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Learn more at:

qantasagencyconnect.com uk.sydney.com

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With its famed landmarks and spectacular festivals, Sydney pretty much sells itself. But should clients want to swap city life for a more relaxed pace there’s plenty of choice on Qantas’ domestic network. Give them a taste of island life with a trip to Lord Howe Island, just a two-hour flight from mainland Sydney with Qantas. A quick hour-and-a-half flight with Qantas will transport clients to the bohemian-chic surf town of Byron Bay or they could head towards the wine regions of the Hunter Valley for a real taste of Australia.

Learn more at:

qantasagencyconnect.com uk.sydney.com

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TURNING THE TIDE Could agents be using their influence to promote more eco-friendly travel?

how to sell...

Kerala Luxury Cruising South African Safaris Weddings & Honeymoons Luxury New Zealand and more...

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Send them Limin' When you send your clients to St. Kitts, you send them on a journey to secluded beaches and lush rainforests, scenic railways and welcoming beach bars, and a UNESCO-recognized fortress that towers 800 feet above sea level. What they’ll remember most, though, isn’t found on a map. It’s a special brand of kicking back and relaxing that we call limin’. Send your clients our way; we’ll show them how it’s done.





on every holiday package*

Now until 30 April, earn £30 on every holiday package* you log with us. Additional bonuses await for bookings at Belle Mont Farm, Ocean Terrace Inn, Park Hyatt St. Kitts, and the Sugar Bay Club.

For more information, visit www.stkittsrewards.co.uk *Holiday packages must include flights and seven nights of accommodation at a St. Kitts hotel.

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this issue


08 Weddings & Honeymoons: from the luxury to the low-key 24 Luxury New Zealand: This outdoor playground also does high-end 29 Luxury cruising: On rivers and oceans, from the Med to the Arctic 38 South African safari: A province-by-province guide to wildlife travel 58 Sustainable travel: There's a need to go green in 2019 and agents can help push the cause


35 44

64 38 24



14 How to sell: Alberta to foodies 35 How to sell: Paganella Dolomiti 43 How to sell: Colombia 44 Destination profile: Florida 46 Visit USA: Member news 56 Travel Uni: Online training update 62 Introducing... Kerala 64 My Journey: Sao Tome








THE REVIEW 49 Top news stories plus hotel reviews

TALKING SHOP 15 News, competitions, incentives, fams trips, agents in the office and soical media chat





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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Proudly published by BMI Publishing Ltd 2019 © 2019

Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1SR, UK T 020 8649 7233 | F 020 8649 7234 enquiries@bmipublishing.co.uk bmipublishing.co.uk sellingtravel.co.uk Publishers: Steve Thompson & Sally Parker Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge Deputy Editor: Laura Gelder Staff Journalists: Ben Coren & Jessica Pook Contributing Journalist: Jo Austin Group Editor: Andy Hoskins Contributing Editor: Julie Baxter Advertisement Manager: Lisa Merrigan Senior Designer: Louisa Horton Designers: Ross Clifford & Zoë Tarrant Production Manager: Clare Hunter Managing Director: Matt Bonner CEO: Martin Steady We are members of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Visit USA Association, LATA, PATA, MENATA, SATOA, the Foreign Airlines Association and the Institute of Travel & Tourism. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. ISSN: 2056-9319. Cover image: Montague Island, New South Wales CREDIT: Destination NSW

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! sellingtravel.co.uk/subscribe


egular readers of Selling Travel will know that one of the epithets we like to use is: “We travel further to bring you more”. It is our strong belief that we cannot claim to be the leading trade magazine for travel agents, or say we are the publication that best provides the most-up-to-date essential information on destinations around the globe, without regularly visiting those places ourselves – within the obvious time constraints of having to produce a magazine and all the accompanying travel guides each month, of course. That, you might think, is a pretty nice job for our small in-house team of travel writers. And, undeniably, it has its perks. For example, I am writing this column from the balcony of my hotel near Montego Bay, Jamaica. Steve Hartridge I am here for the Caribbean Marketplace, an annual showcase of all EDITORIAL DIRECTOR that is new and trending in this special region of the world. Jamaica is a destination that still has its challenges, but over the next few days I am looking forward to learning all that is new here. I am fortunate enough to be staying at the newly-opened Excellence Oyster Bay Resort, an allinclusive property that provides agents with another selling opportunity. Another new resort we visited on the day I am writing this is Skylark, a smallish property that sits on a sugar-white stretch of Negril’s famous Seven-Mile Beach. Skylark is run by the owners of a longtime popular Negril hotel, Rockhouse, located just a few miles away. So, one day in and two new properties down, I am tempted to say that if I went straight back to the airport tomorrow, it would be worth the combined 18 hours or so of flying time to bring readers detailed information about these two fabulous new properties. But, as it is snowing in my home town Brighton today and the forecast here for the rest of the week is sunshine and 28C, I will hang around for a few days more and bring you all the key news from the travel show I was brought here to report on! Enjoy this issue.


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


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Extraordinary Abu Dhabi EXTRAORDINARY

Abu Dhabi Your essential guide to the UAE capital 2019

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Discover more about this enchanting emirate and increase your sales by getting top tips and learning about must-see sights and exciting activities.

Exploring Arkansas



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This is one state that should be included on any authentic southern U.S. itinerary. Learn all about the Natural State with this handy guide.

1/29/19 07:09 PM

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Introducing Reflect Resorts & Spas




Reflect Resorts & Spas are designed for all spirited travellers offering experiences and features that adapt to every traveller’s style. Enjoy great beachfront holidays offering a variety of cuisine, inviting amenities, friendly service and an array of experiences, many inspired by the local culture all created for memory making moments. With Unlimited-Luxury® all this is included and more – all you need to do is enjoy and reflect. CONTACT YOUR PREFERRED TOUR OPERATOR FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO BOOK. EXPERIENCE UNLIMITED-LUXURY® FOR THE SPIRITED TRAVELLER IN MEXICO: REFLECT KRYSTAL GRAND CANCUN REFLECT KRYSTAL GRAND LOS CABOS • REFLECT KRYSTAL GRAND NUEVO VALLARTA

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the big picture


Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka

New tourism icon Voted the best country to visit in the world by Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka is 2019’s darling destination, appearing in travel hot-lists for cuisine, wellness, ecotravel, wildlife and adventure. This tear-drop-shaped island has gold beaches with laid-back surf scenes and luxury resorts; jungle safaris with big cats, bears and elephants; cool hill country with colonial tea estates; scenic rail journeys and culture-rich cities. srilanka.travel


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weddings & honeymoons

Vows wows &

Even if your client is on a budget, weddings and honeymoons bookings can mean big business and significant rewards – and if they’re a success, loyalty and referrals too, says Chloe Govan


othing quite matches the ostentatious glitz and glamour of a traditional Indian wedding. The tabloids lapped up the moment that Russell Brand and Katy Perry formalised their love on the back of an Indian elephant, but my own experience at a lavish wedding ceremony in Jaipur was just as spectacular. From the vibrant hues of the saris to the velvet-lined thrones on which the bride and groom exchanged vows – not to mention the emerald green-feathered peacocks strutting around the grounds – every detail was painstakingly prepared for dramatic effect. Meanwhile, the groom might not have arrived on an elephant, but his grand entrance atop a white horse with a dazzling bejewelled saddle and a plaited mane was the next best thing. Inspired by the maharajas and maharinis of the subcontinent, this event was the

Indian version of a royal wedding, with a procession of almost 200 well-wishers joining in the festivities. The bride was a picture, with her hennaadorned hands, every finger smothered in sparkling precious stones. My most enduring memory will be of the Bollywood music blaring from the speakers, occasionally drowned out by raucous cries of delight from the families, as the couple publicly cemented their vows to each other as man and wife.

The royal effect Whether the couples of 2019 and beyond favour technicolour Indian glamour or a quintessential English white wedding, there is a dizzying array of choices. And the Harry and Meghan effect rolls on, with the location of their honeymoon still being debated. It’s rumoured that the top-secret spot was the Caribbean island of Nevis, which Harry visited with Princess

Diana in 1993, staying at the Montpelier Plantation and Beach Hotel, and more recently when he released turtle hatchlings into the sea at the aptly titled Lovers’ Beach. The 36-square-mile island offers private secluded beaches on which guests can horse-ride or take romantic strolls. There are also rainforests, volcanoes, ancient sugar plantations and wildlife including turtles and vervet monkeys. Island experiences are-ever popular among couples, along with a recent trend for multiple locations within one trip. “Island-hopping around the Caribbean is very popular,” confirms Nicole Powell, Weddings Supervisor at Sandals and Beaches Resorts. “Twin-centre weddings offer the option to have a ceremony in one location and a honeymoon in another. For guests on a tight budget, but who have their heart set on a tropical beach setting, it helps to reduce the overall cost -


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weddings & honeymoons



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Time is so precious, smart couples steal it


omewhere in the world there is a place where two people can spend time alone and the only clock-watchers are the sun and stars. No schedules. No distractions. No interruptions. Nothing but time.

Welcome to Rendezvous. Like its name,

To create a perfect day as unique as you

it is designed for couples. An intimate

are, the imaginative Ever After Collection

boutique resort on the island of Saint Lucia

is designed to inspire ideas to fit your vision.

in the Caribbean Sea. Secluded, tranquil and

Imagine a sandy beach on a deserted island,

tailor-made for stolen moments. A corner

or a candlelit 18th Century ruin, or perhaps

of paradise reserved for two, it is a private oasis

even a setting inspired by an Exotic Oasis.

and– quite simply – the perfect setting

On our website, you can custom build

for reconnecting, rediscovering and

your perfect day from a palette of choices

celebrating life’s pleasures together.

designed to create your wedding, your way.

Please contact your preferred tour operator to book or call 0203 096 1629

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19 14:16 12:05 PM

weddings & honeymoons

especially with an all-inclusive resort.” Powell also suggests immersive experiences agents can add on, such as hiring island performers, a steel pan music band, or limbo dancers as part of the wedding entertainment. She adds: “All of our resorts have different styles, sizes and personalities to suit different types. Sandals Grenada Resort and Spa is very quiet and romantic, whereas Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is more lively, with the Caribbean’s first-ever speakeasy bar, the Rabbit Hole, which requires a secret password for entry!” Even families are not left out as the brand’s Beaches hotels, such as Beaches Negril in Jamaica, offer tailor-made distractions for the kids to allow mum and dad to enjoy each other’s company. Agents need to get to really know the couple they are quoting for. They can opt for conventional paradise islands or luxurious getaways in classic locations, like Paris’s Hotel du Petit Moulin, which offers a royalty-themed room with crown wallpaper inspired by the likes of Marie Antoinette. Or for adventurous couples they should seek out quirkier packages. For example, suggest a jungle experience at the Sarojin Hotel in Thailand, where couples can enjoy a blessing by Buddhist monks followed by a candle-lit meal by a waterfall in the Thai forest. A yacht-based honeymoon is another option. Alexander Coles of Bespoke Yacht Charters suggests “a reception in the Port of Monaco [after which] your very own

floating five-star hotel is ready to cruise off into the sunset for the most exclusive honeymoon imaginable in the luxury hotspots of the Mediterranean.”

What’s new Flight Routes: Capitalising on the trend for a wedding in one destination and a honeymoon in the another, Go Air (goair.in) has direct flights between Male International Airport in the Maldives and Mumbai and Goa. Packages: Sandals (sandals.co.uk) has introduced an English Royalty package. The décor and floral displays will “embody the modern elegance Meghan has displayed since entering the Royal Circuit”, and couples can honeymoon on a languid tropical beach simultaneously. The brand’s Aisle to Isle concept ensures that guests can craft their own bespoke big day fro a range of styles and options. Eastwinds (eastwinds.com) in St. Lucia


“Twin-centre weddings offer the option to have a ceremony in one location and a honeymoon in another. For guests on a tight budget, it helps to reduce the overall cost” Nicole Powell, Weddings Supervisor, Sandals & Beaches Resorts

Clockwise from top left: Scuba diving couple in Nevis; gazebo wedding, East Winds, St. Lucia; South African safari


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weddings & honeymoons

a three-tier cake, a sunset cruise, a petal shower and romantic bath, a CD of photos from the ceremony and much more. Animal magic: Not all couples want to stare into each others’ eyes for two weeks. The safari and beach combo is a great option for those who need some adventure on their honeymoon. Turquoise Holidays offers a South Africa and Mauritius combo – with a ‘brides go free’ offer on three-night stays at Makanyane Safari Lodge in Madike, followed by an eight-night stay at The Oberoi Mauritius.

Where to book it

offers a special new wedding package, including the services of the resort’s very own canine ring-bearer, Stanley! Abandoned as a puppy, he has since become an animal ambassador for the resort and is a firm favourite with the guests. With its own private beach, allinclusive Eastwinds is great for guests on a budget – legal fees, a marriage license, a registrar and a florally decorated location for the ceremony are part of the package.

“Rendezvous is fully focused on romance – its five Holiday Experience Themes have been specially selected to inspire couples to enrich their relationship”

Above: A White Romance-themed wedding ceremony from Sandals. Right: Letting off lanterns is part of the wedding experience at The Sarojin in Thailand

Romantic ideas

SANDALS - 0207 590 0208 A seven-night all-inclusive stay at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in Jamaica, with luxury suite accommodation, costs from £1,665pp. A complimentary wedding is included, with a lavish ceremony, cocktail reception, personal wedding planner, honeymoon dinner and manicure and foot massage for the bride. Premium Perks include discounts on room upgrades and photo sessions. sellingsandals.co.uk

TRAVELPACK - 0208 585 4080 Seven nights at the five-star Vijitt Resort in Phuket, in Deluxe Villa accommodation, costs from £2998 per couple and includes flights, private transfers, and perks such as a romantic candlelit dinner and a two hour Honeymoon Spa Massage including a floral milk bath. agents.travelpack.co.uk 

Stolen moments: Saint Lucia resort Rendezvous (theromanticholiday.com) is fully focused on romance – its five Holiday Experience Themes have been specially selected to ‘inspire couples to enrich their relationship’. They include a range of activities which number a Champagne picnic on the beach, a movie on the sand and the opportunity to learn how to give each other a massage. Deep Blue Sea: For a truly unique experience, the Conrad Hilton on Rangali Island, Maldives (conradmaldives.com) offers underwater weddings which see tropical fish as the witnesses. Ceremonies are held at the in-house restaurant Ithaa, the world’s only underwater chapel, five metres beneath the sea. The clear-glass walls and ceiling provide panoramic views of dramatic coral reefs. Perks include complimentary Champagne and canapes,


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Saddle up to win a fam spot T

he Wyoming Office of Tourism is offering agents the chance to win one of six spots on an exclusive fam trip to the Cowboy State which will take place in May 2019. Embrace the true spirit of the Wild West on our eight-day, seven-night fam trip. The winning agents will follow in the footsteps of cowboys, movie stars and early pioneers visiting locations including: • Cheyenne, home to world's largest outdoor rodeo, Frontier Days. • Casper, a city close to nature but steeped in history and showcasing western culture at its very best through various museums and historic sites. • Wind River, where you can expect epic vistas and Native American history. • Cody, founded by ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody. • Yellowstone, the world’s first national

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ANSWER ALL THREE QUESTIONS TO WIN Located in Wyoming, what is the name of the world’s first national park? What is the name of the world’s largest outdoor rodeo?

park, full of natural wonders and wildlife. • Jackson, a contemporary western town on the edge of Grand Teton National Park.

What you'll get The trip includes return flights from London, six nights’ accommodation plus one night spent in flight and your breakfasts, lunches and dinners throughout the trip. Enter before February 22 2019 to be in with a chance of winning a place. The winners will be announced by Friday March 1 2019 visitwyoming / travelwyoming.com/uk

How tall is Devils Tower National Monument? sellingtravel.co.uk/competitions

1/29/19 05:53 PM


how to sell

Alberta for foodies This vast, fertile province yields much of Canada's finest produce and its farm-to-fork ethos attracts exciting chefs. Laura Gelder outlines why Alberta is a foodie's dream Why sell it? Alberta has a flourishing culinary scene with award-winning restaurants and top chefs. Calgary’s Chef Justin Leboe claims responsibility for two of the best restaurants – not just in the province, but the country: Model Milk, housed in a former 1930s' dairy and serving locally-sourced lamb, pork and trout, and Pigeonhole, offering inventive dishes like ricotta dumplings and a Russian caviar service. There’s a strong focus on high-quality home-grown produce in Alberta, from its famous beef to Saskatoon berries; honey to hops; artisan cheese to grains galore. Agriculture is big business and within 100 miles of Calgary and Edmonton there are farms supplying restaurants with fresh meat including cattle, bison, elk, and even ostrich. Visitors can get a taste for the local scene by visiting one of the local farmers’ markets. Canada’s most popular brunch cocktail, the Bloody Caesar, was invented at Calgary’s Westin Hotel in 1969.

What to sell In the province’s biggest cities visitors will be spoilt for choice with restaurants. Alberta's multicultural population and strong history of immigration is reflected in its array of cuisines. You'll find top-notch Ukrainian pierogies and other dishes from the city’s Italian, German, Asian, English, Norwegian, and Finnish descendants.


Alberta’s brewing scene is thriving, with 80 independent craft breweries. There’s Trolley 5 in Calgary, Town Square Brewing in Edmonton, The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company in Canmore, Jasper Brewing Company and Banff Avenue Brewing Company. Many of these have their own brew pubs or tasting rooms and offer tours. Eau Claire Distillery near Calgary kicked off a boom in the province’s craft distillery scene – now numbering more than 20 small-batch distilleries, all focusing on grains and ingredients from Alberta. Top spots are Park Distillery in Banff – the only distillery within a national park in Canada – or Rig Hand Craft Distillery near Edmonton to taste its Sour Cherry Vodka made from tart Evans Cherries, native to Alberta.

When to sell it


For 30 years, the Taste of Edmonton festival ( July 18-28, 2019) has gathered foodies into the heart of the city to try the best food and drinks with a side of toe-tapping music and 20-year-old Taste of Calgary (August 8-11, 2019) has a similar set-up, with local craft beers and tasty bites from popular eateries.

What's new? In Edmonton, Uccellino (uccellino.ca) is a new venture from chef Daniel Costa, a chic-yetcasual Italian downtown; bündok (bundokyeg.com) in the Ice District prides itself on seasonal small plates; and Biera (biera.ca) pairs Euro bistro food with fine beers. Calgary's Bridgette Bar (bridgettebar.com) in the Design District boasts a cool mid-century look with modern dishes and cocktails, and Gorilla Whale (gorillawhale.ca) serves yakitori, ramen and burgers and says it's a ‘loud, fun, rock ‘n’ roll lovin’ Japanese-ish restaurant'. Jasper Food Tours' (jasperfoodtours.com) 'PeakNic' pairs a scenic hike with a back country cooking lesson and meal outdoors. 

BOOK IT WITH... ALBERTA FOOD TOURS Operating in Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Edmonton, tours include Calgary’s Farmers’ Market, the brunch spots and bakeries of Edmonton’s Strathcona, a Canmore food trail and a luxury food and drink pairing at Fairmont Banff Springs – 'Eat the Castle'. albertafoodtours.ca


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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

Win top fam trip places

UK ag󰇪󰇳󰇺s 󰈣󰈆 󰇲 di󰇷󰈝󰈢v󰈥󰇶 󰇺he 󰈛󰇭󰈢󰇼󰇧󰇺r mo󰇶󰇪 Hav󰇧󰇳󰈜. Fin󰈧 16 on 󰇴󰇧󰈪󰈥

High-end tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has significantly increased its fam trip budget in 2019 and is offering places on multiple trips to Kenya, Turkey, Paris or Spain. For a chance to win a place, agents just need to make a holiday booking with A&K between January 1 and February 28.


First Class Canadian night out

First Class Holidays is offering an all-expensespaid team night for agents producing the best Canadian Wonderland window display with decorations and materials from First Class. The competition is open until February 28. To enter, send window display images to sales@fcholiday.com

Contents 18



To the beach

Feb󰇶󰇻󰈜󰈦y 25,26 & 27

SELLING TRAVEL DIALOGUE - GUERNSEY Join us in Glasgow, Leeds or Gatwick and learn about this stunning island, from the vibrant capital St Peter Port to the pristine beaches, plus historic landmarks, gardens and scenic walking routes. Register online at sellingtravel.co.uk/events

Agents can win one of 21 places on a fam trip to Dubai with Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Make a booking at the hotel with Gold Medal by February 28 to be in with a chance of winning a place. goldmedal.com





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C u b a Ho l i d a y s Fa m Tr i p

Holidays in Havana BY JENNY JACKSON, LUXURY TRAVEL GURU I've just returned from the most amazing fam trip with Cuba Holidays, to one of the few Caribbean destinations I hadn't visited – and it was worth the wait! During our action-packed week we saw 27 hotels, including a number of Casas – unique properties. Some were in people's homes, but still allowed us total privacy and freedom to come and go as we pleased. This is a wonderful way to embrace local culture. Our journey began with four nights in Havana. The vibe in the city was infectious; the people friendly and, overall, we felt really safe. Havana exudes an unforgettable blend of days gone by, where old meets new, with iconic buildings being restored to encompass five-star hotels such as the latest luxury property, The Packard. New hotel openings are due to join The Packard and the new Kempinski, which breaks the mould of more established hotels such as The Nationale de Cuba. We took a two-hour city tour in American vintage cars, many of which are 50-60 years old. A visit to a Corona cigar factory was impressive, and I was surprised to learn that Cuba has great gender equality, with the factory


workforce consisting mainly of women! We watched the cigars being handmade, utilising old tools. I hope this is a method that never changes. A visit to Havana's Club Tropicana did not disappoint as we were entertained by hundreds of dancers in outrageous costumes. Wandering down the lanes of Old Havana we stumbled upon a couple of the bars Ernest Hemingway once frequented. With people spilling out onto the street and Cuban music blaring it would have been rude of us not to pop into Bodeguita el Medio Bar to sample a delicious mojito, a favourite of Hemingway's. The great scribe also enjoying another buzzing bar, El Floridita, where it is said he still holds the record for drinking 16 daiquiris with no sugar and double rum!

After spending four nights in Havana we headed to the beach resort of Varadero, a two-hour drive away. It is renowned for its white-sand beaches and large hotels. Over the last few years, hotel standards have risen along with the range of resort activities and excellent dining options. Many of the rooms in the hotels have been refurbished or are undergoing refurbishment, but I do suggest you try and upsell to clients as some of the lower room categories are somewhat dated. Outside of the resorts, there is a fantastic selection of bars, shops and restaurants to embrace local culture, so please tell your clients to venture out from the hotel.

Clockwise from top left: Melia Habana in Havana; dining at Sentidos restaurant ; a typical bustling street in Havana; view of the cityscape; enjoying the views from the back of a vintage car


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WI󰉆 a ho󰇰󰇮󰈨󰈜y

an󰈧 󰈩󰈢r󰈥*

“Be 󰇮n󰇷󰇵󰇯re󰈧! Com󰇪 󰈜󰇰o󰈡g 󰇹󰈢 󰇺h󰇯󰇷 e󰇾󰇪n󰇹 󰈜󰈡d 󰇬e󰇧󰈦 ab󰈢󰇼󰇹 o󰇻󰈦 s󰇯󰇷󰇺er 󰇮󰇷󰇱󰈜n󰈧󰈤, in󰇹󰈦󰇮g󰇼i󰇳󰈪 h󰇮󰇷󰇺󰈣r󰈂, co󰇧󰇷󰇺󰈜l s󰈛e󰈡󰇪r󰈂 󰈜󰈡d 󰈇a󰈡t󰇧󰇷󰇺󰇯c 󰇬o󰇺󰇪l󰇷 󰈜󰈡d a󰇹󰇺r󰇧󰈛󰇺󰇯on󰇷! ” Wen󰈧󰈠 󰈑󰇪d󰈧󰈥󰈦, Mar󰈫󰇪󰇺󰇯n󰇫 Ma󰈡󰇧g󰈥󰇶, Vis󰇮󰇹󰈌󰇼e󰈦n󰇷󰇪󰈠







Register to attend at sellingtravel.co.uk/events sellingtravelmag * Up for grabs at each event is a weekend in Guernsey for two: return flights, 2 nights’ B&B accommodation and an island tour, supported by each tour operator on the night. In addition, spot prizes are likely to include: chocolate, fudge, branded water bottles and other Guernsey merchandise

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Tra i n i n g , e v e n t s a n d f a m t r i p s

Out and about with Prestige Holidays, Twin-city fun SIX UK travel agents joined a fam trip to Canada hosted by Prestige Holidays. It included three nights at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto and two nights at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa. The group also spent a day at Niagara Falls and travelled between the capital and Canada's biggest city with VIA Rail.

Shearings supports Wigan Warriors


CHESHIRE-based tour operator Only Exclusive Travel, luxury Maldivian eco-resort Gili Lankanfushi and Qatar Airways hosted a select group of UK travel agents in Singapore for an access-all-areas trip to the Formula One Grand Prix. Agents experienced the best seats in the house, with catering by Gili’s own chefs who were flown in from the Maldives. They also explored Singapore.

SHEARINGS Holidays, sponsor and official travel partner of Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club, offered support to the club during its pre-season training camp in the Lake District. Shearings transported the team by luxury coach to the Windermere Hotel, where they stayed for two nights and took part in both fitness and team building exercises in the local area.

onlyexclusivetravel.co.uk; gili-lankanfushi.com


Agents get pole position in Singapore

India Small Group Tours

0208 585 4020

(prices based on 6-9 persons, excludes flights)








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Travelpack have introduced 6 small group tours with 11 set departures untill 2020, Call now to avail the best offers

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Tra i n i n g , e v e n t s a n d f a m t r i p s

BRIGHT, Shearings & more Cardiff agent wins a new Fiat 500 with Fred. Olsen PHIL Jones (pictured front left), of Cardiff-based Cartwright Travel and Passion for Cruises, won a new Fiat 500 as part of the Big Fred. Olsen Giveaway. The incentive, launched at Fred. Olsen’s Closer Trade Conference, gave agents the chance to win simply by making a Fred. Olsen cruise booking. More than 4,000 entries were received for an incentive that ran from June 1 to December 14. fredolsencruises.com/agent

BRIGHT plans for 2019 BRIGHT (Bringing Real Information & Guaranteed High Quality Training) Consortium is planning a programme of 13 roadshows in 2019. Held between February and October, the workshops and dinners will be held in locations including Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Norwich, Dorchester and Tunbridge Wells. Visit BRIGHT's website for further information on UK events.

A white affair AS part of the Jamaica Tourist Board’s White Affair trade incentive, the top five best-selling agents travelled to the island, along with their guests, on a group fam trip. And they travelled in style – in Premium Class. Once in Jamaica they were hosted at the new Excellence Oyster Bay resort in Montego Bay. On the trip were agents from Club Caribbee, Blue Bay Travel, TUI Thornaby and TUI Edinburgh Gyle. visitjamaica.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


0208 585 4020 holidays@travelpack.com





15nts, USA - Historic Route 66

8nts, Canyons and Indian Lands



7nts, Great Eastern Cities Escorted Tour

One lucky agent and their client will have a chance to win £1500 worth of flights each. T&C apply

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arkansas There’s one state that should be included on any itinerary that claims to offer the ‘authentic South U.S’.

Discov er how to sell Arkan sas wi th this ne w fact packe d trav el guide

Be inspired, sell better. Arkansas - Full Page Ad.indd 1

1/29/19 06:58 PM



w i t h Ve n t u re Tra v e l


St Kitts

Time to get social Jessica Pook speaks to Ben Owen and Hugh Bourne, directors of independent travel agency Venture Travel, about how social media marketing is vital for their online travel agency. "Upon launching the business, we had limited money for marketing so would spend most days contacting celebrities, footballers and Olympians, offering discounts on their holidays in return for social media posts which helped increase our online following. "We created Venture Travel because we wanted to offer online prices with offline service. We package most bookings ourselves, ensuring we can beat all online prices, but alongside this we always email hotel managers arranging upgrades for our customers."

Be 󰈋󰇧c󰈥󰇨o󰈢󰈬-f󰇶i󰇪󰈡d󰇰󰈠

"With the help of technology we can generate 100 enquires per day. As I sit writing this in Starbucks, I can take phone enquiries from my mobile, confirm bookings over Facebook, and send quotes via email, it has never been easier to confirm a booking. We run daily Facebook ads which prompt customers to send us enquiries. What's great about this type of marketing is that we control our workload.



Kittitians know how to have a good time, and nowhere is this more accurate than at the annual St. Kitts Music Festival. From infectious Caribbean beats to the slow jams of reggae and the liveliness of pop, this year’s line-up is set to be smoking hot. Headliners include the legendary Smokey Robinson, the reggae icon Buju Banton along with French Montana, Popcaan and Davido.

2 "Facebook Ads, Instagram, personal branding and voice optimisation are the future for travel agents. Big companies are starting to move from banner ads and commercials to Facebook marketing, so now is the time to spend money on social media ads, before the price goes up. This leads into Instagram marketing, which is where many young people are spending their time (instead of Facebook). The saying 'people buy from people' is still true, but its moved from face-to-face to online. Finally, podcasts and voiceactivated apps are seeing huge growth - people love listening to audio! Creating a podcast and ensuring your business is voice optimised on Google is key."

Making sure your business is voiceoptimised is key in 2019


St. Kitts is a melting pot of Caribbean flavour, and the St. Kitts & Nevis Restaurant Week is a celebration of these flavours and the richness of the island's culinary heritage. From hotels to street vendors, chefs throughout the two islands get innovative and create dishes from the local vegetable being featured. Your clients can enjoy a feast, with fixed price dinner menus and lunch time specials at reduced prices throughout the festival.



Cricket draws many fans to St. Kitts, and the annual summer Caribbean Premier League tournament is no different. Watch six teams comprised of local, regional and international players - battle for cricket dominance at Warner Park Stadium. Your cricket-loving clients can see the live action, including the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots playing on their home ground. stkittstourism.kn/about/events

Pos󰇮󰇹󰇯󰇾e 󰈢󰇼t󰇰o󰈢󰈬

"I know many agents complain about tour operators no longer offering price parity or having to discount commission in order to match prices, but this is part and parcel of the industry. As a whole, agents have it pretty good - we get great incentives, get to book holidays that people are excited about all year and work on our own terms. In December we spent a week in Orlando at the Global Travel Group Conference and still made sales from Florida - its not a bad way to make a living!" venturetravel.co.uk


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

This month #agentstalk about... Get 󰇷󰈢󰈝󰇯al 󰇿󰇮󰇺h 󰇼󰇷:



TRAVEL AGENT RANTS & RAVES Thi󰇷 󰈩󰈢n󰇹󰇭 J󰈥n󰇳󰈠 󰈏ac󰈫󰈤󰈢n 󰈜󰇷󰈬s: "Wha󰇹 󰈟󰇪r󰈥 󰈂o󰇻󰈦 s󰇹󰈦󰈜n󰇫e󰈤t 󰈛󰇻󰈤t󰈣󰇲e󰈦 r󰇪󰈙󰇼e󰈤t󰇷 ov󰇪󰇶 󰇺h󰈥 󰇴e󰇧󰈬s 󰇴󰈥󰈦i󰈢d?"


Age󰇳󰇺s ov󰇪󰇶󰇭󰈥ar󰈧

Jenny Jackson "My customer asked if I can call the hotel to see if they can take their ukulele – just in case there is a band they might join"

Founder of Luxury Travel Guru

I want a private, fully-staffed beach villa in Saint Lucia for the four of us – two weeks and BUSINESS CLASS DIRECT FLIGHTS FOR £8K MAX Can we not fly EMIRATES TO MEXICO? They are great! I would like a seven-night cruise from the UK to 'SOMEWHERE WARM' I'm thinking about doing a twin-centre holiday, what about LAS VEGAS & THE MALDIVES? I've seen a seven-night tailormade tour you're advertising that looks great! But I WOULD LIKE IT FOR 14 NIGHTS AND FOR £1000 LESS per person is that ok? (Er, no!)

I want to go to BORA BORA and I'm looking to spend about £1,200 PER PERSON IN TOTAL. (Good luck!)

my bedroom window? If not I want somewhere else in the world I'm guaranteed to see them. (I'll just wave my wand!)

I've seen a deal on TUI for A WEEK FOUR-STAR IN JULY FOR £1048 FOR FOUR of us. (No madam, it’s per person!)

If bags are extra we only need one, if they are free - CAN WE TAKE AN EXTRA ONE?

If I book that Iceland deal WILL I BE ABLE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS from

I'd like a holiday with MOUNTAINS AND SCENERY. I was thinking perhaps THE MALDIVES? (Think again!)


_law raham s @tc_g r Towe it a w Ku

INSTAFAM s n Xma el on a ttstrav ls o h ic @abbo lass ith @c fam w

at the

@cruisefa iryuk in th e BVIs wit @CruiseN h orwegian

Going on a fam trip? Tag @sellingtravel in your #instafam and you could be here next month!

“I've booked someone to Birmingham, Alabama, instead of Birmingham, West Midlands” "A customer just asked if I can book him on the cheapest ticket from Heathrow Terminal 3, He has no intention of flying but needs to collect something from duty free!"

Customer: "What trips are you doing?" Me: "I do trips all over the world. Is there anywhere in particular?" Customer: "No, not really, can you send me a list?"


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Luxury Jamaica With its lush green jungles, azure waters and secluded resorts, this spectacular Caribbean island is the perfect setting for a luxurious getaway Why sell it? Jamaica is home to a large selection of luxury resorts offering high-end comforts and traditional hospitality to complement the natural beauty of the island. Properties are mostly situated on private beaches, so you can be reassured your clients will be cosseted and waited on all day long. Guests can expect relaxation in palatial colonial-style beds, over-the-top pampering, Champagne garnished with sugar cane and plenty of chances to get out and explore with a touch of luxe – like a private drive to a roadside jerk chicken shack or a tour of its lush jungle and parks.





What to sell Drawing everyone from Queen Elizabeth to 50 Cent, all-inclusive Half Moon Jamaica is set over 400 acres of pristine grounds with two miles of beachfront. Rooms and suites are close to the sea with private patios or balconies. Guests can take part in a sunrise yoga session, lounge on the beach or make use of the extensive sporting facilities that include a golf course and riding stables. Classically-designed Round Hill Hotel and Villas is situated in 110 acres and comprises 27 private villas and 36 Ralph Laurendesigned guestrooms. The resort offers seaside dining on its private bay and an exclusive spa. Originally home to James Bond author Ian Fleming, Island Outpost's GoldenEye is set across three beaches and a stunning lagoon. Accommodation is exciting and

varied with beach huts and villas, lagoon cottages, and even Fleming's original home. Another literary-themed hotel, the small, and romantic Jamaica Inn, once welcomed Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller and is all about quiet luxury – a single thatch-roofed bar, a small pool and beautiful rooms with oversized terraces and soft colonial decor. East of Port Antonio is Trident Hotel. With its 13 spacious and airy oceanfront villas and a modern take on 50s and 60s décor, private plunge pools and terraces. The hotel even arranges helicopter transfers to and from the hotel.

Who to sell to


Jamaica’s luxury resorts tend to attract couples and honeymooners but with a plethora of activities on offer every kind of traveller will love the island. Suggest your clients head out to take a tour through the Blue Mountains, go zip lining at Chukka Good Hope or discover the natural wonders of Glistening Waters lagoon. Jamaica's sheer size and varied landscape – from sandy beaches to jungleclad mountains – means guests can enjoy a

lazy beach escape with plenty of chances for action-packed exploration.

When to sell it Jamaica averages around 31C, so attracts visitors year round. The winter season runs from mid-December to mid-April and is the island’s busiest season. Hurricane season is from June to November. 

BOOK IT WITH... CARRIER Stay at Jamaica Inn and get a free room upgrade and two extra nights on stays of five nights-plus. From £1,610pp when booked before February 28, 2019. Price includes seven nights in a Premier Verandah Suite, flights and private transfers. Valid for travel May 1 to October 31, 2019. 0161 820 3631; carrier.co.uk. Other luxury specialists include Elegant Resorts, Caribtours, Eden and Lusso.


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luxury new zealand

Sky’s the limit

It is best known for being rugged and outdoorsy but New Zealand also packs a punch when it comes to high-end experiences – from luxury lodges to helitours and lobsters on location, says Jo Gardner


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s the propeller begins to Hotels. “The recently-opened SO/Auckland spin, slowly at first and then shatters conventional hotel norms and we whirring into a blur, I feel believe there is room for growth in this a surge of excitement. I’ve been in market segment.” a helicopter before – talking to the And it’s not just hoteliers enjoying pilot through big headphones while increased sales. Rebecca Turner, Senior he pointed out landmarks below is an Product Manager of Pure Luxury, Gold experience I’ll never forget - but I’ve Medal’s high-end brand, has seen an never landed on a glacier. increase in 209% for bookings to New Franz Josef is the world’s steepest and Zealand in the last three months alone fastest-flowing commercially guided with “an even mix of nights in the North glacier and, as we and South Island”. rise higher into the “Choosing a guided option, Tourism New sky, I wonder if I Zealand, meanwhile, or including a variety of should tell my guide is continuing to transfers such as that I’m terrified of equip agents with heights. It doesn’t the tools to tap into helicopter transfers, lifts matter because I’m an itinerary exponentially” this growing trend unable to speak: the through luxury Kate Fenton, Trade Manage Europe glistening blanket of trade shows, joint Tourism New Zealand snow and ice below ventures, training, me has literally taken my breath away. fam trips and add-ons. After all, where else Kitted out in weather-proof clothes and in the world can you heli-hike on a glacier boots, and wielding a pole, I take my first before relaxing in a natural hot pool? The tentative step on the ice – and fall over. message, it seems, is that when it comes This is going to be harder than I thought to up-selling New Zealand, the sky really is and concentrating is hard. I spot an ice the limit. cave with an iridescent blue centre and am transfixed. I’ve never seen anything so What’s new? naturally beautiful. Hotels: A new architecturally-designed Back at base, I strip off and climb into luxury lodge has opened in the remote a glacial hot tub for a 45-minute private Ahuriri Valley in the South Island. The soak. Surrounded by rainforest, and with Lindis (thelindis.com) features a low profile birdsong filling the air, it’s a luxurious end undulating roof that mirrors the curvature to an exclusive-feeling adventure. of the land around it; the north elevation

Heading up Upping the value stakes seems to be the theme for New Zealand this year as it attracts more high-end visitors looking for natural landscapes and design-led lodge accommodation. Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, which represents 29 exclusive properties across both islands, reported a 36% year-on-year increase in premium market spend to March 2018. “For high-net worth travellers wanting bespoke experiences, New Zealand is the ultimate destination,” said Emma McDonald, Business Development Manager. “Guests are attracted to our worldrenowned luxury lodges and facilities. We are seeing increased growth in city-based luxury hotels, particularly in Auckland and Queenstown,” added Gillian Millar, Senior Vice President of Operations for Accor

is made entirely of glass to make the most of the views. Inside, there are five luxury lodges – each constructed using natural materials – a lounge and a bar. Prices

Left: Landing on the Clarke Glacier by helicopter. Above: Relaxing at The Bay of Many Coves luxury lodge in Marlborough Sounds


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luxury new zealand

Luxury experiences

“For high-net worth travellers looking for bespoke experiences, New Zealand is the ultimate destination” Emma McDonald, Business Development Manager Luxury Lodges of New Zealand

Clockwise from left: Wildlife backed by snowcapped peaks in Kaikoura; sailing Auckland Harbour; The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs in the Bay of Islands

start at £1,597 per room per night including breakfast and dinner. Trade incentives: Tourism New Zealand’s (tourismnewzealand.com) new series of bite-size videos, designed specifically for agents wishing to sell more of the destination, are still available to view online. Entitled ‘Overcoming the Barriers of Selling New Zealand’, each video addresses key selling themes while answering questions posed by agents. Click the Sales Tools tab on the homepage to watch.

Tourism talk “We’re continuing to see a trend for high-end tour operators in the UK adding New Zealand’s luxury product to their brochures. The country is small and easy to travel around, but choosing a guided option, or including a variety of transfers such as helicopter transfers, lifts an itinerary exponentially. “Our role is to help agents and operators feel more confident selling the destination – agents should sign up to our newsletter and the 100% PURE New Zealand Specialist programme on traveltrade.newzealand.com to be the first to hear about our webinars, training events and news.” Kate Fenton, Trade Manager, Europe Tourism New Zealand

Fine dining: Gourmet dining is a must on any luxury travel itinerary to New Zealand. For a top-to-tail food pilgrimage, visit the Omata Estate in the Northlands (omata.co.nz), Martinborough Village in Wellington (martinborough-village. co.nz), Bay of Many Caves Resort in Marlborough (bayofmanycoves.co.nz) and Ripon in Wanaka (rippon.co.nz) – or enter seventh heaven and visit all four. Lord of the Rings journey: This scenic helicopter flight includes many of the sights where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed (glaciersouthernlakes. co.nz). Pilot Alfie Speight, the principle filming pilot for the series, will guide you over the Shotover River, where Arwen turns to face the Nazgûl at the Ford of Bruinen, and over the mountain range from the opening scene of The Two Towers. First-class spa-ing: Set in 600 acres, the Lodge at Kauri Cliffs (robertsonlodges. com) offers spectacular 180-degree sea views, as well as private beaches, an infinity pool, championship golf course and a sumptuous spa. Overlooking a verdant fern glen, you can listen to birdsong as your troubles are massaged away. Super yacht sailing: Discover 15,000kms of pristine coastline on The Big Blue, a 43-metre luxury yacht sleeping 10 guests (charterworld.com). Spend your days relaxing on board with your own private chef. Oysters and Champagne anyone? Or snorkel or dive in clear waters. Private wine touring: Marlborough Wine Tours (marlboroughwinetours.co.nz) offers private tours for guests wishing to make the most of their visit. Based on your preferred tipple, experts will tailor an itinerary for you before setting off for a full day’s tour, taking in four or five cellar doors – each with tastings – and including a gourmet lunch overlooking a vineyard of your choice.

Where to book it ABERCROMBIE & KENT – 01242 547 843 A 15-night Ultimate New Zealand tour is from £9,875pp, taking in Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Nelson, Marlborough, Kaikoura and Queenstown, and including flights, helicopter transfers, luxury lodging, and all meals (including Champagne). abercrombiekent.co.uk 


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WhakatÄ ne, Bay of Plenty


New Zealand is a special place, and everyone who lives and travels here has a responsibility to look after it. The Tiaki promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand while travelling. HOW TO CARE FOR NEW ZEALAND

Learn more about the Tiaki Promise and find resources to share with your clients before they travel at traveltrade.newzealand.com

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NEW YEAR SALE Save up to


– PLUS – Free Door-toDoor Chauffeur transfers^ Offer ends 15 March 2019

River Rewards & More

Earn gifts for every booking you make | www.riverrewards.cruises

UNRIVALLED LUXURY From the moment your customers embark on a Scenic river cruise, everything they could possibly need is included in the price. From world-class accommodation on board an award-winning 5-star Space-Ship, home to some of the largest suites on European waters, to every meal, premium branded beverage, all flights, transfers and tips. Our guests even have the services of a Scenic-trained butler, on-hand to deliver an outstanding level of personal service. Wherever your customers choose to travel, their river cruise will be complemented by a collection of included Scenic Freechoice excursions, allowing guests the flexibility to tailor their days to suit them. From guided walks, bike rides and hikes to exploring independently with the accompaniment of a Scenic Tailormade GPS device, fitted with an interactive map and commentary function. Guests can enjoy unprecedented access to some of Europe’s most celebrated palaces, wine châteaux and fortresses as part a Scenic Enrich program, where they’ll attend classical music concerts, authentic feasts and tastings with spectacular views. Inaccessible to the ordinary traveller, its moments like these that will elevate their river cruise experience from ordinary to extraordinary.

ALL-INCLUSIVE HIGHLIGHTS  Flights from a choice of up to 16 UK airports  All Inclusive dining & beverages  Luxury suite accommodation  Private butler service  Up to 6 on board dining venues

 Scenic Enrich once-in-a-lifetime experiences  Scenic Freechoice excursions  State-of-the-art Space-Ships  Exclusive GPS tailor-made devices for self-guided touring  All tipping, transfers and taxes

8-Day Gems of the Danube

8-Day Rhine Highlights

Budapest > Nuremberg Departing April - October 2019

Basel > Amsterdam Departing April - October 2019

From £1,695 per person

From £1,495 per person

New for 2019 Scenic Eclipse

The World's First Discovery YachtsTM 2019 is the year luxury travel is taken to extraordinary new levels. With Scenic Eclipse making her maiden voyage in April, the next generation of ocean cruising has arrived.

For more information, training and support contact your Local Sales Manager at agencysales@scenic.co.uk Book the ultimate in luxury 0808 115 0463 | Order your brochures via Tradegate Terms and Conditions: ^FREE private door-to-door chauffeur transfers are available on new bookings made between 1 February to 15 March 2019. Private door-to-door chauffeur transfers are complimentary within 75 miles of an airport where flights are available from. For guests who live outside of 75 miles, an additional supplement of £2.00 per mile will be charged. Savings of up to 40% are subject to availability for new bookings only made between 1 February to 15 March 2019. All prices stated are per person, twin share, in GBP and based on the lowest cabin category available. Prices shown include advertised discount and are correct at time of going to print (January 2018) *All drinks included on board except for a small number of fine and rare wines, champagnes and spirits. Offers not combinable with any other discount and can be withdrawn at any time. For full itineraries and booking conditions, visit scenic.co.uk/terms-and-conditions

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luxury cruising


N Pushing the

boat out Clients looking to be treated like royalty on the water are spoilt for choice with the ongoing boom in luxury ocean and river cruising, says Jeannine Williamson

ew ships and refurbished vessels offer gourmet restaurants, personal concierge services, bespoke excursions and much more to satisfy the most discerning passengers. In addition to seasoned cruisers looking for a stylish experience on the water, agents can target itineraries at luxe-loving clients who normally spend their holidays on dry land. Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland Director, said: “The fixtures, fittings and features that are being added to luxury ocean and river ships rival anything offered on land, going beyond what even the best hotels can offer. “This year we will see more cruise lines aiming to appeal to those looking to travel in luxury, as lines with large ships begin to feature all-suite cruise enclaves on board, creating a ship-within-a-ship experience. In addition, some cruise ships offer a deck area with private cabanas, butler service, and private dining. “Furthermore, with demand for adventure cruises on the rise, luxury cruise is making its mark in this sector too. With an increasing number of lines offering a luxury cruise experience, whether it’s on a small, intimate ship or a large vessel, we expect to see the demand for luxury cruises continue to rise.” Crystal Cruises has launched a new print and digital marketing campaign entitled Where Luxury is Personal. Highlighting the truism that travellers discern luxury in individual and different ways, the message shows how clients now have numerous options to create their perfect cruise.

Left: The spa on Le Laperouse, a Ponant ship. Above: CroisiEurope’s MS Amalia Rodrigues


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CRUISE THROUGH EUROPE WITH RIVIERA TRAVEL WIN A HOLIDAY FOR TWO! Confirm any Riviera Travel holiday in January and February 2019 for your chance to win a holiday of a lifetime! Choose from... Vietnam and Cambodia, South Africa or Budapest to the Black Sea River Cruise

SO MUCH IS INCLUDED Fascinating tours and excursions with expert guides

Spacious and beautiful appointed suites or cabins with river views

The services of our experienced cruise director and tour manager

All meals on board including welcome cocktails, a welcome dinner and the Captain’s dinner

Return flights from UK regional airports or Eurostar from London St Pancras (supplements may apply)

We never discount our prices so you don’t have to



A dedicated sales team available for support








CONTACT OUR AGENCY SALES TEAM: Call for support: 01283 744307 | Email: agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk

CALL RESERVATIONS 7 DAYS A WEEK: Call to book: 01283 744370 | Book online: www.rivieratravel.co.uk/agents Prices based on two people sharing and are correct at time of print. Single supplements apply. Holidays are subject to Riviera Travel booking conditions. Incentive terms & conditions: All bookings confirmed from 1 January 2019 – 28 February 2019 are eligible to be entered. All bookings must be registered via email at agencysales@rivieratravel.co.uk to be eligible for entry. If the bookings are not registered they will not be entered into the draw. The winning agent has the choice of South Africa, Vietnam & Cambodia or Budapest to the Black Sea for 2 people sharing a room. The holiday must be booked during 2019 and date restrictions may apply. All details for the relevant tour and cruise can be found in our brochures.

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Expedition Hapag-Lloyd is making a big entry into expedition voyages with identical ships Hanseatic nature, inspiration and spirit. The 230-passenger Hapag-Lloyd inspiration, launching in October, will serve the English-speaking market and sail on 22 routes including the Arctic, Antarctic, Amazon and Great Lakes of North America. An innovative on board highlight is the Ocean Academy, where guests can use interactive technology to discover comprehensive background information on regions visited. Aurora Expeditions’ new ship Greg Mortimer, launching late 2019, is the world’s first expedition ship to use the patented ‘ULSTEIN X-BOW’ technology, providing more stability than a traditional bow. The eagerly awaited Scenic Eclipse, scheduled to launch this year, will have on board helicopters and a miniature submarine and describes itself as ‘six-star’. The all-suite ship, with a two-bed penthouse suite and spa suites, has 10 dining options and eight bar/lounges. This year Ponant is also doubling its expedition fleet with Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville. In 2020 Silversea’s Silver Wind will embark on an inaugural season in Antarctica after a dry dock that will give the ship ice-class classification. A new expedition vessel for 2020, Silver Origin, will sail in the Galapagos. In 2020 Crystal will launch its first expedition yacht, Crystal Endeavor, which will include a spa, six restaurants and some of the most spacious suites in expedition



19 10:48


Clockwise from top left: A ‘You Care, We Care’ excursion with Crystal in Iceland; luxury in the Arctic Circle with Hapag-Lloyd; sunset onboard a Seabourn cruise; onboard Ponant’s Le Laperouse

cruising, with private butler service for every cabin. Book it: Hapag-Lloyd’s (hl-cruises.com) 13-night Greenland round-trip from Kangerlussuaq will sail on Hanseatic inspiration. Priced from £9,054pp it will depart July 21, 2020.

Itineraries & excursions Queen Elizabeth debuts in Alaska this year, the first time a Cunard ship has visited the region in more than 20 years. The success of the cruise line’s 2019 programme has led to the line doubling the number of Alaskan voyages for 2020, with the newly-refurbished Queen Elizabeth spending a full season in the region from June to September. In November Seabourn launches its firstever Cuba programme with four itineraries, ranging from 10 to 14 nights. With the exception of one departure from Puerto Rico, the cruises on Seabourn Sojourn start in Miami. Continuing its ‘You Care. We Care’ initiative, Crystal has announced more than 24 ‘voluntourism’ experiences for 2019. Offered on most Crystal Symphony

“Our philosophy of luxury is rooted in the individuality of each of our guests, the stories they’ve lived, what has brought them aboard, the memories they hope to create, and our passion for meeting and exceeding their hopes and expectations” Carmen Roig, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Crystal Cruises


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luxury cruising

venues include the Brazilian-style barbecue Churrascaria, Asian-inspired Silk Kitchen, the rebranded sushi bar Umi Uma – one of the only Nobu restaurants at sea; the other being on Crystal Symphony – and Rat Packstyle Stardust Supper Club. This season Ponant is offering a fine dining and wine cruise in partnership with gourmet organisation Ducasse Conseil and renowned winery Chateau Latour. The Lisbon to Portsmouth sailing will feature vineyard visits and gala on board dinners. Oceania Cruises has introduced a sixcourse tasting menu paired with vintage Dom Perignon Champagne on its Riviera and Marina ships. The line has announced the order for two next generation AlluraClass ships. The 1,200-passenger vessels, being delivered in 2022 and 2025, will retain the design elements of Marina and Riviera with additional luxury amenities. Book it: Ponant’s (en.ponant.com) nine-night Gastronomy, Vineyards and Grands Cru cruise is priced from €4,230pp, departing April 13, 2019.

River cruise

“There is an ever-growing demand for luxury cruises from both past cruisers and yet-to-cruise travellers who demand the very best” Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK & Ireland

and Crystal Serenity sailings, as well as select Crystal Esprit itineraries in the West Indies, the complimentary excursions invite guests and crew members to give their time to worthwhile causes. These include marine life conservation at Barcelona’s Rehabilitation Centre of Prat de Llobregat and caring for the animals at the Samui Animal Shelter in Thailand. Oceania is featuring more than 80 new land tour options, the most extensive programme to date, and include pre-, postand mid-cruise options in Australia, Asia, Africa, Egypt and the Holy Land, Europe, South America, Alaska, and Canada.

Uniworld unveils its newest vessel this spring, with the former River Royale being transformed into S.S. Bon Voyage, the second ship in the line to be upgraded to Super Ship status. Sailing in Bordeaux with a reduced number of 124 passengers, new facilities include four enlarged suites, a Parisian-style bistro and a chef demonstration area. The line will launch new ships on the Nile, Douro and Mekong in 2020 and in Russia in 2021. APT’s portfolio of included Signature

Book it: Seabourn’s (seabourn.com) 11-night Stars of the Cuban Night itinerary is priced from £4,999pp, departing November 16, 2019.

Foodie cruises Crystal has opened all-new dining venues on Crystal Serenity, mirroring those introduced on the line’s second ship Crystal Symphony in 2017. Waterside is the reimagined main restaurant with menus also available for room service. Other

Clockwise from top left: Hapag-Lloyd’s Hanseatic ships have a sauna onboard; Seabourn deck views; a class of wine onboard a Ponant cruise; onboard Riviera’s Charles Dickens


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V O YA G E W I T H T H E W O R L D ’ S B E S T



Michael Dupont Head of Sales Tel: 07921 949469 mick@cruiseportfolio.co.uk

Cruise Only Fares From

Deluxe Stateroom (C3 Grade)

from £2,354 per person

Deluxe Stateroom with Verandah (B3 Grade) from £3,377 per person

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

Itinerary Highlights:

Monte Carlo, Cannes, Calvi, Livorno/Florence (overnight), Portofino, Porto Venere, Piombino, Rome (Civitavecchia).



020 7399 7601


ABTA No.V8548

Fares are per person, cruise only in UK sterling based on double occupancy in an outside stateroom and include port, security and handling charges, which vary by departure. All fares, offers and itineraries are subject to change and availability and can be withdrawn at any time. 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. ©2018 Crystal Cruises, LLC. Ships’ registry: The Bahamas.

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Above: Seabourn Soujourn’s spa. Right: Crystal’s Churrascaria restuarant in the evening

Experiences has expanded with the introduction of a private trip aboard the Grand Empress steam train to Budapest’s Godollo Royal Palace on the Magnificent Europe cruise, an evening cocktail reception at Pont du Gard on the Rhone and an afterhours visit and dinner at Benedictine Palace on the Seine. Crystal has a new nine-night itinerary taking in the lesser-known Moselle River aboard the 106-passenger Crystal Bach. The round-trip sailings from Amsterdam, with butler service in every cabin category, run from May 28 to November 24, 2019. CroisiEurope will inaugurate its newest ship – MS Amalia Rodrigues – in Porto in March. It’s the line’s sixth ship to work the Douro and the third premium-rated vessel. A three-deck ship, it can accommodate 132 passengers in 66 double-occupancy cabins, including four suites. There’s also a spacious lounge, panoramic restaurant, a shop, a large sun deck with

sun loungers and a pool. Riviera Cruises will receive two new ships in 2019, MS George Eliot and MS Dylan Thomas will both be five-star vessels. Book it: Riviera’s Rhine Cruise to Switzerland is from £1,199pp for eight days aboard one of its five-star all-inclusive ships with return flights and transfers, tours and all charges and taxes. 

Britain’s leading independent cruise line

Welcome to our world of cruises! BUY ONE GET ONE





Marco Polo



Worldwide Cruise Collection 2019/20 • Traditional British cruise experience • Six smaller to mid-sized cruise ships • Exceptional value for money and choice • Great deals for singles and groups • Specialists in no fly cruising holidays • Over 150 cruises from 15 UK & Ireland ports

Book online at: www.cruiseandmaritime.com Call: 0844 414 6161 Agency Sales: 0844 414 6140 Brochures: www.trade-gate.co.uk

Subject to availability. 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. 4831

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AustrAliA Sydney tops the list on any Australian itinerary. But the heart of New South Wales also acts as a gateway to some of the state’s regional destinations when booked with Qantas.

Bondi BeAch

QAntAs A380

kAngAroos, mungo nAtionAl pArk


ydney, with its surrounding natural wonders, beach lifestyle and trendy food and drink culture, is now more accessible than ever with a daily A380 service to Sydney via Singapore and a daily Qantas Dreamliner non-stop service from London Heathrow to Perth, connecting to Sydney. And with Australia’s leading airline, the holiday begins when customers step onboard. With spacious cabins and ergonomically designed seats, carefully selected menus, access to a complimentary snack bar around the clock and 1,600 hours of entertainment options, the hours quite literally fly by.

life’s A BeAch As well as being a bustling cosmopolitan hub, beating to the drum of city life, Sydney has a softer side, in fact it’s powder soft. The beach is a fundamental part of everyday Australian life; it’s evident as sunrise joggers run the water’s edge before breakfast or office workers change from pant-suits to wetsuits after a hard day’s work. And there are hundreds of beaches lining the city coastline, with Sydney’s Bondi and Manly among the favourites and, of course, the famous Palm Beach as seen in popular TV soap Home and Away. Travel north up the Legendary

learn more at:

qantasagencyconnect.com uk.sydney.com

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tyrrell’s wine, hunter valley

Qantas a380 premium economy Shoal bay, Port stephens

All Qantas passengers can enjoy complimentary snack bars with refreshments around the clock

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Pacific Coast and you’ll be treated to some breathtaking coastal views with uncrowded beaches spanning miles. Along the way, find Port Stephens, home to a host of wildlife including kangaroos, dolphins and Humpback whales from May to November. Hug the coast north to find Port Macquarie and its 17 beaches, also known for its Koala Hospital where visitors can enjoy a guided tour to see its permanent residents up close. Further north, swimming, surfing, sailing, diving and fishing are among the popular activities at Coffs Harbour, whilst surf enthusiasts, or those looking to learn, will enjoy the slower pace of laid-back Byron Bay and the ocean swell at Lennox Point – flip-flops (or thongs as they’re known there) are the footwear of choice in these parts! Alternatively, take in The South Coast

via the scenic Grand Pacific Drive, which winds 138 km south from Sydney. This easy drive can be done as a day trip, but a weekend cruise or even a week-long road trip allows time to take in Kiama Blowhole, the Southern Highlands and Jervis Bay, which is home to the world’s whitest sands. Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Ballina (Byron Bay) are all serviced by Qantas’ unrivalled domestic network from Sydney, which consists of over 60 destinations across Australia. And with Qantas Explorer Fares, agents could save when booking international and domestic flights together.

Beyond the blue A more natural draw awaits inland, with many National Parks and World Heritage wilderness areas in regional

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qantas a380 over sydney

Kayaking, jervis bay

QANTAS A380 All passengers enjoy roundthe-clock refreshments, inflight entertainment and warm Aussie hospitality. Economy: Relax in ergonomically designed seats with lumbar supports for extra comfort.

Blue mountains

New South Wales. A two-hour train journey or 90 minute drive from Sydney will transport you to the Blue Mountains, named so for the natural blue haze from the eucalypt forests which adorn the area. Take in the forest views from cliff top lookouts or, if you dare, take a glass-floored cable car suspended above a gorge for that ultimate panoramic vista. There are many walking trails to explore, along with three-day hikes that encounter waterfalls, valleys and sandstone tablelands, visitors can also learn about the region’s Aboriginal heritage.

Drink it in Age is important when it comes to wines, so it’s not surprising that the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, produces some of the world’s

best. Tours of the vineyards offer samples from acclaimed semillions and visit family-owned wineries and innovative young winemakers. Enjoy a glass or two served at the cellar doors or accompanied by a backdrop of the surrounding Broken Back Range. Customers can familiarise themselves with some of Australia’s world-class wines before they land. Qantas only serve Australian wine, with many from New South Wales. And the food offering is equally as appealing, with a distinct Australian flair across all cabins. All menus have been carefully selected for passengers and include dishes inspired by Australian restaurateur Neil Perry and his Rockpool menu. Business and First passengers can also consult one of the onboard sommeliers, who’ll select award-winning wines and Champagnes to match the meal.

Premium Economy: Passengers will enjoy a private upper-deck cabin of 35 seats with more space and dedicated flight attendants. Business: Enjoy a new level of intelligent seating with Skybed, featuring two massage options and a twometre fully-flat bed, perfect for relaxing in Qantas Business pyjamas. First: Customers enjoy unsurpassed luxury in the fully-flat extra-wide bed, with Martin Grant designed sleepwear, luxurious pillows, a duvet and a mattress.

Learn more at:

qantasagencyconnect.com uk.sydney.com

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qantas a380 economy

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snorkelling, lord howe island

cultural tours, dubbo

Palm beach

QANTAS DREAMLINER All passengers enjoy roundthe-clock refreshments, more space for personal devices including USB charging ports, inflight entertainment and warm Aussie hospitality. Economy: Market-leading technology and design provide optimal comfort, space and aisle access, with an innovative footnet allowing for a deeper recline. Premium Economy: Customers can relax in a private cabin in a seat designed to cradle. Business: Passengers enjoy the functionality, privacy, space and comfort you’d find in a First Class cabin. All suites are forward facing and allow customers to relax in signature Martin Grant designed pyjamas on a fullyflat bed.

Qantas a380 first class suite

Island life Be one of just 400 visitors when you visit Lord Howe Island, actually a group of islands a two-hour flight with Qantas from mainland Sydney. At just 11 km long, there is a limit on guests at any one time which means the only overcrowding will be from the seabirds that come to breed on the island. Explore the isle and its surrounding waters by bicycle, kayak or glassbottomed boat and encounter coral reefs and over 500 species of fish, some of which will be bold enough to feed from your hand at Neds Beach.

Quality with Qantas All passengers enjoy complimentary snacks and refreshments, thousands of hours of Inflight entertainment,

oneworld frequent flyer status and warm Aussie hospitality. Passengers flying Business or First Class with Qantas will also be met at their front door by a chauffeur driver, a free transfer service on selected flights. With the Qantas London Lounge, eligible customers can enjoy the next generation airport lounge, featuring a cocktail bar, gin bar, A la Carte dining and six shower suites. Qantas Frequent Flyer is Australia’s best airline loyalty programme. When travelling on the Qantas network, eligible oneworld frequent flyers, including British Airways Executive Club and Emirates Skywards members can continue to earn points, advance their tier status and access a wide range of other member benefits.

qantas dreamliner business

Learn more at:

qantasagencyconnect.com uk.sydney.com

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how to sell


Paganella Dolomiti Clients looking for an easy-to-reach, authentic and affordable all-round wintersports experience should look no further than this resort in northeast Italy, says Rachel Roberts Why sell it? On a clear day, the craggy peak of Paganella affords a bird’s eye view of the brilliantly glittering Lake Garda to the south and the heaven-scraping Dolomites in the north. Though I visited in March, staying in Fai Della Paganella (1000m), I was still treated to several dumps of fresh powder. Paganella Dolomiti’s 50km of ski slopes offer around 32km of mainly intermediate pistes, but beginners are also catered for. At the other end is Olimpionca 2. This ‘practise’ piste, a favoutite of the world-beating Norwegian alpine ski team, is 1200m long with 307m of downhill gradient. At peak season, the whole resort attracts around 20,000 visitors, so skiers will be happy with the short or non-existent queues at the 14 lifts and cable-cars which criss-cross the slopes.

What to sell Five resort villages nestle on the lower slopes of Paganella (2125m), one of the highest mountains in the magnificent Dolomiti Di Brenta massif. Andalo is the biggest village, with 60 mainly three-star hotels and a fairly lively aprés-ski scene. If the rain scuppers a day on the slopes, Trento, the capital of the region, is worth a visit and is just a 45-minute drive away and home to the well-preserved 13th-century Castello del Buonconsiglio and a Sunday market pedling local produce, clothing and trinkets.


The resort is proud of its night ski sessions (on Tuesday and Friday evenings), when a 3km slope, reached by the Andalo-Doss Pelà cable car, is fully illuminated. Refugio Dosson, a sleek restaurant and bar at the top of the run, is packed with locals on a Friday evening, socialising and drinking a warm Bombardino (a delicious concoction of eggnog, brandy and cream). The menu offers exceptional Italian dishes, too, including mountain pine-scented tagliatelle with smoked scamorza cheese and julienne salted beef. Mountain bike fans will love the chance to test their skills on a ‘fat e-bike’. Motorised and with chunky tyres, it lets riders cut effortlessly through the snow. Gentler pursuits include horse-drawn carriage rides through the twinkling winter wonderland, ski yoga and snow-shoeing.

Who to sell to


The ski area’s fairly compact terrain makes it a great choice for families with a mix of abilities. There are four training areas – two on the mountain and two in the villages – plus the Paganella Fun Park for little ones.

A mid-season lift pass is around €150; kids up to eight years of age go free and there’s a 30% discount for eight- to 16-year-olds, making it an affordable winter break. Ski schools offer group lessons for €200 for a daily two-and-a-half-hour session over five days, or private tuition from €40 per hour.

How to sell it Intimate-feeling Paganella Dolomiti is a great option for a wintersports longweekender as well as more extended trips. Verona’s Villa Franco airport (125km) is served by a daily Easyjet flight from Gatwick and British Airways offers a daily flight from several UK airports. The Flyski Shuttle service runs to Paganella Dolomiti every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in winter. 

BOOK IT WITH... SNOWTREX Seven nights in February at the three-star Hotel Fai hotel in Fai della Paganella is from £597pp for two sharing, half-board. The price includes a lift pass but not flights. 020 336 533 13; snowtrex.co.uk


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Take to the

tracks J

ourney Beyond believes that rail travel should be one of the most relaxed ways to holiday; after all, it’s the only form of travel where the journey is as enjoyable as the destination. And with The Great Southern train launching this year, guests can enjoy a trip that winds past the sandstone mountains, dramatic coastal stretches and picturesque vineyards that link Adelaide and Brisbane.

Journey South East The Great Southern is the newest addition to the internationallyregarded suite of great Australian rail journeys, which also includes The Ghan (Adelaide-Darwin) and Indian Pacific (Sydney-Perth). The two-night, three-day journey from Adelaide to Brisbane features opportunities to step off the train to experience the spectacular Grampians National Park, the nation’s capital Canberra and the northern New South Wales (NSW) coast. The four-day southbound journey will include an incredible beachside dining experience in northern NSW, an immersive day in the Hunter Valley and Newcastle region and will also provide the opportunity to take in Victoria’s iconic Twelve Apostles.

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The service will operate 16 departure dates between December 6, 2019 and January 27, 2020, with the option of Gold Service Single and Twin Cabins, as well as the more premium Platinum Service.

Trade secrets Learn all about The Great Southern, along with Journey Beyond’s various other products, from the new training programme journeybeyondspecialist.com. Each module provides specialist knowledge, enabling agents to pair the right holiday with the right client. Agents will have access to visual assets and content, be kept up to date with the latest news and information and increase booking value with Journey Beyond packages. Learn all about the different service levels onboard and discover how to transport clients from an eco-safari deep into the outback to ‘reefsleeping’ under the stars with Journey Beyond’s curated packages. Once agents have completed all modules they will be sent a certificate of achievement. As a qualified expert they can also join the agent incentive programme which includes fam trips, exclusive events and competitions. Find out how your clients could journey beyond at journeybeyondspecialist.com 

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


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




G O L D S E R V I C E / T W I N S H A R E / I N C LU S I O N S: 14 DAYS


o 3 nights’ accommodation in Perth including breakfast daily o 1 day Discover Rottnest Tour including lunch o 3 days/ 2 nights on board the Indian Pacific in Gold Service including all meals and beverages

o 3 nights’ accommodation in Adelaide including breakfast daily o 1 day Northern Barossa Valley Voyager Tour including lunch and accommodation

o 3 days/ 2 nights on board Great Southern in Gold Service including


all meals and beverages

o 3 nights’ accommodation in Brisbane including breakfast daily o 1 day Grand Brisbane Tour


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1/28/19 03:07 PM 21/01/2019 09:54


south africa

wildlife over the

rainbow Roam South Africa’s plains, bushveld and desert as Laura Gelder breaks down the country’s safari options province-by-province


he range of safari areas within South Africa means that there’s plenty of choice and something to suit everyone,” says African Pride’s Product Manager Suzanne Walford. But that, perhaps, is why South Africa can be a daunting prospect for agents uninitiated in safari. Walford reports an early increase in demand for the Kruger area and Madikwe Reserve this year. “The peak school holiday periods are filling up fast,” she says. “The popularity of these reserves is down to the wildlife experience and the exceptional range of accommodation. If ticking off the Big Five

is important it’s hard to beat Kruger and its neighbouring private reserves – your chances of spotting leopard there are probably as high as you could expect.”

Kruger National Park The most famous safari destination in South Africa is almost 2 million hectares in size. It’s one the largest wildlife reserves in the world and home to the Big Five as well as an abundance of other wildlife, birds and varied flora. The landscapes range from tropical forest to mountains and bush plains. There is something for everyone here, from self-drive and basic government-


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run camps to ultra luxury and style. Private reserves are found all over Greater Kruger Region and three of the most famous are probably Sabi Sands (sabi-sands. com), Timbavati (timbavati.co.za) and MalaMala (malamala.com), the largest and most historic

private big game reserve in South Africa. These share unfenced borders with Kruger.

KwaZulu-Natal This province has scenic game viewing totally different to Kruger and is close to some of the country’s nicest beaches, for those who want to combine both. Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Park (hluhluwegamereserve. com), is here and now even easier to reach with British Airways’ new direct flight to Durban. The park has the Big Five, as well as leopards and endangered African wild dogs. The public reserve is self-drive, although tours are available. Also close to Durban is Karkloof Safari Villas, an eco-friendly property surronded by free-roaming wildlife and picturesque waterfalls and rivers. A more luxury option is andBeyond’s Phinda Private Game Reserve (andbeyond.com), set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean and the famous iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. The reserve is home to rare black rhino and the elusive cheetah.

Western Cape Cape Town’s province isn’t famous for safari but has good options for clients tight on time. Aquila Private Game Reserve is two hours from Cape Town in the Klein Karoo region. Guests can seek out the Big Five by jeep, on horse-back, by quad bike, or even from the air. Aquila caters to both day visitors and those who wish to stay

overnight in one of their luxury chalets. In the same area is Sanbona Wildlife Reserve (sanbona.com) which has five-star lodges and luxury tents and is famous for its population of rare white lions. Four hours from the Mother City, Big Five Gondwana Game Reserve has giraffe, hippo, cheetah and zebra too. The park is notable for its lovely views of the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains and has a Junior Rangers programme.

“In MalaMala we have the Big Five but for leopard viewings there’s nowhere better! In the dry season animals come to the river to drink - it’s what makes our game viewing great” Bens Marimane, Safari Guide

Eastern Cape Clients embarking on the Garden Route from Cape Town will end up in this region, which makes it a simple add-on safari option. It benefits from being malariafree too. The oldest reserve in the region, Shamwari (shamwari.com), is home to the Born Free Foundation and of course sports a healthy population of cats. Other stand-out options here include Samara Private Game Reserve (samara.co.za) which is ideal for families thanks to its programme of game drives, guided walks, land rehab projects, rock painting, tree planting and tracking lessons. In 2018 lions were reintroduced so it is now a Big Five game reserve. Addo Elephant Park, an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, is the third largest in South

Main picture: A white rhino. This page, clockwise from top left: an elephant roadblock in Kruger; walking safaris are popular throughout SA; Sabi Sands is famous for leopards


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black-mane lions with accommodation ranging from camping to luxury lodges. Outside this park options include Mattanu Private Game Reserve (mattanu.com) which offers luxury safari tents and log cabins with helicopter game viewing, fly-fishing and quad biking, and Camp Nguni (campnguni. co.za) which offers bush walks and mountain

“South African Tourism’s recent campaign, Discover Your South Africa, revealed that the prospect of coming face-to-face with one of the Big Five is the biggest bookings draw for British travellers”

Africa and home to over 600 elephants as well as black rhino, antelope and cape buffalo. Visitors can book a hop-on-guide or safari in their own car.

North-west Province Bordering Bostwana and an easy drive from Johannesburg, this region is malaria-free. Pilanesberg National Park has 55,000 hectares set on the eroded remnants of an alkaline volcanic crater straddling dry Kalahari landscape and wet Lowveld vegetation. It attracts a huge variety of flora and fauna not often found in close proximity to each other. Madikwe is a Big Five game reserve situated against the Botswana border close to the Kalahari Desert. Covering approximately 60,000 hectares, the rich diversity of vegetation ensures a wide range of game and the topography offers ideal viewing. Day visitors are not allowed into the park, so the number of vehicles around during game drive hours is limited.

Northern Cape

Pictured, clockwise from top left: a giraffe amongst the trees; the suite life in Mpumalanga; a zebra, Karkloof Safari Villas

This is usually one for repeat visitors, being as it is, far away from South Africa’s bestknown attractions. It’s also malaria-free. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari Desert offers vast landscapes and

biking while Tutwa Desert Lodge (tutwalodge. co.za) has eco-friendly accommodation and offers paddling on the Orange River and flyfishing opportunities.

What’s new Accommodation: The Royal Portfolio (theroyalportfolio.com) opens The Farmstead, a

new safari lodge at Royal Malewane on June 1. It will include three luxury farm suites and The Farmhouse – a four-bedroom villa. The lodge will have a spa treatment room, gym, fire pit and dining deck overlooking a waterhole. Royal Malewane’s original lodge has been refurbished and added The Masiya Bar, a contemporary gin and whisky bush-bar with private dining. Kruger Shalati (thebetourism.co.za/selati-2) is an ‘Afro-chic’ boutique hotel opening this year in a restored train carriage on the Selati bridge on Kruger National Park’s Sabie River. Newly opened in December is andBeyond’s Tengile River Lodge (andbeyond. com) in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Raised above ground level, the eco-friendly lodge’s suites feature sunken lounges and bedrooms and bathrooms which open out onto the forest. Within Sabi Sand, the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve’s Selati Camp (sabisabi.com) has unveiled new outdoor lounges, decks and living spaces. Sabi Sabi recently launched three and four-night fly-in safari packages to help its guests make the most of their time.

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Business Class on the new A330-300 is designed to make you feel at home. Unwind in your own living space, enjoy a-la-carte dining served with award-winning South African wines and the latest movies via enhanced high definition touchscreen. Then settle into your forward-facing flat bed with direct access to the aisle, assured of increased privacy and a restful journey ahead. The new Airbus A330-300 now operating from London to Johannesburg. Visit flysaatrade.com or call 020 8576 5555, option 2.

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Activities: A Par 72 nine-hole golf course has opened in Kruger National Park on the outskirts of Skukuza Rest Camp (skukuzagolf. co.za). The course is not fenced-in so golfers may be playing with hippo and baboons. Gondwana Game Reserve (gondwanagr.co.za) now has four mountain bike trails, graded for length, difficulty and suitability. Bikes and helmets are available free of charge. Conservation: Samara Private Game Reserve has become a Big Five reserve by re-introducing lions. Samara also has a project to replant the area with spekboom, an indigenous succulent which has been overgrazed by livestock. Guests receive a cutting to plant or take home. Morukuru (morukuru.com) has launched the Safari-with-a-Purpose three-day programme at Madikwe Game Reserve. Its primary focus is rhino protection, collaring, lion contraception and rhino notching/chipping. The Mantis Collection (mantiscollection.com) Watching giraffe rush hour from the pool, Madikwe Game Reserve

has launched uMfolozi Big Five Reserve,

a 600-hectare tract of tribal land, being incorporated into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. Two five-star lodges are being built, the Mthembu Lodge and Biyela Lodge.

Where to book it ABERCROMBIE & KENT; 01242 386 462 The new 13-night Family Cape Adventure takes in Cape Town, meerkats in the Kalahari and Madikwe. From £6,995 per adult and around £2,965 per child. Flights included. abercrombieandkent.com

AFRICAN PRIDE; 01904 619 428 The 14-day Classic South Africa itinerary has four nights at Cloud 9, Cape Town, one night at Maison Chablis, Franschhoek, two nights at Hlangana Lodge, Oudtshoorn and three nights apiece at Bosavern Guest House, Plettenberg Bay and Pumba Msenga Game Reserve (all B&B except Pumba which is fullboard). From £2,840pp based on September 2019 departures and with flights and car hire included. african-pride.co.uk/login 


OCEAN VIEW HOUSE - Your Oasis by the Sea Ocean View House lies nestled at the foot of the Twelve Apostles and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, with world class restaurants, blue flag beaches and the iconic V&A Waterfront just minutes away. Join us for your stay in the Cape and let our luxurious rooms in a tranquil setting make Ocean View House your oasis by the sea.

T +27 021 438 1982 E info@oceanview-house.com 33 Victoria Rd. Bakoven, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa | www.oceanview-house.com

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how to sell


Colombia Colourful Colombia is like South America in microcosm – from Caribbean beaches to colonial towns and Andean peaks to the Amazon rainforest, says Sarah Gilbert Why sell it? The country is enjoying political and economic stability, with once 'off-limits' regions opening up to tourism. The tourism infrastructure is also improving, along with a good domestic flight network.

Who to sell to Colombia’s rich biodiversity makes it a nature lover’s paradise: from whale watching on the Pacific coast to condors in the Andes and the sloths, monkeys and pink river dolphins of Amacayacu National Park in steamy Amazonas. And twitchers take note: it is said Colombia has more bird species than anywhere else in the world. Beach lovers should head to the Rosario Islands, an idyllic archipelago a short boat trip from Cartagena, or the protected Tayrona National Park, where evergreen jungle meets turquoise sea, complete with swaying palms and giant volcanic boulders. Adventurers will enjoy San Agustín, where the pre-Inca ruins still puzzle archaeologists, or a multi-day trek through the jungle to Ciudad Perdido, a 'Lost City' that predates Machu Picchu. And for culture vultures, Bogotá is home to some of Latin America’s finest museums, including the Gold Museum with its dazzling collection of pre-Colombian artefacts. Medellín has gone from the world’s most dangerous city to possibly its most innovative, with its host of urban regeneration projects.


What to sell Cartagena is the jewel in Colombia’s crown, as well as a popular cruise ship stop. The UNESCO-protected city has a spectacular setting on the Caribbean and its romantic maze of cobbled streets are lined with brightly-coloured mansions, boutique hotels, restaurants and bars. The valleys of Colombia’s scenic Coffee Triangle produce some of the world’s finest beans and, since they opened up to tourism, visitors can get hands-on during a stay at a traditional hacienda, or hike through the hills and raft fast-flowing rapids. The Amazonas region makes up about a third of the country with Leticia the hub for taking boats to jungle lodges surrounded by indigenous villages and fascinating flora and fauna.

What's new?


At La Palma y El Tucan coffee farm, a twohour drive west of Bogotá, visitors can now take an immersive barista course or join the coffee pickers. Los Llanos, an area of vast seasonally

flooded grasslands that rival Brazil’s Pantanal, is opening up to adventure visitors. It’s a one-hour flight from Bogotá to Yopal. Accommodation is simple but expect to spot anaconda, capybaras, anteaters, caiman, howler monkeys and a wealth of birdlife, all living in harmony with the region’s cowboys and cattle.

When to sell it Colombia’s climate varies by region and altitude. The hot, dry season runs from December to March and June to August. The wetter months are April, May, October and November. The busiest (and priciest) times are December to February and Easter. 

BOOK IT WITH… JOURNEY LATIN AMERICA An 11-day tour starts in Bogotá before heading north to picturesque Villa de Leyva, via Zipaquirá salt cathedral, then into the coffee region for hiking before ending in Cartagena. From £2,208pp (not including flights). journeylatinamerica.co.uk


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destination profile

Florida With new flights and attractions in store for 2019, now is a great time to book fun-filled holidays to the Sunshine State, says Jeannine Williamson Top stops Orlando 360 This entertainment complex has dining, shopping and attractions, like the 400ft ICON Orlando - the largest observation wheel on the East Coast. Kennedy Space Center Chat to astronauts, see a piece of the moon, walk through an astronaut hall of fame and see the modern Delta II rocket. JAMES BRANAMAN

The Everglades An exciting airboat ride is one of the best ways to explore America’s largest subtropical wilderness, home to alligators, manatees, turtles and the Florida panther. Sports The five national sports - American football, soccer, baseball, basketball and ice hockey are all easily watched in Miami.


The outside temperature is nudging 30C, but I feel decidedly under-dressed in the standard Orlando uniform of T-shirt and shorts. I follow a sign to the South Pole and embark on a gentle family ride through an ice cave before stepping into a snowy landscape. “Are they real?” a lad asks his mother as we come face to face with SeaWorld’s 250-strong penguin colony. Of course they are. In the world’s theme park capital there’s always a surprise waiting around the corner and in this case it’s Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. A cool place in every sense of the word, it’s one that can be pre-booked - along with single or combination tickets for a multitude of other Florida attractions - through Do Something Different and Attraction World, providing increased revenue for agents and value for clients.

What’s new “As well as being a large and diverse state, Florida is constantly evolving, so there’s always something new to discover,” said Gill Standeven, Visit Florida Account Director – Trade. “In 2019, visitors can take advantage of the new Norwegian flight to Tampa, enjoy events and festivals throughout the year, explore 825 miles of beautiful beaches, as well as discovering new rides and attractions at the theme


parks, including the much anticipated opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.” A must for all Star Wars fans, this highlyanticipated new themed area is set to open this autumn and will include a fullsized fleet of X-wing star fighters, life-size Millennium Falcon starship with immersive experiences that put guests into battle and provide the chance to interact with Chewbacca and other characters. There are more thrills at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay with Tigris, Florida’s tallest launch rollercoaster opening this spring. Riders will be catapulted through looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops and a 150ft skyward surge at speeds of more than 60mph.

The MANTA RAY INN is a home away from home! With one- and two-bedroom oceanfront apartments, this charming inn offers panoramic views of South Florida's best sandy beach Recommended by Fodor’s - winner of the acclaimed White Glove Award and Number one on TripAdvisor

www.mantarayinn.com 1715 S. SURF RD, HOLLYWOOD, FL 33019 T: 001 954 921 9666 | F: 001 954 929 8220 | E: INFO@MANTARAYINN.COM sellingtravel.co.uk

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On a gentler note, Legomovie World is set to open at Legoland Florida Resort. It will feature three family-friendly marquee attractions, inspired by the characters and themes of The Lego Movie and Lego Movie 2. Down on Florida’s white sand beaches, sandcastle lessons have been launched in Destin (families can learn how to build one that’s 3ft-plus tall, and in Sarasota there are free yoga sessions on the beaches of Venice, Manasota and Nokomis/North Jetty.


destination profile

Art attack


Culture vultures will be interested in the Sarasota Museum of Art, a new contemporary art museum dedicated to global art since the 1960s opening in December 2019. In West Palm Beach the Norton Museum of Art recently unveiled a $100 million Norman Foster-designed extension and in Sarasota the new Discover Sarasota Public Art Tour visits the city’s sculptures, monuments and murals, including a replica of Michelangelo’s David. Following a two-year multi-million dollar renovation and expansion, Kissimmee’s




charming Old Town reopens in April with a collection of individual shops, themed restaurants and retro rides.

New places to stay The 200-room Baker’s Cay Resort is the first Curio Collection by Hilton property in the Florida Keys. Facilities include a beachside tequila and taco venue, pools with a waterfall grotto and a winding nature trail. The Biltmore Hotel, a National Historic Landmark in the exclusive Coral Gables, is under refurbishment with plans to restore the 18-hole golf course to the grandeur of the 1925 Donald Ross-designed layout. The six-story, 200-room Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista is being converted into an IHG upper-scale Crowne Plaza property, due to open in March. Visit Florida has introduced a new online travel training programme, Florida Travel Pro (visitfloridatravelpro.com). Five main categories: fundamentals, beaches, beyond the beaches, experiences and activities modules are fun and interactive and upon completion of all five users get a diploma. 

BOOK IT WITH... NORTH AMERICA TRAVEL SERVICE Priced from £2,869pp, the 14-night Florida Favourites fly-drive holiday takes in Orlando, Longboat Key, Naples, Key West, Islamorada and Miami, including flights, car hire and accommodation on a room-only basis with other options available on request. northamericatravelservice.co.uk 0333 016 5543

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February 2019

Visit USA news t h is m o n t h ' s top s tor i es from v i si t u sa' s members • v i si t u sa. o rg.uk

Tampa is booming

TAMPA is enjoying a hotel boom. Among the projects on the drawing board is the new 519-room JW Marriott Tampa, which will include the city's highest rooftop bar with sweeping views of downtown and the bay. It is set to open next January – in time for Super Bowl LV in the city.


Hollywood EDITION WEST Hollywood will unveil a new landmark hotel in 2019. The West Hollywood EDITION will feature 190 rooms and suites and facilities will include a rooftop pool, South Caro

a six-treatment room spa, lobby lounge, lina reso

basement club and signature restaurant.


EDITION bills its properties as hotels that don't

Myrtle Beach ready for influx

SOUTH Carolina’s most popular beach destination is expecting a surge of UK visitors when British Airways introduces a twice-weekly service between Heathrow and Charleston from April 4. Myrtle Beach, a city and holiday resort on the Atlantic coast known for its Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of beaches, welcomed 18 million visitors in 2017 with the UK the largest overseas market after Canada. "We are already popular with British visitors looking for the ultimate U.S. east coast beach holiday but the convenience of this new direct flight, and the short (twohour) drive to the coast should further heighten interest,” commented Kimberley Hartley, International Sales Manager for Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. “It will also open up the Southern region for fly-drives,” she added. discoversouthcarolina.com

act like hotels.


New in Nashville

A NEW attraction is taking shape in Tennessee's musical city. Fifth and Broadway is a $400 million project that will feature residential apartments, high-end shops and restaurants and the new National Museum of African American Music. This will open in spring 2020 and include 56,000 square feet of galleries, exhibitions, and artifacts.


the usa in brief... fans of the ATTRACTIONS hit TV series The Walking Dead can now join a walking tour of the studious where it is filmed. Riverwood Studios in Senoia, about 35 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia, offers the tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors get to see iconic sets from the eight-season series and behind-the-set locations. exploregeorgia.org

THE New Orleans Jazz and Heritage festival, an outdoor celebration of music, food and history, will mark its golden anniversary this year. The two-weekend festival takes place April 25 to May 5 at the New Orleans Fair Grounds. In addition to the music, the event includes a food fair showcasing Louisiana and international delicacies. neworleans.com FESTIVALS

THE number of UK visitors to Los Angeles hit an all-time high last year. The 382,000 total was an increase of three per cent over 2017. Total tourism numbers from around the globe hit 50 million for the first time – two years earlier than the 2020 target for this number the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board set in 2013. discoverlosangeles.com CITIES

Look out for our Visit USA Association online Travel Update for the pick of members' news

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MEMBERs' sPOTLIGHT nORWEGIan's LOW-COsT WIfI OPTIOn NORWEGIAN claims to be the first low-cost carrier to offer free wifi on intercontinetal flights. More than 50% of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners are expected to offer connectivity by 2020. It will also be introduced on the 737 Max fleet. A highspeed premium option will cost $14.95 for three hours. norwegian.com

MaJOR nEW REsORT fOR KIssIMMEE THE LARGEST Margaritaville Resort to date is due to open in Kissimmee early this year. The waterside mega-resort will feature over 300 acres of amenities and places to stay, including a 184-room Margaritaville Hotel, priced from £156 a night, and 1,000 cottages ranging from one to nine bedrooms. experience kissimmee.com/uk



has new


Premier tours in popular Usa

PREMIER Holidays has added new experiences and tours to its latest America programme following a bumper year for sales in 2018. The 2019 brochure, valid for travel until March 2020, features 21 new experiences in Florida, the Deep South, California, Las Vegas, West and the North East. Six new self-drive itineraries and escorted tours and 38 new hotel options have also been added. The operator says sales to California for 2019 are up 33%, and up 10% to New York compared to this time last year, with bookings to the Deep South states, particularly Tennessee and Louisiana, also healthy. New escorted tours include an eight-night small group tour of Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, priced from £3,299pp, and a 10-night Western Highlights coach tour of San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, from £1,599pp trade.premierholidays.co.uk.

aer Lingus refresh

aER Lingus has rolled out its refreshed brand, featuring an updated logo and new livery. The logo features a restyled shamrock, with heart-shaped leaves that the airline says shows of the 'warmth and hospitality of the airline'. The body of the newlook Aer Lingus aircraft is white. Aer Lingus plans to increase its North Atlantic fleet from 17 to 30 aircraft by 2023.

Ba back to future

BRITIsH Airways is marking its 100th birthday in 2109 by painting select aircraft with popular designs from its past. First into service next month is a Boeing 747 from the 1964-1974 era that was flown by BA's predecessor, British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). batraveltrade.com

When did arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism join Visit Usa? We joined in July 2018. What do you see as the main benefits of membership? Visit USA provides a great platform for Arkansas to communicate its great tourism assets to both the travel trade and consumers Which Visit Usa events will you be participating in? We have signed up for the Visit USA Ball in July. This fun annual event is also a great networking night. Why is arkansas a ‘must visit’ state for U.s. bound travellers? The Natural State has a mixture of outdoors excitement, vivid history and authentic Southern hospitality. Arkansas fits seamlessly into a self-drive tour of the region and is easily accessibly from its five neighbouring Southern states. Tell us some of your top arkansas experiences The capital, Little Rock, has the amazing William J. Clinton Presidential Center, which you could easily spend a day at, and the thought-provoking Little Rock Central High School. Less than an hour's drive from Little Rock, Hot Springs offers an authentic 1930s Spa experience. arkansas.com


Subscribe to the Visit USA Association online Travel Update at visitusa.org.uk

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Luxury Travel Roadshows YOUR INVITATION

Be inspired!

Be inspired! Uncovering destinations, brands Be inspired by luxury! Join us in London

and experiences which truly embody luxury

or Manchester where we’ll be uncovering

destinations, brands and experiences which truly embody luxury - whether that’s barefoot or seven-star. There will be prizes too!

We’ll be identifying trends and opportunities for upselling and sharing ideas for creating the very best luxury holidays

Join Selling Travel and our luxury travel partners



Register to attend at sellingtravel.co.uk/events sellingtravelmag

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the review

Brand USA reveals MegaFam itineraries BRAND USA’s multidestination MegaFam will take place from May 9-17, 2019 and will see 100 agents from the UK & Ireland experience one of seven itineraries across the USA. Itineraries are: Southern Sights: Heritage and Hospitality, visiting South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama; Tropical Territories: Sunsets and Salsa, stopping at Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Summits and Cities: East Coast Exploration, visiting Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York State; Wild West: Peaks and Plains, visiting Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota; Mid-Atlantic Memories: Hotspots and History, visiting Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia; Western Wonders: Valleys and Vistas, exploring California and Arizona; and Cowboy Country: Cities and Cultures across Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri. Agents must book American Airlines and British Airways flights to the USA before March 29, 2019 for a place on the fam, and complete the training at: USADiscoveryProgram.co.uk

Riviera offers active trips


RIVER cruise and escorted touring specialist Riviera Travel is offering more active holidays to guests as part of its new Walk & Discover range of escorted tours. The new tours, available for autumn and winter 2019 departures, offer walkingled excursions in response to customer demand for an increased desire to explore and discover destinations including Italy, Austria, Slovenia, France and New Zealand. The walking option is available every other day, with easy to moderate walks available and flexible packages giving guests the chance to choose the level of difficulty they would like. Each walk is led by a qualified guide. “We have listened to customer

feedback and introduced these tours to accommodate guests who want a more active holiday but don’t want to compromise on the cultural insight Riviera escorted tours are known for”, says Will Sarson, Head of Specialist Product at Riviera. Itineraries available include the eight-day Austrian Lakes and Mountains, taking in Krimml Waterfalls, Lake Wolfgang and Salzburg. Prices start from £1,099pp including return flights, overseas transfers, four-star accommodation and walks. Further afield, the 25-day New Zealand itinerary is priced from £6,299pp and includes return flights, overseas transfers, accommodation, some meals and walks. rivieratravel.co.uk

New product from Affordable Car Hire AFFORDABLE Car Hire is celebrating its 15th year with an overhaul of its brand and the launch of a new motorhomes product. Along with a new fivepointed star logo, the motorhome product, called Affordable Motorhome Rentals, will offer commission on these rentals for agents in 20,000 locations across 150 countries from the UK, US and Canada to Japan and Australasia. A live booking engine has been built to enable Affordable to now sell motorhomes, along with all its existing car and motorbike hire products, airport parking and lounges. The website is faster, able to display more product and allow extras to be added to motorhome bookings, from more bedding, to cups and saucers. affordablecarhire.com

Happy New Year sale from Scenic

New deal for Travelpack has a deal for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, seven nights is from £1569pp on an all inclusive basis including return transfers. For travel November 10 to December 21, 2019. For details contact: TRAVELPACK


SCENIC’S New Year River and Touring Sale is on until February 15 with savings of up to 40% plus discounted upgrades. The sale offers free private door-to-door transfers across all 2019 Europe river cruises and free Business Class flight upgrades (one-way), across all Australasia itineraries. Highlights include the 27-day Very Best of Australia & New Zealand Escorted Tour from £7,995pp. scenic.co.uk/newyear


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the review


Back-Roads boosts Asia

CENTARA GRAND RESORT MALDIVES Premium All-Inclusive Resort in South Ari Atoll Great Value for Money with Summer/Winter Discounts 25% Discount on Room Rates Book this offer as far ahead as next Winter Valid for stays between 01 May 2019 – 31 Mar 2020 BY BEN COREN

BACK-ROADS Touring has released a 2019/20 Asia brochure covering destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. The latest brochure features four of the operator’s most popular tours with improved itineraries, culinary experiences and boutique accommodation. “The new brochure and revised itineraries have been designed with our new and loyal travellers in mind, with customer feedback playing a huge role in the tours’ innovation,” says Back-Roads Touring Global General Manager, Ed Pettitt. “Our new Asia brochure is a standout offering, providing

an ideal balance of guided introductions to authentic local experiences”, adds Pettitt. The revised Wonders of Thailand tour will now include accommodation at the Sibsan Resort in Chiang Mai, while the Flavours of Vietnam tour includes the Pilgrimage Village Boutique Spa and Resort. The Vietnam and Cambodia Discovery tour features a cooking class at Luke Nguyen’s GRAIN cooking studio in Ho Chi Minh City.

DRIFT THELU VELIGA RETREAT MALDIVES ONE OF THE SMALLEST HIDEAWAY ISLANDS IN MALDIVES Final Winter Discounts – Receive up to 25% OFF PLUS Meal Upgrade from HB to FB or FB to All Inclusive! For stays between now – 25th April 2019


Premier adds short-haul New Year deals PREMIER Holidays is adding short-haul deals to the Channel Islands and Isle of Man in its New Year campaign. The deals include incentives such as free half-board, a free gin tasting workshop in Guernsey, four nights for the price of three and complimentary room upgrades. trade.premierholidays.co.uk


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


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the review

Bourne re-launches award

Life-changing year of travel campaign LUXURY tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has launched a collection of experiences designed to immerse travellers in a variety of destinations and cultures. The Life-Changing Year of Travel campaign sees A&K’s travel experiences grouped into 12 different themes including Make a Difference, Walk on the Wild Side, Tantalise Your Tastebuds and Celebrate. Make a Difference includes Conservation in South Australia - a stay at formersheep-station-turned-stylish homestead Arkaba to take part in its conservation programme monitoring the rare wildlife and landscape; or Restore Art In Italy With An Expert, where guests can take part in a restoration project in Florence. abercrombiekent.co.uk


BOURNE Leisure is offering a monthly prize to the agency that best promotes and sells the three Bourne Leisure brands. Each month one agency will be crowned winner along with a trophy. Other prizes range from Champagne to hampers. Agents looking to put themselves forward for consideration can email trade.sales@bourne-leisure.co.uk or check the Brainz Agent Hub Facebook feed for information. Agents could also win over £150 in Love2Shop vouchers weekly with Bourne Leisure’s Time to Save incentive. Agents that make and register a Butlin’s, Haven or Warner Leisure Hotels booking between January 7 and February 18, will

be in with the chance of winning a top prize of a £100 Love2Shop voucher, a £50 voucher for second and £20 voucher for third. Bookings are valid for guest arrivals throughout 2019 and agents can register bookings at BourneLeisureSales.co.uk. Agents can learn about all three of Bourne Leisure’s brands: Butlin’s, Haven and Warner Leisure Hotels, by completing the new ‘Train with Brainz’ online training modules. Agents who complete it before February 28 could win a dinner date for two worth up to £30 and claim a free day pass to visit a Bourne property of their choice.

Corsican Places launches brochure CORSICAN Places has launched its 2019 brochure with new properties and flights on offer. The operator has added eight new flights into Bastia, Calvi, Ajaccio and Figari, working in partnership with Air Corsica in addition to its own charter flight. This includes a new Saturday flight into Calvi. The new flights enable three- or four-night short break options along with 10and 11-night holidays and multi-centre options, along with the usual seven- or fournight trips. The operator has extended its season into October, allowing customers more choice and encouraging mountain, cultural and active breaks as well as beach holidays. corsica.co.uk


Britain and Ireland with Shearings

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

AGENTS can now sell Shearings Holidays’ second edition Britain [&] Ireland brochure which features new flight-inclusive holidays, event breaks and coach tours. Three editions of the brochure have been created (North, South and West Country) and to assist agents further, the agent toolkit has been updated with new posters, images and window cards. shearings.com/toolkit


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the review: cruise

Cruise Update

Win an African cruise


CRUISE NEWS IN BRIEF A-ROSA River Cruises has announced that six of its 11-strong fleet will undergo full refurbishment over the next few years. Upgrades include enhanced wifi, 42-inch flat screen TVs in all cabins and refreshed public areas. arosa-cruises.com

ANDY HARMER, CLIA UK & Ireland Director

THE year has got off to a busy start for CLIA as we get ready for a jam-packed calendar of events over the coming few months. For two weeks from March 11, CLIA will run its biggestever river cruise roadshow, visiting Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford and Ipswich. The evenings, which are free to CLIA members, will be dedicated to river cruise and will offer CLIA advice on trends, experiences and sales opportunities. Then on March 28 we’ll be hosting our first-ever expedition cruise forum in London, also free to CLIA members. With demand for adventure cruises on the rise, the event has been created to help agents capitalise on the growing popularity in this sector. Plans are also racing ahead for our flagship event, the CLIA Conference 2019, which will take place in Southampton, May 15-17. The theme is ‘Next Generation’, which explores how cruise holiday experiences will change, both onboard and ashore. The theme also looks at how such new experiences could attract the ‘Next Generation’ of holidaymakers. CLIA agent members can register for our events at


U BY UNIWORLD has announced its ship The B will be moving to central Europe for the 2020 season. It will sail from Brussels to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to Frankfurt. ubyuniworld.com


CROISIEUROPE is giving agents the chance to win one of eight places on a Southern Africa cruise with its booking incentive. Agents have from January 1 to April 30 this year to make as many bookings for the RV African Dream as they can. The top eight sellers will win a four-day cruise on Lake Kariba onboard the African Dream, a four-day stay in a luxury lodge near Chobe National Park overlooking the Zambezi and overnights in Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. Flights and gratuities are also included. To be in with a chance, agents must sell a minimum of two cabins on any 2019 or 2020 African Dream itinerary. Winners will be announced in May and the

prize must be taken on selected dates in 2019. Launched at the beginning of 2018, the RV African Dream’s fourday cruise features safaris by boat and open air vehicle. The ship can accommodate 16 guests in eight suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests can also enjoy views of the scenery and wildlife from the 360-degree wraparound sun deck which features a hot tub. The cruise is complemented by a four-day stay in a luxury lodge on CroisiEurope’s own private island, where the Chobe River meets the Zambezi, featuring eight bungalows with private splash pools, open-air showers and panoramic views.

SEABOURN is welcoming solo travellers with single supplements starting at 25% above its Signature Savings Event fares on selected voyages until February 28. seabourn.com

PONANT is now offering unlimited free wifi to all passengers throughout its ships for the entire cruise. ponant.com

EUROPEAN Waterways is investing more than £400,000 in a fleet-wide upgrade programme for cabin redesigns, upgraded amenities and modernised bathrooms on its hotel barges. europeanwaterways.com


Princess Cruises’ 2020 Japan programme now on sale PRINCESS Cruises’ full 2020 Japan programme is now on sale. Throughout the year, the 2,670-guest Diamond Princess will sail roundtrip from Tokyo and Kobe (close to Osaka) on over 50 departures to more than 50 destinations in 11 countries. Voyages range from five to 28 days, giving guests the chance to enjoy local experiences onboard the ship which has Japanesethemed amenities like an onsen

(bath house) and sushi restaurant. Sailings include the eight-day Japan Explorer with Kumano Fireworks cruise from Tokyo, departing August 15, priced from £1449pp. The 14-day Borneo and Japan cruise departs from Singapore to Tokyo on December 30, with prices from £1769pp. All cruises currently have a £50pp deposit. princess.com


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the review: checking out

Checking out...


STAYCITY APARTHOTELS – Birmingham, UK BY JESSICA POOK THE BACKGROUND: Staycity has over 3,000 apartments across ten different cities in the UK, Ireland and France. Staycity Aparthotels in Birmingham’s Newhall Square has 142 one-bedroom and 24 twobedroom apartments that can accommodate up to six people. THE LOCATION: Situated in the city’s historical Jewellery Quarter, the property is less than a 10-minute walk from Birmingham city centre and New Street Train Station. As the hotel is in a busy area, street parking is not an option. There is limited space available in the on-site car park or, alternatively, a 24-hour NCP car park is just next door. Both options cost £12 per night. THE ROOM: My compact and modern one-bedroom apartment consisted of a living area with flat screen TV, a fully-equipped kitchen

THE VERDICT Perfect for a short stay in Birmingham for those who want to be self-sufficient. Staff were friendly and helpful and made me feel very welcome upon arrival. The location is within easy access of some of Birmingham’s main attractions and the room is both comfortable and stylish. The brand has

with hob, microwave, cooking utensils and dishwasher, plus a dining area, bedroom with king-size bed and bathroom. I was particularly impressed with the powerful and roomy shower. KEY FACILITIES: There is a fitness centre on-site along with a café – breakfast is available at an additional

cost. There is free wifi access throughout the property. RESTAURANTS/BARS: There’s no restaurant on-site but Staycity Aparthotels is just a five-minute walk from the bars and restaurants of bustling Broad Street. Address: 88 Charlotte Street, Birmingham, B3 1PW  staycity.com;  0121 237 5600

recently launched a subbrand, Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity, which I’m keen to try after my experience. RATES: Nightly rates start from £71 for a onebedroom apartment.


THE BACKGROUND: Oaks Hotels & Resorts has 51 properties across key locations in Australia, and Oaks on Market is a 4.5-star serviced apartment tower offering 280 studios and apartments. THE LOCATION: Located in the

heart of the city close to some great restaurants, the Collins Street shops, the iconic Flinders Street Station and the tram network. THE ROOM: My spacious onebedroom apartment with floor-toceiling windows had fantastic views. The apartment was modern and

minimalist in style with an open living room (with huge TV). The kitchenette was well-equipped and the bedroom and en suite were both large. All rooms had air-conditioning. KEY FACILITIES: The reception area doubles as the social hub of the property, complete with contemporary furnishings and with an informal restaurant alongside. There was a small but well set up gym and lovely pool and sauna. 30 minutes’ free wifi a day is included. RESTAURANTS/BARS: The Oak & Vine restaurant within the central hub offered a wide selection of fresh seasonal dining options plus a good bar portfolio and daily happy hour. Room service was available. An ‘opt to go green’ no cleaning option earnt me a AUS$5 a day credit here.

THE VERDICT For foodies and sightseers of all demographics this smart contemporary property is ideally located and well set up for a fussfree city stay. The apartments are spacious and the public spaces have a warm and welcoming vibe. The views are great and the staff are friendly and helpful. RATES: Prices start from around £100 a night.

Address: 60 Market Street, Melbourne  oakshotels.com  1300 790 687


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Anse Chastanet Resort, Saint Lucia, is offering the trade a ‘Let Us Indulge You’ package that includes a complimentary spa treatment, a scuba or snorkel experience, a jungle biking or kayaking pass and a half-day sailing cruise on the hotel yacht. Rates per person, per day in 2019 are £195 for travel between March 5 and April 15, £160 April 16 to May 31 and November 1 to December 19 and £143 June 1 to October 31. ansechastanet.com

DENISE GREENE Managing Director, Sunrise Marketing



WHAT CTO activities do you get involved in? We participate in networking events, agent training opportunities, consumer marketing and events – as and when client budgets allow.


TELL us about Sunrise Marketing and its Caribbean offering We work closely with independently-owned hotels as well Dream Yacht Charter which has bases on multiple Caribbean islands. We’re committed to showcasing the authentic and unspoilt hospitality of the region.


WHAT’S your top Caribbean tip? Go often and enjoy the culture and atmosphere. Never assume that having visited one island you know the Caribbean. It’s just not possible to ‘tick off’ the region, so don’t try!

Agets could be enjoying a view like this

Win a fam trip to Jamaica AS part of its ‘Sell It & See It’ trade campaign, the AIRPORT OPENS IN Jamaica Tourist Board is offering one of 50 places on a THE CAYMAN ISLANDS series of fam trips to the island this year. These will take place in April, May, June, September Owen Roberts International and October and are open to any UK agent already Airport (ORIA) in the Cayman selling holidays to Jamaica. To be entered into the prize Islands has re-opened after a draw, agents need to make a booking to the Caribbean £50 million refurbishment and island, log on to jamaicarewards.co.uk and register the redevelopment project. The details. The first winners will be announced in March with project has seen the renovation others revealed throughout the year. of the old departure hall, an “What better way to equip agents with the latest enlarged security screening destination updates than by checkpoint, a new immigration having them experience the administrative area and a new offerings first-hand?” said retail area. Construction of new Torrance Lewis, District Sales arches, landside canopy and el ing Trav Manager at the Jamaica additional internal renovations The Sell ry u x e – Lu Dialogu London Tourist Board. will complete the project. in Travel – visitjamaica.com visitcaymanislands.com and 19 h rc a M rch 20 ster Ma Manche ingtravel. ll visit: se vents AN ROYAL Caribbean co.uk/e overis offering the-water deposits of £75pp wedding chapel on selected 2019 has opened at the and 2020 sailings Sandals Ochi as part of its ‘One resort in Ocho Big Sale’. Guests Rios, Jamaica. The booking before Say ‘I do’ with a view Royal Caribbean at sea venue features March 18, 2019 can panoramic views and a glass-floored aisle also go all-inclusive with a Duluxe Drinks and can hold up to 40 guests. Package for the first and second guest and a Meanwhile, the brand has eliminated the Refreshments Package for the third and use of styrofoam at its resorts on seven fourth guest. This includes sailings to the Caribbean islands. This follows the removal brand’s private island in the Caribbean, of single-use plastic straws across all Sandals CocoCay, when Perfect Day at CocoCay is and Beaches Resorts in 2018. sandals.co.uk launched in May. royalcaribbean.co.uk

don’t miss

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


WHAT are the benefits of being a CTO member? Having spent two terms on the Advisory Board of the CTO UK Chapter, I’ve come to appreciate the broad range of knowledge that is pooled into the focused activities. We value the networking opportunities and the ability to reach travel partners and consumers for our clients.



Training, competitions, events February 2019


Hot Dubai hotel NEWS

Quick Quiz Are you a Simon Shopping Expert?

1. There are 40 Premium Outlets in the USA. TRUE / FALSE

JUMEIRAH Al Qasr in Dubai has refurbished all 294 of its rooms and suites. The room designs reflect traditional Arabic styles with a contemporary flair. If your clients can afford it, the Royal Suite and Presidential Suite have seen significant design changes too, particularly to the former's opulent dining room. All guests staying at the hotel have access to a private beach, pool and gardens and a choice of restaurants and bars. Rates start from AED 900. jumeirahbeacon.com

Road Show

Thailand kicks off in February

2. Mills Outlets are found in California, Florida and New York. TRUE / FALSE

TIPTO has launched its latest training incentive offering one agent and a friend the chance to win a visit to The Shard's viewing platform as well as a meal in a restaurant of their choice. Agents need to complete all of the supplier training modules online, including updated content from Shearings, before February 28. On completion agents gain gold star status and are automatically entered into the draw. A winner will be chosen at random once the competition closes and informed directly. tipto.co.uk


Answers: 1: False 2: True




Thailand Expert I Modules: 8 THE TOURISM Authority of Thailand is hitting the road this month with dates for the Amazing Thailand Road Show stretching into April. Agents wishing to attend should register early as places book out quickly - Dublin, on February 27, is already at capacity. To register interest email marketing@tourismthailand. co.uk. Dates on the list include Galway (February 28), Glasgow (March 20), Liverpool (March 21), Bournemouth (April 10) and Brighton (April 11). Don't forget to visit Thailand Expert for the latest news, discounts, events and more. Become a Thailand Expert and you could also earn a ÂŁ50 Love2Shop voucher.

TIPTO to The Shard


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Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!

Low deposits return

Working in partnership



A-Z of available courses

NEWMARKET Holidays is bringing back £99 deposits across a range of air-inclusive escorted tours. "Following feedback from our trade partners, and the previous successes such incentives have enjoyed, we wanted to give our customers some encouragement to book and plan ahead now,” says David Charman, Commercial Director at Newmarket Holidays. The offer follows on from the launch of the operator's latest escorted tours brochure which is packed with 35 new holidays covering the globe and offering a range of experiences.

ABTA Alaska Amtrak Vacations Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Aruba Beaches Resorts Boucan Hotel Chocolat Bourne Leisure Butlins Centara Hotels & Resorts Cirque de Soleile Corsican | Sardinian Places Costa Rica Cruise Adviser Elegant Hotels Essential Detail


Flanders Fort Myers & Sanibel GDS Haven Hotels Hawaii

New Incentive

St. Kitts rewards new bookings

Heritage Resort Jerusalem Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts Las Vegas Macao Malaysia Melia Hotels &

St. Kitts Specialist I Modules: 4

Brainy incentive INCENTIVE

BOURNE Leisure is giving agents the opportunity to enjoy a dinner date for two worth £30 at a restaurant of their choice. Agents can secure a prize draw entry by completing the 'Train with Brainz' online course in full by February 28. There are three chances to win and all those completing the course can also claim a free day-pass to visit a Butlin's, Haven or Warner Leisure Hotels property of their choice. What's more, there are loads of sales tool available for agents to download at bourneleisure.co.uk/sellingtools and collateral is available to order for delivery within three to five days. bourneexpert.co.uk

ST. KITTS Tourism Authority is offering a triple incentive for all new bookings logged on the St. Kitts Rewards programme. As part of its participation in the My Booking Rewards Peaks Campaign, agents can earn £30, plus bonuses, for each St. Kitts booking logged between now and April 30. To qualify, all bookings must include flights and a minimum of seven nights' accommodation at a St. Kitts hotel. Agents can also earn bonus rewards from four hotels, earning £30 extra at Belle Mont Farm or Park Hyatt, £15 for bookings to Ocean Terrace Inn and £10 for bookings to Sugar Bay Club. Register at stkittsrewards.co.uk and log each booking to earn the cash bonus. stkittsspecialist.com

Resorts New York city New York state Namibia Newmarket Holidays Ontario Qatar Railbookers SAGA Saint Lucia Sandals Resorts Serenity Holidays Seychelles Simon Malls Solus St Kitts Thailand TIPTO Turks & Caicos US Airtours Veranda Resorts Virgin Limited Edition Voyages SNCF Warner Leisure Hotels Windjammer Landing Hotel traveluni.com

powered by

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sustainable travel

The year of living

consciously Surveys have hailed 2019 as the year of sustainable travel, but while many operators and resorts are now catering to the environmentally conscious consumer, airlines still have a way to go, says Lauren Jarvis


nergy and resource conservation is at the heart of everything we do,” boasts the sustainability page on the airline’s website. I notice this bold statement after landing back in the UK after a long-haul flight which, frankly, didn’t match up to this grandiose greenfriendly hype. On boarding the plane, I took the in-flight magazine from its plastic case, opened my plastic-wrapped blanket and plastic-packed headphones, at three meals from a plastic tray that contained three packs of plastic cutlery, munched two plastic-wrapped snacks and opened three plastic pouches during the flight to access napkins and (plastic) drink stirrers. Each time I snoozed, the plastic cup I attempted to retain for the entire journey was whisked away. At one point I woke up mid-cup-clearing and found myself in a tug-of-war with an overly efficient air

stewardess who was clearly puzzled by my desire to use it more than once. When I explain why – “I am trying to use less plastic” – she looks bemused, walks away and swipes it on her next fly by.

The tip of the iceberg Sadly, the majority of the annual four billion air passengers will experience something similar to me. A staggering five million-plus tonnes of air passenger waste is produced each year (most of it paper, cardboard and plastic destined for landfill or incineration) but the International Air Transport Association (IATA; iata.org) is pushing for changes in waste regulations. “For flights landing in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA, legislation dictates that waste often has to be incinerated because of the risk of transmission of animal diseases,” says IATA’s Chris Goater.

“Replacing single-use plastic isn’t easy, as metal isn’t allowed for safety reasons, while ceramic increases weight and therefore C02 emissions.” IATA estimates that waste disposal costs airlines around £400 million per year. “We could get a little more momentum for change if people realise the financial and environmental cost,” says Goater. If there was ever a year for radical change in the way travel businesses do business, surely 2019 is it. Among many recent surveys highlighting a similar shift, booking.com’s Travel Predictions for 2019 puts sustainable tourism – including the reduction of single-use plastics – centre stage, with 86% of travellers questioned saying they would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay. Just as Iceland has raised the eco-bar for supermarkets, pledging to eliminate plastic


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sustainable travel

packaging from its own-brand products by 2023, Portuguese airline Hi Fly is the surprise leader in the aviation industry’s sluggish race to ditch single-use plastics. The airline’s first single-use-plastic-free flight took off in December, with Hi Fly’s President Paulo Mirpuri vowing to eliminate all plastic waste by the end of 2019. Destinations, tour operators and resorts are also responding to the demands of the environmentally conscious consumer. Over 30 countries have already banned plastic bags (half of them in Africa), with others pledging to significantly reduce single-use plastics. Costa Rica plans to be the first country to completely eradicate them (by 2021), while Thomas Cook will remove 70 million single-use plastics from its resorts over the coming year. “Travellers are aware of the need to reduce plastic usage and are seeking out countries, resorts and operators that are

making changes,” says Jo Ruxton, founder and CEO of Plastic Oceans (plasticoceans. uk), who is working with Steppes Travel to highlight the impact of plastics. “For many working in tourism, sustainability will be the key to success in 2019.”

What’s new? Hotels: Grenada’s first ‘climate smart’ hotel rooms have opened at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort (truebluebay.com). The 22 self-sustaining Cocoa Pods use collected rainwater and solar energy. The 50-room Akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok (theakyra.com) is Asia’s first single-useplastic-free hotel. Guests are given refillable water bottles, non-plastic shopping bags and toiletries in pottery containers. The ‘leave no trace’ Nyamatusi Camp in Zimbabwe opens in April with six luxury tents powered by solar panels and Tesla batteries (trueluxury.travel).


Joali Maldives (joali.com) has opened on Muravandhoo Island with 73 beach and water villas. The resort has an organic vegetable garden and all food and plastic waste is recycled. The recently opened Gennadi Grand Resort (gennadigrandresort.com) on the Greek island of Rhodes operates innovative energy management technology, water conservation and recycling practices. The Pavilions Himalayas Lake View (pavilionshotels.com) is the first tented luxury eco-resort in Nepal. It has eight villas. The newly renovated Datai Langkawi in Malaysia (thedatai.com) boasts a new Nature Centre, while recycling plants will ensure that by 2020 no waste will leave the resort. Cruising: Intrepid Travel (intrepidtravel.com) has added small-ship adventure cruises in Asia for 2019. Cruises are low impact, carbon offset, have a no single-use plastics rule and support local restaurants.


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sustainable travel

“Responsible tourism should deliver better places for locals to live in and tourists to visit; and consider the environmental, economic and social impacts of any holiday” Justin Francis, CEO & Founder, Responsible Travel

Clockwise from top left: akyra Thonglor Bangkok - its sister property akyra Sukhumvit Bangkok is single-use-plastic-free; Datai Langkawi Malaysia’s Nature Centre; a beach clean-up

Great Rail Journeys (greatrail.com) will launch a five-star exclusive river cruise charter programme in April, offering guests the chance to offset their C02 consumption. Polar specialists Chimu Adventures with Hurtigruten to offer low carbon footprint trips to the polar regions. Celebrity Cruises (celebritycruises.co.uk) launches the 100-guest Celebrity Flora in May. Designed for the Galapagos Islands, the energy-efficient ship’s anchorless technology protects the sea floor. Aurora Expeditions (auroraexpeditions.com. au) will launch the new Greg Mortimer in Antarctica in October. Its Ulstein X-Bow technology will reduce fuel consumption.

and by dinghy with marine conservationist Jo Ruxton. From £6,695pp, leaving on October 20 2019. Clean up a beach: MedSailors (medsailors.com) which offers skippered adventure sailing holidays for 20- to 35-year-olds, have launched beach clean-ups and the Floatie Recycling Programme to tackle plastic pollution in the Med. Seven-day trips from £505pp. Join the wild ones: Only 400 people live on, isolated Lord Howe Island in New South Wales and tourist numbers are strictly limited, protecting the pristine forest and 200-plus bird species. Take bushwalks around Mount Gower and the Valley of Shadows or go snorkelling at Ned’s Beach.

Top experiences

Where to book it

Protect the ocean: &Beyond (andbeyond. com) has launched its Oceans Without Borders Journey: a six-day experience offering insight into marine conservation and community development. Staying at the Vamizi Lodge in Mozambique, guests will be guided by marine biologist, Dr Tessa Hempson. From £8,385pp including flights and $1,500 (£1,167) conservation donation . Plant sacred trees: Helping to reduce C02 and combat deforestation, the Latin America Travel Company will plant one tree per person per day in Cusco’s Sacred Valley for the duration of their 11-day Inca Trail itinerary. From £2,719pp, including flights. (thelatinamericatravelcompany.com) Be a plastic warrior: Steppes Travel (steppestravel.com) has a 10-day voyage of the Galapagos, giving guest the opportunity to explore the islands on foot

ABERCROMBIE & KENT – 01242 547 702 Stay at Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp (with its own solar farm) for three nights and Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero for two nights. From £3,620pp, it includes flights, transfers and a donation to the Living With Elephants Foundation, which protects orphaned elephants in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

(chimuadventures.com) has signed an agreement


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS – 0800 440 2549 The Antarctic Odyssey is a 21-day expedition cruise visiting the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, travelling on Ponant’s environmentally friendly ship, Le Lyrial, with scientists on board. From £11,657pp, November 19, 2019 departure. nationalgeographicexpeditions.co.uk 


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Keeping Mauritius Beautiful As the pioneer of the hospitality industry in Mauritius, Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels have implemented unique strategies to protect and develop the island’s natural and social environment, leading the way in sustainable tourism development.

Preserving the natural environment Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels strives to reduce the impact of our activity on the natural environment by managing land use and building hotels that comply with the EarthCheck environmental sustainability certification. Les Salines Beachcomber Resort & Spa will open 2020, follows the same EarthCheck certification as our eight current hotels and will help protect the environment and benefit local people with employment and training. We’ll also replace the existing habitat altered during building with a new wetland zone for fauna and flora to resettle in.

Harnessing renewable practices Pursuing our commitment to renewable energies, we seek to minimise the use of fossil fuels and reduce our environmental footprint. Within our hotels we are expanding our waste management systems to protect air and fresh water quality, whilst implementing measures to encourage recycling (over 36% of our waste is recycled on-site). Our hotels have in-house wastewater treatment plants and re-use treated water. Our latest initiatives include bottling our own water to cut down on plastic and placing a ban on non-biodegradable plastic straws since August 2018.

Contributing to environmental initiatives Working to preserve ecosystems and restore the island to its original beauty, Beachcomber contributes to environmental initiatives including beach clean ups and projects that work towards preventing coastal erosion. Encouraging our guests, artisans and other stakeholders to take a role in the projects helps to make individuals more conscious of negative impacts and conserve our beautiful beaches for the future.

Supporting the local community Local people are at the heart of Mauritian tourism and we are focused on offering underprivileged communities the chance for a better and more sustainable future. We achieve economic empowerment through employment, training and our ‘Fondation Espoir Developpement Beachcomber’ (FED), which inspires our guests and partners to conserve the natural and cultural heritage of Mauritius whilst enhancing community development. We support our artisans’ Local Hands Association, enabling self-employed craftworkers to expand their businesses and earn an income to break the cycle of poverty that some communities face. It also encourages guests and locals to engage in a mutually beneficial way. And our partnership with local NGO Manzer Partazer seeus us donate surplus food to schools, orphanages and communities.

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Kerala Verdant and relaxed Kerala offers an escape from India’s frenetic cities with its yellow beaches, languid backwaters and cool tea country. Kathryn Liston explores It’s wise to expect the unexpected in Kerala. A chance meeting with a taxi driver - we were looking for a tuk-tuk leads to some wonderful trips around the southern Indian state. He takes us to beautiful Kovalam beach for lunch, where we buy colourful silks and water melon from seafront hawkers and seamstresses adjust the blouses we buy in the blink of an eye. He organises a cruise in the Backwaters - a must for all visitors - where we watch locals going about their daily chores washing their bodies, clothes, teeth and pots and pans in the murky waters, wide toothy grins greeting our leisurely passage past. Children splish-splosh in the shallows and boats deliver supplies. When we moor for the evening, an elderly gentleman in a canoe pops out of nowhere and paddles us deeper into the labyrinth of tiny canals. At one stage, thick weeds halt our passage, so I grab a paddle and help our loin-clothed captain navigate as dusk falls. The friendly houseboat crew welcome us back with flavoursome curries, fresh prawns the size of lobsters, fried bananas and coconut pancakes. The following morning, beautiful hymn singing filters through the palm trees, providing a glorious wake-up call. If clients don’t want to cruise, recommend a family hotel or farm close to the backwaters. At the Olavipe mansion in Poochakkal (featured by Pettitts Travel), the family cook teaches guests how to cook Keralan dishes, and at Philipkutty’s Farm, coconut, banana, cocoa, nutmeg and pepper are grown.



Where’s hot? Kochi is a cultural hotspot. The Kochi-Muziris Biennial, India’s largest contemporary art event, runs until the end of March plus there are spice markets and arty cafes to explore. Snap the iconic, gigantic cantilevered Chinese fishing nets that line the harbour and take a leisurely stroll around the intriguing hotch-potch of tumble-down Portuguese, Dutch and British buildings and the 450-yearold Paradesi Synagogue featuring Cantonese ceramic tiles.


"Kerala’s undiscovered northern coastline, with its beautiful beaches and hotels focusing on ayurveda, yoga and sustainability, is becoming the place to go," says Richard Keeling from Pettitts Travel. Kerala has many beautiful beaches but Cherai Beach is “one of India’s best”, says Lucy Stobart, India Product Manager at Great Rail Journeys, which has launched a Spectacular Southern India tour. Goa Experience (goaexperience.co.uk) has a stand-alone brochure featuring eight hotels.


THE DETAILS TIME ZONE: GMT + 5.5 CURRENCY: Indian Rupee, £1 = 93.07 Rupee HOW TO GET THERE: Etihad (etihad.com) via Abu Dhabi or Emirates (emirates.com) via Dubai. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS: Or fly to Delhi or Mumbai and then on with: Air India (airindia.in), Jet Airways

(jetairways.com), IndiGo (goindigo. in) or SpiceJet (spicejet.com).

FLIGHT TIME: 13 hours indirect USEFUL CONTACTS: Kerala Tourism: keralatourism.org TOUR OPERATORS: Newmarket Holidays (newmarketholidays. co.uk), Mercury Holidays (mercuryholidays.co.uk), Goa

Experience (goaexperience.co.uk), Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk), Audley Travel (audleytravel.co.uk).

LANGUAGE: Malayalam CLIMATE: Kerala has three seasons: winter, summer, and monsoon, which peaks July-August. Summer is hot and winter months never fall below 20 degrees.

“Kerala’s undiscovered northern coastline, with its beautiful beaches and authentic hotels focusing on ayurveda, yoga and sustainability, is becoming the place to go”




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Where’s cool?

Palaces & prophets

For a good cuppa - and a cool escape - the state's tea plantations and hill country are a must-see. Ponmudi offers spectacular views, waterfalls and cold, crystal-clear springs to cool off in, while Munnar, once a favourite summer resort with British rulers, is one of the prettiest and offers excellent walking. For coffee plantations and spice gardens, recommend clients visit the Wayanad plantation near Sultan’s Battery where cardamom and vanilla are grown.

Three of the region’s best cultural sites are in neighbouring Tamil Nadu but worth adding on. The 16th-century wooden Padmanabhapuram Palace, where the Travencore royal family ruled, is a masterpiece of exquisite carvings and elaborate filigree. The 17th-century Suchindram Temple is one of the few in the country where the Brahma, Vishnu and Ishvara Hindu gods are worshipped in one place. Mahatma Ghandi’s ashes are laid to rest at Kanyakumari - an India’s Lands End - where the Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea converge. Recommend clients take the ferry over to Vivekananda Rock, where the Swami reformer and yogi attained enlightenment, and a statue and museum celebrates his life.



This is one of the world’s oldest philosophies and medical systems. Ayurveda spas and centres are everywhere - and a fast and furious massage will relieve weary limbs. 



BOOK IT WITH... NEWMARKET HOLIDAYS The 18-day Kerala and India’s South tour is from £1,999pp and includes 14 nights’ half-board accommodation and a night on a traditional, thatch-roofed 'kettuvallam' houseboat. The trip includes stops at Bangalore, Mysore, Tamil Nadu, Kochi, Pondicherry and Chennai plus a ride on the historic Nilgiri Mountain Railway and a visit to a spice plantation. 0330 029 9717; newmarketholidays.co.uk

£99 LOW 36


20 Gold ★12 Silver ★4 Bronze

Discover the Wonders of India

9 award-winning tours from


Order your brochure at www.tradegate.co.uk


Email travelagents@newmarketholidays.co.uk | Call 0330 160 7999 | Online Agent Training www.training.newmarketholidays.co.uk *Low deposit of £99 per person applies to new bookings only made on or after 8th January 2019. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.

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my journey

A jo󰇻󰇶󰈡󰈥y 󰇹o...

e m 󰈣 󰈓 󰈢 a S

󰈛󰇭 A wi󰇰󰈨 b󰇪󰈜 a󰈢 S in 󰇷󰈢󰇼󰇺h 󰇪 Tom

󰈤t󰇯󰇰󰇱 s󰇹󰈦an󰇫󰇪, wi󰇰󰈨 󰇧n󰈧 󰇮󰇷 e m 󰈓󰈣 󰈢 Sa , c󰇧 󰈦i A󰈇 We󰈤t 󰇱d A ‘so󰈭’ in󰇹󰈦󰈢d󰇼󰈛󰇺i󰈢n 󰇹󰈣 󰇰󰈨󰇪r 󰈥󰈀󰇵lo󰇶󰇪󰈤 󰈜 lo󰇷󰇺 w󰈢󰇶 󰈌e 󰈜 󰇻r La 󰈨. 󰇹󰇪 da 󰇵󰇯 󰇰󰇧 di el󰇪󰇫󰈜󰈡t󰇰󰈠


here’s a story being acted out in front of me which no ones seems able to explain but it involves a cowboy riding a ragged pantomime horse made from a white sheet, a creepy doll with a hole in it, the devil, some big coconuts and a man having a retro telephone pulled out of his arse. In terms of making an impression, Sao Tome is really nailing it – and I haven’t left the airport yet. The next day I awake in my hotel to sunshine, palm trees and a tempting strip of sand under my balcony and it all seems like a dream. Sao Tome and Principe is my first foray into West Africa and all I know is that it’s nicknamed the Galapagos of Africa. The twin island nation is an ex-Portuguese colony sprouting out of the Atlantic 450 miles off Gabon. After being discovered in the late 1400s it became a major exporter of sugar cane, worked by slaves. After decline in production and brief Dutch rule, the Portuguese re-took the islands and introduced cash crops of coffee and cocoa. STP became independent in 1975 and still produces these. The plantations will have to wait - we’re starting in the island’s eponymous capital, visiting the weatherbeaten Fort Sao Sebastiao which is fronted by rusted mooring posts like rotten teeth bared to the sea. Archeological decay is evident everywhere, in the faded grandeur of the pastel pink Town Hall with its peeling green shutters and moulded balustrades, and in the dark confines of the city’s market. Here, I pick my way over a wet concrete floor. Damp is creeping up the walls, the electricity is dead and only shafts of daylight cracking through the roof light the room, giving it a jaundiced look. My male friends hover protectively but it’s safe and we get a warm welcome in a knock off t-shirt shop.

Outside is like 4D technicolour in comparison – shouting, beeping cars, a whistling policeman, fish blood running in the gutters, flies buzzing over meat, the smell of warm, ripe fruit and dazzling colour – from the produce and from the women selling it in their bright African prints, shaded by vivid umbrellas. Heading north, we whizz past numerous roadside villages with tin-roofed shacks and bare shops displaying single bunches of bananas and palm wine in recycled plastic bottles. Our guide surprises us with two musical performances, dancing school girls in a school playground, grinding their hips like Rihanna with a nonchalant air, and then singing women of Cape Verde descent, who surprise us at the side of a once grand, poker-straight road on former plantation Augustinho Neto. Afterwards we follow it to a derelict hospital where squatters’ washing flutters from the gutted windows and drapes over an elegant curving staircase.

The 󰈇󰈢󰈦t 󰇯󰇷 f󰇶o󰈡t󰇪󰈧 󰇩y 󰇶u󰈤t󰇪󰈧 mo󰈢󰇶󰇯󰈡g 󰇴o󰈤t󰇷 󰇱󰇮k󰈥 ro󰇹󰇺󰇪n 󰇹󰈥e󰇺h

Roça Ag󰇻󰈜 Izė, a f󰈢󰇶󰈩󰈥r p󰇰a󰈡t󰇧󰇹󰇯o󰈡

HO󰈖 Tra󰈧󰇪-f󰇶i󰇪 󰈻󰉇 B󰉈O󰈐 󰈎󰈻 󰈡d󰇰󰈠 󰈣pe󰇶󰇧 󰇺󰈣r󰇷 Sa󰈢 󰈓󰈣me 󰇧󰇳󰈨 󰇯t󰇷 󰈤is off󰇪󰈦󰇯n󰇫 Pri󰇳󰈝󰇮p󰈥 i󰇳 󰇹󰇪 󰈝l󰇻󰈧󰈥 E󰈁p 󰈦 󰇯s󰇰a󰈡d 󰇰o󰈦󰇪 (ex󰇴󰇱󰈢 co.uk) an r󰈥 󰈧 R 󰇧 󰇯󰈡 bo󰇿 T󰈢󰇼󰈦s . (ra󰇮󰇳󰇩󰈣w 󰇹o󰇻󰈦s.co.u k). TA󰈑 vi󰇧 󰉂 I flew 󰇿󰇮󰇺h 󰇯󰇷󰇩on.

The 󰇿󰇮󰇱d 󰈛󰈣a󰈤t The next day we head south and happen on the wild coast I spied from the plane. Boca de Inferno, or Hell’s Mouth, is the first stop for a windy photo above the black rock which curls into the sea like a comma, its circular bulk surrounded by a boiling sea and punctuated by a loan fisherman in a red t-shirt. We stop for lunch in Sao Joao Anglares, a village at the centre of Sao Tome’s distinct Angolares community, a group of fishing people who speak their own language and are descended from runaway slaves. Restaurant Mionga overlooks the


My journey SAO TOME.indd 64

1/29/19 06:41 PM

Fis󰇬󰇮󰈡g 󰇨󰈣a󰇺s on 󰇹󰇭󰇪 n󰈣󰇶󰇺h co󰇧󰇷󰇺

my journey


󰇫 I 󰈩et 󰇰󰇮󰇾󰇯n The 󰇫󰇮󰈦l󰇷 󰇰 󰇧 it 󰇵 󰇷 󰈣 l󰇮󰈛󰇺 h in 󰇧 󰈧󰈥󰈦e

Sac󰈫󰈤 󰈢f 󰈛󰈣󰈝o󰇧 be󰇧󰇳󰈤

mangroves, the black sand flats of the river and the ashen beach and sea beyond. The only sounds are the faint shouts of fishermen and the wind in the palms. As we head further south the villages are sparser and the roads increasingly potholed. Then the palm oil plantations begin, at first blending insidiously with the indigenous vegetation until I notice how perfectly planted they are, like soldiers lined up between the mountains and the road. We round a bend and, like a giant finger, Pico Cao Grande pokes the heavens defiantly. The 386-metre volcanic plug peak is apparently treacherous – slippery with moss, more often than not veiled in mist, surrounded by thick ferns and vines and ‘an abundance of snakes’, some of which inhabit the dark tower itself. Apparently climbers have scaled it. We catch an overcrowded boat to Ilheu das Rolas and its four-star Pestana resort, feeling like we’re on holiday instantly thanks to cold towels on arrival, wood chalets and a huge pool – the largest in West Africa – where we watch the sun sink into the sea bang on 6pm. The island lies directly on the equator and in the morning we take a walk through the jungle past sleeping pigs to the centre of the earth, posing on the tiled world map which is built on the forest floor. Guests are free to walk beyond the hotel and I have a banana-shaped beach to myself another morning and spend the afternoon on another watching men load their boat with coconuts under moody skies.

Nat󰇻󰇶󰈥’s 󰇶e󰇾󰇪n󰇫󰈥

Sa󰈢 󰈓󰈣me Mar󰈫󰇪󰇺

For󰇹 󰉍󰇧󰈣 Seb󰇧󰇷󰇺󰇯a󰈢

Back onto the main island a day later we pass more abandoned plantations but here it’s like the colonial decline has been lead by an angry mother nature who’s now smothering walls in moss, snaking her arms treacherously through roofs and sprouting green tresses defiantly out of window panes. At Roça Agua Izė, a once grand, now decrepit plantation, we explore dusty, sweet-smelling sheds stuffed with sacks of cocoa beans from today’s more modest operation. It’s this sense of inevitable but atmospheric decline, along with the glimpses of colourful washing laid out to dry by the rivers, which will be my abiding memories of Sao Tome.

w󰈣󰇲a󰈡 A lo󰈛󰇧󰇱 󰈧i󰈡n󰇪󰇶 ca󰇶󰈦󰇮󰈥s


My journey SAO TOME.indd 65

Boc󰇧 󰈧󰈥 In󰈇e󰈦n󰈢, or Hel󰇰’s 󰇲o󰇻󰇺h

1/29/19 06:41 PM


the final word

the quirky side of travel Suite dreams for vegans

The trend for veganism knows no bounds. We've been inundated with press releases detailing vegan Valentines Day menus, plant-based food tours in Thailand and now Hilton London Bankside has a Vegan Suite! On arrival guests head to a plant-based checkin desk (as opposed to one made from cheese) and the suite boasts a vegan mini bar, pillows stuffed with organic buckwheat hulls and Piñatexupholstered furniture – Piñatex being a 'leather' made from the pineapple's cellulose fibres. The carpets are ecocotton, the pen ink animal-trace-free and the cleaning products all green and un-animal tested. Which actually seems quite sensible, so we'll stop teasing!

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Carry on Eurovision

Tel Aviv is getting ready to host the famously flamboyant Eurovision Song Contest and, having had record-high demands for overnight stays in the city, the municipality has approved the building of a temporary campsite in the city's Yarkon Park, the largest urban park in Israel. The tent city will also operate during the Tel Aviv Pride Parade. Now that is camp. goisrael.com

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Dog days

This blue-eyed beauty, and friends, stole the show at the Humberside Airport Travel Show recently. It was a furry clever publicity stunt by Super Break to promote its exclusive direct departures to Akureyri, Northern Iceland. Briony Smith, Sales Executive at Super Break, poses here with one of the huskies from the 8 Below Husky Rescue charity. superbreak.com

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Selling Travel February 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Sustainable Travel, plus how to sell... Kerala • Luxury Cruising • South African Safaris • Weddings &...

Selling Travel February 2019  

The world in one magazine Cover Story: Sustainable Travel, plus how to sell... Kerala • Luxury Cruising • South African Safaris • Weddings &...