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FEBRUARY 2010

The Magazine for DestinationTravel Specialists

®

South African Airways Is Ready for 2010 FIFA World Cup

Tanzania the‘Height’ of AdventureTravel

Discover

Senegal in 2010


ISSUE NO. 260

FEBRUARY 2010 executive office

28 Knight Street Norwalk, CT 06851-4707 Voice: 203.286.6679 • Fax: 203.286.6681 i n t e r n e t

w e b s i t e

www.travelworldnews.com publisher

Charles Gatt, Jr. charlie@travelworldnews.com editor

Carol A. Petro editor@travelworldnews.com design production manager

Linda Rogers linda@travelworldnews.com

Maria Rebello • a c c o u n t i n g m a n a g e r Shawn Hebert • I T m a n a g e r Cindy Johnson • c i r c u l a t i o n m a n a g e r cruise editor

Michael Iachetta southeast regional correspondent

Joan Gonzalez western regional correspondent

INDUSTRY EVENTS ITB Berlin Convention 2010 Coming Up in March

CALENDAR OF EVENTS INDUSTRY NEWS THE INSIDE TRACK Small Ship Cruising

4 10 11 12

EUROPE Malta’s Rich Military History Is On Display With Many Visitor Attractions

INDUSTRY EVENTS/ ITB BERLIN - page 4

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FAM ANNOUNCEMENTS For complete and current list please visit: www.travelworldnews.com/fams

CARIBBEAN Sports, Eco & Social Tourism on the Dominican Republic’s North Coast

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Seven-Night Getaways at Breezes Resorts Save Up to $770 Per Couple

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Spice Island Beach Resort Awarded Coveted Green Globe Recertification

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Ladera Claims Top Position Among the Caribbean’s Finest Hotels

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THE INSIDE TRACK/CRUISING - page 12

Connie Skoog

MEXICO contributing editors

Mona Birch • Ann Charles • Gail P. Dubov Judith Glynn • Barry Goldsmith • Peggy Hageman George Hairston • Al Haut • Marjorie Klein • Peter Lowy Nancy Marcantonio • Anita Mason D.O. Christian Rieger • Knox Robinson • Mary Ellen Schultz Helen Kitti Smith • Robin Swados • Diane Terry Travel World News (ISSN 1044-4602) is published monthly by Travel Industry Network, Inc., 28 Knight Street, Norwalk, CT 06851-4707. The cost of a subscription in the USA is $25, in Canada $40. For subscribers outside USA or Canada, the rate is $80. Please send check or money order in U.S. dollars payable to Travel World News. For change of address, please enclose your mailing label and send to: Circulation Department, Travel World News, 28 Knight Street, Norwalk, CT 06851-4707. Periodicals postage paid at Norwalk, CT, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Travel World News, 28 Knight Street, Norwalk, CT 06851-4707. Address advertising inquiries and/or editorial copy to: Travel World News, 28 Knight Street, Norwalk, CT 06851-4707. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Printed in USA. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. All advertising in Travel World News is based on data submitted to the Publisher by the advertisers. The Publisher shall not be liable for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any information contained in Travel World News and shall not be liable, including but not limited to consequential or special damages, to any party for any products or services advertised or reported upon herein. The Publisher shall not be responsible for typographical errors. All information contained herein is subject to change without notice by the parties providing such products and services. The Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising that has been submitted at his sole discretion. Upon providing a refund of any amount paid to the party whose submittal was rejected, the Publisher shall not have any liability to any party for such rejection.

Playa Mambo is an Eco-Getaway Near Magical Mayan Setting

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Four Palace Resorts in Mexico Join Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

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Alcapulco International Convention Center Reopens for 2010 Events

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EUROPE/MALTA - page 13

LATIN AMERICA Metropolitan Touring Appoints Paulina Burbano De Lara Its New Executive President

Antarctic Dream Expedition an Introduction to Great White Continent La Mansion Inn Assists Real Estate Investment Travelers

29 32 CARIBBEAN/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC’S NORTH COAST - page 16

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AFRICA South African Airways is Ready for 2010 FiFA World Cup

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Virgin Atlantic Appoints Simon Newton Smith 38 South America’s Country Manager CTA Incentive Promotes Senegal to the U.S. Travel Marketplace Tanzania is the “Height of Adventure Travel

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AFRICA/SAA-FIFA - page 34


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INDUSTRY EVENTS

ITB Berlin Convention 2010 Coming Up in March Trendsetting themes and leading experts address the industry’s concerns at the world’s largest tourism convention.

S

et for March 10–12, the ITB Berlin Convention 2010 will highlight effects of the financial and economic crisis on tourism, structural changes in society, and shifts in travel patterns, when over 200 leaders discuss the future of travel at around 100 events.

ITB Marketing and Distribution Day The ITB Marketing and Distribution Day will focus on changes in consumer booking patterns and information needs; a featured discussion will be “personalized package tours.” The Internet will be examined as a way to occupy attractive market niches and personally address customers. Another panel will talk about The global travel industry’s leading think tank lures crowds. strategies for the growing gay and lesbian tourism market. The ITB Media Summit 2010 will address the shaken confidence of the travel indusITB Aviation Day’s key topics will be the future of aviation try. Among the leading speakers at the round-table discussion alliances and a discussion on budget airlines. Urgent issues will be former Minister of Economics Wolfgang Clement. will be raised in interviews with financial experts from lowcost carriers. At the global CEO panel discussion members Theme Days will opine about the future of commercial aviation. A discusThe convention opens with ITB Future Day. The ITB Global sion headed “A revolution in airline prices, the recession as Future Summit will analyze trends in demographics, climate an innovative force in the absence of premium customers” change, natural resources, technology and consumer behav- will reveal progressive models. Numerous analysts, among ior. Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the them Dr. Stefan Schulte, Chairman of the Board of Fraport forecasts of the ITB World Travel Trends Report. “Web 2.0 and AG, and Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, Management Spokesman Social Media” will discuss gaining customers and securing of Berliner Flughäfen, will air measures with particular loyalty, as well as mobile travel solutions. The ITB Tourism promise. and Climate Panel will analyze the challenges of climate At ITB Corporate Social Responsibility Day, a high-level change and ecology. government representative of the Federal Republic of Against the backdrop of a changing climate, ITB Hospitality Germany will highlight the significance of CSR in economic Day will discuss new hotel services. Three high-ranking ex- and social terms. Keynote speeches and panel discussions ecutives from leading hotel chains will speak about the mar- will debate examples of the role CSR can occupy in tourism. ket and their survival strategies under the unconventional This is the first time GfK is presenting a survey undertaken heading of “Ways to change boring hotels.” Distributors of exclusively for ITB Berlin, entitled “Leading CSR companies online applications and hotel owners will tell how mobile from the vantage point of the customer.” High-ranking memphones with Internet access are changing hotel-booking pat- bers will be attending the cruise holiday session. In her terns. Taking as their slogan “What are the challenges facing keynote, world-famous explorer Céline Cousteau will ask the industry?” leading executives heading hotel chains in “Marine protection and tourism, are they friends or foes?” America, Europe and Asia will debate budget hotels. Experts, among them Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck from the 4 • FEBRUARY 2010

www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


INDUSTRY EVENTS Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel, will examine whether the expanding cruise market is having a negative effect on the environment. ITB Destination Days will be about the challenges of creating sustainable tourism destinations, with keynote address by Vural Öger, owner of the Öger Group. Representatives from Essen/Ruhr, Istanbul and Pécs, cities designated “European Capital of Culture” in 2010, will summarize developments. A subsequent discussion as to whether the title of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is a curse or a blessing is certain to be insightful. Brazil and Ecuador will present their successful concepts at the South America Forum, and at the Africa Forum experts will discuss how important tourism is in combating poverty. Turkey, this year’s partner country at ITB Berlin, will show how to score with cultural tourism. The findings of the latest conference of the German Society for Tourism Research will be made public, highlighting opportunities for investors exploring the niches of spirituality and tourism. The China Outbound Tourism Marketing Forum@ITB Berlin 2010 will talk about ways to make destinations more appealing to tourists from China. Zero-carbon luxury hotels are both a significant topic and elements of a vision of future tourism. Two speakers from Masdar City, planned as the

Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

world’s first zero-carbon city, will talk about their progress to date. The ITB Business Travel Forum will take place all three days. Workshops, panel discussions and keynote speeches at the MICE Day, Strategy Day and Hands-On Day (with a focus on economics) will provide opportunities for an exchange on business travel and events management. Decision makers can learn the latest technology trends March 10–11 at the Travel Technology Conference, PhoCusWright@ITB. “E-Travel Success Across Europe” will highlight the significance of travel technology, addressing experts involved in sales, marketing and business promotion. No prior registration is necessary to visit the convention. Holders of a trade visitor ticket to ITB Berlin may attend any of the events free, with the exception of the Travel Technology Convention. PhoCusWright@ITB will be held in English; simultaneous interpreting into English and German is available at all other lectures and discussions. A trade visitor pass with unlimited admission to ITB Berlin is approximately $67, 46 Euros. Admission tickets to PhoCusWright@ITB are about $435 (300 Euros) per person. All tickets are available online.

ITB Berlin, ITB Berlin Convention; www.itb-convention.com/program, www.itb-kongress.com, www.itb-berlin.com

FEBRUARY 2010 •

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INDUSTRY EVENTS UFTAA WORLD CONGRESS DISCUSSES AGENT BENEFITS WITH CHANGING APPROACHES More than one hundred delegates were in attendance at last November’s 43rd World Congress of the United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) in Kathmandu, Nepal. UFTAA represents 80 national and multinational travel agent associations. The three days devoted to business issues covered a spectrum of topics. Several informative presentations were made by members to illustrate how imaginative applications of new technologies offer opportunities for agents to position themselves more advantageously in a rapidly changing marketplace. Of particular significance was the determination made by members to take firmer control, with a view to strengthening the position of travel agents who, in recent years, have gained the impression that sight has been lost of the true value of their services to the industry’s suppliers. In that connection, a three-year plan is being developed by a group of members for the board’s consideration. That plan will flesh out more services and products for member associations and will seek to stabilize the federation’s financial platform by making it progressively less dependent on third-party support. In a wide-ranging debate on the direction in which the travel agent sector should be moving, it was agreed that now is the time for UFTAA to assert for its members a more independent stance. Travel agents should be exercising more authority over their own affairs instead of allowing third parties, whose legitimate areas of interests do not and cannot fully overlap those of travel agents, to encroach on areas better run by agents themselves. Vocational training was mentioned specifically as an area best coordinated by travel agents. Some members stressed that, increasingly, when dealing with air transport-related problems, they receive a more constructive response from the airlines themselves by dealing one-

For more info, visit www.AfricaTravelAssociation.org E: info@AfricaTravelAssociation.org - T: +1.212.447.1357

6 • FEBRUARY 2010

on-one with them, and advised colleagues to try the direct approach for themselves. UFTAA President William TAN of NATAS (Singapore) observed that this Congress marked a significant and promising change in direction for UFTAA, and looked forward to leading a more proactive federation, stressing that change can be achieved only by hard work by those who’d undertaken to effect reforms desired. United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA), www.uftaa.org

CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCES RETURN OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM CONFERENCE The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has brought back its Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (STC), after a one-year absence due to the global economic crisis. The 11th annual conference (STC-11) will be held May 9–12, 2010, in Bridgetown, Barbados, and is being organized in collaboration with the Barbados Ministry of Tourism. “We are delighted that we are able to once again bring together a wide range of experts and stakeholders to discuss the region’s sustainability,” said Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the CTO. “We thank the government of Barbados for hosting this very important conference in this difficult global economic climate.” This year’s conference will examine critical issues relating to sustainability and will explore creative solutions to many of the challenges facing CTO Member Countries, including the effects of climate change. “STC will continue with the focus on how Member States can design and incorporate sustainable tourism policies and practices into their regional and international initiatives,” said Gail Henry, the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist. “We recognize that the development of the tourism sector in the Caribbean has to continue on a sustainable path. The Caribbean has an opportunity to lead advancements in this area while also creating valuable employment opportunities.” A comprehensive and dynamic program is being planned to include the customary study tours—a key feature of this conference. The annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development is part of the information dissemination and regional awareness component of CTO’s Strategy for Sustainable Tourism. It looks at how member states can design and implement sustainable tourism policies and programs, offering a regional forum for information exchange on the successes and pitfalls of national, regional and international initiatives. Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), www.caribbeantravel.com, www.onecaribbean.org www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


INDUSTRY EVENTS OSSN HOME-BASED FORUM TAKES SHAPE IN SAN DIEGO A compelling conference program is being developed for the inaugural OSSN Home Based Travel Agent Show scheduled for May 24–26 at the Town & Country Resort in San Diego. According to Gary Fee, President and founder of the Outside Sales Support Network, this new official OSSN event will roll out a wide range of timely training and educational activities for all travel agents from coast to coast and Canada. He further explained that he expects more than 1,000 travel agents to register for the three-day gathering, which is based on the theme of “Catching the Wave of the Economic Upturn.” The early-bird registration fee of $40, effective until February 28, represents one of the most affordable all-inclusive events on the 2010 calendar (starting March 1, the rack rate will go to $60). In an important new development, Fee introduced the fact that NACTA President Scott Koepf has accepted an invitation to appear in San Diego as a conference participant. Fee said that the debut of this OSSN show and forum has given impetus for his plans to build new bridges throughout the travel industry for the homebased community. The nucleus of this event, the trade show, will attract more than 200 domestic and international suppliers, designed to ensure that

Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

agent delegates will be able to network personally with both vendors they’ve worked with before, as well as new ones. Fee went on to say that a wide range of niche topics will be available in an ambitious new training and education curriculum, giving the delegates rewarding choices and opportunities to enhance their professionalism and profitability. The conference will also deliver new programming to delegates for their day-to-day home-based office operations. Topics will run the gamut from legal advice to cashing in on incentive travel, and from working with a consortium to the effective use of social networking. Fee also emphasized that accredited training will be offered by CLIA and the Niche Cruise Marketing Alliance (NCMA). Early hotel sign-up at the Town & Country Resort earns a special introductory room rate of $89. Space is limited for these lowpriced rooms, after which the rate will be $99. Suppliers wishing to learn more about the show or reserve booth space can contact Jim Cloonan by email (listed below). Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), jim@travelshowmarketinggroup.com, www.homebasedtravelagentforum.com, www.ossn.com; Town & Country Resort, 888-231-3058 (mention OSSN show), www.homebasedtravelagentforum.com/hotel.html

FEBRUARY 2010 •

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INDUSTRY EVENTS ITTFA ELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FOR 2010 The International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA) has elected a new executive committee for the year. Tom Nutley, Chairman and founder, stated, “All appointments were aimed at strengthening the central administration of ITTFA and providing a firm base for the continued growth of the association across cultural and international boundaries. This year we are delighted to welANTONIO DELL’AQUILANO come Officers from Italy and the Netherlands, bringing with them fresh ideas and knowledge from their own markets as well as industry expertise.” Antonio Dell’Aquilano, Exhibition & Event Manager of TTG Italia Spa, was elected as President of ITTFA. He commented, “I am delighted to take on this prestigious role and look forward to a successful year ahead.” Johan F Lundberg, Exhibition Manager of TUR, who has led the association previously as President, will take the post of Treasurer. Meanwhile, Zeljka Tomljenovic, Events and Sales Manager ITE Travel Exhibitions, will continue to support the association via a new role, Industry Liaison. The Association also welcomed Bart

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Strijker of Vakantiebeurs, who will be taking up the role of Database Officer. ITTFA is dedicated to the continual development of the travel trade show industry, increasing participation and setting high standards worldwide. Recent changes to entry requirements and the annual fee structure mean that membership is more accessible to smaller and developing shows, as well as more established ones. International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA), info@ittfa.org, www.ittfa.org

CHICAGO’S LONGEST RUNNING TRAVEL SHOW HAS NEW LOOK AND NEW MARCH DATES As part of a series-wide update, Adventures in Travel Expo Chicago (presented by Chicago Tribune) will carry a new name for 2010—the Chicago Tribune Travel & Adventure Show. This mirrors a successful change previously made with the LA Times Travel & Adventure Show. The new dates for the show are March 20–21. The Show offers the chance to impact short-term bookings. Registrants can reach over 13,000 serious travel buyers. They may benefit from a fully supported integrated marketing program with the Chicago Tribune and affiliated media outlets, including a 12page in-paper show guide. The new date pattern gets consumers thinking about buying trips rather than buying gifts, and expanded focus enables marketing vacation options to a growing attendee base, realizing greater ROI. Over 70 percent of Chicago consumers found their next vacation at the show, and 55 percent of them will book that vacation within six months. Adventures in Travel Expo, www.adventureexpo.com

BLOSSOM JAPAN INVITATION-ONLY LUXURY TRAVEL EVENT LAUNCHED Blossom Japan, conceived by Lucioles, a recently launched company headed by Jay Martens, the co-founder of Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM), is planned for a 2011 launch in Tokyo. The premium trade event will be exclusively for the development of the high-end travel market of Japan. Blossom Japan will provide participants an opportunity to tap into the lucrative but hard-to-penetrate Japanese market by presenting a forum of exceptional oneto-one business opportunities. Japan is still one of the most significant markets for luxury providers seeking to attract high-end consumers. All buyers will be fully hosted during their stay in Japan whether they come from Tokyo, Hokkaido, Hong Kong or New York. And exhibitors as well are fully hosted during their stay in Tokyo. The invitation-only event will be held in Tokyo January 18–21, 2011. It will commence with a full-day conference followed by a three-day exhibition at the Tokyo International Forum. The exhibition will be facilitated by pre-scheduled appointments ensuring that all attendees are conducting serious business by day, and will be supplemented by a series of social events by night. A free day in Tokyo is included in the package. Blossom Japan, www.blossomjapan.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


INDUSTRY EVENTS FIRST TCI GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON TOURISM CLUSTERS WILL BE STAGED IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC The first global thematic conference on tourism clusters will be held under the general theme “World Class Sustainable Competitive Tourism Clusters” from April 7–10, 2010, in Punta Cana. The event is hosted by the National Competitiveness Council of the Dominican Republic. The conference will bring together worldwide cluster practitioners, researchers, international experts and tourism professionals to discuss the main issues and the latest trends on promoting competitiveness through local development and clusters in one of the most important global industries. For four intense days, practitioners will be dedicated to networking, deepening knowledge and exchanging ideas, best practices and lessons learned throughout the world, and also experiencing on-site tourism clustering in one of the top destinations in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic. TCI is the global practitioner’s network for competitiveness, clusters and innovation. TCI Network, maria.abreu@cnc.gov.do, www.drtourismclusters.com (registration), www.tci-network.org

JAMAICA’S HALF MOON WILL BE VENUE FOR JAPEX IN MAY Jamaica’s resort capital, Montego Bay, will again be on show as it hosts the 20th annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) from May 11–13, 2010, at the luxurious Half Moon. Hosted by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), JAPEX, the island’s premier travel trade show, offers the ideal forum for leading suppliers of the Jamaican tourism product to meet with travel wholesalers and tour operators from Europe and the Americas in a professionally organized business exchange. Jamaica’s tourist industry has been undergoing a continuous process of growth and improvement, with new and expanded hotels, exciting new attractions, and enhancements from allied product and service providers. According to JHTA President Wayne Cummings the annual travel trade show will provide an ideal opportunity for attendees to see firsthand all the spectacular developments that are making Jamaica an even more desirable tourist destination. Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), 800-JAMAICA (526-2422), www.visitjamaica.com

Thursday, March 4, followed by a day of workshops on Friday, March 5, 2010, prior to the two-day ATE event at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Africa’s Tourism Agenda focuses on issues facing Africa’s travel industry, such as airline access, sports tourism and the World Cup, and U.S. policy approaches to tourism in Africa. Professional Development offers tour operators and other travel experts best practices and skills-building with workshops on marketing and branding, social media and travel trade shows, as well as up-to-date information on Africa’s travel products. Under the ATA-Travel & Adventure Show premier partnership agreement, seminar participants will receive a complimentary ticket to the show on Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7 at the Washington Convention Center. The show attracts high-value consumers from the DC area who are ready to book African vacations. Participants are encouraged to take advantage of the location and exhibit at the show at a special ATA member rate. Media wishing to attend the seminar must apply for media accreditation by February 25. Africa Travel Association (ATA), info@africatravelassociation.org, www.africatravelassociation.org/ata/events/documents/ 2010US-AfricaTourismSponsorshipWebsite.pdf, www.africatravelassociation.org

Find Your Client’s Next Great Travel Experience Stay on top of your client’s changing needs and interests by attending the largest series of consumer travel shows. You’ll: • Network with hundreds of suppliers • Evaluate new product offerings from worldwide destinations • Cultivate business partnerships and opportunities • Attend Special agent functions highlight featured destinations Interested in Exhibiting? Email us at: sales@adventureexpo.com

Register for your FREE Agent Pass at: www.adventureexpo.com/trade

U.S.-AFRICA TOURISM SEMINAR SET FOR MARCH IN WASHINGTON, D.C. The Africa Travel Association has announced that Travel & Adventure Show will again co-sponsor ATA’s annual U.S.-Africa Seminar. The 2010 seminar aims to raise the visibility of Destination Africa and its diverse travel products in order to increase tourism arrivals and investment from the U.S. The seminar begins with an evening networking reception on “Destination Gambia,” the site of ATA’s 35th Annual Congress, on Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

Los Angeles, CA • February 13-14, 2010 | Washington D.C. • March 6-7, 2010 Chicago, IL • March 20-21, 2010 | New York, NY • October 9-10, 2010

FEBRUARY 2010 •

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2010 • CALENDAR OF EVENTS DATE EV MARCH 6-7 8-9 10-14 10-14 17-20 17-20 20-21 24-26 25-28 25-28 APRIL 14-16 15-17 15-18 19-21 22-24 MAY 4-6 4-7 4-7 15-19 17-20 18-22 20-21 24-26 24-27 25-27 25-27 25-27 JUNE 23-27 JULY 21-23 AUGUST 8-11 SEPTEMBER 8-10 13-25 19-21 22-24 23-26 OCTOBER 6-8 8-10 12-14 20-22 20-22 20-22 20-22 22-24 22-24 NOVEMBER 8-11 8-11 17-20 18-21 18-21 30-Dec 2 30-Dec 2

ENT

LOCATION

CONTACT

Travel & Adventure Show - D.C. TTG Polish Travel Mart 2010 ITB Berlin 2010 Discover American Pavilion at ITB Berlin 2010 MITT Discover American Pavilion at Mitt 2010 Travel & Adventure Show - Chicago UITT TUR Discover American Pavilion at TUR 2010

Washington, DC Warsaw, Poland Berlin, Germany Berlin, Germany Moscow, Russia Moscow, Russia Chicago, IL Kiev, Ukraine Gothenburg, Sweden Gotehnburg, Sweden

www.adventureexpo.com www.polishtravelmart.pl www.itb-berlin.com www.discoveramericapavilion.travel www.mitt.ru/en www.discoveramericapavilion.travel www.adventureexpo.com www.uitt-kiev.com www.ittfa.org www.discoveramericapavilion.travel

Home Based Travel Agent Show & Conference AITF Tourism Real Estate Expo DATE 2010 KITF

Fort Lauderdale, FL Baku, Azerbaijan Venice, Italy Punta Cana, DR Almaty, Kazakhstan

www.homebasedagentshow.com www.travel-exhibitions.com www.tre-expo.com www.drdate.net www.travel-exhibitions.com

CHTIC 2010 Discover American Pavilion at ATM 2010 ATM 2010 PowWow 2010 ATA 35th Annual Congress Bula Fiji Tourism Exchange Expotur OSSN Forum TRENZ 2010 WTTC Global Travel & Tourism Summit Discover American Pavilion at IMEX 2010 IMEX 2010

San Juan, Puerto Rico Dubai, UAE Dubai, UAE Orlando, FL Banjul, The Gambia Port Denarau, Fiji Costa Rica San Diego, CA Auckland, New Zealand Beijing, China Frankfurt, Germany Frankfurt, Germany

events@caribbeanhotelandtourism.com www.discoveramericapavilion.travel http://www.dicec.ae www.tia.org/powwow www,africatravelassociation.org www.bfte.com.fj www.expotur.com www.ossn.com www.trenz.co.nz www.wttc.org www.discoveramericapavilion.travel www.imex-frankfurt.com

BETEX 2010

Belize City, Belize

www.betex.bz

96th DMAI Annual Convention

Hollywood, Florida

www.destinationmarketing.com

NBTA Intl. Convention & Expo

Houston, Texas

www.nbta.org

La Cumbre The Trade Show 16th World Route Development Forum TravelMart Latin America FITA 2010

San Diego, CA Las Vegas, Nevada Vancouver, BC, Canada Lima, Peru Mexico City, Mexico

www.lacumbre.com www.thetradeshow.com www.routesonline.com www.travelmartlatinamerica.com www.fita2010.com

MITM Americas 2010 CATM 2010 The Motivation Show Discover America Pavilion at ABAV 2010 Discover America Pavilion at ITB Asia 2010 ABAV 2010 ITB Asia Discover America Pavilion at TTG Incontri 2010 TTG Incontri

Quito, Ecuador Guatemala City, Guatemala Chicago, IL Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Singapore Rio de Janerio, Brazil Singapore Rimini, Italy Rimini, Italy

www.gsamark.com www.catm2010guatemala.com www.motivationshow.com www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.feiradasamericas.com.br/en/ www.messe-berlin.de www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.ttgincontri.it

Discover America Pavilion at WTM 2010 World Travel Market DEMA 2010 Discover America Pavilion at CITM 2010 CITM 2010 Discover America Pavilion at EIBTM 2010 EIBTM 2010

London, England London, England Las Vegas NV Shanghai, China Shanghai, China Barcelona, Spain Barcelona, Spain

www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.wtmlondon.com www.demashow.com www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.citm.com www.discoveramericapavilion.com www.eibtm.com

TO LIST YOUR EVENTS EMAIL :

10 • FEBRUARY 2010

editor@travelworldnews.com •

FOR ADDITIONAL EVENTS VISIT:

www.travelworldnews.com/calendar

www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


INDUSTRY NEWS GOWAY OFFERS TOURS INTERWEAVING DIFFERENT FUN THEMES Goway Travel’s escorted tours under the banner Holidays of a Lifetime include ‘Fun Themes’ on all six different tours, with appropriate themes interwoven into the tours that differ for each departure. This gives the passenger a choice of departure date while deciding which theme they’d like to experience. Because of the specific destinations Goway offers, the themes are carefully selected to reflect the culture, history, etc. of the destination. The intent of the Fun Themes is to enhance passengers’ enjoyment during their tour without being overwhelmed by them. On Goway’s Downunder 22-day escorted tour, The Waltzing Matilda starting at $7,999 pp from Los Angeles, the themes cover Animal and Plant Life which is very abundant, Food and Wine, a natural theme for the area, the Geography and History of both countries and the Lifestyles and Native Culture. On Goway’s 20-day Magic of Africa tour visiting South Africa, Botswana and Victoria Falls and starting at $9,229 pp from New York, the most obvious theme is Animal and Plant Life. There is also the Geography and History and the Lifestyles and Native Culture. On Goway’s 21-day Middle East Treasures tour to Egypt, Jordan and Israel, starting at $7,799 pp from New York, the themes reflect the region by offering Geography and History plus Lifestyles and Ethnic Culture. For Goway’s Asia tours, the 16-day Splendours of China and Tibet, starting at $4,969 pp land only, the 17-day Splendours of India starting at $4,349 pp land only and the 14-day Splendours of Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), starting at $4,579 pp land only, the themes that naturally lend themselves to this part of the world are Cuisines of the Region, Geography and History and Lifestyles and Ethnic Cultures. The returning passenger from any Goway tour will hopefully not only be more knowledgeable about certain aspects of the destination, but will have had fun learning about them. Goway, 800-387-8850, www.goway.com

OSSN SURVEY SEES 85 PERCENT OF AGENTS EXPECTING SUCCESS IN 2010 Among 1,430 agents responding to the year-end North American survey conducted by the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), 35 percent posted higher sales, but 43 percent saw a decrease in their 2009 bookings. Looking ahead to 2010, 85 percent predict the year will be successful for them, with 15 percent disagreeing. OSSN’s latest survey results capture a snapshot of the way these retailers operate their home-based travel businesses: Twenty-two percent have their own merchant account to process credit card sales. Forty-six percent have their own errors and omissions/general liability insurance coverage. Forty-seven percent use their own branded Web domain names for email (e.g., sales@abctravel.com), instead of public-domain email systems. The Travel Retailers Universal Enumeration (TRUE) booking code system is the most popular choice among these agents, with 39 percent using TRUE codes when they make reservations for clients. Thirty-one percent use a Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) number, while 30 percent use codes provided by airline groups (ARC, IATA). The 2009 year-end survey also focused on several key topics that will affect home-based agents in 2010: Hotel Bookings—Forty-nine percent of agents said their clients “sometimes” tell them which properties to book, while 39 percent said their clients simply suggest locations. Three in four home-based agents book international hotel stays for their clients (the most important criteria: a good location, followed by quality, price, safety, brand name, and unique experience). Nine in 10 also book pre- and postcruise hotel stays (only 10 percent reported that they never book them). Social Media—Facebook is the # 1 choice, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. Seven in 10 responding agents said they plan to use social media sites in 2010. Those agents saying they do not plan to use social media next year gave these reasons: They’re not familiar with the applications (34 percent), they don’t have time (28 percent), or they’re not aware of any benefits (23 percent). Complete survey results can be found on the website. Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), www.ossn.com/ossn_survey/2009yearendsurvey/index.html, www.ossn.com

FIVE NEW PREFERRED SUPPLIERS JOIN ACCLAIM MEETINGS LINEUP Industry organization Acclaim Meetings has recently signed on several new preferred suppliers. The partnerships provide the organization’s independent agencies and meeting planners with additional product offerings to ensure their corporate clients’ needs are met within budget as they travel around the world. The new partnerships are with the following preferred suppliers: Outrigger Enterprises Group, a large, privately-held leisure lodging and hospitality company in the Asia Pacific and Oceania regions; Gran Meliá Golf Resort Puerto Rico with the attractions of the El Yunque rainforest and the Trump International Golf Club’s courses designed by Tom Kite; Dragonfly Adventures, a full-service destination management company serving groups visiting Puerto Rico; the Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, long encouraging business tourism to the easily accessible island; and the Israel Ministry of Tourism, promoting Israel’s sophisticated top-tier hotels with convention facilities, transportation infrastructure, and unparalleled tourist sites. On behalf of all of its travel agents and meeting planners, Acclaim Meetings has negotiated special packages and commissions with each of these new preferred suppliers. Acclaim Meetings, info@acclaimmeetings.com, www.acclaimmeetings.com Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

FEBRUARY 2010 •

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TRAVEL TIPS

The Inside Track BARRY GOLDSMITH BARRY GOLDSMITH

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like water – be it in a bath, a canal, a river, a lake, a sea or an ocean. I have lectured on ocean cruises, sea cruises and river cruises. My favorite? River cruises by far. I’ll start with one of my favorite architecture quotes. On Sir Christopher Wren's tomb in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London are the words, “If you want to see my monument, look around you.” On river cruises, if you want to continuously sightsee – look around you. Sea cruises are great, especially Caribbean islands or around any islands – Greek Islands, Hawaiian Islands, etc. Most major cities are inland – on rivers. So the trip from the port (be it Civitavecchia to Rome, Le Havre to Paris, or Southhampton to London) is a trip unto itself. When you’re on a river cruise and you dock, touring a city starts the minute you step on shore – with the possible exception of Vienna. Vienna is identified with the “Blue Danube”, but it’s one of the few major European cities which a river does not divide. In Vienna the Danube marks the edge of the city, not the city center. In too many American cities, the river is also the boundary. Manhattan’s Hudson River is a state boundary between New York and New Jersey. Philadelphia’s Delaware River separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey. St. Louis’ Mississippi River separates Missouri from Illinois. Until the 19th century, rivers were the easiest form of transportation, so civilization grew up along their banks. The Thames transported royalty from their palaces at Hampton Court, Greenwich, and Richmond directly through the Tower of London’s gates and to imprisonment. In Paris, the ruins of the ancient Roman baths are part of the medieval Cluny Museum on the Seine’s Left Bank. (A great overlooked museum.) The Loire River boasts many great chateaux. Chateau Chenonceux was actually built over a river! As an architectural historian, I travel to see great buildings: palaces, churches, universities, parliaments, etc. Yet there are other historic structures that are often overlooked that look over rivers – bridges. Over the Thames there’s Tower Bridge and London Bridge. Paris has Pont Alexander III with putti holding candelabra transforming into elaborate street lamps and the Pont Neuf (“New Bridge”), which ironically is Paris’ oldest bridge. In Rome are ancient Roman bridges as well as the magnificent Bridge of Angels with Bernini’s angel sculptures framing the Castle St. Angelo. In Florence there’s the Ponte Vecchio – one of the world’s last medieval bridges – lined with stores. Ha’Penny Bridge is no joke in Dublin. Prague’s St. Charles Bridge is one of its major sites. Budapest lost its chains of Communism, but still has its Chain Bridge. Music has “Surround Sound.” River cruising has “Surround Sightseeing” – sightseeing from all sides of the 12 • FEBRUARY 2010

River cruising allows scenic enjoyment such as the Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral towering over the Ile de la Cite floating in the middle of the Seine.

boat. Since castles of the Rhine are almost equally distributed on both riverbanks, the best way of seeing them is not from either bank – but by floating leisurely down the middle in the Rhine. On an ocean or sea cruise it doesn't really matter where you sit on deck if you're surrounded by horizons of water. On a river cruise, you want to sit on the prow or stern where you can equally see both river banks. Whether it’s a Rhine, Danube, Nile, Li or Yangtze River cruise – you can constantly watch life going by. On the Nile you glide past temples and see oxen pulling plows – scenes that haven’t changed for thousands of years. On the Li River in Guilin you see rice paddies with giant karsts – cliffs dramatically soaring out of the water like Chinese dragons. I’m a Yangtze Doodle Dandy. I particularly love a Yangtze River cruise in which you see gorgeous gorges, sprawling cities, Buddhist temples and gigantic cave and cliff statuary. But above all, between sightseeing ports of call, there's continual sightseeing which makes river cruising special. And if you like rivers, you’ll enjoy cruising rivers within a city: Cities composed of many small rivers – canals – are a water-lover’s paradise. Bruges, Amsterdam, Stockholm, St. Petersburg are all called, “The Venices of Europe”. What I’d like to do someday is to create and lead a tour called The Venices of Europe with the aforementioned cities plus one brillant addition – Venice. Barry Goldsmith is a professor of architecture and humor. Goldsmith is a television host of travel-related TV series in the USA and UK. And he is a regular on a new syndicated radio show, Let’s Travel Radio. www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


EUROPE

Malta’s Rich Military History Is On Display With Many Visitor Attractions The impressive bravery and devotion of the islanders over time is commemorated proudly in museums, films, ceremonies, and— yes, it’s even sewn into the flag.

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ocated in the Mediterranean between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Malta has always held a strategic position and been fought over by successive civilizations. Between 1940 and 1943, German and Italian forces launched nearly 3,500 bombing raids, effectively placing it under siege. At the start, Malta’s air defenses consisted of little more than a handful of obsolete Gloucester biplanes, and the next three years were a constant struggle for the Allies, both to keep the islanders supplied and build up capacity. Eventually, though, rolling Allied victories in North Africa began to limit Axis ability, and the last bombing raid was in July 1943. The bravery of the islanders in resisting them for so long led King George IV to award the George Cross collectively: “to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history.” The medal image appears in the upper hoist corner of the Maltese flag as a permanent reminder of their courage and sacrifice. When in Malta there are many historical sites to visit. Malta’s impressive Grand Harbour has been used as a port since Phoenician times. Despite heavy bombing during the War, much of interest remains for the visitor, including the Knights of Malta’s Fort Ricasoli and the Siege Bell, which

tolls each day in memory of the war dead. During the Axis siege, a network of tunnels was converted into military operations rooms from where the island’s defense was orchestrated. Recently renovated, the Lascaris War Rooms now house an impressive museum where visitors can relive events and see where commanders such as Eisenhower and Montgomery conducted Allied forces. Located in three hangars in the old RAF Ta’Qali Aerodrome, the Aviation Museum is the perfect venue to explore the vital role air forces played in the battle for Malta. As well as Hawker Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft, there are instruments, weapons, uniforms and other fascinating exhibits. Based in a rehabilitated underground air raid shelter at Couvre’ Porte Gate, the Malta at War Museum gives visitors a taste of what life was like for Maltese citizens in the dark days of the war. There is a wealth of period memorabilia on display, as well as a documentary film about the siege. Every day Malta remembers the sacrifice of islanders with the firing of the noonday gun. The perfect place to watch this stirring ceremony is the Upper Barrakka Gardens, but for a small fee visitors can go onto the gun platform itself at 11am, where the volunteer firing crews will explain how the guns work.

Malta Tourism, www.visitmalta.com

Grand Harbour Saluting Battery. Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

FEBRUARY 2010 •

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EUROPE ‘HAPPIEST NATION’ COPENHAGEN CONTINUES TO MAKE AGENTS HAPPY

Denmark, the “Happiest Nation on Earth” according to several studies, is going to continue sharing its happiness with visitors by extending its very popular Copenhagen Happiness Packages through April 2010. Available through Nordique Tours, the packages offer excellent value on a Copenhagen getaway plus perks that make guests happy. A Copenhagen Happiness vacation with air travel by Scandinavian Airlines comes with a complimentary Copenhagen City Card good for free admission to top attractions and museums including Tivoli Gardens plus special offers and “happiness elements” specific to each hotel. Packages are commissionable at 10 percent. Hotel D’Angleterre is a legendary hotel with old world charm, situated in the heart of Copenhagen’s most prestigious square. Their Happiness special includes three-nights in a standard room, daily breakfast buffet, champagne in room upon arrival, and access to the exclusive spa and fitness area; priced from $919. Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, is the world’s first designer hotel. The hotel overlooks Tivoli Gardens. Happiness special: three-nights in a standard double room, daily breakfast buffet, champagne and strawberries in room upon arrival, and a three-course dinner for two at Café Royal including wine. Price starts at $735. Copenhagen Admiral Hotel is a unique 18th-century property. Happiness special price, from $615, includes three-nights in a standard room with upgrade to best available room category upon check-in, daily breakfast buffet, drinks for two at SALT bar, and a three-course dinner for two at SALT restaurant. Package is. Clarion Collection Hotel TwentySeven is a contemporary, Scandinavian designed hotel. Happiness special: three-nights in a standard double room, daily breakfast buffet, drinks for two at ICEBAR CPH by ICEHOTEL, Cava champagne in room upon arrival, complimentary light dinner buffet, coffee/tea, fruit; price starts at $439. All packages are valid through April 30 except for Hotel D’Angleterre, good until September 30. Prices are per person, and bookings are subject to availability and blackout dates. VisitDenmark, www.visitdenmark.com 14 • FEBRUARY 2010

HIGH-TECH MEDICAL CENTER AT GRANDHOTEL LIENZ USES ‘SYMBIOMED’ In the heart of the beautiful Austrian Alps, the recently opened Grandhotel Lienz is presenting a new concept in health and wellness centers in hotels—SymbioMed, incorporating the symbiosis of the different medical branches. By complimenting conventional medicine with the latest medical advances, the Centre is gaining recognition around the world as vacationers flock to it for both basic and extended physical checkups at rates generally far below those in the U.S. Travelers may also seek diagnosis, recuperation, sports examinations, weight-loss programs, heart checkups, nutrition programs, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine, all at reasonable rates. Further programs for stopping smoking, skin care, and antiaging are available. The Medical Centre, occupying over 2,690 square feet, is led by Professor Dr. Peter Lechleitner, internationally known for internal medicine and cardiology. He is the leader of the department for internal medicine at the hospital of Lienz and was part of the coordination team for the world’s most successful heart attack study. He has also studied sports medicine and traditional Chinese medicine including acupuncture. If an MRI, CT or endoscopy is needed, there is collaboration with the hospital of Lienz, five minutes away and using state-of-the-art machines. Nor is there a need to stay overnight at the hospital so the patients return to the hotel. Prices depend upon the treatment. A basic checkup is $842 and an extended checkup is $1,423. Individual diagnosis ranges from $65 for a Bio-Impedance Measurement to $275 for a scan. Rates at the Grandhotel Lienz start at $177 EP and packages are available. Grandhotel Lienz, info@grandhotel-lienz.com, www.grandhotel-lienz.com

AIR BERLIN’S 2010 SUMMER SCHEDULE INCLUDES NEW DESTINATION New on Air Berlin’s 2010 schedule is nonstop service from San Francisco starting in May with two flights weekly. Air Berlin will continue to offer service from New York (JFK), Los Angeles, Miami, and Fort Myers, with roundtrip fares (including taxes) starting as low as $594 from JFK, $607 from Miami, $633 from Fort Myers, and $805 from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. Air Berlin features attractive fares and convenient connections from Düsseldorf, centrally located in the heart of Germany to numerous European cities such as Vienna, Zurich and many other premiere European destinations. The airline offers both business and economy class in its ultra-modern and efficient Airbus A-330 fleet. Booking early secures the best deals. Fares quoted are subject to availability at time of booking. They may change based on fluctuations in the currency exchange rates; additional fees may apply. Air Berlin, 866-266-5588. www.airberlin.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


EUROPE VALENCIA AGAIN HOST TO AMERICA’S CUP On February 12, Valencia will host the catamaran regattas between the Swiss Alinghi team and the North American BMW Oracle team for the 33rd edition of the oldest sailing event in the world, the America’s Cup. Following the successful 32nd race, Valencian waters will again host the regattas in accordance with the final ruling of the New York Supreme Court. The city is equipped with the necessary infrastructures to enable sports fans to fully enjoy the races between Alinghi and BMW Oracle. Magnificent 90-foot catamarans with masts over 30 feet high and the latest technological advances will be featured. The Juan Carlos I Royal Marina already has a space dedicated to the team bases, as well as the “Veles e Vents” building, designed by British architect David Chipperfield and his Spanish counterpart Fermín Vázquez. The moorings allow spectators to witness the entry and exit of the boats to and from the inner harbor, as well as to view fans cheering from the shore.The Malvarrosa and Arenas beaches next to the city’s port are perfect for observing the races. The seafront area is easily accessed from the city center, just 15 minutes away by subway or 20 minutes by bus. Valencia Tourism, www.turisvalencia.es

LOUIS CRUISES INTRODUCES 2010-2011 BROCHURE Louis Cruises is inviting travelers to explore and enjoy the Eastern and Western Mediterranean and beyond with their just-released collection of cruises presented in the company’s new January 2010–March 2011 brochure. The comprehensive 68-page publication includes many of Louis Cruises’ time-honored itineraries, plus newly added programs. Louis Cruises is unveiling itineraries on seven of the fleet’s vessels including the Louis Cristal, Coral, Orient Queen, Aquamarine, The Aegean Pearl, Calypso, and its newest addition, the Louis Majesty. Featured throughout the full-color publication are 19 exciting cruises where guests can sail along to discover the treasures of some of the world’s most exotic ports of call.Travelers may experience the grandeur of Ancient Greece, Italy and Egypt; the most celebrated sites of the Greek Islands, Spain and Morocco; the worldly sophistication of France and the Coastal splendor of Croatia; the eternal spring of Madeira and the Canary Islands; the treasures of Cyprus, Portugal and Malta; the intrigue of Turkey and the Red Sea; the intricate mystery of Israel and Jordan, and more. Some of the newest programs showcased are an eight-day Spanish Odyssey & Tangier, a sevenday Three Continents (Europe, Asia, Africa), a 10-day Adriatic Coast, Italy and the Ionian; a 10-day Corinth Canal, Greek Islands, Istanbul; and an eight-day Red Sea Voyage. The new 2010-11 Louis Cruises brochure can be accessed online or a printed version ordered. The brochure will also be available in the ebrochures section of www.mailpound.com. Louis Cruises, 877-LouisUS (568-4787), www.louiscruises.com/download_brochure.html, www.louiscruises.com

EUROPEAN WATERWAYS PRESENTS UNIQUE HOTEL BARGE CRUISE TO PARIS AND BURGUNDY In 2010, the Paris marathon takes place on Sunday, April 11, when 37,000 intrepid athletes will be pounding the streets of the world’s most beautiful city. European Waterways’ Renaissance will be moored in central Paris for four days from Wednesday, April 7, at an ideal location for exploring the city. The arrangement will allow guests to visit the nearby Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, or perhaps watch the marathon, and to have the freedom to dine out independently in the evening. European Waterways is offering the special 10-night ‘Paris Marathon’ package aboard its luxurious hotel barge Renaissance at the same price as a standard six-night cruise—$5,450 person, based on two people sharing a cabin suite. European Waterways’ all-inclusive hotel barge cruises offer comfortable accommodation for four–12 passengers in air-conditioned, ensuite cabins; gourmet meals; fine wines; an open bar and all excursions. All vessels are fully crewed with a Captain, gourmet chef, hostess and tour guide.These cruises are ideal for people looking for either an individual cruise with other like-minded people, or for those wanting a whole barge charter for a family or group of friends. European Waterways, sales@gobarging.com, www.gobarging.com

The jewel of the Maltese islands

Daily flights to Malta available from all major European cities.

Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

The Mediterranean’s best kept secret www.visitmalta.com

FEBRUARY 2010 • 090116_TravelWorldNews_87.3x123.8_rm.indd 1

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CARIBBEAN

Sports, Eco & Social Tourism on the Dominican Republic’s North Coast Social Interaction to Physical Challenges. D . O. C H R I S T I A N R I E G E R , I V TIM HALL, TUBAGUA PLANATION VILLAGE

The palapas of Tubagua Plantation Village nestled on a hill top "800 feet above stress level," north shore of the Dominican Republic.

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acationing is no longer only about hanging out at all-inclusive resorts, lying in a hammock and drinking piña coladas. There are now a multiplicity of niche markets ranging from kite surfing to mountain biking to helping with service projects that travel agents can arrange and book. And missionary-type work is not just for missionaries. Tim Hall, owner of Tubagua Plantation Village near Puerto Plata, says, “Examples of social service projects would include Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders.” Hall refers to helping with social causes as “voluntourism.” It is a particularly good experience for high school and college students. He says, “This gives a dual purpose to a trip combining social projects, such as building schools and needed housing for the very poor, with vacation time. Staying in a place like Tubagua Plantation Village gives an experience they are unlikely to get anywhere else.” Tubagua is designed and built for just such voluntourism. Accommodations are “Robinson Crusoe” style palapas: wood-framed structures with thatch roofs and open sides. It is how the Taino Indians lived when Columbus showed up. There are a couple of modern considerations like canvas sheeting to pull back for siding for privacy and to protect from the rains, and mosquito netting. The combined kitchen and prep room is also a palapa, as is the dining room/social hall which overlooks the forest, sugar cane fields and ocean below. It is away from most signs of civilization— as one guest put it, “800 feet above stress level.”

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Tubagua is convenient to a plethora of excursions that include a trip along the “Carreta Turista” (Tourist Highway). It is so named not for the sake of foreign visitors, so much as for Dominicans who drive this scenic route from Santiago in the mountains, through amber mine country, to the seashore at Sosua and Cabarete. Along the road are fruit stands (50+ tasty, sweet finger bananas on a stem sells for two dollars), cheese from local cheese makers, wood-fired, whole roast pork and the amber mines. Tim Hall will also direct guests to nearby mountain, trails waterfalls, rapids and caves. Visiting an amber mine is an important cultural phenomenon. Amber has been used since the ancient Greek and Druid civilizations for healing and religious purposes. It also gives visitors a chance to see some amber with insects which have been entombed in them for about 20 million years. Private quarters are available for $35.00 per person per night, single or double occupancy. Rate includes an American-style breakfast served from 7:00 to 10:00 AM. Group rates are arranged directly. Ask Tim Hall how you can put together a group to help a Dominican community. Staying at Tubagua Plantation Village is like going native. Tubagua Plantation Village, www.tubagua.com

Surfer Dudes and Dudettes There is a new surfers' camp in Cabarete, Swell. It caters to traditional surfers in what would be called a “surf camp” in the sport, except that it isn’t surf-camp traditional. Most of CONTINUED ON PAGE

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www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


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For the Horsey, Tennis & Golf Set Where do you send clients for the best horseback riding, tennis and golf? Send them to horse, tennis and golf heaven, or to the 250-acre Sea Horse Ranch, at Cabarete. It has a half mile of waterfront with three boutique beaches, night-lit, clay tennis courts and a teaching pro; horse stables, jumping ring and bridal paths. Lessons are available for everything. Private English riding lessons are $35.00 per hour. One and a half hour group rides to the beach and on trails is $30.00. A three hour tour is $50.00. Tennis rates are $14.00 for court fees and $29.00 for private lessons. About a 45 minute drive away is one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, Playa Grande. It was the last one Robert Trent Jones designed, and he said it was his best. 10 of the holes are next to the 200 foot cliffs 18 • FEBRUARY 2010

SEA HORSE RANCH

DR NORTH COAST

these places are like camps, Swell, however, is more like modern inn, with modern architecture and style generally seen only in fine homes and resorts. It is modern with softness and style, not brusque, harsh or menacing. This is a cross between a B & B, a high-end resort, and a private villa. It is completely walled in with buildings on two sides, quiet and user friendly. It has a pool of which its “night light” is 700 led bulbs that sparkle in the water like stars in the heavens. Frankly, the place is so inviting to look at, if it were a cake, you would want to eat it. It has an open-air kitchen, one of the best Dominican cooks in the country, and what would be considered gourmet dining, at an astoundingly low price. It has six bedrooms plus two dormitory-style rooms for family use, or for use by friends on a budget traveling as a pack. Clare Barnaby and Jim Mutsaars, the owners, designed and built this mini-resort. Jim explains, “We came up with the idea for Swell because I did a lot of backpacking when I was 20 years old, and loved the social aspect of it. We saw that there is a gap between a ‘normal hotel’ and a surfers’ hostel, which I think our place has fills. We think the old cliché of surfers wanting only the most basic accommodation is not true anymore, since there are plenty of surfers in their 30’s 40’s and 50’s who have money to spend, but want a good bed to sleep for themselves and, maybe more important, for the non-surfing wives or girlfriends. That is what we have here” A learner’s package price of $660, ppdo, includes airport transfers for Puerto Plata Airport, an astounding breakfast and dinner, daily transportation to where the waves are the best at the Cabarete surf beaches, four surf lessons and a three-day surf board rental, and a Swell T-shirt. (Double entendre is probably intended.) None-package rates are also available. If surfers’ facilities were rated by swells instead of stars, this would get five swells. It’s damn good. Swell, www.swellsurfcamp.com

Horseback riding on the sea shore section of the trails of Sea Horse Ranch, north shore of the Dominican Republic.

where the waves of the Atlantic Ocean crash below. Greens fee is $110.00. Sea Horse has two pools at its beach club. Next to that is the resort’s restaurant, Fata Morgana, in a large gazebo that partly hangs over the ocean. The chef is Italian. The food is excellent. The service is attentive without being cloying. It has perhaps a dozen tables, so it never feels crowded and diners do not feel rushed. The breeze sweeps in from the ocean, and the surf breaks beneath. I have eaten at a lot of restaurants half way around the planet and have not eaten anywhere at which the total vacation dining experience equaled this. Sea Horse has 17, three to six bedroom, rental villas within its community of permanent residents. Villas range in size from 3,228 to 12,000 square feet. Winter rates start at $780.00 and go to $3000.00 per night. Cooks/chefs are extra. Jennifer Kirkman, marketing and sales manager, says, “Sea Horse is very family oriented. You actually see people using the paths and children riding bikes on the streets. Unlike most Caribbean resort developments this has tree-shaded, winding roads and lanes, instead of contrived, grid-style streets.” Sea Horse Ranch, www.sea-horse-ranch.com These three vacation establishments will book other sports through Iguana Mama in Cabarete. Iguana Mama, founded in 1993, is the first adventure sports tour company licensed in the Dominican Republic. It offers 15 tours that include a variety of day and half-day trips. These include rappelling, mountain biking, hiking, canyonning, cascading, and white water rafting. Among the mountain biking trips is the Islabon Coast Cruise tour. It combines a boat trip down the Yasica River with a six mile bike ride along the coast. It is a tour that beginners, families and bird lovers will have a chance to learn about the Dominican coastal vegetation and daily fishing life. $55.00 for adults and $40.00 for children. The more adventurous can take the cascading tour to the Ciguapa Falls in the Septentrional Mountains. At $89.00, participants leap off a series of waterfalls and immerse themwww.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


CARIBBEAN selves in a Dominican wilderness unseen by most tourists. Iguana Mama is the only tour company that offers this tour. Iguana Mama, www.iguanamama.com

Really Grand Villas Caribbean Vacation Properties owns and manages 15 villas along the north coast of the Dominican Republic from Puerto Plata (the country’s third largest city) in the west, to Samana (the whale-watching bay) in the east. Villas range from 7 to 10 bedrooms — along the ocean or in the solitude of the mountains. Villa vacations are perfect for getaways with the family, ideal for productive and secretive corporate retreats, a superior romantic place to host a Caribbean wedding/honeymoon, and the “new idea” for vacationing groups of friends and buddies who might otherwise stay at an all inclusive. “Renting a villa with a group of friends is like owning your own all inclusive,” claims Richard Schecher Jr., sales manager. “When you consider the cost of staying at a villa and what you get in return, it is an excellent deal. The main points are: all the food, the times you eat, how you dress when you eat, how long you keep your bathing suit on in bare feet, what your selection of booze is, is the guest’s decision, not management’s. Plus, there are no strangers to interfere with your vacation lifestyle. The fact that you have your own bartender makes for the real deal. More importantly, the service you get in a vacation villa exceeds what you get at a luxury resort. This makes the price right.” Two villas are within a five minute ride to the famed Playa Grande Golf Course. One of them is Villa Lazy Heart. Lazy Heart is Caribbean Vacation Properties’ villa for the horsey and tennis set, as well as the golfers. It has 15 horses that are ready to go when the renter wants—all-day rides into the country if the guests want. Located at the beach on a bluff with a commanding view of the ocean (and whales during whale season), the villa has a tennis court and a pool with a view over the ocean. It has ten bedrooms, each as an independent cottage. This makes for privacy amongst a group. Through April 15th, the rate per night is $2,595.00 . The allday-long food and booze supplement is $69.00 per person. Villa Cabofino, with 10 bedrooms in connecting private cottages, is $2,595.00 per night, with a food and booze supplement of $69.00, through April 15th. On the water, it also has a night-lit, lawn tennis court. According to Tennis magazine, it is the only tennis court overlooking the ocean in the Caribbean. That’s a Bingo! Caribbean Vacation Properties, www.caribbean-vacation-properties.com/pages

DOMINICA’S CARNIVAL CELEBRATES THE ISLAND’S RICH CULTURE AND HERITAGE From February 15–16, 2010, Dominica’s (pronounced “dom-ineek-a’) “The Real Mas,” Carnival, unquestionably one of the most festive times on “the Nature Island,” will display the unique folklore and pageantry of Dominica, blending elements of African, European and regional influences through song, dance, drama, poetry and music in a variety of competitions, performances and street activities. The traditional Parade kicks off the Carnival festivities. The Queen contestants, Calyponians, Princess Show contestants, the most popular bands, stilt walkers, cheerleaders and many more people saunter through the streets in a kaleidoscope of colors. Additional activities during this period include the National Queen Show, the Junior Calypso Monarch, Carnival Costume Street Parade and a traditional Masquerade competition. National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destination ranked the island as the top sustainable island in the Caribbean and among the top ten in the world. Dominica was recognized by Islands Magazine and was included in its 2007 Blue List for being a leader in responsible tourism and ensuring an environmentally and culturally sound island for future generations. Most recently, Travel + Leisure announced Dominica as one of the most compelling destinations to visit in their 100 Greatest Trips 2008 edition. Discover Dominica Authority, 866-522-4057, Anuncio Verdanza enero.ai 12/15/2009 4:35:57 PM www.discoverdominica.com The Center of

Exciting San Juan

Located in the heart of Isla Verde Tourist Area, Verdanza Hotel is just minutes from all there is for your clients to see and do in San Juan. If it’s sun and surf they’re looking for, Isla Verde Beach is just one block away. If they’re in the shop-till-they-drop spirit, they’re a short drive from Plaza Las Americas Shopping Center. They’ll find old-world charm and cultural wonders in Old San Juan, San Juan Port - Puerto Rico Convention Center, just a quick drive away.

The Hotel that Has it All. When you’re out of town, it’s nice to know that your hotel offers all the comforts of home. Verdanza Hotel features 222 contemporary rooms and suites, 3 restaurants and 15,000 flexible meeting space, which include just about everything you can think of.

Dominican Ministry of Tourism, www.godominicanrepublic.com 8020 Tartak Street, Isla Verde, Puerto Rico • 787.253.9000 • verdanzahotel.com

To contact the writer: dochristianrieger@gmail.com Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

A Member of Summit Hotels & Resorts

FEBRUARY 2010•

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CARIBBEAN NEWLY REPOSITIONED ELBOW BEACH, BERMUDA, OPEN FOR BUSINESS

therapies by the ocean. “We are proud of the legacy of excellence at Elbow Beach, Bermuda, as we begin this new chapter in the history of this legendary resort. We look forward to continuing to contribute to Bermuda’s bright future as a unique tourist destination, by creating a luxurious resort that is in keeping with its heritage as the first luxury hotel to have opened on the island’s South Shore over a century ago,” said HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, owner of the resort. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which has managed Elbow Beach, Bermuda, since 2000, continues to operate the resort property. Elbow Beach, Bermuda, www.mandarinoriental.com

SEVEN-NIGHT GETAWAYS AT BREEZES RESORTS SAVE UP TO $770 PER COUPLE

Elbow Beach, Bermuda, has announced that the property will be repositioned as a truly intimate resort with 98 luxury suites and cottages. This follows the closure of selected outlets and guestrooms within the hotel’s 101-year-old main building on November 30, 2009, for a planned renovation. As part of the 50-acre beachside resort’s conversion, a series of refurbishments will be carried out in gradual phases. These will be done with minimal disturbance to guests and completed by the first quarter of 2010. Enhancements include the addition of advanced in-room entertainment systems, luxury interior fittings and improved bathroom facilities for all of the 98 recently renovated suites and cottage units. Joining the wide variety of dining and refreshment options already available, which include Lido, the beachside restaurant, Sea Breeze, the chic open-air tapas and sushi lounge, Mickey’s ‘On-the-Beach’ Bistro and the seasonal poolside restaurant, will be a new bar and entertainment facility within The Deep nightclub. The former Veranda Bar will also be fashioned into a recreation lounge for guest entertainment. Additional resort enhancements will include a new business center and the complete renovation of the freestanding Bermuda Room, which will be restored to its authentic 1908 design becoming a luxurious meeting and banqueting venue for small groups, weddings and social functions. The renowned spa, temperature-controlled 82-foot swimming pool, fitness room and kids’ club, all remain in operation, while the half-mile pink-sand beachfront will benefit from a new spa beach pavilion for experiencing holistic spa 20 • FEBRUARY 2010

Those eager to escape to tropical relief without wringing out their wallets, or repeat guests with a desire to return to their favorite Caribbean vacation spot on a budget, will like Breezes Resorts’ “Early Booking Bonus.” Bookings made by February 17 can result in up to $770 per couple on sevennight/eight-day getaways through August 31, 2010. Rates begin at $120 ppdo. In Jamaica, Breezes Resorts’ all-star lineup includes the allsuite Breezes Grand Negril, named one of Travel + Leisure’s “Top 25 Hotels in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” in 2008. Breezes Trelawny is a favorite for all ages with four swimming pools, a rock-climbing wall and a circus workshop featuring flying trapeze lessons. Adventure buffs will thrill to a host of land and water activities at Breezes Runaway Bay, including a golf school and scuba diving lessons. The neighboring Breezes Rio Bueno boasts a quaint Jamaican village-style architecture and treats guests to the resort’s signature seaside massage, one of the many rejuvenating treatments offered at the full-service à la carte Blue Mahoe Spa. Travelers can embark on an island-hopping journey in the Bahamas starting from the legendary Cable Beach in Nassau with beachfront accommodations at Breezes Bahamas. Breezes Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, the island’s only Super-Inclusive resort, beckons world-class divers and water sports enthusiasts alike to explore its 1,500-foot white-sand beach whose pristine waters teem with vibrant marine life. For 30 years, Breezes Resorts’ “Super-Inclusive” concept has required making only a single payment for accommodations. All meals and multiple dining options; unlimited premiumbrand drinks; land and water sports including equipment rental and instruction; entertainment; weddings; recreational activities; and hotel taxes are included. Tipping is not allowed. Breezes Resorts, 877-Breezes (273-3937), www.breezes.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


CARIBBEAN SANDY LANE BARBADOS NAMES VANESSA WILLIAMS EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT MANAGER Robert Logan, General Manager of Sandy Lane in Barbados, has announced the appointment of Vanessa Williams as Executive Assistant Manager/Sales, Marketing and Hotel Operations. He stated, “Vanessa has proven herself to be highly passionate about the luxury hotel industry and her VANESSA WILLIAMS 20-plus years of global experience certainly make her an asset to Sandy Lane. We’re confident Vanessa’s remarkable leadership skills will continue to reaffirm Sandy Lane’s position as one of the Caribbean’s leading resorts as we head into our busy winter season.” In her role, Williams will report directly to Mr. Logan. She will be responsible for the global management of sales, marketing and public relations on behalf of the resort and also actively involved in the day-to-day operations of Sandy Lane. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Williams joins Sandy Lane with more than 20 years of experience in the hotels and hospitality industry. Prior to her appointment at Sandy Lane, she was Hotel Manager/EAM Sales & Marketing at Raffles L’Ermitage in Beverly Hills, California, where she oversaw daily operations along with leading the sales and marketing efforts of the 119-room, Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond hotel. Previously, she served as Director of Marketing at the Intercontinental Hong Kong and Director of Sales and Marketing at Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, where she took a lead role in the successful renovation and relaunch of the flagship property. She has also held positions with Nikko Hotels in the USA and Asia Pacific. Williams is married with two sons, Wesley and Blake, who live and work in South Africa. Sandy Lane, 866-444-4080, www.sandylane.com

fishes like sharks, whale sharks and now even mantas ray have been seen both above and below water. The dolphins and manta rays loved their bay, too. The small apartment complex is located in the small fishing village of “Westpunt,” at the west end of the island, the most pleasant part surrounded by the tropical hills, with outstanding sunsets and star-filled skies. All West Apartments & Diving offers attractive packages of room, car and diving all year long. One week in a Studio for two including car and unlimited diving starts at $542 per person. Diving at All West is possible round the clock thanks to its onsite dive shop. The main dive shop, Ocean Encounters West, observes the onestop diving concept—which takes divers to all of Curaçao, from the Mushroom Forest and Watamula, to the Superior Producer, Tugboat, and the island of Klein Curaçao. Courses are offered from Discover Scuba Diver to Dive Instructor, Emergency First Response to Technical Diving, boat and shore diving every day. For May and August, All West Apartments & Diving has a stay 7/pay 6 only package for room, car and diving. All West Apartments & Diving, request@allwestcuracao.com, www.allwestcuracao.com, www.oceanencounterswest.com

ALL WEST APARTMENTS & DIVING DEDICATED TO DIVERS’ INTERESTS IN CURACAO In 2009, All West Apartments & Diving guests got plenty to see underwater and above. The All West crew and its dive shop Ocean Encounters West have recognized that dolphin groups are swimming by in the morning hours and come back from the west coast in the early afternoon. But in 2009, even they were surprised. More and more big Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

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CARIBBEAN SPICE ISLAND BEACH RESORT AWARDED COVETED GREEN GLOBE RECERTIFICATION

Recognizing the resort’s commitment to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards, the luxurious 64room Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada has received the prestigious Green Globe Certification Award. “Spice Island Beach Resort has continuously operated as an environmentally-friendly property and we’re extremely pleased that our hard work and efforts have garnered us this esteemed award,” said Sir Royston O. Hopkin, KCMG, chairman and owner of Spice Island Beach Resort. “We’re extremely proud that our efforts are helping to sustain Grenada and its natural treasures and we will continue to seek out new and innovative ways to continue our operations with the environment in mind,” he added. “Green Globe congratulates Spice Island Beach Resort on receiving accreditation. They have demonstrated their commitment to care for the natural environment and to engage with their staff and the local communities. Spice Island Beach Resort is a beacon for sustainable operation and management of resort properties across the Caribbean,” said Mr. Guido Bauer, CEO, Green Globe Certification. Spice Island Beach Resort was the first property on Grenada to be Green Globe Certified in 2004. In 2005, following a brief property closure as a result of Hurricane Ivan, the resort embarked on a massive $12 million rebuilding and renovation project and implemented a variety of green initiatives. Among the ‘green’ efforts are solar rooftop heaters for hot water and on-property desalinization of sea water (during the dry season). The resort has also converted more than 295,000 gallons of pool water to purification by the chemical-free Auto Pilot system, which uses salt instead of chlorine. A vegetable and herb garden (composted) is maintained that supplies the kitchen with fresh ingredients; any produce purchased is grown locally and organically. Employees are trained and educated as “Environmental Agents” on the resort’s environmental practices, policies and objectives. A “Green Team” is comprised of staff supervisors and managers to oversee and implement the program. Pictured left to right: Jesson Church, Ryan Hopkin, Fabian Mitchell, Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG, Wendy Charles, Brian Hardy, CHA, Seymour Thompson. Spice Island Beach Resort, spiceisl@spiceisle.com, www.spiceislandbeachresort.com; Green Globe, www.greenglobe.org 22 • FEBRUARY 2010

INTERVAL INTERNATIONAL WELCOMES FIRST WHOLE OWNERSHIP RESORT COMMUNITY IN ARUBA Interval International, global provider of vacation services and an operating segment of Interval Leisure Group (Nasdaq:IILG), has added Gold Coast Aruba to its vacation exchange network. The master-planned resort community will feature 270 whole-ownership villas and townhouses in the island’s Malmok area, and offer purchasers Interval’s upgraded membership program, Interval Gold®. The resort community is located on 26 acres just a few minutes away from the scenic northwest coastline, and its architecture and interior design reflect a Mediterranean style with Caribbean touch. Membership in Interval Gold® further reinforces the value of ownership by giving new purchasers the opportunity to exchange their accommodations for those at other resorts in Interval’s worldwide network, as well as the ability to relinquish their resort weeks toward the purchase of cruise, golf, and spa vacations. They also enjoy an extensive menu of benefits, including discounts on resort Getaways, ShortStay ExchangeSM, access to a personal concierge service available 24 hours a day via phone and email, complimentary Hertz #1 Gold® membership, and worldwide hotel and dining discounts. Interval International, www.intervalworld.com, www.resortdeveloper.com

NEW VERDANZA HOTEL IN SAN JUAN OFFERS SPECIAL GETAWAY PACKAGE The all-new Verdanza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is offering a cure for the wintertime blues with its Winter Getaway package, starting at $90 per person per night now through April 30. Included in the package is accommodation for two adults, a welcome gift, daily buffet breakfast for two adults, a $25 credit food and beverage credit for use in the hotel, one Rondanza-Verdanza signature rum drink per adult, 20-percent discount on massages from Body Healers, and a “free one night stay” certificate for future use with the purchase of three nights or more. Rates do not include nine-percent government tax and eight-percent resort fee. Minimum stay is two nights. Up to two children 16 years or younger are welcome to stay in same room with adults at no additional cost. Children under five years old eat free at Eighty20 Bistro. The offer is subject to availability and restrictions apply. The package is commissionable at 15 percent for travel agents. Verdanza Hotel officially opened its doors January 15 as the only independent full-service hotel in San Juan. Located steps from the beach in the Isla Verde tourism district, the boutique property has 222 rooms with 20 suites, three restaurants, a pastry shop, and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Verdanza is a member of the Summit Hotels & Resorts collection of Preferred Hotel Group. Verdanza Hotel, www.verdanzahotel.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


CARIBBEAN LADERA CLAIMS TOP POSITION AMONG THE CARIBBEAN’S FINEST HOTELS

an open bar. A shuttle to nearby restaurants, beaches and sightseeing; media library of books, music and DVDs; breakfast food items (a selection of coffees and teas, juices, eggs, cereal, milk) pre-stocked in the cottages or a continental breakfast delivered daily; WIFI and local calls; fresh fruit; bicycles, and roundtrip airport transfers are also included. The three-night Honeymoon Romance Package costs $3,500 per couple. Taxes are additional. Cotton Tree, www.caymancottontree.com

FLAMBOYANT HOTEL RENOVATION CELEBRATES 20 YEARS The prestigious standing of Ladera in the West Indies as one of the world’s best hotels was recently reaffirmed when it appeared on the annual Gold List in the January issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Gold List hotels are selected by the magazine’s highly selective, discerning readers. Ladera received an impressive score of 88.9 out of a possible 100 and is one of only two St. Lucian properties on the list. “Ladera is honored to be recognized by such a discriminating, well-traveled group. We’re delighted to start the New Year in the impressive company of the other Gold List winners representing the very best in travel experiences,” says Waddy Francis, General Manager. “The recognition coincides with the completion of several upgrades at Ladera, including the opening of Paradise Pavilion, the resort’s impressive new destination wedding venue which will be the setting for the Caribbean’s most coveted betrothals in 2010.” Ladera, 866-290-0978, www.ladera.com

VALENTINE’S DAY EXTENDS ALL YEAR AT NEW BOUTIQUE COTTAGE HOTEL ON GRAND CAYMAN A private tour aboard a luxury yacht, aphrodisiac dinner prepared in-suite, professional photograph amid lush landscape and more entice couples this Valentine’s Day and beyond to Cotton Tree, the Cayman Islands’ first boutique cottage hotel. Romantic treatment starts when couples enter their beachfront cottage, pre-stocked with grapes and cheese and champagne and chocolate. As a memento, couples can receive a professional photograph of themselves, done either in Cotton Tree’s garden (under a Cotton Tree or exotic fruit tree) or on the beach. Additionally, a top local chef is on hand for a cooking lesson to prepare an aphrodisiac dinner ensuite (starting with oysters or one of the Caribbean’s favorite aphrodisiacs, conch, and ending with a chocolate decadence dessert) with a sommelier choosing the wines to match. Couples are also treated to three hours on a luxury 42’ Sea Ray sport yacht that includes fresh fruit, light snacks, snorkel gear, the use of a Sea-Doo Wave runner, sparkling wine and Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

The Caribbean’s Flamboyant Hotel & Villas is marking 20 years as a pioneer and icon in the hotel industry in Grenada with reorganization and an upgrade of its facilities. The transformation will implement improved systems, processes and procedures, which will result in enhanced operational efficiency and customer service delivery. Tourism strategic consultant, Dr. Kerry Hall, has been engaged to oversee this process with the primary focus being the professional development of the 100 staff at the resort to create a culture of excellence. Already the hotel has hired a qualified trainer on the permanent staff and intense daily training has been progressing since spring of 2009. The focus of putting customers first, according to the Managing Director, is part of the new strategic direction of the hotel. “The staff have eagerly embraced this new agenda and are very enthusiastic about the opportunities for continuing their professional development,” says Lawrence Lambert CBE. The 68-room hotel and villas will undergo a generous facelift to reflect its flamboyant personality. Chairman of the Flamboyant Hotel & Villas, well-known and pioneering businessman Hugh Dolland, has announced a $3,000,000 upgrade program to enhance the soft furnishings of the resort. The project, due to start after the winter season has ended so as not to disturb current bookings, will include new furnishings, drapery and redecorating of the guest rooms. The hotel is adding two golf carts for availability to guests to maneuver the hillside on which the rooms are perched— all have an outstanding view of world-famous Grand Anse Beach. Flamboyant Hotel has grown from nine to 68 rooms over the years, renowned for its “home-away-from-home” hospitality to visitors from many corners of the globe. Lambert expressed great pride in the hotel’s monumental achievements over the last two decades, attributing the hotel’s success in large part to the patronage of its loyal customer base, which has become an important part of the Flamboyant family. Flamboyant Hotel & Villas, 866-978-8013, www.flamboyant.com FEBRUARY 2010•

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MEXICO PENTHOUSE SUITE GETS LUXURY UPGRADES AT FLAMINGO HOTEL

Hotel Flamingo, a lovely boutique property located on the island of Cozumel, Mexico, has completely renovated its Penthouse. The suite has two bedrooms and is a spacious unit with full gourmet kitchen, dining area, large living room with ocean views, one full bathroom with shower and one half bathroom, hair dryer, and mini split-zone air conditioning, Amenities include an entertainment center with large flat-panel TV, stereo system with iPod docking, high-speed Internet connection, ceiling fans throughout the Penthouse, and an electronic in-room safe. There’s a huge private deck with Jacuzzi to enjoy the ocean view. The bedroom with a double bed also has an ocean view; the second bedroom has a king bed. Both rooms are fitted with luxury bedding. Laundry services are available. Full breakfast is included and may be served in the Penthouse. Bar service is open until 11 nightly. The Flamingo offers full concierge services. In celebration of its renovated Penthouse Suite, Flamingo is offering a 20-percent discount for arrivals through April 15, 2010, with a three-night minimum and a complimentary welcome bottle of champagne. As a special invitation to the travel agent community, the Flamingo is offering a 40-percent discount to travel agents for minimum three-night stays also until April 15. Hotel Flamingo, 800-806-1601, info@hotelflamingo.com, www.hotelflamingo.com

SANDOS CARACOL ECO RESORT & SPA OPENS NEW AQUA PARK Kids and adults of all ages can cool off under the Riviera Maya sun at Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa at the resort’s brand new Aqua Park which features a variety of water play areas including 17 water slides. Open daily 10–5, families can kick back and relax poolside while children enjoy splash-filled fun under lifeguard supervision. The Aqua Park features a pool bar as well as the convenience of showers and bathrooms. All children must be accompanied by an adult. All guests of Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa and the Sandos Select Club area are permitted to use the facility as part of an allinclusive vacation. A variety of water play areas include “raining” palm trees, a large water bucket area and water spouts throughout the park. As 24 • FEBRUARY 2010

a daily activity, all children that are enrolled in the complimentary Kids Club will enjoy a trip to the Aqua Park under the supervision of the Sandos Animation staff. Children two–12 can make new friends at the Kids Club through additional age-specific activities including dance lessons, sandcastle building, Olympic games, competitions on the beach, water polo, water balloons, face painting, arts and crafts, sack races, movies, table tennis, bingo, football, a mini disco, fashion parade, piñata party games, board games, kayaking trips, water aerobics, archery, croquet, basketball, and water volleyball. Supervised Kids Club activities are available from 10 am to 10 pm (for children ages two–12 years old) and Teen activities from 10 am to 9 pm (for young adults ages 13–17). Vacationing families are afforded increased savings as one child under the age of 12 stays, eats and plays free, and a second and third child (under the age of 12) receive a 50-percent discount (for kids staying in the same accommodations as paying parents/adults). Certain restrictions apply during holidays. For larger families, Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa features spacious accommodations for up to five guests (two adults, three children). Junior Suites feature one king-size bed, a separate living area with double sofa bed and an outdoor terrace with patio Jacuzzi and a garden, pool, or jungle view. Sandos Hotels & Resorts, 866-336-4083, www.sandoshotels.com

PLAYA MAMBO IS AN ECO-GETAWAY NEAR MAGICAL MAYAN SETTING For many years Tulúm, in Mexico’s southeastern Yucatan Peninsula, has been the Mecca of travelers looking for physical and spiritual relaxation. The walled city, built on the top of a 40-foot cliff overlooking the Caribbean, contains vestiges of one of the most exquisite cities revealing remote Mayan culture. Playa Mambo, less than four miles from the Tulúm archaeological site, is a small paradise inspired by ancient Mayan constructions that combines the distinctive natural surroundings of the area with the comforts of a city. Harmony and balance have been created by integrating native, rustic materials such as shells, wood and stone with modern elements. There are eight ecological suites, all located on the beach, and each is named by the color that evokes the sense of its environment and special decor. Some have a lovely ocean view, a private terrace and wooden decks. The rooms have private bathrooms, hot water, electricity and king-size beds with silk and cotton sheets. All have been built on the beach, so guests simply step out of their rooms onto the soft, white sand. The ecoresort features a beach club with twin and double sun loungers, a bar that’s open from 11 until 6 p.m. and a grill used for cooking dinner with the specialties being meat and lobster. Those seeking a unique, intimate location for a special event or a wedding reception are encouraged to consider Playa Mambo. The charm of this delightful boutique eco-hotel is best conveyed on its website, with photos and slideshows that capture its special style. Playa Mambo, playamambo@yahoo.com, www.playamambo.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


Only for Top Travel Agents

WIN THE PERFECT VACATION YOU DESERVE AS A TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL Sell at least 5 room nights for stays dated between January 1st and April 30th, 2010 and enter the raffle for a 20,000 USD first-class vacation. Your vacation package to the Riviera Maya includes: rRound flight in private jet (pick up in selected airports) rSeven nights all-inclusive accommodation for four people rTours to Chichen Itzá, Tulum, Río Secreto and Canché rMassages and spa treatments for four people All sales must be made between November 1 st, 2009 and Januar y 31 st, 2010. The raffle will take place in June 15 th and the results will be published via email and in specialized magazines. Only members of Golden Club can par ticipate.

REAL LUXURY COMES NATURALLY Environmentally responsible all-inclusive luxury resort, nestled in the midst of a nature preserve, affording tranquil beaches, eco-adventures, and experiences unlike any others. MX 01 800 262.9268 ~ USA 1 800 224.4231 goldenclub@haciendatresrios.com / www.haciendatresrios.com Hacienda Tres Ríos is not reliable for errors or omissions contained in this publicity.


MEXICO THE GRAND PALLADIUM RESORTS IN MAYAN RIVIERA RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS GREEN GLOBE AWARD

The Grand Palladium Resorts in the Mayan Riviera (Mexico) have been awarded the prestigious Green Globe Award (Bronze) in recognition of their environmental sustainability efforts. The Grand Palladium Resorts in the Mayan Riviera follow a strict philosophy of respect for the environment, preserving over 80 percent of the resorts’ natural habitat as well as attaining energy savings of 4.67 percent in 2009. The Green Globe Award is the standard worldwide award for the recognition, certification and improvement of the tourism industry for sustainability. The Fiesta Hotel Group also boasts the MARTI certificate as well as the prestigious Kuoni Green Planet award, and is currently working to improve further its environmental policy and achieve the Green Globe Award for its other Palladium Resorts throughout the Caribbean. Fiesta Hotel Group, 888-237-1226, www.fiestahotelgroup.com

WINTER RETREAT DEALS APLENTY AT MEXICO’S ONE&ONLY PALMILLA Once the tropical hideaway for the likes of Hemingway and Harlow, the serenely private One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, features expansive ocean-facing accommodation, each with veranda, sunbeds, and indulgent amenities. Guests can now stay four nights at this legendary resort and enjoy the fourth night free—and get a $200 resort credit toward dining, spa or golf, $100 food and beverage credit, and two $50 spa certificates to apply to the One&Only Experience by ESPA. The special package is valid for bookings made now through May 13, 2010, for stays beginning January 2, 2010, through May 13, 2010. Bookings made before January 29, 2010, will receive complimentary round-trip airport transfers valued at $250. Rates start at $675/night. Blackout periods apply. This offer excludes a 29-percent room tax and service charge. One&Only Palmilla is located along the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez within the Los Cabos Corridor, a 21-mile stretch between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. There are ample direct flights from numerous U.S. gateway cities to San Jose Del Cabo International Airport, a mere 20 minutes by car from the hotel. One&Only Palmilla, reservations@oneandonlyresorts.com, www.oneandonlyresorts.com 26 • FEBRUARY 2010

INTRODUCTORY $50 HILTON MEXICO CITY REFORMA TRAVEL AGENT RATE Travel agents can enjoy a special $50 introductory travel agent rate at the new Hilton Mexico City Reforma, now through February 28, 2010. The hotel, located just steps from the famous Reforma Avenue, will welcome travel agents with a special introductory rate starting at $50 per night for three nights. Strategically located at a gateway to the city’s business district, the hotel at Avenida Juarez 70, Colonia Centro, is just a stone’s throw from major corporations and financial institutions. The special rate of $50 per room per night plus tax is based on single or double occupancy. The offer is subject to availability and does not include taxes, service charges, or gratuities; it cannot be combined with any other offers. Other restrictions may apply. Agents should request plan code TR when booking to take advantage of the special offer. Hilton Mexico City Reforma, 800-445-8667 (800-HILTONS), www.hiltonmexicocity.com

FOUR PALACE RESORTS IN MEXICO JOIN WYNDHAM HOTELS AND RESORTS Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Palace Resorts has announced that four upscale Palace Resorts properties in Mexico will join the Wyndham® brand: Beach Palace®, Cancun; Isla Mujeres Palace®, Isla Mujeres; and Playacar Palace® and Xpu-Ha Palace®, both in Riviera Maya. Xpu-Ha Palace will be rebranded as a Wyndham Resort while Beach Palace, Isla Mujeres Palace and Playacar Palace will gain the Wyndham Grand Resort designation. All will continue to be owned and operated by Palace Resorts. Each Palace Resorts property features unlimited fine dining and top-shelf beverages at a wide variety of international a la carte or buffet restaurants, 24-hour room service, non-motorized water sports, live nightly entertainment shows, wireless Internet service throughout the resort, unlimited telephone calls to the United States, Canada and Mexico and unlimited tours to selected local cultural sites. The four resorts soon will join the Wyndham Rewards® program and offer the brand’s Wyndham ByRequest® personalized benefits. Points can be redeemed for complimentary hotel stays, airline tickets, name-brand merchandise and dining and shopping gift cards, among other options. In lieu of points, members may elect to earn airline or rail miles with a variety of partners. Recently, the Wyndham Rewards® program added Mexico’s leading air carrier, AeroMexico, as an earning and redemption partner. Palace Resorts operates 12 all-inclusive resorts in Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, and Riviera Nayarit in Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, 800-WYNDHAM (996-3426), www.wyndham.com; Palace Resorts, www.palaceresorts.com Wyndham Hotel Group, www.wyndhamrewards.com, www.wyndhamworldwide.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


UNLEASH YOUR SECRET PASSION Now is your chance to enjoy the luxuriously pampered life you deserve, in a purely all-inclusive, adults only, intimate resort that answers to no one’s interests but your own. Come and experience award-winning service that puts the best of the Mexican Caribbean in your hands.

800.232.8316 | valentinmaya.com


MEXICO ACAPULCO INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTER REOPENS FOR 2010 EVENTS

The Acapulco Destination Marketing Office and Secretary of Tourism C. Ernesto Rodriguez Escalona have announced the reopening of the Acapulco International Convention Center for the duration of 2010. The Center was temporarily closed on November 30, 2009, while new investors were sought in order to fully upgrade and renovate the facility to meet the changing needs of the meetings community. Since then, the CAABSA Group has become involved in the project, investing over $40 million as well as overseeing the construction and development of a new convention center. The construction of the new Center, set to be built adjacent to the existing Acapulco International Convention Center, will take two years to complete and will feature 22 meeting rooms for conferences and conventions, the newest technology and nearly 3,000 parking spaces. The current space will be transformed into a new shopping center featuring world-renowned fashion brands, eateries and entertainment. These new centers will allow for Acapulco to become a destination that international meetings and incentives groups think of when planning major conferences and conventions. Events scheduled for 2010, including Tianguis Turistico and the National Congress of Pediatrics Summit, will not be disrupted. Any plans for construction will be scheduled around these important events. Acapulco is Mexico’s largest and most dazzling seaside resort attracting over five million visitors annually. Acapulco is exotic yet easily accessible via direct or convenient connections through all major airline carriers from gateway cities across the United States and Canada. Acapulco Tourism, www.visiteacapulco.com

BOCA DE IGUANAS RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH SUPER SAVER SPECIALS Boca de Iguanas is an eco-hotel and green real estate development in Costalegre, Mexico, where wellness of being and luxurious surroundings are packaged in a complete vacation experience. Situated in a quiet bay along Mexico’s Costalegre just 40 minutes north of Manzanillo International Airport (ZLO), Boca de Iguanas Beach Hotel offers rustic but luxurious and stylish accommodations that deliver an ultra-chic vacation in a pristine ecologi28 • FEBRUARY 2010

cal setting with equal portions of stimulation and relaxation. Ten modern rooms in contemporary Mexican design overlook a tropical garden, and two rustic beach cabanas sit on the sand just a few feet from the water. Now through March 31, Boca de Iguana is offering special prices for one-, three- and seven-night stays. Palmeras Standard accommodations are $160, $450 and $999 respectively; Palmeras Deluxe is $180, $500 and $1,099. Rates are per couple and include taxes. Two kids (up to eight years old) stay free. An adventure activity menu includes an onsite 50-foot high natural rappelling wall, ocean kayaking, birdwatching and jungle hiking. The beach club restaurant offers a healthy and tasty menu featuring fresh local ingredients, and the Boca West beach bar has drinks, delicious margaritas and a great variety of snacks. Installation of a holistic wellness center is planned. Special Honeymoon Packages are available on request. Turnkey custom villas, casas and condominiums are also for sale in this eco-resort community. Boca de Iguanas, reservations@bocadeiguanas.com, reserve@bocadeiguanas.com, www.bocadeiguanas.com

MEXICO PLAYS HOST TO ASTA’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS, CPC Los Cabos, Mexico, hosted ASTA’s joint meeting of its Board of Directors and Chapter Presidents Council in November last year. The Board met with the Los Cabos Convention and Visitors Bureau to brainstorm new ways to market the region to consumers and the travel industry. “Los Cabos has so much to offer even the most seasoned traveler. I am proud ASTA’s Board was able discuss new ideas and work with Los Cabos on a public relations campaign to further Mexico’s tourism goals. I would like to thank Ella Messerli, general manager of the Marquis Los Cabos Hotel and vice president of marketing for Los Cabos CVB, for her role in making this all possible. Thanks to her efforts, we had the chance to see for ourselves some of the many great offerings that await our clients,” said ASTA President and Chairman Chris Russo. In the brainstorming session, ASTA’s Board and the Los Cabos CVB worked together to develop a plan to promote Los Cabos to consumers and fellow ASTA members. Among the ideas were that Los Cabos host targeted FAM trips for the media, create and run a Los Cabos Expert program to educate travel professionals and more. To further these plans, Board members suggested Los Cabos will be offering travel specials through airlines and their local transportation systems to grow tourism in the region, among other initiatives. American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) aims to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business. American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), www.asta.org www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


LATIN AMERICA METROPOLITAN TOURING APPOINTS PAULINA BURBANO DE LARA ITS NEW EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT Paulina Burbano de Lara has been appointed as new Executive President of South Americas’ Metropolitan Touring, with headquarters in Quito, Ecuador and operations offices in Argentina, Chile and Peru. Paulina Burbano de Lara has been part of Metropolitan Touring for the last eight years, and her most recent position was as PAULINA BURBANO Executive Vice President; she replaces DE LARA Roque Sevilla as head of the company. Roque Sevilla will continue his close relationship with Metropolitan Touring as main shareholder and Chairman of the Board of the company. As Metropolitan Touring’s CEO, Paulina will be working closely with the executives of the company’s offices in Argentina, Chile and Peru as well as with those in the main office in Ecuador. Her leadership will be key to pursue the company’s continued growth in other South American markets and in strengthening the importance of South America as a privileged destination for tourism in the world. Paulina is an economist, and joined Metropolitan Touring in 2002 as Financial Vice-President. Then she took a one-year leave to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and returned to Metropolitan Touring as Commercial Vice-President for Inbound Tourism. Metropolitan Touring, www.metropolitan-touring.com

SONESTA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS OPENS SONESTA HOTEL CUSCO, SEVENTH IN PERU Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has announced its seventh hotel in Peru, the 127-room Sonesta Hotel Cusco. This fullservice hotel is located in the midst of business, shopping, restaurants and historic attractions in downtown Cusco. The hotel is located across the street from the handcraft market on the Avenue Sol, just a few blocks from the main square. This hotel (and its sister properties in Peru, Colombia and Chile) has resulted from the strong relationship between GHL Hoteles and Sonesta. “We at Sonesta are excited to bring another full-service business class hotel to our collection in South America,” said Stephanie Sonnabend, President and Chief Executive Officer for Sonesta. The Sonesta Hotel Cusco features contemporary guest rooms with firstclass amenities, a full-service business center, three-meal-a-day restaurant, room service, 24-hour concierge service, WiFi throughout, a banquet room for receptions for up to 100, and several meeting rooms for 30 guests theater-style. The hotel joins the 23-room Sonesta Posadas del Inca Cusco, just a few blocks away. Located in the ancient Inca and Spanish Colonial capital of Cusco, the hotel is near historic points of interest that include Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

Machu Picchu, Koricancha Temple, Sacsayhuamán, Kenko, Puca Pucará, Ollantaytambo, the Inca Trail, Tambomachay. Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site and offers both colonial cathedrals and ancient temples that celebrate its storied past. The hotel is just minutes from Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport. GHL Hoteles, who has managed Sonesta Hotels in Peru since 2005, owns and operates hotels throughout South America. With more than 40 years of experience in the hotel industry, GHL operates hotels under several flags. Currently, GHL operates 37 hotels in Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Panama; including ten Sonesta Hotels located in Peru, Chile and Colombia. Sonesta International Hotels, 800-766-3782, www.sonesta.com

TRANCOSO, BRAZIL, WELCOMES FIRST FIVE-STAR BOUTIQUE HOTEL, UXUA CASA Since its May 2009 grand opening, stunning UXUA Casa Hotel in the south of Bahia has already hosted the likes of 11 world-famous supermodels and photographer Terry Richardson during the 2010 Pirelli Calendar shoot, as well as well-known Brazilian socialites and celebs. UXUA, which in local native Pataxó Indian language means “marvelous,” is under the ownership and direction of long-time Diesel Creative Director Wilbert Das who realized the project as a tribute to the area of southern Bahia which he loves. Over three years Wilbert tapped Colonial, indigenous, and Afro-Bahian histories, arts and customs, and collaborated with local artisans using traditional building methods and recycled materials. Accommodations at UXUA are nine extraordinary casas, each exquisitely outfitted with all of the accoutrements and special services that bring the property to the five-star level. Each has an indoor-outdoor living room, a full gourmet kitchen and sumptuous bedrooms (1–3 depending on the casa) with ensuite bath. The lakelike swimming pool is crafted from 40,000 pebbles of green aventurine quartz thought to be one of the most powerful healing crystals in the world. Dining at UXUA features organically-sourced Bahian fusion cuisine served at the poolside or beachfront restaurants. A full-service spa features indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. The gym offers yoga and pilates, but also instruction in capoeira and local dances taught to individual guests or in small groups, with instruction provided exclusively by native instructors. A rustic Beach Lounge offers guests the perfect venue to relax on one of Trancoso’s most specactular stretches of beach with their own private sofas. The Beach Lounge was built by utilizing abandoned fishing boats that were left on the site, which now serve as a bar and covered sitting areas along the beach. A massage area, restaurant, private dining space, volleyball, an open-air gym and capoeira training are all available at the Beach Lounge. Rates per casa, per night start from $541 during low season (March through November) and $706 during high season (December through February). UXUA Casa Hotel, www.uxua.com FEBRUARY 2010 •

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LATIN AMERICA BREEZES COSTA DO SAUÍPE OFFERS SAVINGS ON SEVEN-NIGHT GETAWAYS

Just south of the equator in Bahia, Breezes’ first venture outside of the Caribbean—Breezes Costa do Sauípe—sits on a pristine cove along Brazil’s unspoiled Eastern coast. An escapade in this part of the southern hemisphere offers a chance to tour and appreciate the Amazon, the very majestic Iguassu Falls, and Rio. Bookings made now through February 17 at Breezes Costa do Sauípe reap savings of up to $770 per couple on seven-night/eightday getaways through August 31, 2010. Rates begin at $117 ppdo. All Breezes “Super-Inclusive” Resorts’ require paying only for accommodations. Meals and multiple dining options including authentic regional cuisine; unlimited premium-brand drinks; land and water sports including equipment rental and instruction; entertainment; weddings; recreational activities; and hotel taxes are all included. Tipping is not accepted. Breezes Resorts, 877-Breezes (273-3937), www.breezes.com

RESURGENT COLOMBIA A TARA TOURS SPECIAL OFFERING Colombia, the Gem of Two Oceans, is making a comeback as a modern, safe and dynamic nation as well as a commanding vacation destination welcoming visitors to Andean mountain vistas and Amazonian rainforests, long white beaches on Caribbean and Pacific coasts, rich history of pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial treasures, and great food, music and shopping. Tara Tours is offering a package to Bogota and Cartagena, with daily departures from the U.S., and in cooperation with Pro-Export Colombia (Tourism office of Colombia) and Avianca Airlines. The trip’s price of $1,294 ppdo includes airfare from Miami to Bogota and Cartagena, local airfares Bogota-Cartagena, all transfers on arrival and departure, two nights in Bogota with daily breakfast, four nights in Cartagena with daily breakfast, a city tour of Cartagena (UNESCO World Heritage Center in 1984) and city tour of Bogota with a visit to the Gold museum, English-speaking tour guides and the assistance of Tara’s local representative. Fourstar hotels are Regency Bogota and Decameron in Cartagena for $1,294 ppdo. (Decameron Cartagena includes all the meals, shows and drinks.) Five-star deluxe hotels are La Fontana in Bogota and Sofitel Santa Clara in Cartagena at $1,870 ppdo. 30 • FEBRUARY 2010

Add-ons are available from LAX $280, NYC $200, WAS $250 via Avianca Airlines. The offer is valid until June 30, 2010. Not included in the price are U.S.A. and Colombia airport departure taxes/fuel surcharges, security—about $150–170, insurance. In addition, Tara Tours is offering even more of Colombia, with all-inclusive packages to Santa Marta from $1,195 ppdo, and to San Andres and Providencia Islands from $1,195 ppdo. Rounding up the whole destination is Tara’s 13-night Best of Colombia program, visiting Bogota, Barranquilla, Santa Marta and Cartagena, priced from $2,995 ppdo and based on Sunday departures from U.S. gateways. Tara Tours, 800-327-0080, www.taratours.com

CANODROS S.A. SETS SPRING AND SUMMER SPECIALS FOR M/V GALAPAGOS EXPLORER II The Canodros M/V Galapagos Explorer II features itineraries that allow travelers to perceive Galapagos through different perspectives—from underwater experiences, bird watching activities and guided walks, to wildlife observation and sunbathing on multicolored beaches. Spacious suites are fully air-conditioned, with marble bathrooms, spacious closets, sitting areas, TV, mini-bar, wireless Internet and satellite communication. Some have private balconies with sitting area. The areas offer a variety of rest, leisure and interpretation options for a comfortable stay at the archipelago. Complete packages in Ecuador are also provided, including highlands, coast and the Amazon rainforest. New promotions for 2010 include the following: Rabida promotion—Discounts from $350 up to $977 (22-percent discount cruise rate) on selected departures from January to March. Sea Turtle special—Discount per passenger from $286 up to $799 (18-percent discount cruise rate) plus free snorkeling equipment rental, five cocktails and one hour of Internet, on selected departures in January and February. Albatross promotion—Discounts from $239 up to $666 (15-percent discount cruise rate) on selected departures March to May. Lonesome George—A 75-percent discount is granted for a second child (youths up to 15 years old). The discount applies to all the available departures from June to September. Promotions are available on specific departures. Promotional spaces are limited to five cabins per departure. Included are guided visit to the islands, all meals and on-board activities. Not included are the fuel surcharge ($26 per night per person), Galapagos National Park fee, TCT transit control card, and air ticket to the Galapagos Islands, alcoholic and additional non-alcoholic drinks, mini-bar and boutique consumptions. Rates are applied on FIT basis, no groups, and are subject to change without prior notice. Complete details, along with departures dates and other terms and conditions for each promotion are detailed on the website. Canodros S.A., 800-613-6026, canodros@canodros.com, www.galapagosexplorer.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


LATIN AMERICA METROPOLITAN TOURING’S ISABELLA II RUNNING HALF-WEEK EXPEDITIONS IN GALÁPAGOS Metropolitan Touring’s 40-passenger yacht Isabella II has shown the best of Galápagos to nature enthusiasts since 1988. The yacht is large enough for comfortable sailing along the archipelago, but small enough to ensure a familiar atmosphere. Refurbished in 2000, it includes many amenities, like sea kayaks, glass-bottom boat, wet suits and snorkel gear, Wi-Fi and Internet. Half-week expeditions (Tuesday to Friday or Friday to Tuesday) allow guests to see some of the Galápagos’ top visiting sites, and also include other highlights of continental Ecuador in a single visit. The Isabella II officers, crew and expedition team including highly qualified naturalist guides, all have years of experience. Tuesday–Friday trips will include North Seymour Island, where land and marine iguanas share the grounds with blue-footed boobies, two species of frigate birds, swallowtailed gulls, and Galápagos sea lions. Española: the only home of the waved albatross (April to December), blue-footed and Nazca boobies, and colonies of sea lions. Floreana: nesting sea turtles (December to April), greater

flamingoes, and giant tortoises in Santa Cruz Island. Extraordinary snorkeling sites are featured at Gardner Bay and Champion Islet. This three-night expedition is $1,800 per person in twin classic cabin plus airfare and entrance fees. Friday–Tuesday guests will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the unique island of Tower, the world largest colony of red–footed boobies, with their cousins the Nazca boobies. Tower is the bird island, with greater frigates, tropical birds, swallowtailed gulls among many other land and sea bird species. Fernandina Island, where guests walk among fields of motionless marine iguanas, is also the home of two flightless marine birds, the Galápagos penguin and the flightless cormorant. On Santiago Island, sea lions and fur seals share the habitat in a most impressive volcanic coast with coastal birds and inter-tidal organisms. Bartolomé Island has the pinnacle rock and the most impressive geological landscape. Great snorkeling is in store in Tower, Isabela, Santiago Islands. The four-night expedition is $2,400 pp in twin classic cabin plus airfare and entrance fees. Metropolitan Touring, www.metropolitan-touring.com

Lake Llanquihue PATAGONIA CHILE The Llanquihue Lake is located in the Chilean Patagonia, about 1,000 km south of the capital Santiago. It can be accessed by air, with several flights daily and a flight time of nearly one and a half hour. Also accessible by land, with a travel time of 12 hours. The towns of Puerto Varas, Llanquihue, Puerto Octay and Frutillar and locations of Cascadas and Ensenada provide the visitors with all kinds of services and facilities, from 5 star hotels to small hostels, restaurants of all kinds serving gourmet food to local traditional fare. A casino, an innumerable number of companies providing tourist services, such as excursions, scheduled trips and in general everything the visitor needs to have a pleasant stay. Due to the diversity of the Lake, your client can experience a multitude of activities for all ages and tastes: from adventure sports like rafting, trekking, canopy, climbing, kayaking, skiing in the Osorno Volcano in the winter, to quiet and beautiful walks to enjoy nature. Llanquihue Lake also has a rich tradition related to German colonization and visitors can today enjoy a variety of German food in addition to the rich architectural heritage.

We invite you to visit us and enjoy our environment and safety throughout the year.

www.lagollanquihue.cl Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

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LATIN AMERICA ANTARCTIC DREAM EXPEDITION AN INTRODUCTION TO GREAT WHITE CONTINENT

Antarctic Shipping’s Classic Antarctic Expedition of 11 days and 10 nights provides the ideal trip to the Great White Continent. With departure and return from Ushuaia, the provincial capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the vessel makes an exciting crossing of the legendary Drake Passage to arrive in the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. From the waters of Patagonia to the gateway of the spectacular landscape of fjords, glaciers and icebergs, the Antarctic Dream transports passengers in a comfortable environment, with on-board entertainment, hotel and dining services, and the attentive care of crew. This trip is oriented toward observing wildlife taking into account respect and protection of the environment. Depending on weather conditions, there will be eight to 10 landings at selected points to maximize the experience of Antarctica. A 10-percent discount is offered for all passengers who pay a nonrefundable deposit of $1,500 before March 31, 2010, for travel during the 2010/11 season. The next Antarctic Dream expedition is February 8–18. Antarctic Dream, www.antarctic.cl

PATAGONIA CAMP PRESENTS A CHILEAN WINE & NATURE EXPERIENCE Wine & Nature Week is an invitation to enjoy a fully luxurious experience in two exclusive boutique hotels in South America, combining Chilean wine elegance and harmony with the wild Chilean Patagonia. Matetic Vineyards combines high-quality organic wine production with luxury tourism. At La Casona Hotel at the vineyard, guests get to live the unique wine experience lodging in the luxurious colonial Casona, enjoying fine gastronomy accompanied by CORRECTION In the feature on AeroGal in Travel World News last month (“AeroGal Makes Aviation History With Nonstop Flights to New York,” page 42), it was erroneously reported that AeroGal flew the first nonstop service between GYE and the USA on December 7. This is incorrect, since Ecuatoriana Airlines offered nonstop service to JFK in the 70s and 80s. 32 • FEBRUARY 2010

world-class wines and sampling the wine world through touring its winery and vineyards. Patagonia Camp is the first luxury camp in South America. It is an original and distinctive camping concept where every detail has been carefully thought of so guests can appreciate the magnificent and wild nature of mythical Patagonia, combining comfort, convenience, and the warm hospitality characteristic of Chileans. The Wine & Nature package has rack rates per person for six days/five nights at (single) $2,480 and (double) $1,810; rack rate for a seven-days/six nights option are (single) $3,110 and (double) $2,250. There is a two-person minimum. The six-day/five-night price is inclusive of two nights at La Casona and three nights at Patagonia Camp; transfer Santiago International Airport/Matetic Vineyards/Santiago International Airport; transfer Punta Arenas Airport/Patagonia Camp/Punta Arenas Airport; a guided wine tour at Matetic Vineyards; a tour to Isla Negra, home of the famous poet Pablo Neruda; two full-day excursions in Torres del Paine National Park; and entries to Pablo Neruda Museum and Torres del Paine National Park. Most meals are provided, including box lunches for the days touring Torres del Paine National Park. Patagonia Camp, www.patagoniacamp.com/index_wine_eng, www.patagoniacamp.com

INNOVATION, ECOLOGY AND CULTURE ON EASTER ISLAND AT HANGAROA ECO VILLAGE & SPA Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa is creating a sustainable tourism model in Easter Island, the most isolated inhabited place on Earth. Its 106,000-square-foot property due for completion April 30 is based on the island’s original houseboats. Local materials, textures and colors will be reflected in its suites, museum, artisanal workshop, bars, restaurant, terrace, pool, spa, event rooms, cinema, lobby—all laid out within spacious gardens overlooking the immense ocean and striking Polynesian landscape. Added to its 4,000 inhabitants, over 50,000 visit the island each year. To control environmental impact, the hotel leaves nothing to chance: power efficiency through installation of Trigen micro turbines—the first of their kind in Chile; an electrosmog protection system that will reduce magnetic fields that alter the natural immune system; water saving; optimal use of natural lighting and an LED system for maximum energy saving, among other practices. Music from all over the world plays in the background in the Kaloa emporium-bistro, a buffet breakfast and typical foods are served in its main restaurant Poerava; its Mana Vai Spa will offer special baths, massages and saunas; movies play in the Mana’u cinema; there’s typical Easter Island dancing in the main events room Kona Mana; its conceptual museum called Ara Tupuna describes the Rapa Nui inhabitants’ history and view of the universe, and local artisans are at work in its Kona Tarai workshop. Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, afernandez@hotelhangaroa.cl, www.hotelhangaroa.cl www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


LATIN AMERICA LA MANSION INN ASSISTS REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRAVELERS

SUPERCLUBS RESORTS

Luxury boutique hotel “La Mansion Inn” in the beach resort community of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, offers support and accommodation reimbursement for clients purchasing property in Costa Rica through selected Realtors. While at La Mansion Inn, if a qualified property is viewed and purchased through the on-site representative, reimbursement toward the cost of one’s stay is offered—up to $2,500 value. Onsite representative Gary Haynes is the owner and principal broker of Costa Rica Property Sales and President of R.E.A.D Intl. He’s provided foreign investors and buyers with legal guidance, due diligence and support for over 20 years, including after-sales assistance like health care, legal residency, complete development planning, and support services for developers. Clients of the 665-acre resort-style community “Hacienda Matapalo” are offered a free three-night stay in an Ocean View Suite at La Mansion Inn with any Hacienda Matapalo purchase. (Purchase reservation must be made by February 13, 2010). Investing in Costa Rica looks promising, as the full-service Marina Pez Vela facility in Manuel Antonio will be the largest of its kind in Central America. With 300 concrete floating dock slips, boats up to 200 feet will be accommodated in Quepos harbor. The first 100 slips will be available this month. Barely three hours’ flight from Florida and other southern states of the U.S., many view the Costa Rican lifestyle as a retreat into a more values-centered world. With a peaceful political environment, friendly multicultural communities, beautiful weather, charming wildlife, fabulous scenery and a number of lucrative investment opportunities available, Costa Rica is rapidly becoming a haven for people seeking both luxury and peace. La Mansion Inn, reservations@lamansioninn.com, www.lamansioninn.com

PANAMANIAN DIGNITARIES PRESENT FOR OPENING OF BREEZES PANAMA

From left to right: Mr. Salomón Shamah, Minister of Tourism of Panama; Excelentísimo Sr. Ricardo Martinelli, President of The Republic of Panama; Mr. John J. Issa, Chairman of SuperClubs; Sr. Juan Carlos Varela, Vice President and Foreign Minister of Panama and Mr. Paul E. Pennicook, Chief Marketing Officer of SuperClubs.

Breezes Resort & Spa Panama, the first Super-Inclusive resort in Central America, officially opened its doors December 12, 2009, with statewide luminaries, including Excelentísimo Sr. Ricardo Martinelli, president of the Republic of Panama. Located in the coastal community of Santa Clara, just 90 minutes from Panama City, the 294-room resort has been booked solid with consumers and agents since its soft opening October 1. Breezes Resorts, 877-Breezes (273-3937), www.breezes.com

CARADONNA DIVE ADVENTURES OFFERS 7-NIGHT BELIZEAN PACKAGE Jacques Cousteau first brought Belize into the limelight when he documented his dive on Belize’s famous “Blue Hole,” and the barrier reef that runs along the Caribbean coast of Belize is second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Belizean Shores, located on the offshore island of Ambergris Caye, is ideal for divers wishing to experience Belize underwater. Belizean Shores offers a relaxed atmosphere, white sandy pathways, fantastic views, and a premiere resort pool. PADI Dive and tour operator Tuff E Nuff Tours is located on the resort’s pier. The dive package includes seven nights in Beach Level Suites accommodations, room tax and service charges, six days of local twotank boat dives, and roundtrip airport transfers. Prices begin at $916 ppdo and are valid April 9 to November 18 and December 3 to 23, 2010. Competitive airfare is available. Caradonna Dive Adventures, www.caradonna.com Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

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AFRICA

South African Airways Is Ready for 2010 FIFA World Cup Carrier has geared up for increased passenger load with division dedicated to ensuring efficient, plentiful transport to and throughout the country for the thrilling event.

Johannesburg skylight.

S

outh Africa’s tourism slogan is “It’s Possible.” For those wishing to travel to the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, the first to be held on the African continent, the initial thought might be that travel to South Africa to attend the tournament will be anything but possible. However, according to South African Airways, planning a trip to their homeland is an excellent possibility, with plenty of seats still available for soccer revelers to see the U.S. and their other favorite teams compete on the world stage. The airline has formed a corporate division dedicated solely to ensuring there are a maximum number of seats available for fans to travel from points throughout the world to Johannesburg, and to the cities in which the matches are taking place. “Like many South Africans, we’ve been counting down to the tournament from the moment FIFA announced the selection of South Africa for the 2010 World Cup,” said Marc Cavaliere, the airline’s Executive Vice President for North America. For Cavaliere, the airline’s connection to the tournament is undeniable. As South Africa’s national flag carrier, South African Airways just celebrated its 75th anniversary of service in 2009. It offers the most flights throughout South Africa and Southern Africa, and also has the distinction

34 • FEBRUARY 2010

of being the official carrier of South Africa’s national team, Bafana Bafana, which will open the tournament versus Mexico. SAA understands that it will play a prominent role in flying passengers into the country and back and forth between the matches, and intends to be fully engaged in this unique opportunity to showcase its home country. Cavaliere pointed out that the airline is working in tandem with MATCH, the official hospitality provider for FIFA, to lease additional planes, therein supplementing the fleet. This arrangement will permit SAA to offer round-the-clock domestic flights during the month of the tournament, which officially takes place June 11–July 11. “Fans will be able to shuttle from one game to another, even if games take place in the evening. Many soccer fans will be able to leave their hotel in the morning, attend matches during the day or evening, and fly back to their base city in preparation for the next day’s matches, or for their vacation components.” This flight strategy will enable visitors to choose one city, such as Johannesburg or Cape Town, as their base of operations for the trip, enabling them to conduct “day trips” to other match cities. For those not inclined to take quick trips back and forth, South Africa’s geography and the match sites mean that flywww.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA ers won’t have to venture more than two hours by air between match cities. Two of the stadiums, Soccer City and Ellis Park, are located in Johannesburg, while a third stadium, Loftus Versfeld, is located in Pretoria, just a 40-minute drive from “Jo’burg,” as the locals call it. The other stadiums are located in Cape Town, Nelspruit (near Kruger National Park), Rustenburg, Durban, Bloemfontein, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth – each a quick flight from Johannesburg. A cursory study of these cities reveals that fans will be able to visit the beach while in Durban, go on safari while in Nelspruit, and enjoy whale watching or wine tasting while in Cape Town or Port Elizabeth. Each match city showcases a unique, visually stunning vantage point of the country. In order to fully accommodate the large number of U.S. travelers visiting South Africa, South African Airways has forged agreements with the four MATCH-approved tour operators with exclusive rights to package tours with game admission tickets. SportsMark, Great Atlantic Travel, Destination Southern Africa and Cartan Tours have each partnered with SAA to offer preferred rates for those wishing to have their trip fully packaged from A to Z. But for those travel professionals with clients who like to plan trips that are a bit less structured, Cavaliere promises that there are plenty of seats still available for sale directly with the airline. “By no means should travel agents or tour operators be discouraged from contacting us to purchase seats for their clients,” he insisted. “Now that we have the exact game schedules, we will very quickly be making available additional seats at reasonable fares.” South African Airways operates two daily flights from the U.S. – the most of any carrier. Its New York Kennedy departure, which travels to Johannesburg nonstop, departs JFK mid-morning and arrives in South Africa the following morning, allowing travelers to make some matches the same day. The early Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

arrival also allows passengers to quickly connect to a host of cities throughout South Africa and Southern Africa. SAA also operates a direct flight from Washington, D.C.’s Dulles Airport, which departs in the early evening, makes a short stop in Dakar, Senegal, and arrives into Johannesburg the following evening. Nighttime connections to Cape Town and Durban are available for those wishing to reach their match cities the same day. It’s estimated that by the time the tournament begins, the government of South Africa will have invested almost 14 billion rand, or $1.8 billion, on renovations and building new World Cup stadiums, along with investments in the country’s infrastructure. This outlay has extended to Johannesburg International Airport, which features a countdown sign announcing how many days

remain until the start of the tournament. For South African Airways, this investment has meant a move into a brand new, state-of-the-art terminal at their hub in Johannesburg, which opened in 2009. With its entire operation now at the new Terminal B, this has resulted in quicker and more seamless connections for passengers, since all SAA flights now depart from one central terminal. Travelers on other airlines are required to switch terminals when connecting between international and domestic flights. In addition to enhancements in Johannesburg, the airport in Cape Town has been fully remodeled in preparation for the games, and a brand new airport has been built in the busy port city of Durban. A new, luxurious lounge will also greet South African Airways passengers as CONTINUED ON PAGE

36

The Only Non-Stop From The Big Apple To The Big Five

No One Is Faster To More Of Africa Than We Are With daily non-stop service from New York (JFK) to Johannesburg, only South African Airways gives you same day connections to over 20 cities in Africa. Add this to our legendary South African warmth and hospitality and you’ll see we’re the only way to fly.

Go See For Yourself. www.flysaa.com • 1-800-722-9675

FEBRUARY 2010 •

35


AFRICA SAA/FIFA

FROM PAGE

35 line’s tournament-period schedule is available on major GDSs, or agents can call 1-800-722-9675. “Of course, agents can also call one of the MATCH-approved tour operators who have the ability to put all of the components together into one easy package,� he added. “Either way, they should act quickly, since World Cup fever is rising, and available seats on our flights won’t last for long.�

South African Airways, www.flysaa.com

AFRICAN HOMESTEADS WINS GLOBAL GOLD AT INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY AWARDS The Durban stadium is built on the site of old Kings Park Stadium.

they travel through Johannesburg. Scheduled to open in the spring, the lounge will boast rainfall showers, personal “snooze� rooms and entertainment systems, along with the requisite wi-fi connections for the traveler who insists on staying connected. “We understand and appreciate what it takes for travelers to visit South Africa, and we’re especially mindful that the world will be watching. In keeping with our spirit of hospitality in South Africa, we fully intend to host visitors in comfort and convenience as they visit our country, whether on board or in the airport terminal,� said Cavaliere. On the in-flight side, the airline will continue to offer its passengers a personal entertainment system, along with complimentary meals and fine South African wines for every passenger on board, whether they’re traveling in Economy Class or the airline’s award-winning Premium Business Class. “It’s what we’ve come to be known for, and I imagine many Americans will travel with SAA for the first time during World Cup. We can’t wait to impress them with our service,� added Cavaliere. So where should travel professionals start when planning their client’s trip to the World Cup? Cavaliere says they should start by calling South African Airways and securing their seats. “See which team you would like to follow, and give us a call so we can start the process for you.� The air-

The African Homesteads at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, took top honors in November’s International Property Awards ceremony in San Diego. The African Homesteads won global gold in the most prestigious category, Best International Property, beating out finalists from the competition’s six geographical regions—Africa, Europe, Middle East, UK, Americas and Asia-Pacific. The International Property Awards are the largest celebration of the residential and commercial property industry worldwide. Designed as the ultimate retreat for owners to share with family and friends, the 15 exclusive African Homesteads represent luxury value at the top end of the property market. Priced from $6 million for a 70-year lease, each four-bedroom, 8,600-square-foot Homestead occupies a private 10-acre site, but owners have traversing rights over the full extent of the 56,800-acre Big Five Reserve. Expansive wooden verandahs and a large infinity pool at each Homestead offer magnificent views of the bush and the wildlife that passes through it. Each African Homestead is equipped with its own 4x4 safari vehicle and is managed by an &Beyond-trained team, including a ranger, tracker, chef and host who provide the safari experience characteristic of &Beyond’s award-winning lodges. &Beyond, www.andbeyond.com; African Homesteads, www.africanhomesteads.com; International Property Awards, www.propertyawards.net

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AFRICA FRENCH SOCCER TEAM PICKS PEZULA RESORT HOTEL & SPA FOR 2010 WORLD CUP The French Football Federation has confirmed that Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa in Knysna will be the base camp of the French soccer team during the 2010 Soccer World Cup. France, which was drawn in Group A to play South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay, will arrive at Pezula in early June. Les Bleus, who won the competition on home soil in 1998, appear to be the favorites in their group. They will play Uruguay in Cape Town on June 11, Mexico in Polokwane on June 17 and South Africa in Bloemfontein on June 22. Keith Stewart, Pezula Chairman, expressed his delight that after months of negotiations and visits from the Federation and FIFA and following the World Cup draw in Cape Town, Pezula is set to become the home of the French team next year. Stewart says that the French Federation was attracted by the privacy, luxury accommodations and superb facilities at the resort. “We can offer them excellent training facilities and a host of activities onsite for the periods between games, including horseback riding, canoeing, hiking, beach, spa, gym and golf,” says Stewart. “There isn’t another base camp in the country that can offer all this on one property. Pezula is also well known for its personalized service and the team will be well looked-after and made to feel at home while they are with us. We have even employed a language teacher to work with our staff members so that they will all be familiar with French by June next year!” “This is a fantastic opportunity not just for Pezula, but also for Knysna. I believe that this event will herald a new chapter for Knysna as a destination” adds Stewart. He believes that the location was also a big draw for the French. “Knysna has one of the most temperate climates in the world and is renowned for its scenic beauty. Moreover, it is easily accessible from all major airports in South Africa.” Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, www.pezularesorthotel.com Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

UNCHARTED AFRICA WILL HAVE CAMP AT CRADLE OF HUMANKIND DURING SOCCER WORLD CUP Uncharted Africa Safari Company is setting up their famous camps at the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg, South Africa, for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The Camps will offer an opportunity to combine the biggest sporting event in the world with a luxury safari experience. An oasis of style and comfort on the urban edge of Johannesburg, the Camps at the Cradle will echo the style and standards of Uncharted Africa’s flagship Jack’s Camp. Each of the four classically styled camps will accommodate up to 24. Comfortable and elegant white tents reminiscent of a bygone era but complete with every modern necessity such as 64-inch plasma televisions, WIFI, electric blankets and

hair dryers, will look out over 7,500 acres of pristine, privately owned land. The tents will be lined with a crisp, campaign-striped, cotton canvas and each will have a deep veranda with a chaise lounge from which guests can enjoy the views. A minimum stay of three nights will be packed with experiences: hot-air ballooning, guided walking safaris with Bushmen Trackers, lectures by a PhD Archaeologist on The Cradle of Humankind, massage treatments, as well as game drives in 4x4 vehicles to view the resident fauna and flora. Ideally situated for guests at the Cup’s soccer matches, the camps are equidistant from the Johannesburg, Pretoria & Rustenburg football stadiums and just 8.5 miles from Johannesburg’s second airport Lanseria. Uncharted Africa, www.unchartedafrica.com

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FEBRUARY 2010 •

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AFRICA VIRGIN ATLANTIC APPOINTS SIMON NEWTON SMITH SOUTH AMERICA’S COUNTRY MANAGER Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of Simon Newton Smith as its new Country Manager in South Africa. Simon replaced Richard Myerscough, who will be moving to become Country Manager for Virgin Atlantic in Japan. Simon’s new role, which is based in Johannesburg, means he’ll be responsible for the airline’s South African operation, SIMON NEWTON SMITH which includes a daily service between Johannesburg and London Heathrow, and a seasonal service between London Heathrow and Cape Town from October until April. Simon will also be responsible for the airline’s operation in Mauritius. Simon arrives in South Africa from New York where he held the post of Vice President Sales, North America, for the past five years. Simon began his career with Virgin Atlantic in 1990, based at its London headquarters before becoming Sales and Marketing Manager Australia, and New Zealand. Prior to his most recent role in the U.S., Simon was Vice President Sales, North America, for South African Airways. Jon Harding, General Manager, International and Distribution, commented, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Simon into his role in South Africa. Simon brings a wealth of experience to his new post and I wish him every success for the future as Virgin Atlantic continues to support and promote our Johannesburg and Cape Town routes.” Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic has become one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines serving the world’s major cities. It operates long-haul services to 30 destinations worldwide. Virgin Atlantic, www.virginatlantic.com

SABI SABI APPOINTS WARREN GREEN AND ASSOCIATES NEW U.S. MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, a premier private safari game reserve in South Africa, has named Warren Green and Associates (WGA) as the U.S. and Canada marketing representative. Warren, a South African, who for the past decade has promoted lodges and resorts to the North American travel trade, also spent several years as a conservation officer, guide and manager at Sabi Sabi before moving to the U.S. in 2000. He has also successfully grown international travel icons such as Rovos Rail and Grootbos’ Private Nature Reserve in the North American market. “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Warren Green in 38 • FEBRUARY 2010

his new venture,” says Sabi Sabi Marketing Director Jacques Smit. “There are many synergies connecting us: from Warren’s in-depth knowledge of the South African bushveld and his extensive experience at our lodges, to his exemplary track record in America,” says Smit. “His company’s focus on green initiatives and sustainable ecotourism destinations is an ideal match for the Sabi Sabi philosophy of offering a safari experience that is both luxurious and responsible. We have a recognized, award-winning conservation program, have been honored with numerous awards for five-star excellence (including Travel & Leisure’s 3rd Best Hotel in the World–2009) and were the first game lodge in South Africa to receive a Fair Trade in Tourism accreditation from the World Conservation Union (IUCN).” Sabi Sabi just recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in the safari industry. Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, reservations@sabisabi.com, www.sabisabi.com; Warren Green and Associates, warren@warrengreenandassociates.com, www.warrengreenandassociates.com

LUXURY CAPE TOWN DELUXE TOUR OFFERED BY LION WORLD TOURS Lion World Tours is presenting Luxury Cape Town, an exciting journey to South Africa that includes the opportunity to explore two distinct areas and enjoy accommodation in two unique hotels: 15 on Orange in Cape Town and Rijk’s Country Lodge on Rijk’s Wine Farm, minutes from Tulbagh. Each location has its own character and tempo from the bustle of Cape Town to the calm of the wine farm. The Luxury Cape Town package is only $1,699 ppdo for six nights and includes five-star accommodation and international airfare. The price does not include a $300 fuel surcharge and $140 tax. Single supplement is $470. The trip price includes international flights: New York or Washington/Johannesburg/New York or Washington, South Africa domestic flights: Johannesburg/Cape Town/Johannesburg, all services as specified, all transfers as specified, accommodations as specified, meals as specified, transportation in luxury airconditioned vehicles with the service of qualified drivers, and South African Airways Vacations Representative Meet and Greet upon arrival. Not included are items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, drinks, etc., all other services not mentioned; gratuities/tips for guides and drivers; new Government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases beyond Lion World Tours’ control; costs of obtaining passports or visas; and trip cancellation insurance. U.S.A. passport holders do not require a visa for South Africa for a visit of less than 90 days. Full terms and conditions are available on the website. Lion World Tours, 800-387-2706, www.lionworldtours.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA NOUVELLES FRONTIERES SENEGAL HAS WIDELY MULTILINGUAL REACH

Taking the idea for its name from a JFK speech, Nouvelle Frontieres Senegal is a division of Groupe Nouvelles Frontieres, the first tour operator in France, whose head office is located in Paris. It has been a member of the TUI network since 2000 (with 37 incoming agencies worldwide). Operating throughout Senegal since 1983, Nouvelle Frontieres has become the first incoming agency in terms of clients—mainly from Europe, but more and more from North America and Africa. The company also handles surrounding countries such as Mali, the Gambia, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Benin, Togo and Ghana. Services include adventure tours, cultural tours, ecotourism, beach resorts, conferences, incentives, FIT, excursions, transfers, airport assistance, car rental, and air ticketing with local and international companies. A dedicated and efficient team of 25 is committed to responding with initial feedback to requests within 24 hours. Languages spoken are French, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Arabic. Guides are multilingual. The company has four offices: Dakar, Airport, Saly and La Somone. It has contracts with main hotels and tourism providers all over Senegal and allotments with the main hotels. Their fleet of coaches is renovated yearly. Nouvelles Frontieres’ services are regularly subjected to strict quality inspections, and are in full compliance with international health and safety rules for tourism. Rates and programs are available in English upon request. Nouvelles Frontieres, contact@nfsenegal.com, www.nfsenegal.com

CTA INCENTIVE PROMOTES SENEGAL TO THE U.S. TRAVEL MARKETPLACE Operating since January 2001, CTA INCENTIVE is a Senegalese DMC agency specializing in the MICE market. Its team members each have nearly 15 years of experience. CTA belongs to the association Pensées d’Ailleurs, created by Belgian and Senegalese volunteers sharing its vision of humanitarian and sustainable tourism. CTA’s focus is: incentive travel with high-level standards, teamTravel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

building programs, tailor-made tours for individuals or small groups, events by corporate meetings, and professional travel and learning expedition programs. Attractive programs are presented, from the Lompoul desert, the Pink Lake, Bandia reserve, Saloum Islands, Gorée to Saly. The majority feature an original concept from CTA INCENTIVE—Talent Event® parties that showcase international artists celebrating Senegalese talent. There are parties under the stars or under Mauritanian tents on the beach or inside Bandia reserve with “Out of Africa” atmosphere. In Goree Island, in authentic places like the Slaves House with Gospel songs or in a private house with a Gorean soul for party, cocktail or private visit, emotion is raised. A high-level bivouac on the beach or in the forest with Talisman Lodge® (25 luxury mobile tents) or a charming house for a small group—one might enjoy any of these with CTA INCENTIVE. Some treats are Olympic challenges through the forest; treasure hunts in Goree and Ngor Islands, Pink Lake or a fishing village; the beauty of the Baobab tree, sports—quad, 4x4, jet ski, catamaran, nautical ski, canoe races (with lifejackets and rowing), and various artistic challenges. For strengthening the harmony of a sales team or building culture for customers, CTA INCENTIVE provides original services embracing Senegalese realities and activities. CTA INCENTIVE, awacta@orange.sn, www.ct-afrique.com

The Land oof Legendary Teranga and Beautiiful Touristic Sites...Welcome!

SENEGAL Senegal Tourist Office Phone: (212) 695-9630 Email: sentouroffice@aol.com

website: www.senegal-tourism.com FEBRUARY 2010 •

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AFRICA AFS VOYAGES HIGHLIGHTS EXCLUSIVE SENEGAL TOURS

ACT’S UNIQUE JOURNEYS EXEMPLIFIED BY ‘MEDICINE’ TOUR

AFS Voyages specializes in Senegal, a West African country that has 435 miles of coastline, almost 250 miles of sandy beaches, 12 months of sun and eight months of springtime. Their eight-day/seven-night Djolof Tour explores the special African cities and sites of Dakar, Lac Rose, Saint Louis, and Saloum. Accommodations are in three-star hotels; encampment is in The Saloum. An air-conditioned bus and a local guide fluent in English make the tour comfortable and informative. The Song of the Praise Singer—Land of Colours, Land of Nomads is a nine-day/eight-night tour that encompasses Senegal from its national parks, desert, endless seaside and natural sites like the “pink lake” to the Mauritanian territory where cities spring from the desert. The authentic journey is enhanced by the friendliness of welcoming natives with whom travelers share tea under the shade of their tents. A Combination Tour and Stay Senegal runs eight days/seven nights and takes in a variety of places from the boundaries to the cities—rich with history, natural wonders, and warm welcomes. Travelers with an interest in touring Senegal should email AFS for prompt responses, including quotations. Note—Technical imperatives may force modifying some programs on occasion, but this will not change the meaning or quality of the services of AFS. AFS Voyages, afsvoyages@sentoo.sn, www.afsvoyages.com

Africa Connection Tours (ACT) has designed programs with strong focus on the cultural aspects of Senegal: Ethnicity, Ancient and Modern Arts, Traditional ceremonies, Rites of passages, Historical roots of the African American Diaspora, Black History Month special programs, Music festivals, Workshops on African handicrafts and more. They also have special birdwatching programs and ecotourism packages. ACT is presently developing Inter-African Tours that combine various West African countries such as Senegal/Mali/Ivory Coast or Senegal/Gambia/Guinea Bissau, or Senegal/Ivory Coast/Ghana. One special tour is called Traditional Medicine ‘On the Paths of the Medicine Men.’ It starts with a Dakar conference given by a Senegalese professor known for his research in the field of traditional medicine. Travelers get to visit markets where traditional herbalists share their knowledge of plants and their uses. Toubacouta along the Saloum Delta is rich with vegetation and bird sanctuaries. Crossing the Gambia River by ferryboat, Gambia’s capital Banjul offers exchanges with tradipractitioners. The main market in Ziguinchor, Saint-Maur—with its numerous medicinal plants, provides more interaction with herbalists. In Mawa there’s an opportunity to meet the “Marabout” spiritual leader and medicine man. It is here that the principles of traditional psychotherapy are applied. Visitors go to Malango Center in Fatick, known for its efficiency in healing sick persons. The clinic gathers outstanding tradipractitioners in the Sine region— “Saltigués,” and modern medicine doctors. Beyond healing, the Saltigués are believed to be capable of predicting the future. Africa Connection Tours, act@orange.sn, www.actours-senegal.com

APTA IS AFRICA

WE’LL PUT YOU ON THE RIGHT TRACK! APTA is recognized as the foremost Travel Trade Association for the Promotion of Tourism to the Continent of Africa and its islands. Join us and connect with hundreds of fellow Travel Counselors, Tour Operators, Tourism Boards, Airlines, and other Suppliers for unique and invaluable information on travel to Africa.

Your APTA Membership Includes:

r Educational Dinner Programs r Guest Speakers r New Sales Tools r Destination/Product Presentations r Networking Opportunities r Access to Informative Website r Member Supplier List on Website r Special Discounts r Invitation to Annual Travel Show “Discover Africa” r Quarterly Newsletter Subscription and Submissions r Unique Educational Opportunities Let us put you on the right track! Visit www.apta.biz or info@apta.biz.

40 • FEBRUARY 2010

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES OPENS NEW WEST AFRICAN HUB Officially realizing Ethiopian Airlines’ longstanding vision to form a hub in the West African region, ASKY, the new community airline of Africa, has begun operation as of January 15. One year after Ethiopian Airlines and fledgling airline ASKY signed a management contract guaranteeing the preeminent East African carrier management rights for a period of five years and a 25-percent stake in the startup airline, the two companies now have a new West African hub in Lome, Togo, for regional and intercontinental routes. Strategically positioned in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, ASKY is a multinational private airline initiative geared to meet the growing demands for safe, reliable and competitive air transportation services in Central and West Africa. Its equity ownership includes the private multinational ECOBANK and the two major development banks of the region, namely EBID, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Bank of Investment and Development, and BOAD, West African Development Bank and South African investors. Ethiopian Airlines, www.ethiopianairlines.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA SPECIAL DISCOUNTS, FAMILY-FRIENDLY PACKAGE FROM OMONG’WE TRAVEL & TOURS

Omong’we Travel & Tours, a travel company based in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, will offer special discounts and a “Family Friendly� package for clients planning to travel to Tanzania between May and August 2010. The offerings will also appeal to world soccer fans planning to be in South Africa in June and July 2010 for the first-African World Cup by giving them a chance to visit Tanzania on their way to and from South Africa. “We want people from all over the world to experience the natural wonders of Tanzania. Our idea is to provide an end-to-end travel experience to travelers who want to visit famous Tanzanian tourist attractions, either before or after their stay in South Africa, at affordable prices,� said Martin Warioba, co-founder and Director of Technology & Marketing at Omong’we Travel & Tours. Clients can customize their vacations by choosing a safari combination to endless plains of Serengeti, world-famous Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara or Tarangire National Parks, a Mount Kilimanjaro climb or a visit to the white-sandy beaches of Zanzibar. The special discounts will be in the range of 10- to 15-percent depending on the chosen package and length of stay in Tanzania. The “Family Friendly� package will provide the same range of discounts for a group of four or more clients booking same destinations together. To qualify for these discounts and special prices, clients will have to place their travel bookings between February 13 and April 1, 2010. To ensure that high-quality customer service is provided throughout this end-to-end travel experience, Omong’we Travel will collaborate closely with its travel service partners. These partners include Precision Air, Kempinski Hotels, Sopa Lodges, Moivaro Lodges, Serena Hotels and Holiday Inn Hotel in Tanzania. Omong’we Travel, reservations@omongwetravel.com, www.omongwetravel.com

FIMA 2010 WILDEBEESTE ‘WORLD CUP’ COMING TO SERENGETI, TANZANIA In June and July 2010, the annual FIMA 2010 Wildebeeste World Cup will take place in the Serengeti. The governing body, FIMA (International Federation of Migratory Animals), is well prepared for this annual event, having been at it for centuries. Teams of over 1.2 million wildebeeste are expected to attend—over Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

400,000 zebra, large teams of Thompsons gazelle, as well as elephant, lion, buffalo, eland etc. This is the planet’s largest Migratory World Cup, and is an event not to be missed. Other events are also taking place over this period—the Kilimanjaro Marathon in February and the daily Gorilla Family Trekking Days (all year, limited seats available), which can all be combined with the main event in the Serengeti. While many humans will be in South Africa watching a game played by 22 people with a ball, in June/July, many other humans will be watching the Greatest Game on the Planet—the FIMA 2010 Wildebeest World Cup—played on a field of almost a thousand square miles, by teams totaling over two million animals of many species. Spokesman John Addison states: “This event, as in all years, has no clear winner and games are expected to be tight, hard-fought affairs—sometimes bloody. Flexibility is the key . . .� “We know the players, the stadia, and the pitch and weather conditions—as our guides live amongst the teams all year . . . With many of the games taking place at night, staying right amongst the players in our camps allows us to be involved with these games too.� Adventurers are urged to book guaranteed seats to the 2010 FIMA Wildebeeste World Cup now. Children are welcome, of course, and enjoy discounts. Wild Frontiers, reservations@wildfrontiers.com, www.wildfrontiers.com

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AFRICA TANZANIA IS THE ‘HEIGHT’ OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

One of the highlights of the Serengeti National Park is a hot-air balloon safari. The journey takes off flying low over the plains as the sun comes up and turns the grasslands from blue to gold. After landing, guests have a champagne breakfast complete with crystal glasses and white linen tablecloths in the middle of the African bush, as zebra and antelope graze nearby. The deep waters of the Indian Ocean along Tanzania’s coast are rich in big-game fish, from marlin and tuna to swordfish and biting barracudas. Horseback game viewing is also available in the concession areas of Ikorongo, Grumeti and Ikoma in Serengeti District, Mara Region. Tanzania Tourist Board, www.tanzaniatouristboard.com; www.tanzaniaparks.com

ZARA TOURS CREATES MEMORABLE KILIMANJARO TREKS

With approximately 28 percent of the land protected by the Government, 15 national parks and 32 game reserves, Tanzania offers plenty of adventure travel options. Tanzania’s world-famous icon—Mt. Kilimanjaro, at 19,331 ft. the highest mountain in Africa —is one of the most challenging. The most frequent expeditions are to Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Scaling the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is a heavy challenge, more from the rigors of altitude than the actual difficulty of the hike itself. The climb, which takes on average five days, takes hikers through thick forests and alpine grasslands, desolate rockface and brilliant white glaciers. Boating and canoeing through the rivers, ocean bays, and waterways of Tanzania can be an exhilarating experience. River boaters can encounter sleeping crocodiles and hippos sunning themselves with their mouths wide open, gathered in half-submerged herds. Boating safaris are fast becoming a popular alternative for safarigoers adventurous enough to venture off the beaten track. Canoeing excursions in Tanzania are an active option for the visitor with a few days to spend exploring the northern lakes. Excursions on the shores of Lake Manyara National Park involve canoeing past thousands of pink flamingos in the shallow waters. In Arusha National Park, the freshwater Momela Crater Lakes make a spectacular canoeing trip, with the forests, highland game, and the imposing crater of Mt. Meru looming nearby. 42 • FEBRUARY 2010

Every year, over 25,000 set foot in Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. Also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is a place of myth and folklore. Located just 200 miles from the equator, the mountain defies logic with its glaciated peak. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, Kilimanjaro is “as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun.” The importance of having competent, high-quality guides and porters cannot be overstated when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Zara employs local guides, all of whom have received extensive training in first aid, mountain rescue, flora and fauna, and history. All are registered with Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA). There are six established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro— Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe. There are minimum days for each of the Kilimanjaro climbing routes, however, Zara recommends adding an extra day or two to a trip to help travelers acclimatize to the altitude. Zara offers flexible daily departures on all Kilimanjaro routes to individuals, small and large groups. Zara owns and operates properties throughout Tanzania where guests enjoy dining, drinks, pool, Internet and massage amenities during their stay. Zara’s most popular treks include the following itineraries: Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route—The “Coca Cola” Route is Kilimanjaro’s easiest, shortest, and most popular route. The trip usually takes five days. An additional acclimatization day can be added to make it a six-day trip. Its price is $1,172– $1,367. Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route—This is Kilimanjaro’s longer, more scenic “Whiskey Route.” The typical duration for this trip is six days. Travelers may add an extra acclimatization day and make it a seven-day trek. It’s priced at 1,447–$1,642. With years of experience and knowledge, Zara’s qualified climbing guides on Mount Kilimanjaro assure memorable experiences of a lifetime. Safety, efficiency and reliability have earned them a reputation for being valued and reliable. Zara Tours, www.zaratours.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA SUN INTERNATIONAL RECOGNIZED FOR RESPONSIBLE TOURISM Sun International Zambia is the overall winner of this year’s Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism. Imvelo, which means ‘nature’ in South Africa’s Nguni language, is part of an ongoing hospitality industry campaign to encourage industry members to accept voluntary guidelines promoting responsible tourism. The awards are in line with the responsible tourism guidelines for the South African hospitality industry and the UN World Tourism Organization’s code of ethics and are supported by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme. Since its opening in 2001, Sun International Zambia has taken its role as a stakeholder in the community to heart by embarking on a number of partnerships. The main aim is to help alleviate poverty and increase food security in the local community by encouraging and developing small-scale entrepreneurship. Initiatives were created to enhance sustainable sources of revenue for local communities, including several hydroponic and open-field farming projects. The property also developed new ways of waste management such as an on-site worm farm, or vermiculture, to process leftover food and other organic matter. The resort’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) program also focuses on the disadvantaged in the local communities, specifically concentrating on job and wealth creation and the empowering of the disabled and socially vulnerable. Additionally, Sun International Zambia as well as The Cascades Hotel at Sun City, earned Heritage Platinum status for their responsible tourism progress from The Heritage Environmental Rating Programme. The goal of the Heritage Programme is to educate tourism businesses on environmental issues. Sun International operates resorts in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. Their properties include the award-winning Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town as well as The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City and The Royal Livingstone in Zambia. Sun International Hotels & Resorts, SAinfo@sun-int.net, www.suninternational.com; Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism, www.imveloawards.co.za; Heritage Environmental Rating Programme, www.heritageza.co.za

BOTSWANA RANKED MOST PEACEFUL NATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA American travelers desiring an African safari experience, but concerned about safety and stability of the countries in Africa can take heart and head to Botswana, ranked the most peaceful nation in Sub-Saharan Africa in the recently-released 2009 Global Peace Index. Botswana, ranked first in Africa and 34th in the world out of 144 nations, was presented the 2009 Global Peace Index award at this year’s Global Symposium of Peaceful Nations in November in Washington D.C. H.E. Caesar Lekoa, Botswana Ambassador to the United States, received the award on behalf of the Botswana government. Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

The Institute for Economics and Peace singled out Botswana as the most peaceful nation in Sub-Saharan Africa. This Institute collates and calculates information on 144 nations on an annual basis, and ranks them from the most peaceful to the least peaceful nations. It also undertakes research and education on the relationship between economic development, business and peace. “Tourism is the second largest economic contributor behind minerals in Botswana’s economy,” states Myra Sekgororoane, CEO of Botswana Tourism, “and a priority sector for continued economic growth in the Government’s economic diversification strategy. Maintaining peace and stability in Botswana are keys to growth, not only to further the country’s economic and social progress, but to ensure Botswana remains a stable and safe travel destination for international visitors.” “We are proud to be representing tourism interests in a country that is committed to providing a peaceful and stable political and economic environment for both its citizens and visitors to its country,” says Leslee Hall of the Botswana Tourism Board, North American office. “In Botswana, it is possible to experience the allure of the African continent—its genuinely friendly people, vast pristine wilderness, prolific wildlife and cultural heritage, without undue worry about traveler safety. That makes the travelers’ vacation experience all the more rewarding and life-affirming.” Botswana Tourism Board, 888-675-7660, info@botswanatourism.us, www.botswanatourism.us

Your one-stop shop for customized tours to

WEST AFRICA Come fly to Timbuktu and back again! Our Mali-based company specalizes in cultural and adventure programs throughout our country, plus Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo. Owner-guided tours trace the history and mystery of West Africa, offering experiences of a lifetime! Contact us now —we promise 24-hour or sooner response to inquiries: Tel: (221) 77 510 15 18 & (223) 7646 6124 Fax: (223) 20 28 52 32 Email: westair@afribone.net.ml & mariamaludovic@yahoo.com

www.touringmali.com FEBRUARY 2010 •

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AFRICA FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE PLANTS 100,000TH TREE

just for marketing Kenya as a destination for sports tourism but also supporting Kenya to maintain a higher profile in the country and abroad,” commented Kenya Airways Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications Dick Omondi, who added that sport was a key pillar of the airline’s engagement with its markets spread throughout Africa, Europe and Asia. Kenya Airways is sponsoring the Rugby Sevens squad for Kenya. Kenya Airways, www.kenya-airways.com

EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEYS OFFERING GENEROUS COMMISSIONS TO AGENTS

Pictured left to right: Environmentalist Steve Hill and Managing Director Marc Aeberhard.

The Seychelles’ luxury eco-retreat, Frigate Island Private has celebrated planting the 100,000th tree since reforestation of the island began 11 years ago. In addition to their endemic hardwood program, Frégate Island Private plants two trees for every guest arriving at the resort, one of many facets of a concerted effort to become a carbon-neutral enterprise. When the Seychelles was colonized, much of the natural forestation was destroyed and coconut trees were planted in their place. Frégate Island Private has boldly led a campaign to replenish their island’s supply of natural trees and is well on its way to becoming the largest nursery of hardwood trees in the Indian Ocean. The 100,000th tree planted was an endemic Ficus tree, a genus that prospers in the rocky underground of the Seychelles islands. The tree grows at a remarkable rate and can reach heights over 50 feet. Reforestation is but one of the many conservation practices executed at Frégate Island Private. With buildings and infrastructure occupying only five percent of the island, the remaining 95 percent is in a restored, natural state, which has allowed for several endemic species of wildlife and flora to avoid extinction. Exclusivity in every respect is the maxim of Frégate Island and the preservation and protection of the island’s unique flora and fauna is one of its proudest achievements. With 16 villas, the number of guests is limited. The island remains private to Frégate guests only, making it an ideal refuge for the discerning traveler looking for the rare feeling of a truly tropical island paradise. Fregate Island Private, www.fregate.com

KENYA AIRWAYS SPONSORS RUGBY SEVENS SQUAD The Kenya Airways national seven-a-side rugby team to play in the third and fourth leg of the International Rugby Board Series 2010 has been selected and will play the weekends of February 5–6 and 13–14 in Las Vegas. “Rugby is a popular event, which has been a major platform not 44 • FEBRUARY 2010

Following a year of exceptional growth, bespoke safari operator Extraordinary Journeys is poised to work with travel agents to help them plan African luxury vacations for their high-end clients. After a record year of business based on repeat and referral business, founder Marcia Gordon is renewing her contacts in the agent community to offer them the same experiences that have made her business thrive. Extraordinary Journeys is a specialist tour operator creating customized high-end African Safaris for clients seeking luxury, romance, adventure and excitement. Marcia has been planning custom safaris for 30 years, has lived in Kenya, and travels to Africa several times a year to experience special places still unknown. For agents whose clients are accustomed to being treated like VIPs, Marcia Gordon specializes in close, personal attention. Extraordinary Journeys is able to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on where and remain informed of new destinations, activities, etc. because of its many contacts throughout Eastern and Southern Africa. Extraordinary Journeys, marcia@extraordinaryjouneys.net, www.ejafrica.com

WILD FRONTIERS ZIMBABWE NEW AFRICAN SAFARI LAUNCH THIS YEAR Wild Frontiers Zimbabwe, a joint venture between Robin and Jo Brown (Canoeing Safaris) and John and Debbie Addison of Wild Frontiers, is planned for launch this year. The operational base will be in Victoria Falls, and all vehicles, guides and equipment will be locally (Zimbabwean)-based. Its vision is to offer a middle- to upmarket mobile safari solution for Zimbabwe. Included in the itineraries will be Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls, Matopos, Matusadonna and the naturals Mana Pools and Lower Zambezi. Wild Frontiers Zimbabwe will connect the vast wildlife options Zimbabwe provides using a comfortable, quality 4x4 vehicle, authentic-style camping and an expert guide. The safari style will be similar to Wild Frontiers’ existing operation in Tanzania—en-suite tents, exclusive sites, safari crew going ahead of guests, quality meals and top guides. Walking, canoeing, and other activities synonymous with the region will be part of the itineraries. Wild Frontiers Zimbabwe, debbie@wildfrontiers.com, robin@cansaf.com; Wild Frontiers, www.wildfrontiers.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA LIMPOPO-LIPADI GAME AND WILDERNESS RESERVE IS ABOUT PRESERVING ONE’S OWN SHARE OF SAFARI WILDERNESS Investing in a fabulous bush destination as well as ecotourism safari for a sustainable experience is what shareholders had in mind when launching the paradise known as at Limpopo-Lipadi Game and Wilderness Reserve in 2007. It occupies an unspoiled environment over 32 square miles stretching 13 miles along the Limpopo River, situated in the world renowned, malaria-free, Tuli Block in southeast Botswana, bordering South Africa. The wilderness reserve offers not only the Big Five, but the now much sought-after smaller game, including wild dog, crocodile, leopard, cheetah and antelope galore. Nile monitors, springhare and a myriad interesting species can also be seen here in their natural habitat. The over 37 fish and 400 bird species live harmoniously in the magnificently diverse landscapes. Six unique lodges are offered: Kirkia Camp, set among giant white syringe and marula trees, offers two- and three-bedroom units with views of a private waterhole from a savanna vantage point; Wilderness Tented Camp, described as a symphony in canvas, wood and sustainable materials, offers an ambience of discreet wealth; River Camp offers a spectacular view of the Limpopo River, with complete privacy, complete with a symphony of hippo snorts and fish eagle cries; Lipadi Rock Lodge is set atop a natural rock, offering views of a sacred place where eagles and vultures made their home; Island Lodge on the Limpopo River offers luxurious rooms, a rim-flow pool with a unique island suspension bridge and tree boardwalk, complete with viewing decks on the island in a majestic river setting; Marula Tented Camp is ideal for the minimalist in tune with living without clutter in a tasteful environment. Ecotourism and sustainable preservation of the region is key and during 2008, the Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) idenTravel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

tified the need for a ‘good news’ case study book on SEA and EIA in southern Africa. SAIEA asked for nominations of projects that showcased and demonstrated best practice in SEA and EIA in the SADC region. Nominations were requested from all sectors and countries in SADC. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), who provided the bridging finance for the Limpopo-Lipadi project, nominated it in April 2009 as one of these worthy case studies. Nominations were

evaluated and Limpopo-Lipadi was selected among the 20 best EIAs/SEAs in terms of case studies and best practice in the SADC region. Shareholders become as involved in the management, preservation and development of the reserve as they wish, resulting in a well-managed five-star private holiday destination preserved for future generations by its shareholders. Limpopo-Lipadi Game & Wilderness Reserve, www.limpopo-lipadi.com

TO AND FROM USA 1-877-359-0999 1-800-518-7781 1-866-933-5963 1-877-625-2942 1-800-537-1182 1-800-742-3006 1-888-359-8228 1-866-322-5561 In cooperation with transatlantic partners from many US gateways.

Call the toll-free numbers to make reservations. FEBRUARY 2010 •

45


AFRICA TRIPS BY WEST AFRICAN TOURS REVEAL THE LIVELY VARIETY OF THE REGION

West Africa Tours (WAT) in Mali, founded by Mariama de Lys, a Timbuktu native, offers customizable cultural/adventure trips that package authentic Africa. Visitors may create journeys, if they wish, to include spots they find particularly intriguing. Mali–Burkina (15 days/14 nights) is a cultural trip to Mali and Burkina Faso offered from July to March that takes in Bamako, Segou, Djenne, Mopti, Dogon Country, Ouagadougou, Gaoua, Banfora, and Bobo Dioulasso. Another combination is Senegal–Mauritanie (13 days/ 12 nights). This trip visits Dakar, Goree Island, Saint Louis, Nouakchott, Atar and Chinguetti. There’s a 15-day/ 14-night Senegal–Mali tour, and another longer trip (20 days, 19 nights) that explores the areas of Mali–Burkina– Benin–Togo. Travelers are treated to a cornucopia of culture, festivity, ecology, lore and history on these intimate and charming tours. A visit to Djenne brings back medieval times, with its mud-made ‘largest mosque’ and a marketplace where barter’s still used. On the Bani River (Mopti), one can still find slabs of salt for sale, continuing the age-old trade. Senegal has an extraordinary ecosystem. Located in a desert area, the national park of Djoudj is the third largest ornithological park in the world, where more than three billion birds arrive yearly. The Republic of Benin, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has an ancient temple built from a mixture of clay and human blood (the kingdom’s economy was based on war and slave trade). In beautiful Togo, one can often spot fire dancers when they hike to a sacred mountain that once served as a hiding place from enemies. West Africa Tours, www.touringmali.com 46 • FEBRUARY 2010

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES JOURNEYS EXPANDS LINE TO COVER MORE DESTINATIONS IN AFRICA Ethiopian Airlines Journeys is expanding its vacation package product offerings in 2010 to deliver vacations throughout Africa. Leveraging the fact that Ethiopian Airlines connects to more destinations in Africa than any other airline, the airline’s tour operator subsidiary is packaging and marketing a wider variety of African leisure travel experiences for the U.S. consumer. Uganda and Rwanda is first. As the 2010 rollout continues, additional destinations will include Djibouti, Egypt, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, among others. In Uganda, gorilla tracking is an unforgettable experience; the Murchison Falls Park offers relaxing Nile cruises, Queen Elizabeth Park scenery and adventure in Lake Edward. Rwanda provides a serene adventure setting in which travelers can find themselves peering through mist-shrouded bamboo into the eyes of a magnificent silverback mountain gorilla. Like all Ethiopian Airlines Journeys packages, each of the new experiences will be fully customizable and feature complete itineraries, hotels, knowledgeable guides and meal options. Over the past two years, Ethiopian Airlines Journeys has been successfully developing, marketing and delivering vacation travel packages to Ethiopia, along with safari add-ons to Kenya and Tanzania. Ethiopian Airlines Journeys is the link between the Ethiopian Airlines, ground operators and hotels in Africa, and the American consumer who seeks an unforgettable travel experience. Ethiopian Airlines Journeys, 866-599-3797, www.seeyouinethiopia.com; Ethiopian Airlines, www.ethiopianairlines.com

ESPLANADE TOURS CELEBRATES 56TH YEAR Esplanade Tours, celebrating its 56th year, is enjoying wide recognition for being trusted and respected as a tour operator offering travel around the world. Africa has for many years been one of Esplanade’s top destinations with service to Johannesburg and beyond on South African Airways with direct service out of New York or Dulles, and with Virgin Atlantic offering flights through London with stop-over permitted. Esplanade’s Africa specialists regularly travel extensively throughout the region, enabling the company to offer excellent advice on new adventures and places to stay. Some of those ideas for 2010 include making the mountain Gorillas in Rwanda part of a Tanzania itinerary, and cruising the Chobe River aboard the luxurious Zambezi Queen combined with Botswana camps and Vic Falls. And Esplanade has discovered Makweti Safari Lodge, a small luxurious camp located only three hours from Johannesburg in the Waterberg Mountains. Esplanade Tours, 800-628-4893, ej@esplanadetours.com, www.esplanadetours.com www.travelworldnews.com • Travel World News


AFRICA GOWAY’S AFRICAEXPERTS LAUNCHES 2010 TRAVEL ITINERARIES Goway’s AFRICAExperts offers a comprehensive range of product covering North, East and South Africa as well as the Middle East. Recognizing the diverse needs of North American travelers, the experiences include safaris, lodges, small-group escorted tours, self-drives, Indian Ocean resorts, cruises and rail journeys. Some of the new travel experiences introduced for 2010 include: A new 21-day ”Middle East Treasures” Holiday of a Lifetime due to increased interest in the Middle East. This comprehensive, fully escorted tour includes the highlights of Egypt, Jordan and Israel, and offers many special experiences that are unique to Goway. Prices start from $7,799 per person sharing from New York. Three Southern Africa itineraries for families offer special activities for children. These were introduced as multi-generational travel is on the increase, with parents and grandparents taking their children along for trips. Prices start from $1,740 per person. A six-night itinerary including two nights in Victoria Falls, two nights Hwange and two nights Lake Kariba make the perfect extension to a South Africa vacation. Prices including return flights from Johannesburg and start at $2,642 per person. The East Africa Safari is a comprehensive and competitively priced 14-day itinerary that takes in all the highlights of Kenya and Tanzania. Prices begin at $3,699. Six- and seven-night unique Nile cruises are offered on luxurious Dahabiyas. These upscale sailing boats carry just 16 people, ensuring a unique and exclusive experience. Prices are from $2,178 for a six-night cruise. Goway’s 2010 Africa & Middle East travel planner is available free of charge and provides full details on the trips. AFRICAExperts, 800-245-0920, info@africaexperts.com, www.africaexperts.com; Goway Travel, www.goway.com Travel World News • www.travelworldnews.com

GAMEWATCHERS MEET THE LIONS REGULARLY IN KENYA Mara Lion Guides at Porini Lion Camp and Mara Porini Camp have completed training on predator ecology and identification that will provide invaluable information on the lion and cheetah populations in the Olare Orok and Ol Kinyei Conservancies adjacent to the Maasai Mara.Within the safety of the conservancies, lion numbers have increased to 51 in Olare Orok and 19 in Ol Kinyei. These healthy prides of lions with their many cubs appear to have taken

up permanent residency within the conservancies. The conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat, and the encouragement of increased biodiversity is supported by Gamewatchers Safaris through the establishment of conservancies and by building relationships with local communities in wildlife dispersal areas near and adjacent to national parks and reserves in Kenya. Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Safari Camps, kate@gamewatchers.co.ke, www.porini.com

.HQ\D$LUZD\VLVtruly WKHPRIDE OF AFRICA.. serving over 45 Internation RHJLRQDOGHVWLQDWLRQV

Route Network 2010 Abidjan Accra Addis Ababa Amsterdam Antananarivo Bangui Bangkok Bamako Brazzaville Bujumbura Cairo DarEs Salaam Dakar Djibouti Douala Dubai Entebbe

Freetown Gaborone Guangzhou (China) Harare Hong Kong Johannesburg Khartoum Kigali Kilimanjaro Kinshasa Kisangani Lagos Libreville Lilongwe London – Heathrow Lubumbashi Lusaka

Toll Free Reservations Number: 1-866 536 9224

Malabo Malindi Maputo Mauritius Mayotte (Comoros) Mombasa Moroni (Comoros) Mumbai Nairobi Ndola Paris Seychelles Yaoundé Zanzibar

www.kenya-airways.us FEBRUARY 2010 •

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February 2010 Edition  

Travel World News- February 2010 Edition

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