’s drive south of Osaka, is the spiritual heartland of Japan. For centuries, pilgrims have walked the mossy cobbles and forest floor. The most sacred Shinto shrines can be found here, including Ise Jingu, and Mount Koya, home of Shingon Buddhism. The Grand Shrine is the most revered site and receives over six million pilgrims and tourists a year. The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route is also here. This sacred walkway is one of only two UNESCO-protected pilgrimages, and connects a number of religious sites. A descent to the pretty coast of Ago Bay in Shima City (Mie Prefecture) to visit the Ama free-divers is a 2,000-year-old treat. The Ama are women who free-dive daily to fish for seafood. Grilled delights include spiny lobsters, turban snails and noble scallops. Sell it: A 12-night Pilgrim’s Path tour takes in the Kumamo Kodo is £3,140pp for ryokan (traditional inn) accommodation, in a shared twin room (

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For food & drink enthusiasts Hokkaido is famous as the birthplace of Japanese beer. Sapporo Beer, one of the most popular brands, has been brewed in Sapporo since 1877. Its Beer Museum ( opened in 1987 in a former brewery from the Meiji period, and offers a free 20-minute tour. Exploring the Japanese street food scene is a sensory overload. In Kyoto, the Nishiki Market is the best place to delve into Japan’s succulent street food, from udon noodles, tofu doughnuts and tofu ice cream to akafuku mochi (red bean sweets). In Kyoto, tea ceremonies are popular, yet are often overlooked for being too cliched. However, they’re linked with Zen and meditation, and, when practised properly, offer peace as well as refreshment. It’s worth spending one evening at a local izakaya – an informal tapas-style restaurant where you can get karaage (Japanese-fried chicken), gyoza (dumplings), tasty tsukune

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yakitori (minced chicken on skewers) and sake for about £7. Sell it: Book tea-related performances and explanations (in English) from £55pp for a 60-minute session at

For wellness & relaxation Onsen culture, involving bathing in a natural hot spring, is deep-rooted in Japan. Yunomine Onsen is a rustic hot-spring village nestled in the middle of the Kii Peninsula Mountains. It is home to Tsuboyu, the only hot spring registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest onsen in Japan. A private, black-wood cabin can accommodate two people for 30 minutes. Shinrin-yoku, or forest therapy, is a branch of Japanese medicine and which consists of absorbing the forest atmosphere, with the option of lying a tree-branch bed and listening to your flute-playing guide.


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Close to Kyoto is the lovely small town of Arashiyama and another important temple, Tenryū-ji, but its beautiful bamboo forest walk is a great bathing spot where early risers can catch the sunrise reflecting through the tall trees.

“Escape the crowds of Kyoto and discover the rural Sell it: Wendy Wu’s 11-day Sapporo & Snow way of life by visiting Lake Monkeys tour is from £4,990pp and includes Sapporo’s famous Snow and Ice Festival, bathing in Biwa. Connect with the locals by helping them make onsen with snow monkeys, and Kyoto and Tokyo mochi – a sweet dessert that requires pounding rice flour For the adventurous with a huge mallet!” It is a two-hour train ride from Tokyo to the David Peat, Japan Specialist, Audley Travel


snowfields of Naeba in Niigata Prefecture. The Naeba Prince Hotel is a sprawling complex that looms over the base of the mountain. Naeba offers great conditions for beginner to expert skiers; there’s plenty of groomed runs, backcountry skiing and some extreme powder conditions. The Iya Valley is a beautiful mountainous area on Shikoku Island, accessible by ferry from Hiroshima. With its gorges, mountains, stunning coastlines and crystalclear rivers, it is the perfect location for cycling, watersports and exciting vine rope bridges that you can hike up to. There are cycling tours all over the country, but specifically in Kyushu on the southern island (Freedom Treks, from £511pp) and into the Noto Peninsula north of Kanazawa (Oku Japan, from £1,270pp). Sell it: G Adventures offers a 13-day trip from Osaka to Tokyo called Hike, Bike and Kayak Japan from £2,804pp (


For wildlife & nature lovers

On a wintery day, there’s one wildlife experience that should be a must on every itinerary. Jigokudani Monkey Park in Yamanouchi (Nagano Prefecture) is known globally for its 200+ resident Japanese macaque, or snow monkeys who descend from their forest home to warm their bodies in the onsen (hot spring). One of the most spectacular areas of Hokkaido is Onuma Quasi-National Park. At the foot of Mount Komagatake, it includes Onuma, Konuma, Junsainuma and other lakes. October is the time to see the park’s autumnal leaves. Alternatively, board a small ice-breaker and set sail for the ice flows of the Nemuro Strait to photograph Steller’s sea eagles or head south, close to Taiwan, and dive off the coast of Ishigaki Island to see giant Pacific manta rays. Stay: Hakodate-Onuma Prince Hotel is located in the national park Rrices from £65 (princehotels. com/hakodate) 

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ANA is Japan’s largest 5-Star airline, awarded Skytrax’s highest accolade for the seventh consecutive year. ANA flies daily from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to Haneda, Tokyo’s most central airport.

From Haneda, ANA connects you with 40 domestic and 24 international routes, including a daily flight to Sydney.

We Are Japan.




By passenger numbers across all Japanese carriers


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six of the best

theme parks

for young kids Sasha Wood visits some top theme parks – with their fairytale and fantasy worlds full of fun and thrills – to suggest to clients with small travellers with big imaginations

Motiongate, Dubai Blockbuster filmmaker Lionsgate’s answer to Universal Studios, this park borrows from the movies to create rides that kids will love. Attractions and roller-coasters are inspired by the stories and characters from animated favourites such as Madagascar, Shrek, The Smurfs and How to Train Your Dragon.

LEGOLAND, Florida Aimed at kids aged two to 12, LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven is one of several Lego theme parks across the globe. It has over 50 rides and attractions that appear to be constructed entirely from Lego blocks. Family-orientated attractions such as the Build-a-Raft river are popular, and there’s a waterpark to keep kids cool in the tropical heat.

Efteling, The Netherlands This charming fairytale land in the Netherlands brings children’s stories like Tom Thumb, Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel to life with magical forests, mythical creatures, talking trees, musical toadstalls, wishing wells and gingerbread cottages. Alongside funfair rides for little ones are family-friendly coasters and water rides.

Disneyland Paris, France At Europe’s bestknown theme park, just hours from the UK, the whole family can enjoy rides such as Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. Then there’s the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle and the chance to meet legendary characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy.

Tivoli Gardens, Denmark This green park in Copenhagen, without the plastic found at theme parks, is ideal for families. A 100-year-old wooden roller-coaster and attractions themed around the tales of Hans Christian Andersen adds a vintage feel, but the gardens are regularly being renewed and five new rides will be added this year.

Europa Park, Germany Germany’s largest theme park, in Rust in the southwest, has over 100 attractions. Divided into zones themed around 15 European countries, it gives families the chance to embark on a cross-continental odyssey. A new water park extension, Rulantica, will open later this year.

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a dv e r t or ia l

Florida fun B

uilt for kids, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is the ultimate holiday destination for children aged two to 12, boasting more than 50 LEGO® rides, shows and attractions, plus a five-acre LEGOLAND® Water Park. Your clients will need at least two to three days to enjoy all the rides and shows, plus they could easily spend an entire day in the waterpark, which includes a lazy river, tube slides, body slides, a wave pool and an interactive DUPLO® Safari water-play structure, so encourage them to extend the fun by staying overnight.

Let the good times go on ...and on Accommodation options include the luxury five-star LEGOLAND® Hotel, which is just 130 child steps from the park entrance, or alternatively you can book a lakeside bungalow at the LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat, which has a complimentary shuttle service to the park. In 2020, a new hotel, the Pirate Island, will open. Encourage your clients to book their accommodation early to avoid disappointment. Top rides include the LEGO® MOVIE™ Masters of Flight, where little ones can join Emmet & Wyldstyle on a flying adventure aboard a triple-decker couch in THE LEGO® MOVIE WORLD. Other big draws are LEGO® NINJAGO The Ride, where you get to blast animated fireballs, lightning and more at a gallery of villains, and The Great LEGO® Race, a roller-coaster ride where you enter a virtual race against LEGO® Minifigures. New for this year is Bricksburg, part of LEGO® MOVIE™ WORLD, which brings the hit LEGO MOVIE to life through new attractions, character experiences and more.

We will entertain you Not to be missed is Heartlake City, which includes a mini shopping mall, musical fountain, interactive musical show and Mia’s Riding Adventure disc coaster. Alternatively, enter a martial arts kingdom in LEGO® NINJAGO WORLD and become a ninja in your own LEGO® NINJAGO® adventure. Things you might not know about LEGOLAND® Florida is that it boasts the only water ski show in the world with LEGO® costume characters on skis, kids can bring their own Minifigures to trade with staff (called Model Citizens), and almost all of our incredible events are included in the ticket price. The LEGOLAND® Florida Resort trade team is available via email to answer any questions. Contact 

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dominican republic

Life’s not a


Chloe Govan reveals the diverse secrets of the Dominican Republic beyond it’s glorious beaches and all-inclusive resorts




am perched 1,000ft above the ground, at the peak of one of the Dominican Republic’s most majestic mountains, preparing to take flight. Thankfully, this is no perilous bungee jump and I am safely anchored to a swing. Still, as I sail high in the sky, my heart is pounding. I clench my eyes closed and feel a rush of nervous adrenalin. When I open them, I am greeted by bright blue sky above and the undulating emerald green panoramas of the Caribbean countryside far below. As the vertigo fades, I enjoy the visual feast. Not for the first time during my trip, I realise that this is no typical island, nor is it just for couples whispering sweet nothings against a lullaby-like soundtrack of gently crashing waves. It sounds a cliché but the Dominican Republic (or DR) really does have something for everyone. As the panoramas spread out before me, I begin to picture what my next activity might be.


Adventure lovers DR has some of the most diverse landscapes in the Caribbean, with waterfalls, mountains, mangrove lagoons, fishing villages and colonial towns. Despite its growing mainstream popularity, it is definitely a place for those seeking to go beyond the beaches. For whilst, say, regional rivals Saint Lucia and The Bahamas will likely always appeal primarily to honeymooners, DR is ideal for those tourists who don’t neatly fit into any ‘niche interest’ category. As Sonja Rogers, Marketing Executive for the Dominican Republic Tourist Board points out, the island is well geared to cater for “families, adventure seekers, independent travellers and nature lovers”. Plus, thanks to the launch of the brandnew two-million-dollar spa at the five-star Eden Roc Cap Cana Resort, the Dominican Republic is also building a reputation for health and wellness holidays. The opportunities for adventure are

huge, from treetop yoga classes and beachfront horse-riding to ziplining, parasailing and quad-biking. And for wildlife devotees, Carrier Product Manager Jenny Basham recommends Samana, “where you can see the migration of 4,000 humpback whales, or mating season.” For other quirky adventures, she suggests “taking a helicopter trip to the cigar factories, rum distilleries and chocolate factories”. Twin-centre breaks are also rising in popularity, with Miami, for example, just a two-hour flight away.

Top experiences: Montana Redonda: This mountain hotspot offers panoramic views of the landscape below via an adrenalinpumping swing at its summit. A new highway has opened up tourism opportunities in the rural Miches - often described as “the most photogenic town you’ve never heard of”. Package day

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dominican republic









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dominican republic



“Rewards await for those venturing beyond the beach, so arrange an action-packed itinerary to attract repeat customers”

tours include a session on the swing, buggy rides in the countryside and horseback riding on a virgin beach. Off-Road Quad Biking: A typical tour will begin at Punta Cana, before venturing off-road through tropical rainforest, passing sugar and banana plantations. Cyclists often stop at an organic farm for tastings of local chocolate, coffee and rum, and visit the Taino Ecological Park to discover the heritage of the indigenous islanders of Christopher Columbus’s era. They can also take a dip in a cave, before ending at Macao Beach, one of the most picturesque in the country. Wine Tourism: Growing grapes in this hot, humid climate is challenging, but Ocoa Bay has successfully created the region’s first major winery. Known as the ‘Napa Valley of the Caribbean’’ it boasts 27 acres of organic grapes, totally free from pesticides. Guests can tour the vineyards, eat in its restaurant and visit the tasting room and clubhouse. For those interested in sustainable tourism that gives something significant back to the community, it also grows lemon verbena, which helps locals become self-sufficient by making and selling soap. Spa Pampering: The luxury spa at Eden Roc Cap Cana opened in April with two treatment rooms, a gym with personal trainer, a yoga area and a bar offering tropical juices and smoothies. One treatment pumps oxygen molecules directly into the epidermis to re-energise over-wrought city dwellers’ skin.

What’s new? Accommodation: The new Club Med hotel, Miches (, is set to open before the end of 2019 with four theme

villages: ‘Archipelago’ for honeymooners, ‘Caribbean Paradise’ for young couples or single-sex groups who love nightlife, ‘Emerald Jungle’, an adults-only escape, and ‘Explorer Cove’, with a huge range of kids’ club activities, for families. The resort, which is already taking bookings, will be on Playa Esmeralda, on the north-east coast.

Tourism talk “Last year we welcomed 185,929 UK visitors, a 5.6% increase over 2017 . “Having attended a number of consumer travel shows, we found that many of the people we spoke with were wanting to ‘experience the destination’, visit our national parks and cultural spots and engage in adventure activities. “Other attractions include a visit to Santo Domingo, which has buildings that date to the 1500s – that’s older than Havana! “For a beach holiday combined with city life, visit Puerto Plata, which has the largest collection of preserved 19th century Victorian-style buildings, street art, beaches, kite-surfing, a cable car and more.” Sabrina Cambiaso, Director, Dominican Republic Tourist Board

Where to book it: CARRIER; 0161 492 1354 A seven-night stay in a luxury Poolside Suite at the Eden Roc Cap Cana hotel is from £2,935pp including return flights, private transfers, selected meals and a spa massage treatment. BARRHEAD TRAVEL; 0808 273 1568 Seven nights all-inclusive at Playa Bachata resort, close to Ocean World Park for swimming with dolphins, starts at £997pp. 

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Book by 31 May 2019

SAVE 50% on adults, teenagers & kids at select AMResorts* for stays between 01 September 2019 – 30 April 2020 CONTACT YOUR PREFERRED TOUR OPERATOR FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK

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the review

Etihad offers free Abu Dhabi stopovers ETIHAD Airways is running a free two-night stopover in Abu Dhabi for travel before mid-July. On offer to those booking flights to and from all Etihad destinations via the UAE capital is a choice of 15 hotels including the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi and Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, Crowne Plaza and Radisson Blu Yas Island Hotel. The free stopover applies to bookings made online through or via a travel agent from April 10 to June 15, for flights between April 21 and July 15 2019. Agents booking online should select a multi-city flight. They will then be directed to the stopover booking page. freestopover

Tui River Cruises set sail


AGENTS can now book a 2020 river cruise with TUI after the operator purchased three passenger ships. TUI River Cruises offers personalised adult-only packages with a range of excursions, board type, cabins and cocktail choices. The cruise line is also gifting £120 credit to put towards any shore excursion bookings. When booking a TUI River Cruise, clients now have the option to choose their board basis – whether that’s full-board plus with wine, beer and soft drinks included with meals, or selecting the premium drinks package, cabin type and favourite cocktail in the lounge. They can also book a private balcony suite.

More choice is offered through a variety of excursions such as sightseeing tours with a local expert or a bike tour. The recently revamped ships will offer romantic á la carte dining areas as well as casual dining, plus entertainment. Tips and service charges are included in the price and TUI’s support line is available 24 hours a day. Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Cruise for TUI UK [&] I said: “We’re very proud to be known for the friendliest service, exciting itineraries and great value for money when it comes to our ocean cruises and we look forward to bringing this to TUI River Cruises.”

Ski Independence gives agents a lift TAILOR-MADE ski specialist Ski Independence is running an incentive for agents selling its Winter 2019/20 programme. Agents making a Ski Independence booking between now and November 15 2019 will put themselves in the frame to win a threenight B&B stay for two at the iconic five-star Hotel Les Barmes de l’Ours, located at the foot of the famous Bellevarde Olympic ski run in Val d’Isère, France. Also included are flights, ski passes, rental equipment and lessons. To enter the competition, agents should email their booking references to with the subject line “WIN BARMES” by Friday November 15.

JetBlue sets sights on UK transatlantic flights

New deal for Osborne & Ebel wholesaler Osborne & Ebel haswholesaler a special TRADE-FRIENDLY deal for &the Full Osborne EbelSheraton has a special Moon Resort deal for the Maldives. Sheraton Five Full nights £375ppFive on Moon start Resortfrom Maldives. a full-board basis, including nights start from £375pp, on a return speedboat full-board basis, and transfers. including For travelspeedboat May 1 to September return transfers. 30 resort is aMay short The2019. deal The is for travel 1 boat transfer 30, from MaleThe Airport to to September 2019. resortwith is a excellent short boataccess transfer great Male diving spots,with pristine beaches andtogreat options. from Airport, excellent access greatF&B diving spots, For details contact: pristine beaches great F&B options. F TRADE-FRIENDLY

U.S. airline JetBlue plans to start flights betwen London and New York and Boston from 2021. The airline says it is currently evaluating which London airport it will fly to, but the UK will be the carrier’s first-ever European destination. JetBlue hopes to operate multiple daily flights from both east coast USA cities, with the new routes being served by the long-range version of the Airbus A321.

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Kempinski looks to UK

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 STEVE HARTRIDGE

A DELEGATION from Kempinski Hotels, including managers and hoteliers from several of its 75 five-star hotels and residences worldwide, visited London to update the trade on the latest developments from Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Owned by the Bahraini Royal Family, the Genevaheadquartered hotel group hopes to build greater awareness among UK leisure and business travellers and bookers, said Bernold Schroeder, Kempinski’s Chief Operating Officer Europe. “We are very well known in other European countries and the USA, but we want to grow our UK business. For some of our hotels, such as Kempinski Hotel Bahía in Estepona, Spain,

the UK already accounts for around 65% of our guests…and the UK is our top-performing market at the San Clemente Palace Kempinski in Venice. “Croatia and Dubai are also strong in the UK but our challenge is to raise awareness of other hotels in our portfolio, in places like China, Cuba and Kenya,” added Schroeder. The group’s newest hotel, The Capitol Kempinski, opened in Singapore late last year. In China, the Kempinski Hotel Hangzhou (pictured) is set for a July opening, while the Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski will become the Caribbean island’s first-ever five-star property later this year.

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

Travelsphere experiences in six continents TRAVELSPHERE’S latest collection of experience-led holidays includes over 140 escorted tours spanning six continents. The new options feature a 22-day Highlights of Australia tour (from £5,199pp), a 14-day Namibian Adventure (from £2,999pp), and an eight-day Jordan Ancient Wonders tour (from £1,674pp).


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the review

G Adventures gets ready to explore in Northern Peru G ADVENTURES has a new touring option to northern Peru as interest grows in this lesser-explored region. The nine-day Explore Northern Peru trip will take in the country’s natural wonders such as Huascaran, Peru’s tallest mountain and Gocta, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls nestled in the cloud forest of Chachapoyas. Hiking to the waterfalls takes around three hours through fields and cloud forest where you can see colourful butterflies, wild orchids and the Spatuletail Hummingbird or a Gallito de las Rocas, Peru’s national bird. Also included is the archaeologically rich coastal town of Chiclayo. Prices for the tour start from £1,597pp.

Airport rise for Costa Calida

IN BRIEF ADVANTAGE Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest consortia of travel agents, has launched four ‘content initiatives’ to “help agents inspire, educate and engage their customers, as well as further improve their own member communications”. The focus on content marketing includes destination videos, a print and digital magazine and Facebook Live sessions.”


A NEW airport serving Spain’s Costa Calida coast is set to significantly boost tourism, according to Murcia’s tourist board. With a larger capacity than the previous regional airport at San Javier, the new airport has connections to 22 destinations in six countries with more routes planned. Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 are among the airlines that have moved operations to the airport. Jet2 has confirmed two new services connecting London Stansted and Birmingham with Murcia, flying three times a week from summer 2020. Regular flights are already operating to the airport from all over the UK including London Gatwick,


Stansted, Luton, Leeds, Glasgow, Bournemouth, Bristol and Manchester. A spokesperson for the Instituto de Turismo de la Región de Murcia, said: “The new airport provides many more flight options. It will make a huge difference to the region and will make it even more attractive for UK holidaymakers. New flight routes and services are being added all the time so it is an exciting future for our region.” The number of UK visitors to Murcia jumped in the first two months of 2019, with a 30% increase on the same period last year. More than 400,000 Brits visited Murcia in 2018.

NORWEGIAN has began operating its non-stop service beteen Gatwick and Rio de Janeiro. Outbound flights depart London at 12:00, arriving in Rio at 19:25, and the inbound flights leave Rio at 22:25 and arrive at Gatwick at 13:35. The service is operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, ATHENS, Vienna, Lisbon, Sofia and Dubai top the list of destinations that have seen the biggest increase in UK visitor numbers from Stansted, according to the latest figures from the London airport. The airport serves over 28 million passengers a year.

Funway’s fun new deals Canada-Journey through the Clouds Nine nights, Canada Rocky Mountaineer Tour, from £3999pp including flights, accommodation, Silverleaf service and activities for travel between 25 May 19 - 30 Jun 19. For full itinerary details call 0208 585 4020

FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has launched a new weekly sale called ‘WTF’ (What the Funway) offering discounts and special offers on its range of beach holidays, spa retreats, city breaks and multicentre trips in destinations across the world. The tour operator will release new deals every Monday, distributing them to travel agents in its UK network, and featuring them online at:

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the review: cruise

Cruise Update

Cruise smashes 2m mark

CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF FRENCH expedition cruise line Ponant has taken delivery of its eighth vessel, Le Bougainville. The ship is the third of its Ponant Explorers series, and has 92 staterooms and suites, all with balconies. Le Bougainville features the ‘Blue Eye’ underwater salon, which looks out into the water through speciallylit portholes. Le Bougainville will be officially launched in June and will operate in the Med this summer.

ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director

THE cruise industry is committed to sustainable travel through innovations that help to ensure clean air, clean water, preservation of marine ecosystems and sustaining local destinations. This is essential as no single industry relies more on our planet’s oceans and seas, the pristine beauty of the world’s harbours and seaside communities than ours. CLIA has partnered with The Donkey Sanctuary to back its new campaign to protect working donkeys and mules in holiday hotspots. The “In Their Hooves” campaign encourages travellers to stop and think before riding donkeys or mules and assess whether they are being treated well. This includes checking they have access to fresh water and suitable shelter from the sun. And no animal should have to carry a load of more than 100kg. The cruise industry also encourages guests to be environmentally conscience whilst on holiday in order to leave a smaller environmental footprint – such as by packing oceanfriendly sunscreens and reusable water bottles. Both river cruise and ocean cruise companies have pledged to reduce or ban the use of plastics which pose a high risk to marine life.”


BY STEVE HARTRIDGE THE number of ocean cruises taken by UK and Irish passengers topped two million for the first time in 2018, according to the latest industry figures. “Passing the two million mark is significant. It shows that cruising has become a mainstream holiday choice for the British and Irish,” said Andy Harmer, UK & Ireland director for Cruise Lines International Association (Clia). The 2,009,000 ocean cruises taken represents a 2% yearon-year increase – and despite concerns over Brexit Clia is confident cruising’s popularity will remain robust in 2019. “Cruising is a little bit protected in that bookings tend to be made a long way in advance,” said

Harmer. “In addition, there is always something of a ‘halo effect’ around new ship launches. “We are also encouraged by the fact that nine out of 10 cruisers said they will take another cruise during the next year.” The average age of cruisers remains 57, with the over-50s the fastest growing demographic. The average duration of a cruise – 10 days – remains largely unchanged. However, there was a growth last year in both 14-day cruises – up 18,000 or 5% – and shorter ‘taster cruises’, which were up 24%. The Central and Western Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Baltics comprise almost 70% of all cruises taken by Brits.

SEABOURN is to operate two dedicated Wellness Cruises, in Arabia and the South Pacific, in association with best-selling author Dr Andrew Weil. The sailings in 2019 and 2020 will feature input from an array of health practitioners and feature meditation and yoga sessions. LUXURY river cruise line Avalon Waterways has launched cruise-only pricing options across its Europe and Worldwide programmes for the first time to give agents more flexibility to create bespoke packages.

Princess Cruises happy to talk South Pacific with Tahiti return PRINCESS Cruises has announced a return to Tahiti for autumn 2020, using the 670-guest Pacific Princess. Its French Polynesia programme, consisting of five 10day sailings, is now on sale. The round-trip voyages from Tahiti include overnight calls in the capital Papeete and Bora Bora, as well as a late-night stay in Raiatea. Additional ports of call include Huahine, Rangiroa, and Moorea.

Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ Vice President UK and Europe, said: “With its volcanic and coral islands, the French Polynesia is always a popular destination for holidaymakers. “Pacific Princess, is a smaller ship so guests can enjoy a more intimate voyage around these remote islands.” Prices for the October 5 2020 departure start from £1,649pp.

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the review: news in focus...


Popular Island channels VisitGuernsey is working more closely with the travel trade to drive new business to the island, says Linsey McNeill Flight-lift The island’s tourist board started speaking directly to travel agents this year, as well as talking to them through its collaboration with tour operators. VisitGuernsey’s Marketing Manager Trade and Media Relations, Wendy Pedder, said so far the feedback from the trade has been great: “We’ve really enjoyed having the face-to-face contact with them,” she said. “It’s been really useful for us to hear their thoughts on Guernsey and to find out about what their customers want. This helps us tailor our activity.” Activities carried out so far this year include a series of Selling Travel Dialogues, talking to an audience of agents in Glasgow, Leeds and Gatwick. In Glasgow, VisitGuersney was promoting a new Loganair flight. “There are also new routes from Heathrow, Bournemouth, Liverpool, Newquay and Southend, so we’ve been busy making sure agents know this,” added Pedder.

“We are seeing fantastic early sales from agents attracting new customers to the Channel Islands” Gill McCarthy, Airways Holidays Sales Director

Set-jetting Premier Holidays’ Short-Haul Manager Beverley Scarr said the flights, plus the 2018 romantic drama, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and niche products such as gin tasting at the Bella Luce hotel, were driving new business to the island. “We’ve seen a significant increase in sales to Guernsey for 2019, with Easter and August proving popular for families. We’re also well up year-on-year for summer travel compared to last year,” said Scarr.

All-season sells Rachael Kellard, Prestige Holidays’ Closer to Home Product Manager, said it was also an excellent touring destination. “About one third of our bookings to Guernsey also include stays on Sark or Herm or both,” she explained. VisitGuernsey has been promoting its cruise product, letting cruise agents know about its new shore excursion programme

and its tender port. In addition, it’s pushing out of season visits. “Part of our work is about educating people to realise that spring and autumn in Guernsey are fantastic and show them some of the reasons why,” added Peddar. “Summer is incredible and with our long, sandy beaches will always be popular, but we want people to come and enjoy activities like coastal walking in the spring, when the flowers start to bloom. “We also want to raise awareness about our year-round events, which provide an incentive to visit outside summer – In April/ May our famous Heritage Festival, the Literary Festival in May - which attracts heavyweights from the international literary scene - spring and autumn walking festivals and a Floral Festival, all of which makes use of the mild climate to showcase Gunersey’s beauty away from peak season.”

BOOK IT WITH…. • Premier Holidays (trade.premierholidays. has four nights in Guernsey, priced from £445pp, with travel by ferry from Poole, or £545pp with flights from Gatwick. It includes B&B accommodation at Bella Luce Hotel with a free gin tasting workshop. • Airways Holidays ( has four nights for the price of three at the St Pierre Park Hotel & Golf Resort, offering a saving of up to £186 per couple. Including flights departing on May 2 it’s from £375pp. • Prestige Holidays (prestigeholidays. has three nights’ B&B at the Duke of Richmond hotel, with return flights from Southampton and transfers, from £384pp.

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Managing Director of Clear Marketing



WHAT are the benefits of being a CTO member? It ensures we are kept up to date on what is happening in the region through regular meetings and events. The agent training opportunities are excellent too.


WHAT CTO activities do you get involved in? The CTO keep us very busy – so as many as possible! Agent roadshows, both in the UK and overseas, gives us access to some great travel professionals, allowing us to spread awareness of our resorts in St Lucia, Barbados, Tobago, Mexico and Nevis.


WHAT’S your Caribbean tip? Never claim to know the Caribbean until you have explored each island. They are all completely unique – the flora and fauna, food, culture, history and people.

Tobago’s new training programme is the go to agent platform

Tobago treats when you train TOURISM Tobago is offering agents the chance to win EDEN ROCK TO REOPEN IN 2019 one of ten goody bags upon completion of the island’s new online training programme. Eden Rock in St Barths The Tobago specialist platform, available at is due to reopen on November, includes six modules which 20, 2019 following a two-year support the island’s recent ‘unspoilt, untouched and renovation. The hotel will undiscovered’ rebranding. Modules include: Tobago’s Eco showcase newly-designed villas Adventures & Nature, Local Culture, People & Heritage and suites along with a new bar, and Sea & Beaches, amongst others. Agents will also restaurant and spa concept. receive selling tips, sample itineraries as well as Located directly on the beach, opportunities for incentives and fam trips. the resort now has three sea The goody bags include a multiview rooms located in the Sand international adapter, charger Bar area as well as three suites cables and battery pack. To win, on ‘the Rock’- two of which have agents need to complete the private swimming pools. The K U training and log their details entire property has also been O T The C heads to on My Booking Rewards. redesigned and refurbished. w o h s Road ne 18, d on Ju n a tl o t c a S P 20. RSV ru. 19 and velgu a tr n a e caribb com THE THIS month St. Anguilla Martin/St. Maarten Tourist will host its annual Board (ATB) is regional tradeshow celebrating record (SMART), from breaking tourism May 21 - 23, 2019, figures following at the Sonesta its best performing Maho Beach Anguilla is riding a wave The trade head to SMART January. Overall, Resort Casino and stopover arrivals at the beginning of the Spa. The event will feature 15 speakers for year increased by 22% across all international workshops and masterclasses focused markets and arrivals from the UK were up around ‘Innovation & Realisation’ with topics almost 50% from January 2016, the previous including social media strategy, increasing best performing year. customer satisfaction and environmental practices.


WHAT don’t readers know about Clear Marketing? Readers will know our resorts as they are always in demand – Bodyholiday, Rendezvous, Sugar Beach, Sea Breeze Beach House, to name a few. The hidden gem being the island of Nevis – we try and keep this one quiet as its too special to share!

Clients interested in learning a new skill can now book onto a creative writing retreat in Saint Lucia. Running over seven nights in November this year, the week-long writing course will be held by editor Victoria Pepe at luxury boutique hotel, East Winds. The course is aimed at people who are keen to improve their writing skills in a beautiful setting. Caribtours is offering 25% off when booked by June 30, 2019.

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

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Training, competitions, events May 2019


Food for thought NEWS

Quick Quiz Are you a SAGA Expert?

1. Gratuities are included in all SAGA cruises TRUE / FALSE


Win a GoPro with Qatar

2. Optional travel insurance is included on all European and Med holidays

Incentive Henna, a natural reddish brown dye derived from powdered TRUE leaves, has been used by Qatari women for cosmetic purposes for hundreds of years. It is still widely used today to decorate the skin with beautiful intricate patterns, especially for Tawash Qatar I Modules: 5 occasions such as weddings and other celebrations, and as aAGENTS hair dye. who complete the TAWASH Qatar online training programme by August 31s have the chance to win one of two GoPro HERO7 cameras or one of three £100 Amazon vouchers. By completing the five modules: The Essentials, What Makes it Special, What to See In and Around Doha, What To See Outside of Doha and What To Do, agents will learn all about Qatar's visa regulations, customs, traditions as well as its top sporting events and how best to explore the capital and beyond. To become a Qatar specialist, agents can register at


Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, Mallorca, has launched two new culinary concepts. Chef Javier Soriano will create signature Spanish dishes at Es Fanals with weekly menus inspired by seasonal ingredients. Meanwhile Cap Roig Brasserie now offers Mediterranean cuisine in a casual environment, using locally sourced produce. The resort will also host a Guest Chef series where the work of four skilled chefs from the island is showcased through the season.

Music weekenders NEWS

Clients can enjoy a weekend of live music from £79pp when booking a Butlins holiday in May or June. Available across all three resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness, themes range from Absolute 80s Weekender, 90s Reloaded, Soul Weekender and Back to the 2000s. All Live Music Weekend breaks are hosted across multiple indoor venues with decade themed party breaks, big arena shows, festival experiences or even famous sporting events.

Answer 1.True 2: True

of s h Pearling

Pearl diving was one of the main sources of livelihood for Qataris for many generations before the discovery of oil. travel_uni_may.indd 76 The waters around the peninsula produced pearls of the finest

4/26/19 07:57 PM

Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!

Late dates for agents

Working in partnership



A-Z of available courses

New for Newmarket Holidays' agent website is a dedicated 'Lates' page that gives agents ready access to departures in the upcoming quarter and offers limited-availability discounted prices and an easy booking system. The development is part of a consistent drive to handle discounts on late availability and to ensure that agents have full access to these offers. Richard Forde, Head of Trade Sales, said: “The lates market is of increasing importance and the feedback highlighted that agents wanted a place to go to find everything departing within a certain date span. The new portal does this – and more."

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Heritage Resort Jerusalem Jumeirah Hotels


St. Kitts extends booking bonus

& Resorts Journey Beyond Las Vegas Macao Malaysia

New 2020 brochure News

VIP door-to-door service, themed sailings for music and wildlife lovers, and free cabin upgrades are all included in Saga's new 2020 Winter Sun & River Cruise Collection brochure. Additional itineraries on the Rhine - one of which is a music cruise featuring special guest John Suchet, of Classic FM - and on the Danube, as well as a Grand Tour of the Elbe are now included along with a new portfolio of hotels such as Hotel Turquesa Playa, Terrine; Pebbles, Malta, and Sun Palace Albir, Spain. Agents can take advantage of free cabin upgrades on selected 2020 river cruises aboard Amadeus Royal, MS Carmen, MS Bellejour and Dutch Melody and VIP door-to-door service on all 2020 river cruises.

St. Kitts Specialist I Modules: 4

Melia Hotels & Resorts New York city

THE ST. KITTS Tourism Authority has extended its My Booking Rewards Peaks Campaign until May 31, with agents able to cash in with every booking they make. Agents can earn a £30 bonus when they join the St. Kitts Agents Reward Programme and make a new booking including flights and a minimum of seven nights' accomodation. An additional £15 will be rewarded for booking the Ocean Terrace Inn, a four-star boutique hotel just a short distance from the capital city of Basseterre. Agents must log their bookings at

Learn more about St. Kitts, including how to get there, how to explore the island, where to stay, where to dine and tips on how to sell at stkittsspecialist com

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

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active thailand

Rush in a

Beyond its fabulous beaches and dreamy islands, Thailand has much more to offer active visitors, says Jo Gardner, who goes in search of some adrenaline surges – Thai-style


t’s six in the morning and this kayak tour seemed like a good idea when I booked it. But, with the alarm ringing in my ear, I am thinking I might just stay in bed. After all, you can kayak anywhere in Thailand, right? But this region is different. Once known as Ban Soup – meaning ‘house of the dead bodies’ after a 1944 epidemic killed much of the population – the resurrection of Khao Sok National Park into Thailand’s secret garden is nothing short of miraculous. Today many ecotourism operators work hard to ensure the national park remains protected. One of the reasons is the forest surrounding the lake, which is rich in wildlife: as well as deer and wild boar, there have been reported sightings of the elusive wild Asian elephant, the cloud leopard and the Malayan tiger. Our guide has been monitoring a family of white-handed gibbons in the hope that we’ll catch a glimpse. Having stopped paddling, we wait patiently, oars resting on our laps. But the beasts elude us, so we kayak on,

pushing our paddles through the deep-blue lake to a high-pitched jungle soundtrack. Just 20 minutes on the water and I’m wide awake, despite the hour, blood pumping through my veins as the natural high kicks in. Who needs coffee? I am enjoying the same natural highs that an increasing number of visitors to Thailand are now looking for – going beyond the beaches to jump on bikes, hop-foot it up mountains and jump out of planes. The Thai landscape may remain timelessly spectacular, but with more and more toecurling activities on offer, the way we are enjoying it is changing.

Seaside escapades Stand-up Paddle Boarding: Most of Thailand’s islands offer stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Start by determining the kind of experience your client is after – a first-time session on a calm sea or something a little less tame? Phuket has a number of companies offering SUP while even the smaller islands often offer sunrise, sunset or night-time paddles.

Diving: With the Gulf of Thailand on the east and the Andaman Sea on the west, there are chances to dive all over Thailand. Choose from reef diving, wreck diving or open ocean seamounts. Once down, divers can see manta rays and whale sharks in the open waters, and seahorse, frogfish and crustaceans around the reefs. Surfing: The west coast of Thailand gets swell from the southern monsoons, making it a great area for surfing – Nai Harn Beach, Kamala Beach, Kalim Beach and Nai Yang Beach on Phuket all have swells of up to three metres. Surfing has become so popular on the island that it hosts an annual surfing competition. Sell it: Hayes & Jarvis offers a seven-night B&B stay at the Haadtien Beach Resort in Koh Tao, from £1,069pp, including flights and transfers. The resort has its own dive centre where guests can qualify for their PADI.

National parks and nature Hiking: From pristine rainforests to towering, mist-enveloped mountains,

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active thailand

Thailand’s landscape is ripe for exploring on two feet. The country can also point to over 100 national parks. Visit Sri Phang Nga to hike past cascading waterfalls, swim through lakes and navigate untamed undergrowth using a bamboo cane. Cycling: Bike tours are a popular way to see hidden parts of Thailand while getting fit in the fresh air. Organised cycling tours are easy to find and can be a four-hour excursion or 14-day trip on wheels and range from road trips to mountain biking, cycling coast paths or jungle tracks. Kayaking: With its calm, shallow (and warm) waters, kayaking is the perfect activity for soft-adventurers. Most islands have operators offering kayaking tours, be it a one-hour beginner’s lesson or a full day on the water. For the more adventurous, choose a jungle tour – where you will kayak through rapids – or a sea cave tour. Sell it Intrepid Travel offers a 12-day Hike, Bike and Kayak tour, priced from £1,152pp, It includes train travel, 11-nights’ accommodation, some meals, a


two-day cycling tour, a three-day Hilltribe Trek and a two-day kayaking trip.

Extreme sports Whitewater rafting: With differing grades of difficulty and framed by stunning scenery, Thailand’s fast-flowing rivers offer plenty of opportunities for whitewater rafting. The majority of tours take place around Chiang Mai – which is hilly – but other areas are beginning to attract adventure operators. Suggest Nan on the border of Laos, Phang Nga between Phuket and Krabi or Chanthaburi in the south. Bungee jumping: Activities don’t get much more extreme than jumping headfirst off a cliff with a rope attached to your ankles. Visitors looking to bungee should head to the islands of Ko Samui, Phuket, Pattaya – which offers the highest jump in the country at 60-metres – or the X-Centre in Chiang Mai. Skydiving: Pattaya is also home to the only full-time skydiving zone in South East Asia, making it a popular spot for adrenaline junkies. Participants take a

“One of my most memorable experiences in Thailand recently was a Segway tour around Chiang Mai. Gliding up the streets of this exciting city was just brilliant” Charlotte, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo Specialist, Audley Travel

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active thailand

20-minute scenic flight up to 13,000 feet and then jump with an instructor, falling at 125mph for approximately 60 seconds until the shoot is pulled at around 5,000 feet. Scenery on the way down includes beaches, The Gulf of Thailand and Pattaya city. Sell it: G Adventures has a 14-day round trip from Bangkok called Hike, Bike and Kayak, priced from £1,239pp. It includes cycling tours of Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya, a hill tribe trek in Chiang Mai and snorkelling and kayaking in Ao Nag and Ban Laem Sak.

Urban adventures Rock climbing: Bangkok – with its hot, humid climate and polluted air – isn’t ideal for outside exertions. Instead, suggest active clients visit an indoor climbing centre, the perfect activity for those itching to be active during a city stay. There are five climbing wall centres in and around the city, ranging from spacious

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outlets with cafes and kids’ areas to smaller centres for well-versed climbers. Wakeboarding: Bangkok isn’t just about sights, food and shopping – adventure also awaits. For wakeboarding, head to Taco Lake in the Bang Nai district or Thai Wave Park in the Rangsit district. Rather than being pulled by a boat, cables heave willing boarders across the water at timed intervals. Diving with sharks: Want to surprise your clients? You might not associate Bangkok with scuba diving, but at Sea Life Ocean World visitors can pay to get in a tank and dive alongside sharks with a trained guide. Swim beside a whole host of predators and other aquatic species – and no previous experience is necessary. Sell it On The Go Tours has a three-hour Experience Real Bangkok by Bike tour from £24.95pp, including hotel transfers, bike hire, a helmet, local guide, bottled water and snacks. 

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4/25/19 03:49 PM 23/04/2019 13:51 13:29


48 hours in

Dubai Take two days in this superlative desert metropolis and make sure they are a Thursday and Friday for a perfect mix of culture and hedonism, says Laura Gelder Day 1: Art, viewpoints & views




top, but quite frankly it's so high you won't notice. The wood-panelled venue sits 442 metres in the sky looking over the alien ant city of Downtown Dubai.

Morning: Shun the shops for a day of culture – yes, it is possible! Start with Alserkal Avenue, once an abandoned marble factory. If it wasn’t Day 2: History & brunch for the searing heat bouncing off the metal walls of this arty warehouse district, you Morning: Head to Old Dubai and might think you were in East London. hop aboard one of the traditional Grab a coffee in A4 Space, a Brooklyn Arabic boats, or abras, to cross loft-styled community space full of young the creek. The air is hot and stifling as you locals tapping earnestly at Apple laptops. chug along, but the low-rise skyline, How long you spend here admittedly dominated by mosques rather than depends on how much you love art skyscrapers, is refreshing. but, as somewhat of a philistine, even A far cry from the designer boutiques I was impressed of the malls, the with the range fragrant Spice Souk on display, from “The air is hot and stifling sees locals haggling Arabic calligraphy as you chug along the creek, over hessian sacks to an unsettling of saffron and rose but the low-rise skyline, installation involving buds in a hazy a dead goat in a atmosphere and dominated by mosques neon hula hoop. rather than skyscrapers, is the Gold Souk’s Grab lunch in one all-out bling is refreshing” of the cafes like even more inviting plant-based Wild and thanks to the icy the Moon. blasts from its air-conditioned shops. If time allows, stop at the Dubai Museum Afternoon/evening: Head to the in Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in the historic Al Bastakiya district, with UAE. Its corridors are like a timeline from its pretty sand-coloured buildings Dubai's tribal village past to the Sheikh’s which are older than the Emirate itself and mind-boggling future vision. still sport traditional and ornate wind towers, an ancient, eco-friendly form of air Brunch: And relax, you've earnt conditioning we should all go back to. an afternoon of hedonism. On Here, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Friday there are hundreds of venues to Cultural Understanding does exactly what choose from but I can vouch for Prime 68, it says on the tin, inviting tourists in for a the JW Marriott Marquis's art deco-styled meal and a chat, where they can ask their steak house and a temple to gluttony. It Emirati hosts any burning questions they was only half-way through the meal that I might have about the local culture – ‘Open realised we were going to be served doors and open minds’ is the motto. everything on the A4 menu, and all paired Over some Arabic coffee and dates, with an alcoholic drink. Cheers!  our hosts, sisters Dahlia and Jasmin, take questions ranging from how dating works to why women wear black ("It's BOOK IT WITH GOLD MEDAL more modest, doesn't show dirt and it’s fashionable - duh"). The fesity pair The five-star JA Lake View Hotel opens certainly challenge preconceptions and, September 2019. Return flights with whatever you make of it, it's an interesting Emirates from Gatwick and three nights B&B way to spend an afternoon. in a resort view room between September After this, head to the world's 1-19 2019 is from £879pp for two adults highest building for dinner and drinks. sharing (saving £630pp). Atmosphere in the Burj Khalifa isn't at the

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A new destination

OPENING SOON Opening in September 2019, JA Lake View Hotel is the third property within JA The Resort, Jebel Ali Beach, Dubai, making it Dubai’s largest experience resort. With 348 rooms and suites, three outdoor pools, four dining destinations driven by a Michelin-star chef and five meeting rooms, this 5-star hotel will add another level of unforgettable experiences to modern travellers.

For bookings or more information, please contact us on +971 4 814 5800 or

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the light stuff

the quirky side of travel Spirit of Lapland

The world's northernmost bar debuted for one day in March after the team behind Blue Arctic Dry Gin launched an expedition to the North Pole. The plan was to open a pop-up offering a life-time's supply of the Finnish gin to anyone courageous enough to reach it, but weather conditions meant the team fell short of their target and couldn't share co-ordinates with booze-loving explorers. But they are planning to try again in 2020. Meanwhile, for those dreaming of snowy landscapes, the soothing sounds of Lapland – the tinkling of reindeer bells, the crunching of snow underfoot, the gentle rustle of Arctic pines and crackling of Inuit campfires – are now available to download on Spotify:

The mystery of the missing barbie

One of Edinburgh's top tourist spots on the historic Royal Mile has launched a campaign to find its Tartan Barbie doll, which mysteriously disappeared from the haunted subterranean street recently. The barbie is the stuff of tour guide legend, given to Real Mary Kings Close by a psychic to appease the resident ghost.

Top 5... adventurous alternatives to sunbathing According to WeSwap, 26% of Brits travelling abroad (and 39% of millennials) now prefer action and adventure activities over sun and sangria. The top adrenalinfuelled experiences for travellers with a taste for danger are... 1 2 3 4 5

Puppy yoga

Bungee jumping in China White-water rafting in Zambia Skydiving in Nepal Rock climbing in Morocco Scuba diving in Indonesia

Yoga bunnies can now practise their downward dog pose in the company of four-legged friends after the launch of puppy yoga at the Runnymede on Thames Hotel and Spa. From May, the Surrey hotel will host hour-long beginners' yoga classes accompanied by a pack of adorable Shih Tzu puppies, said to enhance the mood-elevating effects of the ancient practice.

THE JUNE 2019 ISSUE OF SELLING TRAVEL WILL FEATURE: Borneo • Catalonia • Hong Kong • New Zealand • South Africa • Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia • Tobago • wellness in the Indian Ocean • Plus: a river cruise special CONTACT US: ONLINE reviews • blogs • features • incentives • interviews

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LUXURY What is luxury? • New high-end product • Luxury in unexpected places • Premium themes • Celebrity-inspired escapes • Rail journeys Ikos Resorts

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WHAT IS LUXURY? The concept of 'luxury' has evolved from bowing waiters and bling to something just as likely to mean a depth of feeling or memorable experience, says Debbie Ward


ix Senses and Kirker are among a growing number of tour operators who now deliberately avoid using the word 'luxury', believing it has become devalued by overuse. Luxury has certainly become allencompassing; a catch-all concept covering everything from a personal butler on a cruise ship to a private plunge pool and in-suite massage at an African safari lodge to an overwater villa on an exclusive Indian Ocean island. But luxury has come to mean so much more and the time is ripe for an alternative, more all-encompassing phrase. Perhaps 'richness of product and experience', well matched to an individual’s tastes or needs, is more suitable. Here are some other lifeenriching terms to consider. Barefoot luxury Whether your clients are the high-powered rich or the less well-heeled the right setting to unwind is key. ‘Barefoot luxury’ and ‘rustic chic’ have come to describe the pared-back settings where your

Champagne cocktail could be served from a driftwood bar. This often sits well with a greater focus on eco-credentials and with the wellness trend to ‘digital detox’ – a good sell for stressed-out clients. Six Senses once used the strapline ‘No shoes, No news’ though it now prefers to highlight its local connections and strong eco credentials. Vice President of Marketing and Communications Julia Gajcak says: “Upscale travellers are looking for authenticity and want to immerse themselves in a destination and its culture. They don't want formal surroundings and fancy ceremonious dinners… or need to acquire objects or status symbols, but instead want to collect great memories.” She believes rich experiences and quality content, unique settings, and innovative design, are key, along with service that is comfortable, inclusive and inviting. Experiential travel The latest buzz phrase is experiential travel, as clients increasingly look for greater depth to their holidays. In its 2019

Trends Report, Kuoni noted a demand for holidays with a learning focus, from cooking to photography to dance. Those with higher disposable income are also more likely to be able to tap into some of the world’s greatest adventures. Simon Lynch, Director of Sales and Business Development for Abercrombie & Kent, says: “Whilst our clients continue to want a certain level of luxury at night, we’ve found that during the day they value experiences. Such as, for example, gaining unique insider access to iconic attractions, learning how to make pasta with a Michelin-starred Italian chef in Naples or accessing a remote part of the Amazon to meet a local tribe.” Safari is the classic example of an experience-rich holiday that is traditionally pegged to luxury accommodation, but not all once-in-alifetime journeys and bucket list ticks are in locations with five-star hotels. Don’t underestimate a client’s willingness to ‘rough it’ if the pay off is special enough. Abercrombie & Kent features Kayapo Camp, with an opportunity to spend

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Abercrombie & Kent in Egypt; Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma, Zambia; Kuoni reports demand for 'learning holidays'; Kirker offers Venice by private water taxi

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ABOVE: Six Senses Kaplankaya

time with a Brazilian tribe. Its camp has exclusive access for several weeks, a private chef and many amenities, but it would not be classed as classic ‘luxury’. Lynch adds: “Our clients want to invest their money into creating exceptional memories that the ordinary traveller just doesn’t experience. Our tip for agents would be to invest the time in understanding the client’s interests, and then tailor the perfect experience.” Exclusivity It’s easy enough to track down a five-star hotel, but the real value an agent can add is being able to identify and access exclusive treats and special events. Operators with concierge services or niche specialisms can prove particularly helpful. “For today's clientele, luxury travel means authentic experiences which have been curated specifically for their individual needs,” says Kirker Director, Ted Wake. “It is finding an elegant

pathway to the right experiences in a chosen destination. In particular, this often involves private guides and tailormade itineraries, where the customer is encouraged to visit a particular museum or performance that they didn’t know existed and wouldn’t have found out about without their travel agent’s encouragement.” Kirker’s examples of added value for the culturally-minded include dinner with a musician about to perform a concert, and linking artists’ museums and birthplaces in the same region. “These are not necessarily expensive arrangements but they are enriching. They also help agents demonstrate that they care about providing a unique service.” Cash rich, time poor In this fast-moving world we live in, most people find themselves increasingly short on time. So although a fortnight in Mauritius or Namibia may well be within

a client's budget, it might not fit in with their working patterns. Even the special occasion market is experiencing the trend, with ‘minimoons’,' – whereby newlyweds take a short luxury holiday – showing a spike in recent years. Keeping tabs on quality short-haul options will help agents. For instance, Elegant Resorts and Wellbeing Escapes note that high-profile European spa openings like Six Senses’ Kaplankaya in Turkey and Euphoria on the Peloponnese peninsula are helping meet demand for a short break immersion in wellness. Operators’ concierge services can also save clients time by pre-booking restaurants and tickets. They may also be able to help them queue jump at popular attractions. Private driver-guides, offered by the likes of Cox & Kings, Abercrombie & Kent, Kuoni, Regent Holidays and Indus Experiences, can help make travel seamless and maximise clients’ time and interests.

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020 7399 7601

ABTA No.V8548

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 in stateroom 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. Free flights offer is valid for new bookings only made between 1 April & 15 May 2019. Free flights are in economy class with British Airways from London. Regional flights will incur a supplement and are subject to availability and routings. The Crystal Confidence Promise has stringent terms and conditions – for a copy of these please email The $1000 per stateroom onboard spend applies to double occupancy only. Solo occupancy staterooms will receive $500 and no extra onboard credit is available to third berths. These offers are bought to you by The Cruise Portfolio. The prices shown here or elsewhere may have changed by the time you come to book your holiday. Prices, discounts, supplements and special offers advertised in the brochure or elsewhere may be withdrawn or changed at any time. Prices may go up or down. You should contact your travel advisor for up to date prices and charges before booking, call us on: 020 7399 7601 or visit The fares are available to new bookings only and are only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See for complete terms and conditions.

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Gorgeous George

SouTH AFRICA New to design Hotels and epitomising the trend for reecting local culture is this 32-room boutique hotel in downtown Cape Town. It's housed across two heritage buildings which also provide a platform for established and emerging South African artists and designers. Sell it on its spectacular rooftop pool, bar and restaurant and sleek industrial style.

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Four Seasons Private Jet

eVeRyWHeRe Four Seasons' Private Jet, an A321LR neo, will take flight in 2020 offering the widest and tallest cabin in its class. With 48 custom handcrafted Italian leather seats, the spacious interior encourages guests to socialise thanks to personal ottomans and a lounge area where Four Seasons artisans will stage workshops. Book an eight-country trip covering Seattle, Kyoto, Bali, the Seychelles, Rwanda, Marrakech, Bogota, the Galapagos and Miami at:

Daydream Island Resort

AuSTRALIA Reopened in April after a Aud$100million refurbishment, this Whitsunday Islands resort has expanded its Living Reef – a 200m free-form lagoon wrapping itself around the stylish buildings and home to diverse marine species and corals. A marine biologist is on-hand to explain the wonders of the reef.

Ikos Resorts

GReeCe Starting this season, guests staying in Ikos’ deluxe Collection suites will be treated to personalised touches like their favourite in-room drinks and snacks, all of which they can tailor in advance, plus the services of a deluxe Concierge who will organise everything from spa treatments to candlelit beach dinners. Available at Ikos oceania and Ikos olivia in Halkidiki, Ikos dassia in Corfu and the new Ikos Aria opening on Kos in May.

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Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol

Cyprus The first Marriott in the country, Parklane has just opened, set in landscaped gardens of olive, citrus and palm trees. There's a 300-metre beach and four pools - three outdoor and one indoor, including one for adults only. All 52 suites have teak-decked private pools.

Dream Yacht Charter

The Islands of Tahiti Sell this new five-night all-inclusive yacht-based holiday in the Tuamoto archipelago. Visitors get their own captain and private chef plus six ensuite cabins. Cruise blue lagoons and explore villages and coconut plantations.

Gran Meliรก Sancti Petri

SPAIN Following a four-year refurbishment, this five-star has just re-opened as a Gran Meliรก. It's located on the beachfront of La Barrosa, Cรกdiz, close to five golf courses. Its lavish facilities include a wellness centre with Roman thermal baths, Hamman and Finnish sauna and the Michelinstarred Alevante Restaurant.

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WITH VIETNAM AIRLINES Non- stop daily ights between the UK and Vietnam operated by 787-9 Dreamliner. Convenient onward connections via Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City to a comprehensive network of over 50 destinations within Vietnam, Indochina, Asia and Australia. Offering Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class cabins.

Summer Schedule 2019 Origin London Heathrow Hanoi

31 March 2019 - 26 October 2019


Flight No











London Heathrow


Ho Chi


Minh City

Ho Chi


Minh City


Arrival 0450

(Next Day)


Frequency Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun


Mon, Wed, Sat


Mon, Wed, Sat

(Next Day)

Departure/arrival times may vary.

+44 (0) 203 263 2062

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Greater Palm Springs’ Hotel Paseo is the first luxury hotel to open in the retro-desert city in over 30 years, but its guests can opt to stay in a restored 1950s Airstream trailer.


Retire to a top-end tipi at Nevada’s Mustang Monument and experience the atmosphere of America's Old West without compromising on comfort – and knowing you’re supporting America’s last wild horses.

UP A CRANE A former coal crane in Copenhagen is now a hipster one-room hotel, THEKRANE. Each stay includes a concierge to pick you up at the airport and wait on you, breakfast, a BMW or bike to explore, wine or bubbles and spa access.

BENEATH THE GROUND Turkey’s Cappadocia is characterised by its ‘fairy chimneys’, whimsical rock formations which have housed people since the Bronze Age and now welcome tourists thanks to boutique boltholes like Elkep Evi Cave Hotel.

ALL AT SEA Just off Portsmouth, UK, are two Napoleonic forts-turned boutique hotels: No Man’s Fort has 23 rooms, five bars, a rooftop hot tub and firepit while the intimate eight-suite Spitbank Fort is available for exclusive use. You can also book for a day trip with lunch.

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IN A PUMPHOUSE Once a hydro-electric station, now a luxury wilderness retreat, these two industrial buildings on Lake St. Clair in Tasmania, Australia, have been transformed! The Pumphouse is 250 metres out onto the glacial lake, with a wood-burning stove and understated décor.

UNDER THE OCEAN Manta Resort on Pemba Island in Zanzibar has an Underwater Room anchored to the ocean floor. The sealevel deck has a lounge and bathroom and a staircase leads guests down to the glass-paneled bedroom, with 360-degree views of the ocean and spotlights to attract shy night creatures.

UP IN A TREE In the quiet forests that flank Sweden’s Lule River Valley, Treehotel has seven different rooms, including the UFO, bird’s nest and Mirrorcube. It is featured by UK operator, Carrier.

AT A CLIFF EDGE Perched on a rocky canyon 2,000 metres above sea level in Oman’s Al Hajar Mountains, and crafted like an ancient fort, Alila Jabal Akhdar is a breath of fresh air after the desert.

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ULTRA-COOL Deep in the Finnish Arctic Circle, Igloo Hotel Kakslauttanen’s thermal glass domes are a unique way to spot the Northern Lights between December and January. Onsite is the world’s largest smoke sauna, to counteract the -30 degree temperature outside. Other accommodation includes cosy log cabins with a fireplace and a sauna and, if you dare, a real ice igloo.

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AUTHENTIC MEMORIES & MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCES Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Delfin Amazon Cruises will take you into one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Visit us online for more information:

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ossibly one of the andaman’s most beautiful islands.

85 luxurious villas • 3 ozonated pools (excluding private ones)

signature dining establishments & bars • world-acclaimed anumba spa club del mar for chilling • personalized sea and land experiences to-die-for-views complimentary Untitled-2 1

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THEMATIC ESCAPES Luxury comes in many guises and environments. Debbie Ward picks four ways to sell a high-end holiday CRUISING Despite moving into the mainstream of travel in recent the years, the luxury lines continue to innovate. The Mekong, which flows through China, Mynamar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, is among the hottest areas – and Uniworld's new Mekong Jewel will step things up in 2020. In Europe, foodie clients will enjoy Crystal Bach’s new gastronomy-focused boutique Rhine Class service. New expedition mega yacht Scenic Eclipse sets sail for the Northwest Passage and Antarctic this summer, carrying two helicopters and a submarine. For vintage class, consider Star Clippers’ tall ships, in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, South East Asia and Panama Canal. AmaWaterways' Rivers and Rails of Africa trip mixes safari, accessed by ship, with Victoria Falls to Pretoria on Rovos Rail. And watch out for five-star hotel brand Ritz-Carlton, launching cruises in 2020. Rhine Class style, Crystal Cruises

SAFARIS Safari has long been the archetypal luxury adventure holiday, with clients retreating from the wild bush to fine dining and king-sized beds. Recent openings include the exclusive Nyamatusi Mahogany in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, with just two tented suites and two family suites. In Namibia, private villa The Nest at Sossus has innovative buildings resembling weaverbirds’ nests. Audley has a private escorted tour in Namibia, with a chance to see desert-adapted elephants at Damaraland. Safari is not all about Africa. Troubled Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park has the highest concentration of leopards in the world, with luxury accommodation added in recent years (offered by Cox & Kings). In Brazil, meanwhile, Journey Latin America and Audley offer the opportunity to track jaguars in the Pantanal wetlands. In Rwanda, seeing gorillas is a costly but unforgettable experience. For whale watching, Lekkerwater Beach Lodge from Natural Selection is positioned above a hotspot in South Africa’s Western Cape. It has just seven standalone luxury rooms. Chena Huts, Uga Resorts

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BOOK NOW | CALL 001-800-441-1414 | VISIT THEHAMILTONPRINCESS.COM OR CALL YOUR PREFERRED TRAVEL PARTNER Quote PAVR to enjoy our ‘Fairmont Saver Offer’ and enjoy 30% off our daily rate (for a minimum 2 day stay and must include a Friday or Saturday Night). Minimum advance purchase 21 days. Offer valid until December 31, 2019.

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ISLAND ESCAPES A full-service resort set in a turquoise sea, a private hideway or a place for an exclusive house party - island retreats can mean different things to different clients. The Maldives, with its one island-one-resort concept, is famed for its overwater bungalows, but it’s not the only option. Song Saa, featured by Elegant Resorts and others, has brought the overwater bungalows concept to Cambodia. With 27 pool villas and popular with honeymooners, it spans the ‘sweetheart islands’ Koh Bong and Koh Ouen, a 45-minute speedboat transfer from Sihanoukville. Closer to home, Elegant Resorts features Tagomago, one of a handful of private islands in Spain. The hideaway sits just off the coast of Ibiza, boasting a fivesuite mansion, a bird sanctuary, a lighthouse and little else. Guests can make use of a private chef, hire a yacht and arrive by helicopter, should they wish. Perhaps the most famous among private islands is Necker in the BVIs. Richard Branson’s island retreat is now back on sale following restoration after hurricane Irma. Caribtours, Elegant Resorts and Inspiring Travel Company are among operators that feature Necker, which is not just available in its entirety - on ‘celebration weeks’ rooms can be booked individually. Song Saa, Cambodia

SPA & WELLNESS BREAKS Demand for wellness-specific travel is growing. Asia, the home of meditation, yoga, Thai massage, Ayurveda and other traditional therapies, has long been the favoured destination. Operators’ best-selling spa hotels include Chiva Som and Kamalaya in Thailand, Ananda in the Himalayas and Como Shambhala in Bali. All offer tailored programmes for detox, yoga, weight management, de-stressing and more. European newcomers include Euphoria on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula and Six Senses’ Kaplankaya in Turkey, where the spa includes a salt grotto. ‘Vinotherapy’ treatments at Six Senses Douro Valley include the Complete Grape Rejuvenation, featuring grape pulp exfoliation and a ‘vineyard soak’ wrap. In the Caribbean, St Lucia’s BodyHoliday is famous for its all-inclusive fitness programmes. The Middle East has a range of opulent spas with treatments using local ingredients, like camels’ milk, dates and spices at Abu Dhabi Edition or gold and liquorice at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah in Oman. In Japan ‘forest bathing’ means a restorative immersion in nature. Specialist operator Wellbeing Escapes can advise on leafy hideaways with hiking trails. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Oman

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PaulGauguin_SellingTravel_Ad_Mar19.qxp_PaulGauguin_SellingTravel_Ad_Mar19 04/03/2019 16:21 Page 1

Paradise is closer than you think

m/s Paul Gauguin

Visit islands beyond the ordinary – Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine and Taha’a – in comfort and style on this award-winning luxury small ship. With heartfelt hospitality always on board, every destination feels like home. • Spacious oceanview accommodations • All meals, plus complimentary room service • All onboard beverages, including beer and select wines and spirits • All onboard gratuities for room steward and dining staff • All shipboard entertainment • Exclusive access to our private beach and motu

For further information or to make a booking, please contact your preferred Travel Agent or call

020 7399 7691 ABTA No.V8548

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CELEBRITY SELLS For many, scrolling Instagram has replaced browsing brochures for holiday inspiration, and a celebrity is the ultimate endorsement, says Laura Gelder

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Mentioned in our Maldives feature last month was the trend for ‘buddymoons’, where you take your family or friends on your honeymoon. TV presenter Emma Willis and husband Matt from pop band Busted renewed their vows after ten years last November and had a second honeymoon at Kandima Maldives – taking the kids and parents too. Luckily the resort has plenty to keep all ages occupied, such as snorkelling, tennis and parasailing, which Emma tried out herself.

Otherwise known as Judge Rinder, of reality TV court case and Strictly Come Dancing fame, Robert is a passionate advocate for Kenya and recently stayed at Hemingways Watamu. Sitting on the coast of the Watamu Marine National Park, with a white-sand beach, the hotel had a multi-million-dollar transformation last year. Activities include diving, exploring the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (home to elephants), or just snacking on crispy Lamu crab claws and sipping cocktails.



When not posing in his pants for M&S, model David Gandy loves to travel. In an interview in The Telegraph he said his favourite hotel was Dunton Hot Springs, a posh cabin in an 1800s ghost town deep in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. The all-inclusive, five-star resort is exquisitely furnished, with hand-hewn log cabins, a saloon offering fine dining with local produce, miles of hiking trails and soothing hot springs that can be enjoyed year-round.

English Supermodel and actress Jourdan Dunn celebrated her 28th birthday at Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel in the Caribbean's Grenada recently. She was joined by an all-girl all-model squad consisting of Leila Nda, Imaan Hammam, Riley Montana (whose birthday it also was), Cindy Bruna and Ophelie Guillermand. The girls bikini shots were picked up by The Telegraph, Vogue, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, Daily Mail, Hello and many others.

LIZ HURLEY IN... INDIA Imagine having Liz Hurley for a mother. Any embarrassment over her high-profile lovers would quickly be forgotten if you got to celebrate your birthday with mum at an exclusive spa hotel in the foothills of the Himalayas. That’s exactly what 17-year-old Damien got this April. The actress and model posted various selfies of their trip to The Ananda, showing off an impressive wardrobe of swimwear and catapulting this wellness retreat into the spotlight.

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FIVE RAIL JOURNEYS SEVEN STARS KYUSHU. This plush all-suite train travels Japan’s southernmost main island, representing its seven prefectures. The elegant interior is a blend of Japanese and Western, old and new. Lounge car Blue Moon has sofas, swivel chairs and live piano music or you can grab a spot of sushi in the Jupiter dining car after stopping at an onsen. THE BELMOND EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS. Epitomising the old-world glamour of travel, this train journeys between cosmopolitan Bangkok and Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Guests are cosseted in green and gold carriages with cherrywood panelling, Thai silks and Malaysian embroidery, and dine on fine cuisine as they pass lush jungle and temples. 5


THE BLUE TRAIN. In 2019 South Africa’s famous luxury train reinvented its Cape Town to Pretoria journey for a two-night ‘slow travel’ trip. For 2020, its one-way Hoedspruit safari trips will be available as a three-day round-trip, with sunrise and sunset game drives and a boma dinner under the stars. ROCKY MOUNTAINEER. This classic Canadian journey is the most luxurious way to see the Rockies, and its GoldLeaf Service is the pinnacle of high-end. This year it's added new bi-level carriages with glass-dome windows for viewing the lake and mountain scenery and a separate area for gourmet dining. THE GHAN. Crossing the spine of Australia between Darwin and Adelaide, guests on this iconic train are safe from the searing heat of the red desert while they sip a cool Aussie Chardonnay in the lap of luxury. Experiences include cruising the Nitmiluk Gorge to learn about ancient Indigenous rock paintings.



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8:32 AM The moment the soul of the Maldives found you. Generous villas with understated echoes of the many cultures of the Maldives. An untouched diving destination, on the largest lagoon in the Maldives, shimmering with cerulean light. Fairmont Maldives artfully connects nature to the soul and the result is unforgettable. Gateway to your perfect Maldives moment. fairmont. com/maldives

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With free-roaming wildlife, other-worldly landscapes, towering sand dunes and the continent’s largest canyon, Namibia is a Southern African jewel

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