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JANUARY 2011 executive office

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INDUSTRY EVENTS FITUR Will Present New Segments, Revamped Formats and Attractive Activities


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EUROPE Intelligent Tourism Design in Croatia





Carol A. Petro

For complete and current list please visit:

design production manager

Linda Rogers

Shawn Hebert • I T


Cindy Johnson • c i r c u l a t i o n


cruise editor

Michael Iachetta southeast regional correspondent

Joan Gonzalez western regional correspondent

Connie Skoog contributing editors

Mona Birch • Ann Charles • Gail P. Dubov Judith Glynn • Barry Goldsmith • Peggy Hageman George Hairston • Al Haut • Marjorie Klein • Peter Lowy

CARIBBEAN Mexico’s Sparkling Riviera Maya Draws Luxury Investment and Popular Events


Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts Receives Five Star Diamond Award at Luxury Travel Show in France


Caribbean Airlines Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies at JFK


Casa de Campo Joins the Leading Hotels of the World, Completes $40-Million Redesign


LATIN AMERICA Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Voted a Top Resort


Belize’s Chaa Creek Listed as One of World’s Top Ecotourism Destinations


Navimag Sails Breathtaking Chilean Fjords Through Length of Patagonia


New, Reasonably Priced Tours in South America by Metropolitan Touring


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 2011. 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.

EUROPE / CROATIA - page 14


PACIFIC ASIA Pandaw Cruises: Asia’s Leading Luxury River Cruise Operator


Korea Grand Sale 2011–50 Day Shopping Spree

40 43

MIR Corporation Celebrates 25th Year of Travel Through Asia and Beyond


Pilar Laguaña, GVP Marketing Manager to Chair NTA China Inbound Task Force


Yasawa Island Resort & Spa Passing Hands to Edge Resorts Fiji


COVER PHOTO CREDITS: Pandaw Cruises, Gail P. Dubov

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FITUR Will Present New Segments, Revamped Formats and Attractive Activities The major travel trade event held each year in Spain is a vital showcase for the latest in tourism.


he upcoming FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair to be held in Madrid this month January 19–23 will feature selections that attest to the long-awaited upswing in the travel market. Responding to the realities the sector now sees, the show will reflect the World Tourism Organization’s forecasts for growth this year—with many companies returning as well as a gain of three to four percent in new participation. Iberia, the main airline in the Spanish market and a leader in flights linking Europe and Latin America, will again be present. Its exhibition area will also feature partner British Airways. The airline’s President Antonio Vázquez The floor at FITUR always displays energy and excitement. has agreed, on behalf of Iberia, to in this group spends 30 percent more than the conventional chair the event’s Organizing Committee. Others coming back include technology provider Amadeus, tourist. Through this initiative professionals will find LGBTthe hotel group Accor, and the car rental company National structured programs in a single location to help streamline Atesa. And arriving for the first time at FITUR are official their visit. In order to facilitate transactions in one of the most attracrepresentatives from The Republic of the Congo and tive tourist segments—that of business travel, the themed secNew Zealand. Some who have appeared year after year at FITUR are ex- tion FITUR Congresos will now be called FITUR Meetings & panding their presence, demonstrating growing confidence Events, a fair workshop dedicated to travel related to business in the trade fair as a first-class platform through which they meetings, incentive plans, conventions and business events, can promote their services. Such is the case with the Central bringing together all the markets involved in this type of American Tourism Promotion Agency (CATA), which, for the tourism. The event has been reduced to one day, January 18, 2011 edition, has bolstered its already considerable presence and will spotlight the spending power and investment potential of those buyers selected by Turespaña. Effectiveness and at the fair by 24 percent compared to last year. quality of participants will be stressed in order to make this Increased Diversification feature as profitable and worthwhile as possible. Wide representation is evident, and this is being strengthThese new developments will accompany features that deened for participants. Aware that the event needs to be a dy- buted at last year’s FITUR and which, in light of the strong namic forum responding to market needs, in 2011 the new results obtained, are back for the 2011 edition. Inbound FITUR LGBT will serve as a distinct exhibition space located Spain, the trade fair section devoted to programs promoting in Hall 10 presenting tourism services targeted at lesbian, Spain as a tourist destination, and Investour, an initiative gay, bisexual and transgender people. This area will also organized in collaboration with the World Tourism function as a place for discussions and where one can learn Organization (UNWTO) to encourage investment by Spanish about the character of one of the segments displaying the companies in Africa to promote development in deprived most potential for future development. The average traveler areas through tourism, are such examples. This edition will 4 • JANUARY 2011 • Travel World News

INDUSTRY EVENTS also see participation by countries belonging to the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Also, in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization and the Madrid Tourism Council, FITUR Green will occupy an exhibition area and hold workshops to promote environmentally friendly tourist accommodations.

Expanding Channels Keenly aware of the importance of new technologies, this year FITUR has bolstered its presence on today’s social networks. Now the event’s Facebook profile and presence on YouTube is complemented by a blog on its website containing comments by tourism professionals on current industry issues. In an effort to encourage debate on the industry, FITUR now can also be found on Linked In and Twitter, while images of the Fair can be shared via Flickr. These are just some of the initiatives undertaken in order to increase contact among all those who make up FITUR. FITUR also aims to increase public interaction and involvement at the Fair. To this end, along with the first travelers’ social network,, the Travel Gymkhana will be held Saturday and Sunday, January 22 and 23, inviting the adventurous to discover the destinations present at FITUR through a treasure hunt where they can win exciting prizes.

Beginning in the afternoon on Friday, January 21, weekend visitors can also share their travel experiences at the Speaker’s Corner, with comments that will be shown on screens strategically placed in the halls. These initiatives are in addition to those featured since the last edition through FITUR Meetup brings travelers together to share advice on destinations and routes, while information points manned by MINUBE specialists will orient potential tourists during their visits through the Ifema halls, telling them where to find the kind of services best suited for them and the selection of services available in the countries which they intend to visit during their next trip. The 1st Interactive Folklore Marathon, with the slogan “Folklore & Art With Us,” seeks to create a new fun and cultural interactive space functioning as an extension of the traditional Peoples of the World Folk Festival, so successful in recent years. This project will combine performances with workshops where visitors can learn percussion, singing and craft techniques. All in all, from January 19 to 23, FITUR is the place to be for both professionals and weekend visitors to find out about all the latest trends in tourism—whether the goal is to increase business or make the most of upcoming trips.



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Travel World News •

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La Cumbre—The Americas’ Travel Industry Summit set for September 7–9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will gather leading Exhibitor and Buyer companies from all over the Americas, targeting an effort to further increase the growing number of Buyer companies attending from Asia, Europe and Africa. Segments include leisure travel and corporate travel. Delegates will receive accommodation at the glamorous The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in the city known as The Entertainment Capital of the World. This complex will be both the venue where the event will take place, and the hotel where all attendants—Buyers, Exhibitors, GSAs and registered international Media—will be allocated. This resort is known for being one of the few all-suite hotels in Las Vegas, with over 4,000 suites located in the 40-story tower. Additionally, The Venetian offers guests a 120,000-sq.-ft. casino and over 70 shops and restaurants, together with replicas of Venice’s St. Mark’s Church bell tower and the Rialto Bridge among others. The event will not only host its two days of pre-scheduled one-onone appointments and its Conference and Seminar program, but for the first time ever its show floor will feature two new segments dedicated specifically to Golf Travel and High End Travel respectively. Registrations are currently open for Buyer, GSA and Exhibitor companies. In addition, for the third consecutive year, La Cumbre continues to offer its Hosted Buyer Program, in which by completing five basic requirements, Buyers receive a full refund on their registration fee. Companies interested in registering or inquiring about participating in La Cumbre 2011 should contact Rosadela Arenas of Reed Exhibitions by e-mail. More information on the event is available on its website. La Cumbre,; Reed Exhibitions,, 6 • JANUARY 2011

ATA TO HOST FOURTH ANNUAL U.S.–AFRICA TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY CONFERENCE The Africa Travel Association (ATA) will host the fourth annual U.S.-Africa Travel & Tourism Industry Seminar in Washington, D.C. at the Washington D.C. Convention Center on Friday, March 11, 2011. Under the theme “Promoting Tourism to Africa Through Partnership,” the conference will showcase industry and economic partnerships that allow for more effective travel promotions and programs for African travel. The conference will attract industry professionals from Africa and the U.S. eager to learn about key growth trends and niche markets that have helped African tourism grow steadily in recent years. Participants will also explore industry opportunities and challenges, particularly in the North American market, and help connect to other companies to develop strategic business partnerships and alliances. Attendees to the 2011 conference include tourism experts and industry professionals from the U.S. and Africa, particularly travel agents and tour operators, who market, sell and specialize in Africa, as well as tourism ministers, national tourism board heads, diplomatic community representatives, African Diaspora c ommunity leaders, and travel trade media. Faculty and students are also invited. “The Travel and Adventure Show® has been our partner on this event for several years now and we are thrilled to have them as our premier sponsor,” said Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director.” “The conference aims to help ATA members develop meaningful and strategic contacts in order to pursue partnering opportunities that promote tourism to Africa.” The conference will be a one-day, stand-alone, kick-off event and immediately precedes the Travel & Adventure consumer Expo March 12–13 at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. ATA conference participants will receive a complimentary ticket to the Expo and are encouraged to take advantage of the synergy with the Expo and exhibit at the show at special reduced ATA member rates. The show attracts high-value consumers from the DC area ready to book African vacations. “Our consumer travel attendees throughout the United States have consistently ranked Africa as one of the top destinations of interest,” said Jim Forberg, COO of Unicomm, LLC. “Our long-term partnership with ATA has afforded an opportunity to not only showcase Africa tour operators, but also to provide valuable information to travel agents and consumers alike.” Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities for the 2011 conference should contact ATA. Media wishing to attend the seminar must apply for media accreditation by February 25, 2011. To receive a form, they may contact ATA by email. Africa Travel Association (ATA),; The Travel & Adventure Shows,; Unicomm, • Travel World News

INDUSTRY EVENTS WTM 2010 EXPERIENCES 10% INCREASE IN VISITORS World Travel Market 2010 saw an impressive 10-percent increase in visitors. Almost 27,000 (26,908) visitors attended the travel event over four days November 8–11, compared to 24,402 visitors at WTM 2009, according to the event’s unaudited figures. The increase was fuelled by a record number of visitors attending under the My Invitations system November 8. The first day at World Travel Market is invite-only, allowing exhibitors to invite the key contacts they want to conduct business with over the four days of the event. Unaudited figures show a 22-percent increase with 6,700 senior industry buyers attending WTM 2010 the first day. This increase in My Invitations visitors led to an amazing participation in the expanded Meet The Meridian Club Buyers (Speed Networking) session. Almost 250 senior industry buyers took part in the five sessions compared to around 87 when the program was launched in 2009. The impressive visitor figures continued Tuesday with a 41-percent increase in ministers and aides attending the fourth UNWTO Ministers’ Summit at WTM. Unaudited visitor figures for November 9 (Tuesday) were up 18 percent on the equivalent day in 2009 with almost 17,000 visitors

Travel World News •

attending WTM 2010 to meet and negotiate contracts with exhibitors. Unaudited figures for the following day showed a 16-percent increase with almost 13,000 travel industry delegates attending. The revamped final day of WTM 2010 (Thursday, November 11)—including the Talk Business with Lord Digby Jones session— saw unaudited visitor numbers increase by an impressive 34 percent. Furthermore, overall participant figures increased by almost five percent (4.7%) compared to WTM 2009. WTM 2010 saw 47,719 travel industry professionals take part compared to 45,571 at WTM 2009. There were more than 5,000 exhibitors including 628 Main Stand Holders, compared to 607 in 2009. World Travel Market Exhibition Director Simon Press said: “I am delighted with the attendance figures for WTM 2010. The impressive increase in My Invitations visitors participants in the Meet The Meridian Club Buyer (Speed Networking) session on the first day supports the conversations I had with exhibitors and buyers that a high amount of business was conducted at WTM 2010.” World Travel Market (WTM),; Reed Exhibitions Limited,

JANUARY 2011 •


INDUSTRY EVENTS EIBTM 2010 IN BARCELONA SAW NOTEWORTHY SUCCESS DESPITE WEATHER This year’s 22nd EIBTM attracted 3,125 exhibiting companies from over 90 countries with three days of nonstop meetings and activities organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions, driving business and delivering value to all attendees. The number of trade visitors was 4,010, reflecting a five-percent increase over last year and total attendance including Hosted Buyers reached 8,395—a percent over 2009 (unaudited figures). Hosted Buyers at the show undertook more than 55,300 prescheduled appointments, a 1.35-percent increase on 2009. Some Hosted Buyers were unfortunately stranded due to the severe weather conditions that affected Europe during EIBTM and initial findings indicate that approximately 200 Hosted Buyers were unable to attend the show, with data and reports still to be collated. Graeme Barnett, Event Director for EIBTM, commented that RTE is in the process of contacting every Buyer who didn’t make it to the show to help them make contact with the exhibitors they’d planned to meet. Coordinators chartered a plane to get 224 of the Hosted Buyers and Exhibitors back to the UK and also organized coach travel for them on their return. Highlights of the event included over 100 events and meetings in and around the show, with a record 59 professional education sessions. The Stand Awards, a revamp of the CEO Summit and a new show floor lecture theatre were introduced. News about the event, the show dailies and EIBTM TV can be seen on their website. EIBTM 2011 will take place November 29 through December 1, 2011. EIBTM,; Reed Travel Exhibitions,

teamed up in the U.S. with show managers J2L Events, who have been behind the flourishing Boston Globe Travel Show, the #1 U.S. consumer travel show for overall attendance (22,000) and on-site bookings ($5+ million). Located in San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center, the OTM will offer a two-day B2B focus designed to connect international and domestic sellers with thousands of U.S. tour operators, travel agents, media planners and travel writers. The trade program will include destination and product training seminars, oneto-one appointments, receptions and meals, and open time on the show floor. Following the trade program, the OTM also will expand to a two-day consumer festival, highlighting domestic and international destinations, travel experts and entertainment, family activities and last-minute deals on summer bookings for an expected 10,000 Northern California travelers. Strategically timed just after the inbound PowWow show, OTM will provide another opportunity for travel trade to extend their marketing campaigns in the huge outbound and domestic markets catered by San Francisco. The OTM has already gained visible support from prestigious U.S. and international organizations, including AAA-Northern California, Africa Travel Association, America’s Vacation Center, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Cruise Lines International Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Performance Media Group, Specialty Travel Agents Association, Sustainable Travel International, Travel World News and United States Tour Operators Association, among others. Excellent placement is available on the show floor for destinations and suppliers, as are sponsorship options. OneWorld Travel Mart, 888-705-6576,,



California, a top outbound source market for international and domestic tourists, will play host to the inaugural OneWorld Travel Mart (OTM) set for May 26–29 in downtown San Francisco. Billed as “America’s Only Outbound-Focused Travel Event,” the event will deliver a U.S.-outbound travel mart for international suppliers and destinations. “We saw a unique need to deliver an international-focused travel show to the U.S. market, which is such a strong feeder for global travel,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, whose company Fairfest Inc. is producing the event. “While researching this opportunity, we realized that San Francisco—serving the lucrative Bay Area and Northern California markets—required an annual event also catering to U.S.-based domestic destinations. Going forward, we see OTM developing as a major global travel show in the U.S., to complement leading travel shows like ITB and World Travel Market in Europe.” Fairfest has produced over 100 international travel events within its home base of India, where its OTM is the leading international travel show with participation from over 50 countries. It has

The seventh edition of MCTM, The Travel & Luxury Show, will be held December 2–4, 2011, in Monte Carlo. The sales for MCTM 2011 exhibition spaces have recently been opened. Companies interested in participation can benefit from an Early Bird discounted rate until January 31, 2011, including special advantages. Booking can be done online; further information is available from MCTM agents. MCTM 2011 will offer a completely renewed travel buyer network, an even more efficient MCTM Meeting Planner (pre-scheduled appointment system), a substantial increase of visiting clients with high purchasing power, a revamped show design, and it’s a luxury travel show that’s very cost-effective. This exclusive B2B and B2C event was voted “One Of The Finest Travel & Luxury Exhibitions Worldwide” by The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. Monte Carlo Travel Market (MCTM),,,

8 • JANUARY 2011 • Travel World News

INDUSTRY EVENTS MARIA BADAKH NAMED ITTFA PRESIDENT, NEW COMMITTEE CHOSEN FOR 2011 The International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA) recently held its Annual General Meeting at The Travel Club in London where it elected its new executive committee to lead the Association through the coming year. Committee members began their terms of office in December, having been officially sworn in at the AGM in London. They will remain in their respective roles MARIA BADAKH until the next election in a year’s time. Maria Badakh, Head of Sales ITE Group, was elected as President of ITTFA, following her year as Vice President. Tom Nutley, Chairman and founder of ITTFA, said, “We are confident that Maria’s experience and enthusiasm will prove to be a great support to the Association and help steer it through another successful year. Her specific expertise in working with shows in developing Eastern European markets will be of particular importance as we look at increasing our support for organizers starting up new shows.” Zeljka Tomljenovic, ITE Group Travel Division Events & Sales Manager, was elected Vice President and will also take on the role of Treasurer. Antonio Dell’Aquilano of TTG Italia Events, who has led the association previously as President, will take up the post of Industry Consultant and Spela Bratun, Project Manager AlpeAdria, Tourism & Leisure Fair, will help support the association via the role of Sponsorship Officer. International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA),,,

SURVEY COMMISSIONED BY ITB BERLIN REVEALS WORLDWIDE TRAVEL TRENDS With economies recovering, one result seen is that Indians and Brazilians are especially eager to travel in 2011. According to a representative survey from IPK International commissioned by ITB Berlin, 49 percent of Brazilians intend to travel in 2011, with some possibly taking more trips than in previous years, and 21 percent want a holiday similar to the one they took in 2010. Indians are also increasingly eager to travel, with 43 percent planning one or more trips and 33 percent planning holiday trips similar to those they undertook in 2010. By contrast, Americans are rather more cautious: 16 percent are unlikely to travel in 2011 and 32 percent plan less travel next year compared with 2010. Only 19 percent intend to take more trips; 34 percent said they’d go on a holiday similar to the one taken the previous year. Among European nations the French stand out. Asked about their travel plans for 2011, 20 percent said they had none, 41 percent intend to travel as often as they did in 2010, and 22 percent said they will take more trips. By contrast, German travel behavior remains stable. Overall, 49 percent of respondents said they would travel as often as they did in 2010. Only 16 percent said they’d Travel World News •

travel more, 13 percent have no travel plans for 2011, and 22 percent plan to travel less than they did in 2010. The Swiss are among the nations most eager to travel: 47 percent of respondents plan to take as many trips in 2011 as they did the previous year; 32 percent even believe it possible they’ll travel more, and only eight percent have no travel plans for 2011. ITB World Travel Trends Report is based on the assessments of 60 tourism experts from 30 countries, on a special IPK International trend analysis in leading source markets, and on core data from the World Travel Monitor®—the largest continuous survey of global travel trends in some 60 source countries. Findings reflect trends that emerged during the first eight months of 2010. On March 9, 2011, at the ITB Future Day, Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the findings for the entire year along with current forecasts for 2011 at a session entitled “ITB World Travel Trends Report—an Update on Global and European Tourism Forecasts.” The full ITB World Travel Trends Report 2010/2011 will be released at ITB. ITB Berlin,; ITB Berlin Convention,

PHILADELPHIA TRAVEL SHOW EARNS NEW LEASE ON LIFE When it appeared that the long-running Philadelphia Travel Show was set to disappear entirely as a result of the current tough financial times, J2L Events saw an opportunity to regenerate interest in this Top 5 travel market. Relative newcomers to the events management field, J2L manages the U.S.’s top-attended and top-grossing Boston Globe Travel Show. In Philadelphia, they saw a chance to replicate their successful model to bring local and international suppliers together with consumers and travel trade. “Philadelphia is a prime market for the travel industry,” said Jeremy Garrett, J2L’s President. “It ranks second behind New York among all Northeast markets in travel spending, ranks fourth nationally in generating Florida visitors, and is ranked fifth nationally for both Caribbean visitors and cruise travelers. However, we chose to make some strategic changes to the event, including moving it back downtown, changing its date to January, and providing strong marketing to promote it.” The Philadelphia Inquirer came on board early as title sponsors of the new Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show set for January 22–23, 2011, leading the way as two dozen industry partners have since lent their support. Famous travel personalities Arthur and Pauline Frommer and author Patricia Schultz will educate and entertain an expected 10,000 consumers, while Orlando CVB will sponsor a Saturday morning travel agent breakfast. And marketing the show has been strong with a distinctive 20-week ad campaign through the Inquirer newspaper that will net over 40 million impressions. J2L Events,; Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, 888-705-6576,, JANUARY 2011 •



The Discover America Pavilion was well positioned at the very successful recent World Travel Market 2010, premier global event for the travel industry. The event drew an impressive 10-percent increase in visitors. A bright and powerful selection of U.S. destination info centers was brought together under one umbrella of well-designed booths occupied by travel hotspots all over the country, attracting many. The crowds swarming around these upscale booths attest to a revived optimism evident in the industry, certainly for the touristic value the USA holds. Hundreds of Exhibitors use the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the U.K. market’s and the world’s premier buyers and trade media by exhibiting at WTM 2010, making it the single largest U.S. promotional event in the U.K. and one of the largest gatherings of the U.S. travel and tourism industry in the world. Almost 27,000 (26,908) visitors attended the event in London over the four days (Monday, November 8, through Thursday, November 11) compared to 24,402 visitors in 2009, unaudited figures reveal. There was a remarkable 22-percent increase in visitors with 6,700 senior industry buyers attending WTM 2010 the first day. Impressive visitor figures continued on Tuesday with a 41-percent increase in ministers and aides attending the fourth UNWTO Ministers’ Summit at WTM, a record attendance for the event. Overall, unaudited visitor figures for Tuesday, November 9, were up 18 percent from the equivalent day in 2009 with almost 17,000 visitors attending WTM 2010 to meet and negotiate contracts with exhibitors. On Wednesday, visitor figures were up 16 percent with almost 13,000 travel industry delegates attending. And the revamped final day of WTM 2010 (Thursday, November 11) saw unaudited visitor numbers increase by an impressive 34 percent. WTM 2010 saw 47,719 travel industry professionals take part compared to 45,571 at WTM 2009. There were more than 5,000 exhibitors, compared to 607 in 2009. Discover America’s presence at these major shows is a real magnet to buyers looking for vast variety and refinement in a great travel destination. Those who take advantage of this sophisticated group arrangement really get more than they pay for. B-FOR International,, 10 • JANUARY 2011

KEY COORDINATORS ON BOARD FOR AIBTM HOSTED BUYER PROGRAM AIBTM’s Hosted Buyer Program is on track ensuring strong ROI to suppliers, with a number of Hosted Buyer Group Coordinators already confirming participation at the inaugural event June 21–23 in Baltimore. Over 3,000 national and international meeting and event planners, including 2,000 Hosted Buyers conducting either domestic or both domestic and international business, are expected to attend. Some Hosted Buyer Group Coordinators participating include The DMC Group, Global Cynergies, Helms Briscoe, HPN, and IHG. Serving as the main point of contact, Group Coordinators are responsible for recruiting Hosted Buyers and coordinating travel and other event-related details. With Hosted Buyer registration opening mid-January, Group Coordinators are currently pulling together invitation lists for clients and potential clients. Those interested in being a Group Coordinator, contact Elisabeth Shipman. AIBTM,; Reed Travel Exhibitions,,

DUBROVNIK WILL WELCOME FIRST NETM The Dubrovnik Tourist Board is working closely with event management firm William H. Coleman, Inc. to welcome delegates attending the first annual New Europe Travel Mart (NETM) April 13–15. The event is designed to increase leisure travel to the region that includes the Baltic to the Balkans: “New Europe.” NETM will feature the three-day “pre-scheduled appointments” format Coleman has successfully applied in other global tourism destinations for almost 40 years. Buyers of leisure travel services from global markets will travel to Dubrovnik to meet senior sales and marketing executives representing Supplier organizations from the entire “New Europe” region. The Coleman NETM format enables Buyers and Suppliers to have two days of 20-minute pre-scheduled appointments in Supplier booth/offices. Sessions will be held in the Convention Center of Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, the Host Hotel. Buyer registration fees of $175 include three nights’ single-room accommodations at the Radisson Blu, roundtrip airport transfers, all business sessions with pre-scheduled appointments, all official hosted social functions, and ground transportation. Buyers will arrange their own air travel on Host Airlines offering reduced airfares to all delegates. Supplier registration fees of $1,500 include a 2mx2m [approx. 6.5 ft. each side] booth/office with table, four chairs, sign, and lights; all business sessions including pre-scheduled appointments with Buyers; all official hosted social functions; roundtrip airport transfers; ground transportation; special discounted hotel rates at the Radisson Blu; and discounted air fares on participating Host Airlines. Details and registration forms are available on NETM’s website. Specific questions and comments can be directed to Coleman. New Europe Travel Mart (NETM),; William H. Coleman, Inc.,, • Travel World News

CALENDAR OF EVENTS • 2011 DATE EVENT LOCATION CONTACT FEBRUARY 1-5 PATA AT&RT Conference/Mart Kathmandu, Nepal 8-9 IMTM 2011 Tel Aviv, Israel 10-13 Holiday World 2011 Prague, Czech Republic 10-13 EMITT Instanbul, Turkey 11-13 Boston Globe Travel Show Boston, MA 15-16 AIME Melbourne, Australia 17-20 BIT 2011 Milan, Italy 17-20 Discover America Pavilion at BIT 2011 Milan, Italy 18-26 OTM 2011 Mumbai & New Delhi, India 18-26 Discover America Pavilion at OTM 2011 Mumbai & New Delhi, India 25-27 The NY Times Travel Show New York, NY MARCH 9-13 ITB Berlin 2011 Berlin, Germany 9-13 Discover America Pavilion at ITB Berlin Berlin, Germany 12-13 Travel & Adventure Show Washington D.C. 14-17 Cruise Shipping Miami Miami Beach, FL 16-19 MITT 2011 Moscow, Russia 16-19 Discover America Pavilion at MITT 2011 Moscow, Russia 19-20 Travel & Adventure Show Los Angeles, CA 23-25 UITT Kiev, Ukraine 24-27 TUR 2011 Gothenburg, Sweden 24-27 Discover America Pavilion at TUR 2011 Gothenburg, Sweden 28-30 GIBTM Abu Dhabi, UAE APRIL 7-10 SITC 2011 Barcelona, Spain 13-15 New Europe Travel Mart Dubrovnik, Croatia 14-16 Toursib Novosibirsk Russia 19-22 2011 ASTA IDE San Juan, Puerto Rico 20-22 Kazakhstan Intl. Travel & Tourism Fair Almaty, Kazakhstan 27-29 DATE Punta Cana, DR 28-30 AITF Baku, Azerbaijan MAY 2-5 Arabian Travel Market Dubai, UAE 11-13 Expotur Costa Rica 12-15 TPOC Conference & Trade Show Louisville, KY 16-18 Global Spa Summit Bali, Indonesia 19-20 Faith Travel Conference & Expo Atlanta, GA 21-25 International Pow Wow San Francisco, CA 26-29 OneWorld Travel Mart San Francisco, CA JUNE 3-5 Karibu Travel Fair Arusha, Tanzania 9-12 ITE Hong Kong Hong Kong, China 13-16 Intl. Luxury Travel Market ASIA Shanghai, China 21-23 AIBTM Baltimore, MD 25-27 BITE 2011 Dublin, Ireland 25-27 Discover America Pavilion at BITE 2011 Dublin, Ireland AUGUST 30-Sept 1 CIBTM Beijing, China SEPTEMBER 7-9 La Cumbre Las Vegas, NV 11-13 Travel Mart Latin America Florianopolis, Brazil 11-13 THETRADESHOW Las Vegas, NV 22-25 FITA 2011 Mexico City, Mexico 23 IFTM Top Resa Paris, France OCTOBER 4-6 The Motivation Show Chicago, IL 11-13 IMEX America Las Vegas, NV 12-14 Cancun Travel Mart Cancun, Mexico 19-21 ABA Rio De Janeiro, Brazil NOVEMBER 14-17 Intl. Golf Travel Market Antalya Expo, Turkey 16-18 Cruise Shipping Asia Exhibition Singapore TO LIST YOUR EVENTS EMAIL : • FOR ADDITIONAL EVENTS VISIT: Travel World News •

JANUARY 2011 •


INDUSTRY NEWS USTOA NAMES TERRY DALE PRESIDENT The U.S. Tour Operators Association has named Terry Dale as its President. In his new position taking effect this month, Dale’s responsibilities include developing the association’s strategic marketing initiatives, managing the association’s government advocacy on issues affecting tour operators, and working with other leaders and decision makers in the travel industry to identify mutual challenges and opportunities. Dale will also be serving as a key ambassador and spokesperson for USTOA. A well-known and respected industry leader, Dale comes to USTOA after serving as President & CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) since 2003. Previous positions include five years with NYC & Company—The NYC Convention and Visitors Bureau, where he was Executive Vice President; and ten years as President & CEO of the Greater Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as President of the New England Society of Convention and Visitor’s Bureaus. Dale has also served on the Board of Directors of the US TERRY DALE Travel Association, HSMAI, and Visit Florida. He has been a course instructor and Grossinger Lecturer at NYU Tisch Center for Hospitality, as well as a Distinguished Lecturer at Johnson & Wales. USTOA (U.S. Tour Operators Association),

TRAVELSAVERS TWIN SIGNS ON STI TRAVEL AS PREFERRED SUPPLIER The TWIN (TRAVELSAVERS Worldwide Independent Network) global travel management company has announced it has signed on STI Travel as a new worldwide preferred supplier. STI Travel is a member of Sakkara Group International (SGI), which is a premier conglomerate based in Egypt with operations in tourism, hotels, Nile cruises, real estate and retail. STI Travel offers a wide range of products and travel services, varying from complete air and land packages to simple dinner reservations, in exotic destinations including Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, UAE, Greece and Turkey. The supplier combines power of purchase and professionalism to satisfy different budgets, tastes and requirements. Part of the American Marketing Group, Inc. family of companies, TWIN is a global travel management company with an in-country presence in key regions around the world including Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, the UK, Thailand, India, Israel, Lebanon, Oman, the UAE, Canada, and the U.S. Leading travel agencies participate as licensees in this international network. Upon joining the organization, they instantly become partners with other top agencies around the world, and gain the ability to engage in global account sharing and data consolidation. TWIN provides the infrastructure and resources for larger independent agencies to offer multi-national corporate clients the highest standards of account management and customer service. Independent travel agencies can learn how to become part of the TWIN global network by emailing for more information. TWIN (TRAVELSAVERS Worldwide Independent Network),,

HAHN AIR WEBSITE IS NOW IN SIX LANGUAGES Hahn Air is enhancing its website to become a real global information tool where its users can benefit from simplified usage and acquisition of information in their native tongue. With its English website, Hahn Air created a comprehensive information source tailored for travel agents around the globe. To extend and optimize the sales approach to its international users, Hahn Air is enabling the enlarged access of its website in five more languages: Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian and Japanese. By using their native tongue, many of the 85,000 IATA travel agents from 180 countries worldwide can benefit from Hahn Air’s services even easier and faster. Hahn Air operates the industry’s leading universal ET-Platform and offers a total of 229 airlines for ticketing on HR-169 e-documents—all insolvency insured. On the website travel agents are provided various features such as the Quick check tool to find out about ticketing availability on HR-169 in real time. More details are available on the site. Hahn Air,

AMAWATERWAYS JOINS VIRTUOSO NETWORK Leading luxury travel network Virtuoso and AmaWaterways have agreed to enter into a preferred supplier relationship beginning January 2011. In the network’s 2010 Luxe Report trend findings, European River Cruising saw the third largest increase in consumer demand, clearly identifying its increased popularity and indicating a need for more river cruising product. “We are delighted to have AmaWaterways join Virtuoso as a preferred supplier,” said Mark Kammerer, Vice President, Cruise and Exclusive Product. “With their fleet of 12 river cruise vessels and a vast array of itineraries, including less traveled locations like Vietnam and Russia, the relationship with AmaWaterways brings benefits both for our members and their clients.” The relationship is based on a desire to provide more choices in the rapidly expanding market for river cruise vacations. AmaWaterways, 800-626-0126,; Virtuoso, 12 • JANUARY 2011 • Travel World News

INDUSTRY NEWS SITA WORLD TOURS LAUNCHES PRE- AND POST-CRUISE PACKAGES In response to an optimistic outlook for luxury cruise business emanating from foreign ports, SITA World Tours inaugurated a program of pre- and post-cruise itineraries in 13 port cities featured in their 2010/2011 brochure. The program features six cities in Asia—Bangkok, Beijing (from Taijin and Xingang), Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. In South America, destinations include Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls (from Santos), Machu Picchu (from Callao), Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago (from Valparaiso). And in addition, there are programs from Cairo and Capetown in Africa and Istanbul in the Near East. With more than 70 years’ experience in exotic, worldwide travel, SITA World Tours has a well-earned reputation for their customized approached to value-priced luxury travel. SITA associate, Charlie Newton commented that, “We’ve realized there is growing demand for pre- and post-cruise packages that offer a more in-depth experience. We are experts on the exotic port destinations of the world and we can offer great value, hands-on service, more personalized attention to detail and more opportunities for adventure than what is usually available in a cookie-cutter sort of package.” SITA’s packages provide for luxury or deluxe hotels with airport and cruise port transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees. In most cases the itineraries are three nights’ duration pre-cruise and two nights post-cruise and include two meals daily. SITA World Tours, 800-421-5643,,

ABU DHABI NATIONAL EXHIBITIONS COMPANY TARGETS NORTH AMERICAN EVENTS MARKET Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) has recognized the importance of the North American market and has selected Marketing Challenges International, Inc. (MCIntl) to head its marketing and sales efforts in North America. The agreement, reached during the 2010 EIBTM in Barcelona, marks MCIntl’s first venture into the Middle East and ADNEC’s firm commitment to courting North American business events to its world-class facilities. As a center for research and business, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has steadily been garnering global attention and attracting high-profile business events. Moreover, with its brimming economy, this destination is the gateway to the Middle East and other neighboring emerging markets. Multicultural and cosmopolitan, it is also home to satellite campuses of world-famous universities, including INSEAD and New York University. MCIntl, a full-service Global Destination Marketing Firm based in New York City, specializes in marketing international destinations, venues and organizations to the leisure and business travel market segments in North America. Planners of international meetings and events wanting to extend their international reach by holding business events in the Middle East are invited to contact MCIntl. Marketing Challenges International (MCIntl),,

BOOMING BERLIN OFFERS EVENT-FILLED 2011 The first nine months of Berlin’s 2010 showed an impressive 8.8-percent increase of U.S. visitors (+ 7.5 percent overnights), and 11.4 percent plus in visitors from Canada (+ 16.4 percent overnights). This positive trend is expected to continue with new nonstop flights and an expansive calendar of festivals, events and celebrations. Air Berlin recently announced nonstop flights from New York’s JFK as well as from Miami and has increased service from additional U.S. gateways. On June 3, 2012, the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport, BBI, is scheduled to open, turning Berlin into a major European hub, with a focus on Eastern European point-to-point traffic, as well as long-haul international connections. Each day, Berlin visitors have a choice of 1,500 events. The summer of 2011 will see the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, and commemorative events such as “The Wall” concert by Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters (June 15/16), and a special exhibit at the Allied Museum (opening October 28). Extensively restored, the archaeological exhibit “The Recovered Gods of the Palace of Tel Hallaf” in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum celebrates the 150th anniversary of museum founder Max von Oppenheim. It will be presented for the first time after its destruction during the Second World War January 28 through August 14. Another highlight is Festival Days (Festtage) at the Staatsoper Berlin, a must for classical music aficionados. Held at the Schillertheater, Festival Days 2011 presents Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Richard Wagner’s Walküre, April 16–25. During the Extended Opera and Theater Night April 16, some 60 Berlin stages will offer a stream of short, approximately half-hour events allowing audience members to assemble their own journey of discovery through the Berlin opera and theater scene. Berlin celebrates multiculturalism June 10–13 with its popular “Carnival of Cultures.” Presenting a colorful parade with over 100 groups, 4,000 dancers, singers, and musicians from about 80 nations, it attracts about a million visitors annually. Berlin’s tourism organization recently launched a completely overhauled tourism website, as well as its new corporate name, brand, and logo. Special pages dedicated to the travel industry give visitBerlin’s business partners easy access to industry-specific information, images and contact personnel. Berlin Tourism,, Travel World News •

JANUARY 2011 •



Intelligent Tourism Design in Croatia A hot lifestyle destination maintains its natural gifts and cultural values on the Adriatic.


roatia stretches from the easternmost Alps to the banks of the Danube, and meets the sea facing Italy. Geographically, it offers woody, hilly areas to peaks and mountain chains that descend to the unforgettable Adriatic coast. As tourism product, it boasts several assets besides natural wealth: mild Mediterranean climate, proximity to European markets, environmentally protected destinations, and fascinating culture and history. The country claims an exceptionally rich past. Visitors will learn that the first European calendar was drawn there on a ceramic container made between 3000 and 2400 B.C., in the period when cuneiform writing and hieroglyphs appeared. Attention to detail is the heritage of its indigenous people. They are known for producing exquisite lace, carefully crafted wooden toys, and an endless list of famous food: Pag cheese, Slavonian kulen, Cres lamb, Kvarner shrimp, Ston oysters, and Istrian truffles, among many delicacies. Its regions—Istria, Kvarner, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Dubrovnik, Zagreb as capital city, Lika and Karlovac, Central Croatia and Slavonia—all mesh tradition with trends. In recent years, Croatia has invested intensely in refining tourism, with upgrades to accommodation infrastructure, including the infrastructure of cities, towns and municipalities, and transport infrastructure at national and local levels. The results have been phenomenal. Pleasing even the most fastidious visitors, the country regularly sees return visits from royal families, celebrities, musicians and artists, and members of business dynasties from around the world. Croatia provides a natural stage for festivals, exhibitions, concerts and events such as the Dubrovnik Summer Games, Split Summer, Rab Fjera, Pula and Motovun Film Festivals, and the colorful Spancirfest in Varazdin. A chart in The Guardian of events not to be missed in 2010 placed Croatia’s Soundwave Festival in first place. Travel & Leisure put the Dalmatian islands at the top in Europe, and the country was named ‘Best Vacation Value Europe’ destination by Travel Age West. The Tourism Strategic Plan for 2010–2014 brands Croatia as a hot lifestyle destination with preserved cultural and natural values. E-commerce, on-line communication and marketing target the categories sun and sea, sailing, meetings, culture and touring, continental tourism, and wine and gastronomy. The Plan identifies ten unique regions for travel marketing. Istria is the ‘green Mediterranean resort,’ with its authentic villages ensuring a relaxing and romantic holiday. Kvarner’s image is ‘Adriatic lifestyle destination.’ Its special values are acknowledged to be sophistication, rejuvenating effect and good atmosphere. Dalmatia is divided into four clusters. Zadar is the ‘enchant14 • JANUARY 2011

A small town atop Cres, the largest of Croatia’s thousand islands.

ing Adriatic,’ building its image on the world of islands and nature parks. Sibenik has the title of ‘crown of the Adriatic,’ emphasizing it as a nautical paradise. Split will become the ‘Adriatic inspiration’ with the Dalmatian way of life and culture forming its image. In the South, Dalmatia-Dubrovnik is marketed as “Dubrovnik Riviera and Islands.’ The Karlovac-Lika region is the ‘green heart of Croatia,’ where the coast and a wonderfully preserved continent connect. Marketing Slavonia as the ‘true joy of life’ focuses on its gastronomy, nature, peace and rural environment. Central Croatia is a ‘short holiday region’—with spas and baroque castles. Zagreb is a ‘gate to Croatia,’ with the image of a meeting place, one where continental Europe connects with the Adriatic.

The draw of diversity Croatia’s eight national parks offer diverse beauty: four in the mainland (Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes, Risnjak and North Velebit) and four in the coastal area (Brijuni, Kornati, Krka and Mljet). Brijuni is known for its intricately indented coastline and interesting flora and fauna—a ‘Heaven on Earth.’ Plitvice Lakes is woody and mountainous with a string of 16 crystal lakes supplied by rivers and streams and interconnected with foamy cascades and forest falls. Risnjak in Gorski Kota is marked by Mount Risnjak massif—its gigantic peak forming the basis of the park, a thrilling natural phenomenon. Adding to these wonders are nature parks: Kopacki rit, Medvednica, Lonja Field, Velebit, Biokovo, Telascica), Ucka, Papuk, Vrana Lake, Zumberak and the Lastovo Islands. Man-made masterpieces make UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List: universal value in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, Diocletian’s Palace in Split, St. Jacob’s Cathedral in Sibenik, the medieval core of Trogir, the Euphrasius Basilica complex in Porec and the Starigrad Plain on the island of Hvar. The World Intangible Cultural Heritage List offers more intrigue: The fesCONTINUED ON PAGE

16 • Travel World News

The Mediterranean as it once was 800 829 4416 email

Croatian National Tourist Board



ZAGREB TOURIST BOARD tel. + 385 (0)1 481 40 51

Atlas was the first in many things – as initiator and creator of various travel programs in accordance with the global trends. Its long continuity is owed to the creativity ofgenerations of tourist workers and to its flexibility. With more than 80 years experience, we know exactly what is needed to provide that extra-added value, tailor-made solutions, greater efficiency and a fully comprehensive service adapted to each and every individual case. Katarina Line provides excellent service to customers from Europe and abroad. Apart from providing services such as accommodations in hotels apartments and private homes, Katarina line has produced attractive Croatia cruises and roundtrips throughout the country of Croatia and along the coastline with a fleet of more than 15 ships. Transfers and excursions to and within Croatia are conducted with multilingual, experienced guides and drivers.

Hotel Croatia, Cavtat – Dubrovnik Grand Villa Argentina – Dubrovnik Villa Sheherezade – Dubrovnik Hotel Odisej – Island of Mljet Hotel Supetar, Cavtat – Dubrovnik

ADRIATIC LUXURY HOTELS MANAGEMENT COMPANY A premier hotel group managing luxurious hotels in Croatia and Great Britain. It includes the brands:

VenEvent® is a Croatian DMC that specializes in organizing meetings, incentive & team building programs and special events. We are a flexible, knowledgeable company that offers the highest quality service. Our employees and partners have great experience organizing meetings, incentive tours and events in Croatia, and creating and executing team-building programs. Our goal is always to provide the maximum return for our clients and to create a lasting impressions for your clients, employees or friends.

The Croatian flag carrier, is a mid-sized European airline in constant growth. A pleasant journey to Croatia with Croatia Airlines is one more reason to come to our beautiful country. A contemporary mid-sized airline, known specifically for its safety, punctuality and customer satisfaction.

* Adriatic Luxury Hotels * City Luxury Hotels * Luxury Villas Adriatic Luxury Hotels is part of the international company GS HR Holdings Limited.

The visitor-friendly city filled with the scent of the sea, awaits – the magnificent view of Kvarner Bay, the mild Mediterranean climate, a stroll along Korzo, lunch at one of the cafes and read the history of the town from the facades of buildings.

Explore Rijeka! Search our website for information on history, cultural and historic monuments, cultural events, accommodation, dining, entertainment.


OPATIJA – this elegant tourist destination lies at the center of the Riviera. Lush green scenery and a pleasant climate, main reasons for its beginning and quick development of tourism. Public gardens, well-kept beaches and fountains provide a stunning backdrop for the villas and hotels. The contrasts of sea and mountains, green parks and blue ocean, old buildings and modern comforts combine to make this a very attractive tourist resort at any time of the year.




tivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik; Two-part singing of narrow intervals from Istria and the Croatian coast; Traditional manufacturing of children’s wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje; Spring procession of ‘Queens’ (Ljelje) from Gorjani; Procession ‘Za Krizen’ (‘following the cross’) on Hvar; the Annual carnival bell ringers’ pageant in Kastav, and Lacemaking in Croatia (in Pag on the Adriatic, Lepoglava in northern Croatia and Hvar on the Dalmatian island of the same name.); Gingerbread craft from northern Croatia, region of Hrvatsko Zagorje; The Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj; and Ojkanje singing, regions of the Dalmation hinterland. Croatia has 1,244 islands, with as many as 50 [inhabited] connected to the mainland by boat or ferry. Brijuni’s 14 islands harmonize flora and fauna, historical monuments and comfortable hotels. Pag is covered by olive groves and is famed for its lace and world-renowned cheese. Silba is an island of shipowners and captains, with no cars or motorbikes; even bicycles are rarely seen. It’s a place where one can release and relax. Hvar, longest in the Adriatic, is an island of vineyards and lavender, with pleasant winter and summer resorts. Pine forests, karstic caves, picturesque lakes, beaches, and fish and lobster in abundance have given Mljet National Park status. Croatian campsites are many and popular, and have been recognized with numerous awards and prizes—the result of continuous investment and rise in quality. Park Umag is the largest and best Istrian campsite, with wellkept beaches, swimming pools with waterfalls and castles, and a botanical eco-park. Award-winning Zaton Holiday Village is the largest Dalmatian campsite. Pine-covered and completely renovated, its beach is suitable for children and non-swimmers. Soline Camping Park has a new promenade that takes visitors past the most beautiful beaches of Biograd to the city center. Campsite Nevio is immersed in greenery and completely isolated from noise. In addition to places for tents and caravan homes, new air-conditioned mobile homes for up to five are also on offer, each with a terrace view of the sea. Croatia was the first European country to open its doors to naturism, back in the 1960s, and the first to receive a certificate for a quality nudist campsite. The oldest in Europe, Koversada near Vrsar, holds a traditional Miss Nudism Contest on the beach in August.

Hotel sector boom Several chains have invested mightily in Croatia’s hotel sector. Many five-star properties are located in the Dubrovnik area. Four-star hotels, a category especially popular and valued on the foreign market, have risen even faster. There are also many small family owned hotels and private houses offering more contact with hosts and locals. Authentic Croatian dishes from recipes handed down through genera16 • JANUARY 2011

ANDREJA CVITKOVIC HEADS CROATIAN NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE IN NYC Croatian National Tourist Office New York has a new director, Andreja Cvitkovic. With 15 years’ industry experience, she’s worked for some of the largest Croatian tour operators and agencies. She also chaired the Visit USA Committee in Croatia. Canadian and American visits to Croatia grew 11 percent last year compared to 2009. Cvitkovic intends to further that trend, strengthening promotion in the ANDREJA CVITKOVIC U.S. and cooperation with tour operators and agencies offering arrangements in Croatia.

Croatian National Tourist Office, 800-829-4416, tions are typically served. Croatia also has a large network of youth hostels. With accommodations to suit every style and budget in a country of infinite natural, historical and cultural contrasts, there are many reasons to visit and revisit Croatia and enjoy the Mediterranean as it once was.

Croatian National Tourist Board,

ZAGREB—A CITY WITH HEART Overall, the impressions of tourists and of foreigners living in Zagreb can be summed up in a single sentence: It’s a large city that’s managed to stay romantic and safe. With lovely open-air cafes, street terraces, and parks aplenty, the city is full of life. Possibilities are unlimited: music and theater events, art exhibitions and museums and beautiful architecture are all within walking distance. Zagreb hosts international fairs, conventions and business meetings (Zagreb Fair and congresses). It offers 6,000 beds in hotels, many major chains included. Small and family-owned hotels are increasing in number also. With great gastronomic experiences and shopping added to Zagreb’s other attractions—including good traffic connection, Zagreb is the ideal city break destination. Zagreb Tourist Board,

NEW VENUES FOR DUBROVNIK TRAVEL Dubrovnik Travel has announced exciting new options for meetings. Saint Clair’s Monastery, nestled within Dubrovnik’s city walls, offers two fully equipped conference rooms (150 persons, 100 theater-style). Coffee breaks and business lunch can be served steps away at Clarisa restaurant, the Monastery’s original atrium, also useful for adding exhibition or presentation space. The MS SEASTAR makes meetings go mobile. This versatile ship can handle 200 delegates theater-style on its main deck, offering a spectacular coffee break on its sun deck and a business lunch gallery deck. Its open concept is great for exhibitions and product launches. Its base is Dubrovnik; other ports are available. Dubrovnik Travel, • Travel World News


Palanga on the Baltic Amber Road with the famous Amber Museum, Klaipeda, Nida, Neringa, the Curonian Spit (a UNESCO natural World Heritage site), and a visit to the Hill of Crosses in Siaulai. Agents seeking detailed information on Lithuania, including the Amber Road and other routes, should consult the Lithuanian State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy on their website. GoBalticEurope,,


For new ways to promote tourism from North America to Northern Europe’s Baltic Sea region, GoBalticEurope’s Ann Charles, a Lithuanian-American, suggests selling Lithuania, Amberland tours and the Baltic Amber Route in 2011. Financed by the European community, Baltic Amber Road is being carried out by the municipality of Palanga in Lithuania. Its focus is “Baltic Amber Road: heritage, tourism and trade.” Lithuania and Latvia are part of the project. Latvia plans to promote Amber Road and is looking to 2014 when Riga becomes the “European Capital of Culture 2014.” (Vilnius, Lithuania, was named the “European Capital of Culture 2009” and Tallinn, Estonia, will be the “European Capital of Culture” for 2011.) Promoting amber, culture and tourism has been a common theme for GoBalticEurope since 2005–2006 when Ms. Charles wrote about “Amber Mania.” Authentic Lithuanian amber and Lithuanian works of art incorporating amber were offered at The New York Times Travel Show. Photos of amber taken by Charles were displayed with the “Lithuanian gold” on Baltic folkloric dancers. She presented the first Baltic exhibit, Baltic cultural performances and Baltic Travel Seminar in 2005 under “GoBalticEurope/BTC” and has continued to do so for six consecutive years. This year, Lithuanian amber was a big attention-getter when an original poster by Vilija Turiene, incoming tour operator, IN VIA Lithuania, Nijole Pakalnine of Lithuanian Holidays, a destination management company, both based in Vilnius, Lithuania, teamed with Ms. Charles at the GoBalticEurope/BTC/Lithuania booth at The New York Times Travel Show 2010 to say, “we’re back!” The poster used the words, “Lithuania—Amberland. Amber, Baltic Gold formed on the sea coast 50 million years ago, is the same age as the dinosaurs.” The Lithuanian Amberland tour includes the three Baltic capitals–Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and Vilnius, Lithuania–and 18 • JANUARY 2011

Recently renovated Hesperia Presidente is located in the very heart of Barcelona—right on the Diagonal, the city’s financial, commercial and business center. The environment of the four-star property blends art, comfort and convenience. Each of the 151 guest rooms provides wireless Internet access, a personal safe, minibar and premium bathroom amenities. Guests can shape up in the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center, unwind with a drink at Cocktail Bar Presidente or savor a world-class meal at restaurant Essence. With plenty of public transportation close at hand and El Prat Airport a mere 20 minutes away, guests enjoy easy access to virtually every corner of Barcelona and beyond. Eight versatile meeting rooms make the Hesperia Presidente an ideal destination for events large or small, for business or pleasure. Many special services can be arranged upon advance request, including private breakfasts, transportation to the airport or city center, hostess service, car and limousine service, translators, photographers and more. Five meeting rooms are located on the second floor with an additional three on the first. All rooms are stylishly decorated, provide plenty of natural light and come fully equipped with the latest in audiovisual and conference technology. From intimate gatherings to a 200-person banquet, Hesperia Presidente can provide the facilities necessary for a successful event. With an inviting atmosphere and a menu that fuses traditional Spanish cuisine with international influences, Essence delivers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. In a city known for world-class cuisine, the restaurand delights even the most discriminating gourmand. An inviting interior crafted by renowned designer Pasqua Ortega creates a dazzling first impression. Large windows open onto bright vistas by day and give way to romantic city views at night. The menu brilliantly combines fresh, local ingredients and international flavors into an array of inventive yet characteristically Spanish dishes. Complementing the cuisine is an equally varied and expertly selected wine list highlighting the best local and international varietals. Hesperia Presidente,, • Travel World News

EUROPE EUROPEAN WATERWAYS LAUNCHES 2011 SEASON–DISCOUNTS ON SELECT CRUISES European Waterways is kicking off its 2011 season with an exciting lineup of all-inclusive hotel barge cruise vacations that feature destinations throughout Europe, with accommodations for four to 20 people. Bookings offer a minimum 10-percent commission to travel agents. European Waterways offers savings that include 10 percent off whole-boat charter prices on select vessels and departures if booked by January 7, 2011. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary night’s B&B at a five-star hotel in Paris for all 2011 full boat charters on select vessels. Complete details are available online. Two deluxe vessels have been added to European Waterways’ Burgundy lineup for the coming year: the eight-passenger Amaryllis and the six-passenger Fleur de Lys, both cruising the lower Burgundy region. Excursions range from a wine tasting in Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy, to a tour of “Château de Germolle,” home of the Dukes of Burgundy. La Bella Vita, another recent addition to the fleet, will celebrate its first season with European Waterways in 2011. A stylish, newly refitted 20-passenger vessel, La Bella Vita will cruise between Venice and the beautiful Renaissance city of Mantua via the Venetian Lagoon, River Po and the Bianco Canal. Each six-night, all-inclusive cruise includes all meals, selected regional wines, open bar, daily escorted excursions, local transfers, and the use of all barge amenities such as bicycles and spa pools. European Waterways also offers a wide range of themed cruises, focusing on activities such as golf, walking and wine appreciation. The fleet of hotel barges comprises 21 vessels cruising through nine countries: France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Crews include a captain, chef, tour guide, and hostess—ensuring personal attention and a very high level of service. European Waterways’ new 2011 brochure is available online, along with additional information on special cruise rates, discounts and itineraries. European Waterways, 877-879-8808,,

KUMUKA REVEALS NEW EUROPE TOURS AND TRENDS Kumuka Worldwide has unveiled some exciting new tours for Europe reflecting what’s interesting now for travelers to the region. Europe Revealed (EU90) is a new base tour that’s a reverse tour of Kumuka’s extremely popular Central Europe tour, from London to London, to give travelers more travel options and departure dates. The new 28-day Europe Revealed covers a mix of cultural and historical beauties such as Paris, Florence and Prague, along with travel hotspots like Vienna, Nice and Budapest. It has four sectors including European Quest (EU94) starting in Rome and ending London, Europe Uncovered (EU91) starting London and ending Travel World News •

Rome, European Melody (EU93) starting Vienna and finishing London, and European Sonata (EU92) starting London and ending at Vienna. All Kumuka Europe tours that begin or end in London also have the option of starting or finishing in Paris. Kumuka offers Eurostar transfers between London and Paris and also offers conveniently located three-four-star accommodation, a big incentive in terms of value and quality for money compared to other tour offerings. Salzburg, Vienna—Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg is a magical historical city with stunning baroque churches amidst a backdrop of snow-covered peaks; Historical and educational experiences like the Mauthausen Concentration Camp; Budapest’s culinary delights– Kumuka’s Gypsy Dinner and Gastro Tour, which includes sampling at food markets, a wine tasting then lunch at local restaurant; Nice and Florence–these spots continue to be popular on sampling the Mediterranean Circuit and Kumuka has added extra nights in these spots. Kumuka Worldwide has also launched Venture magazine, circulated free of charge to 300,000 travel-inspired people. Packed with travel stories, destination features, traveler tips and advice, competitions and reviews, Venture offers a wealth of entertainment, information and ideas for all travelers. Venture is published three times per year and available both in paper format and electronically (subscription may be done online). Kumuka Worldwide, 800-517-0867,,


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CARIBBEAN SANDOS HOTELS & RESORTS IN MEXICO BOASTS 20 EATERIES, 24-HOUR ROOM SERVICE AT SELECT CLUB Sandos Hotels & Resorts is renowned in Mexico for both the quality and diversity of its dining options. Providing the convenience and value of an all-inclusive vacation, Sandos also offers eclectic variety designed to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Guestrooms have a complimentary stocked mini-bar with mineral water, soft drinks, fruit juices and beer for in-room refreshment. Sandos Caracol Eco-Resort & Spa offers a wide variety of eateries and bars, including three buffet restaurants with International, Mexican and Italian specialties, and four à la carte restaurants with Oriental, Brazilian and Mediterranean cuisine as well as a steakhouse. Dining pleasures abound at Sandos Playacar Beach Resort & Spa as well. The hotel has a broad variety of restaurants including two buffet restaurants offering international menu choices, two buffet restaurants with Mexican and Italian specialties, six à la carte restaurants including an Asian, French, Brazilian, Mediterranean restaurant and a steakhouse. Additionally, guests have access to the services and amenities offered at Sandos Riviera Beach Resort & Spa (a connecting Sandos property) including all restaurants. All Sandos Resorts feature a “Select Club” offering complimentary 24/7 room service menu to satisfy everything from the morning munchies to the late-night nibbles (and everything in between). In addition to 24/7 room service, all Select Club guests enjoy private check-in, a welcome fruit basket, bathrobe for each adult, concierge services, preference reservations at all on-site restaurants, nightly turn-down service, use of private beach area complete with hammocks, daybeds and waitress service, and access to the Select Club Lounge with free Internet access, top-shelf drinks and canapés daily. Sandos Hotels & Resorts, 866-336-4083,

MEXICO’S SPARKLING RIVIERA MAYA DRAWS LUXURY INVESTMENT AND POPULAR EVENTS The magnificent destination of Mexico’s Riviera Maya has been recognized in several prestigious contests. In the W Awards, it scored in three of 20 categories—Best Promotion of a Tourist Destination, Best Destination Marketing Office in Mexico and Best Tourist Destination in Mexico. Riviera Maya was recognized as the Best Luxury Destination in Mexico in the Travelocity Destination Awards. A readers’ choice award, users of voted for their favorite destination in a selection of categories. Of the fourteen hotels in Mexico awarded in 2010 with the AAA Five-Diamond Award for exemplifying the highest level of excellence in every facet of operation, six are located in the Riviera Maya: Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Fairmont Mayakoba, Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Occidental Royal Hideaway Resort & Spa, Rosewood Mayakoba and Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya. Recent host to the first annual Latin American and Caribbean Unity 20 • JANUARY 2011

Summit, Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya was honored with Conde Nast Johansens’ Excellence Award 2010 in the category of Best Hotel with a Spa in Mexico and Central America. Maroma Resort & Spa Orient-Express was chosen by readers as the No. 2 Top Resort in Mexico in the Conde Nast Traveler 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards. The Awards recognize the world’s top cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, resorts and rental car agencies. Investments and openings Augerge Resorts, world-renowned developers and operators of luxury resorts Auberge du Soleil, Esperanza, Calistoga Ranch, The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Encantado and Rancho Valencia, are expanding their presence in Mexico. The company announced plans to open a 50-suite luxury resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya at Kanai, an exclusive master-planned beachfront community being developed by joint venture partners ALHEL and GIM Desarrollos. The property will feature spacious suites offering unobstructed ocean views, a signature Auberge Spa, waterfront dining, swimming pool and beach club bar and grill. There will also be six luxury oceanfront villas. Designed by internationally-renowned California firms Backen, Gillam & Kroger Architects, along with George Girvin & Associates landscape architects and planners, the Auberge resort will feature a dramatic contemporary design inspired by Kanai’s natural landscape. In 2011, Marriott will open the JW Marriott Milla de Oro Resort & Spa with 450 luxurious guest rooms and the exclusive Renaissance Milla de Oro Resort with 150 guest rooms. Together, these projects boast an investment of more than $80 million. Starwood Hotels & Resorts will soon open its doors to Kanai, Riviera Maya, an exclusive beachfront community on the east coast of Yucatan Peninsula, just eight miles from Playa del Carmen and 42 miles from Cancun International Airport. The St. Regis Kanai, Resort & Residence, will boast 1,500 sq. ft. of event space. The hotel will offer 124 guest rooms and suites, 32 exclusive villas, four restaurants, a signature spa, swimming pools overlooking the sea, and two golf courses with 18 holes designed by professional golfers. Events and festivals The PGA Mayakoba Golf Classic 2011 will be held February 23–27 2011, at the beautiful Mayakoba Resort at the Greg Normandesigned El Camaleon golf course. The tournament will feature 132 golf pros with a purse of $3.7 million. This event, in 2007, marked the first PGA TOUR to be held outside the U.S. and Canada. In May 2011, visitors are invited to watch Sacred Mayan Journey, an important ritual where Mayan communities reenact a ceremony worshipping the Mayan Goddess of Fertility, Ixchell. At dawn, Mayans with authentic body paint and dress will take 25 traditional Mayan canoes from Polé (today Xcaret) to the island of Cozumel. These canoes are handmade in the old traditional Mayan style, and 300 rowers from the communities of Xcaret, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen will participate in the journey, about a six- to seven-hour paddle across the Cozumel Channel. Once in Cozumel, the oarsmen will perform the ritual in which they pay patronage to the Goddess. They return from Cozumel to Playa the following morning. Riviera Maya Tourism, • Travel World News


Ewald Biemans, owner of the renowned Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort in Aruba, received his 2010 Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) on December 8, 2010, during the International Luxury Travel Show in Cannes, France. The award, presented to Biemans by the organization’s President, Joseph Cinque, is given to superlative establishments in the hospitality industry that are deemed to be of pinnacle quality in their travel, cuisine, luxury products and services. Present for the award were (left to right) Joseph Cinque, President, AAHS; Ximena Navarrete, Miss Universe 2010; Ewald Biemans, owner of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort; and Karen Dixon, International General Manager, AAHS. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts,

ALMOND RESORTS HOSTS BIG GAME PARTY WITH THE PROS With the most anticipated game of the football season approaching, fans are making the important decision on where to watch Super Bowl XLV. Almond Beach Village, part of Almond Resorts in Barbados, is offering the perfect solution: the 6th Annual Big Game Party package February 3–7, 2011 (five days/four nights) starting at $1,299 ppdo. Guests will participate in weekend activities and game watching with former NFL greats from the Giants, Jets, Vikings, Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Buccaneers and Cowboys. The package includes a Big Game Party held beachside in The Reef restaurant; golf scrambles, beach volleyball, scavenger hunts and basketball games with celebrity guests; unlimited cocktails or beers at five bars; a catamaran cruise with snorkeling and swimming with the turtles; tropical accommodations for four nights on the island of Barbados; and roundtrip airport transfers. Football fanatics can root with NFL legend Billy Taylor, the host of the Big Game Party. Other VIP attendees include Anthony Dickerson, linebacker for the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys, 22 • JANUARY 2011

and Matt Blair, linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings for 12 seasons. Doug Van Horn, named first team All-American in 1965 for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, will also be watching the big game at Almond Beach Village, alongside Roman Oben from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2002 championship season and Derek Murphy, known as “The Whiz,” from the Harlem Globetrotters. At the Party February 6, classic game-day cuisine is featured at Almond Beach Village’s The Reef restaurant. With five open bars serving beer, wine and cocktails, these on-site establishments provide everything to keep up with the big game and included activities. Guests are welcomed with a private cocktail party, where they enjoy drinks with their favorite celebrity guests. Football watchers can relax under the stars in a beachside lounge chair, enjoy a 100foot television display, and not miss a second of the game. Big Game Party accommodations are superior deluxe oceanview; additional room categories are available at a surcharge. Airfare is additional. Charges apply for use of some golf equipment and outside excursions. Former NFL player and sports star attendees are subject to change due to schedule conflicts. Offer, events and location are subject to changes or cancellation without notice. Almond Resorts, 800-4ALMOND (425-6663),

ANGUILLA’S PARADISE COVE RESORT JOINS INNSUITES BOUTIQUE HOTEL COLLECTION Owners/Proprietors of Anguilla’s Paradise Cove Resort, Dr. Frankie and Mrs. Sherille Hughes, announced recently that their charming small hotel has recently joined the InnSuites Boutique Hotel Collection. This move will give Paradise Cove an enormous amount of exposure and additional marketing credibility through their website and other franchise services. Before committing to joining InnSuites, Dr. and Mrs. Hughes engaged in an extensive research program, talking to managers of many of the properties already on board, all of whom said they had received significant increases in booking levels since joining the Boutique Hotel Collection. They were particularly pleased to discover that Bay Gardens Inn in St. Lucia, one of their favorite independent Caribbean hotels, has also recently joined the program. The InnSuites Boutique Collection currently includes 21 unique hotels with 2,220 rooms and suites. In marketing materials they explain that “InnSuites Boutique Collection Hotels are unique, value-driven, mid-market hotels, often offering a free Hot Breakfast Buffet, free Wi-Fi and secure hard-wired high speed internet, free business and fitness centers, comfortable, acclaimed Cloud 9 pillow top beds, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, large flat-screen TVs and bright colors. Lobbies are colorful and fun. Rates are value-oriented for today’s budget-minded business, leisure and extended stay traveler.” Amenities vary by location. The InnSuites Boutique Hotel Collection ranks among the world’s 60 largest hotel chains. Paradise Cove Resort,, • Travel World News


Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda now have another convenient nonstop option from New York on Caribbean Airlines. Tourism officials and airline representatives gathered at JFK’s Terminal 4 in December to officially launch the new service which was commemorated with an official ribbon cutting ceremony just prior to boarding. The nonstop service, which will run Tuesdays and Fridays, will originate from Port of Spain, Trinidad, to V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua, with return service from New York’s JFK. A fare sale offering competitive introductory fares is being credited for the steady flow in the airline’s winter bookings. Caribbean Airlines also offers a 10-percent discount for seniors and children, two free bags not exceeding 50 pounds each and creative pricing options on return one-way fares. Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister, Hon. John Maginley, was on hand to officiate ribbon cutting, along with Antigua and Barbuda Director for the USA, Mrs. Derede Samuel Whitlock (left) and Caribbean Airlines’ General Manager/USA and UK, Valerie Murphy-Rahman (right). Caribbean Airlines,

REJUVENATION AND SPECTACULAR DIVING AT GRAND CAYMAN’S SECLUDED REEF RESORT The Reef Resort is the only all-suites beachfront resort on Grand Cayman and the secluded East End location is highly desirable for travelers committed to a restful, relaxing and rejuvenating vacation. The East End is one of the Island’s best-kept secrets as it trans24 • JANUARY 2011

ports vacationers to the Grand Cayman of old, while offering some of the Island’s finest diving and snorkeling sites. Regardless of how many suites are occupied, guests always get the impression of spaciousness due to the large, 16,000-ft. beachfront and the resort’s low-rise building hugging the coastline. Being on the East End of Grand Cayman, divers can experience exceptional diving in year-round warm, clear waters. Pristine reefs full of life are abundant in the East End making diving and snorkeling a popular pastime. The Reef works closely with nearby Red Sail Sports who offer tank dives, night dives and diving certification courses. The Reef Resort’s on-site concierge team, can arrange spectacular dive/snorkeling excursions, car rental, Cayman-style restaurant reservations, attraction tickets, and act as a personal guide, providing information on what’s worth seeing, doing and eating, and they’ll share their favorite “local hangouts.” The Reef Resort,,

BREEZES RESORTS CELEBRATES SEASON OF GIVING WITH ‘EVERY FIFTH NIGHT FREE’ Breezes Resorts & Spas beckon travelers to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in some of the most intriguing locales of the world. When bookings are made by February 17, guests will enjoy every fifth night free at seven Super-Inclusive properties in Jamaica, Curaçao, Panama, and Brazil, while those staying at Breezes Bahamas will get every fourth night free. This limitedtime offer is valid for travel between January 4 and August 31. Breezes Resorts proposes additional savings for couples looking to tie the knot in the New Year. The “Every Fifth Night Free” promotion can be combined with the Breezes Dream Weddings Collection. Offered at seven resorts in Jamaica, Curaçao, Panama and the Bahamas, a minimum six-night stay includes a complimentary ceremony complete with wedding cake, flowers and champagne toast. In addition to Breezes Resorts absorbing the marriage license fees, couples can savor their memories with a beautiful framed wedding photo captured by the resort photographer, compliments of the resort. As a bonus, the Super-Inclusive resorts are gifting newlyweds with a first anniversary return stay. Breezes’ new 329-room Breezes Búzios in Brazil was just named the “Resort of the Year 2011” by Guia 4 Rodas. Breezes Resorts’ “Super-Inclusive” concept consists of just a single payment that includes accommodations; all meals and multiple dining options including Japanese, Italian and authentic regional cuisine; unlimited premium brand drinks; myriad land and water sports including equipment rental and instruction; entertainment; weddings; recreational activities; and hotel taxes. Tipping is not allowed. Breezes Resorts, 877-BREEZES (273-3937),; SuperClubs, 800-GO-SUPER (467-8737), • Travel World News



BIG thrills.

Princess Hotels & Resorts is a hotel chain specializing in holiday and urban hotels in top class tourist resorts, which, from the start, has enjoyed the prestige, confidence and consideration of our customers. A chain with a business philosophy and methodology in the management of large hotels.

Photos courtesy B&D Kirkby

Find out more... Discover diving in

St. Eustatius

– a secluded haven of tranquility – Like Anguilla, the Paradise Cove Resort is small and intimate: a place to escape to for a quiet, peaceful and relaxing holiday. Our staff will give a level of personal service and individual attention unsurpassed anywhere on the island.

The King Christian has undergone extensive renovations in the past ten years, and offers a full list of amenities including a newly refurbished pool and courtyard. As you look out over the balcony or out the window from your room, other historic buildings surround you. They comprise the Christiansted National Historic District.

The ultimate open-air rainforest hideaway– each villa and suite is deliberately missing a fourth wall – and features your very own, very private plunge pool.

758.459.6600 | Toll Free 866.290.0978

Set in one of the finest and most central locations in the BVI, Nanny Cay is located on the South side of Tortola, between the capital Road Town and West End.

Charela Inn Hotel with its forty seven rooms sits elegantly on the famous Negril Beach, by the Caribbean sea.

Oyster Bay Beach Resort and the island of St. Martin – St. Maarten offer so much to do – a trip among St. Maarten’s casinos, dinner and a cruise, horseback riding or deep sea fishing to name a few. Our resident experts can design the ideal Caribbean vacation and we have some excellent rates available to our guests.

The island of Tortola itself is a tropical wonderland with many breath-taking sights and great places to visit. Nanny Cay has always been known as a well-protected marina, with beautiful surrounding hills and a relaxed feel about it.

CARIBBEAN HALF MOON’S DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING MYRTLE DWYER RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTION TO TOURISM Myrtle Dwyer, Director of Sales and Marketing and a senior executive at Half Moon luxury resort in Rose Hall, Jamaica, was honored for her contribution to tourism by the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica, St. James Chapter. Having served as a lay magistrate for the parish of St. James for over 20 years, Myrtle Dwyer was singled out for her MYRTLE DWYER significant work in tourism spanning over 30 years. She joined Half Moon in 1977 and served in several management capacities. She’s helped to position Half Moon as an internationally recognized brand, developing various business segments including groups and incentives, destination weddings, special events, Internet marketing as well as customer relationship marketing. In 1987 Dwyer co-founded Glamour Destination Management, a destination management company that plans events, meetings, group tours, reunions, weddings and transportation in the Caribbean. “I am pleased to have been recognized by the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica, St. James Chapter. My commitment to community and Jamaica comes naturally for me and is not done for reward or recognition. To be presented with such an award is a very proud moment for me, Dwyer said. In 2007 she was recognized by King Juan Carlos I of Spain, receiving the Order of Civil Merit for her contribution to the Spanish community having served as the Honorary Consul of Spain in Montego Bay for over 10 years. Half Moon,

CASA DE CAMPO JOINS THE LEADING HOTELS OF THE WORLD, COMPLETES $40-MILLION REDESIGN Casa de Campo has become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). To be considered for inclusion, a hotel must adhere to strict quality standards and master the art of extraordinary hospitality. Its customers demand levels of quality they have come to expect of the brand, while seeking authentic and enriching travel experiences. The epitome of luxury, Casa de Campo in November completed a $40-million, two-year hotel redesign. Known as a serene escape providing anonymity for the affluent, significant enhancements have been made in recent years to the 7,000-acre retreat, from the addition of the Beach Club by Le Cirque to the Cygalle Healing Spa. The resort’s entire lobby, and main hotel area have been modernized with floor-to-ceiling windowed walls and mahogany paneling, accented with locally crafted metalwork by El Artistico, modern art 26 • JANUARY 2011

and neutral colored furnishings surrounded by tropical flora. New features include La Caña Restaurant & Lounge by Il Circo, a Carmen Sol New York boutique featuring stylish designer fashions and the new Logo Shop. The spacious pool terrace radiates a chic, contemporary experience with private cabanas, new chaises, and canopy-style covered seating areas. Each of the 155 new Elite guest rooms and 10 suites have been transformed and personalized with locally inspired décor and new furnishings. Casa de Campo’s guest list reads like a who’s who of the social registry, attracting celebrities and personalities worldwide, with the offering of its spacious hotel rooms and extravagant villas. Casa de Campo is also home to an international airport; a Marina & Yacht Club; three Pete Dye-designed resort golf courses including the famed Teeth of The Dog and Dye Fore; an Equestrian Center; Polo Club; 245-acre Shooting Center; a 16th-century Mediterranean cultural village Altos de Chavon with museums, artist workshops, boutiques and restaurants; a 5,000 seat Grecianstyle amphitheater that hosts renowned artists like Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Charles Aznavour; and the Altos de Chavon School of Design, affiliated with the acclaimed Parson’s School of Design in N.Y. and Paris. Casa de Campo, 800-877-3643,,

TOAST TO LOVE WITH VALENTINE’S DAY PACKAGE FROM ST. THOMAS’ BOLONGO BAY BEACH RESORT Couples can thaw out from winter and turn up the heat on romance with a Caribbean beach vacation to Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. The St. Thomas resort is offering a five-night Valentine’s Day package filled with romantic extras. Available February 10 through March 31, 2011, Bolongo Bay’s Valentine’s Day Package includes a free night on a five-night stay in an Oceanview room, a romantic sunset cocktail cruise aboard Bolongo’s 53’ catamaran, a three-course dinner at The Lobster Grille including a bottle of wine, a bottle of champagne and rose petals on the bed on arrival, all non-motorized water sports equipment, and scuba lesson in Bolongo’s oceanfront pool. For the ultimate romantic experience, couples may upgrade the dinner to the “Romantic Rendezvous.” The memorable evening includes a private dinner on the resort’s golden sand beach with a dedicated server. The table for two is set up under a bamboo arch, surrounded by tiki torches and with soft Caribbean music playing in the background. The five-night package is $1,837 for two people, and includes all applicable taxes, resort fees and energy surcharges, and the “Romantic Rendezvous” upgrade is an additional $100. Bolongo Bay’s Valentine’s Day package must be booked by February 14, 2011. No passports are needed for US citizens to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and there are many direct flights available to St. Thomas. Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, 800-524-4746, • Travel World News



Hyatt Regency Trinidad was highlighted at a media event during the annual World Travel Market attended by travel industry professionals. The UK Chapter of the Caribbean Tourism Organization held its fifth ‘Host and Reward the Media’ event November 8, during which Ministers and their delegations, UK Chapter members and an array of consumer and trade media gathered to recognize top editorial pieces on the Caribbean from the past year. Joanna Booth’s “Dancing in the Streets” appeared in the March 26 issue of Travel Weekly and was awarded Best Travel Trade Feature. Joanna Booth was a part of a press trip organized and hosted by the hotel during the island’s world-renowned Carnival with support from the Tourism Development Company. Joanna described the Hyatt Regency Trinidad as “the island’s most luxurious hotel” and notes that “the service in particular makes this hotel a real standout—it’s impeccable, while retaining that famed Caribbean friendliness.” Hyatt Regency Trinidad, 800-233-1234,

RockResorts International, LLC, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc., is expanding its luxury resort collection with the addition of Half Moon in Rose Hall, Jamaica, a premier Caribbean destination. As of January 1, RockResorts is managing all resort operations; the property’s official name is Half Moon, A RockResort. Situated on two miles of white sand beaches in Rose Hall, the 400-acre luxury resort features 398 rooms, suites, villas and cottages. In addition, Half Moon features the award-winning Fern Tree Spa, a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed 18-hole golf course, 13 tennis courts, a teen centre, an equestrian centre, 54 swimming pools, six restaurants, seven bars, a Children’s Village, a dolphin lagoon and more. Founded in 1956 in the Caribbean by Laurance Rockefeller, RockResorts was acquired and re-launched by Vail Resorts in 2001. The operation has become known for its innovative environmental programs, superb cuisine using sustainable ingredients, exquisite spas and welcoming hospitality. “Since its inception in1954, Half Moon has been an iconic Jamaican destination for discerning travelers who appreciate the relaxed ambiance and amenities offered throughout the two mile long beach-front property,” said Guy Steuart, Chairman of the Half Moon Board of Directors. Half Moon, A RockResort,; RockResorts,

WEDDINGS AND ROMANCE AT ANGUILLA’S BIRD OF PARADISE With happy surprises the holidays may have delivered, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, wedding engagements will be on the rise. Anguilla’s Bird of Paradise offers the perfect location for the sophisticated couple desiring an intimate and elegant setting for their special day or those looking for a honeymoon retreat. The first chapter in the new Rizzoli hardcover, Caribbean Hideaways, is on the Bird of Paradise, the only property chosen for Anguilla. Amazon writes, “The book is an invaluable guide to the finest guest rooms in the Caribbean, featuring stunning escapes selected for their unique views, unrivaled décor, and one-of-a-kind ambience. Every traveler wants to feel as if they are the first to discover their destination—that’s why staying somewhere fresh, somewhere that is still a well-kept secret, is so important.” Bird of Paradise has multiple living and dining areas that create an expansive area for indoor/outdoor entertaining with seating for 50. Couples have been married on the beach or on the bridge that crosses the lagoon-style pools or under the roof of the Bird’s pergola. Staff and chef will make all arrangements from the license to wed, to flowers, music, photography and wedding cake. As a wedding gift, the owners of the Bird of Paradise offer their executive chef for one lunch and two dinners for the couple during a weeklong honeymoon, including food for the meals as well as pre-stocking of the bar. Travel World News needs to be mentioned for this special offer. Menus are described on the website. Daily continental breakfast, housekeeping and 24-hour concierge as well as Bvlgari amenities and complimentary phone calls to North America and Europe are standard. Bird of Paradise, (Melody), Travel World News •





A traditional groundbreaking ceremony held in November marked the start of construction on St. Kitts’ new Kittitian Hill resort, which will be managed by Sedona Resorts. Set on a 400-acre hillside near the northern tip of St. Kitts, Kittitian Hill will add over 500 rooms to the island upon completion. Phase One of construction will include 110 one- and two-bedroom boutique hotel cottages with views stretching over the Caribbean sea, 69 luxury villas, the Mango Walk 18-hole championship Ian Woosnam golf course, a golf club house, beach club located on a nearby beach, swimming pool and various restaurants, bars and duty-free shops. Scheduled for completion and opening in November 2012, Phase One of the project will cost over $200 million. Phase Two construction will commence immediately following Phase One and include the Spa, Spa Cottages and Village. Kittitian Hill will consist of a village with center for creative arts, villas, apartments, duplex townhomes, a cottage hotel with the look and feel of traditional Kittitian cottages, a destination spa featuring indigenous treatments and a championship golf course that’s slated to become the first organic golf course in the Caribbean. Kittitian Hill will be operated by Sedona Resorts. Kittitian Hill, 869-466-1712,,; St. Kitts Tourism Authority, 800-582-6208,,

GRAND CASE BEACH CLUB REPORTS NEARLY 80% OCCUPANCY IN 2010 The Grand Case Beach Club, located on the ocean adjacent to Grand Case village, reported a year-round occupancy in 2010 of nearly 80 percent. The resort’s North American marketing representative Muzii & Associates attributes this success to its repeat guests, who account for about 45 percent of the total, as well as 28 • JANUARY 2011

glowing reports on service and hospitality by participants in Apple Vacations’ tours, and TripAdvisor. Also having a positive effect is Expedia, which has repeatedly named the Grand Case Beach Club to its Insiders’ Select List. This List represents only about two percent of its total hotel and resort clients. Caribbean Travel & Life has also named the Grand Case Beach Club one of the Caribbean’s best mid-sized resorts. As a special incentive now for guests, the resort is offering the fifth night free for trips started and completed between January 2 and 31, 2011. This special promotion amounts to a 20-percent room discount for guests staying five nights. As part of its ongoing effort to create a memorable vacation experience, the Grand Case Beach Club invested over $800,000 in 2009 and nearly $1 million in 2010 in a major upgrading program encompassing 26 units. The upgrade includes everything from bathrooms to mattresses. The last phase, which focused on 13 bathrooms, was completed in time for the beginning of the winter season. Designed in a French style by St. Martiner Paul Klimenko, all have indirect lighting, mahogany countertops, commodes and in most units, a pocket door. Rates include continental breakfast daily and use of all nonmotorized water sports equipment. Another incentive is a price-match guarantee. To book a reservation or refresh themselves on details and amenities, travel agents may use any of these GDS codes: Amadeus IPSFG122; Apollo IP29999; Sabre IP11637 or Worldspan IP8194. Grand Case Beach Club, 800-340-3016,

CHARLIE BROWN MAKES FOR SOME FUN DIVING IN ST. EUSTATIUS The Charlie Brown measures over 300 feet in length, bow to stern. Once a fiberoptic cable layer for AT&T, it was actually named after an AT&T CEO Charles L. Brown (not the cartoon character). The ship was sunk fully intact, and now presents one of the best wreck diving opportunities in the Caribbean for every level of diver, from novice to wreck specialist. Seven years of lying on the bottom has transformed the ship into a vibrant artificial reef. It is one of the most populated sites on Statia for fish life. On any given day, divers are likely to see the wreck’s resident population of horse-eyed jacks—small schools of several hundred that habitually surround the divers on their safety stop. Turtles and reef sharks often frequent the wreck, along with Charlie, the resident barracuda, who’s as big as they get and very friendly. The most popular dive profile is to descend to the bow along the mooring line; then, after pausing to neutralize buoyancy, cruising along the foredeck toward the “Highway.” This is a large work area that runs through the superstructure for over 120 feet, with portholes that act like skylights, making a dive light optional. St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation, • Travel World News


Guests trade their coats for a swimsuit at Verdanza Hotel, with the Puerto Rico Sparkles, a destination promotion that features the fourth night free, daily buffet breakfast—and a host of addedvalue options. These include 15-percent discounts on tours with a range of Castillo Tours, Ecoquest, Get Shopped, Explora, Rico Suntours, and more—so whether it’s culture and heritage, nature and adventure or shopping, visitors are bound to find the right ones for the right price. In addition, the promotion includes car class upgrades and discounted rates on car rental with Hertz and Avis. Verdanza Hotel rates start at $130 per room, per night, single or double occupancy. Daily rate is subject to a nine-percent tax and eight-percent resort fee. Bookings must be made by January 31 for travel until April 15, 2011. With booking confirmation comes a full description of tours and discounts as well as details on reservations. The promotion is commissionable at 10 percent. Verdanza Hotel, a member of Summit Hotels and Resorts, is the only full-service independent hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It offers a focus on a more personalized approach to hospitality without sacrificing the amenities and conveniences of a full-service property. Conceived for the leisure and business traveler who wants to feel a genuine vibe, Verdanza Hotel conveys a sense of belonging with a distinctive local touch and a welcoming staff. Customized perks include personal bike taxi transport to and from the beach, a pillow menu, in-room coffeemaker with premium Puerto Rican coffee, eco-friendly bath products and pet-friendly guestrooms. Verdanza Hotel, 800-625-0312,,

THE SANDS AT GRACE BAY UNVEILS 2011 ROMANCE PACKAGES The Sands at Grace Bay is making a resolution that 2011 be about rekindling romance by offering two new packages that invite couples to “Fall in Love Again” and experience “Lasting Love” while Travel World News •

vacationing together in paradise. Idyllically situated on a twelvemile curve of sand along Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos—voted the #1 Beach and Sun Destination in the world by Trip Advisor’s ‘Traveler’s Choice’ award. The resort’s 2011 “Fall in Love Again” package is $545 per couple and includes a chilled bottle of champagne in the room on arrival, a 70-minute Swedish massage for two at the resort’s Spa Tropique, and a Couples Sunset Beach Cruise. The “Lasting Love” package is $925 per couple and includes the chilled bottle of champagne in room on arrival; His and Hers spa treatments with the 70-minute Swedish massage for two, Full Scalp massage for two and Mini Reflexology for two at the resort’s Spa Tropique; a Couples Sunset Cruise, a Couples Beach Cruise touring secluded Cays, snorkeling along the reef and collecting seashells, with fresh flowers and strawberries in room on arrival; and roundtrip airport transfers. For an added dose of romance, couples staying at The Sands at Grace Bay can take quiet strolls along the beach, enjoy delicious local cuisine and oceanside candlelit dinners and spend quality time together in the resort’s elegant spacious with oversized balconies and inspiring views. The 2011 “Fall in Love Again” and “Lasting Love” romance packages do not include accommodations, so that travelers can customize the details of their package by selecting their preferred suite, length of stay and time of visit. The package price does not include the 11-percent government tax or 10-percent service charges. Unused features of the package are not refundable and the Couples Sunset and Beach Cruises are based on space availability at the time of reservation. The Sands at Grace Bay, 877-777-2637,

MINNEAPOLIS’ BOLIN MARKETING WINS DOMINICA TOURISM ACCOUNT Bolin Marketing will be the marketing agency of record for North America for the Caribbean island of Dominica. To win the business for the small Caribbean island—not to be confused with the Dominican Republic—Bolin Marketing assembled a team of experienced industry partners, including Peridot Group for public relations and Hank Todd Solutions Group for travel trade. The Dominica marketing campaign will include brand development, lead generation, public relations, travel trade, partnership development and web and online development. Marketing duties also will include improving airlift access to the island. “Bolin Marketing assembled an impressive team that will help us make the most of our limited budget,” said Head of the Discover Dominica Authority Colin Piper. “We were particularly impressed with their extensive travel industry experience, their ability to articulate a deep understanding of what we have to “sell” and their innovative approach to business-building partnerships,” he observed. Discover Dominica Authority, JANUARY 2011•



MEXITOURS OFFICIAL TOUR OPERATOR IN LOCAL, REGIONAL LEADERS WORLD SUMMIT Mexitours enjoyed the honor of being the official tour operator providing local sightseeing tours to all delegates and companions during the Local and Regional Leaders World Summit 2010 held November 17–20 in México City. The top seller tours preferred by the delegates were the Tlatelolco plus Guadalupe Shrine and Teotihuacan Pyramids Tour, Main Square walking tour, The Anthropology Museum visit plus Santa Fe, Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera Tour and the Shopping Tour. These tours were available and provided in the three official languages of the summit: Spanish, English and French, since they saw people from Morocco, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Korea, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, Malawi, Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Tanzania, Holland, Greece, Vietnam, France, Germany, Israel, China, etc. Once again, Mexico City was the spotlight for the important international event and Mexitours was a fundamental to warmly show the beauty of Mexico’s touristic attractions to all the visitors. Mexitours,

GRAND VELAS RIVIERA NAYARIT VOTED A TOP RESORT Las Brisas’ Las Hadas Manzanillo Golf Resort & Marina ranked among the top 100 resorts in the world in Condé Nast Traveler’s November issue, based on votes from the “26,000 most discerning travelers on Earth.” Previously recognized among the Top 100 Golf Courses around the World by Condé Nast Traveler and Golf Digest, Las Hadas Manzanillo offers an 18-hole championship golf course, a 70-slip marina, and a quarter-mile of private beaches, perfect for water sports or relaxing. Resorts were judged by readers on the following criteria: activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms, and service. The property itself is a Moorish fantasy of white minarets, cupolas, and twisted minarets, lining winding paths to the white casitas that houses Las Hadas’ guests. A favorite among royalty and celebrities, the resort has been rated among the eight most luxurious hideaways on the planet by Esquire magazine and considered “a delicious dream… the world’s ultimate playland” by Vogue. Thirty years ago, it was also the site of Dudley Moore and Bo Derek’s romance in the hit film ’10.’ Las Hadas is found at one of the most beautiful spots on the Mexican Riviera, in Manzanillo Bay. Guests feel as if they are walking through the streets of a mystic Arabian paradise. In addition to Las Hadas’ ranking among the top 100 resorts in the world and best 100 Golf Resorts in the world, it is an AAA Four Diamond Award hotel. Las Hadas Manzanillo,; Brisas Hotels and Resorts, 866-221-2961, 800-323-7500; 866-RELAX-MX (735-2969) [groups]; 30 • JANUARY 2011

Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, the all-suite and spa resort on beautiful Banderas Bay, was named one of the “Top Resorts” in Mexico by Condé Nast Traveler magazine readers in its 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards. In its detailed annual survey, the magazine’s readers recognize the world’s premium properties based on the criteria of location, food/dining, overall design, rooms and service. “I feel honored to accept this great award on behalf of the Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit staff, who have helped the resort to excel by continually striving to achieve the highest level of customer service. I want to also thank our devoted guests for their vote of confidence,” said Rolando Miravete, General Manager of Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit. Exceptional features that helped Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit achieve its top status include the Spa at Grand Velas, the crown jewel of the resort and a member of Leading Spas of the World. The Spa features 20 treatment rooms, over 80 spa treatments, gym and exercise room, spa boutique and beauty salon. The resort’s five restaurants, three of which have been awarded the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award, feature stylish decor and a la carte choices for French, Italian or Mexican cuisine. Guests also find tiered three-temperature infinity pools, tennis courts, 25,321 total square feet of meeting space, and a familyfriendly Kids Club. As a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit’s 267 guest suites feature stunning ocean views, private terraces, beautiful teakwood furniture, and white goose down comforters and pillows. Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, 888-261-8436, • Travel World News


At the end of a continent lies a tranquil Cabo resort retreat. Where the body is healed, the soul is revived, the senses are awakened and the spirit soars to new heights. A place where sun, sea, sky and earth join as one to form a tropical oasis like no other. A place called Esperanza.



At Balderrama Hotel & Tours we strive to give our guests the most enjoyable Copper Canyon experience available, with the best services and a helpful and courteous staff that cater to every request.

First and foremost a dedication to preserve and protect the natural environment which is done through a variety of ecological programs, then there is the fact that most of the food served at Cuismala is from their own organic farms. Finally, the experience is highly personalized and refined, more like staying at a friend’s grand private estate.

Hacienda Petac is available for rent exclusively by private parties. Guests are attended to by the Hacienda’s staff who create a warm welcoming environment.

La Tranquila Punta Mita/Litibu Playa Paraiso Los Cabos (coming soon)

For more information, please contact the Hacienda using one of the methods below:





A quiet beachfront hotel, surrounded by ocean, gardens and jungle. Call Center: +1888 237 1226 (Toll Free) GEPPGIRXIVEQIVMGE$½IWXELSXIPKVSYTGSQ



CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is inviting budget-conscious travelers to warm up with their “Baby It’s Cold Outside” promotion with rates starting as low as $104 a night. The offer is available now through April 30, 2011, and does not include taxes. Travelers taking advantage of this rate can take part in the resort’s “Secretos de la Familia” program which offers guests an insider’s view of the local culture and traditions. There is something to delight guests of all ages and ranging interests with discovery programs such as culinary lessons, marine life education, language exploration and tequila tasting The resort is one of the only in the world that grows its own agave and has a proprietary tequila brand. To reserve the “Baby It’s Cold Out” promotion, those interested should reference promotional code LLF. CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, recently named “Mexico’s Leading Family Resort” and “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Family Resort” by the World Travel Awards, features 433 newly renovated guest rooms, including 29 suites, each with a private balcony. Nestled between the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains and Mexico’s picturesque Bay of Banderas, the resort offers a variety of facilities that include its 22,000-squarefoot complete service Ohtli Spa (Puerto Vallarta’s largest resort spa); two lighted tennis courts; infinity oceanfront pool; various water sports and beach activities; multiple restaurants; and a Marriott Kids program. Guests can also enjoy nightly cigar rolling demonstrations in the resort’s lobby bar, stroll through the old town of Puerto Vallarta and enjoy the sights of colonial Mexico, view folkloric shows and historic Mexican landmarks, or experience jungle adventures. CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, 888-PARADISE (727-2347), 32 • JANUARY 2011

HOTEL PUNTA ISLITA RECOGNIZED AT VIRGIN HOLIDAYS RESPONSIBLE TOURISM AWARDS Hotel Punta Islita has won the Best Accommodation for Local Communities category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards organized by At World Travel Market (WTM) in London, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, Managing Director of, organizers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards. The Judges commended Hotel Punta Islita for its synergistic relationship with its local neighbors by providing professional and entrepreneurial opportunities that have helped to reverse urban migration. The Islita Art Museum initiative was singled out for its innovative approach, using art and creativity to strengthen an entire community’s self-confidence and self-reliance. Hotel Punta Islita’s President Harry Zurcher commented “Costa Rica’s longstanding tradition of peace and solidarity inspire the creation of successful development models that fully harmonize natural resource stewardship and human welfare. We celebrate this recognition as we express our deepest gratitude for the collective contributions that have made it possible. Our community’s drive, our staff’s dedication, and the unwavering support of NGO’s, foundations, like-minded corporations, friends, and associates inspire us to envision an ever-evolving Islita. Brighter, healthier, and infinitely prosperous.” Amanda Wills, Managing Director, Virgin Holidays, said “I’m once again humbled by the commitment, drive and ingenuity of today’s winners. They have shown us all what can be achieved by the people and places seeking to benefit from tourism, even when the economic climate continues to challenge us all. Theirs is truly an example for the rest of the industry to follow, and I’m delighted that Virgin Holidays is again able to be a part of this celebration.” Launched in 2004, the Awards are run in association with partners World Travel Market, Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine. A full list of finalists is available on the website of Responsible Tourism Awards. Hotel Punta Islita is the flagship property of Grupo Islita, a Costa Rican developer and manager of upscale destinations characterized by a planet-friendly, people-positive responsible tourism model. Its two properties, Hotel Punta Islita and El Silencio Lodge & Spa, respectively feature the best of Costa Rica’s sunny beaches and mystical cloud forests. The Awards, the most prestigious and competitive of their kind, are the collaborative effort of online travel directory, UK media partners Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine, and World Travel Market—who host the ceremony. The central tenet of the Awards is that all types of tourism from niche to mainstream can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people. Hotel Punta Islita,; Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, • Travel World News

LATIN AMERICA RAIN FOREST ADVENTURES COSTA RICA HONORED WITH CERTIFICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM Rain Forest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic and Pacific parks have achieved Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) Level 5, the highest tier, from the Costa Rica Tourism Board. This marks the eco-adventure parks’ successful natural, cultural and social resource management. “It is an honor to be recognized in Costa Rica’s top sustainable tourism sites,” said Eugenia Solano, General Manager for Rain Forest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic and Pacific. “Our teams at each park can take great pride in knowing their tremendous effort earned this certification.” The Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) is a program that categorizes and certifies tourism businesses in Costa Rica, with the goal of demonstrating sustainability within their operations. It measures the balanced interaction and appropriate use of natural resources and culture, improvement of the quality of life within local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which leads to overall national development. Rain Forest Adventures is only the seventh tour operator in Costa Rica to achieve Level 5 Certification for Sustainable Tourism. Located on opposite coasts of Costa Rica, the Atlantic and Pacific parks each showcase the protected rainforest through aerial trams, zip lines, hiking and bird-watching programs. Rain Forest Adventures Costa Rica, 866-759-8726,

spect, and will follow in the footsteps of the award-winning Trump Hotel Collection brand,” he added. In 2006, Newland began developing Trump Ocean Club in Panama’s exclusive Punta Pacifica peninsula. Newland licensed the Trump name from Trump Marks Panama LLC. Trump Ocean Club,,

MADURO DIVE OFFERS DIVERS’ SPECIAL IN HONDURAS At Utopia Village, Utila, in the Bay Islands of Honduras, Maduro Dive is presenting half off to the second diver with a full vacation experience at the popular resort. The first diver pays $1532 and second diver pays $766. Included in the price are seven nights’ accommodations, land and boat transfers, a welcome cocktail, five days of two-tank boat dives and unlimited shore diving on boat dive days. Booking for this special must be done by February 15 for travel February 5 to April 30, 2011. Maduro Dive has thousands of dive travel packages. Information on all specials including group travel, air-inclusive packages or a custom quote is available toll-free or by email. Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas, 800-327-6709,,

TRUMP OCEAN CLUB PANAMA LOOKS FORWARD TO JOINING AWARD-WINNING TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION BRAND Trump Hotel Collection, soon to be manager of Trump Ocean Club® International Hotel & Tower® Panama (TOC), has announced that Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago received the #1 ranking in Travel + Leisure’s 2010 “World’s Best Awards” in the category of Large City Hotels–Continental U.S. and Canada. As current Trump hotels are acknowledged with such awards, Trump Ocean Club is poising itself to gain similar accolades. Upon opening in early 2011, Trump Ocean Club will set benchmark luxury in Panama and Latin America. Located in Punta Pacifica, Panama’s most desired neighborhood, Trump Ocean Club showcases an impressive sail-shaped design overlooking the bay that encompasses a total gross area of 2.7 million square feet. “We are ecstatic about Trump International Hotel & Tower® Chicago’s accomplishment, and our congratulations go out to the entire team and leadership that makes the Trump Hotel Collection brand what it is,” says Roger Khafif, the project’s developer and President of Newland International Properties Corp. “I have no doubt that Trump Ocean Club will be admired with the same reTravel World News •

JANUARY 2011 •



One of the world’s foremost landscape architects, environmental planners and architects has included The Lodge at Chaa Creek in his new book’s list of the world’s top ecolodges. Chaa Creek shares the distinction with only sixteen other world class eco resorts in Kenya, Australia, Morocco, India and other exotic locales in Hitesh Mehta’s new book, Authentic Ecolodges, which publisher Harper Collins describes as “A must-have reference guide, perfect for anyone interested in the future of tourism facilities, sustainable architecture, and the health and well-being of our planet.” Chaa Creek began life as a family farm started along the banks of Belize’s Macal River by Lucy and her husband Mick in the 1970s. It has since grown into a private 365-acre nature reserve and resort with a natural history center, medicinal plant trail, stables, pool and spa. With over 70 Maya archaeological sites catalogued on the property and located between the ancient cities of Caracol and Tikal, Chaa Creek is also a hub for Maya culture and research. Mehta’s new book is the result of 30 months’ research traveling through 46 countries around the world. As board member of the International Ecotourism Society he also authored The International Ecolodge Guidelines, as well as other books, articles and papers. He’s a renowned speaker and photographer as well. In addition to its natural beauty, Chaa Creek was noted for its conservation programs, such as the Black Howler Monkey Reintroduction Project, its Maya sites and eco-adventure activities such as canoeing, trekking, jungle mountain biking, caving, Maya exploration and cultural and eco-oriented tours and expeditions. The Lodge at Chaa Creek, 877-709-8708,,

BELIZE’S BLUE MARLIN LODGE OFFERS RELAXATION PLEASURE WITH PHENOMENAL DIVING Now celebrating 23 years, Blue Marlin Lodge is a rustic and charming dedicated diving, fishing and relaxation resort offering life’s simple pleasures while tucked away in a little corner of the Barrier Reef in Belize. The lodge offers guests a choice of accommodations from private little chalet overlooking the Barrier Reef to island guestroom. The Lodge has enhanced its igloo units into underwater world, Mayan world and Belize’s only Jaguar World. 34 • JANUARY 2011

The grounds occupy a sizable portion, from beachfront to lagoon, of a small, striated coconut and pine-covered islet—Southwater Caye. This is a perfect location for divers, fishermen, snorklers or island seekers. The island is directly on the barrier reef line. One can literally walk off Southwater Caye and swim to the crest of the barrier reef—and many divers do, sea conditions permitting. Blue Marlin Lodge offers the beauty of its private island for the enjoyment of its guests. The area boasts phenomenal fishing and diving, and the property is perfect for casual relaxation. Dining on lobster, fresh fish, conch, and other exotic seafood is standard fare on Southwater Caye. Drinking fresh juice and fruity tropical cocktails is the preferred way to cool down in the Caribbean shade. Along with a number of recreational activities like volleyball and billiards, the owners offer exciting day trips to other popular Belizean attractions. The Blue Marlin Lodge is owned and operated by a Belizean family since October 1987. This beautiful island paradise was a treasured escape for this family for some forty years. Now, they share their cherished corner of the globe with just an exclusive handful of guests at a time. Blue Marlin Lodge, 800-798-1558,,,

SUNBREEZE SUITES & SUNBREEZE HOTEL OFFERS FREE NIGHTS, GREAT DIVE PACKAGES SunBreeze Suites in Belize is offering guests two free nights when they pay for three. SunBreeze Suites’ central location in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, has been one of the top choices for travelers. This resort, with only 20 one-bedroom beachfront suites, offers peace, relaxation and inspiring stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and the second largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere—perfect for families, friends and couples looking forward to a fun vacation full of activities. Travel World News must be mentioned in order to get the ‘free nights’ at Sunbreeze Suites. The offer cannot be used with any other prepaid booking, package or offer. SunBreeze Hotel in Ambergris Caye is offering $100 off pp/dbl on Dive Packages #1, 2 and 3 when this announcement in Travel World News is mentioned at time of booking. Detail on the packages is available by contacting the resort. SunBreeze Hotel is just a few feet from the pristine calm waters of the Caribbean Sea and just an eyesight away from the second largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, providing worldwide travelers a mind-blowing vacation, with diving, snorkeling, fishing, ecological and Mayan Mountain caving tours and more. The hotel is located in the heart of town, offering 43 spacious garden and ocean view rooms with commodities that complement a firstclass beach vacation. Travel specialists are advised to contact SeaBreeze for details on commission rates for both the Suites and the Hotel. SunBreeze Suites,,; SunBreeze Hotel,, • Travel World News



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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has signed a management agreement with “Grupo Hotelera Aguas Verdes S. A.” to manage the Villarrica Park Lake Hotel & Spa under The Luxury Collection brand. The property has undergone renovations to its rooms and spacious suites and is now part of The Luxury Collection’s exclusive portfolio, effective December 2010. Villarrica Park Lake Hotel & Spa is situated in the Araucanía region 435 miles south of Santiago, surrounded by lakes, volcanoes and mountains. Guests can easily arrive by car, or by plane at the Temuco Airport. The Villarrica and nearby Pucón areas are renowned for their unique natural environment, characterized by snowcapped volcanoes, crystal clear lakes and rivers, thermal baths, ski centers and vast national parks. Additionally, the area features the archeological remains of the Spanish colonial period blended with the influence of the “Mapuche” Indigenous culture, Chile’s first inhabitants. Built in 2002, Villarrica Park Lake Hotel & Spa is surrounded by stunning landscapes and vegetation and has spectacular panoramic views from every one of its 70 rooms and suites. The hotel offers spacious meeting rooms for events, conventions or incentive groups, with state-of-the-art technology and access to its 24-hour business center. The hotel was recently named “Best South America Resort–2010” by World Travel Awards. The Luxury Collection,; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, 36 • JANUARY 2011

NAVIMAG SAILS BREATHTAKING CHILEAN FJORDS THROUGH LENGTH OF PATAGONIA Largely inaccessible by road, one of the only ways for tourists to experience Chile’s rugged Patagonian landscape is from the water. Multifunctional Navimag Ferries is at once floating hostel, cargo carrier and transport lifeline for local inhabitants. Now past its fortieth year, Navimag began as a cargo line in 1979, the only means of transporting goods from the population centers of central and northern Chile to the growing cities of the far south without passing through Argentina. Within ten years, tourism in southern Chile had begun to take off. “The company suddenly realized it had this route that was undiscovered and interesting for tourists,” says Navimag guide Percival Ramírez. Navimag began its first tourist service in 1989 to the glacier at Laguna San Rafael, and in 1993 began carrying tourists on its Puerto Montt–Puerto Natales route. Twenty-one years after its first tourist trip, the company transports 30,000 passengers annually. With about half the space on Navimag’s ferries still reserved for transporting cargo, travelers of all stripes share space with vegetables from the central valley and meats from Patagonia. Cabins are tight but comfortable and bathrooms both shared and private have plenty of hot water. Food served on an all-inclusive basis in the cafeteria-style dining room is simple, tasty and ample. Groups of young backpackers gather on the top-deck pub, while families and older couples play card games over bottles of Chilean wine. Others admire passing scenery from the large open decks, or take shelter from the wind in the ship’s bridge with the captain and crew. All this is part of what the staff calls the ‘Navimag Experience.’ Daily talks on the region’s flora, fauna and geology are given on-board by guides trained through the Chilean National Forestry Commission (Conaf). Their time on the water is used to gather data for scientific research provided to universities and research organizations in countries like Chile, the U.S. and the UK. The Navimag experience includes a range of accommodation for every budget, full board, glacier sightseeing, stopping and visiting the remote village of Puerto Eden, bilingual guide, lectures, parties and movies. Navimag Ferries, • Travel World News


Tara Tours Inc. has announced the release of its new Brochure to Colombia in conjunction with the Colombia Tourist office (Proexport). The brochure includes a fantastic program to Cartagena where passengers will spend seven days/six nights at the Beach Resort Decameron—all-inclusive for $1,195, including airfare from Miami. This tour package includes roundtrip airfare from Miami to Cartagena; six nights at Hotel Beach Resort Decameron (fourstar hotel); transfers on arrival and departure (the hotel is five minutes away from the Historical Center of Cartagena and 20 minutes from the airport); all meals at any of the five restaurants (breakfast and lunch are buffet style and a la carte dinners); unlimited domestic and international alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; daily activities program; non-motorized water sports (wind glider, kayaks, snorkeling and sailboats); beach towels, chairs, volley; nightly entertainment; unlimited drinks at the discotheque; taxes and tips included. Not included are insurance, airport departure taxes—from U.S.A. $72, from Cartagena $20, tourist card $5 and any other service not specifically mentioned here. In addition, programs are available to Santa Marta, San Andres, Providencia, and to more hotel selection in Cartagena including deluxe hotel Sofitel for $1,798 ppdo for the six-night program including airfare. Tara Tours, 800-327-0080,,

GT TOURS PROVIDES SINGLE-STOP AIR/LAND MARKETING AND SALES SUPPORT FOR AGENTS During 2011, G T Tours will continue offering fully escorted private and semi-private land services and tours to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands and Peru in South America and Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama in Central America. This is coupled with complete international and regional air ticketing support, an extensive selection of deluxe and first-class Galapagos cruises; five- and Travel World News •

four-star hotels, proactive and personalized customer service 24/7, and familiarization trips to several destinations. Webinars on the following countries will be scheduled starting January 15, 2011: Ecuador and Galapagos, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala and Panama. To request webinars dates you should do it by email, indicating the country or countries of interest. G T Tours will offer specially price educational trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and Peru during 2011. To Ecuador and Galapagos Islands there will be familiarization trips for travel April, May, July, August, October and December; to Peru, trips will be in March, May, September and October. Detailed information and rates on these trips are available by email contact. Their complimentary marketing and sales tool on several Latin American countries will be available for mailing to travel agencies starting the first week in January. This is a valuable sales tool for selling Latin America with confidence. G T Tours, 800-666-8687,,

MANTIS COLLECTION OFFERS ULTIMATE WHITE DESERT ADVENTURE Mantis Group’s White Desert invites guests to discover the seventh continent—Antarctica, with their Emperor Penguins and Mountains trip, a ten-day expedition into the heart of the most mysterious part of the world for $58,374. Only 12 travelers are allowed on each adventure; five guides ensure guests’ safety and comfort. Travelers fly via private jet from Cape Town, South Africa, and pass through the polar circle into 24 hours of sunshine, landing on a specially-designed ice runway. Every guest gets Dunhill cashmere-blend clothing. Whichaway Camp accommodations have comfortable beds, plush fur rugs, hotwater bottles and heating stoves, with separate tent for shower. Living space includes a dining room, library, kitchen and communications area and is comprised of two dome tents decorated with the opulence of the old world African safari style and equipped with the latest technology. The Camp is exclusively powered by solar energy. South African Cordon Bleu chef, Jenna Viney prepares deluxe full English breakfast, delectable light lunch, and extravagant threecourse dinners, accompanied by GH Mumm ‘Cordon Rouge’ champagne and a wide assortment of wines. Travelers may choose a White Lions add-on: two nights at one of Mantis’ Last Word properties in Cape Town before departure to Antarctica and another night on return; a two-night stay at the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve three hours from Cape Town; and a sunset cruise over Cape Town waters in The Princess Emma, an 85foot luxury yacht. The add-on, priced at $3,117, includes accommodations, all food and beverages (except premium brands) on safari, a massage at Sanbona, breakfast at the Last Word resorts, and sunset cruise. White Desert visits are available November through December. Price includes a carbon tax. White Desert will also offset flights to Cape Town International from anywhere in the world. White Desert, Mantis Collection, JANUARY 2011 •



With the number of tourists who visit the Galapagos Islands increasing each year, concern arises about the long-term sustainability of the islands. WWF has now decided to support a pilot project that will provide both technical and financial support. This promotes better practices among tourism industries in the archipelago. This project is jointly implemented by the Galapagos National Park, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism, the Galapagos Tourism Chamber, and the Santa Cruz Municipality. Currently 36 local tourism enterprises from Santa Cruz Island are participating in the project. This will develop and implement a certification process that will include hiring local people, responsible use of water and energy, appropriate waste management, and using local produce. All these participating enterprises have a common goal—to emphasize the “Galapagos Quality Seal” as core for tourism development within a social, economical and environmental framework. With Galapagos being a World Heritage site, it is hoped that responsible tourism will significantly decrease effects on marine systems and terrestrial environment in the Galapagos. Hotel Silberstein/Galapagos Expedition Tours (Galextur),,

the harpy eagle resides—the most powerful bird of prey in the Americas and Panama’s national bird. The trip starts at $3,195 pp, based on a minimum of four travelers. Sacred Peru Sojourn presents guests with a five-day rejuvenation and anti-aging program at the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness. An advanced thermal circuit follows a sunrise yoga session before visitors relax on the banks of the Vilcanota River, or go horseback riding throughout the Sacred Valley. Once the healing powers of the valley have set in, they travel to Cusco, a historical city over 9,000 feet above sea level, to explore the city’s unique blend of Spanish and Inca cultures and then on to Paracas for two days of luxurious spa treatments. Prices for Sacred Peru begin at $7,435 pp, based on single occupancy. Cox & Kings Travel,

ADVANTAGE TRAVEL KNOWS ECUADOR Advantage Travel is a tour operator in Ecuador that has over 20 years of experience. The company operates the four Ecuadorian amazing worlds: Galapagos, Rainforest, Andes and Pacific Coast. The group has developed all-inclusive packages with very competitive rates for 2011 and also offers tailor-made programs to provide the accurate journey according to visitor expectations. Advantage Travel owns two exclusive products in the Amazon region and the Pacific Coast: the Manatee Amazon Explorer and Mantaraya Lodge. Both programs provide unique experiences in each region, guaranteeing excellent services and a friendly environmental operation. Advantage Travel,,,;;



Cox & Kings has introduced exciting new journeys to Latin America. With a firmly established network of guides and resources on the ground, the company is able to provide off-thebeaten-path experiences through some of the world’s most vibrant and colorful countries. Hidden Brazil is an Amazonian adventure that includes a panoramic hydroplane flight and trip along the Amazon by motor yacht where guests spend four nights weaving through a labyrinth of lush canals and waterways. Sightseeing visits include São Luis in São Marcos Bay with its fantastic Portuguese architecture, markets and vibrant culture. Sand dunes, back roads, fishing villages and lagoons make for a thrilling trip culminating in a visit to Delta do Parnaíba, the largest delta in the world. Prices for Hidden Brazil begin at $7,865 ppdo. Travelers trek deep into the tropical jungles of the Punta Patiño Nature Reserve with Cox & Kings’ Native Panama Adventure. Highlights include Panama City, a ride up the Chagres River by dugout canoe to visit the residents of Embera Drua, the Punta Patiño Nature Reserve, and a stay in the village of Mogue where

Travelers aboard the all-suite 100-passenger Galapagos Explorer can follow the steps of Charles Darwin as they discover the enchantment of the amazing natural paradise. Canodros’ excellent packages can include a stay at any of the four different regions of Ecuador, and many choose to combine their Galapagos cruise with an extended visit to the Ecuadorian mainland. Seven-night programs start at $3,549 cruise only; there’s a $4,201 all-inclusive package in Renaissance and Deluxe Balcony cabins. The Flamingo promotion rates start at $1,291 cruise only or $1,839 all-inclusive (specific departures). These two promotions end December 31, 2011, and applications may be made all year. The Explorer II now offers 24 balcony suites, the highest number of balcony cabins offered by cruise operators in the Galapagos. Travelers enjoy underwater views, bird watching and guided walks; observe wildlife and sunbathe on Galapagos Ecuador’s multicolored beaches. Special discounts for groups and families and for travel agents are offered throughout 2011. Conditions apply to all promotional rates. Canodros S.A.,

38 • JANUARY 2011 • Travel World News

LATIN AMERICA NEW, REASONABLY PRICED TOURS IN DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS WITH SOUTH AMERICA BY METROPOLITAN TOURING MADURO DIVE Maduro Dive has a seven-night package that includes diving at Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges in the Galapagos Islands for $3,614 ppdo. The Darwin Diving Triangle and Eco-Adventure Package with seven nights’ accommodations in Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal, includes all land transfers, most meals, five days of diving all dive equipment (except computer), and eco-adventure naturalist tours with English-speaking guide and hotel taxes. This is a great combination for divers and non-divers. Booking for the special must be done by January 31 for travel through March 31, 2011. Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas, 800-327-6709,,


Metropolitan Touring has made the most of the new flight introduced by LAN airlines— Lima to Easter Island—by creating a new and exciting tour combining Peru and Chile for their clients. The itinerary includes two icons of South America: Machu Picchu and Easter Island. The 12-day trip takes in Lima, southern Peru with Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and then continues on for four days based at explora Rapa Nui Hotel on Easter Island. The company’s website provides more details on this tour and a new itinerary combining Peru and Iguazu in Argentina/Brazil. Reinforcing its regional presence, the company’s website has been refreshed with much information about Colombia and Brazil, two new destinations that make them a truly continental partner for the travel trade. For clients with access to their B2B site, they have uploaded dozens of high-quality images to their image banks, plus more specific information regarding tours and tariffs. Metropolitan Touring, as a regional company and not just Ecuador, was recently nominated for the Great Place to Work award, which ranks the company according to the opinions of its employees. The company achieved 16th place in the ranking for Ecuador, and it’s the third-consecutive year that it has been nominated. Great offers are available for Galápagos expedition cruises for the first quarter of 2011: All seven-night cruises aboard the M/V Santa Cruz, Yacht Isabela and Yacht La Pinta will get free air tickets from mainland Ecuador and won’t pay any fuel surcharge, while seven-night cruises aboard the M/V Santa Cruz and Yacht Isabela can save up to $800 per couple, subject to availability. Discounts of 15 and 20 percent are offered on three- and fournight cruises aboard the M/V Santa Cruz and Isabela II. Metropolitan Touring, Travel World News •

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham. To celebrate, Goway Travel has introduced special additions to some of their most popular Peru itineraries, including Cusco and the Inca Trail, Heart of the Incas, Mountain Lodges to Machu Picchu, as well as the 20-day Magical Ecuador and Peru Holiday of a Lifetime. “Having visited the ruins of Machu Picchu many times I know firsthand the special experience of a visit. So to further enhance this experience for our clients in 2011 we are offering some amazing special additions to our departures,” states Don Forster, Product and Marketing Manager for Goway’s Latin America division. Special inclusions for the 2011 Anniversary vary by tour, but may feature a welcome Pachamanca (a traditional Peruvian meat dish marinated in spices), a lecture at Machu Picchu presented by Dr. Fernando Astete (Chief Archeologist of the Machu Picchu ruins) or a signed copy of Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming. “Our Magical Ecuador and Peru experience has proven to be extremely popular in 2010 and next year’s departures are already selling well,” Forster affirmed. “With this popularity, we are now holding our prices for 2011 to entice travelers to journey on one of the best itineraries to South America. Goway’s Holidays of a Lifetime are inclusive vacations where our professional tour director takes care of all the day-to-day details. All accommodations on our Holidays of a Lifetime are First Class or better. Many meals are included as is virtually all touring along the way,” he continued. Goway’s Holidays of a Lifetime are unusual, original and very competitively priced and the maximum number of passengers on any Latin departure is 20. Goway’s Latin America Travel Planner is available toll-free, by email contact, and online. Goway, 800-387-8850, 888-469 2955 (Travel Planner orders),, JANUARY 2011 •



Pandaw Cruises: Asia’s Leading Luxury River Cruise Operator A pioneer in river exploration, Pandaw is building new ships and new markets. G A I L P. D U B O V

The Pandaw History It all began with Paul Strachan, an adventurous Scotsman, historian and author who fell in love with Burma in the 1980's. Traveling the country, he discovered the abandoned paddle steamer Pandaw on the Irrawaddy River. An original steamboat, it was built by the Irrawaddy Flotilla Co., at one time the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the world. Constructed in the shipyards of Glasgow—where Strachan’s grandfather had worked—perhaps it was his destiny to restore the Pandaw to its original colonial elegance with teak decks and brass details. The ship began tours on the Irrawaddy and in 1995 the Irrawaddy Flotilla Co. was reborn, reviving the tradition of river cruising and becoming the largest river company in the region. In 2003, Pandaw expanded to the Mekong River and then on to Borneo. It is the only cruise operator that owns and controls its ships outright. Pandaw’s fleet of five beautifully crafted shallow draft ships sail the mighty rivers of southeast Asia—the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers in Myanmar, the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam and the Rajang in Borneo, exploring remote areas which are unreachable by larger vessels. Burma—renamed Myanmar in 1987—offers the most cruise options. Clients can choose from a variety of trips on the Pandaw II including seven nights traveling either north or south of Mandalay and a comprehensive twenty-night trip to the remote parts of both the Chindwin and Irrawaddy rivers. Exploring the Mekong on the Mekong Pandaw or Tonle Pandaw, your client can choose a seven-night trip from Saigon to Siem Reap. In 2003, Pandaw expanded to the Mekong River and in 2008, to Borneo. 40 • JANUARY 2011



he shipbuilding yards in Ho Chi Minh City must be teeming with activity. Pandaw Cruises, the Singapore-based cruise line with head offices in Scotland and a new sales base in the U.S., is building a new ship. Actually it’s a 60-passenger replica of the luxury colonial-style teak boats they are famous for. On the drawing board are two 16-cabin “little Pandaws” that will cruise down smaller, less traveled tributaries. One, destined for the Rajang river in Borneo will begin construction this month. A brand name in the U.K, Europe and Australia, Pandaw is the leading luxury river cruise operator in Asia, focused on expanding not only its fleet but its market. The company’s eye is now on the intrepid American traveler. Known for quality, service and attention to detail, it appears their ships are cruising toward success.

Early risers watch the sunrise from Pandaw’s observation deck.

Cruising the Irrawaddy on board the Pandaw II What could be more inviting than sailing down the Irrawaddy river on a colonial-style teak boat, fans cooling you, gin and tonic in hand? Saddling up to the shore, you disembark to explore hidden villages, world heritage sites, and centuries-old monasteries. No matter how hot it is—or how undeveloped the area, your air-conditioned, floating hotel awaits you at the river’s edge—along with a crew eager to serve. A soft gong sounds announcing a meal, prepared by a chef who includes gourmet continental and Burmese cuisine in each day’s menu. A pastry chef bakes fresh bread and pastries daily. Waiters attentively serve complimentary wine or local alcoholic drinks and always remember how you take your coffee. On Pandaw your clients will be spoiled. Pandaw boasts the highest space to passenger ratio of any ship afloat. Staterooms are 168 square feet, finished in teak and brass, and well designed for maximum space. All are twin bedded rooms with rich wood paneling, ample drawer space, a desk or vanity, a granite counter in the bathroom, and a window and door that open to the outside promenade deck. Most passengers find themselves on the upper observation deck, lounging on comfortable rattan couches and deck chairs. The Pandaw II, as all of the fleet’s ships, has a shallow draft and can anchor right at the shore, where curious villagers gather as the ship pulls in. Daily land excursions can begin with a waiting jeep, an air-conditioned bus, a horse cart or a trishaw ready to whisk passengers off to a mornings advenCONTINUED ON PAGE

42 • Travel World News


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ture. Whether it's Yandabo, a village that specializes in pottery making or a teak carved monastery, the day unfolds with tour guide explanations and endless photo opportunities. Mornings end as the heat of the day signals a return to the ship and air conditioning. Lunch is served and then the rhythm of the river slowly takes over as passengers relax or nap until the afternoon land excursion begins. The mood is always relaxed and casual and dress is informal. Crew members are always there to offer assistance, whether on land or on ship, their attentiveness is matched only by their kind nature. Sunset cocktails begin at seven, followed by a threecourse dinner. Evening entertainment can be local folk dancing or puppet theatre by members of a nearby village, a documentary film about the history of Myanmar, or drinks and conversation. “Special surprises” delighted us all— Champagne served at sunset at the U Bien bridge, candles set adrift on our last night onboard and other equally magical additions.

An afternoon cooking class by the ship’s chef introduces passengers to unusual spices, fruits and vegetables.

friendly time zone. Tour operators have increased bookings with strong interest being shown in the Mekong, with Borneo a close second.

Pandaw Charity Right Product, Right Time Marcus Leskovar, President of Pandaw America recently told Travel World News, “It’s amazing that four years ago southeast Asia was difficult to sell. But in the last few years it’s been transformed from an esoteric destination to a boom destination.” Leskovar, based in Pandaw’s Colorado office, realizes southeast Asia is now seen as a destination fit for mainline travelers. Statistics back him up. In the past two years, the U.S. market for the Mekong destination has grown to 40%, with Europeans and Australians vying for the rest of the market share. “Vietnam and Cambodia are no longer off the charts for Americans,” agrees Tom Markwell, Chicagobased VP of Sales and Marketing for Pandaw. Demand has been so high that Pandaw’s new ship, the RV Saigon Pandaw, will join the fleet at the end of 2011, along with the Mekong Pandaw, Tonle Pandaw and Indochina Pandaw already sailing through Vietnam and Cambodia. “We’ve got the right product at the right time,” Markwell told Travel World News confidently. And so it seems. Excitement is high at Pandaw since they signed an agreement with Viking River Cruises to sell their Mekong product. “Having a partnership with Viking will push our product further into the US market than we could have done on our own,” Markwell explained. Viking sent out a 350,000 piece mailing for Pandaw and within thirty days, eighteen charters on the 66-passenger Tonle were sold out. Both travel agents and retail passengers came to the party, proving that Viking’s retail base could sell a product in demand in a bigger way than “little Pandaw” could. Goway is also offering Pandaw cruises on the Mekong, Irrawaddy and the Rajang. Pandaw’s new Breckenridge, Colorado sales and reservations office has helped to boost stateside sales. Since it’s opening in April, it’s been catering strictly to the U.S. market, using U.S. banks, in an agent42• JANUARY 2011

Pandaw’s relationship with local villagers is an essential ingredient to their success. Giving back has been a big part of their philosophy whether monetary or material. Leftover prepared food from ship meals is packed up and given to local fishermen for their families. Table scraps get donated to farmers as pig feed. Locals are hired to unload baggage off the ship. Because of this, everyone knows Pandaw and in many ways, is protective of their ships. Security is never an issue and welcoming (and curious) villagers warmly greet passengers. Funds were raised from passengers to build schools in villages ships visit. An outpatient clinic and a floating hospital now exist thanks to accumulated donations of Pandaw passengers. Cultural and educational projects in Burma are also funded by Pandaw grants. Nothing signals success like repeat customers. Dr. Kay, a British doctor now in her 90’s has been on 27 Pandaw cruises. Maka Kahlbaum, an elegant 82-year-old American, has been on five, with children or grandchildren. Beverly Hudson, a spirited 44 year-old Australian just returned from her second and is planning a third to Borneo. “Historically, a majority of our passengers are repeat travelers,” explained Marcus Leskovar. “We are the only company that can provide tour operators and travel agents with multiple Asian destinations,” he concluded.

Special Offers Pandaw discounts last minute cruises. “Last minute” discounts are 10% while “Very last minute” discounts are 20%. Some cruises have no single supplement as departure approaches. Booking early also has its advantage with a 10% early bird discount.

Pandaw Cruises, 800-798-4332;; • Travel World News


enjoyment of future generations. FRIM is a natural heritage site under the National Heritage Act of 2005. FRIM is the largest man-made forest in the world, and has the potential to serve as a model of reforestation, forest management and forest protection for the world. Some 80 years ago, the FRIM grounds were little more than abandoned tin mining pits, with a few vegetable gardens and a shrubby forest. Since 1926, pioneer foresters and scientists began planting various tree species and they nurtured the forest back to life. Today, it is a center for forest research, and thanks to its proximity to Kuala Lumpur, FRIM is a popular recreational and ecotourism destination. Tourism Malaysia,; FRIM,

KOREA GRAND SALE 2011 - 50 DAY SHOPPING SPREE Goway Travel is currently offering a savings of 50 percent off for the second traveler on their popular “A Taste of China” escorted tour program. Valid for departures January through June 2011, the first traveler pays the full rate and the twin-share traveler saves 50 percent off the tour cost. This popular escorted program to China is a perfect trip for people with limited vacation time, but who want to see the best China has to offer. Goway’s 10-day A Taste of China is incredibly priced from $2,969 for the first traveler and 50 percent for the second person per person based on twin accommodation and offers first-class hotels in all three cities. International and internal flights, and most meals are all included as well as comprehensive sightseeing with knowledgeable English-speaking guides. A Taste of China complements Goway’s popular all-inclusive 18day Splendours of China and Tibet, the ever-popular escorted China Odyssey offering 11- and 14-day itineraries and the independent 11-day Classic China. Additional information on these tours and other ASIA Travel Planner ideas is available online and by email or by calling their toll-free number. Goway Travel, 888-469-2988,,

FRIM DECLARED A MALAYSIA NATURAL HERITAGE SITE The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) recently celebrated the official declaration of its main campus in Kepong as a natural heritage site. The ceremony was officiated by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, who also unveiled the Warisan Plaque that was installed at the entrance of the FRIM Museum and Research Gallery. The award by the Department of National Heritage under the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, recognizes FRIM for protecting its forest for continued research and for the Travel World News •

The Visit Korea Committee plans to hold Korea Grand Sale 2011, the biggest national shopping tourism festival, in the country’s major cities such as Seoul, Busan, Jeju and other cities for 50 days from January 10 to February 28 in 2011. Korea Grand Sale is a nationwide shopping tourism festival during which foreigners can enjoy shopping, food, hotel accommodations, cultural shows and other tourism resources in Korea. This festival is aimed at enhancing the image of Korea tourism as shopping destination and also to attract more visitors to Korea while offering diverse convenience. The so-called ‘Big 20’ and more than 13,000 of its branches, shops and stores are going to participate in the festival. The scale has tripled compared with the previous Seoul Grand Sale 2010 held by Seoul Metropolitan City last summer. During the period, various delightful road events are prepared to make for a rich shopping tourism experience. A discount coupon and membership card to enjoy the festival are available at the overseas branches of the Korea Tourism Organization, Cultural Center, local travel agents, local branches of airlines, arrival gate of airports in Korea, and other locations. The coupon and card are necessary to claim benefits at the chain stores of the participating companies, special tourist zones, major tourism sites, and road event venues. In addition, the Visit Korea Committee will provide visitors staying three nights or more at the designated 30 hotels across the country with one night’s free accommodation, special Food & Beverage offers and more. During the festival the Committee temporarily extends a route of free shuttle buses for foreign visitors from Seoul to the Alpensia Resort and Gangneung city in Gangwon province, famed for its winter sports. Other free shuttle bus routes such as from Seoul to Gyeongju, Jeonju, and Busan run every day as usual except Mondays. GilTae Lee is Manager of the Global Marketing Team on the Visit Korea Committee. Visit Korea Committee, JANUARY 2011 •



Cultural tour operator MIR Corporation is celebrating its 25th year of travel to St. Petersburg, Siberia, the Silk Road and beyond with a 100-page catalog of its popular trips for 2011. The company is offering five departures of its signature smallgroup tour to Central Asia, “Journey through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans,” which sold out last year, and is featuring a new 20day trip along the Silk Road called “Once Forbidden Lands of Central Asia and Iran,” with stops in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Other new small-group tours include “China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants,” an 18-day exploration of the Tibetan Plateau and Western China that includes a ride on the incredible high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou as well as visits to the UNESCO-listed Mogao caves in Dunhuang and the fabulous Kashgar Sunday Market; and “Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Legacy of Empire,” a 15-day in-depth escorted journey which begins among the folded hills of out-of-the-way Anatolia, rich with the traces of early civilizations, featuring visits to Akhtamar Island in Lake Van and Trabzon’s cliff-hanging Sumela Monastery before continuing along the balmy Black Sea Coast to the unfamiliar little country of Georgia, where guests are welcomed at tables laden with some of the finest food and wine on earth. The company continues to feature its Flexible Essential Private offerings, with compact, well-designed independent itineraries to St. Petersburg, Russia, Siberia, the Silk Road, Mongolia, the Caucasus, the Balkans, China, Tibet, the Baltics and Central Europe. Other popular catalog trips include nine different ways to ride the famed Trans-Siberian Railway, as well as a new private train tour to the Arctic Circle and back. MIR’s 25th anniversary catalog is available by downloading it online or by contacting by email or toll-free. MIR Corporation, 800-424-7289,, 44 • JANUARY 2011

DISCOVER KAZAKHSTAN HOSTED IN NYC WITH PROMINENT KAZAKHSTAN GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES OF TOURISM AND SPORTS The Consul General of Kazakhstan hosted Discover Kazakhstan at New York’s Waldorf Astoria recently to provide insights into topics pertaining to travel and tourism in Kazakhstan. The evening included live entertainment from award-winning international performers Tilep, a quartet of Kobyz (a traditional bow instrument), and welcome packages with gifts from the 7th Asian Winter Games 2011. The Head of the Tourism and Sports Departments of Astana, Nurlan Zhanybek, and Chief Operational Officer of the Organizing Committee of the 7th Asian Winter Games 2011, Serik Kulmurzayev, delivered presentations regarding tourism developments in Kazakhstan and the 7th Asian Winter Games. With over 4.5 million travelers, novel attractions in Kazakhstan have helped contribute to an eight-percent increase in inbound tourism over the past few years. A country with a reputable industrial foundation, 80 percent of its tourism comes from business-related visits. “Right now, our number one priority is to...transform the reputation of Kazakhstan into the tourism hub of the Central Asian region in 2011,” said Raushan Yesbulatova, the Consul General of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York. Kazakhstan won first place in “Best Stand” in the Asian, Pacific and Australian regions at a recent International Tourism Exchange Berlin exhibition. The government of Kazakhstan allocates large funds to the industry and this year the country was presented at tourist exhibitions in Beijing, Berlin, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Seoul and Tokyo. Kazakhstan has a plethora of adventure and eco-travel activities, as well as numerous popular destinations and hidden-gem attractions. Some of these include the Singing Dunes, where sand produces organ-like music; the Charyn Canyon on the Charyn River, with unusual rock formations and a unique lunar landscape; Necropolis of Bes-Shatir, also known as the Five Tents, which were a place of worship for ancient Saks; and view the Kazakh Yurt—a portable home used by the ancient nomads and a symbol of their far-reaching homeland. The current government’s plans to promote the tourism industry include the State Program of Tourism Development in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2007–2011, developed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and approved by Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhstan also hosted the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in December. From ecological and extreme adventure tourism, to new developments in the country, and government initiatives in the industry, Discover Kazakhstan will provide news, information, and insights into traveling to Kazakhstan. The Consulate General of Kazakhstan provides numerous quality services to the Kazakhstan community and enhances relations with partners of Kazakhstan in New York. Consulate General of the Republic of Kazakhstan, • Travel World News




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fers an insight into a piece of history about the oceans surrounding our island that few know about, and gives our visitors a chance to fulfill their luxury shopping needs while they’re on Guam.” “Rolex and the Deep” runs daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Caronel Rolex Boutique and Caronel Rolex Center. Guam Visitors Bureau,,


Out of some 13670 Islands that form Indonesia, Java is undoubtedly rich in its fauna and flora. It has a wide variety of attractions including scenic landscape dotted with villages housing people from different ethnic groups and cultures. And added to that are towering volcanoes, dense forests, manicured rice paddies and teeming towns, making Bestway’s 13-day Overland Indonesia a journey into the diversity that just one island of Indonesia offers. Bestway’s Overland Jakarta to Bali—A cultural tour of Indonesia, departs each Monday in 2011. The package, priced at $1,395 (Superior) pp twin and $1,495 (Deluxe), includes transfers and sightseeing with private transportation, daily breakfast and choice of Superior- and Deluxe-category hotels. Bestway Tours & Safaris, 800-663-0844,

CARONEL LAUNCHES ‘ROLEX AND THE DEEP’ EXHIBIT ON GUAM From now until January 23, 2011, visitors to Guam will experience history while they shop for their favorite luxury brands. Caronel Rolex, which has boutiques at Tumon Sands Plaza and The Plaza in Guam, is honoring the famous voyage of the Swiss-designed Bathyscaphe Trieste, which touched bottom at the deepest part of the Marianas Trench on January 23, 1960. “Rolex in the Deep” features a collection of vintage timepieces and memorabilia from the 35,800-foot-dive led by then-U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer and engineer Jacques Piccard. The feat, known as one of the greatest dive expeditions of our time, remains unmatched. Rolex found its place in history after manufacturing the world’s first waterproof wristwatch in 1926, as well as the Rolex Deep Sea Special wristwatch that was strapped to the submersible’s hull in 1960. A replica of the Rolex Deep Sea Special (the original is housed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.) is on display at both Caronel Rolex locations, along with other Rolex timepieces and divers’ watches representative of the company’s advancements. “This exhibit is a really unique opportunity for Guam, which is where Piccard and Walsh launched before reaching their deep destination,” said GVB General Manager Gerald S.A. Perez. “It of46 • JANUARY 2011

Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB)Marketing Manager Pilar Laguaña has accepted an invitation by the National Tour Association (NTA) to serve as Chairwoman of the organization’s 2011 Leadership Committee China Task Force. The move comes at a time when the number of Chinese visitors to the United States had jumped a record 57 percent over 2009, according to statistics comPILAR LAGUAÑA piled by the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. About 525,000 visitors have accounted for more than $3.6 billion in spending within U.S. destinations. “This is great news, as it will put Ms. Laguaña on the front lines of updates regarding China, and how other North American destinations are addressing the increase in Chinese visitors,” said GVB General Manager Gerald S.A. Perez. “Our goal with this task force is to learn from others how we can have good quality control in presenting the destination to outbound visitors, and bridge relationships with travel trade in China.” The invitation came from NTA Chairman and CEO Cathy Greteman, who previously worked with Laguaña during her term on the NTA 2010 Leadership Team and during her tenure on the International Advisory Task Force. “Based on the MOU between the United States and China, Chinese leisure travel to the U.S. is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years, and NTA’s Task Force is charged with market education, business-to-business facilitation between U.S. and Chinese tour operators, enhancing the standards for Chinese leisure travel and pursuing ways to ease visa processes for Chinese citizens,” said NTA President Lisa Simon. “Guam is not only an attractive destination for Chinese travelers, but under Laguaña’s leadership has become a catalyst for improving the experience for Chinese visitors to U.S. destinations.” NTA is an international trade organization representing thousands of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Their unique and diverse membership makes it progressive and dynamic for travel professionals. GVB has been a member of the organization since 2008. Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), • Travel World News


Beqa Lagoon Resort in Beqa Island, Fiji is the featured accommodation in a deluxe seven-night trip with Maduro Dive. The package costs $2,588 ppdo and is air-inclusive, with roundtrip airfare Los Angeles–Fiji on Air Pacific, with roundtrip ground and boat transfers to/from the resort. The package price includes seven nights in a deluxe Fijian villa, three gourmet meals daily, five days of two-tank boat dives with unlimited shore diving, Fijian culture and entertainment daily, kayaking, hiking and hotel taxes (air taxes and fees additional). The trip must be booked by March 15 for travel through April 30, 2011. Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas, 800-327-6709,,

YASAWA ISLAND RESORT & SPA PASSING HANDS TO EDGE RESORTS FIJI After 16 years of ownership and with much gratitude to their guests, friends and industry partners, Garth and Maggie Downey have decided to say goodbye to Yasawa Island Resort & Spa in Fiji. They are passing the baton to Edge Resorts Fiji this month. This change is going to allow them to maximize their time with family, particularly their baby daughter Nioka Kerry Susana. Edge Resorts Fiji was founded by tourism marketing and resort operations veterans James McCann, Erin McCann, Brett Whitfield and Corinne Janssen who together have over 70 years of international hotel management experience including a combined total of over 25 years in Fiji. James McCann was General Manager of the iconic Castaway Island Resort and opening General Manager of Malolo Island Resort. Erin (nee Suzuki) McCann has been the General Manager of two of Fiji’s premier five-star resorts: Vatulele Island Resort and most notably Yasawa Island Resort. Together the McCanns spent the last several years marketing Fiji tourism products throughout North America. Like the McCanns, Brett Whitfield and Corinne Janssen met in Travel World News •

Fiji. Brett’s hospitality career spans over two decades with management assignments in numerous countries including Fiji where his last role was that of Resort Manager for the Outrigger on the Lagoon. He has most recently been active as a freelance hotel quality auditor. Corinne is a sales and marketing professional who has held senior roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for the past 21 years that included six years with Starwood’s Fiji properties. To celebrate the reopening of the resort with its magnificent new main complex, they are offering three nights for the price of two until May 31, 2011. Yasawa’s free night offer is subject to availability and cannot be combined with other specials. Bookings, full details and conditions are available by email contact. Rates at Yasawa include all meals, non-alcoholic drinks and all activities except spa treatments scuba diving and gamefishing. Yasawa Island Resort & Spa,,

APT’S PRIVATE PLANE AND CRUISETOURS DOWNUNDER NEW FOR 2011 Now, in partnership with Holland America Line, Australian Pacific Touring’s 23-day ‘South Pacific Cruisetour’ visits the best of Australia and New Zealand. Travelers get to see the vibrant cities of Auckland, Wellington and Sydney, enjoy a magical encounter with the wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef and spend 14 incredible days cruising the world’s most stunning coastlines in this memorable adventure. Accommodations are first-class both on land and sea, and guided touring is combined with the freedom to explore independently. APT’s most popular ‘Fully Escorted South Pacific Vacations’ to Australia and New Zealand continue to fulfill the dream vacation experience. Guests will appreciate an opportunity to stay with a local family in New Zealand; cruises on Milford Sound, Sydney Harbor and the Great Barrier Reef; Maori and Aboriginal experiences; learning about flora and fauna, geological wonders and astronomy; have fun on TranzAlpine and Ghan train journeys; and enjoy featured lunches and dinners and all breakfasts. All this with the camaraderie of like-minded friends and travelers and the genuine enthusiasm of a regional professional tour director create a departure from the ordinary. New is the ’20-day Australia by Private Plane’ tour featuring some of the most remote regions and beautiful attractions of Australia such as the Kimberley’s and Cape York while traveling in a small group of 34 on a privately chartered plane. From the landmarks of cosmopolitan Sydney to the aerial view of the vast Australian interior, and the visually stunning western coastline to the ancient rock art of the Bungle Bungle Range, every experience is one to treasure. Their new brochure also features many other locally escorted and independent tours to satisfy every budget. APT is a USTOA member, for security and peace of mind. APT (Australian Pacific Touring), 800-290-8687, JANUARY 2011 •


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January 2011 Edition  

January 2011 edition of TWN

January 2011 Edition  

January 2011 edition of TWN