SELLING TRAVEL • SEPTEMBER 2018
SEPTEMBER 2018 • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
TWO-TIME WINNER, TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR
Australia • Coastal Carolinas • Florida • Falklands • Indonesia • Malta • Over 50s Travel • Peru • Seychelles • South Pacific • Uzbekistan
FORCE OF NATURE Indonesia's lesser-known islands are being primed for a tourism boom
DID YOU GET A GOLDEN URN TICKET? T 1 TO PAGE 7 TO WIN!
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how to sell...
Florida Over 50s Australia Seychelles Uzbekistan South Pacific and more...
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SC_FA_Selling Travel Cover_210x297mm_Ijen Crater_August_Revisi.pdf
Ijen Crater , Banyuwangi
Enjoy a Dynamic Vacation We live in a spectacular universe. A wondrous place we have got to explore. Mother Nature holds limitless surprises for us. Here and there, hidden or exposed. We are often confused as to where to begin the journey. Let's ďŹ gure it out, shall we? Don't paint your life in grey. Have a picturesque break ďŹ lled with unforgettable exploration in Java. Enjoy breathtaking moments and witnesses the colour of our nature or conquer a thrilling climb to the majestic Ijen Crater. These are just a few suggestions of what you can discover in our archipelago, but opportunities are boundless here, in the land of endless wonders. Find out which destination would suit you the most, to explore exciting packages of Visit Wonderful Indonesia 2018. Scan our QR code for more information. www.indonesia.travel indonesia.travel Indonesia.Travel indtravel
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WE TRAVEL FURTHER TO BRING YOU MORE FEATURES 08 Seychelles: Creole culture on the islands
36 Southern Florida:
Diversity holds the Keys
44 Peru: Colourful
festivals and eco-touring 61 Indonesia: Going beyond Bali 90 Australia: Wellness down under 94 Over 50s: How to sell to mature travellers
36 93 08
QUICK READS 16 Exploring: Malta 42 Visit USA: Members'
49 Hidden Gems: South Pacific
54 Exploring: Winter Alberta
55 Country Profile: Uzbekistan
58 My Journey: Coastal 66 83 86 93 98
Carolinas, USA Travel Uni: Training programmes update My journey: The Falklands Top 10: Northern Lights Exploring: Belize Final Word: The quirky side of travel
THE REVIEW 69 Top news stories plus hotel reviews
TALKING SHOP 19 News, competitions, incentives, fams, Barbara Charlton
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 sellingtravel.net
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Travel Trade Publication of the Year
Travel Trade Publication of the Year
OF THE YEAR – PRINT Travel Trade Publication of the Year
Proudly published by BMI Publishing Ltd 2018 © 2018
Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK T 020 8649 7233 | F 020 8649 7234 email@example.com bmipublishing.co.uk sellingtravel.co.uk Publishers: Steve Thompson & Sally Parker Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge Deputy Editor: Laura Gelder Staff Journalists: Ben Coren & Jessica Pook Contributing Journalist: Jo Austin Group Editor: Andy Hoskins Contributing Editor: Julie Baxter Advertisement Manager: Lisa Merrigan Creative Director: Matt Bonner Lead Designers: Louisa Horton & Monica Notarnicola Designers: Ross Clifford & Zoë Tarrant Production Manager: Clare Hunter Managing Director: Martin Steady 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: Madakaripura Waterfall, Java, Indonesia. bigstockphoto.com
SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! sellingtravel.co.uk/subscribe
s Mark Twain might have said, if he hadn’t been occupied writing about life by the Mississippi, the death of the travel agent has been greatly exaggerated. According to a survey conducted by a top accountancy firm, the rate of travel agencies and tour operators going bust has been arrested, falling by 30% in the last five years, from 47 to 33 a year. Of course, any travel retailer shutting its doors is a cause for concern, but these numbers from Moore Stephens do at least suggest the impact of the internet is slowing and that travel businesses are adapting to the challenges posed when consumers have a wealth of information available at the click of a button. Except, of course, it is not always a click of a button. Putting together Steve Hartridge that dream trip or long-anticipated holiday often involves several tens EDITOR if not hundreds of clicks, and who has time for that when there is (a) no guarantee the final product(s) will save any significant chunk of money and (b) be exactly what the you are looking for? And don't get me started on what is increasingly apparent: there is no reliable correlation between the volume of travel and destination information that is dumped on the web and the reliability and usefulness of that information. So start-up bloggers out there take note! However, that's not to say the market for travel agents is not challenging - it is - but many agents are not just surviving but thriving because they have successfully adapted to these threats. As the Moore Stephens study points out, good agents have moved away from ‘vanilla’ package holidays to offer more bespoke and ‘complicated’ products, particularly niche interest holidays and specialised trips like cruise, safaris, activities and adventure, etc, where the knowledge and levels of the services they offer is highly valued by the customer. So to end on another Mark Twain missive: The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Enjoy this issue.
Industry comments... "Visitors to South Florida's coastal region now have the option of travelling by train aboard Brightline's new high-speed service that connects them to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach."
"Visitor arrivals from the UK grew by 6%, to 519,000, in 2017. We are connected to three UK airports – Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester – and the UK is our largest European market."
Gill Standeven, Senior Account Director, Visit Floirda
Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director of Air Hub Development, Changi Aiport, Singapore
See feature, page 36
See interview, page 27
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Your next Adventure at the SeaWorld Parks with Funway Holidays The wind in your hair, the sound of animals all around, the scent of adventure in the air… you plunge, you plummet, you splash, you scream.You are now at the heart of all the action at SeaWorld®, Aquatica®, Busch Gardens® and Discovery Cove®. Lose yourself on incredible wildlife-inspired thrill rides, enjoy a once-in-alifetime animal encounter or choose to simply float the day away. Adventure is calling.
The Discovery Cove ULTIMATE PACKAGE Enjoy an all-inclusive day at Discovery Cove, 14 days unlimited admission to SeaWorld, Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark and Busch Gardens PLUS free unlimited parking with the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package.
ORLANDO FAMILY HOLIDAY OFFER 4* Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld Enjoy Exclusive Benefits* 7 nights from £669pp Flying DIRECT from London Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic Includes the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package Based on 2 adults & 2 children (under 12) sharing.
Book online at funway4agents.co.uk or call 0208 290 9754 *Exclusive Benefits include early entry to SeaWorld on select days during peak season, complimentary front-of-the-line access to SeaWorld’s thrill rides, discounts on select food and gift purchases at SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark & exclusive access to the SeaWorld Rescue Tour. Benefits Card available at Hotel Guest Services Desk. Benefits subject to availability and other restrictions may apply. All Offers are subject to availability and change and can be withdrawn at any time. For full competition terms and conditions visit www.funway4agents.co.uk All prices are correct at time of print and are subject to availability and change. We are 100% financially protected - ATOL:2853 / ABTA:V000X / IATA:91273442 © 2018 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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the big picture
Jaipur Rajasthan, India
Get involved ABTA’s Make Holidays Greener campaign, which runs until September 30, aims to help travellers make positive social and environmental actions – and agents can and should get involved! Only sell tours which respect and preserve local customs and tell your clients to eat and shop local. Encourage holiday choices which reduce pollution, put a minimum strain on resources like water and oﬀset carbon and protect wildlife. makeholidaysgreener.org
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SEYCHELLES TOURISM BOARD
This in-demand ﬂy-and-ﬂop destination deserves to be recognised for its many other merits, argues Sarah Gilbert, who immerses herself in Creole culture and some astounding ﬂora and fauna
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ike a glimmering pile of jewels, rainbow-coloured parrotﬁsh and the sparkling coral scales of huge red snapper, plucked fresh from the ocean, are easily picked out against the lustrous grey of the sharks. Fishermen shout to each other in singsong Creole as they expertly gut and clean the catch of the day. It’s too pretty to eat – almost. But it’s not just ﬁsh piled high on the stalls of Victoria’s colourful Sir Selwyn Clarke Market: there are mounds of ﬁery chillies, giant breadfruit and aromatic spices. A reminder that Mahé – the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago – is like a giant kitchen garden. Everywhere you
look there are trees groaning under the weight of mangos, guavas and jackfruit. Away from Victoria – one of the world’s smallest capital cities – the road snakes up into the mountains and forms a central spine along the length of the island. I walk the trails of Morne Seychellois National Park, surrounded by cooling breezes and lush tropical forest. Hidden among the hills, Le Jardin du Roi is an old wooden plantation house that – with a few updates – has been in the same family for seven generations. A former vanilla and cinnamon plantation, today it overlooks terraced gardens ﬁlled with exotic trees and shrubs from around the globe.
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I get a taste of Seychellois history as I explore the spice-scented pathways, lined with citronella bushes and nutmeg trees and evocatively-named medicinal plants like Job’s Tears and Lion’s Ear, bathed in the heady perfume of patchouli and ylang-ylang.
“Constance Ephélia offers fantastic value for a five-star resort. Children can stay free on the same meal basis as parents and enjoy activities like zip lining plus a children’s club” Nikki Hain, Indian Ocean Product Manager, Premier Holidays
Clockwise from top left: Fresh ingrediens at Four Seasons Desroches; Kempinski Seychelles Resort – Baie Lazare; Anse Takamaka, Mahe; grilled ﬁsh, Seychelles-style
Pick an island The Seychelles are now easier to reach than ever, with non-stop twice-weekly departures on British Airways from Heathrow. Look down as you ﬂy into the archipelago and you’ll see an expanse of stunning blues – cobalt, azure, aquamarine – strung with tiny jewel-like islands; verdant oases fringed with blindingly white sand, and dotted with dramatic granite boulders, polished by time and the elements. There are 115 islands – many of them uninhabited – all sitting in splendid isolation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, somewhere between the east coast of Africa and India, four degrees south of the equator. And it’s a genuine yearround destination too, with temperatures hovering between 24-32°C. Sherin Francis, CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, says: “As a leisure destination, the Seychelles really does have a lot to oﬀer.
“Its beaches are legendary but the islands have something for everyone – from sun worshippers searching for relaxation, to thrill seekers wanting to scuba dive and snorkel and nature lovers looking to trek through tropical forest.” While couples and honeymooners are still its main audience, operators are seeing a growth in the family market, with resorts oﬀering activities for all ages, special menus and kids clubs, and villas perfect for multi-generational family groups. There are also lots of walletfriendly boutique hotels and guesthouses. “The Seychelles’ islands are very
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Image: © Mr Torsten Dickmann
Seychelles Tourist Ofﬁce - UK & Ireland · Ground Floor, 130-132 Buckingham Palace Road SW1W 9SA Tel: +44 (0) 207 730 0700 · firstname.lastname@example.org www.seychelles.travel
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What’s the best airline serving India and the Indian Ocean?
Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market. Victoria, Mahe. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: A giant tortoise and a baby tortoise; colourful Hindu temple, Victoria; Constance Lemuria
safe and make a great family-friendly destination,” adds Nikki Hain, Indian Ocean Product Manager at Premier Holidays. “For families looking to explore the main island of Mahé, hiring a car is a good option. Mahé oﬀers plenty of activities, and families can easily discover their own private beach for the day.” Island-hopping holidays are becoming increasingly popular, combining one or more of the three main islands – Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, each with its own character – and perhaps adding on a private island resort. And if clients are curious about the archipelago’s fascinating history, it’s worth sending them on a guided tour of Mahé. In the charming capital, Victoria, there are still traces of the archipelago’s British colonial past – which is perhaps not surprising as it only gained full independence in 1976 – as well as a mix of other inﬂuences.
Seychelles sellers Ocean action: There’s no shortage of Instagram-worthy beaches – Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue and Anse Lazio in Praslin often appear in the world’s best beaches lists – but if your clients shudder at the thought of doing nothing there’s also
WHERE EXCLUSIVE MEETS EXTRAORDINARY Escape to our island retreat, hidden in the outer reaches of the Seychelles. Just six kilometres long and one kilometre wide – with only one Resort on the entire island – Desroches promises absolute freedom and unrivalled privacy. With 14km of pure, untouched beaches to discover, and home to world-class fishing and diving, adventure is never more than a stone’s throw away.
For more information: fourseasons.com/seychellesdesroches
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world-class snorkelling and diving and a water sports on oﬀer. Beau Vallon is the most popular beach on Mahe and home to Blue Sea Divers (blueseadivers.com). Wildlife wonders: The archipelago’s home to many endangered and endemic species, including hawksbill and green turtles, Aldabra giant tortoises and Seychelles paradise ﬂycatchers. It’s easy to get out and be surrounded by nature. Cerf Island Resort (cerf-resort.com) is surrouded by it, located in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, just oﬀ Mahe. Walk it off: There are trails around Mahé’s Morne Seychellois National Park or up Nid d’Aigle on La Digue, complete with panoramic views. Culture vultures: If your clients like to explore, the capital Victoria oﬀers a mix of Hindu temples, Catholic churches, colonial villas and colourful market stalls. The six-day Creole Festival in October celebrates the traditions and cultural heritage of islands, showcasing dance, music, cuisine and crafts. Golfing getaway: The Constance Lemuria on Praslin is home to one of the world’s most scenic golf courses. Designed by internationally-renowned course architect Rodney Wright, the par-70 course is the only 18-hole golf course in the Seychelles but has something to oﬀer all levels of players, from beginners to professionals.
What’s new Flights: British Airways (ba.com) launched the only non-stop service from the UK in March, departing Heathrow Terminal Five
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on Wednesdays and Saturdays, returning on Thursdays and Sundays. Hotels: Four Seasons Resort Seychelles at Desroches Island (fourseasons.com) opened in March as the only resort on the island. The 71 accommodations range from rustic-luxe suites to villas and residences – but all come with a private pool and beach access. The resort also has a dive centre and a Kids for All Seasons facility. Tours: Blue Safari Seychelles Alphonse Island is pioneering a new style of experiential travel and providing
“The villas at The Four Seasons Resort in Mahé are set on a hillside overlooking white-sand beaches and come with private infinityedge plunge pools. Suggest taking a private class with one of the resident yogis” John Poulton, Assistant Product Manager: Africa, Travel 2
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exclusive access to the Outer Islands, including Astove and Cosmoledo, whilst actively conserving these pristine atolls. Dream Yacht Charter Explore the islands from a crewed catamaran – new Lagoon 620s will be joining its by-the-cabin ﬂeet from December 24 2018. Tourist oﬃce: The UK tourist oﬃce is taking its ‘Seychelles Discovered’ road show to Gatwick on October 29, Reading on October 30, Cheltenham on October 31 and the East Midlands on November 1. Agents will have the chance to to win a trip to the Seychelles. The Seychelles has an online Travel Uni training pogramme (seychellessuperstar.co.uk).
island, La Digue, and head to Praslin and check out Fond Ferdinand, less well known than the UNESCO-protected Vallée de Mai, but with a much larger coco de mer forest. “A short boat hop from Praslin is Cousin Island, one of the world’s great conservation success stories. Cousin was purchased by
Above: Hiking the Morne Blanc nature trail. Right: seaside golﬁng. Opposite page: cycling the grounds of Four Seasons Desroches; coco de mer
“Seychelles’ beaches are so stunning that many visitors spend all their time there, but I would encourage them to travel around the islands. “They should visit the smallest inhabited
Hideaway in the Marine Park
www.cerf-resort.com . Seychelles . email@example.com
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EXCLUSIVE OFFERS MILAIDHOO ISLAND RESORT MALDIVES
SUMMER OFFER EXTENSION!! Book by 31 Oct 18 and receive: Up to 50% Discount on Room Rates Complimentary Transfers for 2 ! Discounted Excursions! Valid for various dates up to 22 Dec 18 Birdlife International to save the Seychelles warbler. Now, 50 years later, the island is heaving with endemic wildlife, from 10 species of seabirds to wild giant tortoises and the iconic Seychelles magpie-robin. “One of the best ways to experience the Seychelles is from the sea – there are numerous charter boats you can rent and sail yourself or get a local crew. “The Seychelles isn’t just a place, it’s a state of being.” Dr Nirmal Jivan Shah, Seychellois Ecologist and Chief Executive of Nature Seychelles
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Where to book it GOLD MEDAL – 0800 014 7777 The operator has seven nights in a Hill View Room at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort Baie Lazare. The deal starts from £1,629pp, including breakfast, ﬂights on Turkish Airlines from Heathrow and transfers. The price is valid for travel between September 24 and October 15. goldmedal.co.uk
VAKARUFALHI MALDIVES GREAT WINTER OFFERS Book by 31 Oct 18 and receive: 15% OFF Room Rates PLUS Meal Upgrades HB to FB or FB to All Inc! Valid for stays between 01 Nov – 25 Dec 18 Or 07 Jan 19 – 30 Apr 19
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Malta Home to the 'sunniest city in Europe' – the vibrant Valletta – and Europe's best diving, a combination of the old and new makes Malta a top European break, says Jessica Pook Crumbling walls and Baroque-style balconies glow in the afternoon Mediterranean light and I’m quietly smug at how far I am from my busy London life. That is until I’m confronted by an alltoo familiar red post box, incongruously perched on this Maltese street. Until 1964 Malta was part of the British Empire, but nowadays this small island in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea is doing just ﬁne without us. This year its capital Valletta is being celebrated as European Capital of Culture 2018 – a ﬁtting title considering it has one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world. It was also voted one of the top places to visit as part of Lonely Planet’s Best In Travel 2018 and has topped the list for aﬀordable European cities. Its rugged coastal landscape has featured in Hollywood hits such as Gladiator, Troy and the ever-popular Game of Thrones series.
ST JOHN'S CATHEDRAL
Valletta culture trail While Malta may be small, it packs a punch in terms of culture. A recognised UNESCO World Heritage site, Valletta is home to 16th century architecture, restored fortresses, museums, the Manoel Theatre and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which is considered the best example of Baroque in the world. The Upper Barrakka Gardens command panoramic views of the three fortiﬁed cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua. A gunﬁre ceremony is performed everyday here at noon. Stroll along the now pedestrianised waterfront in Valletta and take in views of the historical Quay Wall which was originally built for the Knights of St. John. Beyond the water's edge, Malta's
BOOK IT WITH OLYMPIC Olympic Holidays offers a seven-night holiday at the four-star Grand Hotel for £887pp. The price includes return flights from Gatwick, accomodation on a B&B basis. The hotel has balcony views of the fishing hamlet of Mgarr Harbour. olympicholidays.com
AERIAL VIEW OF VALLETTA
impressive Grand Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world, with ferry services to Sicily operating daily. Information on all of Valletta's attractions can be found on the Malta Tourism Authority’s Valletta Trail – a new handy map and invaluable tourist tool highlighting all the culture hot spots and hidden gems on the island. Download it at:
A merging of old and new
There aren't too many places where you can meander among 7,000 years of history in the morning, hit the beach in the afternoon and party to the latest beats spun by famous DJs at night. Malta has a renowned music scene, from classical concerts and the International Jazz Festival to the annual Isle of MTV concert, while those DJs perform in the lively St. Julians.
The island’s past as a 'disputed land' has left a trail of underwater ship, plane and submarine wrecks that have helped to put Malta on the map as a top diving destination. Sister island Gozo, a short ferry ride away, oﬀers 50 diving sites along with a network of caves and tunnels. Snorkellers and swimmers can enjoy the clear waters and rocky inlets which surround all three islands, but highlights include the red sandy beach of Ir-Ramla ilHamra on Gozo and the azure Blue Lagoon on the even smaller Comino Island.
Ryanair now sells Air Malta ﬂights meaning its customers can connect from Malta onto other European destinations like Russia, Africa and Asia. A full refurbishment and two-ﬂoor extension has been completed at the fourstar Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa (maritim. com) in Mellieha. It now features a roof terrace and swimming pool with views. The Phoenicia (campbellgrayhotels.com), Malta’s ﬁrst luxury hotel, has re-opened following a large refurbishment giving it an Art Deco theme throughout.
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More than we could ever tell.
Malta’s capital city has been named the European Capital of Culture for 2018 City breakers couldn’t choose a more exciting time to spend a weekend in English-speaking Valletta The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world; there are over 320 historical monuments to be found in Valletta alone. Travellers can wander through elegant winding streets and explore the city at their own pace.
The city boasts stunning boutique hotels; perfect for visitors wanting to stay in luxurious accommodation with a quirky edge. City breakers can enjoy waterfront alfresco dining overlooking the Grand Harbour whilst tasting an array of sea-food caught from the Mediterranean Sea accompanied by a glass of Maltese wine. Valletta, the sunniest city in Europe, is a must for a weekend getaway and it’s only a three-hour flight away from the UK.
MaltaUK.com FLY DIRECT TO MALTA
Strait Street, Valletta
BECOME A MALTA & GOZO EXPERT www.learnmalta.org
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DISCOVER DURBAN, FIND YOURSELF Adventure, culture and relaxation: You’ll find it all on a Durban holiday. Our new direct route launches 29 October 2018, with three weekly flights from London Heathrow. Flight schedule: LHR-DUR SCHEDULE IN WINTER 2018 FLIGHT NUMBER
DEP TIME LOCAL
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• Monday • Thursday • Saturday
• Tuesday • Friday • Sunday
For more information visit batraveltrade.com
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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
Tequila time AMRESORTS is giving agents the chance to win a free stay in Mexico, including return flights. To get into the prize draw, agents need to make at least one booking with a minimum stay of seven nights and send the booking details to lauren@carahotelmarketing. com, quoting 'Selling Travel' in the subject line. amragents.blog/special-offers
Win a trip place with St. Kitts ST. KITTS Tourism Authority is offering the top five agents logging the most St. Kitts packages between January 1 and September 30, 2018 a spot on a four-night fam this November. Agents must log all bookings on the St. Kitts Rewards Programme site to win. stkittstourism.kn
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BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
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AGENTS securing a booking for one of Trafalgar's South Africa holidays could win tickets to see England v South Africa on November 3 at Twickenham. Bookings made until October 18 are eligible. trafalgar.com
IN THE OFFICE
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The 2018 Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards finalists Airlines & Airports
AIRLINE TO THE FAR EAST: ANA, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Thai Airways
AIRLINE TO NORTH AMERICA: Air Canada, Air Transat, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic. AIRLINE TO LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: Air Europa Lineas Aereas, Avianca, British Airways, LATAM Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
AIRLINE TO AFRICA: Emirates, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Tunisair AIRLINE TO AUSTRALASIA & THE PACIFIC: Air New Zealand, Emirates, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas OVERSEAS REGIONAL AIRLINE: Bangkok Airways, Fiji Airways, interCaribbean Airways, Vietnam Airlines, Virgin Australia
AIRLINE TO THE MIDDLE EAST: Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways
OVERSEAS AIRPORT: Amsterdam Schiphol, DFW Airport, Dubai International Airport, HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport, Singapore Changi
AIRLINE TO INDIA & THE INDIAN OCEAN: Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways
UK AIRPORT: East Midlands, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, London City Airport, London Gatwick, Manchester Airport
AIRLINE TO EUROPE & NORTH AFRICA: Brussels Airlines, Cobalt, easyJet, Jet2, Norwegian Air Shuttle
CITY BREAK: Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Innsbruck, New York, Tel Aviv DESTINATION FOR BEACH: Cook Islands, Greece, Jersey, Mauritius, Philippines DESTINATION FOR WILDLIFE & NATURE: Botswana, Costa Rica, Falkland Islands, South Africa, Peru DESTINATION FOR SOFT ADVENTURE: Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Namibia, New Zealand DESTINATION FOR SPA & WELLNESS: Bali, Dubai, Malta, Saint Lucia, Thailand
DESTINATION FOR WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS: Barbados, Cyprus, Fiji, Mauritius, Thailand
TOUR OPERATOR TO AFRICA: Africa Pride, Cosmos, Gambia Experience, Kuoni, Somak Holidays TOUR OPERATOR TO AUSTRALASIA & THE FAR EAST: APT, Collette, Jetset Holidays, Premier Holidays, Travel 2 TOUR OPERATOR TO EUROPE & NORTH AFRICA: Balkan Holidays, Inghams, Jet2 Holidays, Prestige Holidays, Titan Travel TOUR OPERATOR TO INDIA & THE INDIAN OCEAN: If Only, Kuoni, Osborne & Ebel, Premier Holidays, Travelpack TOUR OPERATOR TO LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: Caribtours, Cox & Kings, G Adventures, Journey Latin America, Latin Routes
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TOUR OPERATOR TO THE MIDDLE EAST: Emirates Tours, Gold Medal, If Only, Sunspot Tours, Travel 2 TOUR OPERATOR TO NORTH AMERICA: Cosmos, Funway Holidays, North America Travel Service, Premier Holidays, USAirtours FOR SHORT HAUL ESCORTED TOURS: G Adventures, Newmarket Holidays, Riviera Travel, Saga Holidays , Titan Travel FOR LONG HAUL ESCORTED TOURS: Riviera Travel, Scenic Cruises & Tours, Titan Travel, Trek America, Wendy Wu Tours FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS: Contiki, G Adventures, Just You, Leger Holidays, Tucan Travel
OCEAN CRUISING: Cruise & Maritime, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Silversea RIVER CRUISING: AMA Waterways, CroisiEurope, Riviera Travel , Newmarket Holidays, Viking Cruises
HOTEL/GROUP IN AFRICA: One & Only, Protea Hotels, Sun International, Taj, Thanda Private Game Reserve
HOTEL/GROUP IN THE AUSTRALASIA & FAR EAST: Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, Shangri La Hotel & Resorts HOTEL/GROUP IN EUROPE & NORTH AFRICA: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, Maritim Hotels, nh Hotel Group HOTEL/GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Loews Hotels, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Marriott International HOTEL/GROUP IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: AM Resorts, Barcelรณ Hotel Group, Belmond, Elegant Hotels, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts HOTEL/GROUP IN INDIA & THE INDIAN OCEAN: Attitude Hotels, Beachcomber, Hilton Hotels, JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel, Lux Hotels HOTEL/GROUP IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Atlantis, Dusit Hotels & Resorts, JA Jebel Ali Beach Resort, The Address, W Hotel HOTEL/GROUP ALL-INCLUSIVE: bodyholiday Saint Lucia, Club Med, Hard Rock Hotels, Heritage Resorts Mauritius, Sandals
CAR HIRE: Avis Budget Group, Affordable Car Hire, Alamo, Flexible Autos, Your Car Hire UK HOLIDAYS: Bourne Leisure, Hoseasons, Leger Holidays, Shearings, Superbreak Mini Holidays THEME PARKS: LEGOLAND, Dubai Parks & Resorts, IMG Worlds Of Adventure, Disney Parks, Universal Parks and Resorts TRAVEL UNI TRAINING PROGRAMME: Las Vegas, Macao, Newmarket Holidays, St Kitts, Thailand FAVOURITE ROADSHOW: Caribbean Tourism Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Visit Orlando, Visit USA, Wendy Wu
Best of the Rest
BED BANK: Bedsonline, Bookabed, Getabed, Medhotels, roomsXML TICKET PROVIDER: Attraction World, DoSomethingDifferent.com, Holiday Extras, Superbreak Mini Holidays RAIL: Belmond, Blue Train, Eurostar, Great Rail Journeys, Rocky Mountaineer
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Thank you for making us finalists again in the
SELLING TRAVEL AGENTS CHOICE AWARDS Your support is much appreciated Voting is now open online and closes on 14th October 2018
CONTACT OUR AGENCY SALES TEAM: Call for support: 01283 744307 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR AGENCY SALES TEAM
CALL RESERVATIONS 7 DAYS A WEEK: Call to book: 01283 744370 Book online: www.rivieratravel.co.uk/agents
ABTA No. V4744
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r p g
COG SO... TO Y NE U!
GAG 11t Oto LE 10t Oto BINM 9t Oto LON 8t Oto
This time we’re partying all over the UK! Our Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards networking party is back this October and we’ll be rolling into LONDON, BIRMINGHAM, LEEDS and GLASGOW between October 8-11. It’s your chance to meet with some of the finalists in categories covering destinations and tour operators, hotels and resorts, airlines and airports, cruising and train journeys, and much more. Best of all – every supplier present is giving away at least one prize (FYI – that’s a lot of prizes!)
Sign up now and we guarantee you will… • Make some quality travel industry contacts • Take home useful info you can use to boost your sales • Enjoy complimentary food & drink and a fun night out • Be in with the chance of winning prizes – for example, Club Med will be offering a seven-night all-inclusive holiday for two in one of its Club Med 4T resorts at each event! Plus lots more prizes: fam trips, flights, champers and more! Find out more at sellingtravel.co.uk/events sellingtravel.co.uk
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CHECK OUT OUR PRIZE GIVEAWAY Deadline for voting October 14 For your chance to win one of our great prizes, including luxury accommodation, park tickets and beauty products, just cast your vote. You don't need to tick every category just those that are relevant to you, head to sellingtravel.co.uk/awards to vote now.
A stay at Sankara Hotel & Spa in Japan
Situated on the UNESCO-listed Yakushima island in southern Japan, Sankara Hotel & Spa is offering a complimentary stay for two in one of their suite-villa rooms, including breakfast and an amazing multicourse dinner overlooking the ocean. On top of this, theyâ€™ll offer 20% off a further nightâ€™s stay at the resort. sankarahotel-spaw.com
Two-night stay at Point A hotel, London Point A is offering a two-night break for two, including breakfast at their trendy London Shoreditch property. pointahotels.com
Two-night stay at South Point Suites, London
South Point Suites is offering a twonight stay in one of its London Bridge apartment-style suites for two people, including breakfast. southpointsuites.com
LEGOLAND Florida family tickets
Win tickets for all the family to enjoy the LEGOLAND theme park in Florida with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. legoland.com
We are giving away a selection of guidebooks including: South American Handbook, European City Breaks, Diving the World, Travel Photography and Cape Town and the Garden Route footprinttravelguides.com
Keep your eyes peeled for more prizes and don't forget to vote for your worthy winners at: sellingtravel.co.uk/awards
Temple Spa products
Enjoy a collection of top-to-toe antiaging skin and spa favourites. This 15-step spa routine cleanses, tones, exfoliates and moisturises. templespa.com
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Changi Airport In conversation with... Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director of Air Hub Development at Changi Airport
What sets Changi apart? A: With over 120 city links to the Asia Paciﬁc region and excellent transit facilities within our terminals, travelling via Changi is a pleasant experience. For UK residents visiting their friends and families in Australia, Changi Airport is also the best internationally-connected airport to Australia, with links to nine cities.
What effect did the opening of Terminal 4 in 2017 have? A: Changi Airport is the world’s sixth busiest airport for international traﬃc. The opening of Terminal 4 has added a capacity of 16 million passengers per annum, bringing the airport’s total annual handling capacity to 82 million passenger movements. Terminal 4 also provides a new travel experience for ﬂyers, with its boutique design and innovative use of technology.
How important is the UK market? A: Visitor arrivals from the UK grew by 6% to reach 519,000 in 2017. The UK is Changi Airport’s largest European aviation market and we are currently connected to three airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester). In particular, London is Changi’s busiest long-haul destination and has seen several developments in recent years, with Norwegian launching a four-
times-weekly service from Gatwick in 2017 and the return of Qantas’ daily SydneyLondon services via Singapore in 2018. Changi Airport works with the Singapore Tourism Board and our airline partners on marketing initiatives to attract more UK visitors to Singapore. For instance, agents who have UK passport-holding clients using Singapore as a hub to access Asia can enjoy the Free Singapore Tour (as long as they have at least 5.5 hours until their next connecting ﬂight at Changi). This is a tripartite project between Changi Airport, Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board.
“We want to establish Changi Airport as the premier hub in the region. It’s already the world’s sixth busiest airport for international traffic, with over 100 airlines providing connectivity to 400 cities worldwide”
Why should agents visit Singapore? A: The city’s tourism oﬀerings have developed signiﬁcantly, with new attractions and experiences, including Gardens by the Bay (pictured left). Singapore also continues to be the leading destination for MICE travellers. At Changi, we will unveil our latest development in 2019: Jewel Changi Airport, a mixed-use complex featuring attractions, retail oﬀerings, a hotel and facilities for airport operations. One of Jewel’s centrepiece attractions will be the Forest Valley, a huge ﬁve-storey garden with thousands of trees, plants, ferns and shrubs. Another will be a 40-metre-high Rain Vortex, expected to be the world’s tallest indoor waterfall!
DID YOU KNOW? Terminal 4 is the first at Changi Airport to offer a fully-automated departure process, integrating facial recognition technology with end-to-end self-service options. Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) is available at checkin, bag drop, immigration and boarding. Visit changiairport.com for more information.
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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
Out and about with If Only, Super New Facebook friends EMILY Mordecai (pictured left), from Regal Travel in Porthcawl, became the 1,000th member of Riviera Travel's agent-exclusive Facebook group. To celebrate, Riviera's Sales Development Manager for the South, Paul Mellon, presented Emily with a bottle of Prosecco. rivieratravel.co.uk
THE Tui store in Street, Somerset, was Super Breaks' 'Agent of the Month'. Left is Super Break Sales Executive, Bryony White, with Travel Yasmin Cave, Travel Advisor. superbreak.com
It's all Greek!
LEANNE Bucknall (right) from TUI West Bromwich won cinema tickets to see Mamma Mia 2 as part of Shearings Holidays' recent Facebook competition. shearings.com
IF ONLY introduced London and Manchester agents to its Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda programme at a series of events. Pictured is Gemma Pinder Davidson (left) & Jorge Quibell from If Only… with Helen, Emma & Jo from The Departure Lounge. ifonly.net
Tea for two
GILLIAN Jeffrey, Martins World Travel, won a luxury afternoon tea for two after completing all of TIPTO's training modules. tipto.co.uk
3nts, Toronto & Niagara Falls
0208 585 4020
6nts, Yellowknife - Aurora Borealis Viewing 7nts,First Passage to the West at Leisure fr
Includes Credit of £600 * Prices are based on twin share, includes flights, accommodation & transfers * Credit per couple. Please call for more details about the usage of credit
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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
Break, Bourne Leisure and BRIGHT Food for thought
THIRTY-ONE independent travel agents from 24 agencies, plus home workers, attended BRIGHT’s, (Bringing Real Information & Guaranteed High Quality Training), last event of the summer, in Newcastle. Pictured from left is: Katie Joynson, Now Lets Travel; Julie Franklin, Mark Warner; and Dianne Taylor, Not Just Travel, enjoying drinks and nibbles at the event. brightconsortia.com
BOURNE Leisure congratulates its first weekly Summer Incentive winner, Patricia Gould from TUI Leeds, who scooped £50 worth of Love2Shop vouchers following several bookings of Bourne Leisure’s three brands. bourneleisuresales.co.uk
NEWMARKET Holidays recently launched an incentive for agents who complete its new agent training modules. Pictured is Stuart Cowell, delivering a hamper of goodies to Paul Malyan of Carrick Travel, Coventry. newmarketholidays.co.uk
Have you enjoyed a trade event or been on a trip or fam that you would like to see featured on our Talking Shop pages? Email email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org 15nts, Historic Route 66
10nts, Florida Beaches and the Keys fr
GEMMA Hopkins from Fred. Olsen Travel won a trip to the Cayman Islands for two. Gemma made a booking to the Caribbean destination as part of a sales incentive run earlier in the year by the destination's Department of Tourism – and now she's off there herself!
0208 585 4020
3nts,Yotel New York
Prices are based on twin share, includes flights, accommodation & transfers
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We are nominated for Best for Short Haul Escorted Tours
Please vote for Titan!
Best Tour Operator to North Africa and Europe Best for Long Haul Escorted Tours
You can vote for us at www.sellingtravel.co.uk Untitled-1 1
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I N T H E O F FIIN C ET H E O F F I C E
w i t h J i m m y Ma r t i n Tra v e l
Tak n ehg
DESCRIBE THE ARTS SCENE
TELL US ABOUT IFLAMBOYANT
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
CAN TOURISTS BUY THE ART?
WHY VISIT ST. KITTS AND NEVIS?
St. Kitts is a bright, vibrant and colourful island, and how better to express this than through art? From woodcarving to pottery to fashion and jewelry we take inspiration from our beautiful surroundings.
Lon l ac
"The onslaught of 'information' available on the internet will always be a challenge for agencies. We often have customers coming in with a price that seems too good to be true, and it's because they haven't accounted for luggage, tax, and other incrementals. The web can be confusing and even 'deceiving' for customers and can leave some feeling overwhelmed – which is why we’re seeing more and more revert back to their local travel agent. "There’s also the added pressure to
MEET... DALE KELLEY Creative Director of art group iFlamboyant
Next month marks the launch of the ﬁrst-ever direct ﬂight from Edinburgh to Dubai, oﬀered by Emirates. Jessica Pook speaks to Jimmy Martin, owner of Edinburgh-based Jimmy Martin Travel, ahead of the new route and discusses the pros and cons of being an independent agency.t
"It's a very exciting time for the Jimmy Martin Travel team. As of October 1, 2018, we will be able to oﬀer our clients direct ﬂights to Dubai, which is the gateway to so many other destinations. We have already started seeing an increase in interest in holidays to Dubai as a direct result."
compete with online deals, but we’re in a prime position in Edinburgh and our clients know they gain more from coming into the store than trying to sift through numerous websites." "As a small team, consisting of just ﬁve staﬀ, we have the autonomy to do as we feel is correct. "We book the deal that is right for our clients, not the option that will always net us the most commission. The product has to be right. "We get to know our clients to ﬁnd out exactly what they want from their holiday. It may take longer but it is the personal touch that makes all the diﬀerence. Most of the team have been here with us for over 10 years so there's a level of trust with both customers and operators and that's why we have such a good reputation." "The words ‘experience’ and ‘touring’ keep popping up. Clients are deﬁnitely looking to do more experiential holidays and explore something diﬀerent beyond 'ﬂying and ﬂopping'. To combine that element along with the relaxation of a holiday is something the web can’t do like an agent. We’re in contact with people on the ground and clients feel reassured that they are getting value for money."
There's a level of trust withd n both customers a operators
Now in its fifth year, Iflamboyant is an arts, crafts and fashion exhibition that aims to promote and showcase local talent. This year's event will take place at Park Hyatt St. Kitts from 30 November until 2 December and we are expecting around 45 artists.
I like texture and often use the print of the fern tree and course sand from the beach. My pottery reflects the sea meeting the shore, which gives a sense of calmness. I'm going to be launching a therapy pottery class in November – trust me there's nothing more therapeutic than moulding wet clay!
Of course! Every piece is handmade and one of a kind. Visitors love to have something that reminds them of their holidays. Buying a piece of art is like taking home a small piece of St. Kitts.
There's a great sense of community in St. Kitts - we're like one big family and invite visitors into our home to experience our warm hospitality. facebook.com/iflamboyant
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FACE TO FACE w i t h B a r b a ra C h a r l t o n
Mamma Mia! Bookings pass screen test It has been an extremely busy summer here at The Sussex Travel Company. The second Mamma Mia ﬁlm has certainly spurred interest in Skopelos, although a few customers were surprised when we told them that the sequel was actually ﬁlmed not in the Greek Islands but mainly on the island of Vis in Croatia! I have been to Skopelos twice and I am always happy to send more people to this island, which has some lovely scenery, hidden coves and, of course, the iconic Church that did appear in the ﬁrst Mamma Mia ﬁlm.
The Amalfi Coast was on one client's bucket list and something she just had to do
Amaﬁ t z het
We had a booking for a walking trip along the Amalﬁ Coast. What made the enquiry unusual was the fact the lady suﬀers from severe vertigo! The Amalﬁ Coastline is all about the cliﬀ-top towns and amazing views out to sea and I imagine the destination is on her secret bucket list and something that she just HAS to do? This couple had attended our Travel Show in February, where Dan Jackson from Exodus did a presentation. As luck would have it, the customers were in our shop discussing the trip they wanted to do, and looking at the racked Exodus brochure, when Dan called in on a sales call. So he joined in on the conversation and an Exodus booking was secured! Sometimes it happens like that – right place and right timing! We also had a great booking this month to China in the spring for a group of 28. China Links were fantastic at putting this together for us quickly at the quote stage, so our special thanks to China Links’ knowledgeable and helpful Helen!
Speaking of holidays, Tanya enjoyed her ﬁrst trip to Saint Lucia recently - which means that all of us in the oﬃce have now visited this lovely Caribbean island. Tanya took her husband Martin, a keen ﬁsherman. His ﬁshing excursion was successful (see picture below), but Tanya stayed behind in her gorgeous Jacuzzi suite at The Marigot Bay. She was full of praise for the staﬀ, in particular a lady by the name of Sunshine who apparently was very aptly named. Tanya also stayed at the all-inclusive Bay Gardens, in a great location on one of the best beaches in Saint Lucia – Rodney Bay. Their third property in Saint Lucia was at the couples-only Rendezvous. Tanya was able to update us on the recent improvements there, which include an additional beachfront restaurant and room upgrades. This is the sister property of The Body Holiday and both properties are represented in the UK by Clear Marketing. Our thanks for the support they give the trade.
Supt te r
Bar@Thesracan.co.uk 01403 276684
Talking of supporting the trade, I am delighted that Riviera Travel has a price guarantee promise, meaning that under their commercial terms agents cannot oﬀer any discounts. How great would it be if all tour operators did that? Our clients would know that no matter how or when they had booked their holiday the cost would be exactly the same as that paid by the person on the next sunbed! Happy Selling!
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YOUR WINDOW INTO ALL THINGS CALIFORNIA
Keep up to date with all the news from the Golden State such as the recent reopening of the stunning Highway 1 route through Big Sur
Visit California STAR Training Programme & Sales Companion H Discover California through a series of inspiring, thematic modules H Enjoy all-new chapters on Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Anaheim and High Sierra H Download and share any images, videos or other content to help inspire your clients H NEW shopping module coming soon + standalone chapter on Wine Countryâ€™s Napa Valley
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We s t e r n A u s t ra l i a a g e n t f a m , Ma y 5 - 1 4 , 2 0 1 8
Coasting along in Western Australia TEN UK travel agents and incentive winners experienced the food, wine, culture and wildlife of Western Australia on a special fam trip. The itinerary, put together by Tourism Western Australia in partnership with Qantas, gave agents the chance to ﬂy out on Qantas' ground-breaking non-stop service to Perth, which launched earlier this year, followed by a trip to Ningaloo Reef. Highlights included Perth's new developments such as Elizabeth Quay, wine tasting in the Swan Valley, meeting quokkas on Rottnest Island and snorkelling through the amazing marine environment at Ningaloo Reef, one of the world's longest fringing reefs – an experience that included an exhilarating encounter with gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays. "Our fam trip to Western Australia was an eye opener as to what WA oﬀers", said Jo Connolly, Assistant Manager, Flight Centre. "The trip as a whole really impressed me; exploring Perth and Ningaloo and seeing how much it oﬀers was fantastic. "Experiencing what our customers would on this tailor-made trip really has emphasised how important day trips and
tours are to make the perfect holiday. From cycling around Rottnest Island to Segway tours around Freemantle to wine tasting our way down the Swan River, these tours really are what make a holiday unforgettable. "I love that I now have the skills to sell this on to my customers." Felipe Francisco, Senior Marketing Executive UK, Tourism WA added: "We were delighted to host another fantastic fam trip in partnership with Qantas, showcasing the new direct ﬂight, all the amazing new developments in Perth and the UNESCO World Heritagelisted Ningaloo Reef. We are conﬁdent that by experiencing the destination ﬁrst-hand agents are better equipped to talk about it with their clients and are more passionate about all that Western Australia has to oﬀer."
From top: The group explores Perth; checking out Cape Range in Exmouth; the sandy beaches of Turquoise Bay; a wine cruise on Swan River
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SYDNEY & NEW SOUTH WALES E
NOW IS THE TIM
Win a holiday for two to New South Wales with Business Class seats on Singapore Airlines*
The essential Australian holiday experience in one state In partnership with Destination NSW and Singapore Airlines, Travel 2 is offering one lucky agent the chance to win a holiday to Sydney and New South Wales. From the shimmering Sydney Harbour and world-class wineries, to the beautiful mountain ranges and miles of pristine beaches, there are endless reasons to visit New South Wales. Fly with Singapore Airlines, the world’s most awarded airline and experience its exceptional Business Class service.
HOW TO ENTER
WHY NEW SOUTH
To enter agents must make a qualifying booking between 01 – 30 September 2018 and also visit the URL below to answer one simple question about the destination. A qualifying booking is any booking made with Travel 2 that includes a minimum of 3 nights’ ground arrangements in New South Wales and return flights with Singapore Airlines.
“New South Wales is a great destination for all as it is so diverse. From the city sights of Sydney to the laidback cool vibes in Byron Bay and the sophistication of Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley, there is something to offer all our customers.”
Pamela Hannah, Moorelands Travel
THE UK’s 100% Trade Only Tour Operator Call Reservations FREE on 0800 0224 182 *Terms and conditions: http://content.travel2.com/terms/dnsw-september18.html
8/28/18 10:05 AM
of the road
With energetic Miami, upmarket coastal communities, white-sand beaches and its unique Keys, Southern Florida’s appeal is based on its diversity, says Jeannine Williamson
Above: A Miami beach hut. Right: an old sticker-covered car at Bo’s Fish Wagon restaurant in Key West; one of the many six-toed cats at Ernest Hemingway’s house
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large cat sits beneath the shade of a palm tree and it appears to be wearing mittens. On closer inspection I’m relieved to see this is an illusion – it’s a very hot day after all and, perhaps more signiﬁcantly, it is a cat and they don’t tend to sport accessories. However, I do notice it has six toes instead of the usual feline ﬁve. Another pads slowly past the yellow shuttered house. That’s two out of 50. This place is a very living memory of famous Florida Keys resident Ernest Hemingway, who contracted the so-called ‘Keys Disease’ and bought the house at the southernmost point of America after ﬁrst visiting in 1928. It also typiﬁes the quirky nature of Key West, which sits right at the tip of a 125-mile sub-tropical island chain. I stroll through the perfectly preserved rooms of his home where he lived from 1931 to 1940 – writing a novel for each of the nine years – and learn more about his 50-strong gang of unusual cats, oﬃcially called polydactyls and all related to the writer’s ﬁrst puss, Snowball, who was given to him by a sea captain. All roads, well actually just the one, lead to Key West. Setting out from Miami, we had driven along the Overseas Highway and its 43 bridges (although we didn’t count them) to get here. One is almost seven miles long, stretching out over the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. After passing nature reserves, drive-in fortune tellers and homespun art galleries, all a world away from Florida’s theme parks, I have begun to understand why Hemingway was drawn to this delightful part of Southern Florida.
Florida’s paradise Today’s visitors can stay in new and renovated properties including Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo, which is reopening this autumn after a multi-million dollar redesign, and the Keys’ ﬁrst luxury allinclusive adults-only resort Bungalows Key Largo, also being unveiled around the same time. Miami is one of the main gateways to Southern Florida and an ideal starting point for a multi-destination ﬂy-drive break. Suzie Sponder, Miami’s Director of Media Relations, Europe, said: “With year-round good weather, top-ranked beaches and a huge range of cultural and historical attractions, Miami is an enticing destination, with much to appeal to all categories of UK tourists. “They can explore the cosmopolitan metropolis of downtown Miami, with its world-class museums, or take in the dynamic arts and culture scene that is enriched by Miami’s diverse heritage. All of this is accompanied by a varied range of dining venues, great shopping and nightlife and the renowned Art Deco architecture that lines South Beach.” Hot destinations on the east coast include Palm Beach County, known as The Palm Beaches, which saw a signiﬁcant growth in visitors in 2017, of which 745,000 were from international markets. Similarly, the Paradise Coast on the western side is ideal for families and couples looking for a diﬀerent Florida experience. Jack Wert, Executive Director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, said: “Florida’s Paradise Coast has three distinct areas, each oﬀering something unique
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to a potential client. In Naples, ﬁne dining, boutique shopping, great beaches and golf courses oﬀer all the activities of a big city but with the feel of a small coastal town. He added: “Just south of Naples, Marco Island is an outdoor wonderland with long stretches of powdery white sand beach and direct access to the Ten Thousand Islands coastal mangrove estuary, perfect for kayaking, paddle boarding, ﬁshing and jet skiing. The third portion of the destination is the Gulf Coast, gateway to the saltwater portion of Everglades National Park.” Additionally, Southern Florida is also ideally placed for a land stay followed by a cruise out of Miami.
Top experiences Clockwise from above: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami; the lobby of the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel; Everglades sunrise; pool view in Naples; paddleboarding, Key Largo; Miami street scene; a burrowing owl; the road to Key West
Enjoy a sundowner: Key West’s daily Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square is a fun-ﬁlled event with entertainers like jugglers, acrobats, face painters, live music, quirky souvenir stands
with local art plus food stands selling hot dogs, conch fritters and Key Lime pie. Search for seashells: Each morning the shoreline on the barrier island of Sanibel is covered in seashells – up to 250 kinds have been found. Locals and visitors develop what is called the ‘Sanibel stoop’. Make it snappy: The Everglades form the largest subtropical wilderness in America and are an important habitat for rare and endangered species. An exhilarating airboat ride is the way to explore the two-million-acre wetlands to spot alligators, manatees, turtles, birds and, just maybe, the reclusive Florida panther. Catch a match: Miami has teams for American football, soccer, baseball, basketball and ice hockey, so there’s always a game to see.
What’s new Hotels: The new 208-room Hyatt Centric Brickell (brickellmiami.centric.hyatt.com)
HIGH STYLE FOR LESS C O M P A N Y
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is situated on the ﬁrst 19 ﬂoors of the 83-storey Panorama Tower, Miami’s tallest building. The 415-room Eden Roc Miami Beach (edenrochotelmiami.com) on prestigious Millionaire’s Row has undergone a $250million make-over and launched its ﬁrstever all-inclusive package. The Nobu Hotel Miami Beach (nobuhotelmiamibeach.com) is also oﬀering new all-inclusive stays. Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach (fourseasons.com), Palm Beach Island’s only ﬁve-star property, is undergoing a big refurbishment. The wellness-themed Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island (amritoceanresidences.com) opens in 2019. Tour operators: Funway (funway4agents. co.uk) is now selling the 363-room Conﬁdante Miami Beach Hotel on South Beach. New Miami excursions from Do
MANTA RAY INN
Something Diﬀerent (dosomethingdiﬀerent. com) include an Everglades boat ride, Little Havana food tours, a South Beach culinary walk and a day trip to Key West with a road train sightseeing tour. Golf: The Breakers (thebreakers.com) in Palm Beach, Florida’s oldest golf course, reopens later this year following a renovation. In West Palm Beach a new golf course has opened at Banyan Cay Resort & Golf (banyancay.com).
Tourism talk “Direct ﬂights from the UK to Miami and Fort Lauderdale make getting to South Florida straightforward. Once here, getting around by car is highly recommended, but visitors to the southeast coast now have the option of travelling by train. Brightline, the new high-speed train line, connects passengers to Miami, downtown Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. “Southern Florida has something for
“Each morning the shoreline on the barrier island of Sanibel is covered in seashells – up to 250 kinds have been found”
The MANTA RAY INN is a home away from home! With one- and two-bedroom oceanfront apartments, this charming inn offers panoramic views of South Florida's best sandy beach Recommended by Fodor’s - winner of the acclaimed White Glove Award and Number one on TripAdvisor
www.mantarayinn.com 1715 S. SURF RD, HOLLYWOOD, FL 33019 T: 001 954 921 9666 | F: 001 954 929 8220 | E: INFO@MANTARAYINN.COM
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everyone, so whether you’re looking for pristine beaches, culture-rich communities, buzzing culinary scenes or the wild outdoors, you’ll ﬁnd it all here. Whilst most ﬁrst-time visitors tend to pair the popular theme parks with a nearby beach, repeat visitors are more likely to explore further and try something new, making Southern Florida a great option to experience a diﬀerent side of Florida.” Gill Standeven, Senior Account Director, Visit Florida
NORTH AMERICAN TRAVEL SERVICE – 0333 323 9033 An eight-night stay (four nights at the Boca Raton Resort & Club and four nights at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort, Marco Island), is from £2,149pp (room-only) for travel in March 2019, with car hire and British Airways ﬂights. northamericatravelservice.co.uk
Where to book it FUNWAY HOLIDAYS – 020 8290 9754 A self-drive holiday with four nights in Miami, staying at the 22-acre oceanfront Fontainebleau Hotel followed by three nights in Key West at the Sheraton Suites, also occupying a prime beach location, is from £2,425pp on a room-only basis. Departure is on April 12, 2019 and the deal includes car rental and United Airlines ﬂights from Heathrow to Miami. It’s a dog’s life in the Florida Keys
What’s your favourite tour operator for North American holidays?
A getaway should actually get you away.
LOVERS KEY STATE PARK, FORT MYERS BEACH, FL
Islandology is our way of life. It’s forgetting about phones and recharging your body for a change. Because simple pleasures like putting your toes in the sand or listening to the waves shouldn’t be interrupted.
Register for our new online training course at Island-Findings.com
Learn more about Southwest Florida at FortMyers-Sanibel.com
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A DV E R T OR IA L
all is a time for festive family fun and, as the crowds calm and the weather cools, Kissimmee is gearing up for one of the highlights of the year: Halloween, promising more treats than tricks for travellers visiting at this time. But Halloween isn’t the only reason to visit Kissimmee during the autumn, it’s also the season for food and drink, with numerous festivals taking place, and the changing leaves adding a touch of russet splendour to this region of Florida.
Halloween happenings Clients are in for a scream with Halloween Horror Nights™ at Universal Orlando Resort™, taking place select nights from September 14 to November 3. The event will feature horror movies of the 1980s, including a haunted house inspired by Netﬂix’s sci-ﬁ thriller Stranger Things. Young families may be more suited to Mickey’s Not-SoScary Halloween Party, from August 17 to October 31 at the Magic Kingdom® Park. Here, children can get close to their favourite characters in their spookiest attire, plus the Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular show will return. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular® runs at weekends from September
22 to October28 and LEGOLAND® Florida Resort is hosting Brick or Treat on select nights from October 6 - 31.
Foodie fest Visitors can feast on culinary creations from more than 30 global food and beverage marketplaces at the 23rd Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival (August 30 -November 12), while families will love Partin Ranch Corn Maze where they can combine local food with hay rides and getting lost. Visitors to Celebration Town’s Oktoberfest (October 19-20) can sip a beer while watching a spectacular seasonal colour change happen in front of their eyes. And for evening entertainment there’s the recently re-opened Pirates Dinner Adventure, or everything from live jazz to ﬂamenco dancers at Matador Tacos and Tacos Bar.
Fall fashion Those in need of a fashion ﬁx for the colder season are spoilt for choice no matter what their budget. New retailers include Invicta’s collection of hand-crafted timepieces at Orlando International Premium Outlets and Swarovski at The Florida Mall. experiencekissimmee.com
8/29/18 11:28 AM
VISIT USA NEWS T H IS M O N T H ' S TO P S TOR I ES FROM V I SI T U SA' S MEMBERS • V I SI T U SA. O RG.UK
Iceland to San Fran ICELANDAIR'S new non-stop service between Reykjavík’s Keflavik airport and San Francisco International Airport operates four
2018 R o
Call for agents to hit the road AGENTS are invited to sign up to Visit USA's series of autumn roadshows. The events will take place in Manchester (October 2), Birmingham (October 3) and London (October 4). The popular evenings are designed to maximise the networking opportunities for both exhibitors – there will be over 30 Visit USA members at each venue – and attending agents. The 'speed networking' format will see each agent visiting every exhibitor. Food and drink will be provided on each evening, and attending agents will have the chance to win an array of great prizes that include four separate holidays to San Francisco, Miami, Boston and Texas. Don't miss out on these key industry events – register now to attend one of the roadshows by visiting visitusaroadshow.com
“The Visit USA Roadshow provides a productive environment for our members and agents to exchange ideas and explore business opportunities" Tracey Spuyman CEO, Visit USA (UK)
times a week. The Boeing 767-300ER aircraft features 25 Saga Business Class seats, 21 Economy Comfort seats and 216 Economy seats.
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa has unveiled two new
suites in its Palms Tower: the Aviation Suite, featuring Juliette balconies offering views of Red Rock Canyon, and The Penthouse Suite, with a large wrap-around balcony off the main living space, an outdoor dining area and views of the Las Vegas Strip. marriott.com
THE Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House became the first Guinness presence on U.S. soil since 1954 when it opened in Baltimore, Maryland, this summer. The first-ever purpose-built Guinness brewery in the country has a Test Taproom open to the public.
THE USA in brief... SAN Diego CITIES International Airport's new International Arrivals facility features the latest technologies from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which streamlines entry for UK travellers. Also new are public artworks, including a suspended piece of 25 intertwining ladders representing the many individual journeys that start or end at the airport. sandiego.org
THE new Andaz Palm Springs, due to open in 2019, will be located in the heart of the city's downtown area and close to the Uptown Design District known for its boutiques, top restaurants and galleries. The 150-room, 13-suite hotel will feature guestroom bungalows and views of the San Jacinto Mountains. hyatt.com HOTELS
VISITORS can once again drive on one of California's most iconic stretches of tarmac after a popular section of Highway 1 reopened near Big Sur after an 18-month closure. A part of the road was closed last May – at the appropriately named Mud Creek – following some of the most catastrophic slides in the state’s history. visitcalifornia.co.uk ROAD TRIPS
Look out for our Visit USA Association online Travel Update for the pick of members' news
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members spotlight BA heads TO former steel town BRITISH Airways is to launch a HeathrowPittsburgh service next year, beginning. April 2. The year-round, four-timesweekly service will be the only direct flight from the UK to the former Pennsylvania steel town that is enjoying a major revival. batraveltrade.com
Two STATES LINKED BY NEW HIGHWAY THE first leg of a new interstate highway (I-11) opened in August. The highway will improve travel between Arizona and Nevada. Currently, Las Vegas and Phoenix are the only two cities in the USA with populations of more than one million residents not linked by an interstate. visitarizona.com
Colorado Springs CVB Floy kennedy DIRECTOR, TRAVEL INDUSTRY SALES When did Colorado Springs join Visit USA? We have been a member for more than 10 years.
Universal's nod to the stars
GUESTS at Universal Orlando Resort now have a new way to cap off their day in the park: by enjoying an ‘epic cinema under the stars’. An all-new night-time lagoon show – Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration – blends multi-layer water screens, pyrotechnics, lasers, projection mapping and more than 120 dancing fountains to transform the lagoon and surrounding buildings into a celebration featuring characters from Universal attractions and some of its biggest films. Guests watch characters from the Harry Potter film series conjured by way of ‘spells’, roars from Jurassic World dinosaurs, high-octane action from the Fast & Furious films, mischief by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and many others come to life each night in the heart of the Universal Studios lagoon. universalorlando.com
Why should UK visitors include Colorado Springs on a Southwest itinerary? Many UK travellers fly into Denver and travel to points north and west. By not exploring areas south of Denver, including Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region, they are missing an awe-inspiring part of the state and one of the most unusual national parks in the country, the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Tell us more.... The region offers more than 55 area attractions, incredible scenery, endless outdoor adventures, rich history and a vibrant arts and entertainment scene. Whether it is outdoor thrills or cultural activities, there is plenty here to please every traveller.
Premier rewards agents
AGENTS can earn shopping vouchers in Premier's Discover America campaign. The promotion, which runs until September 30, sees agents earning between £25 and £150 in vouchers. The campaign is designed to encourage agents to sell more of the USA's ‘lesservisited destinations’, such as the, the Countryside of Philadelphia, Scottsdale, Tucson and Illinois. premierholidays.co.uk
NC meets UK folk
A North Carolina tourism team visited the UK to meet with the trade and highlight the state's rich musical heritage at the Cambridge Folk Festival. “People are looking for destinations that offer authentic experiences, like live music,” said Heidi Walters, Visit North Carolina. visitnc.com
What is one of your own favourite Colorado Springs experiences? Garden of the Gods Park is in my backyard. My favourite place to hike, it is where the grasslands of the Great Plains meet the woodlands characteristic of the American Southwest, while merging with the mountain forest of the 4302-metre Pikes Peak. visitcos.com
Subscribe to the Visit USA Association online Travel Update at visitusa.org.uk
With a capital that is one of South America’s culinary hot spots, Machu Picchu, colourful festivals and world-leading ecotourism projects, it is little wonder interest in Peru is booming, says Michelle Jackson
’m standing on Machu Picchu and, as clouds roll over the crest of the mountains and hug the sacred Inca ruins, the view takes my breath away. Julio, my guide, warns me to expect four seasons in one day, so I’m prepared with a hat, rain coat and sun cream. A wind picks up, a contrast to the blistering sun and clear blue sky that I stood under in the mile-long queue for the bus to take me here from Aguas Calientes. It’s a wait that could have been avoided if I’d climbed up a steep path through rough terrain for 90 minutes. There’s also a more luxurious option: stay at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located at the entrance to Machu Picchu, and take a private bus transfer to the Inca citadel. A stay at the hotel oﬀers
ﬁrst access, when the gates open at 6am, before the crowds arrive. But I’m sharing my moment with around 2,000 others – in July a new maximum numbers limit of 4000 visitors a day was set by the Peruvian government. The route around the site is made of jagged stairs and to navigate my eyes are peeled on every step I take; there’s no rush and plenty of green space to ﬁnd a corner to sit and breathe in the views. Allow two hours to explore the main buildings and the ‘must see’ Temple of the Sun, which acts as an astronomic observatory recording the winter and summer solstice. For an extra $70 I have the option to return tomorrow morning, but instead have booked a Peruvian massage, in one of the
many salons in Aguas Calientes. Starting at under $10, a massage is one of Peru’s best kept secrets.
Diverse appeal The number of UK visitors to Peru has been growing steadily since 2010, reaching an alltime high of 69,506 in 2017. Its appeal is far ranging: Peru is one of the most diverse countries in the world for ﬂora and fauna, with an abundance of natural landscapes teaming with wildlife and hundreds of endemic species. From the wilds of the Amazon to the Andes Mountains, Peru is already wellknown as a paradise for bird watching and other wildlife as well as the exploration of remote and mythical natural landscapes, some of which are still untouched.
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INSET IMAGES, © MICHELLE JACKSON
Julian Appleyard, Commercial Director at Great Rail Journeys, says: “Peru is an incredible country, with so much to see and a wealth of ancient history. Machu Picchu is the obvious reason to visit Peru – it’s the country’s most popular attraction for good reasons. “However, my favourite excursion is a Lake Titicaca cruise. It takes guests out to the Uros ﬂoating islands, where incredible ﬂotillas made from totora reeds are populated by the enterprising Uros people. The ﬂotillas are just incredible to see.“
Colourful festivals I started my Peru journey in Lima, Peru’s capital. Now served daily from London Gatwick by Air Europa (via Madrid), this is also the culinary capital of South America. Restaurants, Maido, CENTRAL and Astrid y Gastón, retained their status among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2017, but for a mixture of humble and trendy cuisine the district of Barranco is bustling with atmosphere and value-priced restaurants. Peru is also a destination for clients looking for culture and colour: festivals are held every month and Cusco in particular seems in a constant state of preparation for its next event. Among the best is the Virgen del Carmen Festival in July, with its colourful procession along typical Peruvian village streets to celebrate and worship the Virgin of El Carmen in Paucartambo. Visitors can enjoy music and singing in Quechua (the local language), from groups representing passages of Peru’s history. And on June 24 each year, Cusco celebrates the most famous festival in the
Opposite page: A tourist and ‘local’ lama at Machu Picchu. This page: schoolchildren at Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas; the Cusco Plaza de Arms
Inca calendar: Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun. The winter solstice and local harvest are the driving force behind this celebration in honour of Wiracocha, the God of the Sun. Now the second-largest festival in Latin America, it attracts over 200,000 who visit Cusco for the parties and ﬁreworks. Whilst Cusco parties the night away, just two kilometres from the town professors, archaeologists and historians script a performance of an Inca ritual in the fortress of Sacsayhuamán. Many ecotourism and community projects are being developed in the Peruvian Amazon, such as the work of Rainforest Expeditions. Founded in 1982, this Peruvian ecotourism company oﬀers authentic educational ecotourism experiences designed to help preserve the areas in which the company operates. Rainforest Expeditions has three lodges: Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas, and the Centro de Investigaciones Tambopata (Tambopata Research Centre). Tourists are encouraged to learn about nature and the area’s local people whilst aiding the various conservation eﬀorts.
Top experiences Rafting: White-water rafting in the Sacred Valley, near Cusco, is categorised as a 3:5 ‘diﬃculty level’ and is perfectly safe for the less adventurous (children can manage it too). It costs $55pp for a full day, rafting nine kilometres through the Sacred Valley. Lunch is included. In the saddle: Horseback riding (horsebackridingcusco.com) in the hills surrounding Cusco oﬀers spectacular views and is an adventurous way to see the sacred temples that are oﬀ-road and not on the general tour circuit. I took the mystical tour with my teenage son: our horses navigated cliﬀ edges with aplomb, leaving us exhilarated. For the kids: Suggest the Magic Water Circuit at The Park of the Reserve in Lima. Thirteen fountains line this 19-acre site, there’s a play park for small kids and two shows are performed nightly. Entry is just $1.50. On your bike: Bicycle hire (greenbikeperu.com) is a great way to enjoy Lima, with many bike lanes running down the middle of the larger avenues. Join a guided tour and cycle past the
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Paddington Bear Sculpture in the park above the Larcomar shopping centre. Culture vultures: Fans of art and culture will ﬁnd much to do in the trendy Barranco district, most notably, the Mario Testino Gallery or MATE (mate.pe/en), home to the photographer who captured Europe’s most beautiful celebrities during the eighties and nineties, including Kate Moss and Princess Diana.
INSET IMAGES, © MICHELLE JACKSON
Hotels: Hyatt Centric (hyatt.com) will open its ﬁrst South American property in Lima this year. With 254 guestrooms it will be located on Avenida Jorge Basadre in the heart of the San Isidro neighbourhood, one the city’s most upscale areas. The luxury Ananay Hotel Group (ananayhotels.com) plans to open its ﬁfth property in 2018, a new 41-room boutique hotel in
Clockwise from top left: Guinea pig, a local ‘delicacy’; Michelle Jackson at Machu Pichhu; beating the drum at a festival in Cusco; Michelle gets ready to go rafting
one of the most beautiful old houses in Arequipa, Peru’s White City. Downtown Arequipa was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity Site by UNESCO in 2000, due to its Baroque and neo-classical Spanish Colonial architecture Airlines: In May Avianca (avianca.com)
The fair, which takes place September 6-16 2018, showcases the best of Peruvian cuisine under one roof. Visitors can take part in cooking classes given by top local and international chefs. Tourist Board: Peru’s tourism body, PROMPERÚ, oﬃcially launched its new international marketing campaign ‘Peru, the richest country in the world’ the message is that being rich is based on experiences, including travel, not acquiring more material possessions.
increased its Heathrow to Cusco indirect route from three times a week to a daily service. The route ﬂies via Bogota with a three-hour stopover each way. LATAM Airlines’ new domestic routes include Cusco to Trujillo, connecting Peru’s north and south and ending the need to Where to book it transit through Lima. GREAT RAIL JOURNEYS – Food for thought: Virgilio Martinez, 0800 240 4470 who runs the Lima restaurant Central, has The 14-day Machu Picchu & the Andes tour opened MIL (milentro.pe), which sits 11,706 is an high-altitude adventure starting from feet above sea level. £3,395pp. The tour It is Latin America’s combines scenic “Machu Picchu is the most talked about rail journeys with obvious reason to visit Peru Machu Picchu, the dining experience. An oxygen mask but my favourite excursion Sacred Valley of is at hand to perk is a Lake Titicaca cruise. It the Incas, a Lake up O2 levels. A takes guests out to the Uros Titicaca cruise, seven-course meal the Colca Canyon floating islands” costs about £100. and guided tours Julian Appleyard, Great Rail Journeys Black Tomato will be of Lima, Cusco, oﬀering trips to MIL Arequipa and as part of its Tasting Notes series. Pisac. Departures are March 28, May 2, Transport: Travellers heading to Machu September 19 and October 3 2019. Picchu have had more choice of train greatrail.com travel since March 2018, following the EXPLORE – 01252 884 737 inauguration of a new service by Inca Rail The nine-day Highlights of Peru option (incarail.com): the Machu Picchu Train is Peru’s visits the capital city of Lima, the old Inca ﬁrst scenic train with dome-like windows. capital Cusco and the Incan citadel of Epicurian escapes: The Mistura Food Machu Picchu. Prices start from £1543pp. Festival, the annual Peruvian gastronomic The deal includes B&B, an Explore leader fair, now one of the largest in Latin and local guides. America, is held each October in Lima. explore.co.uk
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Discover Peru with Air Europa Fly to Lima on board our Boeing 787 Dreamliner for an unforgettable flying experience. Daily flights from London Gatwick. All flights are via Madrid.
For more information, call: 08714230717 or visit: www.aireuropaexperts.com
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South Pacific isd & idl
They are famed for their remote location but destinations in the South Paciﬁc deserve to be on every agent’s radar. Steve Hartridge & Laura Gelder highlight some regional ‘gems’
Sunday service in Rarotonga
The spirit of Moana
Located between Hawaii and New Zealand, it’s a tad more than a hop, skip and a jump to get to the Cook Islands but rarely is the phrase ‘all good things come to those who wait’ more apt. In the case of Air New Zealand’s passengers, that wait equates to around 25 hours’ travelling time. The airline oﬀers daily ﬂights from London to Los Angeles and weekly non-stop direct ﬂights from Los Angeles to Rarotonga, which depart on a Saturday and arrive early on a Sunday morning – just in time to slip into your Sunday best and catch a colourful and tuneful village church service.
The Cook Islands’ newest accommodation is the Moana Sands Lagoon Resort, located on Muri lagoon in Rarotonga, the destination’s largest island. Opened on May 31, the new resort becomes the third property in the Moana Sands Group after Moana Sands Beachfront Hotel and Moana Sands Beachfront Villas, which are located on the south side of Rarotonga, along the pristine Titikaveka and Vaimaanga beaches. Moana Sands Lagoon’s 24 rooms are set a two-story beachfront complex, with lagoon views and a patio or balcony.
Vaka Eiva is the biggest sporting event in the Cook Islands and attracts people from all around the world. This week-long annual canoeing festival sees over 850 competitors from 100 teams compete for a range of prizes including the ‘Paciﬁc Cup’. Based around Avarua Harbour, Rarotonga, spectators can view from the shore or get closer to the action from spectator boats. The ﬁnish line for most of the races is just in front of Trader Jack’s Bar and Restaurant – a pleasantl spot to cheer from! This year’s Vaka Eiva takes place November 23-30.
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but its mountainous interior oﬀers adventure. An ancient volcanic craterturned lush valley is perfect for horse riding, hiking and quad biking while 4WD tours whizz past meadows grazed by cows, pineapple ﬁelds, the decimated remains of an ancient Polynesian temple and pastelpainted houses dripping in hibiscus. sofitel.accorhotels.com
One foot in paradise Islands do not come more dreamy or picture-perfect than the Cooks’ Aitutaki, home to around 1,800 people and probably the world’s prettiest lagoon. A 45-minute ﬂight from Rarotonga transports visitors to a place of eyecatching beauty. Nicknamed, for obvious reasons, Honeymoon Island the atoll is fringed by white-sand beaches. Day trips are possible but many stay over for one or two nights at resorts such as Paciﬁc Resort (paciﬁcresort.com/aitutaki) and Tamanu Beach (tamanubeach.com). Aitutaki’s biggest draw is One Foot Island, which has clear waters for snorkelling and its own unique passport stamp. cookislands.travel/islands/aitutaki
Drink in the Blue Lagoon The largest atoll in the Tuamoto archipelago in French Polynesia, Rangiroa has a novel attraction – the Blue Lagoon, which is lagoon within a lagoon. Here, tourists can be dropped oﬀ to spend the day on a pristine beach surrounded by calm turquoise water, with only the sound of seagulls and the distant roar of the Paciﬁc hitting the outer reef to keep them company. They can also feed sharks – harmless blacktip reef sharks which ply the shallows looking for barbeque scraps. A top pick for luxury-seeking guests is the Kia Ora Resort & Spa (rangiroalagoon.com) located on the main motu close to the Tiputa Pass where locals and tourists gather every evening to watch the resident dolphins. Like most French Polynesian islands, those on a budget have a choice of more rustic options among the pensions, simple palm-weaved beach huts with ﬂowered curtains ﬂuttering from open windows.
There are just 400 inhabitants in this Tuamoto atoll, living mainly in the village of Tuherahera. Beyond this, many more motus mark out an oval lagoon, most inhabited only by crabs and birds and some wading distance from each other, connected by warm shallows over pink and white sands. Accommodation ranges from the barefoot luxury of bungalow resort Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort (tikehaupearlbeachresort.com) to the boutique Ninamu (motuninamu.com), a collection of quirky, stylish villas fashioned from palm, shell, coconut and driftwood. Jack Cousteau said Tikehau was the region’s most ﬁsh-abundant atoll – and the Tuheiva Pass remains a motorway for hammerhead sharks and manta rays. tikehaupearlbeachresort.com
The real Bali Ha’i Just a short ferry ride from the island of Tahiti, home to French Polynesia’s capital and international airport, Moorea looks like the archetypal Polynesian paradise thanks to its wild green velvet-smothered peaks. Apparently the inspiration for musical South Paciﬁc’s island setting Bali Ha’i, Moorea has a calm lagoon and a number of luxurious over-water bungalow resorts, including big names like Soﬁtel and Hilton,
BOOK IT WITH... GOLD MEDAL Seven nights at the ﬁve-star Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, room-only in a standard room, start from £2,169pp, with Qantas ﬂights. This includes a saving of up to £510pp, with return coach transfers and a free gourmet dinner for two at Le Lotus Gastronomic restaurant. Valid for travel November 4-18 2018. 0800 014 7777; goldmedal.co.uk
Don a bikini in Huahine Often touted as the aﬀordable alternative to its famously exclusive neighbour Bora Bora, Huahine is one of the less populated islands in the Society group. A 30-minute ﬂight from Tahiti and Bora Bora, it oﬀers the calm lagoon experience plus an untamed interior smattered with ancient ruins. James Cook is said to have witnessed a sacriﬁce here. tahititourisme.uk
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iF yoU HiT TraFFic, Take oUr oTHer road Contact us at email@example.com or call us at 01983 56 32 61
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BOOK IT WITH... TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS The 12-night Barefoot Luxury in the Cook Islands itinerary is from £4,285pp, based on two sharing on a B&B basis, staying at Crown Beach Resort, Rarotonga, and Paciﬁc Resort, Aitutaki, with international and domestic ﬂights. The deal is a saving of £1100 per couple, plus resort credit at each resort to use towards meals, beverages and the spa. 01494 678400; turquoiseholidays.co.uk
The real Treaure Island Formed by a massive basaltic shield volcano which rises from the seaﬂoor, Samoa’s Upolu is home to the international airport, capital city and most of country’s population so it’s normally the starting point for a holiday. It’s also where Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson lived and apparently fell in love. Visitors can explore his house, now a museum, which is full of family memorabilia from the Scot much-loved by the locals, Upolu is home to a tangled rainforest interior protected by craggy cliﬀs, craters and caves formed by the cooling of lava. The island’s most famous attraction, To Sua Ocean Trench, consists of two giant holes joined via an ancient lava tube cave, one without water and the other a beautiful 30-metre-deep swimming hole with bright green water accessed by a single ladder. Thrill-seekers can also try the Papaseea Sliding Rocks, a natural waterslide in the jungle. Apia, Samoa’s capital, has an informative cultural centre, three lively and colourful markets, an eclectic collection of local eateries and nightspots – and even a Mormom temple! samoa.travel
BOOK IT WITH... PAUL GAUGIN A seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands cruise round-trip from Tahiti’s capital, Papeete, departs March 2 2019 and costs from £4,457pp including ﬂights between Los Angeles and Papeete. It visits Huahine, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ own private paradise oﬀ the coast of Taha’a, Bora Bora and Moorea. The price includes all meal, beverages, watersports and onboard gratuities. 020 7399 7691; pgcruises.com
Royal wonders Low-lying Tongatapu is Tonga’s main island and the starting point for most travellers to this oﬀ-the-beaten-track country. Around two-thirds of Tonga’s residents live on this one island, mostly in the capital Nuku’alofa (meaning Abode of Love), which is also home to Tonga’s royal family. In the east of the island is the ancient capital Mu’a, an archaeological site with centuries-old, pyramid-like royal tombs and burial mounds. tourismtonga.gov.to
1980s icon For those born in the 80s, survival movie The Blue Lagoon inspired dreams of turquoise seas, white-sand beaches and steamy romance. It was shot in Fiji’s Nanuya Lailai, part of the Yasawa Group. Yasawa Island Resort & Spa is an allinclusive luxury resort, but many backpackers catch the Yasawa Flyer catamaran out of Fiji’s capital Nadi to spend a week kayaking, sailing and diving. Manta rays make an appearance between May and October. yasawa.com
The Garden Island Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island, is famed for its lush jungle, pristine beaches, secluded waterfalls and abundant wildlife. With the Bouma National Heritage Park making up more than a third of the island, Taveuni is an eco-tourist’s dream. Bouma is home to hiking trails, which are the perfect way to access wildlife and the park’s population of more than 100 species of birds including Kula Lorikeets, Silktails and Orange Doves. There’s also a marine park at Waitabu – home to world-renowned dive sites such as Eel Reef and the Great White Wall. fiji.travel
Which is your favoured airline for Australasia & the Pacific?
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A DV E R T OR IA L
dreams come true
ir Tahiti Nui has a proud history of connecting the world to the beautiful islands of Tahiti and now passengers can ﬂy in our new Boeing 787-9’s, each named after our famous islands Moorea, Bora Bora, Rangiroa and Nuka Hiva.
New Brand Identity A white tiare ﬂower, the symbol of beauty in Tahiti, is the focus of our new visual brand identity, revealed in celebration of our 20th anniversary. Each guest receives a real tiare ﬂower upon boarding, a living and fragrant extension of the Air Tahiti Nui experience.
Like Tahiti in the Air The windows onboard the Tahitian Dreamliner are the largest of any jet and positioned so that every guest can see out to the horizon. Equipped with the latest generation of technology, our new aircrafts oﬀer a smoother, quieter ﬂight complete with puriﬁed air, adjusted humidity and LED lighting. At the touch of a button windows can be dimmed and mood settings created.
Our Cabins Passengers now have the choice of three cabins designed to optimise space and enable restful travel: Poerava-
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Business Class oﬀers 30 seats with 60” pitch which convert into fully ﬂat beds. Luxurious amenity kits, privacy divider and remote control for IFE are also provided. Moana Economy and Premium Economy are designed for long haul travel with 232 of the best next generation Economy Class seats available in the industry. Premium Economy passengers have the choice of 32 seats with extra leg room and recline motion.
World Class Hospitality Passengers are welcomed with the hospitality of the cabin crew who serve delicious meals with Polynesian and French inﬂuences. For special occasions ancillary services are available such as a pre-ordered bottle of champagne or luxury chocolates. As an allinclusive airline passengers can enjoy all amenities without hassle.
Staying connected The Dreamliner has the most advanced in-seat inﬂight entertainment system with Panasonic multi-touch screens allowing audio-video on demand. High speed internet is also available via satellite broadband and WiFi for maximum connectivity of our guests. For further information visit our website: airtahitinui.co.uk
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Winter Alberta Alberta’s winter season isn’t just for skiers. Laura Gelder looks at a whole host of options up in the mountains and down in the towns I arrived in Alberta as a 'ski virgin' and left a week later, hooked. But my enthusiasm wasn’t just for the ski slopes. I was left with warm memories of a frozen, fairytale landscape which evoked the same fuzzy feelings I had reading The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as a child. OK, so I didn’t meet any talking beavers or visit an ice palace, but I experienced a real winter wonderland. I watched elk graze frosty ﬁelds, glimpsed a solitary moose disappearing into silver pine trees, saw a horse-drawn sleigh glide past ice sculptures and twirling skaters at Lake Louise, had a hot chocolate next to a frozen waterfall at the side of an icy canyon, ate fondue in a cosy log cabin with a roaring ﬁre and gazed at starry velvet skies from a steamy hot spring. If your clients ski then Alberta almost sells itself, but if you can sell the full winter experience then you’ll ﬁnd a larger market and more commission from added activities.
ICE ON WHYTE FESTIVAL, EDMONTON
Slope off The ski areas around Banﬀ, Lake Louise and Jasper are world class and boast one of the longest ski seasons in North America (open until May). There are 65 ski hills across the province, from huge areas with multiple gondolas to small 'locals' hills'. Whether you’re booking a group of ski exprts or a family with diﬀering levels of skills and interests Alberta is perfect – book an all-out powder trip or a winter-themed tour. The SkiBig3 pass gives great-value access to Lake Louise, Sunshine and Norquay, near Banﬀ, oﬀering a mix of gentle greens runs, challenging blacks and advanced oﬀ-piste action like Sunshine’s new Delirium Dive. Jasper’s Marmot Basin has 86 runs equally split between all levels, a homely feel and a huge learner’s slope. Castle Mountain is
BOOK IT WITH SKI INDEPENDENCE A 10-night ski trip, departing December 3 2018 is fom £1,365pp for two sharing. Includes five nights B&B in the Canalta Lodge and five nights room-only at The Crimson, Jasper (both 3.5-star) plus economy flights with Air Canada between Heathrow and Calgary and shared transfers. ski-i.com; 0131 243 8097
MALIGNE CANYON, JASPER
a hidden gem with challenging terrain and Nakiska is a family-friendly resort ideal for beginners. Smaller ski areas for those who want to 'dip in' include Rabbit Hill, Edmonton and Hidden Valley, Cypress Hills.
Even ﬂat areas oﬀer snowshoeing through the forest, cross-country skiing in the prairies, romantic sleigh rides, ice skating on natural lakes and, of course, star gazing.
You don’t need to be in the wilds for winter fun. Just outside Calgary, former Olympic park WinSport has facilities for skiing, skating, tubing and hockey. You can bob sled, luge or skeleton down the run made famous by the Jamaican bobsled team and see Eddie the Eagle's ski jump. Sports fans can always catch the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers or Canmore Eagles ice hockey teams in action. Fun festivals include Edmonton’s Ice on Whyte Festival, where artists carve up over 70,000kg of ice into quirky art, whilst Jasper in January is a three-week party embracing the cold with fat bike races, hockey games, ﬁreworks and wine and food tastings. SnowDays festival in Banﬀ sees ice beer gardens, an ice maze, live music and winter sports demos take over the town.
Every ski area has a range of winter activities to entice. Norquay is famous for its atmospheric night skiing; Lake Louise has a huge snow tube park; Marmot Basin is popular with boarders for its terrain park of jumps, rails and half pipes; and Sunshine Village has a schedule of activities including snow-shoeing, tobogganing, scavenger hunts, smores by the ﬁre and hot tub bingo. Away from the ski lopes there are activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, bobsleighing, tobogganing, snow tubing and ice climbing oﬀered by several operators. Must dos include ice walking into the frozen Maligne Canyon, photographing the jewel-like frozen bubbles under the surface of Lake Abraham or star-gazing under a blanket at the top of the Banﬀ Gondola.
An urban winter
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Uzbekistan Striking architecture, hearty food and the prettiest metro stations in the world, Uzbekistan is full of surprises, says Judith Baker Top stops Bukhara One of the world’s oldest cities, Bukhara is home to the Kalon Minaret. Genghis Khan was so taken with the 47-metrehigh landmark, built in 1127, that he spared it while his troops ransacked the city. Khiva In the sixth century the walled city of Khiva was a valued trading stop on the Silk Road. Now home to Uzbek families and businesses, its ornate mosques, mausoleums and madrassas have been painstakingly restored. Natural wonders Uzbekistan has mountain ranges that oﬀer some great skiing, along with waterfalls, rivers, lakes and deserts. Take a jeep safari through the Kyzyl-Kum and Kara Kum deserts and stay in a traditional yurt. Dancing displays The Uzbeks never miss an opportunity for some music and dance. Women wear brightlycoloured costumes and headdresses, which sway as their movements become increasingly frenzied. Bazaars The colourful central bazaar in Samarkand provides a great window into Uzbek life. Pick up exotic spices and some disk-shaped, clay-ovenbaked bread, which locals say lasts for up to three years!
In Samarkand, the very name as mysterious and magical as the legends that accompany it, I am surrounded by blue: the twinkling peacock colour of the domes, the azure tiles and the turquoise minarets. This space of majestic madrassas is the centrepiece of the city, and some say the most awesome sight in Central Asia.
Magic of the Silk Road Travellers have been mesmerised for centuries by the romance of The Silk Road, with its images of caravans bearing spices and treasures from East to West. Adventurers such as Genghis Khan, Marco Polo and Alexander the Great are all linked with this remarkable region and now a new generation of explorers are making discoveries here. Uzbekistan’s Tourism Fair in Tashkent each April showcases this surprising country’s wealth of attractions for visitors, and the region has seen an increase in interest with tour operators reporting markedly increased bookings for their Silk Road tours. A number of high-end operators oﬀering experiences in Uzbekistan say that the growing interest is down to improved infrastructure, a safe environment and the romantic associations of the area, with its thousands of architectural wonders and UNESCO sites. Independent from the Soviet Union since 1991, Uzbekistan has a history
dating back millennia. Most tours start in the capital Tashkent, much of which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1966 but is now rebuilt. The Hotel Uzbekistan is a typical example of Soviet architecture, as is the city’s metro. Built in 1973, the subterranean system is thought to be the most elegant in the world. Adorned with mosaics, mirrors and chandeliers, each station is diﬀerent. The highlight of any trip here is the breathtaking Registan Square in Samarkand, built between the 15th and 17th centuries. The three grand ediﬁces here are among the world’s oldest. In its heyday the square would have been alive with activity as the whole city congregated here to talk, pray and trade. Also in Samarkand is the Ulugbek Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built in the 1420s it is one of the ﬁnest observatories in the Islamic world.
CLAY FIGURES FOR SALE
Uzbeks pride themselves on their unique cuisine, which is rich and hearty. Plov is the national dish and there are 14 diﬀerent types. The dish is made with rice, meat (usually beef or lamb) onions, carrots and other vegetables, all cooked in vegetable oil. The cooking of plov is usually carried out by men, while women prepare ﬂat breads which are baked in a special clay oven and often decorated with colouring
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and seeds. Although predominantly a Muslim country, the Uzbeks produce some exceptional wines.
Crafts and bazaars The colourful bazaars and markets in Uzbekistan are a shopper’s paradise. Lengths of brightly coloured fabric, silk rugs and scarves are piled up alongside beautiful ceramics and wood carvings. The ﬁrst paper mill outside China was established in Samarkand in 751 and silk paper can still be found, made into books, bags and even little dolls. Clay ﬁgures, many with comical faces, are a common sight on pavement stalls.
Travelling around The best way to travel from Tashkent to Samarkand is by train. The Afrosiyob train runs seven days a week, taking two hours. There are ambitious plans to link all its 14 regions to the capital by high-speed train. Already running between TashkentSamarkand-Shahrisabz and Bukhara, in the near future Khiva will be also be connected by the fast train. National carrier Uzbekistan Airways (uzbekistanairways.com) is fast expanding its ﬂeet and its network of ﬂights to over 50 cities around the world is also to be expanded. Another option for UK travellers to the region is Air Astana (airastana.com), which ﬂies direct from Heathrow to Astana, Kazakhstan, three days a week and connects onto other Central Asian nations. Moreover, the country is easier than ever to access following the new electronic visa system as well as a scheme allowing visafree entry for up to ﬁve days while in transit. David Pettitt of Pettitt’s Travel says: “Uzbekistan lends itself to visiting the rest of the region. It is easy to combine with Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan can be
MAKING BREAD IN A TRADITIONAL CLAY OVEN
reached overland at the border close to Dashogus. The really intrepid can travel from China following the ancient Silk Road.’
New product For 2019, Regent Holidays has put together a new itinerary combining Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. This is because the border between Samarkand in Uzbekistan and Penjikent in Tajikistan re-opened this year, making it easier for travellers to travel between the historical highlights of Uzbekistan and the Fan Mountains in Tajikistan. Marianne Grimshaw, Asia Travel Specialist at Regent Holidays says: “Interest in Uzbekistan has been really strong this year. “The small group tour we’re running to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan this month (September) has sold well and we also oﬀer the country on a tailor-made basis or as part of a wider trip – travelling the Silk Road by train, for instance.”
“It is easy to combine Uzbekistan with Kyrgyzstan, while Turkmenistan can be reached overland. The really intrepid can travel from China following the ancient Silk Road” David Pettitt, Pettitts Travel
BOOK IT WITH… REGENT HOLIDAYS A group tour to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will depart on September 6 2019. Priced from £2,770pp, and based on two travelling, the deal includes ﬂights, accommodation, all meals, all transfers and transportation, sightseeing with an English speaking driver/ guide and entrance fees on sightseeing tours. COLOURFUL CRAFTS
020 7666 1258; regent-holidays.co.uk
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my trip to... coastal carolinas
In my mind I’m going to…
The coastal region between Charleston, South Carolina, and Wilmington, North Carolina, is packed with attractions, says Steve Hartridge
he wheel of tourism is everturning in Myrtle Beach, one of east coast USA’s most popular beach resorts. Sitting in our air-conditioned SkyWheel gondola, nearly 200 feet above the oceanfront boardwalk, Myrtle Beach’s high-rise hotel skyline and Atlantic waters stretch as far as the eye can see. From up here, the reason behind the Myrtle Beach area’s enduring popularity is clear to see: 60 miles of wide, sandy beaches – known as the Grand Strand – fringed by sparkling ocean waters. There are few other U.S. beach destinations that offer the range of attractions on offer to draw families back several times over: accompanying its renowned beaches, mile-long boardwalk, endless affordable hotels, motels and selfcatering apartments, souvenir shops and all-
you-can restaurants are elaborate crazy golf complexes, go kart tracks, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not, an ‘interactive children’s pirate ship excursion’ – and much, much more. At Broadway at the Beach, a theme parkcum-entertainment village just outside of town, are helicopter rides, a Ripley’s Aquarium, Not Dinosaurs the Exhibition, Wonderworks (an interactive science museum) and the Hollywood Wax Museum. Kingston Resorts’ Caribbean Water Playground, located next the hotel group’s Embassy Suites hotel, has water slides, jet sprays, whirlpools, two large swimming pools, two pools for kiddies and a lazy river. The nearby Brookgreen Gardens is a national historic landmark that showcases the world’s largest collection of outdoor American sculpture. In December, the gardens take on a seasonal hue from the soft glow of more than 4,500 hand-lit
candles, countless sparkling lights and a giant Christmas tree.
Charleston to Myrtle Beach
The coastal region between Charleston and Myrtle Beach – it’s around a two-hour drive between the two – is where the ocean meets the salt marshes. Land close to these tidal creeks was once the preserve of wealthy rice plantation owners, who prospered during the boom rice growing days of the 1700s and 1800s. The era of rice – called ‘Carolina Gold’ – came to an end in the 1870s, after the Civil War and the emancipation of the slaves. Visitors can learn more about this story at Hopsewee Plantation, a National Historic Landmark between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. One of the oldest historic sites in the U.S., just five families have owned it since it was built in 1740. The current
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owners, who live in the house, welcome visitors who drop in during a narrated tour of the main house, with its terraced deck, wooden veranda and rocking chairs. Two original slaves’ quarters are also open to the public. Despite its age the house is in fine condition – it is built with mainly black cypress wood, which is resistant to rot and termites. After our tour we enjoy a ‘Low Country’ high tea of bean salad, Pimento cheese biscuits and iced tea.
Where to book it
The Wicked Tuna
As we enter the southern part of the Grand Strand, we pass sleepy-looking communities, retirement homes and numerous championship golf courses. The Grand Strand is a grand name for a sprawling area that incorporates several distinctive coastal communities: bustling Myrtle Beach is at its heart but others
such as Murrells Inlet and Pawley’s Island move at a slower, more timeless pace. Murrells Inlet is still a working fishing village but undergoes a transformation in the evening when its popular boardwalk, which overlooks a salt marsh, comes alive with live music in several pubs and restaurants. We seat ourselves on a wooden deck at the curiously named Wicked Tuna, a place that is a seafood lover’s dream. I want everything on the menu, but settle for oysters, blackened grouper, crab cakes and a side of collard greens.
Cruising in ‘Filmington’
Opposite page: The SkyWheel and Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach; this page, clockwise from top left: joggers on the Wilmington Riverwalk; surfers at Wilmington Beach; Hopsewee Plantation; horsedrawn tours, Wilmington
Seventy-five miles from Myrtle Beach and wedged between the Cape Fear river and the Atlantic Ocean is Wilmington. The city’s expansive historic district, lively riverfront area and near-deserted empty sandy beaches offer three diverse reasons for visiting the city. Savannah and Charleston may be better known for their Southern charm and
Premier Holidays (08444 937 666) has 10 nights in the Carolinas, with two nights in Charleston at the Francis Marion Hotel, three nights in Myrtle Beach at the Hampton Inn and Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, two nights in Wilmington at Hampton Inn Wilmington Downtown and three nights at Kill Devil Hills at Beachwoods Resort. From £1,549pp, the deal includes flights with American Airlines and car hire, with travel on selected dates in February 2019. trade.premierholidays.co.uk
First Class Holidays’ (061 8885605) nine-day self-drive Best of North and South Carolina tour begins and ends in Charlotte, North Carolina, and also takes in Virginia Beach, Outer Banks, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Savannah. With eight nights’ accommodation and a nine-day car rental (compact car), prices start from £899pp (excluding flights). fcholidays.com
Funway’s (020 8290 9754) seven-night option sees guests spending three nights at the Best Western Pawleys, Myrtle Beach, and four nights at the Quality Inn, Wilmington. Prices are from £1,570pp for two adults, including flights with Delta/ American, It departs December 6 2018. funway4agents.co.uk
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For the best hotel/group in North America
sellingtravel.co.uk/awards Clockwise from top left: Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach, is a sculpture garden and wildlife preserve that sparkles at Christmas; Bellamy Mansion Museum in Wilmington’s 230-block Historic District
grand antebellum homes (built between 1800 and 1860), but Wilmington’s National Historic District extends a staggering 230 blocks. You can see these on a trolley tour, pulled by ‘rescued’ horses, passing impressive structures such as City Hall, built in 1858; Latimer House (1852), a showcase of upper-class life in Victorian Wilmington; and Bellamy Mansion (1859), one of North Carolina’s most spectacular examples of antebellum architecture. The town is also known for its film industry and production studios, one of the largest on the east coast, which have produced over 500 movies and TV series. Previously known as the ‘Hollywood of the East’ – competition is fiercer now with states like Georgia and New York offering significant tax breaks to movie-makers – ‘Filmington’ or ‘Wilmywood’ was turning out several films a week as recently as
2015, as well as long-running TV series such as Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill and Under the Dome . Visitors can learn all about this industry, and visit some of the locations in the films made there, by joining a guided tour. We stop at places that appeared in Blue Velvet ( with Nicholas Cage and Isabella Rossellini), We’re the Millers (Jennifer Aniston), Empire Records (Renee Zellweger), The Hudsucker Proxy (Tim Robbins and Paul Newman) and many others. The film tour – at just $13 it’s great value – starts out from the River District, a booming part of town with popular coffee shops and fine-dining restaurants. Another film made in Wilmington was the Robert de Nero classic, Cape Fear – which is also the name of the river on which visitors can enjoy a pleasure cruise and dinner and moonlight sailings. A trip with local operator Wilmington Water Tours reveals the extent of the changes taking place on Wilmington’s waterfront, where restaurants, rooftop bars, hotels and a marina are adding a new dimension to the city.
Rivers & beaches
The Cape Fear river, lined by 1,000-yearold Cypress trees, passes through a key conservation area. We see bald eagles and an osprey nest, high atop a telegraph poll, although the manatees and blue dolphins that are sometimes seen in the river remain elusive. Wilmington’s third main draw card is its beaches. Just 30 minutes from downtown and located on a barrier island separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway is Wrightsville Beach. Once a summer retreat accessible only by boat and steam train, today it’s popular for its restaurants, shops, pubs and resorts such as the beach-facing Blockade Runner. It’s also the beach for water sports like surfing, paddle-boarding and kayaking. Nearby Carolina Beach has a popular boardwalk with food stands, live music, art festivals, an amusement park, aquarium and more, while Kure Beach is close to Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a Civil War-era fort. Summer festivals and events are held at Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion. discoversouthcarolina.com; visitnc.com
named #2 best beach in america by travel channel Discover true relaxation at one of the most beautiful beaches in America. With oceanfront rooms and private balconies—plus pools, a luxury spa and access to more than 100 top golf courses and area attractions—the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort at Kingston Resorts is an unforgettable vacation destination.
k i n g s t o n r e s o rt s . c o m
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Some areas of Indonesia have experienced a tough few months but new developments elsewhere are making Indonesia’s hidden gems more accessible, says Tamara Hinson
hree days into my visit to the Indonesian island of Gili Air and I’ve slipped into an easy routine, which starts with breakfast at one of the wonderfully ramshackle beach bars. Then, after a sprawl on the dazzlingly bright white sand, I slip on my snorkle and step into the sea, where rainbow-hued ﬁsh (along with harmless sea snakes and turtles) drift through the calm waters. Later, I do a lap of the island on foot, admiring the enormous monitor lizards as they scamper across the sand. The Gili Islands’ close proximity to Bali – it takes just over an hour to get from Padang Bai in Bali to Gili Trawangan – is a reminder of Indonesia’s all-round accessibility. Another example? The highlight of a recent visit to Singapore was the two nights I spent on the Indonesian paradise of Bintan. It took just one hour to hop from Singapore to the island, known for its luxury resorts and a magnet for water sports fanatics who come to dive its waters and jet-ski, kayak and aqua-jet across one of the world’s largest manmade lagoons.
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Komodo Dragon, Komodo National Park
Watch a Komodo Dragon In Its Natural Habitat There are endless tastes of nature's magniďŹ cence to explore, but you can take a huge bite of it in Indonesia. A marvelous archipelago rich in limitless sensory indulgence, Indonesia is the only place you can have a close encounter with the legendary Komodo dragon. Witness them in Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in East Nusa Tenggara. Forming part of the Coral Triangle, this region has one of the richest biodiversity on earth. The park is also the perfect base to enjoy island hopping as it consists of numerous beautiful islands such as Komodo, Padar, Rinca, and 26 smaller ones. Experience a magniďŹ cent exploration In Indonesia. Scan our QR code to ďŹ nd limitless treasures from Indonesia.
www.indonesia.travel indonesia.travel Indonesia.Travel indtravel
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A Majestic Archipelago Padar Island, Komodo National Park
We should have some explorations in our life. A meaningful exploration once in a while. Come and discover the spectacular treasures from our Mother Nature. Let's start a stunning exploration in Indonesia, shall we? This archipelago's grandiose nature is magniﬁcent. Complete with limitless leisure activities, it is a perfect destination ﬁlled with momentous pauses and zestful actions for you to dive in. From exploring the charms of our jaw-dropping nature to witnessing the uniqueness of our exotic cultures, everything is spectacular here. Unsure of where to begin your journey? How about exploring in and around Flores? From the well-acclaimed paradise, Bali, other islands are just a short ﬂight away. It takes only 45 minutes to arrive at Labuan Bajo, a breathtaking landscape reﬁned with limitless surprises and various exhilarating activities. Enjoy diving in crystal clear waters and witness mantas living happily in their natural habitat. It is also the door to other stunning destinations such as Komodo National Park.
trekking, snorkelling, or even just relaxing by the beach with its surreal landscape. Well, it is just a glimpse of inﬁnite bliss you can discover on our archipelago. Explore exciting packages of Visit Wonderful Indonesia 2018. Experience the beauty of a tropical paradise. Push your limit and explore further. There are boundless opportunities you can explore in this land of endless wonders.
Pink Beach, Komodo National Park
Komodo National park, located in East Nusa Tenggara, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. There, you can have a close encounter with the legendary Komodo dragon. The park is also the perfect base to enjoy island hopping as it consists of numerous beautiful islands such as Komodo, Padar, Rinca, and 26 smaller ones. These islands form part of the Coral Triangle, this region has one of the richest biodiversity on earth. It is a perfect destination where you will discover limitless surprises above and below the horizon. It's not a surprise that Padar is one of the most notable islands in Komodo National Park. It is one single island that has pristine tri-coloured beaches. Magical, isn't it? Visiting this island is just like a dream come true. Here, you can witness the charcoal black, pearly white, and baby pink sandy beaches. The landscape mostly covered with Savannah, bringing out a picturesque panorama with a bright contrast that brings joyfulness. It is a stunning destination to enjoy
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Dragons and tigers
Clockwise from top left: The smoking volcanoes of Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park; the rugged Padar Island, in the Komodo Archipelago; the lakes on top of Mount Kelimutu, Flores; Spa at Banyan Tree Bintan; AYANA Komodo Resort. Next page from the top: Watersports in Bintan; the ancient Buddhist temple of Borobudur; the AYANA Lako’dia ship
Indonesia, a Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of volcanic islands, is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many diﬀerent languages. It’s known for beaches, volcanoes, Komodo dragons and jungles sheltering elephants, orangutans and tigers. Unfortunately, since my trip described in the opening to this feature, an estimated 70% of resorts on Gili Air were damaged by two earthquakes in August and, at the time of writing, the islands’ immediate tourism prospects are uncertain. Another destination badly hit by the recent earthquakes, with hundreds killed, was Lombok, dubbed ‘The Island of a Thousand Mosques’. Lombok, has been the path less travelled destination when compared to its bigger neighbour Bali, the Hindu-majority island that forms the backbone of Indonesia’s US$20 billion tourist sector. Its residents are now repairing and rebuilding. Said Debbie Goﬃn, Sales and Marketing Director of Premier Holidays: “Only north Lombok appears to be severely aﬀected - airports and tourist resorts on Bali and southern Lombok are operating as normal... as with all natural disasters, the consequences can be devastating and these earthquakes are no exception. However, I don’t think it will deter travellers from booking holidays to Indonesia in the long term.” The natural disaster came just as the Gili
Islands were becoming essential stop-oﬀs for visitors to Indonesia. In fact they were included in the government’s recentlyannounced plans to invest in 10 speciﬁc, under-the-radar destinations – to create ’10 new Balis’ – designed to shine a spotlight on areas further aﬁeld. Other areas earmarked for development include Eastern Indonesia’s tropical Morotai island, Java’s wildlife-ﬁlled Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park and Tanjung Kelayang on Belitung. This particular island is shaping up to be one of Indonesia’s top resort islands thanks to Tanjung Kelayang’s recent designation as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Visitors to Pandeglang, on Java’s western coast, can now base themselves at Tanjung Lesung, an integrated resort overlooking the remnants of an ancient volcano. The resort is open but still under development, and by the time it’s completed will include luxury hotels, golf courses, a marina and a theme park. Elsewhere, there’s the Thousand Islands (there are only 110 in reality), scattered across the sparkling Bay of Jakarta. Just 20,000 people inhabit 11 of the islands, so there’s plenty of space for your sun towel. Consider Pulau Putri island resort, with its wide range of water sports and, for those keen to admire the marine life without getting wet, its submerged glass tunnel which guests can walk through. Indonesia’s capital, sprawling Jakarta, is no longer just a stopover, it’s a colourful
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metropolis ﬁlled with beautiful architecture, fragrant street food and luxury hotels, including, by the end of 2018, the Alila SCBD and 221-room Park Hyatt Jakarta. A 181room Waldorf Astoria will open in 2020. Stroll down Jalan Thamrin on a Sunday when it’s closed to traﬃc, head to one of the city’s famous jazz bars or enjoy a retail therapy ﬁx in one of Jakarta’s shiny new shopping centres.
Top experiences In a rush: Get an adrenaline ﬁx at the 6.3-hectare Crystal Lagoon on Bintan Island. You can snorkel, swim or jet-ski across but a favourite mode of transport is the Jetovator, which uses water jets to propel riders skywards. Chill out: Sign up for a digital detox on Gili Air. With no motorised vehicles, the island oﬀers the perfect opportunity to switch oﬀ those gadgets and enjoy some time out.
Hotels: The ﬁrst Park Hyatt (hyatt.com) in Indonesia will open in Jakarta this year while the new St Regis Jakarta (marriott.com) is due to open next January. From September, seafaring types can explore the Komodo Islands onboard one of the world’s largest phinisis (a traditional Indonesian sailing ship). The AYANA Lako di’a, a AYANA Hotels (ayana.com) product, will be a luxury oﬀering. September will also see the opening of AYANA’s Komodo Resort on Waecicu Beach, Flores Island. The beachfront, ﬁve-star resort will have 13 suites and 192 guestrooms. A new resort is under construction in Mandalika, Lombok. The beachfront resort, opening in 2019, will include water parks and golf courses.
What’s the best tour operator to Australasia & the Far East?
”Tourism is seen as the core sector of our economy and President Joko Widodo wants to establish 10 On your bike: priority destinations “The public ferry travels Cycle through to encourage between Padangbai (Bali) Bali’s paddy ﬁelds. tourists to explore and Lembar (Lombok) As for the occasional beyond Bali. We’re hill you’ll encounter? conﬁdent we can multiple times a day. See it as an achieve our 2019 The trip takes around 4-5 opportunity to burn target of 20 million hours – but the crossing oﬀ those sate lembat foreign tourists can be rough!” indulgences (Bali’s and are focusing answer to satay). on three main Hit the notes: Jakarta has a great jazz strategies: marketing through Go Digital, scene – there’s an annual jazz building 1,000 homestays to accelerate festival and one of the best jazz clubs is destination readiness, and improving Prohibition Asia. air connectivity through collaborations On top: Flores’ top attraction is the with local and international airlines.” lakes on the top of Mount Kelimutu. Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism, Indonesia Volcanic gasses cause the water to change colour before your very eyes. Hike to the Where to book it summit for a spectacular sunrise. PREMIER HOLIDAYS – 08444 937531 The nine-night Indonesian Discovery tour What’s new starts from £2,499pp, with stays in Jakarta, Tour operators: Budget-conscious Bandung, Yogyakarta, Malang, Bromo millennials are the target customers for G and Kalibaru. The deal includes ﬂights, Adventures’ (gadventures.co.uk) eight-night Bali transfers and sightseeing. on a Shoestring package, which launched premierholidays.co.uk in May. Prices start from £539pp, excluding EXPLORE – 01252 902551 international ﬂights. The 13-day Sumatra and Eclipse package Intrepid Travel’s (intrepidtravelc.om) new will coincide with the annular eclipse in seven-night Indonesian Island Cruise will December 2019. The package includes take place on small ships (with a maximum visits to Bukit Lawang (for its orang-utans), of 50 passengers) and will take in Bali, Bukittingi (known as the Indonesian Grand Saringi, Banta and Rinca (part of Komodo Canyon), and to remote Batak villages. National Park). Prices start from £2,120pp, From £3,039pp, with ﬂights. excluding ﬂights. explore.co.uk
8/30/18 11:59 AM
GDS | TRAINING | REWARDS
Training, competitions, events September 2018
THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES
Island hopping NEWS
Quick Quiz Are you a Finland Expert?
1. There is an estimated two million saunas in Finland for a population of 5.5 million. TRUE / FALSE
Vegas Fremont Street changes
2. The Wife Carrying World Championship is held in Finland every July. TRUE / FALSE
Las Vegas Virtuoso I Modules: 5
Story time NEWS
NEWMARKET Holidays recently launched its 2018/2020 brochure, adding 34 holidays to its offering. This includes escorted tours to South America, East Africa and Southeast Asia. Additionally, there are new experiential small group tours building on the success of last season's introductions. The launch accompanies a significant rebrand marketed under a 'Where Stories Begin' tagline, which recognises the important part travel experiences play in its customers' lives. training.newmarketholidays.co.uk
Answers: 1: True 2: True
LAS VEGAS' Fremont Street Experience has started a $32 million renovation of the Viva Vision canopy. Spanning ďŹ ve city blocks, it's the world's largest single video screen. The upgraded canopy will illuminate the pedestrian mall with 16,433,152 pixels, making it seven-times brighter than the existing canopy. It will also feature new digital content and interactive elements such as The Key app, enabling visitors to write personalised messages on the canopy and vote for the next song or video. It is scheduled to be completed for unveiling on December 31, 2019. Agents can complete the Las Vegas Virtuoso course to learn more and access exclusive discounts, trips and events. lasvegasvirtuoso.com
SANDALS and Beaches resorts has launched its 'Island Hop in the Caribbean' brochure, allowing clients to combine two or more resorts, and even destinations, in one trip. The brochure features popular 10-night inter-island itineraries, including Nassau and Great Exuma Islands in the Bahamas, Barbados and Grenada and Turks & Caicos and Antigua. Travel agents can sharpen up their Sandals and Beaches knowledge at: sandalstraining.com
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Working in partnership
Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!
Best of Bourne INCEN-
BOURNE Leisure has launched an online training incentive designed to encourage more agents to complete its training course. Agents that successfully complete the full training course can enter one of three weekly prize draws and be in with a chance of winning a £10 Love2Shop voucher in each draw. To enter the lucky draw, agents simply need to complete the online training course in full and answer a simple question relating to one of Bourne Leisure’s three brands: Butlin’s, Haven or Warner Leisure Hotels, on the Facebook page Brainz Agent Hub.
DIANE BONDAREFF & APIMAGES
Christmas in New York City
NYC Travel Training Academy I Modules: 6
Sell the Thai life ONLINE RESOURCE
SELLING Travel is providing agents with a handy online guide, including all the resources needed to sell great holidays to Thailand. The Sell the Thai Life hub features news, competitions, incentives, events, useful information and contacts, with a range of training resources and details of trade shows. Content and competitions featured on the hub are regularly updated. Agents can currently win a £50 Love2shop voucher by completing the Amazing Thailand Online Training Programme. Agents will also be invited to attend the upcoming Amazing Thailand road show events. sellingtravel.co.uk/sell-the-thai-life
NEW YORK CITY will hosting a number of celebrations this festive season. The seasonal fun kicks oﬀ on November 9, with the Rockettes and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. The show will run all the way until January 1. On November 22, Macy's famous Thanksgiving Parade takes to the streets for its 92nd edition, while the giant Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center will be lit on November 28. And throughout December there will be free performances and tours as part of the "23 days of Flatiron Cheer". Round oﬀ the festive celebrations with the New Year's Eve Times Square Ball Drop. Discover more events at NYCgo. com/holiday, train at nyctrainingacademy. com
A-Z of available courses ABTA Alaska Amtrak Vacations Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Aruba Beaches Resorts Boucan Hotel Chocolat Bourne Leisure Butlins Centara Hotels & Resorts Cirque de Soleile Corsican | Sardinian Places Costa Rica Cruise Adviser Elegant Hotels Essential Detail Flanders Fort Myers & Sanibel GDS Haven Hotels Hawaii Heritage Resort Jerusalem Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Las Vegas Macao Malaysia Melia Hotels & Resorts New York city New York state Namibia Newmarket Holidays Ontario Qatar Railbookers SAGA Saint Lucia Sandals Resorts Serenity Holidays Seychelles Simon Malls Solus St Kitts Thailand TIPTO Turks & Caicos US Airtours Veranda Resorts Virgin Limited Edition Voyages SNCF Warner Leisure Hotels Windjammer Landing Hotel traveluni.com
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a dv e r t or ia l
At the mountains of
et within the mountains of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Dolomites, South Tyrol is Italyâ€™s most northerly region. With around 300 days of sunshine and a snow guarantee from December until April, it really is a great choice for winter sports fans, but there is so much in the region that makes visiting worthwhile. Alpine life and the Mediterranean meet here, mixing the culture, cuisine, wine, landscapes and even the gorgeous weather. Foodies will love the gastronomic offerings to be found in the region. Rural, down-to-earth tastes are spiced up with the charm of the Med creating distinctive flavours, and this influence can also be found in its wines and spa traditions.
Sky-high dining There are 26 Michelin stars distributed amongst 19 local restaurants. In fact, South Tyrol features the highest density of top-honoured chefs and is the most decorated province in all of Italy. From hearty Tyrolean fare to classic cucina Italiana, there is lots to discover. Visitors wonâ€™t want to miss local classics such as spinach dumplings and apple strudel.
Hit the slopes The Dolomites were awarded World Heritage status in 2009 on account of their unique, natural landscape and special geological and geomorphic significance. Thanks to a natural phenomenon that occurs on the rock, the mountains change to a glorious colour at dawn and dusk known as Alpenglow. The snow and ice creates an effect transforming the ridges and burrs into fairy castles. South Tyrol has around 30 ski areas spread throughout the region, with the majority belonging to the Dolomiti Superski association, the worldâ€™s largest ski circuit, or to the Ortler Skiarena, with its family-friendly ski areas to the west. Skiers can hit the piste around the Sellaronda, a 26km route around the beautiful Sella Massif peak, which benefits from well-groomed and accessible pistes, a modern, efficient lift system and plenty of restaurants to stop in for a drink or lunch. South Tyrol offers tailor-made fam trips for the trade throughout the year and a group fam in the winter, and in October this year the region is inviting tour operators to its annual event in London. Three times a year South Tyrol organises business-to-business workshops where it brings together hotels with tour operators, offering a chance to meet with them and to visit the properties.
8/29/18 01:06 PM
T H E T R A VE L N E WS THAT R E ALLY M ATTE R S
SAGA: TOUR INDIA ON SIX NEW GREAT INDIAN RAIL JOURNEYS
S E AT T L E CRUISE AND STAY BROCHURE
DU BAI PAR K S DRAWING THE CROWDS
C H E C K I NG OU T EAST SRI LANKA
GET ONLINE â€“ READ ALL OUR MAGAZINES AND CHECK OUT OUR DAILY SELLING TIPS AT SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK
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Premier’s new islands
CAROL HAY UK Manager, Caribbean Tourism Organization
DURING September, the CTO and its partners will be celebrating Caribbean Month, with the aim of raising the Caribbean’s proﬁle and increasing winter sales and generating bookings for 2019. A host of activities and events are taking place, so take a look at caribbeantravelguru. com and click on ‘Events’, to ﬁnd out more. The CTO’s events include two Caribbean Agent Training Roadshows, in Newcastle on September 19 and Liverpool on September 20. Register to attend at caribbeantravelguru.com/ reg-form.html or RSVP at RSVP@ caribtourism.com . Agents also have the chance to win some great prizes just by completing the Caribbean Travel Guru online training programme – caribbeantravelguru. com – and by logging their Caribbean bookings on MyBookingRewards.com. Well done to James Mckay from Kenwood Travel, who won a rum and chocolate hamper for logging the most Caribbean bookings in August, and to Charlotte Wood from Hays Travel who won a £50 Love2shop Voucher! For queries on Caribbean Travel Guru please contact Ann-Marie Brooks on 020 8948 0057 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caribbean Tourism Organization Suites 52A & 53, 5th Floor AMP House, Dingwall Road, Croydon, Surrey CR0 2LX Tel: 0208 948 0057 caribbean.co.uk
BY BEN COREN
PREMIER Holidays has added the two Indian Ocean destinations Réunion Island and Rodrigues Island to its second Beaches brochure. The programme, also featuring single-centre holidays to Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, the Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Mexico, is valid for travel until December 2019. Located around 370 miles oﬀ Mauritius’s north-east coast and situated between Mauritius and Madagascar, Réunion is an overseas department of France. It is just 11 miles long and under ﬁve miles wide. Holidays on Réunion lead in at
£1,299pp for a seven-night stay at Iloha Seaview, including return ﬂights and transfers. Premier’s packages featuring Rodrigues start from £1,485pp for seven nights at the four-star Tekoma Boutik. The deal includes half-board, ﬂights and transfers. Premier is one of only a handful of operators currently selling the destination. Nikki Hain, Product Manager at Premier Holidays, said: Both Réunion and Rodrigues are islands that are ideally twinned with Mauritius or South Africa, for a fabulous two-centre holiday.”
On track for an Indian Saga SAGA’S new Great Indian Rail Journey tours include six train trips that will see guests watching the sun rise over the Taj Mahal, staying in the Himalayan foothills, going on a tiger safari, visiting the Golden Temple of Amritsar and jumping in a jeep to the deserted city of Amber. The trains include the ‘superfast’ Shatabdi Express and a steam ‘toy train’ on one of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Mountain Railways, where the two-foot-sixinches-wide Himalayan Queen crosses 800 bridges and passes through forestclad mountains valleys and 100 tunnels. Prices start from £2,099pp for 15 nights, for an April 22, 2019 departure, with Virgin ﬂights from Heathrow to Delhi (regional ﬂights from Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are also available). saga.co.uk/india
The Premier league is coming home for Superbreak agents AGENTS can now book Premier League football short breaks with Super Break. Each package includes a ticket to selected matches and overnight accommodation. The deals feature games at Everton, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle and Tottenham Hotspur. For example, the Manchester City Match Day Experience package, which starts from
£167pp, kicks oﬀ with the match on September 29 at the Etihad Stadium versus Brighton and Hove Albion. Accommodation is at the Holiday Inn Express Manchester East. Prices for the Tottenham Hotspur Match Day Experience, against Cardiﬀ City on October 6, start from £202pp. Tickets for both the above games are for executive padded seats. superbreak.com/agents.com
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WIN A FREE STAY IN MEXICO WITH AMRESORTS! Agents can win a free stay and return international flights to Mexico with AMResorts Amazing Sale incentive. All they have to do is send at least one booking with a minimum stay of 7 nights to email@example.com to be in for a chance to win. The agent with the most room nights booked will WIN!
Agents must send full booking details and all bookings in one email, and quote ‘Selling Travel’ in the subject line for email to be valid. Bookings and emails must be made and sent by the 30th September and must be under the Amazing Sale terms and conditions. Travel dates between the 1st May – 31st October 2019. For details on the Amazing Sale, visit amragents.blog/special-offers.
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Britain’s leading independent cruise line
Worldwide Winter Cruises 2019/20 on sale now! • Traditional British cruise experience • Exceptional value and choice • Smaller to mid-sized classic ships • Half price single offers • Discounted and free places for groups
BUY ONE GET ONE
Programme Highlights • Christmas & New Year cruises • New Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage • Grand Round the World cruise • Caribbean, Mexico & Trans Panama • Voyage to Australia & New Zealand • Land of the Northern Lights • Festive cruise breaks
Vasco da Gama
12.5% Enhanced Basic Commission+ • Promotional support • No direct booking discounts
Book Online at: www.cruiseandmaritime.com Call: 0844 414 6161 Agency Sales: 0844 414 6140 Brochures: www.trade-gate.co.uk Applies to sales achieved over £5k for 2018/19 cruises. Subject to availability. Terms & Conditions apply. Offers may be withdrawn without notice. Offered for sale in the UK by South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd trading as Cruise & Maritime Voyages. ABTA V9945. ATOL 4619. Calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge. 4515
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Riviera Travel goes solo RIVIERA Travel’s new ‘For Solo Travellers’ collection features China, Morocco, Sicily, Madeira and the Dalmatian Coast. Tour options include a 16day Grand Tour of China with a Yangtze cruise, from £3,399pp, and the six-day Marrakesh and The Atlas Mountains from £749pp. The one-week Budapest, Bratislava & Vienna for Solo Travellers tour also includes a visit to central Europe’s largest lake, Balaton. It is priced from £1,499pp. All three tours include ﬂights. Last year Riviera launched its ﬁrst collection exclusively for solos and oﬀers dedicated solo river cruises. rivieratravel.co.uk
Cruise and stay in Seattle
NEWS TO USE IN BRIEF GRAND Bahia Principe Aquamarine, an adults-only hotel under the Grand Bahia Principe brand, will open its doors in Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on November 1. Features include unlimited a la carte dinners, a sports bar and gym and free wiﬁ throughout the hotel. bahia-principe.com
BY STEVE HARTRIDGE
AGENTS with West Coast USAbound clients should check out the new Seattle Cruise and Stay brochure. “It’s designed as an introduction to Seattle and Washington State especially for those booking Alaska Cruises,” said the destination’s UK representative, Caroline Corﬁeld-Rose. The guide provides information on the ports, but also on the attractions of Seattle and Washington State and is designed to encourage agents to suggest their clients stay longer in both
the city and the wider state. “This is a great time to visit Seattle, with the launch of new ﬂights and new cruise ships, added Corﬁeld-Rose. “The city’s Space Needle has completed the ﬁrst phase of a $100m redevelopment and the Observation Deck is now all glass and totally stunning!” Visitors to the Space Needle can experience the world’s ﬁrst revolving glass ﬂoor, located 500 feet in the air. For copies Seattle@corecommunications. email co.uk or Tel 01923 839 375.
Dubai mega-park attracts the crowds
IBERIA is to boost services to Latin America this winter with three additional weekly ﬂights to both Buenos Aires and Mexico City. The Spanish airline will raise the number of ﬂights to the Argentinian capital from 14 to 17 times a week, as of October 27. Its schedule of 17 ﬂights a week between Madrid and Mexico City will also be three more than before. grupo.iberia.es
FINNAIR is to begin ﬂying from Helsinki to Los Angeles from March 31, 2019.The new three-times a week service will be the airline’s ﬁrst U.S. destination served by the new Airbus A350. Los Angeles will become the ﬁfth U.S. city to be added to Finnair’s route network after New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami. finnair.com
BY JESSICA POOK
DUBAI Parks and Resorts, the Middle East’s largest integrated theme park destination, attracted over 1.4 million visits during the ﬁrst half of 2018, an increase of 46% over the same period in 2017. Attractions include Motiongate Dubai, a theme park showcasing Hollywood characters from DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate, and Bollywood Parks Dubai, a theme park that showcases rides and attraction based on some of Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Legoland Dubai is an interactive theme park based on the Lego brick, while Legoland Water Park caters to families with children aged two-12. The parks are connected by Riverland Dubai, a themed retail and dining district. dubaiparksandresorts.com
HODGES Bay Resort and Spa is due to open in Antigua before the end of the year. The luxury resort on the north coast will be the ﬁrst Antiguan hotel in the Elegant Hotels’ portfolio. A mix of luxurious suites, apartments and penthouses Hodges Bay will be located on a white-sand beach. Resort facilities will include an adults-only inﬁnity pool and a spa. elegantresorts.co.uk
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34 NEW TOURS OFFERS AVAILABLE the review LOW DEPOSITS
Titan has singles in mind
Order our BRAND NEW 2018-2020 brochure at www.tradegate.co.uk
BY STEVE HARTRIDGE
TITAN Travel has launched its ﬁrst ever Solo Holiday brochure, with tours designed with single travellers in mind. Options for solos include the operator’s popular 14-night Natural Wonders of Costa Rica and Panama Canal tour, which departs May 6, 2019 and is priced from £3,199. The long-running California and the Golden West tour, which follows the scenery of the Big Sur coastline from Monterey to Cambria, is also now available to single travellers. It departs September 12, 2019 with a lead-
in price of £3,749pp. Agency Sales Manager, Edwina Coppock said: “We have oﬀered some solo holidays before but this is the ﬁrst time we have featured the new expanded range in a separate brochure and shows how important this sector is to the market.” Titan oﬀers solo guests a ‘Price Promise’ that includes no single supplement fees on its solo holidays, and with all departures guaranteed to depart with no minimum numbers required. titantravel.co.uk
New deal for Osborne & Ebel TRADE-FRIENDLY Wholesaler
Osborne & Ebel has a special deal for Sheraton Full Moon Resort Maldives. Five Nights start from £375pp on a fullboard basis, including return speedboat transfers. For travel between now – October 31, 2018 and May 01, 19 – 30 Sept 30, 2019. Only a short boat transfer from Male Airport with excellent access to great diving spots. Enjoy pristine beaches and great F&B Options. For details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your escorted tour specialists Visit www.newmarketholidays.co.uk Call 0330 160 7999
CRUISE LINES INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION
Online Agent Training: www.training.newmarketholidays.co.uk Benefit from working with us – email: email@example.com
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the review: cruise
Fred cruising for agents
CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF SILVERSEA’S ﬁrst ‘wine voyage’ of 2019 will see Silver Whisper departing Auckland on January 20, arriving into Sydney on February 2. As well as choosing from up to 160 onboard wines, guests will enjoy a half-day tour of Gisborne’s wine region
ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director
AS cruise has developed its onboard product, itineraries and shoreside experiences, we can conﬁdently say that we should now no longer consider cruise as a specialist holiday as it has become a mainstream holiday choice. The number of UK cruisers last year reached almost two million, as growing numbers of people understand the great holiday experiences available at incredible value for money. As an industry we still have work to do to overcome misconceptions about a holiday at sea or on the river, but we are deﬁnitely moving in the right direction. Globally, there were 26.7 million cruise passengers last year, up 6.3% on 2016, with guests sourced from all over the world. With $60billion ready to be invested in new ship orders over the next 10 years alone, the time is right to encourage ﬁrst-time cruisers to set sail, as new ships and ﬂeet refurbishment means that there has never been more choice. Putting innovation at the heart of efforts to entice more people to cruise for the first time is crucial – as it is innovation, in both the onboard experience and the land-based excursions offered, which will draw newcomers in. cruiseexperts.org
BY BEN COREN
FRED River Cruises has a new dedicated agent reference guide to increase agents’ understanding of its various cruising products. It includes tips on identifying river cruise customers, along with key selling points and a map of some of the world’s most popular rivers. It also features recommended destinations based on the experiences of the Fred River Cruises team. “We’re not urging agents to forget the ‘high seas’ altogether, but river cruising is increasingly becoming the holiday of choice amongst cruisers, so it’s more important than ever before for travel agents, particularly those with limited rivers experience, to know what’s on oﬀer”, said
Hannah Logan, Product Manager at Fred River Cruises. “Our growing portfolio of worldwide river cruise brands, as well as our ability to tailormake any river cruise holiday with regional ﬂights, pre- and post -hotel stays, land tours and more, sees us uniquely placed to help agents ﬁnd the ideal river cruising holiday for their customers.” Fred River Cruises works with a number of global river cruise operators such as Amadeus River Cruises, Volga Dream and Far Horizons of India. Agents can request copies of the pack by emailing agency firstname.lastname@example.org.
PDF versions of the guide are available. fredrivercruises.co.uk
EUROPEAN Waterways says it has availability on October barge holidays. For example, guests on the eightpassenger Anjodi, cruising the Canal du Midi, can get 10% oﬀ cabin bookings on the October 14 and 21 sailings, priced from £2,835pp. europeanwaterways.com
SALES for Iona, the latest P&O ship, go on sale on September 3. In its inaugural season, beginning May 2020, Iona will sail the Norwegian fjords on seven-day cruises, departing Southampton. pocruises.com
UNIWORLD’S River Royale will go out of service in October before reappearing on the Dordogne and Garonne rivers next April as S.S. Bon Voyage, the cruise line’s sixth ‘super ship’. uniworld.com
CLIA 2019 conference will be the UK’s ‘largest travel agent event’ CLIA’S 2019 UK & Ireland conference, to be held in Southampton on May 15, 16 and 17 2019, will include a trade fair, a day of conference sessions, ship visits and a gala dinner. The ﬁrst day will oﬀer the chance to visit Celebrity Edge, which launches in Miami in December, or MSC Prezioza, followed by the cruise trade fair. The second day will comprises conference sessions, followed by the gala
dinner and entertainment. The ﬁnal day will be held onboard the Queen Mary 2. “Ship visits play a huge role in the event and we are delighted to give agents the chance to explore these amazing examples of modern cruising,” said CLIA UK & Ireland Director, Andy Harmer. The event is open to CLIA member travel agents, with registration from September 12. cruiseexperts.org
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the review: news in focus...
Our woman in Havana This year’s FIT Cuba trade event showcased a country on the cusp of a tourism boom, evidenced by new hotel openings and a big expansion in cruise traffic, says Karen Penlington City and beach Delegates at FIT Cuba, the Caribbean destination’s annual tourism showcase, were impressed by the country’s burgeoning hotel and resorts sector. Spearheaded by the government-owned Gaviota, major new openings include the luxury 67-room Las Salina Plaza and Spa and the 660-room Sercotel Experience Cayo Santa Maria. Also new is the 252-room Angsana Cayo Santa Maria – a joint venture with Banyan Tree – whilst the 802-room Melia Paradisus Los Cayos will open in December. Currently under development is Cayo Esquivel, an exclusive beach destination only accessible by a one-hour boat ride from the marina and Port of Isabela de Sagua. Since 1999 Gaviota has overseen the transformation of large swathes of luxury coastal resorts in the northern and central Villa Clara province, opening and managing over 10,545 hotel rooms in 17 hotels, plus marinas and marine parks and more besides. Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism is also promoting a spruced-up Sagua La Grande, an historic town on the Sagua La Grande River near the coast of the Villa Clara province. Two renovated hotels – The Sagua Hotel (84 rooms) and the evocative Palacio Arenas (the former home of a Spanish Marquis featuring Moorish woodwork and stained glass windows with 11 rooms) – are now open. Cayo Santa Maria, Las Brujas and Ensenachos Cays are linked to the mainland by a 48km causeway. The former is also accessible by air via the Abel Santa Maria domestic airport. For summer 2018 Thomas Cook introduced direct weekly ﬂights from Manchester to Santa Clara, capital city of Villa Clara province. Virgin Atlantic is currently the only commercial airline ﬂying direct to Havana (twice a week) from the UK.
Havana happenings Havana, the country’s capital, is also driving ahead with new developments. Hot on the heels of the launch last year of the ﬁve-star Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinksi, and Havana’s
ﬁrst luxury brand shopping mall, the stylish Iberostar Packard Grand Hotel is now open, adding 321 rooms and suites to the capital’s limited luxury oﬀering. Located near the famous El Capitolio building and a short walk to the popular Malecon harbourfront, the hotel played host to stars like Marlon Brando after it opened in 1911 as ‘The Biscuit’. Havana is also expanding its port facilities: by 2024 up to six cruise ships will be able to berth simultaneously. The cruise industry increased by over 150% in 2017 with 17 cruise companies, 25 ships and 7,000 itineraries incorporating Cuba. Over 700,000 passengers are anticipated to visit by the end of 2018. Next year Havana will celebrate its 500th anniversary and a programme of festivals and events is being planned. Over 200,000 UK visitors landed in Cuba in 2017, up by 30% on the 2015 ﬁgure. Cuba hopes to welcome a record ﬁve million international visitors in 2018. FIT Cuba 2019 will be held in Havana. For more information email: email@example.com
BOOK IT WITH... CUBA HOLIDAYS Trade-friendly Havana and Cuba specialists Cuba Holidays (retailing as The Holiday Place), has 20 twin-city tour packages. The ‘Havana Experience’ features a city tour in a classic car and takes in the ‘John Lennon’ park bench, where a bronze statue of Lennon is guarded 24 hours to prevent thieves stealing his removable glasses. Prices for a seven-day Cuba package start from £1,149pp, including ﬂights with Virgin, three nights in Havana in a four-star hotel (B&B) plus vintage car tour; four nights all-inclusive in a four-star in Varadero, plus transfers and a Cuban Tourist Card. 020 3823 7430 – cubaholidays.co.uk
Karen Penlington travelled to FIT Cuba 2018 as a guest of MINTUR, the Ministry of Tourism, Cuba, travel2cuba.co.uk; cubatravel.cu/en
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CARIBBEAN NEWS THIS MO N TH’S TOP STORIES FROM THE CARIB B EAN
NEW HOTEL FOR BARBADOS
MEET THE CTO MEMBER
Escape Marketing has been appointed as the UK representative for newly-opened Mullins Grove in Barbados. The luxury apartment hotel offers 14 apartments and is situated on the doorstep of Mullins Beach. Escape plans to work closely with the trade. mullinsgrove.com
SAM DOWLING Product & Purchasing Manager, Kuoni
WHAT CTO activities does Kuoni get involved with? From the Meet the Media event to the Media Awards at World Travel Market, we use every opportunity to be involved in the media relations programme. We also take part in AGMs, agents’ training days and trade show events like the legendary World Travel Market Street Party.
WHAT don’t readers know about Kuoni? Kuoni has been around for over 53 years – and we’ve featured the Caribbean from day one. We’ve got an exclusive resort in Antigua, Keyonna Beach, which is only bookable through Kuoni. It’s a hugely popular adults-only hotel and a real hit with honeymooners.
WHAT’S your Caribbean tip? Its appeal goes way beyond just romance; I’ve been out with the family and it’s brilliant for children of all ages. I love the diversity and how every island is different.
NEW BROCHURE FOR CARIBTOURS
Agents enjoy a Saint Lucia fam
Saint Lucia fam giveaway Agents specialising in Caribbean Weddings & Honeymoons or Bespoke Experiential Holidays have the chance to spend seven days in Saint Lucia, courtesy of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. The tourist board is offering a Wedding & Honeymoon fam, from October 4-11, and a Nature & Adventure fam, from November 18-25. To apply agents should contact Nicole Compton at
Caribtours is offering up to 40% off to celebrate the launch of its ‘Our Caribbean’ 2019 brochure. Agents who book in September can earn up to £200 worth of vouchers and will be entered into a prize draw to win a seven-day holiday to Barbados. caribtours.co.uk
TELL us about your new Caribbean programme? We’ve just added Serenity at Coconut Bay in Saint Lucia as well as the Mount Nevis Hotel on Nevis, which is a beautiful plantation house.
RE-OPENS The tourism body is also giving away £100 worth of Love2Shop vouchers each fortnight as part of its The St. Maartenongoing Summer of Discovery campaign. To win agents Anguilla ferry terminal has have until September 30 reopened following Hurricane to complete the online Irma. It again provides the training programme and log fastest connection between bookings at saintluciaexpert. St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana ourism T ia com. An extra ‘entry’ will be Airport and Anguilla. A $5.00 c u e Saint L ty’s trad er ri o given to bookings for travel levy fee is required to use the th u A temb on Sep during the campaign period. service. ivisitanguilla.com evening rd. To attend ilfo 12 in Gu projects@ email: k.org stluciau AS ROYAL Caribbean part of is offering the top its 15 contenders of #NextStopGrenada its online ‘Escape campaign, the Room’ game a Grenada Tourism three-night trip to Authority (GTA) is New York. rewarding agents Bookings Grenada has world-class diving Royal Caribbean’s Escape Room that book before submitted to Club October 15, 2018. The first 150 agents to sell Rewards before October 4 will merit an a Grenada trip departing between entry into the interactive game which is September 1 and October 31, 2018 will designed to test knowledge of the cruise receive £200. The incentive is open to the line. The game is inspired by the top 50 Caribbean-selling tour operators and Observatorium Escape Room experience must include flights with British Airways or onboard Royal Caribbean’s Independence of Virgin Atlantic. puregrenada.com the Seas. myclubroyal.co.uk
caribbean.co.uk Sign up to the CTO’s training programme at caribbeantravelguru.com
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the review: checking out
HOTELS / RESORTS TRAIN JOURNEYS / CRUISES AIRPORT REVIEWS
UGA BAY BY UGA ESCAPES – Sri Lanka BY BENJAMIN COREN
THE LOCATION: On Sri Lanka’s east coast, Uga Bay actually sits on the Bay of Passekudah and its semi-circle design ensures ocean views from all 46 studios. Though not close to any town, the area oﬀers terriﬁc scenery, clear seas and clean, sandy beaches. THE ROOM: My 540-sq-foot Ocean Studio was on the upper level with step access only. It was light, airy, clean and comfortably furnished with a king-size bed, ﬂat-screen TV, desk, iPod docking station, safe, wiﬁ, outdoor balcony and a separate bathroom with shower. Beach Studios on the ground ﬂoor oﬀer direct access to the sand. KEY FACILITIES: There are two spa suites oﬀering therapies including massages and facial treatments, plus a gym. The hotel also has a games and family room with a
THE VERDICT This large and welcoming property is the perfect retreat for those exploring the lesser-trodden east coast. The bay views are stunning and the beach itself is remote and peaceful, with guests very unlikely to be ‘hassled’. It’s easy to go out jet skiing, kayaking or windsurfing or to plan excursions to local
selection of books and DVDs to borrow. Water sports and diving are available for an extra fee. RESTAURANTS/BARS: Guests can dine in the restaurant or have dinner in their room. The main dining/bar area has inside/ outside seating and combines Mediterranean and Sri Lankan
styles. Glass walls lend ample light to this comfortable dining space where guests can try various international dishes alongside traditional Sri Lankan fare and fresh locally caught ﬁsh.
attractions. Perfect for
Address: Coconut Board Rd, Kalkudha, Sri
from September 16
through to December).
families, suitable for all. RATES: A double Ocean Studio is priced from $311 a night (low season
+94 11 567 1000
THE MERRION – Dublin, Ireland BY DOMINIC BRENNAN
THE BACKGROUND: The Main House of the Merrion is formed from a collection of four listed Georgian townhouses, whilst the newer Garden Wing overlooks two immaculate private gardens. This ﬁve-star hotel, Dublin’s
most luxurious, seamlessly blends classical and modern. Whilst the exterior is stately but simple, inside the hotel is elegant and comfortable – a place to sit back, read the papers and relax. THE LOCATION: The Merrion is centrally located, opposite Government Buildings and close to the National Gallery and the popular Baggot and Grafton Streets. THE ROOM: My spacious Junior Suite looked down on the hotel’s private gardens. It was brimming with Irish fabrics and period-style furniture, with a king-size bed, sofa, two armchairs, a writing desk, coﬀee table, an Nespresso machine and a fully-stocked mini-bar. A large bathroom featured Italian Carrera marble, and a separate bath tub and shower. KEY FACILITIES: A unique feature
of the hotel is the antiques and various artworks scattered throughout. Guest can take a 45-minute audio tour of the artworks, the largest private collection in Ireland. The Tethra Spa has a 60-ft inﬁnity pool, treatment rooms and a gym. RESTAURANTS/BARS: The Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is Ireland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant. The newer Garden Room Restaurant, overlooking the gardens, oﬀers a range of seasonal Irishthemed fare using local ingredients. In the summer, light meals are available from the Garden Terrace. The cosy No.23 bar is oﬀ the main Drawing Room, while the Cellar Bar, set in an original 18th century wine vault, has a gastro-pub style menu.
from £810 a night (add €29
Address: Merrion Street Upper, Dublin 2,
for a full Irish breakfast).
THE VERDICT The Merrion manages to be dignified and stately without ever feeling too formal. It wears its long history with ease and has a gravitas that is obvious the moment you enter the hotel. Take tea in the Drawing Room or enjoy a top wine in the ‘underground’ Cellar Bar. The Garden Room restaurant is superb – try the Irish oysters, organic salmon and crab linguini. RATES: A Junior Suite is
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Smile all the stay. All our hotels are in dreamlike settings, but if we can go the extra step, rest assured that we have what it takes to surprise you, over and over again, so you’ll keep wondering what’s next? MAURITIUS
I TA LY
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Visit the Falkland Islands
Imagine a place that is so far off the beaten track you have miles of stunning landscape, beaches and magnificent bird life all to yourself. Imagine a silence that is only broken by the call of the birds, and your own footsteps as you explore these beautiful islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.
This is the Falkland Islands, one of the last great wilderness destinations where your trip becomes an adventure. Four wheel drives are our mode of transport, and our little planes will take you to islands abundant with penguins, albatrosses and petrels that are there for you alone to discover and enjoy. At the end of each day you can look forward to traditional cosy Falkland Islands hospitality in the hotels, lodges and guesthouses scattered around the islands.
Escape on a holiday like no other.
@FITB Tourism @FITB Tourism ilovethefalklands info@falklandislands. +500 22215 falklandislands.
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Now a popular cruise stop thanks to its abundant wildlife, the windswept Falklands oﬀer home comforts too, says Mark Stratton
Of all the Sub-Antarctic islands the Falkland Islands is the most accessible destination to enjoy the South Atlantic’s stellar wildlife. This redoubtable British Overseas Territory has a tiny capital, called Stanley, where Union Jacks ﬂy alongside red Royal Mail boxes. The Falklands have become a major cruise destination where passengers make excursions in zodiacs to access this wildlife. But to really spend serious time with beach-loads of penguins and access quaint old-fashioned Falkland hospitality
I am spending a week island-hopping around this frost-shattered archipelago. “Hold tight, this landing can loosen a few ﬁllings,” quipped Andrew the FIGAS (Falkland Island Government Air Service) pilot as Bleaker Island comes into view. We have already dipped low during this ﬂight from Stanley, to brieﬂy follow a pod of killer-whales. I am welcomed onto Bleaker by Mike and Phyllis Rendell, the island’s sole residents. They oﬀer cosy hospitality at Cassard House, which backs onto their small farm. With homemade cake and biscuits served for afternoon tea in between hearty main meals I need a walk to avoid becoming as lethargically obese as the gigantic elephants seals I’d see over the week. And that’s
hey mill around like a convention of unemployed black-tie waiters. A golden ruﬀ of feathers taints their crisp white shirt frontage like a stain of slopped treacle. Part of a spectacle of hundreds of pairs of nesting king penguins, the adults are preening grey ﬂuﬀy chicks who force themselves into the cosy warmth between their parents legs. Intermittently the penguins aim their bills skywards and ululate a piercing call that resonates across Volunteer Point beach. “Nearly a thousand king penguin pairs will raise their chicks here between November and April,” says my guide, Patrick Watts. He had driven me to their colony in his trusty old Land-Rover.
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ALL IMAGES ARE COURTESY OF MARK STRATTON
what most visitors do on these windswept islands. Simply take oﬀ for the day and marvel at wildlife every bit as approachable as that of the Galapagos. Bleaker’s penguin antics soon catch my eye. The Falklands is estimated to have around 1.17million of them – about 292 penguins to every inhabitant. I walk to a golden beach at Sandy Bay and see Magellanic penguins rushing around seemingly scared of their own shadows. They run as if joined at the hip, sometimes stumbling and plummeting face down into the sand. Gentoo penguins meanwhile are bolder.
Clockwise from top left A brown-browed albatross at West Point; the very British Stanley; Cassard House, Bleaker Island; elephant seal encounter
Battle of survival
Later, near Cassard House on Bleaker’s treeless grasslands, I marvel at one of the world’s largest colonies of imperial cormorants. Like the king penguins of Volunteer Point these tall black ﬁshing birds huddle together to nurture their young. But I am also privy to a dramatic battle of survival, as if standing on the set of a nature documentary. Aggressive Antarctic Skuas, with slicing curved bills dive-bomb the colony, picking oﬀ the defenceless chicks that cannot ﬂy. I watch and grimace as several are taken amid a raucous barrage of warning calls. This is nature at its rawest. After two-nights the FIGAS Cessna arrives with new passengers and collects me for a short hop to Sea-lion Island. The lodge owner tells me they’d recently saved a baby orca that had beached, leaving a frantic mother oﬀshore, helpless. After they had returned the calf to the sea the mother waved her ﬂippers towards her child’s rescuers as if in gratitude. I sit on the tussocky grass of the sea-cliﬀ, watching the madcap antics of diminutive rockhopper penguins, with their big yellow eyebrows and mohican-style crests. True to their name the rockhoppers bounce two-footed between ledges of a rocky sea-cliﬀ until they are close enough to spring into the choppy South Atlantic. It looks painful and dangerous and completely nonsensical: a hundred yards
My magical moments • Watching elephant seals square up to each other. • Scenic ﬂights in light aircraft across the rugged archipelago. • Hearty British-style home cooking. • Being present for the life-and-death struggles of colossal bird colonies. • Sitting among a colony of black-browed albatross, as these colossal seabirds unfurl their two-metre-wide wingspans. • Sitting on sand dunes with gentoo penguins gathering around me and staring at me with seemingly curious faces. How to get there Stanley, the Falklands’ capital, can be reached by two different air routings. LATAM operates a weekly Saturday ﬂight from Santiago in Chile, with the return ﬂight on the same day. The more adventurous option is a twice-weekly ﬂight operated by the M.O.D. from Brize Norton Airbase that ﬂies via Ascension Island. It departs Sundays and Wednesdays. falklandislands.com
Where to book it
Falklands Islands Holidays has the seven-day Compass Tour, covering north (Pebble Island), east (Stanley), south (Bleaker Island) and west (Darwin). From £1,660pp, if sharing a twin or double room (excluding ﬂights). falklandislandsholidays.com
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or so away is a soft sandy beach with easy access to the ocean.
Less active is the colony of male elephant-seals loaﬁng around on the western coast’s beach close to the lodge. These two-tonne colossus of wrinkled ﬂab inertly huddle together dozing, their great bulbous elephantine noses ﬂaring. They groan and snore and occasionally rear-up with irritation, blubber slapping together until overcome with eﬀort and deﬂating back down onto the beach. “They are tired after mating,” says Filippo, an Italian researcher I meet later at dinner. My next stop is on Carcass Island, a 17 sq km outpost that oﬀers one of the greatest birding experiences on earth. The island is named after a 19th-century British warship, HMS Carcass, says Rob McGill, a farmer who houses guests at his homestead. From Rob’s farm a ﬁshing boat takes me to the uninhabited West Point Island where forbidding sea cliﬀs of wetted basalt house a large colony of blackbrowed albatross – the globetrotter of the skies. I sit among the colony, near a mother preening a chick the size of a Christmas turkey. The tip of a giant wing brushes my head and I feel touched in more ways than one by the magniﬁcence of the Falkland’s fearless wildlife.
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Rockhopper penguins on Sea Lion Island and photographing birds on a rugged hillside
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cruises Access nature’s most spectacular show from a ship, says Laura Gelder, who rounds up some options
Hurtigruten is still the only company which oﬀers a ‘Northern Lights Promise’: guests who embark on the 12-day Classic Round Voyage or Astronomy Voyage get a free six- or seven-day voyage if the lights fail to appear. The latter is a limited edition voyage accompanied by expert lecturers on astronomy. In 2019, Hurtigruten will launch the world’s ﬁrst hybrid-powered expedition vessel, with the aim of making cruising ‘greener’. Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan sails from London Tilbury to the frozen north this October 28, from £949pp. The voyage will follow Norway’s ragged coastline, calling at idyllic fjord villages before venturing into the Arctic Circle in search of Auora Borealis. Highlights include Briksdal Glacier; the seafaring city of Kristiansund; Alta and the world’s ﬁrst Northern Lights Observatory; Bergen and its funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen; and
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Tromsø, with the chance to meet huskies. P&O has a 12-night Norway and Northern Lights cruise on Aurora, It departs Southampton on March 11 and is priced from £1,099pp. Ports of call are Bergen, Narvik, Tromso and Alta, where expert Trygve Nygard will meet onboard guests to explain the phenomenon. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth leaves Southampton on October 8 on its 12-night Norway and Northern Lights cruise, from £1,539pp. Excursions include hiking up Sugarlump Mountain from Ålesund, Across The Pond Norwegian Cruise Line has a cruise in Alaska aboard its new ship Norwegian Bliss, oﬀering a good chance to see the Northern Lights. Priced from £1259pp, the seven-day Seattle round-trip calls at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, Canada. Viking Cruises’ 930-passenger Viking Sky sails from London Tilbury to
Bergen on its In Search of the Northern Lights 13-night cruise (from £3,790). A highlight will be a trip to the Saltstraumen Maelstrom to learn about this impressive tidal phenomenon. Both Fred Olsen’s In Search of the Northern Lights cruises are sold out for 2019 but the line oﬀers others with Aurora Borealis potential. In 2020 the Northern Norway with Sami National Day cruise will leave Southampton on January 31, for 14 nights. This colourful indigenous festival in Tromsø will oﬀer the chance to traditional hear yoik choirs. From £1,899pp. Dog sledding through a snowy forest, a night in a tepee cabin and an exclusive organ recital in Bodø Cathedral are some of the experiences to be had on Saga’s Arctic Norway and the Northern Lights voyage, departing Dover on February 12 for 15 nights from £2,422pp. Or sell the 15-night Norway’s Night Skies – Spirit of Discovery
trip. Departing Southampton on February 16 and priced from £3595pp, it has a trip across the tundra to increase the chances of a sighting plus optional activities like a boat safari from Kålvag to watch white-tailed eagles, a meeting with indigenous Sami reindeers herders or an ski lesson in Narvik Hurtigruten released its 2019/2020 brochure in August, showcasing 12 ships covering 34 Norwegian ports. The ﬂight-inclusive Coastal Round Voyage oﬀers charter ﬂights from nine regional airports to Bergen on select winter dates. Marella’s 14-night Seeking the Northern Lights cruise sails from Southampton in October (from £1,400pp) and visits eight regions of Norway for optimum Northern Lights viewing. Stops include UNESCO World Heritage Geiranger, a village with dramatic fjord scenery where excursions will include a high-speed boat ride, sedate kayaking or a farm visit.
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our NORTHERN LIGHTS PROMISE EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org ORDER your brochure at Tradegate.co.uk VISIT www.hurtigruten.co.uk Northern Lights Promise is valid on all 12-day Norway coastal voyages from 1 October 2017 â€“ 31 March 2018. Full terms and conditions apply. Please see website for details.
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Free 6 or 7-day voyage if the Northern Lights don’t occur on a 12-day voyage with us along the Norwegian coast coast between October and March.
experience the aurora
uk departure airports
On a journey with Hurtigruten, the Aurora Borealis comes to us. Our ships sail in the Arctic Circle in Norway, directly under the Auroral Zone. From the convenience of our observation decks, our guests get a front-seat view of the lights for free, for as often and for as long as they appear. We’ve been sailing under Norway’s Northern Lights since 1893, no one knows them like we do.
• Visit 34 charming ports northbound and southbound from Bergen to Kirkenes and back again
• Exciting optional excursions such as whale watching, king crab safari, and husky dog sledding
• Freshly-sourced food and delicious
menus on board inspired by authentic Nordic cuisine
• Convenient flight-inclusive voyages from a choice of 9 UK airports
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Nature-infused spa treatments and health retreats across Australia provide the perfect wellness solution in a busy touring itinerary, says Debbie Ward
n a yurt under banyan trees I’m having a ‘rose foot ritual’, with herbal Ayurvedic massage oil that has, I’m told, been traditionally blessed. The leafy surrounds of the spa sit within Arajilla Retreat, an Asian-slanted all-suite hotel where the daily cocktail hour, with fine dining on local seafood are scarcely less relaxing. Beyond the gates the chilled vibe continues because I’m on New South Wales’ Lord Howe Island, UNESCO-listed for its “spectacular topography”. No one here locks their doors and a solo policeman handles lost property. For a mental detox it’s hard to beat. Like most locals, I travel the six miles of road by bike, stopping off at perfect whitesand beaches. Glass-bottomed boat trips to spot turtles and hikes to view seabird colonies are among the back-to nature activities on offer. I lunch at Lord Howe’s second boutique hotel, Capella Lodge, which boasts a view of twin volcanic peaks and a spa with a three-hour ‘Dreaming ritual’. Tonight I may have a beach barbecue with wine from a boat shed honesty bar and ponder whether to next plump for Arajilla’s gold, silver or fruit facial.
Land-based solutions Nature-infused ingredients and treatments inspired by nearby Asia are found in many of Australia’s spas. The country also offers incredible landscapes and unique remote settings to completely unwind under starry skies free from light pollution. With most holidays Down Under involving a lot of time on the road, a rejuvenating pit stop can be welcome.
Above: Longitude 131’s Spa Kinara. Top right: Arkaba Conservancy, a Wild Bush Luxury property in the Flinders Ranges. Right: hiking in Tasmania at Wineglass Bay; yoga at One&Only Wolgan Valley; horse trekking in the Kimberley with El Questro
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“Touring around Australia can sometimes be quite intense… we’ve noticed it becoming increasingly popular for clients to want to include a wellness aspect into their itinerary, to relax and unwind for a couple of days and break up their travelling,” says John Parker, Australia Product Manager at Premier Holidays. “Australia’s spas are known for their unusual treatments,” he adds. Luxurious Qualia on Hamilton Island, for instance, offers naturopathy and iridology and counts Taylor Swift among its celebrity guests. Short breaks during an Australia visit can foreground wellness, suggests Rachel McMurdo, Assistant Product Manager for Oceania at Travel 2. “I’d suggest a gentle road trip in Victoria, with restful retreats in Melbourne and Lake Daylesford in the Grampians. The pace at the Lake House is deliberately slow, with an emphasis on good food and wellbeing.” With millennials now well-versed in wellness, according to Wellbeing Escapes, it pays not to overlook even backpackers in suggesting some downtime.
New South Wales Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley (oneandonlyresorts.com) in the Greater Blue Mountains is among Australia’s ultraluxury lodges and offers wellness retreats with guidance from top practitioners. Near Byron Bay, tourists can get physical at Gaia Retreat and Spa (gaiaretreat.com.au), co-founded by Olivia Newton-John. And on Lord Howe Island, Capella Lodge (lordhowe.com) reopens this autumn after a major refurbishment. Its spa treatments are inspired by nature and include Aboriginal massage techniques.
What’s new? In Sydney the new Ultimo Hotel (theultimo.com.au) tailors guests’ visits, including dining
and sightseeing suggestions, to their star signs.
Victoria Victoria’s spa country boasts 141 mineral springs including geothermal waters. The 10-villa Hepburn bathhouse (hepburnbathhouse.com) offers steam therapies and Japanese-style Shizuka Ryokan. From October 28 Royal Brunei (ﬂyroyalbrunei.com) has a new daily route from Heathrow to Brunei, connecting onwards to Melbourne. Sell it: Travel 2 (travel2.com) recommends the ‘exceptional’ spa at Crown Towers, Melbourne. Four nights here plus three at Lake House Daylesford costs from £1,579 including ﬂights and car hire. Daylesford also features in AAT Kings’ (aatkings.com) Victoria’s Hidden Gems tour
ACT Canberra Day Spa (canberradayspa.com.au) is a well-known haven with the latest technology like IPL skin rejuvenation. It also has couples’ pampering packages. The Live Well Spa and Wellness Centre’s (livewellnaturally.com.au) holistic approach includes acupuncture and chiropracty. Suggest a Capital Twilight Tour (mulgabicycletours.com.au) by bicycle, hike up Mount Ainslie or swim in the Murrumbidgee River. Further outside Canberra, join Burnelee Excursions (burnelee.com.au) for a horseback trek, or have a go at mustering on a working cattle farm. Tip: During the Truﬄe Festival (June to August) clients can join trained dogs on countryside hunts for the underground delicacy.
South Australia The state’s vineyards and the rugged Flinders Ranges are home to some excellent retreats. Anzcro (anzcro.co.uk) has a four-day Arkaba guided bush walk, while Rawnsley Park Station (rawnsleypark.com.au) offers helicopter trips to sleep under stars in the Outback. Clients can also swim with sea lions and dolphins off the Eyre Peninsula. Those with wellness goals should consider Kangaroo Island Health Retreat (kihealthretreat.com), a specialist in detoxing and weight loss. On the same island, Southern Ocean Lodge (southernoceanlodge.com. au) is the design-led star where the spa has knockout views.
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Mount Sonder at sunrise. For a true getaway, book clients an Outback Floatplane Adventure (outbackﬂoatplanes.com. au) trip to a remote camp. What’s new? Virgin Australia (virginaustralia.com) and Jetstar (jetstar.com) launched ﬂights between Brisbane and Alice Springs/Uluru this summer.
What’s New? Guests at outback lodge Arkaba Conservancy (arkabaconservancy.com) can join a new walking tour to hear stories of the Aboriginal Adnamatna people.
Western Australia Any clients arriving into Perth, perhaps via the new non-stop ﬂight from London operated by Qantas, can start their holiday Down Under with the jet lag recovery spa package at luxurious COMO The Treasury (comohotels.com).
Margaret River and its surrounding serene wine region offer a slower pace. Here the boutique Empire Retreat and Spa (empireretreat.com) has its own vineyard and offers three-hour spa treatments. In the outback, luxury El Questro (elquestro. com.au) homestead has thermal pools on its land and arranges horse-riding. The state’s fantastic ﬂora and fauna experiences are sure to boost mental wellness: swim with gentle whale sharks off Exmouth or visit the vast wildﬂower plains, colourful for six months from June. Tip: Pippa Middleton’s honeymoon included eco-glamping at Sal Salis at marine-life hotspot Ningaloo Reef.
Tell us your preferred operator for long haul escorted tours
Clockwise from above: Ayurvedic Treatments at Arajilla Retreat on Lord Howe; lunch with a Wolgan Valley view; Southern Ocean Lodge
Northern Territory Luxury tented camp Longitude 131° (longitude131.com.au), near Uluru, has a spa using natural ingredients like Kakadu plum, desert salts and the scented emu bush balm used by Aboriginal healers. This is a great region to learn more about Aboriginal spirituality, with Arnhemland among the top places to view rock art. Anzcro has a six-day Classic Larapinta Trek from Alice Springs, incorporating
Gold Medal recommends Barrier Reef gateway Cairns for “great relaxation whilst surrounded by spectacular backdrops,” highlighting Vie Spa at Pullman Cairns International (pullmancairnsinternational.com.au). On the Gold Coast but in a rural setting with a view, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (gwinganna.com) is an ecotourism-certified health retreat that combines organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with organic cuisine and wellness seminars. Fully-inclusive packages are available from two to seven days’ duration. Zen Beach Retreat (zenbeachretreat.com), set on a beachfront in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, offers aerial yoga and a magnesium pool. The new W Brisbane (wbrisbane.com) has a spa with aromatherapy steam baths. Sell it: Premier Holidays (premierholidays.co.uk) suggests a three-night wellness stay at celebrity favourite Qualia (qualia.com.au) on Hamilton Island, as part of a 10-night holiday that also includes Sydney and Melbourne. The package, with ﬂights, costs from £2,869pp this November.
Tasmania With UNESCO-listed wilderness national parks, Tasmania is a top tip for a back-tonature break. Harmony Harvest Health Retreat (harmonyharvest.com) has mountain-view villas in the bush near Hobart and offers a ‘retreat’ for typically one- to five-days, it uses organic products and avoids sugar, gluten and dairy in meals. For luxury budgets, Saﬃre Freycinet (saﬃre-freycinet.com.au), featured by Cox & Kings (coxandkings.co.uk) and Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk), is a topnotch getaway. It offers a ‘pearl exfoliation’, degustation menus and guided hikes. Tip: Between May and June and September and November humpback whales can be seen oﬀ Tasmania’s East Coast. Hiking Cradle Mountain is a popular choice for active travellers.
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Belize Monkeys, macaws, reefs and rainforest are among the many reasons that make Belize a beguiling choice for British tourists, says Judith Baker Although it was called British Honduras until 1973 and still has The Queen on its banknotes, Belize remains mostly undiscovered by British tourists. But that looks set to change as Belize has been widely tipped as a 'one to watch'. In fact, on the back of increased marketing activity from the Belize Tourist Board, the country saw a 24.3% increase in overnight European tourism arrivals between JanuaryJune this year, compared to 2017. And the UK was in the vanguard of this growth, with numbers up by 20.6% over the same period. Located in Central America, Belize oﬀers access to the Caribbean and borders Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the south. For such a small country, it oﬀers a wellrounded and diverse range of activities and experiences. The only English-speaking country in the region, Belize has a tropical Caribbean coastline, lush rainforest, wildlife including toucans, jaguars crocodiles and monkeys and a fascinating cultural mix. Karen Pike, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at the Belize Tourism Board comments: “Whether you want to relax on a luxury escape, search for wildlife in the rainforest, reef, islands and mountains or want to learn about our many diﬀerent cultures, there really is something for everyone in Belize.”
Dive right in Belize’s famous Blue Hole is a large underwater sinkhole that is visible from space. Near a small atoll 100 kms from the mainland, it measures over 300 metres across and 125 metres deep and is the world’s largest natural formation of its kind. Marine life includes giant groupers and
BOOK IT WITH... EXPLORE The 14-day Discover Belize trip includes the Mayan sites of Xunantunich and Lamanai, wildlife at the Crooked Tree bird sanctuary and Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, canoeing on the Macal River and snorkelling from Caye Caulker. The deal is priced from £2,585pp, including ﬂights, B&B accommodation, some other meals and a tour leader. 01252 884 723; explore.co.uk
several types of sharks. Belize also has the second-largest barrier reef in the world with pristine areas of reef and is recognized by The World Wildlife Fund as a leader in protecting their ecosystem.
Nature, Mayans and beaches Must dos include a trip down Monkey River near Placencia, where a local guide will point out howler monkeys, crocodiles and manatees, the gorgeous toucan, scarlet macaws and yellow-headed parrots. Swim into the Actun Tunichil Muknal or ATM cave to see examples of Maya sacriﬁces that include a crystallized skeleton. More Mayan history can be visited at Cahal Pech archaeological site near San Ignacio, while other sites include Min Li Punit and Xunantunich. Beaches in the cayes are clean and dotted with shady bars for cold beers or cocktails.
New hotels Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, (mahoganybayvillage.com) Hilton’s ﬁrst property
in Belize, features 205 cottage and villa-style rooms. The property is situated on a 60-acre waterfront site with 10 dining outlets and beach clubs. Itz'ana Resorts & Residences on Placencia Caye (itzanabelize.com) has opened with farm-to-table dining and a spa. A number of luxury resorts are being developed across the country including a private island Four Seasons resort on Caye Chapel with 18-hole golf course, scheduled to open 2021(fourseasons.com).
Getting there Most ﬂights, into Phillip Goldson Airport in Ladyville, located just minutes from Belize City, are via the main USA gateways such as Miami, Dallas, Charlotte and Los Angeles. Belize is also connected via ﬂights from Guatemala and Cancun. Easy access to neighbouring countries makes Belize a viable option for twocentre holidays. South is Guatemala, with its famous ruins at Tikal and colonial city Antigua. North is Mexico's Yucatan and the resorts of Tulum and Playa del Carmen.
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Benjamin Coren explores the top selling opportunities to be found in the lucrative over 50s travel market
ccording to a recent industry report from Silver Travel Advisor, an advice and reviews website for those selling travel to mature clients, by 2050 there will be around 500,0000 centenarians in the UK. Clearly, for travel agents older travellers are a growing and lucrative market – but how to sell to this speciﬁc sector in a way that doesn’t come across as patronising or assumptive? Fly and ﬂop holidays or an escorted coach trip are now outdated stereotypes for the majority of older travellers – but are agents suﬃciently geared up to communicate and sell the alternatives? Debbie Marshall, Managing Director at Silver Travel Advisor, says: “What we have found is that a lot of mature people would prefer to deal with like-minded agents who can empathise with their own individual
travel needs and respond to these accordingly.” Last year Debbie and her team put together a classroom training programme for agents and currently under development is an online course, but for now a partnership with the Advantage consortium allows Silver Travel Advisor to reach more agents across the UK. Here’s her overview of the mature market:
The over 50s This age group is now rarely considered as “mature travellers”. Clients in this age bracket are still working and likely to be physically ﬁt but can now draw down their pensions (or part of). Marshall adds: “Those in this market are at the tail-end of the baby boomer generation and will have ﬁnancial means through property and their careers. It’s an aﬄuent
and active market who wants to travel and experience the world.” Here, the concept of the ‘Silver Gap year’ applies. People are undertaking longer trips and doing things like ski seasons, volunteering overseas and taking sabbaticals – all virtually unheard of when this generation was in its 20s. Adds Marshall: “Another element of this market is aﬀectionately referred to as ‘silver splitters’, that is those travelling alone. The divorce rate is highest in the over 50s, so there is a growing solo/singles travel market, as well as others who just want to solo travel.”
The over 60s In this decade retirement traditionally takes place, making a huge change to day-to-day life. Health and energy levels may increase along with disposable income and time.
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Says Marshall: “This is the biggest-selling opportunity for agents. A large percentage of this group can take multiple holidays and travel at any time of the year. The tendency towards truly independent travel diminishes – they like comfort and often want the level of organisation an agent can oﬀer.”
The over 70s It’s in this decade that medical conditions can creep in. People may become more restricted and need to take it a little more gently. Travel insurance prices also tend to go up, especially if travellers have previous medical conditions, but agents can point their clients to organisations like Age UK who oﬀer advice on ﬁnding the best deals. Debbie adds: “One trend we have noticed for over 70s is that people tend to be steering away from airports. Popular holiday types include cruising, city breaks and UKbased holidays.”
The over 80s For octogenerians, mobility issues are obviously more prevalent, with requirements for ramps, ﬂat-access rooms and grab rails amongst other requirements. There are organisations out there, such as Enable Holidays, that oﬀer a range of worldwide holiday products which fulﬁl these requirements.
Top selling tips Pedal power: Don’t discount active holidays for older clients. Cycling holidays have exploded in popularity in recent years and there are some great options, ranging from mountain biking to sedate pedalling through French vineyards.
Escorted tours: Escorted or guided tours often resonate better than coach holidays. Explain that escorted touring holidays and river cruises, with their more detailed itineraries and range of activity options, help customers get under the skin of a group of destinations on one trip. Milestrone celebrations: An increasing number of travellers are booking trips to celebrate special occasions and for older travellers these become more signiﬁcant - such as the start of retirement or milestone birthdays and anniversaries. Keep it in the family: Tour operators are responding to an increasing demand from multi-generational groups, such as those taking the grandchildren away or three generations travelling together on the same holiday. Tick off that bucket-list: Whether it’s a trip to Australia to see the grandkids, conquering Kilimanjaro or driving Route 66, retirement is often the ﬁrst chance to action long dreamt of travel plans. Always ask what the ‘dream holiday’ is - you may be able to make it happen! On the rails: Suggest a rail tour as a diﬀerent but easy way to see a
“The most important thing for agents to remember when selling to the over 50s is that they have varied needs and wants – agents must treat each client on an individual basis” Jane Atkins, Managing Director, Shearings Holidays
From left: Older travellers are a growing and lucrative market; Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera; meeting the Massai tribes in Kenya
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country or region. The rail specialists have plenty to oﬀer – such as Rail Discoveries’ nine-day Italian Riviera tour, from £1,295pp and including a cruise to Portoﬁno.
“Multi-generational holidays have always been a large part of our customer makeup. In recent years we’ve seen the overall average age of our customers rise which in part is due to this trend” Susie White, Marketing Director, James Villas
What’s the best tour operator for solo travellers?
sellingtravel.co.uk/awards From left: Wine country in the French heartland; Portoﬁno Bay; tick Kilimanjaro oﬀ of your bucket list
What’s new Tour operators: Backwaters (backwaters. tours) has launched a programme of day
cruise itineraries to the French heartland. The company’s new-build hybrid-engined vessel is designed as an observation lounge on the French inland waterways network. Guests spend the morning cruising the waterways, enjoy a local boulangerieprepared lunch on board, served with regional wines, then head oﬀ for afternoon excursions by coach. The same accommodation is used throughout the trip for seven-night itineraries and split across two properties for the 14-night itineraries. Inghams (agents.inghams.co.uk) was awarded a Silver Eye Award from Silver Travel Advisor for its new bespoke guided e-biking programme in Kitzbühel. The tour encourages guests of all cycling abilities and ﬁtness levels to access and enjoy the world’s biggest e-biking region. The programme includes ﬁve guided rides per week. Described as a chance to “experience life beyond The Real Marigold Hotel”, Saga’s (saga.co.uk) new Great Indian Rail Journey includes the Golden Triangle region, a visit to the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the hill station of Shimla and a tiger safari. Guests experience six train journeys, all in airconditioned comfort. Training: Advantage Travel Partnership (advantagemembers.com) is to host its ﬁrst- ever travel agent training session for selling to the over-50 market (October 16, 2018). Run
in partnership with Silver Travel Advisor, agents will learn about this market sector, the opportunities it presents, how to proﬁle the customer and speciﬁc skills for selling to the mature traveller. On completion agents become an accredited Silver Travel Advisor Agent. Advantage members can book online for £175pp.
Where to sell it SAGA – 0808 278 3874 The 15-night Great Indian Rail Journey is priced from £2,099pp, based on an April 22, 2019 departure with Virgin Atlantic ﬂights from Heathrow to Delhi. Regional ﬂights from Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow are also available. Price includes VIP door-to-door travel service, return ﬂights, half-board accommodation, porterage, tour manager, and optional travel insurance. saga.co.uk
BSPOKE TOURS – 020 7471 7759 The Kilimanjaro Rongai Route presents a physical and mental challenge. The sevennight expedition, designed for retirees, culminates in a crater climb to Uhuru ‘Freedom’ Peak. Priced from £2,849pp, it includes ﬂights, two nights in a hotel and ﬁve nights of full service camping, breakfast, most other meals, park fees and transfers. bspoketours.com
ENABLE HOLIDAYS – 0121 374 0196 An accessible tour of Vietnam, which includes visiting Hanoi, Halong Bay, and the Mekong Delta, costs £2559pp (October 11-24, 2018). The operator has over 500 holidays In 50 countries, and provides accessible accommodation, adapted transfers, airport assistance and more. enableholidays.com
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You’ll be surprised… If you thought Saga just did coach tours, think again. We offer inspiring holidays across the globe that include authentic experiences for our well-travelled customers. From a thrilling tour of Uganda in search of mountain gorillas, and volcano walking in Sicily, to small-ship cruises exploring Croatia’s hidden islands – you’ll be surprised by what we offer.
We offer incredible value too… • Our VIP door-to-door travel service is included on all Worldwide holidays, selected European tours, 2019 river cruises of 11 nights or longer and all river cruises departing September 3-December 15, 2018. • Optional travel insurance is included (with no upper age limit) on all overseas holidays and is provided by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, and additional cancellation rights, unless you have your own insurance, in which case a reduction is available. Cover is subject to medical questions.
… and did you know? Due to the success of our small ships Saga Sapphire and Saga Pearl II, we will be launching two newly-commissioned ships – Spirit of Discovery in July 2019 and Spirit of Adventure in 2020.
Call FREE on 0800 074 8021 or visit saga.co.uk/agents Or call Agency sales FREE on 0800 068 8732 Find us on social media Saga Trade Team Saga’s holidays and cruises are exclusively for the over 50s. A travel companion can be 40+. NHA-AP5651
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the final word
the quirky side of travel Housekeeping horrors
Many Brits are not adverse to enjoying a drink on holiday, and, according to lastminute.com, they start their daily boozing earlier than other Europeans. But the same research also shows that when it comes to questionable holiday habits, a morning cocktail might have other implications. Of those asked, 63% were 'not bothered' if their room was 'left in a state' for housekeeping and 57% 'never make the bed' before they leave. The survey also revealed that men and women ﬁnd diﬀerent things embarrassing while abroad: women cited 'accidental nudity' and 'blocking the toilet' as most cringeworthy, while for men 'falling over by the pool' and 'getting sunburnt' were top of the list.
TOP 5… Holiday souvenirs
Here come the girls
Currently just 5% of pilots are women, sparking easyJet to launch a campaign to ﬁnd its female captains of the future. Hannah Revie, the daughter of real easyJet captain, Emily Revie, helped by evoking Leonardo DiCaprio in this famous scene from Catch Me If You Can. Perhaps this will show that being a pilot can be a woman's job too – Tom Cruise and Biggles watch out!
A Flybe survey reveals the nation's favourite bits of holiday tat/plunder ﬂybe.com
Fridge magnets (26.6%)
On the road to disaster
A survey carried out by Opinium has revealed that a third of hire car drivers 'don't like' driving abroad. The results are perhaps not surprising considering one in ﬁve people have driven on the wrong side of the road 'by accident', 12% 'don’t understand the road signs in other countries' and 9% 'worry about breaking the local drink driving rules by mistake'.
Toiletries from hotel rooms (12.10%)
THE OCTOBER 2018 ISSUE OF SELLING TRAVEL WILL FEATURE: Australian Rail Journeys • The Balkans • Baltimore • California • The Canary Islands • Christmas Markets • Ecuador • Indochina • Korea • New Zealand • South Africa • South Tyrol • CONTACT US email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org PLUS ONLINE Daily Selling Tips • Destination Guides • Photo Galleries • Travel Uni
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The world in one magazine Cover Story: Indonesia, plus how to sell... Florida • Over 50's • Australia • Seychelles • Uzbekistan • South Paci...
Published on Aug 31, 2018
The world in one magazine Cover Story: Indonesia, plus how to sell... Florida • Over 50's • Australia • Seychelles • Uzbekistan • South Paci...