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SELLING TRAVEL • SEPTEMBER 2019

SEPTEMBER 2019 • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK

TRAVEL TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2018

Cyprus • Dubai • Myanmar • Northern Lights cruising • Peru • South Florida • South Pacific • Tobago

DIVE INTO A GOLDEN AGE Agents need to know that the over 50s are as adventurous and savvy as they are time and cash rich

how to sell...

South Pacific Florida Cyprus Peru and more...

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2020-22 EARLYBIRD FARES Out Now

THE NEW BENCHMARK IN ULTRA LUXURY CRUISING Truly All-Inclusive Luxury Return flights from UK airports Pre/post-cruise hotel stay Spacious all-verandah suite accommodation Butler service for every guest and 1:1 staff-to-guest ratio Choice of up to 10 on board dining experiences

ANTARCTICA IN DEPTH Buenos Aires 1

Ushuaia

1

ICELAND DISCOVERY

Argentina

The freedom of our e-bikes 550m2 Senses Spa, gym, yoga and Pilates studio Indoor and outdoor swimming pools All tipping, transfers and taxes, on board and onshore FREE private door-to-door chauffeur transfers

INCREDIBLE IBERIAN DISCOVERY Barcelona Portugal

Grimsey

Beagle Channel Drake Passage 11

South Shetland Islands South Orkney Islands

Port Lockroy

Unlimited complimentary beverages* Extensive choice of all-inclusive shore excursions Scenic Enrich unique experiences Expert Discovery Team and local experts Zodiac, kayak, snorkel and snow-shoe adventures

Antarctic Peninsula Weddell Sea

Lemaire Channel

Antarctic Circle

Departing Nov 2020 – Feb 2021 Nov 2021 – Feb 2022 Ushuaia > Ushuaia

Isafjördur

Spain

Húsavík Dynjandi Waterfall

Reykjavik

Seydisfjördur

7 Seville

Iceland

Cartagena

1

Thorlakshofn

Soller de Mallorca

Lisbon 1

Málaga

Portimão

8

Heimaey

Tangier Morocco

Departing 18 & 26 July 2021 Reykjavik > Reykjavik

Departing 11 April 2021 Lisbon > Barcelona

Savings from £1,050 per person

Savings from £750 per person

Savings from £705 per person

16-day cruise from £9,725pp

10-day cruise from £6,045pp

9-day cruise from £4,980pp

Book the Ultimate in Luxury Call 0808 115 0463 | Email agencysales@scenic.co.uk Terms and Conditions: Prices correct at time of going to print (20 August 2019). Prices advertised are based on two sharing a Verandah Suite paying the Earlybird fare with economy flights departing London Heathrow, subject to availability. Prices include the advertised Earlybird saving plus an Early Payment Discount of £500 per suite. Early payment discount of £500 is per suite and based on two persons sharing. Discount will be reduced for single occupancy. Full balance payment must be made on or before 31 December 2019 to receive this discount. Discount amount will be deducted from balance payment. ‡Supplements may apply for regional departures. Private door-to-door transfers are complimentary within a 75 mile radius from your home address. For any journey over 75 miles, a £2.00 per mile supplement will be charged. Offers are valid for new bookings only made before 30 September 2019 and can be withdrawn at any time. Earlybird Fares are strictly limited. Pre-departure night included on all season departures – hotel stay will be allocated and booked by Scenic, includes bed and breakfast. Helicopter and submarine activities are weather permitting, may incur additional costs and are subject to availability. *All drinks on board are included except for a very small number of rare, fine and vintage wines, champagnes and spirits. Scenic Tours Pty trading as Scenic. Registered: 05770868

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contents

3

this issue

WE TRAVEL FURTHER TO BRING YOU MORE FEATURES 08 Peru: New cruise, rail and luxury options

41 South Florida: Why the south side is more than just theme parks 65

QUICK READS 12 Six of the best: Dubai 38 Destination Profile:

41 67

Cyprus

65 66 67 70

12

44 60

08

44 How to sell: Myanmar 48 My journey: Cruising 51

38

48 66

the South Pacific Destination Profile: South Pacific My trip to: Las Vegas Six of the best: New South Wales islands Exploring: Tobago How to sell: Northern Lights cruises

SOUTH PACIFIC

48

CYPRUS

38

THE REVIEW 55 Top news stories plus hotel reviews and a Sri Lanka news report

TALKING SHOP 15 News, competitions, incentives, fams, columnists, new appointments

OVER-50S

LAS VEGAS

76

65

OVER-50S 76 Trends 80 Interview: Titan Travel 82 Fresh Ideas

MYANMAR

44

FLORIDA

41

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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4

welcome

Isn't it ironic? WINNER

TRADE PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR – PRINT & ONLINE

EDITORIAL EDITOR

Laura Gelder laura.gelder@sellingtravel.co.uk JOURNALISTS

Jessica Pook, Sasha Wood & April Waterston CONTRIBUTING EDITORS:

Andy Hoskins & Julie Baxter EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge

SALES PUBLISHERS

Steve Thompson steven.thompson@sellingtravel.co.uk Sally Parker sally.parker@sellingtravel.co.uk ADVERTISING MANAGER

Lisa Merrigan lisa.merrigan@sellingtravel.co.uk

DESIGN & PRODUCTION SENIOR DESIGNER

Louisa Horton

I

t's always sad when a much-loved brand collapses but the demise of the always-trade-friendly Super Break is still clearly making an impact. Many agents took to social media to pay tribute to the people who worked for Super Break, and supported the trade in selling its products. But as you can see on our social media page (32), they also bemoaned the hole it has left in the UK breaks market. It’s ironic, really, that the operator collapsed at a time when domestic breaks are on the up; but of course it wasn’t Super Break that was failing, but its parent company. Laura Gelder The travel industry isn’t a stranger to irony, and the Sri Lanka EDITOR bombings, also coming at a boom time for tourism to the country, were a tragic twist of fate. I’m so happy to hear that there are emerging signs of a slow recovery and you can read more about how the trade is driving this in our Sri Lanka news report on page 60. On a more upbeat note, our special section this month looks at the buoyant and lucrative – for agents at least – over 50s market. It’s difficult, perhaps counter-productive, to break any industry down into age groups and I was hesitant to even write 'over 50s'. As someone who recently celebrated a birthday, I know age is a touchy subject! But please, whether you are over 50 or not, take the time to read our feature on travel trends in this sector (p76), because the point it makes is that each traveller is unique and, like everyone else, this age group just wants new destinations and ever-more exciting experiences. And please forgive us if you find the cover image this month a bit stereotypical. All I can say is, I hope my 50s look just like that!

DESIGNERS

Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis & Zoe Tarrant PRODUCTION & STUDIO MANAGER

Clare Hunter

PRODUCTION ADMINISTRATOR

Steve Hunter

BMI PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner CEO

Martin Steady (PRINT) ISSN 2056-9319. © BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2019.

SELLING TRAVEL IS PUBLISHED BY BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON, SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233 E: ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK 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. WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE

With this issue

FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. COVER IMAGE: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM This publication is printed on Revivew 100 Media and Revive

Latin America Travel Guide

recycled coated, recycled paper grades that are FSC® Recycled certified and Carbon Balanced. LATIN AMERICA Travel Guide 2019/2020

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The 2019/2020 edition maps out adventures, iconic sights and events in the region, and puts luxury, cruise and wildlife in focus.

Wyoming Fam Trip Report

me Welco to

WYOMING FAM

TRIP

REPORT

Experience the Cowboy State through the eyes of seven travel professionals who travelled hundreds of miles and experienced its unique culture and awe inspiring landscapes

TRAVELWYOMING.COM

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The story of a journey which seven agents took around the Cowboy State this May and what they learnt about how to sell it.

sellingtravel.co.uk

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Visit www.sellingtravel.co.uk and please

Vote for Newmarket Holidays at the 2019 Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards in the following categories: • Best Short Haul Escorted Tours Company • Best River Cruising Company – Short haul

We

appreciate your support! sup

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The Real Spirit of MachuPicchu

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BUY ONLINE

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the big picture

7

The windy city Illinois

Second city soaring Chicago has reported a 15% spike in UK visitors for 2018. It puts this down to special events like Chicago Theater Week, which had a record-breaking year, and a boom in new hotels. Eight big names opened their doors in 2018, including Moxy Hotel; The Hoxton opened this year and Nobu Hotel will join in 2020. New York and now Los Angeles have larger populations, but locals still refer to Chicago as ‘the Second City’. choosechicago.com

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8

peru

heady

Heights Peru’s tourism appeal is evolving, says Sarah Gilbert, who explains how to sell Peru as a rail and cruise holiday, a luxury escape or an adventure tour

M

y breath is ragged, my heart is pounding and I feel on top of the world. A distant glacier glitters in the sunlight, its jagged peaks reflected in the mirrorflat surface of a sapphire-blue lake. And save for our small group and some docile llamas there isn’t another living thing in sight. I am taking the Inca road less travelled on Mountain Lodges of Peru’s Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure; innovative five- and seven-day programmes that mix high-end lodges, hiking and culture with sustainable practices that directly benefit local communities. Daily activities are divided into ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ and ‘challenging’. One morning I climb up to the Challwaccasa Pass, then

down to the small farming community of Viacha that sits among fields of red quinoa and purple lupin, high above Pisac’s 15thcentury fortress. My reward is pachamanca, a traditional Inca feast where meat and vegetables are layered into a hole in the ground and slow-cooked for hours. I am also given the opportunity to buy vibrant weavings, far removed from the tourist groups. In the Andean village of Huachahuasi, giggling children in red hats and ponchos scamper past on their way to school and women, their cheeks fat with coca leaves, sit spinning wool outside adobe homes. My contemporary lodge’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame the stunning landscapes and rooms come with alfresco hot tubs to sooth those post-hike muscles.

My journey ends at the magnificent Machu Picchu and although I marvel at the Inca’s architectural prowess, I realise that the highlight had been getting an off-the-beaten-track glimpse into their descendants’ everyday lives. Sell it: Journey Latin America offers the 11-day Peru: Beyond the Sacred Valley with the Lares Adventure, including the five-day Lares trek, mid-range hotels, domestic flights, excursions including Machu Picchu, transfers and most meals. International flights are extra journeylatinamerica.co.uk

The full package Peru packs in everything from colonial cities to ancient ruins, glacier-tipped peaks to the Amazon rainforest.

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peru

New flights have boosted connectivity from the UK and within the country, accommodation options and tourism infrastructure have improved, and luxury trains, world-class expedition cruises and gourmet restaurants are now all adding to its appeal. “Peru welcomed 74,124 UK visitors last year, a 7% increase on 2017,” says Elisabeth Hakim, UK & North America Market Coordinator at PromPeru. “International tourism arrivals reached a record-breaking 4,419,430 in 2018.” Between now and 2021, investments in the tourism sector will exceed $790 million, with 22 new four- and five-star hotel projects currently under construction – 17 in Lima alone. While Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu

still dominate itineraries, northern Peru is becoming increasingly popular. “The Kuelap Cable Car has made this preInca mountaintop city more accessible” says Isabelle Mazille, Product Manager at Journey Latin America. “And the gentle coastal city of Mancora is ideal for a post-sightseeing beach break, with high-end accommodation and humpback whale-watching from July to October.” An increased train schedule means that it’s easy to visit Machu Picchu on a day trip from the Sacred Valley, but Peru’s home to a host of less-visited archaeological gems, including Choquequirao in the south and Chan Chan in the northwest. Adventure travellers can tackle highaltitude hikes beyond the Inca Trail, such as the Salkantay Trek and Ausangate.

9

Gastronomy is another major draw, with Lima featured in the 2018 series finale of BBC’s MasterChef and Peruvian restaurants now regularly topping many of the ‘world’s best’ lists.

Cruise & train Departing from the jungle town of Iquitos, Aqua Expeditions offers three-, four- and seven-night itineraries on its ship Aria Amazon, exploring the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve in northeast Peru. Spread over two decks, 16 stylish riverfacing suites come with picture windows and expert naturalist guides take guests to spot sloth, caiman, monkeys and more. Gastronomy is also high on the agenda. Launching in August 2020, the 20-suite Aqua Nera will follow the same model.

THE CORdILLERA BLANCA MOuNTAINS

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peru peru

11

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica peruvian entertainment

the amazon hiking, andees

colca canyon perurail - the andean explorer

Also offering luxury on the Amazon is Delfin, the first Relais & Châteaux cruise, with three options: Delfin III with 22 suites, Delfin II with 14, and Delfin I with just four. La Perla’s three boats and three-, four- and seven-night cruises are a mid-range option. Cruise lines including Princess, Celebrity, Oceania, Norwegian and P&O have the port of Callao near Lima on their South American itineraries, and Regent Seven Seas sails from Miami to Lima on its 15-night Paradise to Peru cruise, with the option for a three-night land extension. Getting to Machu Picchu by train has never been easier. PeruRail and IncaRail both have various options from Cusco or Ollantaytambo, depending on the season. The Belmond Hiram Bingham train – Latin America’s Orient Express – throws in oldworld glamour, cocktails and fine dining. South America’s first luxury sleeper train, while the 24 ensuite-cabin Belmond Andean Explorer, is an opulent hotel-on-wheels that whisks guests on a two-night journey from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and on to Arequipa. Sell it: Kuoni offers a 21-night Paradise to Peru Stay & Cruise holiday, including British Airways flights from Heathrow and transfers. The price for departure on October 31, based on two adults sharing, is from £9,995pp. kuoni.co.uk

Staying in luxury lodges

Adventure all the way

Inkaterra has been blazing the ecotourism trail for more than 40 years, with seven properties, including its sprawling cloudforest sanctuary, Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, and three rustic-luxe Amazon lodges next to the wildlife-rich Tambopata National Reserve in southeast Peru. They all help to support conservation projects, including rainforest reforestation and a spectacled bear rescue centre. As well as trains, Belmond operates six hotels in Peru, including the historic Hotel Monasterio and Palacio Nazarenas in Cusco, Las Casitas in the majestic Colca Canyon and Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Luxury lodging includes the art-filled Hotel B in Barranco, Lima’s buzziest barrio, Titilaka on the shores of Lake Titicaca, both Relais & Chateaux, and the landmark Country Club Lima Hotel. Hotels due to be unveiled by 2021 include six Hiltons in Lima and a Sheraton in Cusco.

Peru offers plenty for adventurers, from high-altitude hiking to mountain biking and horse riding through remote villages. As well as the Lares Adventure and the challenging seven-day lodge-to-lodge Salkantay Trek, Mountain Lodges of Peru is offering three nights in the Sacred Valley with an optional excursion to Machu Picchu. Other new programmes focus on yoga and wellness, archi-astronomy and Andean festivals. With the new X.O Art House, it has three boutique hotels in Cusco. Tucked into a quiet corner of the Sacred Valley and surrounded by Inca terraces, Explora’s first lodge outside Chile – the all-inclusive Explora Valle Sagrado – is less hotel, more luxe base camp and offers 30 differen ‘explorations’, most on two feet or two wheels, that take guests to deserted Inca ruins and up snow-capped peaks for the ultimate mix of action and leisure.

Sell it: Rainbow Tours has a 12-night Luxury Peru with Belmond itinerary with stays at Belmond’s properties in Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, plus tickets for the Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper train, from £5,490pp including flights and transfers. rainbowtours.co.uk

Sell it: National Geographic Expeditions offers a 10-day Peru: Machu Picchu Inn to Inn Trek itinerary, including hiking the Cordillera de Vilcabamba. Prices start from £5270pp, including accommodation, meals, transfers and an expert adventure guide. Group sizes are restricted to 12 and tours depart between April and October 2020. nationalgeographicexpeditions.co.uk 

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12

six of the best

superlative

DUBAI

Dubai

When Guinness World Records decided to open an office in the Middle East, it was obviously going to be Dubai. Laura Gelder explains why Towering above Dubai’s most iconic building and the world’s tallest, the 828-metre-tall Burj Khalifa is a sight to behold and also home to the world’s highest bar – Atmosphere. However, it’s set to be overtaken by The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, scheduled to open in 2020 and 928 metres high with a 360-degree observation platform, hotel, restaurants and vertical gardens. Also in Dubai is the tallest hotel in the world, the 77-storey JW Marriott Marquis.

Big-time themed fun Orlando now has a real rival after four major theme parks opened in Dubai in 2016. The list includes IMG Worlds of Adventure, which is the world’s largest indoor theme park, with dedicated Marvel and Cartoon Network zones. Dubai’s biggest water park, Aquaventure, will soon become the biggest in the world with the addition of a giant new tower as well as 12 new slides. Other theme parks include the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate, with rides based on blockbusters such as Madagascar.

Shopping greats The Dubai Mall was the largest in the world by land area when it opened in 2008 and, at over 13 million square feet, it’s still up there with the greats. Not content to rest on its laurels, the mall got into the Guinness Records again last year with a giant Christmas bauble weighing 1,100kg. It’s also home to Candylicious, which Dubai Tourism says is the world’s largest sweet shop, spanning around 1,000 square metres.

Recordsetting islands Dubai is home to a number of the world’s largest artifical islands – some more successful than others. The World, a group of islands in the shape of the world’s countries, famously racked up debts of $60 billion and is still largely unpopulated. Perhaps the biggest success was the Palm Jumeirah, recognisable from space and home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious resorts, including Atlantis The Palm and One&Only The Palm.

Watery heights The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake. The jets release up to 22,000 gallons of water as high as 140 metres in the air and each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to music ranging from classical to contemporary but always in sync. The show takes place every 30 minutes from 18.00 daily and is a popular event for locals and tourists.

In the frame to win The Dubai Frame at Zabeel Park holds the Guinness World Record for the largest picture frame ever. At a soaring height of 150 metres, the Dubai Frame boasts sweeping, panoramic views of both Old and New Dubai. The 93-metre-long bridge features a 25-square-metre glass panel bridge that gives visitors the experience of walking on air and an immersive gallery that showcases the past and makes predictions about Dubai’s future. No doubt it includes more superlative attractions!

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alberta

14

Calgary For clients looking to experience the best of what Calgary has to offer, suggest these stops for an action-packed two days in the city DAY 1 - Early to rise

CALGARY TOWER

WINSPORT ZIPLINE

THE BOW RIVER

FIRST NATIONS DANCE

DAY 2 - Go with good speed

Morning: To get your city bearings Morning: WINSPORT, the legacy head to the CALGARY TOWER. Stand site of the 1988 Winter Olympic 191 metres above terra firma on the Games, is home to Canada's glass floor of the world’s highest Sports Hall of Fame where visitors can 360-degree observation deck and enjoy participate in interactive activities and unsurpassed panoramic views of the city learn about Canada’s sporting history. skyline and the distant Canadian Rocky New sports men and women are Mountains. inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame Then glide down the pathways of central every year, and their stories are shared Calgary on a guided SEGWAY TOUR. See through curated exhibitions, immersive the sites as you learn all about the city’s experiences and digital narratives. history, art and architecture. The family-friendly SKYLINE LUGE EAST VILLAGE is a vibrant community CALGARY is a unique wheeled gravity with walkable access to public art and ride that gives thrill seekers full control culture, entertainment hubs and public over their descent on a purpose-built 1.8 spaces like the kilometres track that River Walk and drops over 100 metres. “The family-friendly new retail and WinSport's 90-metre Skyline Luge Calgary is a dining options. ski jump tower offers Stroll along the North America's fastest wheeled gravity ride that Bow River, and ZIPLINE. Riders reach gives thrill seekers full cross over to St. speeds of 120km/h as control over their descent as they travel 500 metres Patrick’s Island, a wilderness they drop over 100 metres” and experience a setting in the vertical drop of over heart of the city. 100 metres. Have lunch in the historic Simmons Afternoon: STEPHEN AVENUE building, East Village. WALK is a pedestrian walk, Afternoon: HERITAGE PARK situated along 8 Ave SW (Stephen HISTORICAL VILLAGE charts Avenue) and spanning six blocks in the the history and growth of heart of downtown Calgary. early Western Canadian history over four Along the way you may see buskers, eras. You will hear stories and may meet festivals and live music, while for shoppers, fur traders, First Nations people, railway there are nine major shopping centres workers and prairie town folk. A highlight and department stores, an eclectic mix of 1910 village is the Gasoline Alley of boutiques and galleries and some of Museum. Then board the Thundering Calgary's finest restaurants, pubs, cafés Steam Train and/or a paddlewheeler boat. and bars. Evening: Enjoy a WALKING FOOD Then view downtown Calgary from its TOUR in one of Calgary’s many original highway, the BOW RIVER. Marvel eclectic neighbourhoods. at the city's architecture as you float under You’ll sip, sample and savour a range the modern Peace Bridge and the historic of products and meet local food artisans Centre Street Bridge. along the way. Or stroll along the river Evening: Many of Calgary’s pathway to Prince’s Island Park, another favourite hot spots are found on green oasis in the city. 17th AVENUE, including more than Dine at the award-winning River Café in 20 restaurants, lounges and inspirational the park and during the summer catch one cafes. 17th Avenue is also a shopping of the many performances or concerts that destination, featuring eclectic and trendy are staged there. shops and boutiques. 

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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

Calgary Cash Stampede

We're tes rewarding yourinvdoout with prizes. F awards more about our17 on page

AIR Transat is rewarding agents who make bookings to Calgary, Canada, with shopping vouchers as part of its Star Rewards incentive programme. Agents are rewarded with £10 for each Economy booking made and £20 for Club Class tickets. Bookings must be made before September 12 for travel before September 27, 2019. airtransatgiveaway.com

Discounted stays at QE2 ship QUEEN Elizabeth 2 (QE2) is offering a discounted price for agents staying before September 30. Docked permanently at Dubai’s Mina Rashid, a standard room costs from £45 per night and a double standard room from £50, inclusive of all taxes. Agents should email sales@qe2.com to redeem. qe2.com

Contents

FOUR-SIGHT

28

34

Go beyond

October 7,8 & 9

SELLING TRAVEL AGENTS CHOICE AWARDS EVENTS Join our biggest networking party of the year in London on October 7, Leeds on October 8 or Manchester on October 9. Meet tour operators, airlines, cruise representatives and more and be in with a chance of winning some top prizes. Sign up at sellingtravel.co.uk/events

AGENTS could win return flights to Abu Dhabi as part of If Only's ‘Etihad Airways – To Arabia & Beyond’ campaign. To win, agents must book Arabia, the Indian Ocean or Phuket with Etihad before the end of the year. ifonly.net

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

30

ON LOCATION

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16

CRYSTAL WHERE LUXURY IS PERSONAL

MEDITERRANEAN PASSAGE ATHENS TO BARCELONA | VOYAGE OCY191023-13 CRYSTAL SERENITY | 23 OCTOBER 2019 | 13 NIGHTS

Michael Dupont Head of Sales Tel: 07921 949469 mick@cruiseportfolio.co.uk Natalie Read Regional Sales Manager South Tel: 07896 971316 natalieread@cruiseportfolio.co.uk

Jon Schofield Regional Sales Manager North & Scotland Tel: 07841 921533 jon@cruiseportfolio.co.uk

Nan Short Representative Northern Ireland & Eire Tel: 02890 642252 nanshort@btopenworld.com

Megan Saunders Trade Sales Support Executive Tel: 020 7399 7602 megan@cruiseportfolio.co.uk

CRUISE ONLY FARES FROM

Deluxe Stateroom (C3 Grade)

from £2,757 per person

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah (B3 Grade) from £3,911 per person Itinerary Highlights:

Athens, Santorini, Catania, Sorrento, Rome/Civitavecchia, Piombino, Livorno/Florence (overnight), Monte Carlo (overnight), Marseille and Barcelona (overnight). 2018

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING, PLEASE CALL:

020 7399 7601

www.crystalcruises.co.uk

ABTA No.V8548

Fares are per person, cruise only in UK sterling based on double occupancy in the specified stateroom grade and include port, security and handling charges, which vary by departure. All fares, offers and itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. Fares may fluctuate and should be used as a guide only. Prices may go up or down. You should contact us on 0207 399 7601 before booking, or visit our website www.crystalcruises.co.uk. The fares are available to new bookings only and are only available to UK & Eire residents. Restrictions apply. See crystalcruises.co.uk for complete terms and conditions of all offers. ©2019 Crystal Cruises, LLC. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas.

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19 08:22

17

•A

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az

in

g

pr

ize

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The 2019 awards finalists vote to WIN...

Airlines & Airports

airLine to the far east: Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines airLine to north ameriCa: Air Canada, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic airLine to Latin ameriCa & the CariBBean: Air Europa Lineas Aereas, British Airways, LATAM Airlines, Norwegian, Virgin Atlantic airLine to the miDDLe east: Emirates, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Oman Air, Qatar Airways airLine to inDia & the inDian oCean: Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways

airLine to austraLasia & the paCifiC: Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Korean Air, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways airLine for Business CLass: All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Qatar Airways airLine for premium CLass: Air New Zealand, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic airLine for eConomy CLass: El AL, EVA Air, South African Airways, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines overseas regionaL airLine: Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Fiji Airways, Westjet Airlines, Virgin Australia

airLine to europe: Air Malta, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Croatia Airlines

overseas airport: Amsterdam Schiphol, DFW Airport, Dubai International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Singapore Changi

airLine to afriCa: Royal Air Maroc, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Tunisair

uk airport: East Midlands Airport, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, London City Airport, London Gatwick, Manchester Airport

A stay at Reef Villa & Spa Indulge in some spa treatments or find your zen practicing yoga while staying at the peaceful Reef Villa & Spa in Sri Lanka. reefvilla.com

2018 WINNer aIrlINe to North amerIca

It’s a real honour for us to be nominated again, so a big thank you to our travel agent community. We’ve been raising awareness of our new flights and cabins, in addition to our nomination, through training sessions and via email. Hopefully this will help us win again!” Nadia Clinton Delta Air Lines

sellingtravel.co.uk

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18

Destinations

2018 Winner

City Break: Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Macao, Tel Aviv

short haul escourted tours

This award was the first from the readers of Selling Travel, so we were absolutely thrilled to be recognised and to win amongst such stiff competition. We launched our summer brochures earlier than ever this year and added new destinations, tour-only options and beach extensions."

Destination for Beach – Long Haul: Bali, Cook Islands, Mauritius, Philippines, Saint Lucia Destination for Beach – Short Haul: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jersey Destination for Wildlife & Nature: Belize, Botswana, Costa Rica, Peru, South Africa Destination for Soft Adventure: Australia, Canada, Chile, Namibia, New Zealand Destination for Spa & Wellness: Dubai, India, Malta, Maldives, Thailand Destination for Weddings & Honeymoons: Barbados, Cyprus, Jamaica, Mauritius, St. Kitts Destination for Eco Friendly holidays: Australia, Costa Rica, Kenya, Nicaragua, Norway Favourite Training Event/ Roadshow: Caribbean Tourism Organization, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Destination New South Wales, Visit Orlando, Visit USA

2018 Winner destination for soft adventure

It’s great that agents recognise Canada’s appeal as an adventure destination and we feel honoured to have been voted for. We're working with our provincial, territorial, airline and tour operator partners to support agents booking Canada." Nim Singh Destination Canada

Richard Forde Newmarket Holidays

Tour Operators

Tour operator to Africa: African Pride, Cosmos, Gambia Experience, Kuoni, Somak Holidays Tour Operator to Australasia & the Far East: APT, Collette, G Adventures, Jetset Holidays, Premier Holidays Tour Operator to Europe & North AfricA: Balkan Holidays, Inghams, Jet2 Holidays, Shearings, Titan Travel Tour Operator to India & the Indian Ocean: If Only, Explore, Osborne & Ebel, Premier Holidays, Travelpack Tour Operator to Latin America & the Caribbean: Cox & Kings, G Adventures, Journey Latin America, Latin Routes, Wendy Wu Tours

For Long Haul Escorted Tours: Cosmos, G Adventures, Riviera Travel, Titan Travel, Wendy Wu Tours For Short Haul Escorted Tours: Newmarket Holidays , Riviera Travel, Scenic Cruises & Tours, Saga Holidays, Shearings For Senior Travellers: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Leger Holidays, Inghams, Saga Holidays, Shearings For Solo Travellers: G Adventures, Just You, Saga Holidays, Trafalgar Holidays, Titan Travel

vote TO WIN...

A stay at Ness Walk Be treated to a luxurious one-night

Tour Operator to the Middle East: Emirates Holidays, Gold Medal, If Only, Mercury Holidays, Travel 2

stay (worth £400 – £800) at the new

Tour Operator to North America: Cosmos, Funway Holidays , North America Travel Service , Premier Holidays, USAirtours

Champagne and canapés when

five-star Ness Walk Hotel in Inverness, Scotland. You'll enjoy you arrive. nesswalk.com

sellingtravel.co.uk

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#TLV

The Perfect Winter Holiday at A Perfect Price LON

TLV

MAN

Round trip

£ from

TLV

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Contact your travel agent or call us at 020 7624 9708 or go online at www.elal.co.uk *Travel Period starts 1.11-31.3.2019 Round trip includes a meal and Hand luggage

sellingtravel.co.uk

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20

PLEASE VOTE FOR US

TO WIN

AVEL.CO.UK TR G N LI EL .S W W W : G IN IT IS V BY

E P O R U E O T AIRLINE - JET2.COM O T R O T A R E P O TOUR A C I R F A H T R O EUROPE & N IDAYS - JET2HOL THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!

*Terms and conditions apply. Please see Jet2holidays trade website for full details.

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17:23 20/08/2019 17:13

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21

Cruising

Ocean Cruising – Short Haul: Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Hurtigruten, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises, Saga Holidays

Hotel/Group in Europe & North Africa: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts , Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, Maritim Hotels , NH Hotel Group

Ocean Cruising – Long Haul: Cunard Line , Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Riviera Travel

Hotel/Group in North America: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Marriott International, Wyndham Hotel Group

River Cruising – Short Haul: A-ROSA, CroisiEurope, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Newmarket Holidays, Crystal Cruises River Cruising – Long Haul: Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises, Scenic Cruises & Tours, Titan Travel, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Hotels

Hotel/Group in Africa: Accor Hotels, Hilton, Protea Hotels, Sun International, Taj Hotels Hotel/Group in Australasia & the Far East: Dusit Hotels & Resorts, Centara Hotels & Resorts , Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Meritus Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts

Hotel/Group in Latin America & the Caribbean: AM Resorts, Belmond, Elegant Hotels, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Sandals Hotel/Group in India & the Indian Ocean: Attitude Hotels, Beachcomber, Fairmont Hotels, Lux Hotels, Sun Resorts Hotel/Group in the Middle East: Atlantis, Dukes Dubai, JA Jebel Ali Beach Resort, Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, W Hotels Hotel/Group All-Inclusive: AM Resorts, Club Med, Hard Rock Hotels All Inclusive Collection, bodyholiday Saint Lucia, Sandals

2018 Winner hotel/group all-inclusive

Our travel agent partners are integral to the success of our business so knowing that it was them who voted for us to win this award really meant a lot. We're working harder than ever to see and train as many agents as possible as well as host them" Graham Brooks Hard Rock Hotels

Vote TO WIN...

Food tour tickets Eating Europe is offering food tours (worth £180) with a choice of locations in London, Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Rome, Naples, Lisbon, Strasbourg or Florence. eatingeurope.com

2018 Winner ocean cruising

All of our business comes through the trade so to be recognised by them as the best is the greatest accolade we could possibly receive" Elaine Gillard Crystal Cruises

sellingtravel.co.uk

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22

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2018 Winner

Best of the Rest

travel uni training programme

Ticket Provider: Attraction World, Do Something Different, Holiday Extras Rail: Belmond, Blue Train, Eurostar, Great Rail Journeys , Rocky Mountaineer Car Hire: Avis Budget Group, Affordable Car Hire, Alamo, Flexible Autos, Your Car Hire

Vote TO WIN...

Aussie travel essentials Destination New South Wales is providing a bag of the ultimate travel accessories, including a Vivid Sydney

UK Holidays: Butlins, Hoseasons, Shearings, Warner Leisure Hotels

iPad case, plus a lightweight Sydney-themed beach towel. visitnsw.com

This year...

You may have noticed that we've changed a few things this year, which we hope reflects this ever-changing travel industry. There is a new award up for grabs in the Destinations category, one for the most eco friendly destination. We've also reflected the significant growth and importance of the cruise industry, with short haul and long haul sub-categories in the awards for the best river and ocean cruise providers. Plus, see below for details on our separate trade rep category. Happy voting! sellingtravel.co.uk/awards/vote

Thailand Expert has been continuously developed over the last four years, taking into consideration agent feedback. We are pleased to say that to date we have 5,800 travel agents and sales consultants engaged with our Thailand Expert training and hope to increase these numbers over the next year." Chris Lee Tourism Authority of Thailand

Who stands out from the crowd? NEW FOR 2019: Nominate your best TRADE REP This new category in the 2019 Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards will recognise the very important role of trade reps. We want you to nominate those people that support you most and go the extra mile to help you sell more travel. You can nominate just one of your favourite trade reps or a different rep in each of the sub categories which recognise those representing airlines, cruise lines, hotels & resorts, tour operators and tourist offices

Trade Rep

Visit sellingtravel.co.uk/awards/tradereps sellingtravel.co.uk

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Who’s top of the pops? To help you decide, meet with your travel industry favourites at our Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards events next month London, October 7

Leeds, October 8

Manchester, October 9

• MEET a selection of the finalists in our awards - tour operators, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, destinations and more will attend • WIN one of a fantastic selection of prizes up for grabs supplied by every event partner • CATCH-UP with industry colleagues and enjoy our hospitality

STACA Event Advert-v2.indd 1

Sign up now at: sellingtravel.co.uk/events

8/28/19 12:39 PM


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

RÉUNION

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CHINA

TURKEY

VIETNAM

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U.A.E

I TA LY

22/08/2019 08:43

8/28/18 4:53 PM

AN EXPERIENCE AWAITS IN OVER 1,000 LOUNGES WORLDWIDE. With Gold status, you and a guest can enjoy more lounges than any other alliance including our relaxing lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 2. To learn more, visit our dedicated UK website at staralliance.co.uk

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26

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

Agents ride into the Calgary Stampede Prestige Canada hosted four agents on a three-day visit to Calgary, Canada, where they experienced the city's famous Stampede, a 10-day-long celebration of Western heritage, spirit and First Nations culture. Embracing the theme, they donned cowboy hats to enjoy the rodeo and chuckwagon races and also had a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grandstand Show. While in the city, the agents explored some of its tourist attractions such as the Calgary Tower and Heritage Park. They also made a stop at Studio Bell – home of the National Music Centre. prestigecanada.co.uk

Thailand grows bookings…and trees

Agents master Jamaican jerk

Thanks to agent bookings, 70 trees were planted in Thailand's Khao Sok National Park this summer.Gold Medal, Travel 2 and the luxury tented jungle camp Elephant Hills ran a partnership incentive throughout April and May which saw agents make 70 bookings to the camp – resulting in 70 trees planted. Elephant Hills is an eco retreat which looks after elephants and sponsors veterinary training at the local Elephant Hospital. goldmedal.co.uk travel2.com elephanthills.com

The Jamaica Tourist Board offered agents from Flight Centre, Best At Travel, Not Just Travel, Stoke Newington Travel and Exsus a taste of the Caribbean with a jerk cooking masterclass and learnt all about the island's most popular dish. The JTB's Donovan Donaldson was on hand to provide some essential destination training and key selling tips as well. visitjamaica.com

Missouri completes trade mission

Delegates from the cities of St Louis, Kansas City, and Independence joined Ward Franz, Director of Tourism for Missouri (third from left) on the state's recent UK mission. Agents from Ascot Travel, American & Worldwide Travel, Major Travel and Travelpack were updated on some important anniversaries taking place in the state, including the 100th anniversary of Prohibition in 2020 and the bicentennial of Missouri becoming the U.S.'s 24th state (in 2021). visitmo.com

Have you enjoyed an interesting trade event or been on a trip or fam that you would like to see featured on this page? Email editorial@bmipublishing.co.uk

sellingtravel.co.uk

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Golf

ggat

Meet... STEVE FREWIN Director, A Golfing Experience

WHERE THE GRASS IS GREENER

Consortium hosts a BRIGHT summer workshop

Thirty agents from 15 agencies joined BRIGHT at its summer workshop and dinner in Ipswich, which raised £208 for the Ipswich Hospice. The workshop, hosted by BRIGHT members Kirker Holidays, First Class Holidays, Exodus, Veloso, Viking Cruises, Cox and Kings, African Pride and Sunvil, encouraged the consortium’s independent agents to discuss their marketing initiatives and business development plans. brightconsortia.com

I’m trying to concentrate as I tee off from the 18th hole at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, but I'm slightly distracted by my surroundings. I’ve just enjoyed two holes with the Caribbean Sea lapping on one side and another three with uninterrupted views of the Atlantic Ocean. As far as golf courses go, this is pretty spectacular. Golf is highly regarded on the island and this is reflected in the quality of the course. The grass is immaculate, fringed by palm trees, and I can't help but marvel at the layout, which features 80 bunkers and ten water hazards - they don't make it easy for you! But the course isn't just for serious golfers, lessons are available for beginners and there's a great driving range for those that just want to practice their swing. And what better motivation to finish than the 19th hole (the bar) on the beach!

ADMIRALS CUP

Qatar hits the green

In a bid to promote Qatar as an up-and-coming golf destination, the tourist board co-hosted a golf day with partners Discover Qatar, Qatar Airways, Education City Golf Club and Doha Golf Club. The event brought together 40 UK trade, including golf specialists from Exclusive Golf, GolfHolidays.com, Golf Breaks, Kenwood Travel and Audley Travel. The newly opened Education City Golf Club in Doha, features the first Trackman driving range in the city, as well as a power tee and indoor putting green. visitqatar.qa

The highlight of the golfing calendar has to be the annual Admirals Cup, St. Kitts' premier event for visiting golfers. The Am-Am Division of the five-day team tournament from February 1-6, 2020, features teams of two amateurs competing against other pairs from across the U.S., Canada, UK and the Caribbean. It's a great opportunity to bring people together from across the world to celebrate the sport and the event's 10th anniversary. Attendees will also cross over to sister island Nevis to compete on the Robert Trent Jones II championship course at the Four Seasons Resort. Take it from my experience, that hole-in-one is harder than it looks!

. e for your bookings New £50 incentiv ds.com Visit StKittsRewar sellingtravel.co.uk

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FOUR-SIGHT

28

Our columnists

While many of their clients take a hard-earned holiday this summer, agents are beefing up their training. We ask our columnists how they manage their professional development.

Mandraki-Elias beach, Skiathos

Agents out in force at the Yorkshire Travel Ball

Experiential training is better than sitting in front of a PowerPoint AS I write this I'm reflecting on an afternoon of ‘How to sell Luxury Travel’ with The Travel Network Group at The Ivy in London. It was a great few hours, with Q&As from key tour operators in the market and a discussion about the word ‘luxury’ and whether that is an appropriate term for our 'discerning customers' (a term coined by Ted Wake of Kirker Holidays). It's days like these which get my brain whirring and are extremely beneficial to my professional development. It's a chance to learn more and ask questions about running a business and what I can do to keep improving my service and my sales. I find experiential training so much better than sitting in front of a PowerPoint. It's also a chance to swap ideas and learn from other agents and companies – essential when working in a small, independent agency. Travelling is also a key to training: up to date, first-hand information and experience helps you to develop as an agent. And who doesn’t love a trip away? I'm just back from Greece and it has reignited my love for the people, culture and lifestyle (not to mention the food). Returning from such a a trip, I always feel enriched personally and professionally. My passion for travel is stoked and, moreover, I can sell Greece with even more confidence. Next, I'm heading to Québec with Air Transat and Québec Original. Roll on a chance to explore more of Canada, a country I love, with industry colleagues. Happy travels!

I HAVE only been in travel for 13 years and am totally focused on river and small ship cruising, a relatively tiny niche, and yet I am still learning every day about new ships, new operators, new regulations, etc. I am in total awe of all those agents who sell everything from cross-Channel ferries to safaris, from skiing to package beach holidays... How do they learn to sell such a range of product? Training needs to cover a number of elements if an agent is going to be at all competent – from basic regulations and trade associations through to detailed product knowledge. I find old-fashioned reading to be the best way to brush up on the everchanging industry. Group discussions with

I find structured online training much more effective my fellow GoCruise franchisees also help sort out the total mess of regulations we face in the cruising sector. Webinars are useful in that they can be joined from the desk, but the standard of so many is, frankly, poor with people just reading from a PowerPoint presentation. I find structured learning through online training much more effective. However, nothing beats actually experiencing a new product. Hence I am now confident in selling the new AmaMagna, a double-width river cruise ship, after a week sailing the Danube. I believe it will attract many ocean cruisers looking for their first river cruise.

THE FAMILY BUSINESS

THE CRUISE SPECIALIST

Southern Cross Travel, East Sussex

Go Cruise, Cruise specialist, Worcestershire

Anneka Desrosiers

James Hill

sellingtravel.co.uk

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FOUR-SIGHT

29

Our columnists

Having the support of a consortium has allowed us to grow quickly AT VENTURE Travel we are regularly visited by reps from numerous different sectors of the travel market. What is great about these visits is that we not only get to meet with suppliers who we regularly book with but also suppliers whose product we hadn’t considered selling or had little knowledge of. The fact that these companies take the time to come and talk to us face to face shows how lucky we are as agents to be in an industry where help is always at hand – whether you need to improve your product knowledge or find solutions to any problems you may have. Although it might feel like it sometimes, you are never actually on your own. This leads me into my next point, which is about being a member of the Global Travel Group, a consortium for independent agencies. The team has been amazing in supporting us grow the business since starting two years ago. Before we launched they provided us with a two-week training course, running through all the systems, suppliers and back office programmes they offer. We still have regular contact with the Business Development Manager and the Commercial and Finance teams, which makes running the business much easier for us. Having such great relationships with Global and our suppliers is something we really value – without their support we wouldn’t have been able to grow the business as fast as we have done.

I HAVE to start by addressing the sad news about the collapse of Super Break. They were a great company with some fantastic staff. I hope they all find new jobs soon. On a more positive note, the Yorkshire Travel Ball was a roaring success – and thank you to Selling Travel for sponsoring the magician. We raised £4,500 in total, which was split between the Greek Cat Welfare Society, Soi Dog Foundation, SOS Wildlife, Starlight Barking Trust and Santorini Donkeys. We also donated £500 to Cancer Research in the name of Rachel Dawson from Millhouses Travel in Sheffield, who sadly lost her own battle in June. I’m already preparing for next year's bash, which will be held on July 16 at The Village Hotel, South Leeds. I think training is vital for travel agents and should be done on a regular basis as things are changing all the time. In the past it was something you did as and when a rep called in. But why not open late once a month to allow for staff training, and arrange a rep to come in and update you on their products? There's also an abundance of online training programmes which can be done when time allows – these are particularly important for homeworkers. I still think one of the best training tools is to go on a fam trip. It allows you to paint a picture to your customer, which makes it so much easier to sell. Training keeps us progressing professionally, which leads me to my thought of the month: 'Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that is where the fruit is.'

Why not open late once a month for staff training?

James experiences the AmaMagma Sunset in

Ben and Hugh with the Global Travel team ire the Yorksh Sandy at with Jessica Travel Ball Selling Travel Pook from

Next month: Tui aren't going to scrap brochures

THE ONLINE AGENCY

THE HOME WORKER

Venture Travel, Mold, North Wales

Sandy's Travel Escapes

BEN & HUGH

Sandy Murray

after all. But are they integral to selling travel?

sellingtravel.co.uk

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8/27/19 04:39 PM


ON LOCATION

30

Tra n s y l v a n i a , R o m a n i a

Myths & legends in Eastern Europe BY SUE BROAD, SALES CONSULTANT TRIANGLE TRAVEL LIMITED So firmly entrenched are we in the 'Dracula myth' that some believe Transylvania isn't a real place! But it is a region of Romania and, yes, there actually was a real Dracula – Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler. While the myth is exaggerated for the tourists Romania is still a fascinating country with some truly unique sights. I discovered the region on a Cox & Kings fam trip, visiting the old towns of Brasov and Sighisoara, with narrow cobbled streets, wonky but brightly painted buildings, covered wooden walkways and ornate clock towers. A stop at Cluj Napoca, one of the bigger cities, provided a slightly more modern feel. Home to an opera house, theatre and vast museums, it's a great place to discover the culture and history of the area. A great example of Romania's history comes in the form of the Alba lulia's citadel, with its Roman remains still visible. Viewed from the air, the citadel resembles a seven-pointed star and is one of the most historically important cities because it is where Transylvania unified with Romania. Bucharest, in the Wallachia region, is dominated by Ceausescu's Palace of Parliament (one of the biggest buildings in the world). It has the buzz of Paris, but still retains pockets of the ancient city down narrow lanes.

TRANSYLVANIA

Transylvania is well known for its castles, particularly the beautiful Peles Castle – a royal palace with its amazing woodwork and carvings. Bran Castle (traditionally known as Dracula's Castle) was our next stop, followed by the Prejmer Fortified Church, built of wood and utterly untouched since the 1300s. Tiny rooms where families sheltered in troubled times have been left just as they would have been. It's really quite moving. A visit to the Salina Turda salt mine is a must. Walk amongst its 300-foot cavern and you'll come to the lake at the bottom, where people boat in the semi darkness and play snooker and bowls on the upper level! Apparently the atmosphere here is good for respiratory problems so people visit to 'take the air', despite it being underground. The hotels in the cities are all very

comfortable and modern but are a little more rustic in the villages, which I think adds to their charm. The food is very meat based – sausages are very popular – with pickled vegetables, lots of lovely salads and amazing cakes and breads. It is a really great place to send clients who are always looking for something different. It's unspoiled, with a long, interesting history and a touch of spookiness on the side! Romania is reached in two hours on a direct service from Heathrow with British Airways.

Clockwise from top left: The Shoemaker's Tower Bran Castle or Dracula's Castle; Vlad the Impaler's birthplace in Sighisoara; Voronet, one of Romania's painted Monasteries; the Cox & Kings fam group

sellingtravel.co.uk

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8/27/19 07:10 PM


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8/22/19 11:11 AM 30/07/2019 09:39 29/07/2019 13:23


agents talk

32

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

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

SellingTravel

SellingTravelmag

Travel Agent rants & raves This month Jenny Jackson asked: "With the very sad news of the collapse of Super Break is there a gap in the market when it comes to UK breaks?"

@sellingtravmag

Agents overheard

Jenny Jackson Founder of Luxury

"Well that’s a new one... A guy asking if he can take his two pet hamsters on a cruise with him!"

Travel Guru

“I can't imagine UK travel without Super Break. I really hope an investor sees what a good brand it is for the UK travel market." “It's always been a solid choice for UK hotel breaks since I started in retail nearly 30 years ago." "It would be great if Super Break is saved but it needs to solely concentrate on UK short breaks. Forget European packages and go back to the basics!" "It was a company that always dealt with any issues, on the rare occasion there were any, and was so agent friendly."

"Years ago there were so many to choose from: Highliffe, Rainbow, London Travel Service and Golden Rail. I think most have merged into one now." "We have a UK hotel booked for a clients' golden wedding anniversary and it isn't covered by ABTA, but we have already paid Super Break. We now have to pay for the hotel

so the clients don’t lose out and it was an expensive hotel!"

“I had someone who wanted to purchase a seat for their goldfish bowl”

"We had to turn a customer away recently. They wanted a rail break with Super Break and we hadn't any alternatives to switch-sell to."

"Client said: 'the flight time doesn't work for me. Could you ask the airline to go a few hours later or delay the flight for us?' Er, sure..."

"It shows the huge problem in travel: when companies are profitable but the parent company is not."

"'Can I pay £200 now and the rest when i get back?' No"

TM

10nts - Golden Triangle & Goa, India

DELHI

AGRA

JAIPUR

Package includes flights, accommodation, sightseeing, English speaking guide & transfers. Travel : 1 Oct 19 - 9 Dec 19 / 16 Jan 20 - 31 Mar 20 Untitled-10 1

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0208 585 4020

holidays@travelpack.com

GOA

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8/22/19 07:50 PM


IN THE OFFICE

33

w i t h Ma t t P a t t i n s o n - T U I

The Next chapter for new TUI store Career highlights

SHAUN FLANNER Y

TUI has just opened a new store in Sheffield, the first to be located within a Next retail store. Manager Matt Pattinson tells Selling Travel how a prime location in The Moor shopping centre is attracting a new kind of customer. "Sheffield City Centre and the whole catchment area of Sheffield is really important to TUI. The area supports a number of our regional flying bases, including Doncaster Sheffield, Manchester and East Midlands airports. Over half a million people are in the catchment area of Sheffield and therefore it is important that we are well represented in the area. "The redevelopment of The Moor (shopping centre) has driven the majority of shoppers in Sheffield to that area of the city - it has attracted millions of visitors in the last year alone - and it was a great opportunity to be involved in such a prestigious development. It’s also great that this is first TUI store within Next, something new and exciting for us."

to suit the changing requirements of our customers, always ensuring that we put them at the heart of everything we do. We share our knowledge and expertise as well as being there with them for every step of their journey, as and when they need us. "Through all the developments in recent years we have been able to enhance our customers’ experiences resulting in brand loyalty and customer retention. "Our culture of honesty and transparency, looking after customers and being empowered to help solve any issues on the spot, should any arise, really does help our customers ‘discover their smiles’. I also believe our commitment to opening new and exciting stores like the one in Sheffield makes us different to many other travel agencies."

"This year I am seeing customers looking for more regular, shorter breaks to allow them to escape more often. "There is a late booking market and midhaul destinations seem popular this year. "I have also helped many customers book somewhere new for the first time. Customers are increasingly wanting something that they haven't experienced before. "My proudest moment as a travel agent has to be winning TUI store of the year when I was a Team Manager at our Sheffield Meadowhall store. I also won Regional Deputy Manager of the Year a few years ago, which to me it is a testament to my hard work and dedication. I am very proud to be a travel agent for TUI and look forward to seeing this new store in Sheffield thrive." sheffieldpinstone@tui.co.uk

Our customers still prefer face-to-face contact

Loyalty pays

'We know from speaking to our customers that many of them still prefer face-to-face contact and having that peace of mind that comes from going into a store and discussing their holiday. Over the years we have adapted our service proposition

TM

13nts , Kenya Sarova Safari & Mauritius

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

holidays@travelpack.com

MAASAI MARA

Package includes flights, accommodation, sightseeing, game drives, English speaking guide & transfers. Travel : 19 Aug 19 - 10 Dec 19 Untitled-10 1

in the office.indd 33

0208 585 4020

MAURITIUS

fr£4199pp 13/08/2019 15:58

8/22/19 07:52 PM


TRAVEL PEOPLE

34

on the move

MEET... Abi Northage Agents Relationship Manager, Experience Travel Group

Why appoint an Agents Relationship Manager? ETG has experienced 20% growth in agent bookings in the past year. The new role allows us to give agents a focal point for their queries, send dedicated marketing collateral and resources, and offer support. What’s your focus? To get to know our agents personally, understand how they run their business and make sure we are giving them what they need. Why book with ETG? To provide something different for clients and the importance, commitment and emphasis we put on our agent relationships.

I AI N R AE P E R

DAV I D P O P E

PA U L I N E T H O M S O N

TO: Senior Product & Commercial Manager, Leisure, EFR Travel Group

TO: Head of Sales and Training, Not Just Travel

TO: Regional Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises

Iain will be overseeing all product and contracting for the brands within the Leisure Division. These include the Luxury Worldwide Collection, Luxury Worldwide Collection Cruise, and Elegant Golf Resorts' bespoke holidays.

David helps franchisees build successful travel businesses. He specialises in discovering the right people, delivering effective onboarding programmes and then working on longer-term development. He is also the co-founder of Equator Learning.

Pauline will keep agents in Scotland and Northern Ireland up to date with campaigns, incentives, and initiatives as well as arranging ship visits. She will also be promoting Celebrity's training programme ‘Passport’' on Celebrity Central.

NATA S H A J O N E S

R I C H AR D G AM B E R

What’s your travel tip? Travel curious and enjoy the unexpected!

S T E V E H AR R I S TO: Regional Sales Director, Rocky Mountaineer

TO: Business Development Manager, SAGA Travel

TO: Supplier Partnership Manager, JTA Holidays

Steve joined Rocky Mountaineer in 2018 as Business Development Manager and has quickly progressed to Regional Sales Director. He will work closely with the sales team and trade partners to ensure that business momentum continues.

Natasha Jones joins Saga's trade team of 10 and will support developing agent partners in growing their Saga business. The move brings her back to the trade team after two years away, which was spent travelling followed by a spell with STA Travel.

With over 25 years’ experience in the travel industry, Richard’s focus will be to provide a range of marketing and support options for JTA’s supply partners. He will also reach out directly to JTA’s independent agent network.

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

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DON'T MISS OU T...

Registe r today!

Develop your USA experience R E G IS T E R N OW TO AT T END • V I SI T U SAROADSH O W. COM

Win one of three fantastic trips to the USA!

THE VISIT USA 2019 ROADSHOW will take place in Glasgow, Leeds and London during the early evening of October 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The popular events have been designed to maximise the networking opportunities for both agents and exhibitors. All three Roadshows are being held in selected premium hotels where

NEW YORK, BOSTON OR LAS VEGAS

GLASGOW • United Airlines to NEW YORK • 7 nights Cruise America RV Rental • Stay at the Moxy NYC Times Sqaure LEEDS • Virgin Atlantic to LAS VEGAS • Stay at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino LONDON • Delta Air Lines to BOSTON • Stay at the Moxy Boston Downtown

30 Visit USA exhibitors and agents can exchange information and discuss business development opportunities. Food and drink will be provided. The format will include speed networking - which will see agents visiting all exhibitors – goody bags and a holiday to the USA will be up for grabs at each location (see left for prize details).

THE VENUES

Early evening, from 6pm onwards GLASGOW

LEEDS

LONDON

Tuesday October 1

Wednesday October 2

Thursday October 3

RADISSON BLU GLASGOW

LEEDS MARRIOTT HOTEL

CANARY RIVERSIDE PLAZA HOTEL

2019 EXHIBITORS AMTRAK VACATIONS • BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, CONNECTICUT • BRAND USA UK & IRELAND • BROADWAY INBOUND • CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT • COLORADO TOURISM OFFICE • CRUISE AMERICA RV RENTALS • EXPERIENCE KISSIMMEE • EXPERIENCE SCOTTSDALE • FLORIDA KEYS & KEY WEST • GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU • HANDLERY HOTELS • KENNEDY SPACE CENTRE VISITOR COMPLEX • MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE OF TRAVEL & TOURISM • MAVERICK AVIATION GROUP, GRAND CANYON & LAS VEGAS • NEW ORLEANS & COMPANY AND LOUISIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM • NEW SYMRNA BEACH AREA VISITORS BUREAU • PAPILLON GRAND CANYON HELICOPTERS • SANTA MONICA TRAVEL AND TOURISM • TENNESSEE TOURISM • THE BEACHES OF FORT MYERS & SANIBEL • TRAVEL PORTLAND • TRAVEL TEXAS • UNITED AIRLINES • UNIVERSAL PARKS & RESORTS • VIRGIN ATLANTIC/DELTA AIR LINES • VISIT HOUSTON • VISIT NORTH CAROLINA • VISIT SEATTLE • VISIT WEST HOLLYWOOD

Register now Attend one of the Roadshows by visiting visitusaroadshow.com

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traveluni.com

GDS | TRAINING | REWARDS

Training, competitions, events September 2019

THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES

Say yes to Yas Island NEWS

Quick Quiz Are you an Aruba Expert?

1. TUI operate a direct weekly flight to Aruba during the summer TRUE / FALSE

AGENTS that complete the Yas Island Expert training programme by September 15, 2019 will be in the frame to win a fourday trip for two to the Abu Dhabi isle. The programme is the latest addition to the Travel Uni platform and includes five modules on subjects such as Yas Island's three theme parks – Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld – to the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit and its seven hotels. yasexpert.com

Incentive

Train to win a trip to Oman

2. Civil marriages can be performed in Aruba TRUE / FALSE

Oman Ambassadors I Modules: 5 To celebrate the launch of the Oman Travel Uni training programme, the Oman Ministry of Tourism is offering the chance to win a four-night stay for two at the Shangri-La Al Bandar resort. Guests will enjoy all the amenities of this luxury resort on a half-board basis and visit some of Oman's top attractions, such as its sweeping deserts and secluded fjords. For the chance to win agents must sign up and complete the training by September 30, 2019. A second prize – afternoon tea for two at the Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard in London – is up for grabs for the runner-up. omanambassadors.com

Food for thought News

Find the answer at: arubaacademy.com

This October, diners at the London Restaurant Festival could win a gastronomic trip to Jerusalem in conjunction with Jerusalem Open Restaurant and Virgin Atlantic. The prize includes two return flights to Jerusalem, a three-night stay at the Inbal Hotel, tickets to Jerusalem Open Restaurant events and a tour of Mahane Yehuda Market. experiencejerusalem.co.uk

BECOME A THAILAND EXPERT

WIN A HOLIDAY TO THAILAND T h a i l a n d ex p ert . co. u k Terms and conditions apply

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Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!

Sell the Cirque

Working in partnership

COURSE LIST

Incentive

A-Z of available courses

AGENTS could be jetting off to Las Vegas to enjoy two Cirque du Soleil shows as part of Do Something Different's latest booking incentive. The prize includes return flights from Heathrow or Manchester with Virgin Atlantic, three nights on the Strip at the new Park MGM and tickets to two Cirque du Soleil shows of your choice. To pocket this prize agents must make a booking for any Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas show before September 30, 2019 and email WIN@dosomethingdifferent.com with their DSD order number and 'CIRQUE' in the subject line by October 4, 2019. More bookings mean a better chance of winning.

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

discovercirque.com

Incentive

Connect with Qatar

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

Qatar specialist I Modules:5

Time for Thailand News

Thai Airways has released a range of travel trade fares to encourage agents to visit Thailand. Priced from £441, the discounted flights are on sale now for travel up to November 30, 2019, and must be booked no more than one month before travel. Agents can fly to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi and Phuket, as well as to other destinations across Southeast Asia. thailandexpert.co.uk

If Only and Visit Qatar are promoting Doha as the ideal stopover destination by giving one agent the chance to win a city break to Qatar’s capital. The incentive is part of the Connect With Qatar campaign, which includes special offers to twin Qatar with destinations across Asia and the Indian Ocean. To be in with a chance of winning the trip, which includes return flights and accommodation for two, agents need to make a booking including a stopover in Doha before November 2019. Every booking to Qatar for two nights or more during the campaign qualifies for £50 on a My Loyalty Card. tawashqatar.com

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

aruba.com

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destination profile

Cyprus Hold on tight! I’m bouncing around in the back of a jeep. No, it’s not the poor state of the roads – the road system around the entire island is excellent. I’m on a jeep safari of the protected Akamas nature reserve, a vast wilderness of steep-sided cliffs, deep limestone gorges and shimmering sandy bays to the north of Paphos. I keep my eyes peeled for eagles, falcons, green and loggerhead turtles and 400 species of wild flowers, many endemic to the island. Agile wild goats keep me company in the Avagas Gorge, springing up the steepsided limestone walls to a cacophony of cicadas and bird song. We look down on beautiful Lara Bay, but its infamous turtles which return to lay their eggs each year are not at home. After a typical lunch meze of dips, squid and barbecued meats, we enjoy a swim in the clear waters of the remote Fontana Amorosa, but Aphrodite, and the lovers she seduced here, are not at home either. Charmed by the region’s raw natural beauty, the next day I hire a small motorboat in Latchi and pootle along the coastline to the Blue Lagoon where the bright azure hues assault my senses. With so many amazing places to explore on the island, the following day I hire a car and take to the open road.

THEMED DRIVING ROUTES

THE BLUE LAGOON

PISSOURI VILLAGE

ORANGE GROVE

historic sites, museums and artefacts associated with the goddess of love, such as Kouklia, Amathus and Kition, providing visitors with an insight into her mythology, rituals and character. The Antiquity Cultural Route takes in the UNESCO neolithic settlement, Choirokoitia, near Limassol; the grand Greco-Roman Kourion amphitheatre (second century BC); and the Archeological Park’s Roman villas and stunning mosaic floors in Paphos. Other cultural routes focus on Venetians CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION

The Aphrodite Cultural Route is one of several self-drive themed routes. It visits

CYPRUS TOURISM ORGANISATION

Aphrodite’s isle isn’t all sun, sand and sea. Kathryn Liston explores the island’s natural and cultural attractions through its impressive range of driving routes

LIMASSOL

OIKOS, TROODOS MOUNTAINS

in Cyprus, the history of copper and eastern and western culture. Boutique wineries, vineyards and museums, including the Wine Museum in Erimi, are featured on seven signposted wine routes. Cyprus is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing countries, and the desert wine, Commandaria, that it produces has been around a long time too.

RURAL VILLAGES To encourage holidaymakers to enjoy a taste of authentic Cyprus, the Travel Foundation and Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative have developed six self-drive village routes which showcase traditional crafts. Extending from Farmagusta in the east to Akamas in the west, the tours visit local businesses, such as the Oleastro Olive Park and Museum, the rose-producing village of Argos, the lace-making village of Lefkara, the red earth villages of Kokkinochoria and windmills of Farmagusta. A booklet outlining village festivals, events and places to buy local crafts is

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destination profile

Top Spots Kourion A magnificent GrecoRoman amphitheatre built in the 2nd century BC is the centrepiece of this ancient city-kingdom, which also haa villas with 5th century mosaic floors and a bathing complex. Tombs of Kings This vast complex of underground burial chambers is carved out of solid rock, some with ornate Doric pillars. It dates back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods Nicosia Surrounded by 16th century Venetian fortifications, visitors will find ancient churches, medieval buildings and a maze of narrow streets. quaint old town of Laiki Yitonia. Hala Sultan Tekke, Larnaca By a salt lake awash with flamingos, this mosque was built over the tomb of Umm Haram, believed to be the sister of the prophet Mohammed’s foster mother. Troodos Mountains A paradise for walkers, bird watchers and cyclists and cool respite for day-trippers who flock to the town, Platres. Check out the 3km Kalidonia walking trail.

BOOK IT WITH… OLYMPIC HOLIDAYS A seven-night holiday at the adults-only Amarande Hotel, which opens in June 2020, starts from £657pp based on two people sharing a deluxe room on a half-board basis and travelling on June 2 2020 from Gatwick. The four-star hotel is 300 metres from Maistrali beach and a short walking distance from Ayia Napa’s buzzing centre. olympicholidays.com; 0208 492 6868

MEDITATING ON THE MED

available from csti-cyprus.org. Visitors staying in Larnaca next winter (November to April) can enjoy a host of traditional village crafts such as basket weaving and halloumi-cheese making plus free guided tours.

GETTING ACTIVE With 52 designated trails there’s one for every week of the year. They vary in length and difficulty and traverse a variety of beautiful landscapes and flora, taking walkers past Byzantine churches and historic monuments. Cyclists are spoilt for choice too, with routes offering everything from forest mountain bike trails to coastal rides. The island’s warm climate and water temperatures (16-27C) make it ideal for golfers, who can play in shirt-sleeves year-round on four 18-hole courses - the PGA Aphrodite Hills, Sir Nick Faldodesigned Eléa Estate Golf Club, Minthis Hills and Secret Valley. Water-sports, including kite-surfing, are available in the resorts of Paphos, Limassol, Larnaka, Ayia Napa/Protaras. Divers will find underwater caves, vibrant marine life and wrecks, including the Elpida off the coast of Larnaka.

with two new tours: Authentic Cyprus, which includes breakfast cooked by a local villager and a wine tasting at a local winery, and Cyprus History and Scenery which visits key historic sites. Two hotels opened last May - the five-star couples-only Amavi, in Paphos, marketed under the Made-for-Two brand, and the four-star Louis Ivi Mare, Kato Paphos. The four-star adults-only Amarande Hotel will open in Ayia Napa in June 2020. Columbia Beach Resort is inviting agents to join its UK sales team for a 30-minute Lunch & Learn session, which will include tips on targeting specific market sectors and an update on offers and incentives. Agents register their interest by emailing Nicola Pickup at nicola@luxuryescapehotels.com with suggested dates and timings. Jet2 has increased winter capacity to 200,000 seats – a rise of 45% on 2018. 

WHAT’S NEW Shearings’ winter-sun Cyprus Delights break at the Hotel Aloe in Paphos comes

AYIA NAPA BEACH

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south florida

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comfort Southern

Family fun, eco-adventures and luxury escapes are all possible among the white-sand beaches, verdant parks and warm, turquoise seas of South Florida, says Lauren Jarvis

“There are no one-way car rental penalty charges within Florida, offering quite a saving compared to other areas of the USA.” Malcom Davies, Product Destination Manager, Funway Holidays

M

y head still virtually spinning from the rollercoasters of Orlando, I’ve headed south in search of some exhilarating experiences of a different kind. In chic Sarasota and Naples, I wander boutiques and galleries, eat fabulous food and sink wonderful wine. On Sanibel island, I scour sunset beaches for shells, as pink-hued spoonbills stalk the shallows for fish. In the Everglades, I tramp through steamy swamps, searching for alligators and rare orchids, as bromeliads and Spanish moss drip from the trees. Kayaking the mangroves of Big Pine Key, I spend the day in shorts with salty skin and shaggy hair, as rays

and nurse sharks cruise the seagrass beds below. And driving the Overseas Highway on Route 1 to Key West, I find freedom, adventure and an unexpected feeling of home. There are urban delights too, In Miami I sip cocktails at Delano’s and dance after dark under the stars. From the unspoilt white-sand barrier islands of the Gulf coast, to the primordial, green wilderness of the Everglades National Park; the sparkling, golden lights of its cosmopolitan cities, to the blue sea swirls of the sun-drenched Florida Keys, South Florida showed me shades of the state I’d never imagined.

Lay of the land There’s plenty for a standalone South Florida stay. Miami is a long-standing

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas national Park

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international gateway, but flight connections from major U.S. cities to Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Sarasota– Bradenton, Key West and Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers – which will see a $175 million expansion project completed by 2023 – make for a perfect dual-destination trip. Families should also consider combining a week at Orlando’s many amusement parks (Universal, Disney and Legoland are all here) with another exploring the South’s exciting cities and natural wonders. “South Florida has so much to offer and discover,” says Gill Standeven, Visit Florida’s UK Account Director. “We’re working with tour operators on co-op marketing programmes to promote multi-centre trips, encouraging visitors to travel further.” The glitzy centres of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Ratan and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic coast, and cosmopolitan Sarasota and Naples on the Gulf of Mexico, boast luxury hotels, restaurants and boutiques, but offer fun for families, too. The safe, sandy beaches

Lake Okeechobee

of Gulf islands like Anna Maria and Sanibel are perfect for children, while spa resorts and golf courses across the region keep luxury-seeking travellers entertained. For the intrepid, the Everglades National Park has exciting swamp and kayaking tours; Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Dry Tortugas National Park off Key West offer excellent diving and snorkelling; Palm Beach is a surf hotspot, and Fort Myers a watersports mecca. watersports are big down south

New for families Curio Collection by Hilton property, Baker’s Cay Resort in Key Largo (curiocollection3. hilton.com), offers family-friendly activities, including marine science camps, and Eden Roc Miami Beach (edenrochotelmiami. com) has introduced an all-new BECO Kids Club, offering fun marine workshops, pizza making classes, kid’s yoga, mindfulness sessions and more. On Anna Maria Island, Anna Maia Beach Resort (annamariaislandbeachresort.com) has opened, with a large pool and all rooms offering kitchen facilities. A new Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville resort (margaritaville.com) will open in 2021 at Fort Myers Beach, with 254 rooms and a water park. Key West’s newest attraction, the Sails to Rails Museum (historictours.com), leads visitors on an interactive journey through 500 years of fascinating Key West history. Meanwhile, four new, daily trolley tours of Bahia Honda State Park (floridastateparks. org/BahiaHonda) in the Lower Keys will help nature loving visitors understand the region’s unique ecosystem and history.

Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences

Book it: USAirtours (usairtours.co.uk/agent-zone) offers seven nights room-only in the Florida Keys for a family of four from £1,245pp, including flights with Norwegian from London to Miami, car rental, and accommodation in Key Largo and Key West.

New for luxury seekers Luxury boutique property, Lennox Hotel Miami Beach (lennoxmiamibeach.com), opened in the city’s historic district in August this year, with 119 rooms and its own private beach.

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Mantara


19 08:26

south florida

(seminolehardrockhollywood.com) opens in Greater Fort Lauderdale in October 2019, with 1,200 rooms and a 7,000-seat Hard Rock Live entertainment venue. Marriott opens a new Autograph Collection property in 2020, with the Luminary Hotel & Co. overlooking the Fort Myers River District.

Naples’ pier

Nobu Hotel Miami Beach (nobuhotelmiamibeach.com) has introduced three new types of Penthouse Level Beach Villas, with a personal concierge, gym, pool and cabanas. The Palm Beaches has five new, high-end hotels openings: Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island and Canopy by Hilton Hotel in West Palm Beach in 2019; The Ben, Autograph Collection by Marriott and Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, A Noble House Resort, in West Palm Beach in 2020; and Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton in 2021. Several multi-million-dollar renovations will be completed on The Paradise Coast this year, including JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and Spa, the Ritz-Carlton Naples; and Naples Grande Beach Resort. Sarasota has two new, luxury resorts: Art Ovation Hotel Autograph Collection (marriott.com) and boutique property, The Sarasota Modern (thesarasotamodern. com). The new Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Hotel and Casino

MANTA RAY INN

Book it: Funway Holidays (vaxvacationaccess. co.uk) offers 10 days from £1,799pp, including flights from London to Miami, car rental and five-star accommodation for three nights in Miami Beach, three nights in Key West and three nights in Naples.

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Mallory Glow tours to watch the sunset in front of Mallory Square. The Circus Arts Conservatory (circusarts. org) in Sarasota – home of the famous Ringling Circus Museum – runs circus arts classes and workshops for all ages Book it: America As You Like It (americaasyoulikeit. com) has a seven-night room-only holiday from £1,315pp, including flights with Norwegian from London to Miami, car rental, three nights in Naples (for travel to the Everglades) and four nights at Fort Myers Beach (with watersports included). 

New for adventure lovers The adults-only Bunagalows Key Largo (bungalowskeylargo.com) – the Florida Keys’ first all-inclusive resort – reopens in December 2019, offering paddle boarding, kayaking and snorkelling. Marathon’s 199-unit Isla Bella Beach Resort, adjacent to the iconic Seven Mile Bridge, now has five pools, complimentary bicycles and on-site water sports. Water lovers can participate in a Sip and SUP eco-tour experience (aquaholicadventures.com) at Islamorada’s Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina, kayaking or paddle boarding to local bars. Otherside Adventure Park (othersideboardsports.com) and Keys Cable (keyscable.com) in Marathon run wake boarding, kite boarding, stand-up paddle boarding and foil boarding lessons. Key West HydroBikes (keywesthydrobikes. com) offer rentals from four Key West locations, tours to Castaway Island and

The Sarasota Modern

neon miami

The MANTA RAY INN, a Boutique Hotel, is your 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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how to sell

Myanmar It’s gone from being a pariah state to one of Asia’s most desirable destinations. Kathryn Liston explains how agents can sell Myanmar Why sell it now Exiled from the outside world for many years, unspoilt by mass tourism and untouched by commercialisation, Myanmar provides a glimpse of Asia in bygone days – but things are changing fast. A more stable political climate since elections in 2015 have brought investment in tourism that has resulted in new luxury hotels, excellent domestic transport links, a simpler online visa service, and more family-owned businesses, social enterprises and community projects. Myanmar is more affordable than it has ever been – a five-star hotel costs half the price it was five years ago, says InsideAsia Tours' PR Manager James Mundy. Prices on the ground are also extremely low – Yangon taxis are £1; stir-fry, tea leaf salad or mohinga noodles £3 – although Western-style cafes, which are popping up rapidly, will charge more. The people are warm and welcoming and there’s a plethora of amazing, and relatively quiet, temples, monasteries and cultural sites to explore. Bagan receives 300,000 visitors a year compared to Angkor Wat’s three million.

Who to sell to With such a treasure trove of highlights, Myanmar caters for all markets. Culture buffs will love the stunning temples and colonial and World War Two history of Mandalay and Yangon; cruisers can dip

COCKBURN ISLAND, ANDAMAN SEA

BAGAN HAS BEEN AWARDED UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE STATUS THIS YEAR

into village life along the Irrawaddy or Chindwin rivers; sun worshippers will adore the unspoilt beaches of Ngapali or quieter Ngwe Saung; hikers can trek the Kalaw and Shan hills; and soft adventure seekers can take a sunrise balloon ride over Bagan, boat trip around Inle Lake or cycling tours of Yangon and Mandalay.

What to sell The tourist trail of Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Kalaw and Lake Inle visits the main cultural sites and is a must for firsttime visitors. The gleaming Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s jewel in the crown. Mandalay’s U Bein teak bridge (built 1782); Mahagandayon Monastery, home to 1,000 monks; and the gold-leaf covered Buddha at Mahamuni Pagoda are stunning. A balloon ride at sunrise over Bagan’s 3,500 ancient stupas and temples – and a horse-and-cart ride around the dusty plains – are enchanting, as is a boat tour of Inle Lake, where fishermen row with one leg, artisans weave silks from lotus leaves, silversmiths create ornate jewellery and floating gardens are filled with vegetables.

The hill station Kalaw offers great walking and the Kalaw Green Valley elephant camp employs sustainable practices, like making paper from elephant poo. Further afield, there’s the Golden Rock pagoda and pilgrimage site at Kyaiktiyo, Mawlamyine, where Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell penned various works, and the remote Mergui Archipelago, where Regent Holidays offers an 18-day cruise.

How to sell it Recommend a guided tour from Yangon to Mandalay followed by a beach stay or a cruise. Internal flights between the main cities are frequent, so clients can arrive

BOOK IT WITH... PREMIER HOLIDAYS Priced at £1999pp, the seven-night Highlights Of Myanmar tour includes three days in Mandalay, two days in Bagan to take in Mount Popa, a private sunset cruise along the Irrawaddy and two days at Inle Lake to visit the enchanting floating gardens. premierholidays.co.uk; 08444 937 520

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“Myanmar is more affordable than it's ever been - a five-star hotel costs half the price it was five years ago” James Mundy, PR Manager, Inside Tours

early morning for the next leg of their tour. Older clients may prefer to take a more leisurely cruise on the Irrawaddy or Chindwin River (from July to September). Agents should keep an eye on FCO travel advice too, as certain areas of the country are still out of bounds.

When to sell The best time to visit is November to February when the weather is warm and dry. April and May are hot and humid; while the monsoon season from June to October is best avoided. Water levels for cruising are highest from October to January, making winter a good time.

What's new

U BEIN BRIDGE

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Rosewood Hotels (rosewoodhotels.com) opens a new property this summer in the former New Law Courts for British Burma, Yangon. Last December saw the opening of luxury island resort Wa Ale (waaleresort.

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com) at Lampi Marine National Park, with 11 tent beach villas and two treetop villas. The community initiative in the far south of Myanmar was set up by Lampi Foundation owners Chris & Farina Kingsley. Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min (sofitelaccorhotels.com), Accor’s first hotel in Myanmar, opened last year. The city of Bagan, with 3,000 Buddist temples, monateries and stupas, gained UNESCO World Heritage status in July. The Secretariat (thesecretariat.com), the magnificent colonial centre of British Burma, where general Aung San and six cabinet minster's were assassinated in 1947, will open to visitors in October. Yangon-based Sampan Travel (sampantravel.com) has introduced a Coffee & Tea Trail in the Pindaya Hills, and World War Two battlefield tours. A plastic reduction initiative from InsideAsia Tours (insideasiatours.com) provides clients with a refillable water bottle, bamboo straw and handwoven bag on arrival. 

13/08/2019 12:14 8/27/19 04:45 PM


Visit USA News T H IS M ON T H ' S TO P S TOR I ES FROM V I SI T U SA MEMBERS • V I SI T U SA. O RG. UK

Virgin unveils new A350

If Only...

If Only is featuring Cleveland, Ohio, in its North American programme for the first time. The city provides the final stop on the operator’s 14-night self-drive

GET FREE ORLANDO TICKETS Agents who complete the redesigned online Orlando Travel Academy training programme qualify for up to 50% off theme park tickets, complimentary tickets to selected attractions, and up to 35% off hotel rates. Pass before December 31, 2019 to qualify for other special discounted rates at four Orlando hotels. visitorlando.com

tour around the Great Lakes region. The overnight in Cleveland takes in a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. ifonly.net

Tasty California

A quintessential California wine-tasting experience will

be on offer at the California Wine Festival in Huntington Beach – nicknamed 'Surf City' – from October 25 to 26. Held at the Pasea Hotel and Spa, it will display hundreds of premium California wines, regional craft brews and a variety of artisanal

Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 aircraft is expected to start flying across the Atlantic on September 10, with the inaugural flight from Heathrow to New York JKF. The aircraft features an entirely redesigned Upper Class cabin, as well as the airline’s unique social space, The Loft (pictured). Those in the Premium and Economy cabins will benefit from added luxury and comfort, including the airline’s largest-ever entertainment screens. Four A350s – Mamma Mia, Red Velvet, Rain Bow and Queen of Hearts – will join the airline’s fleet by the end of 2019, all flying between Heathrow and JFK. A further eight A350s will be introduced across 2020-2021 with the full schedule and destination information to be revealed in due course. The final five planes will offer a leisure configuration and will operate routes to Florida and the Caribbean from Gatwick and Manchester. virginatlantic.com

foods such as cheeses, breads, olive oils, shellfish, salads and chocolates. surfcityusa.com

Pilgrims' progress Plymouth, Massachusetts,

will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage next year with a ceremony on April 24, an Official Maritime Salute on June 27, a Wampanoag Ancestors Walk on August 1 and an indigenous History Conference/Powwow on October 29.

massholidays.co.uk

BLOG It's that time of year when thirsty

minds turn to beer or, more specifically beer festivals, and the USA has plenty of these – from Fredericksburg's Oktoberfest in Texas to Props & Hops in Greater Palm Springs, California, in November. What better way to get to a taste of a destination than with a local craft brew in hand? More Blog content at visitusa.org.uk/Blog Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update for the pick of members' news

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SPOTLIGHT ON... Hawaiian Airlines CAROL TUMBER, SALES MANAGER, UK

DOLLY PARTON'S TENNESSEE FAMILY ATTRACTION, DOLLYWOOD THEME PARK IN PIGEON FORGE, HAS A UNVEILED A MAJOR EXPANSION, ‘WILDWOOD GROOVE’, WITH NEW RIDES SUCH AS TREETOPTOWER Deep-south-usa.com/Tennessee; tnvacation.com SEEKING TICKETS FOR U.S. THEME PARKS AND ATTRACTIONS? Check out these Visit USA UK members • Disney Destinations International • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex • PIER 39 San Francisco • SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment • Universal Parks & Resorts

When did Hawaiian Airlines join Visit USA and why? We joined for 2019/20. We are looking to increase our awareness of our brand, product and services to both consumers and travel trade partners. We think Visit USA provides the ideal platform to do this. How well do you think the trade know the airline? Hawaiian Airlines has been in service for over 90 years therefore there is good awareness of our product. However, as we are constantly developing new routes, updating our fleet and enhancing our services we are keen to ensure that our vital trade partners are kept fully up to date. Do you have any events planned for agents in 2019? We will participate in various trade events and consumer shows throughout the year.

Epic news from Universal Universal Orlando Resort is to build a fourth park which it claims will “forever change the theme park entertainment experience”. The company says Universal’s Epic Universe, which will nearly double the space it owns in Central Florida, will be "the most immersive and innovative theme park we have ever built". Located on a 750-acre site a few miles from the existing resort in Southwest Orange County, east of Universal Boulevard, It will also feature an entertainment centre, hotels, shops and restaurants. “Our vision for Epic Universe is historic,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. News of the new park was announced in early August at an event attended by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, although there were no details on the planned rides or other attractions. universalorlando.com

Sum up Hawaii's appeal With gorgeous scenery, aloha spirit, stunning beaches, and exciting activities, Hawaii can be enjoyed all year round with average temperatures between 23°C to 27°C. Do you have a favourite Hawaiian Airlines memory? On my first-ever flight I 'experienced Hawaii' as soon as I stepped onboard: the cabin crew were wearing fresh plumeria flowers in their hair. hawaiianairlines.com

Subscribe to the Visit USA (UK) online Travel Update at visitusa.org.uk

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my trip to...

Bounty Islands of

It’s a long way to the South Pacific so you could argue it’s worth seeing more than one island. Jane Archer shows how you can visit several on a cruise.

W

e’ve stopped beside a pile of stones that to an untrained eye (mine) looks like, well, a pile of stones. To anthropologist Mark Eddowes, a walking encyclopaedia on everything Polynesian who happens to be guiding my tour, they offer an insight into the lives of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago. ‘Here’ is the South Pacific island of Moorea, the last stop on a one-week cruise around the Society Islands with Paul Gauguin Cruises. We started in Papeete, in Tahiti, and have already visited Raiatea, Tah’a and Bora Bora. There’s an overnight in Moorea to come and then, all too soon, we’ll head back to Papeete. The islands are as close to paradise as anywhere I’ve ever been (certainly worth the near 24-hour journey getting here) – all small, ringed by beautiful beaches and with lush green rainforest interiors. They are each enclosed by strings of coral reefs, which keeps the waters calm and attracts an array of marine life; on the reefs themselves are beautiful white motus, the local name for coral islands, which glint in

the bright sunshine. Paul Gauguin’s ship, also called Paul Gauguin, has proved the perfect base from which to explore this region. Purpose-built to cruise the South Pacific, it accommodates just 332 passengers and has a shallow draft so it can get inside the reefs. There’s plenty of outside deck for lazing in the sun and a laid-back, casual atmosphere that suits the destination. After all, who wants to come to the South Pacific and have to dress up in tuxedos or DJs. The icing on the cake, is that prices include all dining, drinks and gratuities so you don’t have to think about the budget.

Ship mates

I was there with my daughter on what turned out to be the perfect bonding trip. While I was loving the sea, sand and temperatures in the high 80s (despite it being August, which is their winter), my daughter was coming back from scuba and snorkelling tours with the ship’s dive masters, telling tales of turtles, sea urchins, eagle rays, sharks (I was assured they were harmless!) and more. On one notable

trip she encountered a Crown of Thorns starfish, a carnivorous echinoderm capable of wiping out entire reef colonies. My daughter is a scuba dive instructor but you don’t have to be qualified to dive from the ship as there are scuba trips for beginners and certified divers (these are at extra cost). Uniquely, there are three dive masters on board, plus a couple of assistants, and between them they also look after the marina, housed in the stern of the ship, which contains water toys like snorkelling equipment, kayaks, canoes and a windsurf, all of which are free to use. We also had plenty of together time. I got roped into a drift snorkelling trip, which sounded alarming (“for confident swimmers only, no touching the coral”) but was brilliant. We were guided through fields of colourful coral teeming with evenmore vibrant tropical fish, pulled along by the strong current that runs between the motus – a bit like being in a funnel - when the tide is coming in or receding. We drank cocktails from coconut shells during a Robinson Crusoe day on Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin’s private coral

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my trip to...

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BORA-B

STINGRAY ENCOUNTER, MOOREA

island, hiked up Mount Tapioi on Raiatea and joined the long list of celebrities who have frequented the famous Bloody Mary’s Restaurant on Bora Bora, an hour’s walk from the pier.

Sacred places

And then there was that Trails of the Ancients tour with Mark Eddowes, a regular guest speaker on Paul Gauguin’s Society Islands’ cruises. We saw the remains of an ancient marae (the Polynesian’s sacred meeting ground) and learned of their religious beliefs and how life in the islands changed when the French arrived in the 1700s. The excursion was supposed to be four hours but was so fascinating that when it overran no one noticed or cared. We even went along to Mark’s lectures back on Paul Gauguin - one about ancient Polynesian society, another billed the

‘true’ story of the mutiny on the Bounty. Unfortunately I missed the ending because we had to leave half way through as we had booked dinner in the Grill, one of two speciality restaurants on the ship. The other is the Veranda, which doubles as the self-service for breakfast and lunch) that book up fast. We dined in each, but most evenings went to L’Etoile, the main dining room, where you can eat when and with whom you want. During meal times, two of Les Gauguines, a group of seven local women who provided the entertainment on the ship, passed through the restaurant, one playing the guitar, the other dancing. They also performed song-and-dance shows in the theatre in the evenings, and by day hosted games of volley ball, petanque and hermit crab racing, as well as telling us about life ON the islands and teaching us how to make shell bracelets. It sounded a lot easier than it was but practice makes perfect so as I see it, I just need to cruise on Paul Gauguin again and have another go!

CREDIT LINE HERE PLEASE IF ANY

How to get there

DECK VIEWS

The best route from the UK to Tahiti is via Los Angeles. Air Tahiti Nui flies from Paris to LA between five and seven times a week depending on the season and offers a daily service from LA to Papeete, taking eight hours. The national carrier has just launched its new Dreamliner fleet, with a refreshed cabin reflecting the tropical colours and shapes of the idyllic Polynesian islands. British Airways flies direct to Los Angeles.

ORA

PADDLE BOARDING

Top tips Group mentality Offer to organise a Polynesian cruise or liveaboard diving holiday for a group from your local dive club or shop. All-rounder With everything from hardy mountain and rainforest hikes and thrilling water sports to gentle swimming on the menu, this is a perfect cruise for all ages. Addded extras Extend your client’s South Pacific holiday with pre or post-cruise hotel nights in Tahiti’s capital Papeete, Los Angeles or both. Not just for cruise lovers Think beyond cruising and target luxuryloving clients looking for an exotic holiday with plenty of sun, sea and sand.

Where to book it

The Cruise Portfolio has a one-week Tahiti and the Society Island voyage with Paul Gauguin Cruises from £4,272 per person departing January 4, 2020 including return flights with Air Tahiti Nui between Los Angeles and Papeete. cruiseportfolio.co.uk

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Paul_Gauguin_Selling_Travel_Ad Aug19.qxp_Paul_Gauguin_Selling_Travel_Ad Aug19 13/08/2019 18:18 Page 1

Paradise is closer than you think

m/s Paul Gauguin

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

For further information or to make a booking, please call 020 7399 7691 Untitled-1 Untitled-11 11

www.pgcruises.com

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destination profile

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South Pacific It’s one of the ultimate long haul destinations and agents who can show why it’s worth the long flight will reap the benefits, says Anna Selby THE COOK ISLANDS The main island is Rarotonga, famed for its singers and dancers. Friday night is the high-octane ‘Island Night’ – all gyrating hips, coconut bras and haka challenges (be ready to join in). Its white-sand beaches and sparkling lagoon are ideal for snorkelling, but even more astonishing is the lagoon of Aitutaki – a vast turquoise triangle with water so clear you can see all the way to the bottom. It’s heaving with marine life – bright blue starfish, giant clams with luminous lips and hawksbill turtles. While on shore, transparent ghost crabs scuttle and dive into holes as you walk. It’s the stuff of desert island dreams, especially if you stay in an over-water bungalow – the epitome of South Pacific glamour – where you can walk straight down the steps of your terrace into the lagoon and feed the fish from the window in your bedroom floor. PIULA CAVE POOL, SAMOA

FIJI Fiji has no fewer than 333 tropical islands which, says the tourist board, are ‘home to happiness’. Claiming to be a leader in ecotourism, Fiji is known as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ and as such, boasts world-class diving and, on land, hidden bays and secluded beaches. The two main islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu and there are plenty of resorts on both. Denarau Island, off Viti Levu and

close to the capital and international airport at Nadi, has a concentrated dose of resorts plus a world-class golf course and marina. Taveuni is the third-largest island, known as the Garden Island for its lush jungle, secluded waterfalls and abundant wildlife, and an eco-tourist’s dream. However, most visitors want to get away to the smaller islands and from Viti Levu you can see the Mamanucas, a string of pearl-like islands which offer white sandy beaches fringed with cocount palms.

They are a great spot for water sports. Beyond the Mamanucas are the exquisite Yasawas. You can take in both as part of a cruise with local operator Blue Lagoon Cruises. The Yasawas played a major role in the film The Blue Lagoon. It’s also the historic spot from which two canoes of cannibals chased the unfortunate Captain Bligh just a week after the mutiny on the Bounty (he got away). Off the East coast of Viti Levu is the Lomaiviti Group, home to the historical port town Levuka, Fiji’s first capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Further east are the off-the-beaten track Lau Islands.

FRENCH POLYNESIA

AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS

Now marketed as ‘Tahiti and her Islands’, this region has several island groups. Most visited are the Society Islands, of which Tahiti and Bora Bora are best known. The Society Islands have the most sophisticated resorts in the whole of the South Pacific and offer a classy French take on Polynesian food and style.

A FIJIAN DANCER

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Top experiences Pearls of wisdom Go pearl fishing or see them growing in Raiatea and Taha’a’s vast lagoon. Alternatively, just buy them from a pearl shop or (somewhat cheaper) in a market like the one in Tahiti’s Papeete. Happy hour Fiji’s national drink is kava – a mildly narcotic powdered root of a pepper plant. OK, it looks (and tastes) like dirty dishwater but a kava ceremony is a good way to meet the locals. Bird in the hand Go to Atiu (Cook Island no 3) for the tumunu (bush beer club) and a swim in candlelit caves. Take an eco-tour with Birdman George who will literally charm the birds out of the trees for you.

© KAI MATTHES

Check into paradise Visit the most famous hotel in the South Pacific, Samoa’s Aggie Grey’s, for fia fia (literally happy) night with a feast followed by dancing every Wednesday. Whale of a time Tonga is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with whales. Humpbacks visit every year and specialist guides will get you in the water with these these huge mammals.

BOOK IT WITH... TURQUOISE HOLIDAYS Turquoise Holidays has a 10-day holiday to Fiji that sees guests staying in a treehouse and an overwater bungalow. Priced from £6,995pp the deal includes five nights at Matangi Private Island Resort and five nights at Likuliku Lagoon Resort. Also included are flights, meals and transfers. turquoiseholidays.co.uk 01494 678 400

TAHAA, TAHITI

The Tuamotus are a series of picture-perfect atolls floating on turquoise lagoons, of which the most popular is Rangiroa. The Marquesas are more remote: you can fly in but the best way to explore is by boat (the Aranui 3 has a 16-day cruise to the Marquesas and Tuamotus from Papeete). Even further afield, Mangareva in the Gambier Islands is some 1,000 miles from Tahiti – a four-and-a-half-hour flight away.

SAMOA Samoa combines one of the most traditional of Polynesian cultures with stunning natural features – from white coral beaches to blow-holes, unspoilt rainforests to a solidified lava flow that stretches down to the Savai’i coast. Vailima is the beautiful colonial house built by Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s now a must-see museum and also the name of the local beer. There are two main islands – Savai’i and Upolu – but you can also take a ferry to road-free Manono Island and reach even tinier, uninhabited islands for a small fee to a local fisherman. To really get to know the place, opt for a village stay. You’ll be in a fale – an open-sided house (hut really) on the beach – just a raised platform with a thatched roof, a mattress and a mosquito net and you’ll share meals with the family.

TONGA Captain Cook didn’t call Tonga the ‘Friendly Isles’ for nothing. Less visited than many of its Polynesian neighbours, the locals reach out here and it’s the last monarchy in the South Pacific, stretching back 1,000 years. A good place to meet islanders is at an umu (and most resorts offer this, too). Basically, it’s a feast cooked in an underground oven – usually followed by dancing. Not the frenzied hip shaking you’ll find elsewhere in the Pacific but the lakalaka, a graceful dance with sung poetry; so special it has UNESCO World Heritage status. Tonga prides itself on being a very family-friendly destination, with a variety of activities for children including guided fishing expeditions, swimming with whales and turtles and visiting local markets to see traditional weaving and bone or wood carving. 

POLYNESIAN TATTOO

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New fleet, new experience Air Tahiti Nui is the national carrier to the French Polynesia departing from Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Auckland with connecting flights available from London with airline partners. From September 2019 all routes and flights will be operated by the Dreamliners. World class hospitality with French and Polynesian influences is served on board. Discover the latest innovations in comfort and technology on board our Tahitian Dreamliner including a brand new Moana Premium class. Ancillary services available to book: Priority pass, Lounge pass, Extra comfort seats, Celebratory champagne and chocolates. Visit www.tahitian-dreamliner.com Information/Reservations Tel: 0844 482 1675 Email: resa@airtahitinui.co.uk

The change of scenery starts with us. Live the new “Tahitian Dreamliner” experience.

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a dv e r t or ia l

where in the

world... W

hether clients are after a beach break or secluded dune retreat, the Ritz-Carlton in Ras Al Khaimah offers both, and if that wasn’t enough, it’s only 45 minutes from Dubai. With two properties in Ras Al Khaimah – one amid glorious desert dunes and another on the Gulf’s sparkling blue shores – The Ritz-Carlton offers holiday experiences packed with activities and pampering, in stunning surroundings.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert Plan a getaway of desert discovery at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert. Set amid a 500-hectare nature reserve with private infinity-pool villas, clients can soak in the nature by stargazing, desert biking, nature driving, destination dining and horse riding surrounded by dunes. From adventure to relaxation, get away from it all and discover a tranquil wellness sanctuary in the Arabian Desert. Indulge in the newly opened Rainforest, a healing water oasis with 16 different stations combining European hydrothermal culture with Middle Eastern bathing rituals, or, treat yourself to one of the signature spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.

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There is plenty to entertain at this stunning and exclusive desert escape. To make the most out of your holidays, book the Ultimate Desert Experience package, including full-board dine-around, Al Wadi ranger activities, a falcon show and an owl interaction.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach A short drive away, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, The RitzCarlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach comprises 32 luxurious private pool villas sitting along a private beach, each with their own infinity pool. First impressions certainly won’t disappoint as guests arrive at the hotel, which is set on its own island, via a complimentary boat ride. Relaxation comes naturally here: refresh your senses at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, inspired by the calming waves of the sea. For the ultimate relaxation experience, book one of the Wellness packages. An overnight stay includes daily breakfast, private beach access, a complimentary transfer to the sister resort in Al Wadi nature reserve, and – ideal for families – kids stay free. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get booking your next escape. ritzcarlton.com/rasalkhaimah •

8/27/19 01:14 PM


T H E T R A VE L N E WS THAT R E ALLY M ATTE R S

N EW S: TOM DALEY HELPS TO PROMOTE LESSER-KNOWN AREAS OF JAPAN

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C H E C K I NG OU T CASA DE CAMPO, CARIBBEAN

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C AR I B B E AN N EW S WIN A ST. KITTS FAM TRIP

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NEWS FOCUS: SRI LANKA A COUNTRY BOUNCING BACK

GET ONLINE – READ ALL OUR MAGAZINES AND CHECK OUT OUR DAILY SELLING TIPS AT SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK

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the review

First training programme from Sonoma County Agents can become an expert on California’s Wine Country by signing up to the new Sonoma County Travel Pro training programme. The portal will better prepare agents to share, sell, and promote Sonoma County with the help of product information, maps, shareable images, information on trade events and a directory of accommodations, attractions, activities and events. Deleyse Langdale, Sonoma County Tourism’s Vice President, said: “In addition to becoming a certified Travel Pro, there’s also access to an online tool kit, plus content that can be shared directly with clients.” Agents can connect with the Sonoma County team via the new Facebook group, Sonoma County Travel Pros. sonomacountytravelpro.com

JNTO teams with Tom Daley

BY JESSICA POOK

Olympic diver Tom Daley is helping to promote the lesserknown prefectures of Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The athlete has created a sixpart content series off the back of his recent trip to Japan, where he travelled to several prefectures north of Tokyo, including Fukushima, Yamagata, Miyagi, Aomori and Iwate. Talking of his experience, Tom said: “It was great to be able to see a different side of Japan. I was surprised by the rural landscapes and how unspoilt the country is. He added: “I would recommend incorporating a homestay as part of your trip, it allows you to immerse yourself in the culture. I was particularly touched at the sense of community I felt when staying with a lady in Fukushima,

a city which was badly affected by the Tsunami in 2011.” Talking of the Olympics next year Tom admitted he’s excited to see what host city Tokyo has in store saying: “There’s already a buzz around the upcoming Olympics. I can’t wait to see the opening ceremony, I think it may outdo London.” He finished: “Japan is so well connected through its bullet trains, but another option is selfdriving. They drive on the left there but it’s easy to hire a car and see more of the country.” To further encourage travel to Japan the Setouchi Tourism Authority is offering a place on a fam trip for those who complete the introductory course: training.setouchitrip.com; japan.travel

New agent sales guide from Explore Agents now have access to another dedicated selling tool with Explore’s Agents Sales Guide. The guide provides all the necessary information and assets to increase sales, along with best-selling trips and top-selling tips. To incentivise sales, Explore is offering agents the chance to earn a free trip by booking five passengers on itineraries featured within the directory before December 31, 2019. Ben Ittensohn, Global Head of Sales for Explore comments: “Recent trade sales have grown significantly which is why we have created a sales guide to capture more of this growing sector.” Visit Explore’s Facebook page, ‘Explore Agents’, to request a copy. explore.co.uk

Get to know Kentucky with the latest guide

Sponsored content – Travelpack The Stylish Maldives Getaway Seven nights at the Hard Rock Hotel Maldives start from £2255pp. Bed & Breakfast, Inc. flights & transfers Travel period: Nov 15 - Dec 12, 2019 Call: 020 8585 4020 holidays@travelpack.com

Find your copy of the new Holiday and Travel Guide to Kentucky with this month’s Selling Travel. The publication highlights some of the state’s ‘Real Americana’ experiences as well as outdoor activities, city breaks and mustsee attractions such as the new Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and the impressive caves of Mammoth Cave National Park.

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New small ship deals

JETWING HOTELS

ONE & ONLY REETHI RAH MALDIVES One of the finest properties in the Maldives Reethi Indulgence Offer still available: Stay 4 Nights and receive 25% Off Room Rates Stay 7 Nights and receive 30% Off Room Rates PLUS Complimentary Upgrade to Half Board AND Complimentary Boat Transfers Valid for stays between now – 16 Dec 19

BY JESSICA POOK

Clients can enjoy complimentary round-trip airfares and discounts on a small ship expedition to the Amazon, Galapagos or Antarctica with Adventure Smith Explorations. They can save up to 40% on Anakonda Amazon Cruises and Manatee Amazon Explorer Cruises to the Ecuadorian Amazon with sailings on the Napo River priced from $1,966pp. The operator is also offering complimentary local airfares and savings of up to 10% on sailings to the Galapagos onboard its 16-passenger luxury yacht, Sea Star Journey, with prices starting from $4,649. The complimentary airlift is valid from Quito or Guayaquil to Galapagos on November 3, 17 and December

15, 2019 departures. Alternatively, agents booking a Seaman Journey Galapagos Cruise from October through to December, usually priced at $2,599, can save up to 20% plus a $300 discount on local airfare. Clients wishing to explore the Antarctic can do so with complimentary round-trip airfare, with bar tab and all gratuities included when booking on the National Geographic Explorer or Orion by December 31, priced from $14,680 for 14 nights. Complimentary round-trip airfare, waived bar tab and crew gratuities are also offered on the National Geographic Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands cruise, from $25,220. adventuresmithexplorations.com

KUDAFUSHI ISLAND RESORT MALDIVES LAST MINUTE SUMMER OFFER Book from now until 31 Oct 19 and receive: Heavily Discounted Rates for Water Villa categories Save over 30% with this offer!!! Valid for stays between now – 31 Oct 19

Sponsored content - Osborne & Ebel Trade-friendly

wholesaler

AYADA MALDIVES

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

Wonderful property in South Maldives With multiple dining options and a great house reef! Fantastic Offers for Spring 2020 Book now for Spring and receive 40% OFF Room Rates! Valid for various dates between 05 Jan 20 – 30 Apr 20! ALSO FIND EXCLUSIVE DEALS FOR TRAVEL TRADE PERSONNEL ONLY ON OUR WEBSITE OVER 200 HOTELS AND A SELECTION OF TOURS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE MALDIVES • SRI LANKA • MAURITIUS • SEYCHELLES • INDIA • UAE • CARIBBEAN • GREECE • NEW CRUISING AND SAILING. INCLUDING EXCLUSIVE OFFERS FOR SPRING 2019 SUMMER 2019 AND WINTER 2019/20 RATES ARE NOW ONLINE

osborneandebel.com All above offers are subject to availability | Terms & Conditions Apply

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Cruise Update

First look at Scenic Eclipse

Agents can now secure November bookings for Reefsuites, Australia’s first underwater accommodation. Cruise Whitsundays is offering two underwater Reefsuite options: a premium king or twin single priced from £412, both of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows with underwater views of the Great Barrier Reef. cruisewhitsundays.com

ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director

September means only one thing in the cruise industry... Cruise Month! Each year the UK & Irish cruise industry unites, bringing together cruise lines, travel agents, media and consumers as part of a campaign to highlight the benefits of a cruise holiday. This year, we are focusing on two key themes, sustainability and wellness, to showcase and champion what cruise lines are doing to create a sustainable future and offer enriching wellness experiences. We have created a dedicated toolkit for CLIA travel agents, found on cruiseexperts.org, which includes exclusive cruise line deals and promotions, social media graphics, ocean and river cruise guides and a sustainability fact sheet. We’re also encouraging agents to create their own special cruise event to keep in touch with existing customers and entice firsttime cruisers to book. Getting actively involved in Cruise Month can help agents to increase both their sales and the visibility of their businesses. We are looking forward to celebrating another successful Cruise Month with our travel agent partners. cruiseexperts.com

NEWS TO USE IN BRIEF

BY JESSICA POOK

Two onboard helicopters, a submarine and luxury suites were all revealed in a launch video of the new ship Scenic Eclipse last month. Described as the world’s first discovery yacht, Scenic Eclipse, which is currently on its maiden voyage from Reykjavik to Quebec, offers six-star luxury and the latest in design and innovation. The two onboard helicopters offer passengers the chance to experience their surroundings from new heights while the onboard submarine can dive down 300 metres for close-up encounters with aquatic creatures. Back on deck passengers have the choice of ten dining experiences, from alfresco meals

in the Yacht Club, to casual eating in the Azure Bar & Café, and the chance to dine at the Chef’s Table. The 114 suites all have verandahs and private butler service and for the ultimate luxury experience the Owner’s Penthouse Suite features a spa bathroom and a private terrace with jacuzzi. Speaking at the launch event, Joseph Grimley, Director of Trade Sales said: “Despite the delays, we’re excited to be celebrating the launch of Scenic Eclipse as she voyages from the Arctic to Antarctica and everywhere inbetween. We now look forward to welcoming sister ship Scenic Eclipse 2, due to launch in 2021.” scenic.co.uk

Lennox Hotel Miami Beach has reopened following a $100-million renovation to maintain the property’s legacy and restore its original Art Deco design. The hotel has 119 rooms, restaurant, private beach area, and Mediterranean-style courtyard with swimming pool and poolside bar. lennoxmiamibeach.com The new 1 Hotel West Hollywood by SH Hotels & Resorts, formerly The Jeremy, has upped its sustainability credentials and is now “one of the most energy-efficient hotels in L.A.” Its hotel uses a smart irrigation system that determines when soil needs water, a sustainablygrown vegetable garden and neighboring beehive. 1hotels.com

Earn £40 Love2Shop vouchers with Shearings’ River to Riches incentive Timed to coincide with September being CLIA’s Cruise Month, ‘River to Riches’ is the latest incentive from Shearings Holidays to help drive 2020 river cruise sales. Running until September 30, agents can earn a £40 Love2Shop voucher for every 2020 booking made on any of the ships and cruise lines featured within Shearings’ portfolio of river cruises, including

A-ROSA, Amadeus Cruises and CroisiEurope. Agents have over 62 itineraries to choose from with many including transfers by coach rail or air travel, all of which are included in the incentive. To claim the vouchers agents need to email their qualifying booking references to win@ shearings.com before October 10, 2019. shearings.com

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your

CARIBBEAN NEWS THIS MO N TH’S TOP STORIES FROM THE CARIB B EAN

KEMPINSKI TO OPEN IN DOMINICA

MEET THE CTO MEMBER

Kempinski Hotels is to open a property on Dominica, which will mark the island’s first five-star resort. Due to open on October 14, 2019, the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica offers 151 rooms and suites with mountain or ocean views. Amenities will include a spa and three restaurants onsite serving both local and international cuisine as well as ‘farm-to-table’ and ‘seato-table’ dining. kempinski.com

Director of Sales & Marketing at AMResorts

Q

WHAT don’t readers know about your company? The AMResorts portfolio currently consists of eight brands and 58 hotels across the Caribbean, Mexico and Spain, with new openings and destinations in the pipeline for late 2019 and early 2020. Watch this space for Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa!

Q

WHAT are the benefits of being a CTO member? The fantastic networking opportunities and the joint agent training sessions available. The CTO team themselves have given us lots of support over the years. We’ve benefited hugely from their advice when launching hotels in new destinations.

Q

WHAT CTO activities do you get involved in? We regularly attend the PR roundtable events and the Twitter chats are great at getting people talking about all things Caribbean. And you’ll always see a few of the team letting their hair down at the CTO ball!

Q

WHAT’S your top Caribbean tip? Take advantage of the AMResorts Amazing Sale to save 50% at selected hotels for travel until October 31, 2020. Hurry as the offer expires September 30!

Agents will have the chance to visit the colourful island of St. Kitts

St. Kitts fam trip up for grabs

CAYMAN COOKOUT

SIGNS UK CHEF AS part of its St. Kitts Agent Rewards Programme, the tourist board is giving a £10 cash incentive for every British Chef Clare booking made to St. Kitts, alongside the chance to win Smyth will form part of the linea place on a fam trip. up for the Cayman Cookout, an Agents that book a minimum of seven nights and annual culinary event taking return flights will be entered into a draw to win a place place on Seven Mile Beach in the on a four-night fam trip from October 12 to October 16, Cayman Islands, January 15-19, 2019. The group will have the chance to explore the 2020. Clare will join Michelin Star history of the island at Brimstone Fortress, eat local chef Eric Ripert at the event, Caribbean food and explore the dense rainforest. which involves cooking An additional £10 hotel bonus can be earned when demonstrations, tastings, dining agents book at the following four hotels: Ocean events and local food tours. A Terrace Inn, Sugar Bay Club, Park Hyatt new culinary guide with the St. Kitts and Bell Mont Farm. latest news on restaurants To win, agents must sign up to the and culinary tours is now agent rewards programme and log available, email: O CT The ws on their bookings at: info-uk@caymanislands.ky o sh in Road ber 10 er visitcaymanislands.com mybookingrewards.com b m m e e Sept m, Sept a d h n a g s in Nott 1 in Leed 18 in 1 er b m e THE Four MEMBERS of the Sept ondon L Seasons Caribbean Tourism Resort in Nevis Organization is due to finish its gathered for the two-year annual Summer renovation in Social last month November. At the where sponsor centre of the Visit Jamaica New look for Nevis hotel CTO members out in force refresh is a new revealed new hotel 3,300-square-foot infinity pool, featuring four openings. Tourist boards, tour operators and pool cabanas and wifi connectivity. Guests media were told about the new Ocean Coral can also enjoy the new restaurant, On The Spring, a five-star H10-branded hotel due to Dune, which extends onto the sand, open November this year. The tourist board transforming into a beach bar in the evening. also revealed plans to open a Margaritaville fourseasons.cpm/nevis next year (2020). visitjamaica.com

don’t

HOTTEST NEWS

LIZZIE PARKER

miss

caribbean.co.uk Sign up to the CTO’s training programme at caribbeantravelguru.com

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the review: news focus

Sri Lanka It has been a tough four months for those working in the Sri Lankan tourism industry, but signs of better days ahead are already discernible, says Steve Hartridge

Sri Lanka’s rising popularity was brought to an abrupt halt on April 21 by the bombings that killed more than 250 people in churches and luxury hotels. Foreign visitor numbers immediately fell off a cliff: down almost 71% in May and 64% in June. This sparked a flurry of activity and initiatives designed to get the word out that the destination is as safe as any country can be in these uncertain times. Many of Sri Lanka’s hoteliers, like Resplendent Ceylon, Uga Escapes and Taj Hotels, united with other travel industry interests to create the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance, with online platform – lovesrilanka.org – acting as a portal of travel information for both the trade and consumers. The country has also embarked on a programme of personally-tailored individual press visits to Sri Lanka to generate a spate of positive publicity. And to lure tourists back, the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry introduced free tourism visas on arrival to 40 countries, including the UK. On the ground in Sri Lanka, security measures have been stepped up, most noticeably at the international airport in Colombo, popular tourist sites and temples.

Overwhelming support But the country faces a steady rather than rapid climb back to its previously-healthy visitor numbers. Travelpack says its Sri Lanka business was ‘severely impacted’ but director Vishal Patel believes the company ‘owes it to Sri Lanka to continue its investment there’. “We have seen Sri Lanka go though worse situations, like the tsunami and a civil war, and it always bounces back stronger.” He added: “Enquiries and sales have picked up, but not at the rate we hoped for. We will be arranging fam trips and pushing Sri Lanka in the coming months.” Kuoni hopes to boost its Sri Lanka bookings through its current campaign with TV presenter, Anita Rani (pictured above, bottom right), who visited the country for a film now

HANSON IMAGES

The road to recovery

featuring on the operator’s YouTube channel. Rani is featured sampling egg hoppers, watching baby elephants in Minneriya National Park, climbing Sigariya Rock, walking through jungle to the temples at Dambulla and wildlife spotting off the south coast. The early signs of a recovery are already discernible, says Jean-Marc Flambert, former Director UK, Sri Lanka Tourism. ”The comeback has started and will continue to grow. Many tour operators have campaigns to give Sri Lanka a push, the industry in Sri Lanka has pulled out all stops and the airlines are committed to airlift for winter 2019/2020.“ Hiran Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing Symphony PLC, which operates several hotels and villas across the country, says it experienced a busy August, with occupancies in the mid-60% at most of its properties. “We have received overwhelming support from our travel partners and are confident this winter will be a busy one...we are going ahead with our planned completion of the 26-suite Jetwing Kandy Gallery, which will open this December,” he said. Natasha Muttettuwegama, Sales Manager at The Haritha Collection, said she is “encouraged” that many travellers kept their bookings and visited during July and August.

“We believe this is down to guests feeling Sri Lanka is safe and recognising it as an exciting and unique destination,” she said. There is plenty that is new to tempt return visitors back, added Flambert. “The Nine Mirissa, a luxury villa on the south coast aimed at couples and families, opened in April, while Flow by the Amber Collection offers luxury houseboat cruises on Bolgoda Lake, close to the capital Colombo. Meanwhile, a refurbished Cinnamon Bentota Beach will be unveiled in December. Half a million families in Sri Lanka depend on tourism and the industry is the country’s thirdlargest, generating $4.4 billion a year.

BOOK IT WITH...SELECTIVE ASIA The 14-night Insider’s Sri Lanka tour showcases the country’s ‘lesser-known gems’. Included is wildlife spotting in Uda Walawe, street food in Colombo and chill-out time on Aruba Bay’s secluded sands. Accommodation includes Hill Country (two nights) and Kumana National Park (two nights). Prices start from £2,627pp (excluding flights). selectiveasia.com

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TM

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E : holidays@travelpack.com 8/21/19 04:43 PM 19/08/2019 14:00


FOCUS ON 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 the all-new shopping module - available now H Download and share any images, videos or other content to help inspire your clients H Wine Country’s Sonoma County module – available now

Untitled-2 Untitled-1 1 CA Star ST August.indd 1

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the review: checking out

Checking out...

63

HOTELS / RESORTS TRAIN JOURNEYS / CRUISES AIRPORT REVIEWS

HOTEL AZURE – South Lake Tahoe, California BY JESSICA POOK

THE BACKGROUND: Hotel Azure is a small boutique-style property of 100 rooms, ranging from the deluxe two-bedroom Lakeview Suite to ground level Accessible Rooms. In 2016 the hotel (formerly the Inn by the Lake) completed a $3.5 million renovation which included all rooms and suites, public spaces and the hotel’s exterior. THE LOCATION: Close to the ski slopes of Heavenly and not far from the mountain terrain of Sierra Nevada and Kirkwood, Hotel Azure is a popular choice for skiers. The hotel enjoys prime views of Lake Tahoe and is a short walking distance to activity centres which provide kayaks, paddleboards and jetski hire. It’s also close to various restaurants, bars and the lively casinos and bars of Heavenly Valley. THE ROOM: Extremely spacious and

THE VERDICT Just a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe, Azure provides the perfect base for activities like watersports, hiking or skiing the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its location on the California side of the lake lends it a tranquil feel with alpine views, but the bustling Heavenly Valley, on the

decorated with calm, neutral colours, it gives the illusion of bringing nature indoors. The plush beds and modern bathrooms give a luxurious feel and all guestrooms feature a patio or balcony with lake or alpine vistas. KEY FACILITIES: The pool and hot tub are the perfect place to unwind after a day of activities and are

heated year-round. The Bear Beach Café provides a hearty breakfast and there’s also a Scottish pub next door with a menu of classic pub favourites. Guests have access to free wifi, parking, fitness facilities and a games room. W: hotelazuretahoe.com E: info@hotelazuretahoe.com

Nevada side, is just a 10 minute drive away. RATES: One night at the Hotel Azure in a Lake View Double Queen room starts from £193.

TEWKESBURY PARK – GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK BY JO AUSTIN

THE BACKGROUND: This familyowned and run hotel, set in 165 acres of parkland outside historic Tewkesbury, has recently completed the second phase of a multi-million pound renovation. Offering 84 guestrooms and nine suites plus an

18-hole golf course, the hotel was awarded Fido’s Favourite Pet Friendly Hotel by Best Loved Hotels in 2017. THE LOCATION: With stunning views of Tewkesbury Abbey and the Malvern Hills from its hilltop position, the property has a contemporary feel but retains historic features.

Only five minutes from M5’s junction nine, on the doorstep of Tewkesbury and within easy reach of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Worcester. THE ROOM: Dog-friendly ‘pampered pooch’ rooms are on the ground floor overlooking the golf course with doors leading onto private parkland. There’s a Scottish influence, with tartan carpet and dog bed, and amenities including tea and coffee making facilities. KEY FACILITIES: Golf course and tennis courts; a leisure club with sauna, gym and indoor pool. There’s a large, airy reception and bar area, a breakfast room for dog owners and a separate dining room with breakfast buffet and a la carte dining. W: tewkesburypark.co.uk E: enquiries@tewkesburypark.co.uk

THE VERDICT There’s an overall sense of informality combined with attentive and friendly staff who simply cannot do enough to help make you (and your dog!) feel welcome. The perfect place for a relaxing break or a golfing/walking weekend. I loved the collection of colourful wellies in reception, ready for guests to take on one of the area’s great walks. RATES: Prices start from £70 a night for a double room (room only)

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the review: checking out

Checking out...

HOTELS / RESORTS TRAIN JOURNEYS / CRUISES AIRPORT REVIEWS

CASA DE CAMPO RESORT & VILLAS – Dominican Republic BY MARTIN STEADY

THE BACKGROUND: Truly a remarkable luxury holiday destination, Casa de Campo covers 7,000 acres and has three world-class golf courses. But that’s just the start of it, and the resort’s huge array of facilities attract a wide ranging clientele, including families, honeymooners, sports enthusiasts, and even a few celebrities and heads of state. THE LOCATION: Romana, in the southeast of the island, east of historical capital Santo Domingo and close to Punta Cana international Airport. THE ROOM: There are 247 rooms, from hotel suites to private villas, some with private pools and staff. I stayed in the Elite Balcony Room which is spacious, cool and well appointed. An enormous and very comfortable bed faces a multi-channel TV. There’s a large bathroom with free-standing bath, walk-in shower and double sinks,

and a further dressing area with a safe and wardrobe. Patio doors lead onto a good-sized balcony, perfect for morning coffees and evening sundowners. There are also tea-making facilities, a Nespresso machine and mini bar. RESTAURANTS/BARS: There are ten excellent restaurants, including coffee, juice, cocktail and beach bars. The dining choice is vast - Spanish tapas, classic Italian, fresh sushi, Mexican, up-scale food trucks and more. La Caña restaurant offers French-inspired fare and guests gather at the outside bar and lounge area each night to enjoy live local music and, if you fancy it, hand-rolled cigars and a range of Dominican rums. KEY FACILITIES: I loved the stunning new Minitas Beach Club but other venues for relaxing and activities include the Caribbean’s largest marina, an equestrian/ polo centre, shooting centre, tennis courts, water sports centre,

various shopping options, several swimming pools – one with a swimup bar - and three private, pristine white sand beaches. For the kids there are supervised programmes including all activities. There are also a great number of unique locations for destination weddings and a state of the art wellness facility with extensive spa, holistic treatments and yoga. Not to be missed is a visit to the unique village of Altos De Chavón, a full-sized 16th century Italian-style replica village with restaurants, shops, an archaeological museum, the St. Stanislaus Church, sweeping views of the Chavón River and a 5,000seat Grecian-style amphitheatre that is used for internationallyrenowned concerts. Frank Sinatra was the first star to perform there when it opened in 1982. The village is also a cultural centre for working artists like painters and weavers.

THE VERDICT Casa De Campo is described as the most inclusive resort in the Caribbean, providing affordable luxury at competitive prices. The breadth of options is vast - unlimited horse riding and weekly clay pigeon shooting in addition to all of the normal all-inclusive features - yet expertly dealt with. The resort has options for every kind of traveller and endless ways to get away from it all. Impressive from start to finish. RATES: Net rates can be obtained via Resort Marketing International (resort-marketing.co.uk)

W: casadecampo.com

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my trip to...Las Vegas

65

In the firing line Steve Hartridge spends a day in revitalised downtown Las Vegas, exploring some of the must-see attractions away from The Strip

T

he mechanic in the dirty overalls looks up from behind the boot of a rusty Oldsmobile, clenching a heavy-duty spanner. He takes a menacing step towards me. “Stop right there, and drop the tool,” I command, my CO2 pistol now drawn. But he ignores me and moves a pace closer. “Drop to the floor NOW or I will shoot,” I yell, my extended arms pointed directly at him and my finger twitching on the trigger. He makes a sudden move – and I fire. The mechanic drops to the ground and is motionless. A voice from above says: “Well, done, you have successfully completed your training”. With perspiring palms, I emerge into the light of the foyer of the Mob Museum (themobmuseum.org), having just experienced one of the facility’s newer attractions: the Use of Force Training Experience, based on the type of instruction that real Las Vegas law enforcement officers receive. Featuring ‘criminal actors’, the ‘situations’ are very real-to-life and my heart is still racing. I am spending a couple of days seeing some of Las Vegas’ alternative attractions, away from the bright lights and malls on The Strip. I say alternative but the Mob

Museum (full name The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement) is now a must-see stop on any Vegas trip. Since it opened in 2012, it has regularly added interactive attractions – you can even ‘electrocute’ yourself in an ‘electric chair’ – to its exhibits that tell the warts-and-all story of organised crime’s impact on Las Vegas and its unique imprint on America. Before leaving I drop into The Underground, a basement-level Prohibition history exhibition and speakeasy, for a bourbon shot in its distillery.

Up in bright lights It’s a short Uber ride to the Neon Museum (neonmuseum.org), a ‘boneyard’ spread over a 2.6-acre outdoor area, also located downtown. The headline acts are the 150 or so oversized decommissioned and nonrestored neon signs that once lit up casinos, hotels and other businesses in the city. It’s an eclectic mix of the kitsch, burlesque and retro-modern – think Golden Nugget, the original Aladdin’s lamp from the Aladdin Casino and the Silver Slipper – for which the city is known. Take a tour after sunset to see some of the signs lit up. The visitor

centre is housed in the restored lobby of the defunct La Concha Motel.

A taste of downtown That evening I explore more of the revitalised downtown area on a food tour. I have been on several of these, in various cities, where the tiny portions on offer have left me looking for the nearest Subway on the walk back to my hotel. But that’s not the case on a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour (vegasfoodietour. com), which makes stops at up to four top restaurants. The idea is to introduce visitors and locals alike to the best signature dishes and exciting new tastes in Las Vegas, whilst a guide imparts their knowledge of the city through a series of anecdotes about its rich history. At each restaurant, I am treated like a VIP as I am shown to a reserved table and served three or four signature dishes. After eating curry at an Indian, pizza at an Italian and Dim Sum at a Chinese – all top-notch restaurants – there is little room for pastries and cake at our final stop. It’s been a full day, but I have had a fulfilling taste of Las Vegas’s ‘other side’ in more ways than one. 

The Neon M useum

Museum The Mob sellingtravel.co.uk

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six of the best

New South Wales

Islands

NEW SOUTH WALES

You don’t have to venture too far from the busy cities to discover secluded islands in New South Wales, says Jessica Pook Lord Howe Island

Montague Island

Known as the gathering place for Guringai Aboriginal tribes, Dangar Island gives visitors an insight into the history of these indigenous people. Located in the middle of the Hawkesbury River, the island is accessible by ferry from Brooklyn marina - an hour’s train ride from Sydney. Find secluded beaches by exploring the shoreline’s biking and walking trails.

Cockatoo Island A place where you could be learning about past prisoners who were sent to the island one minute, the next singing along to a Justin Bieber concert! Located in the heart of Sydney Harbour, a short ferry ride from the CBD, the island has emerged as a popular arts and entertainment venue, but still maintains its historic draw as a former convict penal establishment.

GREAT LAKES TOURISM

Dangar Island

Looking for the best views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Royal Opera House? You’ll find them on tiny Clarke Island, just off Sydney’s Darling Point. With a capacity of just 150 people at one time, its small size means there’s no ferry access, but visitors can get there by water taxi or kayak. Once on the island, enjoy a picnic surrounded by some of the country’s most iconic landmarks.

Enjoy being cut off from city life by staying in one of the 125-year-old Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottages on this remote island, just off the coast of Narooma, southern NSW. With a colony of Australian fur seals and thousands of penguins for company there’s never a dull moment. The island is easily accessible by one of the many tours leaving from Narooma.

DESTINATION NSW

Recognised as ‘one of the world’s cleanest locations,’Lord Howe Island maintains its pristine status by limiting visitors to 400 at any one time. Home to untouched forests, ancient volcanic mountains and an abundance of wildlife and rare flora and fauna, the UNESCO site is a popular draw for hikers, birdwatchers and snorkellers, who have the chance to hand feed the fish at Ned’s Beach.

Clarke Island

Broughton Island A birdwatchers dream, this island has one of the only facilities where visitors can camp amidst an active seabird colony and is a key breeding site for wedge-tailed shearwaters. Part of Myall Lakes National Park, off the coast of Port Stephens, Broughton Island’s undersea caves, coral, and curious penguins also appeal to scuba divers. visitnsw.com

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exploring...

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Tobago For those clients seeking to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the typical attractions of the Caribbean, Tobago is up there with the best, says Alan Orbell Few parts of the world conjure up images of pure hedonism like the Caribbean, but for those for whom the purity of nature is of equal importance, Tobago is a great option. Just off the coast of South America Trinidad & Tobago has a combined area of a little over 5000 sq km, of which Tobago takes up just 300 sq km., some of it pristine rainforest. Together with stunning unspoilt Caribbean beaches it is the Tobago Forest Reserve – the oldest (since 1776) protected rainforest in the western hemisphere – that is a major draw for many.

PIGEON POINT

Birdlife It is here that visitors will see some of the 180-plus species of birds that call Tobago home. The main point of access to the rainforest is the Gilpin Trace and a couple of hours’ stroll along this track (though a three- to four-hour walk will take you all the way to Bloody Bay) will reveal richlycoloured hummingbirds, kingfishers, woodpeckers and parrots. It’s quite possible to walk the trail alone, but a qualified guide is to be strongly recommended. Without one visitors will certainly miss much of the flora and fauna, none of which, incidentally, is venomous. The sounds of the rainforest offer nothing but the rustle of the breeze, occasional cicadas and non-stop birdsong. A visit to the rainforest should be recommended as a ‘must’ for anyone.

Hidden bays Tobago is littered with hidden bays on both its Atlantic and Caribbean (leeward) coasts. On the leeward side, stunning sandy beaches at places further up the

BOOK IT WITH... CARIBTOURS Seven nights at Coco Reef Resort and Spa is from £1,299pp, B&B. The resort has a private lagoon and white sand beach, surrounded by ten acres of tropical gardens. Alternatively, seven nights room-only at the island's most luxurious resort, The Villas at Stonehaven, is from £1,559. caribtours.co.uk; 020 3627 1777

ARGYLE WATERFALL

BATTEAUX BAY

coast like Castara, Englishman’s Bay, Parlatuvier and Bloody Bay remain largely unspoiled with little but the odd café/bar and souvenir shop. For those who prefer a more commercial offering, Pigeon Point is the place. There’s a small TT$20 charge to get in but it comes with sunbed/parasol hire options, lifeguards and plenty of places to eat and drink. The thatched jetty is probably Tobago’s most photographed scene. From here there are glass-bottom boat cruises plus the full range of watersports from snorkeling and diving to windsurfing and boating. All told, Tobago has some 60 diving sites.

museums with the Tobago Icons Museum housing artifacts dating back to 2500 BC. Other attractions include the Argyle Waterfall and, for visitors staying in the last two months of July, the biggest of the annual cultural events, the Tobago Heritage Festival. This is when Tobagonians display their culture and reenact historical events. It’s easy to hire a car in Tobago and there are also plenty of taxis willing to take clients on a private tour. Organised tours are also plentiful. But however your clients see the island it’s well worth suggesting they spend some time away from the hotel pool.

Tobago icons

Where to stay

The main attractions in Tobago’s biggest town, Scarborough, are the small botanic garden and the 1777-built Fort King George complex, which has played a central part in the 30-plus times Tobago has changed hands. The clifftop Heritage Park includes two

A good base, combining the indulgences of an all-inclusive resort with easy access to Tobago’s natural attractions, is the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort. For golfers it also offers a PGA-designed 18-hole golf course. Rates, including flights, are from around £1,799pp. 

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spotlight on

Talking...

Air Mauritius In conversation with... Ian Nash, Regional Manager UK & Ireland, Air Mauritius

Q

What’s new with Air Mauritius? A: We are delighted and proud to have started operating brand-new A330-900neo aircraft this year on our London route, making Air Mauritius the first A330neo operator in the Indian Ocean and the world’s first operator of both the A350-XWB, which flies on our Paris to Mauritius route, and the A330neo, Airbuses’ new generation of wide-bodied aircraft. This really is a sea change for us and shows our commitment to providing the very best quality product to Mauritius. Why should agents book with you? A: As the national carrier, their customers will experience Mauritius the moment they step on the aircraft. Our Mauritian cabin crew are renowned for their friendly, professional service whilst our unique ‘cooking without borders’ menu brings together a wonderful blend of Indian, African, Chinese and European flavours. This, plus totally new product – including fully flat business class seats, state-of-theart inflight entertainment and large full HD screens – means Air Mauritius offers agents the very best value for money on non-stop direct flights to Mauritius - plus, we are the

Q

only carrier to fly direct from Heathrow to Mauritius and will carry golf bags and wedding dresses at no extra charge. We are the National Airline of Mauritius and celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2017. A Skytrax four-star rated airline, Air Mauritius has been voted the Indian Ocean’s leading airline by The World Travel Awards 14 times in 17 years. How do you work with agents? A: Our busy sales team call on agents all over the country, delivering product updates and training sessions. With new products to show off, we try to send as many sellers to the island as we can; this year we’ll send over 100 on educationals. Our Air Mauritius Training (airmauritiusacademy.com) is a great way for agents to find out more about us. We also post information and promotional opportunities on our trade Facebook and Instagram pages.   What benefits do agents get for working with Air Mauritius? A: We regularly partner with top resorts on the island to offer incentive promotions where top sellers can win a holiday for

Q

two. Top revenue-producing partners receive incentive payments, free staff and management tickets plus educational seats.

Q

What are the twin-centre options with Air Mauritius? A: We fly to over 20 destinations from our hub in Mauritius. Probably the most popular is the combination of a safari in South Africa followed by relaxing on the beach in Mauritius. We offer a wide selection of flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. But as customers strive for new experiences, our flights to Madagascar have seen increased demand whilst Mauritius provides the best stopover location enroute to Perth in Australia. Other destinations connected to Mauritius include India, South East Asia and China.

Q

What does the future hold? A: We have a fleet investment programme and will continue to focus on providing the very best flying experience in the Indian Ocean. In the UK, our short term focus will be to ensure all our partners are fully aware and hopefully experience the new improved level of onboard service. In the future we’re keen to offer more flight options to Mauritius, with a possible increase in the number of direct flights. 

Q

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Flying you direct onboard our upgraded aircraft

BUSINESS

ECONOMY

 Full at Business Class seats

 State of the art inight entertainment

 State of the art entertainment system

 Individual 11.1 inch HD LED Screens

 Individual 15.4 inch HD LED screens

 Complimentary luggage allowance

 All seats have aisle access

 Champagne service (pre-order required)

 Complimentary lounge access

 Golf bag and wedding dress carried free

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

For more information: Tel: +44 (0) 20 8834 5800 Email: UKReservations@airmauritius.com Web: www.airmauritius.com Trade web: www.airmauritius.biz Air Mauritius Training Site: www.airmauritiusacademy.com

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Northern Lights cruises A Northern Hemisphere cruise is a cost-effective option for clients who have seeing the Northern Lights on their bucket list, says Laura Gelder Why sell it Aurora Borealis – better known as the Northern Lights – is nature’s own light show and one of the most sought after experiences that Mother Nature can offer. Often as elusive as it is spectacular, this phenomenon of green, purple, blue and pink lights dancing across night skies is caused when charged particles from the sun strike atoms in earth's atmosphere. The lights are only seen in the upper reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, and the further north the better – which makes the Arctic Circle the top location for Aurora gazing. These remote and often frozen places are hard to access and accommodation isn't ubiquitous and can be expensive, which is why a cruise is a popular way to package the experience. A Northern Lights cruise means agents can guarantee their clients a consistant standard of service, while a curated programme of shore excursions helps them access the reigon's wild places.

Who to sell to Target those who have enjoyed the rugged landscapes of New Zealand's South Island or North America's Rockies, and clients who have expressed an interest in Scandinavian city breaks or enjoy excorted tours or cruises with a nature focus. This could be a break-through sell for cruise sceptics too because, depending on the cruise line, the all-inclusive nature of a

GODAFOSS WATERFALL, ICELAND

cruise means it can offer the best-value way to see the Northern Lights. Scandinavia, in particular, is generally expensive so keeping costs down can be crucial to making a sale.

When to sell it Darkness is required to actually see the Northern Lights. They are observed at high latitudes, where the midnight sun means there is no darkness at all for many months, so the lights are not a year-round attraction. They are visible from late August to early April (anytime during dark hours) but from late September to March it gets dark as early as 18.00, increasing that window of opportunity. Note that December isn’t always an ideal month because popular viewing destinations like Tromsø in Norway can see 70% probability of precipitation, meaning cloud cover.

What to sell WINTER SHORE EXCURSION

Activities and excursions are hugely varied. There are wildlife watching trips to see whales, birds like puffins and eagles and

even polar bears. Active excursions include hiking mountains and glaciers, kaying and boat trips, as well as winter sports such as husky or reindeer sledding, snow-mobiling, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. Cultural tours include meeting indigenous people such as the Sami reindeer herders of Scandinavia or the Innuit of North America. Excursions also explore towns and cities, giving an insight into their culture and architecture – like Alta's futuristic Cathedral of the Northen Lights in Norway. Cultural experiences range from eating reindeer to listening to a Sami Yoik choir. Onboard, ships have lecturers on hand

BOOK IT WITH...CRUISE & MARITIME Departing London Tilbury on October 12 2019, the 12-night round-trip Iceland and Land of the Northern Lights cruise visits the Faroe Islands, Akureyri and Reykjavík in Iceland and the Orkney Islands. Excursions include whale watching, Iceland's Blue Lagoon, Orkney's Standing Stones of Stenness and the Faroes' Vestmanna Sea Cliffs. cruiseandmaritime.com – 0844 414 6140

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“The all-inclusive nature of a cruise means it can offer the best-value way to see the Northern Lights. Scandinavia, in particular, is expensive”

FJORD VIEWS, NORWAY

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to give talks on subjects such as wildlife, astronomy, geology and others.

Where to sell There are several destinations which can yield spectacular Aurora viewings, but perhaps the best-known route is up Norway's coastline from the fjords to the Arctic circle. Many cruises start and end in the UK but the most popular stops on this route are Bergen, with its picturesque waterfront fronted by multi-coloured buildings, and Tromsø, considered the gateway to the Norwegian Arctic and home to the northernmost botanic garden. Iceland is often combined with the Faroe Islands and Scottish islands for a Northern Lights cruise, with ports of call including the Faroese capital Tórshavn, with its turf-covered roofs and viking history, and Reykjavik for trips to the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle Tours which take in Gullfoss Waterfall, many geysers and geothermal features and Thingvellir National Park. Alaska cruises offer a good chance to

ARCTIC CIRCLE

see the Northern Lights at the right time of year. Many are round-trip from Seattle through the Inside Passage and calling at ports like Ketchikan, with its Native American and pioneer history; the gold rush town of Skagway; state capital Juneau; and Fairbanks, a top Aurora-viewing destination. If your clients are keen on an expeditionstyle cruise, and have the budget to accommodate, Greeland can offer spectacular viewing opportunities as well as the chance to see glaciers, fjords and bucket list wildlife like musk ox and polar bears. 

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Book online at: www.cruiseandmaritime.com Call: 0844 414 6161 Agency Sales: 0844 414 6140 Brochures: www.trade-gate.co.uk Subject to availability. *Book by 30th September 2019. Terms & conditions apply. Offered for sale in the UK by South Quay Travel & Leisure Ltd trading as Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your telephone comany’s access charge. ABTA V9945. ATOL 4619. C106/P103/G105/V001/V160TL. 5378

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the quirky side of travel Slaves to the screen

It's official, 72% of millennials can't go on holiday without their phone, at least according to research from international mobile service provider, TravelSim. Its UK survey revealed we are spending over 32 hours a week on our phones and tablets whilst on holiday. On average, women spend over three hours on social media, while men scroll for two and a half hours, and 59% of parents take tech on holiday to entertain the kids. Manchester and Newcastle claim the highest number of people (62%) needing a digital detox while Norwich dwellers are smugly the least reliant on tech. Video streaming apps are most popular, followed by Facebook and messaging, Instagram and emails. travelsim.com

For better or woof...

Do you sell destination weddings? Have you booked dog-friendly trips? Lake District hotel Armathwaite Hall has combined the two to offer a new pooch grooming service, making sure four-legged guests are looking their paws-down best on the big day. Dogs are bathed and groomed, dressed in occasion attire and delivered to the aisle to woof along with the 'I dos'. armathwaite-hall.com

Euro-trashed Behold, the top locations for hen and stag parties in Europe, as listed by Alpha Insurance (alphatravelinsurance.co.uk), which looked at the price of flights, hotels and beers and number of bars and attractions. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Beers of the world

8

The global average price of a pint is £2.63, according to comparison site Finder. So why, you may ask, does a pint in the UK cost upwards of £3.70? If you reside in London, you will likely pay £5.18. But don't cry in your beer and take some comfort by this: the dearest was found in Doha, Qatar, at £10.30. Or just move to Maputo, Mozambique, where it's 39p. finder.com/uk

Madrid, Spain Prague, Czech Republic Berlin, Germany Bratislava, Slovakia Hamburg, Germany Paris, France Barcelona, Spain Rome, Italy

The October 2019 issue oF SELLING TRAVEL WILL INCLUDE: Adventure holidays • California • Central America • Christmas Markets • New York • Philippines • Seychelles • contact us sales@bmipublishing.co.uk; editorial@bmipublishing.co.uk plus online Daily Selling Tips • Destination Guides • Features • Blogs • Interview • Reviews

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Be inspired by...

over-50s travel Trends in the over-50s market • Interview with: Titan Travel • New & top selling holidays for the over 50s market

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MATURE TRAVEL TRENDS The over-50s travel market has a tendency to be overlooked or pigeonholed, yet specialists say it’s more adventurous, diverse and lucrative than many imagine. Debbie Ward investigates

S

olo travel is trending across escorted travel and is particularly high in the over-50s market. Riviera (rivieratravel.co.uk) has increased its solo tours from 12 to 40. “We’ve really seen growth over the last year to 18 months, since our launch of solo tours. It's not necessarily people who’ve lost a partner, it may be people whose other half doesn’t have an interest in the same destination,” explains National Sales Manager for UK and Australia, Tom Morgan. Seeing similar demand, Leger Holidays (leger.co.uk) has added six new Single Traveller tours for 2020, with no single supplement and a door-to-door service. Experiential travels The over-50s sector is increasingly active. “I’ve been thrilled at how much more adventurous the mature market are. Not many will just go and lie on a beach now,” says Clare Dudley, Managing Director of Cambridge-based agent Ponders Travel. Leger has added more See It Live tours to the Venice and Nice carnivals, Monaco Grand Prix and Brussels Jazz Weekend.

Its specialist guided battlefield tours, of which it offers over 80, have been boosted by media coverage. “We had a number of battlefield tours to the 75th anniversary D-Day commemorations,” says Head of Retail Sales Ashley Dellow. Riviera Travel has added Discover tours, with three levels of walks. “It’s not the same as 10 to 20 years ago when you went on a coach tour… people want to get out and explore,” explains Morgan. Personalised extras like the ballet in Russia are also new, while its escorted ocean range now features Azamara and excursion-focused Hurtigruten. Saga (saga.co.uk) has added excursions to all its European holidays and new ships, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, are performing ‘exceptionally well because they aid adventure. “We know there’s a real desire to sail ex-UK on a luxury small ship. Their size allows visits to unique ports of call,” says Head of Trade Sales, Iain Powell. Luxury matters Luxury is another mature market trend. Saga’s door-to-door VIP Travel Service is

among its other product tweaks in recent years, while for 2020 its Stay programmes include a Signature Collection of hotels with dedicated lounges and exclusive arrangements for Saga guests. Product differentiation is key, says Powell, and offering a unique, tailored experience “helps to immerse them in the local culture.” Leger believes the luxury trend is a natural extension of mature clients’ desire for a more comfortable holiday. Its new Luxuria coaches come with extra-wide seats, increased legroom, retractable calf rests and personal touch-screen TVs. The Luxuria Signature Collection, launched last year, is a selection of holidays which “combines state-of-the-art coach travel with some of Europe’s most fascinatingly unique hotels…. from Spanish Paradors to fairy tale German castles,” adds Dellow. Multi-generational travel Trips with children and grandchildren, are an important trend and a gateway to lucrative long-haul group bookings. “Grandparents are ringing and saying ‘I want to take everyone away for Christmas’

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Leger Holidays offers stays in German castles; multi-generational travel is on the up; battlefield tours are trending; experiential travel is big for over 50s

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ABOVE: Demand for India is rising, according to Newmarket Holidays and Saga

and they don’t want to just fly-and-flop, some are taking family from Australia and the UK and meeting in-between,” Dudley from Ponders Travel says. “I’ve done a trip round Burma for one family. They’re often big bookings and interesting to do.” The Far East, Caribbean and Disney prove popular, she says, as do villas with private pools, though escorted tours are less common with children involved. Destination hot list Long haul is booming for Newmarket Holidays (newmarketholidays.co.uk) as continuing Brexit uncertainty prompts clients to look beyond the Eurozone. India, Canada, Vietnam and South Africa are performing particularly well. “We’ve added further dates to our Indian programme to keep up with demand; the same for Kenya and South Africa. We’ve also added beach extensions to some tours,” says Head of Trade Sales, Richard Forde. “We’ve released 2021 dates earlier than ever

and customers are booking further ahead.” New, longer-haul destinations are also trending for Saga driven, Powell believes, by both a change in client mind-set and the weaker pound against the Euro. Significant demand for India and Uzbekistan has been sparked by TV coverage the last year. Croatia, Italy and Scandinavia are selling well for Leger and it has over 25 new breaks for 2020. Also doing well are Romania and Greece, perhaps perceived as less pricey than other Eurozone countries, and longerhaul Costa Rica and Peru, fitting the more adventurous mature market trend. Tricks for the trade “The main thing we’re always talking to agents about is how exciting this demographic should be for them,” says Saga’s Powell, pointing out that baby boomers typically have greater disposable income and time to travel. “It’s important agents recognise how the average 60-year-old has changed in

the last 20 or 30 years,” he adds. “These guests are willing to research their holidays extensively and they’re comfortable shopping around, but they value service and reliability above everything else - price often isn’t the determining factor.” With over-55s the second biggest users of Facebook, Powell encourages agents not to overlook social media for marketing. “They are engaged with it and can be influenced heavily by trends online and on television – use this to your advantage!” he says. Riviera’s Morgan points out escorted tours and river cruises are easy, good value sells, which meet the mature market’s desire for stress-free holidays. He adds: “There’s no hassle for agents and the all-in nature means it’s good for commission.” Newmarket’s Forde recommends agents keep up with mature travel trends by asking operators what is currently selling well; “it may be something you had not thought of”. It’s a case of recognising the value of, and embracing, this market.

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A huge thank you! We’re delighted to be finalists in the following Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards 2019... Tour Operator for Short Haul Escorted Tours Senior Travellers Solo Travellers Ocean Cruising – short haul It’s fingers crossed for now, but one thing’s already certain… we’re looking forward to working with our current agents, and hopefully many more, in the weeks and months to come.

Book online at sagaagents.co.uk, call FREE on 0800 074 8021 or contact Trade Support FREE on 0800 068 8732 Visit our online training platform at sagaexperts.co.uk Find us on social media Saga Trade Team

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TALKING TO... TITAN TRAVEL

“TV is a big influence. Celebs give others the confidence to be adventurous, whatever age they are” A decade ago there was a stigma that over-50s travel was limited to coach trips to Europe, but since then we’ve opened the door to so many far-flung destinations around the world that weren’t previoulsy easily accessible. At Titan we exclusively cater for the over-50s market so we know just how diverse this sector is. It’s important to remember that, regardless of age, everyone is an individual and they all want different things from their holiday. What’s trending? Small group tours continue to be popular for us. A great example is our recently-added Wild Collection, which includes Wild Costa Rica and Wild Borneo. These itineraries can be slightly more adventurous. On the flip side we’re also seeing demand for relaxing week-long river cruises through Europe, so it’s all about catering to different needs. India’s Golden Triangle goes from strength to strength, especially when it comes to trade bookings.

BEN DAVIS,HEAD OF PRODUCT TITAN YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 24 FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION: Italy. (Helps that my wife speaks Italian too!) TRAVEL DISASTER: Leaving my Passport at LHR when flying to Edinburgh with my family.

I think it’s one of those bucket list destinations that people are a bit hesitant about booking for fear of the unknown. That’s why they choose to go with a reputable operator such as Titan, which has been travelling there for decades. Guests feel safe in the knowledge that they will be transfered door-to-door with our VIP service and looked after by experts. We’ve also noticed how TV has had a huge influence on bookings to long-haul destinations. For example, The Real Marrigold Hotel TV series built up a huge demand for India and we’re capitalising on that with new itineraries. There’s been an increase in travel to Armenia, Georgia and Uzbekistan thanks to Joanna Lumely’s Silk Road Adventure; Borneo is doing really well following the Wild Borneo Adventure documentary with Judy Dench, and anything that Jane McDonald touches seems to turns to gold! I think these celebrities give others the confidence to be more adventurous, whatever age they are. Here’s what you didn’t know Agents are surprised about how diverse Titan's product is and we want to remind them about our more relaxed Stay and Explore option – a one or twocentre trip with three or four nights in each place. We’re also the only company that operate these tours in the UK. Clients are picked up from their front door and driven to and from their hotel, with the option of daily excursions. In other news, we’re excited to have Zimbabwe back in our portfolio, since it has been off the travel map for about 25 years. Our 14-day escorted tour to Zimbabwe is a small group journey, with a cruise on Lake Kariba, a visit to Victoria Falls and a game drive in Hwange National Park. In comparison to South Africa, Zimbabwe is very much unspoilt and the game has been left mostly untouched.

Orangutans in Borneo

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Low

£99PP

brochure

deposit Book by 30 Sep 2019*

From Scotland to Sicily, find your customers their perfect short-haul escorted holiday in our brand-new brochure. As well as our diverse selection of European itineraries, you’ll find UK short breaks and a range of festive getaways over Christmas. • VIP door-to-door travel service†

• Price Promise

• Fly from an airport near you**

• Guaranteed departures

Book online at www.titanagents.co.uk *£99pp deposit is available on the majority of Titan’s European and river cruise holidays. †Mainland UK only. **Supplements may apply

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TOP SELLERS & NEW PRODUCT JORDAN

SARDINIA, ITALY

The nine-day Jordan Discovery trip from Explore is proving a top seller for the over50s. Clients can float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, explore the lost city of Petra and enjoy a desert campfire at Wadi Rum. explore.co.uk

New for summer 2020 is Inghams' Secrets of Sardinia tour. With departure dates from May to September, the seven-night trip includes a walking tour of the coast and a visit to Bosa (pictured), known as one of Italy’s most picturesque villages. inghams.co.uk

MEMPHIS, NEW ORLEANS & NASHVILLE, USA Popular with Newmarket’s music-loving customers is the Elvis Presley’s Memphis, New Orleans & Nashville tour, which journeys through America’s musical heartland, from the birthplace of Jazz and the cradle of Rock ‘n’ Roll to the capital of Country Music. newmarketholidays.co.uk

HAWAII, USA The new 13-day Hawai’ian Islands Discovery trip from Titan hops between Maui, Big Island and Oahu for a taste of tropical island life. Clients will uncover a poignant piece of USA history at Pearl Harbor and enjoy postcard-perfect beaches and volcanic parks. titantravel.co.uk

WINE COUNTRY Kirker Holidays has introduced Cultural Wine Tours, initially to the wine regions of Reims & Champagne in France and Rioja and Northern Spain. Clients join expert Tim Clarke in visiting Bollinger and Tattinger, with tutored tastings. Kirker hopes to add more destinations, including Georgia. kirkerholidays.com

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MOROCCO Christmas in Marrakech forms part of Just You’s Solo Festive Breaks portfolio. The eight-day trip includes a tour of the markets of Djemaa el Fna Square, a visit to Asni with lunch at an authentic Moroccan retreat surrounded by the Atlas Mountains and a stop at Ourika Valley with lunch in a hilltop restaurant. justyou.co.uk

SPAIN & PORTUGAL Launched in 2018, Leger’s Luxuria Signature collection includes the Paradors & Pousadas of Castile, Madrid, Salamanca & Portugal. From the capital of Madrid to the Golden City of Salamanca, the tour focuses on historical architecture with lavish accommodation in some of Spain’s finest Paradors and Portugal’s idyllic Pousadas. leger.co.uk

LEBANON Saga’s new nine-day tour, The Pearl of the Middle East, explores the history and modern regeneration of Lebanon. This modern country is now bouncing back after years of conflict and the tour showcases highlights such as the Cedars of God Forest; Sidon, with its sea castle and souks; and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Tyre, which has Phoenician and Roman archaeological influences. saga.co.uk

SCOTLAND The 'gentle walking specialist' Adagio has launched its new 2020 brochure, with 37 different options. New additions include a trip to the UK's most northerly outpost, the Shetland Islands, known for their rugged coastline and rolling hills, ancient history and wildlife including many sea birds. adagio.co.uk

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JAMAICA

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BOOK THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS FOR TRAVEL UP TO AUGUST 2021 FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS Call Agency Sales 020 7590 0210 | Email agencysales@sandals.co.uk | Visit sellingsandals.co.uk OR TO BOOK Call 0808 164 3459 | Visit sandals.co.uk/agents Book by 30 Sep ’19. Terms & conditions apply – contact us for full details.

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23 Years Running

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Selling Travel Magazine September 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Over 50's travel, plus how to sell... South Pacific • Florida • Cyprus • Peru • Tobago and more...

Selling Travel Magazine September 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Over 50's travel, plus how to sell... South Pacific • Florida • Cyprus • Peru • Tobago and more...