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JULY/AUGUST 20<strong>19</strong> • sellingtravel.co.uk<br />








£60<br />



*<br />



LUXURY<br />


25KG BAGGAGE<br />






*Terms and conditions apply. Please see you local travel agent for full details.

JULY/AUGUST 20<strong>19</strong> • SELLINGTRAVEL.CO.UK<br />


DESERT<br />

ISLAND<br />

MIX<br />

Why a cruise offers the perfect<br />

introduction to the countries of<br />

the Caribbean<br />

how to sell...<br />

Mediterranean<br />

South Africa<br />

Middle East<br />

California<br />

Canada<br />

Namibia<br />

Be inspired<br />



Page 83<br />

and more...


ONLY<br />

Luxury Included ®<br />


Sandals offers all the luxuries of a 5-star<br />

resort with so much more, because here,<br />

the best of everything is included. Every<br />

land and water sport. Exclusive 5-Star<br />

Global Gourmet dining at up to 16<br />

restaurants per resort, and endless pours<br />

of premium spirits and Robert Mondavi<br />

Twin Oaks wines. Our resorts are set on<br />

the Caribbean’s best beaches, and our<br />

rooms & suites are some of the most<br />

romantic in the world. These are just some<br />

of the reasons Sandals has been voted<br />

the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Resorts<br />

23 years in a row, and the perfect choice<br />

for your clients' dream honeymoon.<br />

2 0 1 8<br />

23 Years Running<br />


23<br />



Sandals has the grandest<br />

of pools, most spectacular<br />

beaches, extraordinary<br />

amenities, and sumptuously<br />

appointed accommodation.<br />

But it’s the unrivaled 5-star<br />

service provided by our staff<br />

that keeps our guests coming<br />

back time after time.<br />

THE MOST<br />


Our 5-star accommodation,<br />

called Love Nest Butler Suites ® ,<br />

are ranked among the finest<br />

and most romantic in the world.<br />

From Over-the-Water Villas to<br />

Millionaire Suites, our guests<br />

will enjoy luxurious amenities,<br />

private plunge pools and<br />

world-class concierge<br />

and butler service.<br />



16<br />




UP TO<br />


Guests will enjoy unlimited dining at up to<br />

16 restaurants! From freshly rolled sushi<br />

at Soy, to Filet Mignon steak cooked to<br />

perfection at Butch’s Chophouse, we<br />

serve cuisine to please even the toughest<br />

foodie! Your clients will enjoy unlimited<br />

premium brand drinks at up to 11 bars per<br />

resort. From cocktails at the swim-up<br />

pool bar to a glass of fizz on a<br />

rooftop bar overlooking<br />

the Caribbean sunset,<br />

it’s all included in the<br />

price of your clients'<br />

honeymoon.<br />


TO BOOK CALL 0808 164 3459<br />


*Mandatory caddies or carts at cost. ^Cost includes two free dives<br />

per day for certified divers . Additional T&Cs may apply.<br />



From championship golf* to motorised water sports like waterskiing and scuba<br />

diving^, only Sandals includes more quality land and water sports than any other<br />

resorts in the Caribbean. It’s all included, all unlimited!

contents 3<br />

this issue<br />



08 Cruising the<br />

Caribbean: Perfect for<br />

Island hopping<br />

32 The Mediterranean:<br />

A people pleaser<br />

39 Middle East: How to<br />

switch-sell to it now<br />

78 South Africa: Slow<br />

down on the Blue Train<br />

76<br />

57<br />

53<br />

36<br />

08<br />

32<br />

71<br />

39<br />

30<br />


11 Profile: Namibia<br />

30 48 hours in: Bangkok<br />

36 My Journey: St Vincent<br />

& the Grenadines<br />

71 Introducing: Ethiopia<br />

72 How to sell: New South<br />

Wales<br />

76 My Journey: California<br />


13 Agent news and views<br />

11<br />

78<br />

72<br />

CANADA<br />

48 Show report: Rendezvous<br />

20<strong>19</strong><br />

52 <strong>Travel</strong> talk: Destination<br />

Canada<br />

53 City profile:Toronto<br />

54 My Trip in: Ontario<br />

57 Spotlight on: Alberta<br />


61 News & show reports<br />


84 Trends in touring<br />

89 Touring four ways<br />

91 Interview: Shearings<br />

94 Fresh touring ideas<br />

97 Take five: Off-thebeaten-track<br />

tours<br />


83<br />


11<br />


39<br />


78<br />


32<br />

Please note that <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>, owned and<br />

published by BMI Publishing Ltd., is not<br />

connected in any way to <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

e-magazine published by SMP Training Co.<br />

and based in British Columbia, Canada. The<br />

latter online publication focuses exclusively on<br />

sales skills and all aspects of professional<br />

selling within the travel and tourism sectors.<br />

To benefit from this travel industry sales<br />

training resource visit sellingtravel.net<br />


57<br />


4<br />

welcome<br />

A Greek tragedy<br />

WINNER<br />



(almost)<br />


EDITOR<br />

Laura Gelder<br />

laura.gelder@sellingtravel.co.uk<br />


Jessica Pook, Sasha Wood<br />

& April Waterston<br />


Andy Hoskins & Julie Baxter<br />


Steve Hartridge<br />

SALES<br />


Steve Thompson<br />

steven.thompson@sellingtravel.co.uk<br />

Sally Parker<br />

sally.parker@sellingtravel.co.uk<br />


Lisa Merrigan<br />

lisa.merrigan@sellingtravel.co.uk<br />



Louisa Horton<br />


Ross Clifford, Caitlan Francis<br />

& Zoe Tarrant<br />


Clare Hunter<br />

Laura Gelder<br />

EDITOR<br />

Last week, as I lay on my sunbed on the beautiful Greek<br />

island of Kefalonia, I realised I had became a traveller<br />

cliché in more ways than one.<br />

First of all I was one of many, many people reading a dogeared<br />

copy of Captain Correlli's Mandolin. Secondly, I was not<br />

only British but also horribly sun-burnt thanks to my new<br />

eco-friendly, but useless, sun screen. And thirdly, I'd consulted<br />

Google on what was the loveliest beach.<br />

Consequentially I was sharing it with hundreds of other<br />

clichés, booming Ibiza-style beats and several thousand wasps,<br />

buzzing amidst the packed and baking bodies - it may have<br />

been lovely once, but not now!<br />

I left shortly after and happened upon a smaller, quieter beach, with the same smooth<br />

white pebbles and clear lapping water but less stinging insects and a gentler soundtrack<br />

of Greek music wafting out of the taverna along with the smell of roasting souvlaki.<br />

Aside from Louis de Bernier's novel, it was a travel agent who made me yearn for this<br />

particular Greek isle, our former columnist Barbara Charlton. If only I'd spoken to her<br />

again before I went I'd never have visited that over-hyped, over-packed beach!<br />

If you read our current columnists' page this month (page 24) you can hear their<br />

opinions on over-tourism and how to handle it - from recommending more off-thebeaten-track<br />

itineraries to switching clients to travel in low season.<br />

As well as writing her column for us, Sandy Murray ran the 22nd Yorkshire <strong>Travel</strong> Ball<br />

this <strong>July</strong> (see page 22) and we were delighted to attend, along with 200 agents. In true<br />

travel industry style, much fun was had but the event also raised £8,500 for charity. In<br />

this case it was animal charities, including one dedicated to Greek cats, a cause even<br />

closer to my heart since I Ieft three kittens behind in Kefalonia.<br />


Steve Hunter<br />



Matt Bonner<br />

CEO<br />

Martin Steady<br />

(PRINT) ISSN 2056-93<strong>19</strong>. ©BMI PUBLISHING LTD 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />



SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233<br />











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the big picture 7<br />

Sri Lanka<br />

back in business<br />

All aboard<br />

We wouldn’t usually feature the same<br />

destination twice in one year here,<br />

but Sri Lanka has been through a lot.<br />

The Easter terror attacks derailed<br />

tourism but since the FCO ban was<br />

lifted the travel trade has rallied<br />

round to help bookings recover<br />

quickly – with or without government<br />

help. Visitor numbers are already<br />

increasing, from 37,802 in May to<br />

63,072 in June, so the comeback is<br />

firmly on track. See p51 for details.<br />

srilanka.travel; lovesrilanka.org<br />


8<br />

xxxxx cruising the caribbean<br />

island<br />

Hopping<br />

The Caribbean’s many islands present the perfect canvas for<br />

a cruise and the chance to really appreciate its diversity by<br />

taking in several destinations on one trip, says Jane Archer<br />

carlos ojeda photography<br />

I’ve just realised the plane I’ve<br />

seen in the distance is landing<br />

in Canouan, the little Grenadine<br />

island we were anchored off yesterday.<br />

Clearly we didn’t cruise very far<br />

overnight.<br />

I’m on SeaDream Yacht Club’s<br />

112-passenger SeaDream I, on a Caribbean<br />

cruise with a difference. Since setting sail<br />

from Barbados, we’ve anchored off every<br />

island we’ve visited (Martinique, St Lucia,<br />

Bequia, Canouan and today Union Island),<br />

not seen any other ships and bumped into<br />

just a handful of tourists.<br />

It’s a perfect way to enjoy the ‘other’<br />

Caribbean, the one away from the crowds,<br />

where life is unhurried and simple<br />

pleasures such as swimming, snorkelling<br />

or reading a book fill the days. I’ve visited<br />

a turtle sanctuary in Bequia, put the world<br />

to rights with Rastafarian Ezra at his beach<br />

bar in Canouan and hiked up to a fort on<br />

St Lucia’s Pigeon Island.<br />

On board I’ve tucked into some of<br />

the tastiest food afloat and passed fun<br />

evenings at the al-fresco top-of-the-yacht<br />

bar. Because there are so few of us,<br />

waiters and bar staff soon got to know our<br />

names, likes and dislikes.<br />

Whenever they see me, they veer off<br />

and return with a glass of Champagne.<br />

Extravagant? Not really. As with all drinks<br />

on SeaDream, it is included in the fare, as<br />

are tips. It pushes up the price, but makes<br />

things super friendly – and with just 112 of<br />

us on board, that is important.<br />

Market update<br />

One of the things that makes Caribbean<br />

cruises such an easy sell for agents is<br />

that there is a holiday for everyone. If the<br />

small ship, getaway-from-it-all experience<br />

does not appeal, clients have plenty more<br />

vessels and itineraries to choose from.<br />

Families can sail with Royal Caribbean<br />

International on the world’s biggest cruise<br />

ships or race go-karts on Norwegian Cruise<br />

Line vessels; there are ultra-luxury ships<br />

and sailing vessels, even cruises from the<br />

UK with P&O Cruises, Saga Cruises and<br />

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for those who<br />

don’t want to fly.<br />

There are budget fares or all-inclusive<br />

prices with Regent Seven Seas Cruises;<br />

one or two-week voyages, port-intensive<br />


Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries.<br />

Ritz-Carlton makes its cruising debut<br />

in February with the yacht-like Azora.<br />

It holds 298 passengers and sails from<br />

Fort Lauderdale to Barbados, Aruba, St.<br />

Maarten and St Lucia.<br />

Scarlet Lady, Virgin Voyages’ first new<br />

ship, launches in April 2020. An adults-only<br />

vessel, it will offer five-night sailings to<br />

Mexico and four-night short breaks to Key<br />

West and Bimini in the Bahamas, roundtrip<br />

from Miami.<br />

Itineraries: Carnival Cruise Line has new<br />

seven-night sailings from Port Canaveral to<br />

Mexico, Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos,<br />

starting October 2020 on Mardi Gras, a<br />

new ship launching in <strong>August</strong> next year.<br />

From £624pp cruise-only.<br />

Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the<br />

Seas is sailing new five-night cruises<br />

from Fort Lauderdale to CocoCay, the<br />

company’s just-opened Bahamian private<br />

island, from May to November 2020. From<br />

£6<strong>19</strong>pp cruise-only.<br />

Celebrity Cruises has a new sevencruising<br />

the caribbean xxxx xxxx 9<br />

itineraries and cruises with multiple sea<br />

days for those who love life at sea.<br />

The Caribbean is a perennial favourite<br />

with British cruisers, attracting some<br />

295,000 passengers in 2018 – 7% more<br />

than 2017. “Thanks to the mix of fabulous<br />

destinations and cultures, breathtaking<br />

scenery and the opportunity to see a<br />

different island every day, it’s a fantastic<br />

cruise destination,” said CLIA UK and<br />

Ireland Director Andy Harmer.<br />

CLIA Chair Tony Roberts told the<br />

association’s Southampton conference in<br />

May that the cruise market is down due to<br />

the uncertainty of Brexit.<br />

However, Roberts, who is also Princess<br />

Cruises’ UK & Ireland Vice-President, added<br />

that the Caribbean remains one of his<br />

company’s ‘fastest-growing destinations’.<br />

“It’s always a popular cruise destination<br />

… because of the range of itineraries<br />

that encompass so many of the islands<br />

as well as the guarantee of white sandy<br />

beaches, plenty of sunshine and the warm<br />

Caribbean sea.”<br />

Silversea UK Managing Director Peter<br />

Shanks said the Caribbean will always<br />

do well due to its ‘unique mixture of<br />

relaxation and culture’.<br />

He said: “A cruise is the best way to see<br />

the Caribbean, visiting both famous and<br />

‘out of the way’ islands.” As an added<br />

incentive, Silversea is offering free shore<br />

excursions on selected cruises booked by<br />

<strong>July</strong> 31 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Shanks added: “Silversea’s smaller ships<br />

access more of those ‘out of the way’<br />

places and travel deeper to experience the<br />

very best of the Caribbean.”<br />

What’s new<br />

Ships: Norwegian Cruise Line’s new<br />

Norwegian Encore, launching November<br />

20<strong>19</strong>, makes its Caribbean debut this<br />

winter with a go-kart circuit and Italian<br />

restaurant called Onda.<br />

Sky Princess enters service for Princess<br />

Cruises this autumn with new features<br />

including French restaurant La Mer and<br />

Sky Suites. It will spend the winter sailing<br />


msc rights<br />

10<br />

xxxxx cruising the caribbean<br />

combine cruising and a private island stay with msc<br />

royal owned<br />

snorkelling in cozumel, the mexican caribbean<br />

danny lehman<br />

Royal Caribbean’s flowrider<br />

norwegian breakaway<br />

Royal Caribbean in labadee, haiti<br />

night Eastern Caribbean cruise roundtrip<br />

from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Edge<br />

that visits Puerto Rico, the British Virgin<br />

Islands and St. Maarten. From £1,269pp<br />

cruise-only.<br />

Shore excursions: MSC Cruises has<br />

partnered with US lifestyle guru Martha<br />

Stewart to offer celebrity-branded tours<br />

in the Caribbean such as cooking classes,<br />

garden visits and market trips.<br />

Starting this winter, clients on Marella<br />

Cruises’ seven-night Pride of Panama<br />

voyage can take a tour from Santa Marta<br />

in Columbia into the foothills of the<br />

Sierra Nevada to meet and dine with the<br />

country’s indigenous Kogi tribe.<br />

Top experiences<br />

Discover what’s cooking: Celebrity<br />

Cruises’ five-hour chef-led tour from<br />

Philipsburg, St. Maarten takes visitors to<br />

fish and produce markets to pick up<br />

ingredients for an exclusive dinner on the<br />

ship, as well as tasting French specialities<br />

at La Plantation Hotel. From £245pp.<br />

Life balance: A four-hour tour from<br />

Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas with<br />

Crystal Cruises includes paddle-boarding,<br />

yoga and snorkelling in search of stingrays<br />

in a mangrove lagoon and marine reserve.<br />

Price not yet set.<br />

Climbing Dunn’s River Falls: The<br />

Jamaican icon is one of Caribbean’s<br />

most sought-after experiences. The<br />

boulders are slippery, the water is gushing<br />

and you certainly get wet, wet, wet. Most<br />

lines go there. Carnival’s six-hour tour<br />

from Ocho Rios, pairing the falls with a<br />

jeep safari, costs from $108pp.<br />

Snuba at Pigeon Island: The St.<br />

Lucia spot is a favourite for snuba<br />

diving, a cross between snorkelling and<br />

scuba that allows beginners to dive to 20<br />

feet without struggling with tanks as they<br />

follow on a raft on the surface. Oceania<br />

Cruises’ three-hour snuba adventure costs<br />

from £77pp.<br />

Where to book it<br />

Seabourn – 0344 338 8615<br />

For 14 nights of all-inclusive luxury the<br />

Classic Caribbean Yacht Harbours cruise<br />

round-trip from Barbados departs January<br />

4, 2020. Fares from £5,298pp for cruiseonly<br />

but including all meals, drinks and<br />

staff gratuities.<br />

seabourn.com<br />

MSC Cruises – 0203 426 3000<br />

Tick off six islands in one trip and enjoy<br />

two days on MSC’s new Ocean Cay private<br />

island with the cruise line’s 14-night<br />

Southern Caribbean cruise, round-trip<br />

from Miami, departing January 11, 2020.<br />

Fares are from £1,449pp, cruise-only but<br />

including all meals.<br />

mscbook.com <br />


country profile<br />

11<br />

Namibia<br />

What Namibia lacks in tourist numbers it makes up for in wow factors such as giant<br />

sand dunes, stark salt pans, wild coastlines and bucket-list wildlife, says Debbie Ward<br />

Don’t miss...<br />

Soussusvlei<br />

A photographer’s dream,<br />

the national park here has<br />

spectacular dunes whipped<br />

into pleasing shapes by<br />

the wind, some footed by<br />

dramatically twisted and<br />

desiccated trees. Climb the<br />

most accessible dunes at<br />

dawn for knockout views.<br />

Etosha<br />

A safari in a shimmering<br />

saltpan makes for great<br />

game viewing. Elephant,<br />

giraffe, springbok and zebra<br />

are common, along with<br />

ostriches and birds of prey,<br />

while it’s possible to see<br />

cheetah and leopards. It’s an<br />

easy place to self-drive, best<br />

visited <strong>July</strong> to October.<br />

Damaraland<br />

Amid the rugged scenery of<br />

Southern Damarkand see<br />

UNESCO-listed Bushman<br />

rock art thousands of years<br />

old at Twyfelfontein. Take<br />

a game drive to search<br />

for the desert-adapted<br />

elephants seen in David<br />

Attenborough’s Planet Earth.<br />

Swakopmund<br />

Germanic-style coastal<br />

base Swakopmund offers<br />

activities like sand-surfing<br />

and paragliding. The huge<br />

seal colony at Cape Cross is<br />

a half-day trip away. Sleepy<br />

neighbour Walvis Bay is the<br />

gateway to prolific birdlife<br />

hangout Sandwich Harbour.<br />


Kuoni’s Namibia Explorer is a 14-night small<br />

group tour, taking in Etosha National Park,<br />

Damaraland, Swakopmund, Soussevlei<br />

and Windhoek. A special offer of £3,898pp<br />

applies to the October 26 20<strong>19</strong> departure.<br />

The operator also offers Namibia self-drives.<br />

agents.kuoni.co.uk<br />

It’s only as I turn to make a 360° video<br />

at the top of ‘Big Daddy’ dune that the<br />

height hits me. I giddily sink to the sand<br />

to take a breather. The view is nothing<br />

short of spectacular. In every direction<br />

are ripples of golden and reddish<br />

dunes, dramatic in the light and shade<br />

of dawn.<br />

In Dead Vlei, an arid valley far below me,<br />

I know the moving dots I see are people<br />

photographing the stark skeletons of<br />

antique trees that were left behind when a<br />

river changed course. This is Soussusvlei,<br />

long on my travel wish list, and it has<br />

managed to exceed my high expectations.<br />

Namibia may not receive the high tourist<br />

numbers of some of its neighbours, but it’s<br />

not for lack of any wow factor.<br />

Epic dune-filled Soussusvlei, within<br />

Namib-Naukluft National Park, is just<br />

one of the attractions. The country also<br />

has renowned safaris on the salt pan of<br />

Etosha National Park, while the coastline,<br />

with its own wildlife, makes a pleasant<br />

respite from the desert. There’s also tribal<br />

heritage in the Damarland region.<br />

Namibia is generally best visited May<br />

to October. Common advice is to avoid<br />

January, but early that month I found<br />

temperatures manageable and just<br />

handfuls of people at the key sights.<br />

In fact, with a low population and less<br />

advanced tourism, Namibia’s hotspots are<br />

quieter than South Africa’s at any time of<br />

year. With the Namibian dollar pegged to<br />

its neighbour’s weak rand, it’s also a goodvalue<br />

destination, while a time difference<br />

of just two hours means no jetlag.<br />




Namibia has accommodation to suit<br />

many budgets. At the luxury end, new last<br />

year were Omaanda, a lodge on a private<br />

reserve near Windhoek; eight-room<br />

Shipwreck Lodge, on the Skeleton Coast;<br />

and its sister, Hoanib Valley Camp, with<br />

six tented rooms, in the North West. This<br />

year retro-themed Sonop has debuted<br />

at Karas in the southern Namib Desert.<br />


Access is indirect from the UK. Look out<br />

for competitive fares via Frankfurt but<br />

it’s an attractive twin with Cape Town.<br />

Most fly in and out of the low-key capital,<br />

Windhoek, but limited international<br />

services to coastal Walvis Bay offer<br />

an attractive open jaw option.<br />

With low crime and just a few straight<br />

roads traversing the country, Namibia is<br />

an easy place to self-drive and appeals to<br />

independent travellers.Those headed for<br />

Soussevlei should expect rough surfaces.<br />

Escorted tours are offered by operators<br />

including <strong>Travel</strong> 2, Kuoni, Abercrombie &<br />

Kent, G Adventures, Intrepid and Exodus.<br />


Typical itineraries of two weeks or less<br />

take in Etosha, Soussevlei, Damaraland<br />

and the coast. Those with more time can<br />

reach Fish River Canyon in the South -<br />

Africa’s deepest - plus the eerie Skeleton<br />

Coast, so named for its shipwrecks<br />

caused by rocks and fog before GPS. <br />




Fly direct twice daily London to Bangkok with<br />

the combined, bigger network of THAI and Thai Smile.<br />

Enjoy smooth as silk service levels,<br />

all priviledges and more destinations.<br />

#FlySmootherWithOurSmiles<br />

thaiairways.com<br />


Talking Shop<br />


The inside track on travel<br />

Find out what<br />

agents learnt from our<br />

River Cruise Dialogue on<br />

page 18<br />

This time it's<br />

personal<br />

THIS year's <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Agents Choice Awards sees<br />

several new categories but<br />

it's worth giving a special<br />

mention to the new trade<br />

rep award. Make sure<br />

you take the time to vote<br />

for that helpful person<br />

who makes your job<br />

easier. We are giving<br />

away an award for the<br />

best reps working for a tour<br />

operator, airline, cruise line, hotel and tourist office. Turn<br />

over to find out more about this years' awards...<br />

Save £800 with APT charter<br />

APT is offering an £800pp saving for new<br />

bookings on its Majestic Danube Luxury River<br />

Cruise when booked by <strong>August</strong> 31, 20<strong>19</strong>. APT<br />

will charter the AmaMagna on June 14, 2020<br />

for the one-off summer departure, sailing from Romania to<br />

Germany. aptouring.co.uk<br />

Contents<br />

27<br />


29<br />

Park passes<br />

with JA Resorts<br />

DISNEY<br />

October 7, 8 & 9<br />


Come and meet your <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Agents Choice Awards finalists at<br />

our networking events in London (October 7), Leeds (October<br />

8) and Manchester (October 5) and be in with a chance to win<br />

some fantastic prizes. Register online at sellingtravel.co.uk<br />

KIDS aged three to 16<br />

years can enjoy various<br />

Dubai Parks free when<br />

agents book a stay at<br />

a JA Resorts & Hotels<br />

property before <strong>August</strong> 31.<br />

jaresortshotels.com<br />



24<br />


14<br />

The 20<strong>19</strong><br />

awards<br />

finalists<br />

Airlines & Airports<br />


Cathay Pacific , Japan Airlines,<br />

Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways,<br />

Vietnam Airlines<br />


British Airways , Delta Air Lines, United<br />

Airlines, Virgin Atlantic<br />


CARIBBEAN: Air Europa Lineas Aereas,<br />

British Airways, LATAM Airlines, Norwegian,<br />

Virgin Atlantic<br />


Etihad Airways , Gulf Air, Oman Air,<br />

Qatar Airways<br />


Air Mauritius, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Etihad<br />

Airways, Qatar Airways<br />

AIRLINE TO EUROPE: Air Malta,<br />

British Airways, easyJet, Jet2, Croatia Airlines<br />

AIRLINE TO AFRICA: Royal Air Maroc,<br />

Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways,<br />

South African Airways, Tunisair<br />


Air New Zealand , Fiji Airways, Korean Air,<br />

Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways<br />


All Nippon Airways (ANA), Etihad Airways,<br />

Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines,<br />

Qatar Airways<br />


Air New Zealand, British Airways, China<br />

Southern Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic<br />


El AL Israel Airlines, EVA Air, South African<br />

Airways, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines<br />


Avianca, Bangkok Airways, Fiji Airways,<br />

Westjet Airlines, Virgin Australia<br />

OVERSEAS AIRPORT: Amsterdam Schiphol,<br />

DFW Airport , Dubai International Airport,<br />

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International<br />

Airport, Singapore Changi<br />

UK AIRPORT: East Midlands , Liverpool John<br />

Lennon Airport, London City Airport, London<br />

Gatwick, Manchester<br />

Destinations<br />

CITY BREAK: Abu Dhabi, Hong<br />

Kong, Lisbon, Macao, Tel Aviv<br />


Bali, Cook Islands, Mauritius, Philippines,<br />

St Lucia<br />


Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Jersey<br />


Belize, Botswana, Costa Rica, Peru,<br />

South Africa<br />


Australia, Canada, Chile, Namibia,<br />

New Zealand<br />


Dubai, India, Malta, Maldives, Thailand<br />


HONEYMOONS: Barbados, Cyprus, Jamaica,<br />

Mauritius, St. Kitts<br />


HOLIDAYS: Australia, Costa Rica, Kenya,<br />

Nicaragua, Norway<br />


15<br />


ROADSHOW: Caribbean Tourism<br />

Organization, The Amazing Thailand<br />

Roadshow, Visit New South Wales, Visit<br />

Orlando, Visit USA<br />

Tour Operators<br />


Africa Pride, Cosmos, Gambia<br />

Experience, Kuoni, Somak Holidays<br />


FAR EAST: APT, Collette,<br />

G Adventures, Jetset Holidays,<br />

Premier Holidays<br />


AFRICA: Balkan Holidays, Inghams, Jet2<br />

Holidays, Shearings, Titan <strong>Travel</strong><br />


OCEAN: If Only, Explore, Osborne & Ebel,<br />

Premier Holidays, <strong>Travel</strong>pack<br />


THE CARIBBEAN: Cox & Kings,<br />

G Adventures, Journey Latin America, Latin<br />

Routes, Wendy Wu Tours<br />


Emirates Holidays, Gold Medal, If Only,<br />

Mercury Holidays, <strong>Travel</strong> 2<br />


Cosmos, Funway Holidays , North America<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Service , Premier Holidays, USAirtours<br />


Cosmos, G Adventures, Riviera <strong>Travel</strong>,<br />

Titan <strong>Travel</strong>, Wendy Wu Tours<br />


Newmarket Holidays , Riviera <strong>Travel</strong>, Scenic<br />

Cruises & Tours, Saga Holidays, Shearings<br />


Cruise Lines, Leger Holidays, Inghams,<br />

Saga Holidays, Shearings<br />

FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS: G Adventures,<br />

Just You, Saga Holidays, Trafalgar Holidays,<br />

Titan <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Cruising<br />


HAUL: Cruise & Maritime<br />

Voyages, Hurtigruten, Fred.Olsen Cruise<br />

Lines, MSC Cruises, Saga Holidays<br />


Cunard Line , Celebrity Cruises, Princess<br />

Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Silversea<br />


CroisiEurope, Riviera <strong>Travel</strong>, Fred.Olsen<br />

Cruise Lines, Newmarket Holidays<br />


Crystal Cruises, Viking Cruises, Scenic<br />

Cruises & Tours, Titan <strong>Travel</strong>, Uniworld<br />

Boutique River Cruise Collection<br />

Hotels<br />


Accor Hotels, Hilton, Protea<br />

Hotels, Sun International, Taj Hotels<br />


FAR EAST: Dusit Hotels & Resorts,<br />

Centara Hotels & Resorts , Hyatt Hotels &<br />

Resorts, Meritus Hotels & Resorts,<br />

Shangri-La Hotel & Resorts<br />


AFRICA: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Iberostar<br />

Hotels & Resorts , Movenpick Hotels &<br />

Resorts, Maritim Hotels , NH Hotel Group<br />


Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hyatt Hotels &<br />

Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants,<br />

Marriott International, Wyndham Hotel<br />

Group<br />


CARIBBEAN: AM Resorts, Belmond, Elegant<br />

Hotels, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, Sandals<br />


OCEAN: Attitude Hotels, Beachcomber,<br />

Fairmont Hotels, Lux Hotels, Sun Resorts<br />


Atlantis, Dukes Dubai, JA Jebel Ali Beach<br />

Resort, Ritz Carlton, W Hotels<br />


AM Resorts, Club Med , Hard Rock Hotels,<br />

bodyholiday Saint Lucia , Sandals<br />

Best of the Rest<br />

TICKET PROVIDER: Attraction<br />

World, Do Something Different,<br />

Holiday Extras , Super Break<br />

RAIL: Belmond, Blue Train, Eurostar,<br />

Great Rail Journeys , Rocky Mountaineer<br />

CAR HIRE: Avis Budget Group, Affordable<br />

Car Hire, Alamo, Flexible Autos, Your<br />

Car Hire<br />

UK HOLIDAYS: Butlins, Hoseasons,<br />

Shearings, Super Break, Warner Leisure<br />

Hotels<br />

Congratulations<br />

to all our awards<br />

finalists!<br />


16<br />

Once you've<br />

voted for the best<br />

in the business, it's<br />

time to meet<br />

them face to face!<br />

• Amazing prizes •<br />

The <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Agents Choice<br />

Awards networking parties are<br />

back! And this year we're crossing<br />

the country to get to you.<br />

Join us in: London (October 7)<br />

Leeds (October 8) and<br />

Manchester (October 9)<br />

and put yourself in the frame to<br />

win a fantastic prize.<br />

Meet with tour operators, hotels<br />

and resorts, airlines and airports,<br />

cruising representatives and<br />

more, all in one fun-filled evening.<br />

Best of all, every supplier present<br />

is giving away at least one<br />

prize - that's a lot of prizes!<br />

Sign up now at:<br />

sellingtravel.co.uk/events<br />


OCTOBER 9<br />

LONDON<br />

OCTOBER 7<br />

LEEDS<br />

OCTOBER 8<br />

Our prize giveaway!<br />

There's never been an easier way to win! Vote for your<br />

favourites in the <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Agents Choice Awards and<br />

you could be rewarded with a stay at a new five-star<br />

property, a food tour for two or some must-have travel<br />

goodies. Here's what's on offer so far...<br />

A stay at Ness Walk,<br />

Scotland<br />

Experience luxurious Scottish living<br />

with a one-night stay in the new fivestar<br />

Ness Walk hotel in Inverness.<br />

Guests will enjoy Champagne and<br />

canapes on arrival, a fine<br />

dining experience at<br />

Torrish restaurant and a<br />

complimentary breakfast.<br />

nesswalk.com<br />

A stay at Reef Villa &<br />

Spa, Sri Lanka<br />

Reef Villa & Spa is giving away a stay<br />

at its peaceful retreat spread over<br />

three acres of tropical gardens.<br />

Guests can enjoy the private<br />

beachfront, yoga lessons in the<br />

grounds or herbal salt scrubs at the<br />

Reefresh Spa. reefvilla.com<br />


Two food tour tickets<br />

with Eating Europe<br />

Treat your tastebuds with two<br />

tickets for a food tour with Eating<br />

Europe (worth around £180).<br />

You can choose from locations<br />

including Rome, Florence, London,<br />

Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, Lisbon,<br />

Naples, and Strasbourg.<br />

eatingeurope.com<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> essentials from<br />

Destination NSW<br />

Win a Vivid Sydney iPad case,<br />

featuring an image of the festival<br />

of light which takes place in Sydney<br />

from the end of May to mid-June<br />

each year. Plus, style it out on holiday<br />

with a lightweight Sydney-themed<br />

beach towel - the ultimate Aussie<br />

accessory. visitnswcom<br />


Who stands out<br />

from the crowd?<br />

NEW FOR 20<strong>19</strong>:<br />

Nominate your<br />

best TRADE REP<br />

This new category in the 20<strong>19</strong><br />

<strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> Agents Choice Awards<br />

will recognise the very important<br />

role of trade reps. We want you to<br />

nominate those people that support<br />

you most and go the extra mile to<br />

help you sell more travel.<br />

You can nominate just one of<br />

your favourite trade reps or a<br />

different rep in each of the sub<br />

categories which recognise those<br />

representing airlines, cruise lines,<br />

hotels & resorts, tour operators<br />

and tourist offices<br />

Visit sellingtravel.co.uk/awards/<br />

tradereps<br />

Trade Rep

18<br />

River cruise<br />

Dialogue<br />

The<br />

event<br />

The event<br />

WHAT: <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> River<br />

Cruise Dialogue<br />

WHERE: London & Manchester<br />

WHEN: <strong>July</strong> 9 & <strong>July</strong> 10<br />

WHY: River cruising is a<br />

fast-growing sector, so we<br />

brought together top operators<br />

– A-ROSA, CrosiEurope, Fred.<br />

Olsen, Leger Holidays, Pandaw,<br />

Sanctuary Retreats, Scenic,<br />

Shearings and Titan – to talk<br />

about their products and give<br />

away some fantastic prizes.<br />






Sanctuary Retreats<br />

Did you know?<br />

Shearings offers door-to-door<br />

service on its river cruises<br />

CroisiEurope is the only operator<br />

to cruise the Loire Valley in France<br />

Pandaw’s ultra-shallow<br />

vessel makes for great soft<br />

adventure river cruising”<br />

Children under 15 travel free on all<br />

A-ROSA river cruises and most<br />

offer free kids’ clubs<br />

Fred.Olsen offers FAMS and<br />

agent concessions as well as online<br />

training modules<br />

Leger<br />

offers 15-50% agent<br />

discounts on cruises, and, where<br />

possible, the chance for agents to<br />

experience the product<br />

Scenic’s Space Ship fleet features<br />

electronic beds and Vitality Pools,<br />

also every passenger has a butler<br />

service included<br />

Don't miss our next event coming near you. Visit sellingtravel.co.uk/events<br />


River cruise<br />

Dialogue<br />

<strong>19</strong><br />

How to sell...<br />

CrosiEurope<br />

“Learn your rivers so that you can<br />

cater to your client. For example,<br />

Douro cruises are very scenic and<br />

rural whereas Rhine cruises stop at<br />

multiple cities”<br />

A-ROSA<br />

“Sell it like a city break where you<br />

get to see multiple cities but only<br />

have to unpack once”<br />

Titan<br />

“It’s a completely different market<br />

to ocean cruising. River cruisers<br />

go for the range of excursions and<br />

destinations rather than the cruise<br />

experience itself”<br />

Sanctuary Retreats<br />

“You can experience developing<br />

countries such as Burma but still<br />

have the luxury and comfort of<br />

your cabin throughout”<br />

River cruise<br />

is a huge<br />

focus for Titan<br />

because of the<br />

expansion in the<br />

market”<br />








Leger Holidays<br />

Follow us on instagram @sellingtravel and twitter @sellingtravmag<br />


20<br />

River cruise<br />

Dialogue<br />

Fast<br />

facts<br />

Fred.<br />

Olsen’s<br />

Brexit promise<br />

offers a full<br />

refund and a<br />

free cruise if<br />

Brexix affects<br />

travel”<br />

Words used<br />

to describe<br />

river cruising<br />

included:<br />

nature<br />

culture<br />

city break<br />

laid-back<br />

exotic<br />

expensive<br />

relaxing<br />

pensioners<br />

food & wine<br />

50%<br />

were not very<br />

confident in<br />

selling a river<br />

cruise BEFORE the<br />

event<br />

40%<br />

had sold a river<br />

cruise in the last<br />

year<br />

77%<br />

said that <strong>Selling</strong><br />

<strong>Travel</strong> River Cruise<br />

events helped<br />

them to better sell<br />

60%<br />

have seen AN<br />

INCREASE in river<br />

cruise enquiries<br />

The most popular<br />

river cruise<br />

destination was:<br />

83.2%<br />

Europe<br />

11.1%<br />

Asia<br />

5.6%<br />

America<br />

2%<br />

Africa<br />


Event<br />

partners<br />

River cruise<br />

Dialogue<br />

21<br />


AROSA<br />

A-ROSA’s E-Motion ship, due for<br />

delivery in spring 2021, features<br />

large family cabins, a kids’ club and<br />

a separate kids’ pool. New battery<br />

propulsion technology enables<br />

emission-free sailing in and out of cities,<br />

and air bubble technology reduces fuel<br />

consumption. arosa-cruises.com<br />

CroisiEurope<br />

CroisiEurope offers all-inclusive drinks<br />

onboard all European cruises. The<br />

operator is expanding its worldwide<br />

river cruise programme in 2020 to<br />

include more exotic itineraries such as<br />

the Ganges in India and the Chobe in<br />

Africa. Clients can also cruise on a canal<br />

barge. croisieuroperivercruises.com<br />

Fred. Olsen<br />

As most of its passengers are from the<br />

UK, Fred. Olsen prides itself on offering<br />

a home away from home feel. The<br />

operator is looking to add Luxembourg<br />

on the Moselle to its portfolio and<br />

is setting up Global Distribution<br />

System for the Amazon and the Nile.<br />

fredolsencruises.com<br />

Leger Holidays<br />

Leger works alongside Silver Service<br />

and Luxuria coaches to offer local<br />

pick-ups for clients who don’t want to<br />

fly. New itineraries include Andalucia<br />

& Guadalquivir, a Danube to Black Sea<br />

Cruise, the Douro on CroisiEurope’s<br />

new ships and the Rhine & Moselle.<br />

leger.co.uk<br />

Pandaw<br />

Pandaw has launched a new 14-cabin<br />

K-class ship to sail the rivers in<br />

Myanmar. The operator is also offering<br />

free travel for under 18s on selected<br />

dates during the UK school holidays<br />

with activities to suit all ages including<br />

movie nights and free mountain bike<br />

hire. pandaw.com<br />

Sanctuary Retreats<br />

Excursions are included on sailings to<br />

Egypt, China and Myanmar as well as<br />

Egyptology guides, an onboard doctor<br />

and private docks in Luxor and Aswan.<br />

The Sanctuary Nile Adventurer will join<br />

the refurbished Sanctuary Sunboat IV for<br />

regular four-night Aswan-Luxor sailings<br />

in September. sanctuaryretreats.com<br />

Scenic<br />

For 20<strong>19</strong> all Rhine, Main and Danube<br />

vessels now include Salt Therapy<br />

Lounges. Each of the Royal Owner’s<br />

Suites has also been renovated,<br />

including baths with a river view. New<br />

for 2020 is an 11-day South of France<br />

itinerary and an eight-day Lower<br />

Danube Explorer tour. scenic.co.uk<br />

Shearings<br />

Shearings offers three-, four- and<br />

five-star river cruises. Most itineraries<br />

also include air, rail or road transport<br />

and porterage all the way on the luxury<br />

coach option. The operator has taken<br />

larger allocations on A-ROSA vessels<br />

and now offers a five-star option on<br />

Amadeus vessels. shearings.com<br />

Titan <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Titan offers a VIP door-to-door return<br />

travel service on all river cruise<br />

bookings. The operator also charters<br />

two of its ships: Serenade 1 along the<br />

Rhine and the Bellejour along the<br />

Danube. Its Uniworld ships cruise in<br />

Europe, North Africa, Russia and the<br />

Far East. titantravel.co.uk<br />


22<br />


Training, events and fam trips<br />

Northern agents have<br />

animal welfare in mind<br />

Over 200 agents attended the<br />

annual Yorkshire <strong>Travel</strong> Ball in<br />

<strong>July</strong>, which raises money for<br />

animal charities across the<br />

globe. The event, which has<br />

been organised for the last 22<br />

years by <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> columnist<br />

Sandy Murray, gives agents the<br />

chance to network and catch up<br />

with operators and win some<br />

fantastic prizes.<br />

This year the ball raised money<br />

for Born Free, Elephant and<br />

Dog sanctuary in India, Soi Dog<br />

Foundation, Hull Greyhound<br />

Dogs, Donkey Sanctuary and<br />

the Greek Cat Rescue.<br />

Carnival Cruise<br />

rocks in Ibiza<br />

A group of 50 top-performing agents<br />

were rewarded with a three-night trip<br />

to Ibiza as part of Carnival Cruise Line<br />

UK’s Loyalty Rocks Club.<br />

The agents stayed at the Ibiza Rocks<br />

Hotel where they enjoyed exclusive<br />

access to a DJ Jax Jones pool party, a<br />

sunset cruise around the island and<br />

dinner and after-show party at Pikes<br />

Hotel. Surprise guest Dr Alex George<br />

from Love Island 2018 was on hand<br />

to present agents with their awards.<br />

carnival.com<br />

Agents head down under<br />

Malaysia Airlines hosted a group of 11 agents<br />

from STA, ITC, Hays and Austravel on a trip to<br />

discover Australia’s Natural Coast, thanks to<br />

Tourism Events Queensland, Visit Sunshine<br />

Coast and Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.<br />

After landing in Brisbane, the agents enjoyed<br />

scuba diving, everglades tours (the region<br />

has one of only two everglades systems in<br />

the world) and a trip to the Noosa National<br />

Park before taking a ferry to Fraser Island to<br />

enjoy its seventy-five mile beach, unique lakes<br />

and huge sand dunes. Agents finished the<br />

adventure-packed trip in Hervey Bay.<br />

malaysiaairlines.com<br />

Record numbers<br />

for Abu Dhabi<br />

The Department of Culture<br />

and Tourism – Abu Dhabi<br />

hosted 178 travel agents<br />

across Chester, Manchester<br />

and London in what was its<br />

biggest roadshow yet.<br />

Agents heard from 17 Abu<br />

Dhabi suppliers and were<br />

presented with the latest<br />

news, including information<br />

about the new Qasr Al<br />

Watan, a palace offering<br />

an interactive journey<br />

through the emirate's<br />

Arabic heritage, and more<br />

Etihad Airways’ airlift from<br />

Heathrow. visitabudhabi.ae<br />

Have you enjoyed an interesting trade event or been on<br />

a trip or fam that you would like to see featured on this<br />

page? Email editorial@bmipublishing.co.uk<br />


Salt Plage<br />

Meet... MAGGIE O'NEIL<br />

Executive <strong>Travel</strong> Consultant at CJL <strong>Travel</strong><br />

and an Azure Ambassador<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Training for Success debuts<br />

Homeworkers and independant agents heard from six<br />

trade partners including LJR Consultancy, Small Luxury<br />

Hotels, Azure Collection and Sunrise Marketing at the<br />

latest <strong>Travel</strong> Training for Success event in London. Agents<br />

attending the event organised by Jenny Jackson, a Classic<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> homeworker, included Not Just <strong>Travel</strong>, The Freedom<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Group, Independent <strong>Travel</strong> Experts, Hays <strong>Travel</strong> and<br />

Explorer <strong>Travel</strong>. jenny@luxurytravelgurus.com<br />

Agents enjoy Premier trip to Jersey<br />

Premier Holidays took 18 agents on a mega-fam to Jersey<br />

for two nights, with activities including visits to the Jersey<br />

War Tunnels and Jersey Zoo, wine tasting at La Mare Wine<br />

Estate and a tour of some of the island’s hot spots such as<br />

Gorey, St Ouen’s Bay and Corbiere Lighthouse.<br />

premierholidays.co.uk<br />


I'm so busy enjoying the cool breeze of the sea air that the<br />

jetty ahead seems to come out of nowhere! As we dock at Salt<br />

Plage, overlooking Whitehouse Bay, the first word that comes<br />

to mind is 'chic'. Barefoot sophistication is the theme and<br />

this is reflected in the stylish hammocks suspended over the<br />

water. It's already a highlight on our fam trip to St. Kitts and<br />

it's not long before there's talk of sinking into one of the plush<br />

daybeds to enjoy the ocean view.<br />

We're welcomed with music and dancers in colourful<br />

costumes, their warm smiles infectious, and it's easy to see<br />

how this chilled daytime oasis transforms into the go-to party<br />

place once the sun goes down. Full moon parties and DJs are<br />

popular among the locals<br />

and a signature cocktail,<br />

the SALT Plage Jumbie<br />

– a concoction of spiced<br />

rum with fresh pineapple,<br />

oranges, cherries and<br />

grated nutmeg – also<br />

helps to get you in the<br />

mood for a dance.<br />


The adults don't get to have all the fun<br />

though, children are welcomed and eagerly come to spot fish<br />

swimming in the crystal clear waters from the jetty.<br />

There's also a menu serving island favourites such as plantain<br />

chips, fish tacos and lobster wraps to keep their hunger at bay.<br />

To say the least, I'm impressed by this trendy yet laid-back<br />

bar, but nothing could prepare me for what was still to come.<br />

Salt Plage is often described as the best spot to watch the<br />

sunset on the island and I watch in awe as wisps of pink and<br />

orange start to fade beyond the darkening horizon. I can't help<br />

but agree.<br />

Get cash incentives for your bookings at<br />

stkittsrewards.co.uk<br />


24<br />


Our columnists<br />

With a cruise<br />

ship crashing<br />

in Venice and<br />

unseemly queues<br />

to climb the<br />

once remote<br />

and inaccessible<br />

Everest, we ask:<br />

is overtourism<br />

out of control<br />

and what can<br />

agents do?<br />

Anneka in off-thebeaten-track<br />

Yukon...<br />

...and her Welsh<br />

country retreat<br />

We should be<br />

encouraging<br />

off-thebeaten-track<br />

itineraries<br />

OVERTOURISM is a growing problem,<br />

personified by that photo of climbers<br />

queuing on Everest. As an agency, we send<br />

travellers all over the world daily, and it does<br />

trouble me that we add to the problem.<br />

The question is, how do we ensure the<br />

world is kept open for all to explore, whilst<br />

also protecting the people, wildlife, flora<br />

and fauna that exist in all these popular<br />

destinations? It could be an idea to limit the<br />

number of visitors to national parks, for<br />

example, or enact special laws like those that<br />

restrict visitor numbers to the Galapagos<br />

Islands. But does this then make visiting such<br />

destinations an elitist experience, just for<br />

those that can afford it?<br />

I do believe that agents can certainly play<br />

a role in easing overcrowding in tourism<br />

destinations by switch-selling to a different<br />

one and encouraging people to explore more<br />

off-the-beaten-track places.<br />

A lot of my repeat Canada customers are<br />

keen to explore further afield away from<br />

British Columbia or Alberta and ask me to<br />

arrange more varied itineraries that include<br />

Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada or, my<br />

favourite, Yukon Territory.<br />

Talking of Canada, I really enjoyed<br />

CanadaFest last month, a day of training,<br />

food, comedy and music with a festival<br />

theme. I’ve also been invited on a fam trip to<br />

the Maldives, and have just booked a break<br />

in Wales – not as glamorous as the Indian<br />

Ocean, but just a little ‘off the beaten track’,<br />

so I’m doing my small bit for overtourism!<br />

A RECENT article in a U.S. <strong>Travel</strong> Journal listed<br />

the Galapagos, Majorca, Amsterdam, Angkor<br />

Wat, Machu Picchu, Santorini, Iceland, Bali,<br />

Barcelona, Venice and Mount Everest as the<br />

destinations most affected by overtourism<br />

- to which I would personally add Dubrovnik,<br />

Boracay and Rudesheim!<br />

As a cruise agent, I know the impact that<br />

large cruise ships can have when two or three<br />

visit a destination at once - both on the place<br />

visited and for the passengers who see the<br />

place in a crowded, unfavourable light. As<br />

a river cruise specialist, I am aware that the<br />

recent explosion of river cruise numbers is<br />

now leading to claims of 'too many ships' in<br />

some mooring locations.<br />

Several operators have looked to vary<br />

We must look<br />

to operators<br />

who are being<br />

creative about<br />

schedules<br />

sailing dates, find alternative moorings and<br />

are now exploring lesser-known towns and<br />

villages. For example, AmaWaterways now<br />

focuses on Vilshofen rather than Passau or<br />

Nuremberg as the starting point of many of<br />

its Danube sailings. We must look to steer<br />

clients to operators who are being creative<br />

about schedules to avoid overtourism.<br />

My early May cycling weekend in Lake<br />

Bled was a good example of going out of<br />

season to somewhere that can suffer from<br />

excess tourists in high season. Lake Bled was<br />

deserted as the weather was too bad for any<br />

boating, and we cycled up empty mountain<br />

roads, well wrapped up against the snow!<br />


Anneka Desrosiers<br />

Southern Cross <strong>Travel</strong>,<br />

East Sussex<br />


James Hill<br />

Go Cruise, Cruise specialist,<br />

Worcestershire<br />



25<br />

Our columnists<br />

I'd never<br />

send anyone<br />

somewhere I<br />

would not go to<br />

myself<br />

I ALWAYS try to steer my clients away<br />

from the large resorts as there is nothing<br />

worse than an early morning 'stampede' for<br />

sunbeds or crammed beaches.<br />

When my clients go on holiday, it is to<br />

enjoy some quality family time, relax and<br />

experience some local culture, therefore my<br />

philosophy has always been to never send<br />

anyone to a resort, hotel or destination I<br />

would not go to myself.<br />

Outside the large hotels you can find<br />

wonderful family-run guest houses and local<br />

restaurants waiting to welcome tourists<br />

with open arms. And nothing beats the<br />

atmosphere of a Greek taverna with fresh<br />

wholesome food, and knowing you are<br />

helping their business to thrive.<br />

Meanwhile, I've been busy with my<br />

latest venture, <strong>Travel</strong> Training for Success,<br />

a training day for homeworkers and<br />

independent agents. These educational days<br />

are a great opportunity for agents to get<br />

together and hear from key trade partners<br />

about what they have to offer.<br />

At the event each partner has time to talk<br />

about their product portfolio, answer any<br />

questions and engage with the group.<br />

It's all about learning something new in this<br />

constantly evolving industry.<br />

So far we have welcomed agents from<br />

Not Just <strong>Travel</strong>, The Freedom <strong>Travel</strong> Group,<br />

Independent <strong>Travel</strong> Experts, Mid Counties<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Group, Hays <strong>Travel</strong> Group and<br />

Explorer <strong>Travel</strong>, and I am currently working<br />

on some great venues outside of London.<br />


Jenny Jackson<br />

Luxury <strong>Travel</strong> Guru<br />

OVERTOURISM has such a negative impact<br />

on the travel industry, yet it goes on day<br />

after day without much thought to the effect<br />

on the locals and the animals that are often<br />

associated with popular tourist attractions.<br />

For example, the treatment of the poor<br />

donkeys on Santorini has got even worse. In<br />

summer up to five cruise ships a day bring<br />

1,200 tourists to the island. These tourists<br />

pay to ride the donkeys and as a result they<br />

are being crippled, with locals resorting to<br />

cross-breeding to produce mules so they can<br />

carry heavier tourists!<br />

However, there are signs that authorities<br />

are beginning to fight back. Popular Thai<br />

beach Maya Bay, which was made famous<br />

by the film The Beach, has been closed until<br />

2020 to allow the eco-system time to recover.<br />

There have been protests against cruise ships<br />

docking in Venice after a recent collision and<br />

now even the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island<br />

in New York are limiting some tours.<br />

The Taj Mahal has also increased prices and<br />

set time limits. I would recommend looking<br />

at lowseasontraveller.com, a great tool for<br />

those who enjoy travelling out of season.<br />

Aside from a holiday in Crete, I've spent<br />

much of the last few months organising the<br />

annual Yorkshire <strong>Travel</strong> Ball, which again<br />

has attracted over 200 attendees. This year<br />

proceeds go towards helping the donkeys<br />

mentioned above as well as the Greek Cat<br />

Welfare Society, Soi Dog Foundation and<br />

Wildlife SOS for Elephants & Dogs.<br />

And my thought of the month: 'One thing<br />

you can give and still keep is your word’.<br />

We should be<br />

promoting low<br />

season travel<br />

to clients<br />


Sandy Murray<br />

Sandy's <strong>Travel</strong> Escapes<br />

Jenny at her<strong>Travel</strong><br />

Training for Success<br />

day<br />

Sunset in Crete<br />

Sandy with the owner<br />

of her favourite place<br />

in Crete, Anfield Bar<br />

Next month our<br />

columnists talk<br />

about: Training<br />

and how to keep<br />

progressing<br />

professionally<br />


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27<br />

Tobago Tourism Fam Trip<br />

Taken with Tobago<br />


It really is amazing the opportunities<br />

we get as travel agents. One minute I'm<br />

at an event talking to Tobago Tourism<br />

Sales and Marketing Manager, Stephen<br />

Smith (who it turned out had hosted<br />

me on a Cayman Islands trip 16 years<br />

ago!), the next I'm at Manchester Airport<br />

about to embark on the most amazing<br />

trip to Tobago – an island which<br />

claims to be unspoilt.<br />

Putting my watch back<br />

four hours to the local<br />

time, I settled into my<br />

flight with Thomas<br />

Cook, dreaming of<br />

sandy beaches and palm<br />

trees. I wasn't disappointed<br />

when I arrived at Le<br />

Grand Courlan Spa, which<br />

overlooks Stonehaven Bay, an<br />

uncommercial beach that attracts<br />

turtles for six months from March to <strong>August</strong>.<br />

Excited to make the most of this<br />

Caribbean adventure, I was surprised to<br />

hear that we would be attending Sunday<br />

School at 21.30 that evening – but I soon<br />

learnt this was no ordinary Sunday service!<br />

Instead of hymns and a stuffy church I<br />

turned up at a vibrant street party, complete<br />

with a steel drum band, rum punches and<br />

no religious element whatsoever. My kind of<br />

Sunday School!<br />

The next day we visited historical sites Fort<br />

Bennett and Fort James before attempting<br />

to decipher the Mystery Tombstone of Betty<br />

James, which reads: ' She was a mother<br />

without knowing it, and a wife without letting<br />

her husband know it except by her kind<br />

indulgence to him'. Curious!<br />

Our next stop proved perfect<br />

for bird watchers: the Adventure<br />

Nature Park is home to a huge<br />

number of hummingbirds that flock<br />

around feeders – perfect for that<br />

close-up photo.<br />

Hungry for some traditional Tobago<br />

food, we headed to the Blue Crab<br />

restaurant, run by long-term couple Kenneth<br />

and Alison Sardinha. Not only were we<br />

served a delicious meal, but by chance we<br />

also managed to look in on the couple whilst<br />

they filmed with celebrity chef<br />

Ainsley Harriott!<br />

As an animal welfare<br />

ambassador, I was keen to<br />

TOBAGO<br />

visit Corbin Local Wildlife Park the<br />

next day. Having checked into Mt<br />

Irvine Bay Resort, another lovely hotel<br />

set in 154 acres and overlooking the sea, we<br />

explored this park which rescues and breeds<br />

endangered local wildlife. I was thrilled<br />

to learn about the ‘breed and release’<br />

programme and we even saw an ocelot cat<br />

that had been rescued.<br />

The trip ended with a boat tour of Buccoo<br />

Reef with its turquoise Nylon Pool and, of<br />

course, time spent at Pigeon Point, which is<br />

often considered Tobago's most beautiful<br />

beach and great for people watching.<br />

I left already wanting to return.<br />

Tobago really is unspoilt, untouched<br />

and undiscovered.<br />

Clockwise from top left: A hummingbird at the Adventure Nature Park;<br />

Tobago sunset; Sandy (centre) with Kenneth and Alison Sardinha at the<br />

Blue Crab restaurant; Pigeon Point Heritage Centre,; an ocelot at the Corbin<br />

Local Wildlife Park.<br />


28<br />

agents talk<br />

<strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> listens<br />

This month #agentstalk about...<br />

Get social with us: <strong>Selling</strong><strong>Travel</strong> <strong>Selling</strong><strong>Travel</strong>mag @sellingtravmag<br />

"I LOVE IT! Las Vegas is clearly<br />

an all-occasions destination."<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Agent rants & raves<br />

This month Jenny Jackson asked: "New divorce packages to Las Vegas from Virgin<br />

Holidays...Tacky or genius?<br />

Jenny Jackson<br />

Founder of Luxury<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Guru<br />

Agents<br />

overheard<br />

"When a customer<br />

shows you a hotel<br />

they've found in Ibiza<br />

and it's actually San<br />

Antonio, Texas!"<br />

"Get drunk, meet a girl and<br />

do it all over again, like Ross<br />

Geller from Friends."<br />

“But does it include Prosecco<br />

by the gallon for the ladies?"<br />

"I'm not sure how many people<br />

want to 'celebrate' a divorce,<br />

but I guess any excuse to<br />

head to the entertainment<br />

capital of the world!"<br />

"Personally I made this the<br />

last stop of my honeymoon,<br />

so Vegas really is an all<br />

rounder!"<br />


"I know a really good divorce<br />

counsellor if anyone is<br />

interested, which is probably<br />

better than this"<br />

"Nobody takes marriage<br />

seriously anymore! My<br />

grandparents have been<br />

married 60 years and my<br />

parents 25 years! People used<br />

to work through problems,<br />

nowadays any<br />

little argument seems to end<br />

in a divorce!"<br />

"Vegas sees it all, weddings,<br />

stag and hen parties,<br />

honeymoons, so why not add<br />

divorce to the list?"<br />

"If you can't go and forget<br />

about your problems in<br />

Vegas then seriously, where<br />

can you?"<br />

“I had a client<br />

complain that<br />

the hash browns<br />

were the wrong<br />

shape”<br />

"A woman asked if there was<br />

another way to get to Florida<br />

as she is too scared to fly. She<br />

called Flight Centre though..."<br />

"My client asked if<br />

they could take haggis<br />

in their hand luggage<br />

to Spain"<br />

8nts, Sri Lanka Tour &<br />

5nts, SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton<br />

0208 585 4020<br />

holidays@travelpack.com<br />

fr£2159pp<br />

Highlights: Kandy • Nuwara Eliya • Udawalawa • Beruwala • Maldives<br />

<strong>Travel</strong>: 1 Sep <strong>19</strong> - 30 Sep <strong>19</strong><br />

Package includes flights, accommodation & transfers.


29<br />

with Ushma Valerio - Not Just <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Consultant becomes travel's radio star<br />

Not Just <strong>Travel</strong> consultant Ushma<br />

Valerio proved live on air that luxury<br />

'Instagrammable' travel doesn't mean<br />

breaking the bank.<br />

"I overheard two Kiss FM presenters talking<br />

about a prize draw to win £40,000 and how<br />

they would spend the entire sum of money<br />

on an overwater villa in the Maldives. I<br />

knew that was an outrageous amount of<br />

money to pay and found myself calling<br />

the station and quoting £4,700 for the trip<br />

- meaning the pair could go eight times<br />

for the same money! I think an important<br />

part of our job is to educate people and<br />

reassure them that their dream holiday<br />

is achievable, so it was a really good way<br />

to open up that conversation, even if they<br />

were slightly taken aback."<br />

Is sharing caring?<br />

"There's this misconception that luxury<br />

travel is reserved for those<br />

with a lot of money or for<br />

influencers to post on<br />

their social media, but<br />

people's perception<br />

People's perception<br />

of luxury is<br />

changing<br />

of luxury is changing.<br />

Clients will often<br />

be open to adding<br />

a touch of luxury<br />

even to a standard<br />

city break. For example,<br />

perhaps they like the idea of<br />

adding a VIP lounge, a seat upgrade or even<br />

a private transfer. That’s what elevates the<br />

holiday to make it seamless and luxurious.<br />

"Instagram has been a game changer<br />

in travel and hugely influences where<br />

people go. Consumers will often see a<br />

destination or hotel on social media and<br />

want to stay there purely on that one post.<br />

It’s up to us as travel specialists to<br />

accommodate those requests<br />

and deliver these<br />

high expectations.<br />

"It’s no longer good<br />

enough to just offer a nice<br />

all-inclusive; customers are<br />

demanding an exact location<br />

and asking what else they get<br />

included in the price. There’s<br />

a culture of trying to outdo your<br />

friends nowadays and experience<br />

something that is very different to day-today<br />

life. It's great because it gives people<br />

a desire to travel, but it also demonstrates<br />

DISNEY<br />

why it's so important to meet with suppliers<br />

regularly and stay up-to-date with new<br />

product and the latest openings."<br />

Feeling the love<br />

"Bali has been a big seller in 20<strong>19</strong>; people<br />

are realising they don't have to compromise<br />

their standards because they're in a<br />

different country. I'm also seeing more<br />

demand for multi- generation holidays – it's<br />

great to be able to help families reconnect.<br />

"I love the time just before a client is due<br />

to go on holiday. It doesn't matter if I've<br />

invested four months on the most amazing<br />

safari booking or spent a few hours on a<br />

city break, It's just as exciting. I want to hear<br />

all about the trip and see all the photos<br />

when they get back. It’s so important to me<br />

to give that personal, friendly service.”<br />

ushmavalerio.notjusttravel.com<br />


The ultimate luxury train travel<br />

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0208 585 4020<br />

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8nts, Maharaja Express<br />

9nts, Palace on Wheels<br />

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<strong>Travel</strong> : 27 Sep, 22 Nov <strong>19</strong>, 14 Feb, 3 Mar 20 <strong>Travel</strong> : 16 Oct, 20 Nov <strong>19</strong>, 26 Feb, 15 Apr 20 <strong>Travel</strong> : 9 Sep <strong>19</strong><br />

Package includes flights, accommodation & transfers.

30<br />

48 hours in<br />

Bangkok<br />

Thailand’s capital is a large, bustling city that is as cultural as it is colourful and<br />

as trendy as it is traditional. From shopping to spas and Buddhas to bars,<br />

boredom is not an option, says Jo Gardner<br />





Day 1: Get your bearings<br />

Morning: Start with a bird’s eye<br />

view of the city to get your<br />

bearings. Many of the city’s<br />

high-rise hotels offer incredible views but if<br />

your clients aren’t up In the clouds, tell<br />

them to head to Spectrum for a coffee, a<br />

three-level bar atop the new Hyatt Regency<br />

Sukhumvit Hotel (hyatt.com).<br />

Taxi to MSW Pier and from here hop<br />

on a canal boat and cruise along the<br />

Chao Phraya river to Phan Pia. You’ll<br />

pass locals going about their daily life on<br />

the riverbank, temples gleaming in the<br />

sunlight, and boats selling local food all<br />

along the way.<br />

Afternoon: From Phan Pia Pier,<br />

walk up to Wat sa Ket (Golden<br />

Mount) and admire the striking<br />

white and gold temple that was built in<br />

1350-1767AD. The gardens set around the<br />

temple feature mature trees and typical<br />

Bhuddist structures such as the main<br />

chapel, ordination hall and library.<br />

Back at the bottom, hail a tuk-tuk and<br />

whiz across to Chinatown for lunch. This<br />

area of Bangkok is packed with food<br />

outlets, shops selling gold, hotels, bars<br />

and market stalls. Shun the restaurants<br />

and order some street food – the dim sum<br />

and noodle dishes are local favourites<br />

and particularly delicious (they are also as<br />

cheap as chips).<br />

Evening: For the best cut of steak in<br />

the city, head to The Rib Room in the<br />

Landmark Hotel (landmarkbangkok.<br />

com) and watch your steak being cooked<br />

on a large flame in an open kitchen. Then<br />

choose your sauce: blue cheese, garlic,<br />

mustard or Dijon.<br />

For a nightcap, get a tuk-tuk to Ironballs<br />

(ironballsparlour.com), a tiny gin bar with<br />

live music that wouldn’t be out of place<br />

in Soho. Try the elderflower and pink<br />

peppercorn speciality after a distillery tour.<br />

Day 2: Get set and shop<br />

Morning: Use the cool of the<br />

morning to be outside. Dating<br />

back to the <strong>19</strong>20s, Lumpini Park<br />

offers plenty of forestry shade as well as<br />

pretty flora and fauna in a whopping<br />

500,000 metres of space. People come<br />

here to jog, row or paddleboat on the lake,<br />

picnic, play basketball, practice Tai Chi,<br />

work the open-air gym, and listen to live<br />

jazz performed here on Sundays.<br />

Afternoon: Escape the midday<br />

heat and blow the baht in the<br />

air-conditioned comfort of a<br />


48 hours in 31<br />

gleaming mall. Head to Siam Paragon<br />

(siamparagon.co.th), for example, to buy<br />

fashion, high-end gadgets, homeware and<br />

even sports cars in modern luxury; or<br />

CentralWorld (centralworld.co.th) boasts<br />

100 restaurants, a 15-screen cinema and<br />

an ice-skating rink; while MBK (mbk-center.<br />

co.th) is famous for affordable and fake; or<br />

EmQuartier offers labels galore.<br />

Evening: Head to Cultural Centre<br />

MRT station and from here walk<br />

to the Rot Fai Market. It's split<br />

into long avenues with antiques, secondhand<br />

toys and curios in the central strips;<br />

clothes, handbags and snack stalls around<br />

the periphery. For dinner, hunt out Leng<br />

Zapp where Leng, a traditional clear soup<br />

made from pork bones and dressed with<br />

chillies, herbs and spices, is a speciality.<br />

End how you started at a rooftop bar –<br />

Vertigo (on the 66th floor of the Banyan<br />

Tree Bangkok), Octave Rooftop bar (on<br />

the 45th floor of Bangkok Marriott Hotel<br />

Sukhumvit) or Three Sixty (on the 32nd<br />

floor of the Millennium Hilton Bangkok). <br />



“Use the cool of the morning<br />

to be outside. Lumpini Park<br />

offers plenty of shade as<br />

well as pretty flora and<br />

fauna in a whopping<br />

500,000 metres of space”<br />


Combine two nights in the Rembrandt Hotel,<br />

Bangkok (superior room) with eight nights<br />

in Hua Hin from £999pp, including a Bangkok<br />

by Night tour and Bangkok City and Temple<br />

tour, plus flights from London with Eva Air and<br />

transfers, departing October.<br />


32<br />

the mediterranean<br />

out of the<br />

Blue<br />

The Mediterranean is an enduring British<br />

favourite but there’s nothing tired or old<br />

about its current offering, says<br />

Jeannine Williamson<br />

the caves of comino island, malta<br />

I<br />

feel as if I’m at home as I stroll<br />

through the charming cobbled<br />

streets of Valletta in the afternoon<br />

sunshine. Around me are familiar red<br />

postboxes, well-known high street shops<br />

and cars driving on the left.<br />

Although Malta has been independent for<br />

more than 50 years, the British influence is<br />

part of its enduring appeal. After browsing<br />

through a market selling inexpensive handmade<br />

lace, knitwear and honey, I head to<br />

Upper Barrakka Gardens, the highest point<br />

in the Maltese capital, with panoramic views<br />

across Grand Harbour. Right on 16.00 local<br />

history society members dressed in British<br />

artillery uniforms fire a gun salute. It’s a<br />

stirring sight and a throwback to the days<br />

when cannons protected the island against<br />

attacks and signalled the time of day.<br />

Next morning I take a 25-minute ferry<br />

ride to small, neighbouring Gozo, where life<br />

ticks by at a leisurely pace. Sea salt has been<br />

produced here for centuries and the salt<br />

pans glisten in the sun at Marsalforn.<br />

Afterwards I enjoy an al fresco lunch at<br />

Ta’Mena Estate in the countryside.<br />

Overlooking an orange grove, I tuck into<br />

platters of local cheese, salads bursting with<br />

flavour and oven-fresh rosemary-scented<br />

bread with wine from the estate. It provides<br />

a real taste of these beautiful islands, less<br />

than three hours from London.<br />


the mediterranean 33<br />

reliable cyprus<br />

dramatic Puglia, italy<br />

colourful turkey<br />

Numbers game<br />

In 2018 the number of UK tourists visiting<br />

Malta reached 640,570, up 14.2% from<br />

2017. This strong performance is likely<br />

to continue, with Air Malta offering an<br />

increased 16 flights a week from London<br />

Heathrow, as well as from Manchester,<br />

Birmingham, Southend and Bristol.<br />

Peter Vella, Director UK & Ireland, Malta<br />

Tourism Authority, said: “Last year was a<br />

busy year as Valletta was the European<br />

Capital of Culture and the island hosted<br />

the first European TropOut [gay traveller]<br />

Festival as well as the annual calendar of<br />

festivals and events. Boasting 300 days of<br />

sun a year, the archipelago has a wealth of<br />

history, culture and stunning landscapes,<br />

which makes Malta appealing.”<br />

Elsewhere, Exsus <strong>Travel</strong> reports that<br />

Turkey is back on the radar with a rise in<br />

bookings. “As a result, we have revamped<br />

our Turkey product,” said Neil Sutton,<br />

Senior Account Manager for Europe. “We<br />

recommend the Six Senses Kaplankaya and<br />

Amanruya on the Bodrum Peninsula for<br />

their location and impressive facilities. And<br />

in Spain, the new Menorca Experimental, a<br />

pretty finca set in pine forests with private<br />

villas with pools, opens this summer. These<br />

villas are perfect for a weekend break or<br />

couple’s holiday.”<br />

Classic Collection has seen an increase<br />

in two- or multi-centre holidays, elegant<br />

rail journeys and rail and ferry transfers<br />

between resorts. Gary Boyer, Head of<br />

Purchasing, added: “The Mediterranean<br />

is ideal for combining a cultural stay in<br />

a city with a few relaxing days in the sun<br />

by the sea or in<br />

com) is a short stroll away from the coffee<br />

houses, bars and restaurants of Gran Via<br />

and within walking distance of attractions<br />

including the Marques de Don Aguas Palace<br />

and market. The hotel has a direct Metro<br />

link to the airport, providing short and<br />

easy transfers on a<br />

the countryside.<br />

weekend break.<br />

“The Mediterranean is<br />

Agents can enjoy the<br />

Majorca’s capital,<br />

extra commission ideal for combining a Palma, is 15 minutes<br />

from these highervalue<br />

cultural stay in a city with a from the airport and<br />

bookings and<br />

demonstrate the<br />

few relaxing days in the<br />

sun by the sea or in the<br />

also good for short<br />

breaks. The new<br />

value they bring to<br />

boutique property<br />

countryside”<br />

the holiday booking<br />

Palacio Can Marques<br />

Gary Boyer, Classic Collection<br />

process.”<br />

(palaciocanmarques.<br />

com) has 13 designer<br />

The weekend break<br />

From cultural city breaks to a few days on<br />

the beach, and the majority of flight times<br />

suites with Murano lighting. Built in 1760, it<br />

was previously a grand private home and<br />

retains many original features.<br />

less than three hours, the Mediterranean is<br />

perfect for weekend breaks.<br />

Malaga’s landmark Gran Hotel Miramar<br />

(granhotelmiramarmalaga.com) has<br />

Sell it: Kirker Holidays offers a three-night weekend<br />

break in Malaga at the Grand Hotel Miramar from<br />

£783. kirkerholidays.com<br />

launched new two-day Indulge + Detox<br />

packages combining relaxation, pampering<br />

and healthy menus. Treatments include<br />

a Dead Sea salt scrub, seaweed wrap and<br />

choice of massages.<br />

Staying in Spain, NH Hotel Group recently<br />

opened a 47-room property in Valencia. The<br />

NH Collection Valencia Colon (nh-hotels.<br />

The relaxing couples holiday<br />

Sales opportunities abound with a raft of<br />

new openings. In Cyprus adult-only Amavi<br />

Hotel (amavihotel.com), offering couples<br />

side-by-side massages, cocktails by the pool<br />

and romantic meals, is the first member<br />

of Made For Two Hotels, a brand<br />


34<br />

the mediterranean<br />

Spanish flamenco in action<br />

Balearic charms<br />

launched by Kanika Hotels & Resorts.<br />

Pierre & Vacances (pierreetvacances.com)<br />

has opened the self-catering P&V Premium<br />

Residence Menorca Binibeca. Some of the<br />

149 rooms have private rooftops and there<br />

is a free spa area. In Corfu, MarBella Hotels<br />

has unveiled the MarBella Nido Suite Hotel<br />

& Villas property (marbellanido.gr) featuring<br />

70 suites and villas. And on the north-east<br />

coast of Sardinia the new Gabbiano Azzurro<br />

Suites is being offered by Just Sardinia<br />

(justsardinia.co.uk).<br />

Simpson <strong>Travel</strong> (simpsontravel.com)<br />

has introduced Katouna Suites, a stylish,<br />

adult-only retreat on Lefkada with<br />

accommodation cut into the hillside.<br />

Sell it: <strong>Travel</strong>2 offers seven nights in Paphos at the<br />

Amavi Hotel from £1,089. travel2.com<br />

The fun family holiday<br />

Mark Warner (markwarner.co.uk) has<br />

opened the Paleros Beach Resort on the<br />

Greek mainland. A multi-million pound<br />

refurbishment of an existing property brings<br />

130 contemporary doubles, suites and<br />

family rooms set in beachside gardens to an<br />

unspoilt stretch of coastline.<br />

New activities for youngsters include<br />

exciting robotics workshops with 3D printing<br />

at MarBella Corfu (marbella.gr). And at<br />

Crete’s Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel<br />

(eloundapeninsula.com) there are children’s<br />

yoga classes and Greek dancing lessons. At<br />

the Kempinski Hotel Bahia (kempinski.com)<br />

they can take Andalusian cookery classes.<br />

Just Sardinia (justsardinia.com) has<br />

introduced S’Incantu Resort on the southeast<br />

coast, offering studio, one- and<br />

two-bedroom self-catering apartments<br />

with a pool, snack bar and mini club; while<br />

Simpson <strong>Travel</strong> (simpsontravel.com) has a<br />

new nanny service in Corfu.<br />

Portugal’s Algarve won the award for<br />

Europe’s Leading Beach Destination at the<br />

20<strong>19</strong> World <strong>Travel</strong> Awards for a recordbreaking<br />

sixth time. Its calmer beaches are<br />

perfect for small children, whilst older kids<br />

can enjoy watersports.<br />

Sell it: Just Sardina offers seven nights near<br />

Villasimius at the S’Incantu Resort from £898 for up<br />

to four sharing. justsardina.co.uk<br />

A touring adventure<br />

Matera in Basilicata is European Capital<br />

of Culture 20<strong>19</strong> and Red Savannah<br />

(redsavannah.com) has a new self-drive tour<br />

through this little-known southern Italian<br />

region. Taking in neighbouring Puglia, the<br />

week-long itinerary includes B&B hotel<br />

accommodation, car hire, entrance fees to<br />

attractions and a cookery class.<br />

As Italy celebrates a year of ‘Slow<br />

Tourism’ in 20<strong>19</strong>, Planetrail (planetrail.<br />

co.uk) offers the new week-long Flavours<br />

of Tuscany itinerary combining rail travel<br />

to the Tuscan coast with a self-drive tour<br />

including wine and cheese tastings. Its other<br />

Mediterranean tours include a 10-night railand<br />

fly-holiday visiting Madrid, Malaga and<br />

Gibraltar.<br />

G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) has a<br />

new 10-day crewed voyage from Venice<br />

to Zadar inspired by an ancient trading<br />

route, on a yacht sleeping up to eight.<br />

Unforgettable Croatia (unforgettablecroatia.<br />

co.uk), which recently launched a new<br />

eco-friendly initiative with the Blue<br />

World Institute of Marine Research and<br />

Conservation, offers seven-night sailings<br />

and 10-night cruise-and-stay packages in<br />

the Adriatic. <br />

Sell it: Inntravel offers a six-night self-guided<br />

walking tour on Andros, Greece, from £635pp.<br />

inntravel.co.uk<br />

algarve, portugal<br />


36<br />

my journey<br />

St. Vincent & the<br />

At Dark View<br />

Fallls<br />

Grenadines<br />

From islands designed for billionaires to movie star cays surrounded by turtles,<br />

Kathryn Liston hops between St. Vincent and a few of the Grenadines<br />

Tobago Cays<br />

I<br />

’m face-to-face with a huge hawksbill turtle,<br />

its shell and cream belly so close to my mask<br />

I can almost count its markings. It turns and<br />

glides to join two others feeding on tufts of sea<br />

grass, but as I turn for the shore a huge stingray<br />

emerges, flapping its gigantic wings.<br />

I am snorkelling in the protected Baradal Turtle<br />

Sanctuary of the Tobago Cays, a cluster of five tiny,<br />

uninhabited cays, so remote that the desert scene<br />

of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the<br />

Black Pearl was filmed on nearby<br />

Petit Tabac.<br />

My island hopping<br />

adventure starts in St.<br />

Vincent as we drive<br />

north along the Leeward<br />

coast, the narrowing<br />

road clinging tightly to<br />

the cliff edge. Lush forests<br />

and prettily painted houses in<br />

pastel pinks, blues and greens<br />

tumble down the mountainside onto<br />

black-sand beaches and looking-glass seas.<br />

We must inch our jelly-like legs across the long<br />

swinging bamboo bridge over the Richmond River<br />

to reach Dark View Falls, a magnificent waterfall<br />

cascading 110 ft down acliff face.<br />

The ice-cold water is a welcome relief from the<br />

intense heat but, unbeknowst to us, there’s more<br />

to come. We follow ranger Maxwell Robertson’s<br />

magnificent head of dreds up a flight of<br />

57 steep steps, clambering over slippery<br />

boulders, jagged rocks and fast-running<br />

rivulets until we reach a second waterfall<br />

– a 229-foot thundering beauty directly<br />

above the first.<br />

Sadly, we don’t have time for the fourhour<br />

hike to the crater of the active<br />

Soufriere Saint Vincent volcano - a<br />

The turquoise sea<br />

glows brighter and the<br />

powder sands whiter<br />

rite of passage for island boys, which Maxwell did<br />

when he was 10 - but enroute to our hotel we enjoy<br />

views from Fort Charlotte.<br />

At private Young Island we find 29 secluded<br />

cottages, sparsely laid out and surrounded by the<br />

deafening din of tree frogs. Mine comes with a<br />

plunge pool, hammock and gorgeous sea views<br />

thanks to the 160 steep steps I have to climb to<br />

reach it. Thankfully, this works off the delicious<br />

homemade coconut bread I devour.<br />

A rum time<br />

It’s rum for breakfast! The<br />

sweet aroma of molasses<br />

greets our arrival at St<br />

Vincent Distillers, which<br />

was a sugar factory in the<br />

<strong>19</strong>20s and now offers tours<br />

and tastings of its five rums.<br />

For lunch, we feast on<br />

finger-licking jerk chicken in<br />

Kingstown, the capital, before taking<br />

the 45-minute ferry to Bequia, one of 32 islands<br />

(only nine inhabited) in The Grenadines.<br />

Pretty Port Elizabeth exudes a laid-back<br />

Caribbean vibe. Yachts bob gently in the harbour<br />

and bright wooden shacks lining the waterfront<br />

sell ‘fresh coconut - natural viagra’, rum<br />

punch, books and colourful rattan baskets. We<br />

are whisked in an open-sided 4WD to the Bequia<br />

Beach Hotel, where owner Bengt Mortstedt has<br />

dotted retro posters and quirky lamps promoting<br />

‘Island Time’ and ‘Parrot Party’ around the<br />

sumptuous colonial lounge and bedrooms.<br />

We visit the recently-opened Boat Museum to<br />

learn about the island’s whaling heritage and<br />

on our way to lunch at Coco’s Place, we stop at<br />

British-built Fort Hamilton for views of Admiralty<br />

Bay, before devouring jumbo shrimp and conch.<br />

An exhilarating 10-minute flight in a six-seater<br />

aircraft takes us to Mustique and the only hotel on<br />

the island, the colonial-style Cotton House, which<br />

boasts opulent villas owned (or rented out) by the<br />

rich and famous, including Mick Jagger.<br />

At a cocktail party that evening, Executive Chef<br />


my journey 37<br />

Sailing<br />

Empty beaches and swaying<br />

palms<br />

Adam Steer uncovers the pig he has buried and<br />

cooked in the sand for several hours - it’s delicious.<br />

Beautiful bird song is my alarm call for a morning<br />

swim. Their beauty palls somewhat when one of<br />

them steals my melon at breakfast.<br />

My next hop, Canuoan, is nicknamed ‘the<br />

Caribbean island where the billionaires go to escape<br />

the millionnaires’. No expense has been spared on<br />

the exclusive 1,200-acre Canuoan Estate - even<br />

the 17th-century church was brought over from<br />

England. Opulence also exudes from the all-suite<br />

Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking gorgeous<br />

Godahl Beach, where I control the curtains, TV and<br />

air-conditioning from an iPad (from $1,400 a night).<br />

There are also 13 luxury rental villas, an 18-hole golf<br />

course and, nearby, the new Sandy Lane Marina.<br />

Raising the fl ag<br />

Our catamaran cruise through the Grenadines to<br />

Petit St. Vincent the following morning is a highlight.<br />

As we near the private island, the turquoise sea<br />

glows brighter and the powder sands whiter - it’s<br />

picture-perfect.<br />

Matt, the general manager, whisks us around the<br />

hilly, wooded island in a open-top buggy, including<br />

in his tour his pride and joy, a 6,000 bottle wine<br />

cellar with vintages costing up to $1,500 a bottle.<br />

It’s easy to relax here. There are no keys or wifi in<br />

the 22 beautiful and secluded cottages. You don’t<br />

even have to leave for meals - just raise a yellow flag<br />

outside for complimentary room service.<br />

I enjoy a superb Balinese massage with fragrant<br />

lemongrass in the tree-top spa and a West Indies<br />

beer tasting, including unusual coffee and chocolate<br />

varieties, precedes an excellent dinner of freshlycaught<br />

scallops and snapper.<br />

Will Palm Island, my final stop, live up to this?<br />

Here I find barefoot chic: soft powder sands,<br />

swaying palms and turquoise seas are a hop from<br />

my day bed. There are hammocks, spa treatments<br />

using home-grown frangipani, a pool, gym, yoga<br />

and boat trips.<br />

Just like Robinson Crusoe, I feel like I have this<br />

island all to myself - apart from the resident iguanas<br />

that is, who I’m happy to share my paradise with. •<br />

St. Vincent<br />

Rum Distillery<br />

Mayreau<br />


Lusso <strong>Travel</strong> has a seven-nights-for theprice-of<br />

fi ve offer at Petit St. Vincent,<br />

saving £1,305 and starting from £4,780pp,<br />

based on two people sharing a one-bedroom<br />

cottage, full-board and including boat<br />

transfers, fl ights with Virgin Atlantic and<br />

fl ights to Union Island. It’s valid for stays<br />

from November 1 to December <strong>19</strong> 20<strong>19</strong><br />

and 2020 and in April and May 2020 and<br />

2021. lussotravel.com<br />

sellingtravel.co.uk<br />

Snorkelling turquoise<br />

seas<br />

Luxury Villa


Experience the alluring, golden desert landscape, the captivating silence of nature, the free-roaming<br />

wildlife in the reserve, all enjoyed from your private suite and pool. Indulge in a luxurious desert<br />

adventure with camel treks, horseback riding, falconry, archery, dune drives and more.<br />


FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE CALL 971 4 832 9900<br />


middle east 39<br />

like that?<br />

Try this!<br />

Adam Coulter looks at how agents can switch-sell to<br />

the Middle East for everything from a beach holiday to<br />

scuba diving to a food and culture-focused city break<br />

Everybody told me: “Oh you must<br />

dive the Red Sea, why haven’t<br />

you dived the Red Sea yet?” Hand<br />

on heart, I had no idea. My travels had<br />

taken me to the Caribbean, Mexico,<br />

Thailand and the Canary Islands, but<br />

never the Red Sea.<br />

I had the idea of experiencing this scuba<br />

hotspot from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - a new<br />

country for me. My thinking was the coral<br />

and the sea life around those popular<br />

parts of the Red Sea - Aqaba, Sharm and El<br />

Gouna – might be ‘over-dived’, so why not<br />

try out somewhere where dive tourism is<br />

still in its infancy?<br />

I was not disappointed. As well as crystalclear<br />

waters, the spots we dived, Table<br />

Mountain and Chicken Wreck, had an<br />

abundance of marine life – squirrel fish,<br />

grouper, wrasse, jacks, trevellies, pufferfish<br />

and a blue-spotted ray; as well as big<br />

growth corals – fan and brain – all good<br />

signs of the health of these waters.<br />

The only thing missing was large marine<br />

life, specifically sharks, and for that one<br />

spot kept coming up, again and again –<br />

the Musandam Peninsula in Oman. This<br />

rugged region, sliced in half by Ras al<br />

Khaimah, and jutting into the Strait of<br />

Hormuz, is the main thoroughfare for<br />

marine life going into and out of the Gulf<br />

of Oman to the Persian Gulf. I resolved: My<br />

next dive trip would be Oman.<br />

Market snapshot<br />

Iain Raeper, If Only’s (now former)<br />

Commercial & Product Manager for the<br />

Middle East region, said: “The Gulf has<br />

performed fantastically well as an overall<br />

destination for If Only since the beginning<br />

of 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

“Specific ‘heroes’ have been Abu Dhabi<br />

and Ras Al Khaimah, where room night<br />

production up to June 20<strong>19</strong> exceeded the<br />

whole of 2018. Increased flight capacity<br />

to the region from the UK and Ireland, as<br />

well as supportive partnership campaigns<br />

with tourist boards have helped contribute<br />

towards this growth.<br />

“Dubai remains a popular destination,<br />

and will continue to grow into 2020 thanks<br />

to the eagerly anticipated World Expo.<br />


sellingtravel.co.uk<br />



40<br />

middle east<br />






“Ajman is fast becoming the choice<br />

of sun worshippers who don’t want to be<br />

too far away from the action of Dubai,<br />

whilst Fujairah offers some of the most<br />

spectacular beaches in the UAE.”<br />

Latest figures from the Ras Al Khaimah<br />

Tourism Authority reveal that visitor<br />

numbers are up by 10% in 2018 compared<br />

to 2017. The emirate welcomed one million<br />

visitors in 2018.<br />

Ras al Khaimah sees the opening of the<br />

Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Q1 2020,<br />

on Jebel Jais, which is already home to the<br />

world’s longest zip-line.<br />

Qatar National Tourism Council and<br />

Qatar Airways have launched a summer<br />

in Qatar partnership, with savings of up<br />

to 25% on flights to Doha for travel up to<br />

<strong>August</strong> 16 20<strong>19</strong> (qatarairways.com), and<br />

25% off participating hotels’ daily rates<br />

(summerinqatar.qa/hotels).<br />

The 233-room Anantara Resort from<br />

luxury hospitality group Minor Hotels is<br />

due to open in a prime beachfront location<br />

in Sharjah next year.<br />

Grand Prix, which takes place over four<br />

days from November 28.<br />

You’ll have to persuade your client to<br />

change their travel dates (bringing forward<br />

their May dates to November), and take a<br />

mid-haul flight (seven hours as opposed to<br />

an hour-and-a-half to Nice), but apart from<br />

that there are many similarities – a rich city<br />

state governed by an absolute monarchy,<br />

on the coast, with lovely weather and a<br />

wide selection of top-end hotels.<br />

Shearings (shearingsagent.com) has<br />

a four-night holiday at the Park Rotana<br />

Hotel in Abu Dhabi, on a B&B basis, return<br />

transfers in resort, a three-day South<br />

Grandstand ticket to the Grand Prix,<br />

pit lane walk entry, access to the afterrace<br />

concerts, a one-day pass to Ferrari<br />

World plus an Etihad Race Pack. Based<br />

on two sharing and departing the UK on<br />

November 27, prices start at £1,972pp,<br />

including return flights.<br />

Alternative option: You could also suggest the<br />

Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place in April.<br />

The client asks for F1 in Monaco…<br />

…You suggest F1 in Abu<br />

Dhabi<br />

The Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in<br />

Abu Dhabi at the end of November, and<br />

marks the end of the season. This year will<br />

be the 10th year Abu Dhabi has hosted the<br />

The client asks for a long weekend city<br />

break with a focus on arts and dining<br />

in Europe…<br />

…You suggest Muscat<br />

The capital of Oman offers a culturally-rich<br />

mix of history, heritage and culture, which<br />

is celebrated and preserved. A Muscat city<br />


middle east 41<br />



tour would include a visit to the Grand<br />

Mosque, the markets and souk in Muttrah<br />

and the Sultan’s Palace, which is flanked<br />

by the Portuguese forts Jalali and Mirani,<br />

before finishing with a visit to the Bait Al<br />

Zubair Museum for a look back in time at<br />

Oman’s past. Oman’s cuisine is also topnotch,<br />

whether fine hotel-based dining or<br />

more humble street food.<br />

Gold Medal (goldmedal.co.uk) has three<br />

nights at the five-star Al Bandar at Shangri<br />

La Barr Al Jissah, staying in a deluxe room<br />

on a B&B basis, including return economy<br />

flights with Oman Air from Heathrow and<br />

the Muscat City Tour. Prices start from<br />

£906pp, up to September 30.<br />

Alternative Option: The tiny, oil- and gas-rich<br />

nation of Qatar is gradually increasing its cultural<br />

offerings, including various art galleries and the<br />

National Museum of Qatar.<br />

The client asks for an action-packed<br />

beach holiday in the Mediterranean…<br />

... You suggest Ras Al<br />

Khaimah<br />

Ras al Khaimah, or RAK, is fast-becoming<br />

the adventure capital of the Gulf. The Jebel<br />

Jais Flight zipline is 1.76 miles long and<br />

takes adrenaline junkies on a three-minute<br />

ride over spectacular rocky terrain.<br />

RAK is the northernmost emirate and<br />

the nearest to Oman. If your client wants<br />

an idea of how Dubai was 30 years ago<br />

suggest here. It has the desert and beach<br />

but without the high-rises and traffic. It<br />

also has a burgeoning luxury hotel scene,<br />

with a focus on eco-resorts. Next year sees<br />

the opening of The Anantara Resort in<br />

Mina Al Arab. An eco-sanctuary, It will have<br />

300 rooms, suites and over-water villas in<br />

sthe style of a property in the Maldives.<br />

An InterContinental is also due to open<br />

in Mina al Arab, followed by eight more<br />

hotels in 2021.<br />

If Only (ifonly.net) has five nights at the<br />

five-star deluxe Waldorf Astoria Ras Al<br />

Khaimah, in a Classic Room, including<br />

complimentary half-board and return<br />

flights with Emirates from £939pp.<br />

Alternative Option: Neighbouring Oman is even<br />

less developed, especially in the rugged Musandam<br />

Peninsula, and is world famous for its spectacular<br />

scuba diving.<br />

The client asks for a luxury break in<br />

the Caribbean with lots of activities<br />

for the kids…<br />

…You suggest Dubai<br />

Compared to the Caribbean, Dubai<br />

involves a shorter flight and often more<br />

competitive deals for flights and hotels.<br />

Sheryl Makin, Director of the Luxury<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Boutique, was asked to find a beach<br />

holiday for a family with musts including<br />

“The Gulf has performed<br />

fantastically well as an<br />

overall destination since<br />

the beginning of 20<strong>19</strong>”<br />

Iain Raeper, If Only<br />

a warm climate, a golf destination, some<br />

interest for foodies and lots of activities<br />

for young adults. She says: “They were<br />

thinking Caribbean but I quoted four hotels<br />

in Dubai and they liked the new Mandarin<br />

Oriental best. This option is perfect for<br />

them as they have a huge choice of golf<br />

courses and packages which I can pre-book<br />

for them. They are also keen on racing<br />

so I’m looking in to a day at Meyden race<br />

course for them.<br />

“There are endless suggestions for<br />

activities and days out for the adult sons,<br />

from a snow dome to water parks and<br />

dune buggy excursions.”<br />

Lusso <strong>Travel</strong> (lussotravel.com) is offering<br />

six nights at the Mandarin Oriental Dubai<br />

for four people, half-board with transfers,<br />

and return economy flights with Emirates<br />

for £3,415pp, departing in December 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Alternative option: Ajman is also worth<br />

considering for a fly-and-flop holiday with hotelbased<br />

activities. It’s easily accessible from Dubai,<br />

just a 40-minute drive along the coast, but still<br />

relatively unknown. <br />


Visit USA News<br />


COSMOS<br />


TALL U.S.<br />


Cosmos has<br />

launched new<br />

North America<br />

tours with 2020<br />

departures. A<br />

special<br />

departure, The<br />

Classic New<br />

England - 400th<br />

Mayflower<br />

Anniversary tour,<br />

departs <strong>August</strong><br />

31. Guests will<br />

step aboard the<br />

Mayflower II, a<br />

full-scale<br />

reproduction of<br />

the tall ship.<br />

Prices start from<br />

£1,665pp (tour<br />

only) for the<br />

10-day tour.<br />

cosmos.co.uk.<br />

Visit USA plans UK road trip<br />

The popular annual Visit USA Roadshow will be making stops in three<br />

UK cities this autumn. The events – in Glasgow (October 1), Leeds<br />

(October 2) and London (October 3) – will include a speed-networking<br />

format designed to maximise the networking opportunities.<br />

Over 30 Visit USA exhibitors and agents will exchange information<br />

and discuss business opportunities.<br />

But the Roadshow is not all about improving USA product knowledge:<br />

food and drink will be provided and goody bags and a holiday to the<br />

USA will be up for grabs at each location.<br />

Prizes include United Airlines flights to New York, a seven-night<br />

Cruise America RV Rental and a stay at the Moxy NYC Times Square<br />

(Glasgow); Virgin Atlantic flights to Las Vegas, staying at Planet<br />

Hollywood Las Vegas Resort and Casino (Leeds); and Delta Air Lines<br />

flights to Boston, staying at the Moxy Boston Downtown (London).<br />

Agents can register for the roadshows at: visitusaroadshow.com<br />

Pittsburgh spin<br />

Kennywood Amusement<br />

Park, located a short drive<br />

from downtown Pittsburgh, opened<br />

The Steel Curtain roller-coaster this<br />

summer. The ride sets a North<br />

American record for the most<br />

inversions (nine) and a world record<br />

for the tallest inversion.<br />

visitpittsburgh.com<br />

Mammoth on a high<br />

Mammoth Lakes, California,<br />

has opened the steepest zipline<br />

experience in the U.S. The<br />

Mammoth Mega Zip sees riders hitting<br />

speeds of up to 60mph as they drop<br />

2,100ft in either a seated or ‘Supermanstyle’<br />

harness. There are two parallel<br />

cables, which means riders can race<br />

down the high wire side by side during<br />

the one-mile acceleration to the<br />

resort’s Adventure Centre.<br />

mallofamerica.com<br />

Delta's seat pitch<br />

Delta will launch its new<br />

Business Class seat and its<br />

new international Premium Economy<br />

cabin, Premium Select, on UK routes<br />

in November. They will feature on the<br />

Heathrow to Atlanta route from<br />

November 13, Heathrow to New York<br />

JFK, November 17, and Heathrow to<br />

Boston, November 21. delta.com<br />

BLOG With iconic sites in every state,<br />

great food representing just about every<br />

country in the world, world-class theme<br />

parks, waterparks, wildlife refuges and<br />

even an interactive national museum<br />

devoted to the history of toys (in New<br />

York State), there's no better choice for a<br />

family holiday than the USA.<br />

More Blog content at visitusa.org.uk/Blog<br />

Look out for our Visit USA (UK) online <strong>Travel</strong> Update for the pick of members' news


ON...<br />







FOR A UK AUDIENCE sunny.org<br />

FOR THE<br />


BIRD'S EYE<br />

VIEW OF U.S.<br />





OF LIBERTY...<br />

Check out these<br />

flight-seeing<br />

members of<br />

Visit USA UK<br />

• Maverick Aviation<br />

Group, Grand<br />

Canyon & Las Vegas<br />

• Papillon Grand<br />

Canyon Helicopters<br />

• Skydive the Grand<br />

Canyon<br />

• Sundance<br />

Helicopters<br />

Visitors love pull of Virginia<br />

Half a century after the ‘Virginia is For Lovers’ slogan was first created, it<br />

remains one of the best-known of tourism slogans.<br />

So said Rita McClenny, President & CEO at Virginia Tourism Corporation,<br />

during a recent visit to London for trade and media appointments.<br />

“Our For Lovers slogan is all-encompassing and has meant a lot of<br />

different things to a lot of different people over the years.<br />

"It also means a love of our mountains, a love of our beaches, a love of<br />

our wineries…and so much more,” added McClenny.<br />

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, cities and counties across<br />

Virginia are joining in the fun in their own special ways.<br />

For example, located along Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, The Crooked<br />

Road, Floyd County, will celebrate 50 Years of Love with 50 days of<br />

special events, promotions and products. The celebration kicks off on<br />

<strong>July</strong> 27 at FloydFest and closes on September 14 at the County Fair.<br />

capitalregionusa.org<br />

Discover<br />

Puerto Rico<br />




When did Discover Puerto<br />

Rico join Visit USA?<br />

We were a member in the<br />

past but rejoined in <strong>July</strong>.<br />

What did you join?<br />

We need to increase brand<br />

awareness amongst the UK<br />

travel trade and ensure key<br />

trade contacts are aware<br />

that Discover Puerto Rico<br />

has representation in the<br />

UK. Other benefits include<br />

joining the Visit USA<br />

Roadshow and being<br />

included in the Visit USA<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Planner, read by both<br />

the trade and consumers.<br />

How well do you think the<br />

trade know Puerto Rico?<br />

Having conducted a trade<br />

forum at our offices in <strong>July</strong>,<br />

it's apparent that Puerto<br />

Rico is a destination which<br />

is not well known amongst<br />

the UK trade. Education is a<br />

key initial step in our<br />

upcoming trade activity. We<br />

will be conducting various<br />

training, webinars and<br />

hosting product managers<br />

on a FAM trip to experience<br />

Puerto Rico first-hand.<br />

Sum up Puerto Rico for us<br />

There's a rich history and<br />

culture which has emerged<br />

from a mix of Taíno,<br />

Spanish and African<br />

traditions. Also, exceptional<br />

food, pristine beaches, a<br />

tropical rainforest and a<br />

vibrant music scene.<br />

discoverpuertorico.com<br />

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

DON'T<br />

MISS OUT...<br />

Register<br />

today!<br />

Develop your USA experience<br />


Win one of<br />

three fantastic<br />

trips to the<br />

USA!<br />




• United Airlines<br />

to NEW YORK<br />

• 7 nights Cruise<br />

America RV Rental<br />

• Stay at the Moxy<br />

NYC Times Sqaure<br />

LEEDS<br />

• Virgin Atlantic<br />

to LAS VEGAS<br />

• Stay at the Planet<br />

Hollywood Las<br />

Vegas Resort &<br />

Casino<br />

LONDON<br />

• Delta Air Lines<br />

to BOSTON<br />

• Stay at the Moxy<br />

Boston Downtown<br />

THE VISIT USA 20<strong>19</strong> ROADSHOW will<br />

take place in Glasgow, Leeds and London<br />

during the early evening of October 1, 2<br />

and 3 respectively. The popular events<br />

have been designed to maximise the<br />

networking opportunities for both agents<br />

and exhibitors. All three Roadshows are<br />

being held in selected premium hotels where<br />


Tuesday October 1<br />



LEEDS<br />

Wednesday October 2<br />


30 Visit USA exhibitors and agents can<br />

exchange information and discuss business<br />

development opportunities. Food and drink<br />

will be provided. The format will include<br />

speed networking - which will see agents<br />

visiting all exhibitors – goody bags and a<br />

holiday to the USA will be up for grabs at<br />

each location (see left for prize details).<br />

Early evening, from 6pm onwards<br />

20<strong>19</strong> EXHIBITORS<br />

LONDON<br />

Thursday October 3<br />










Register now<br />

Attend one of the Roadshows by visiting<br />


spotlight on 45<br />

Talking...<br />

JA<br />

Resorts<br />

& Hotels<br />

In conversation with... Thomas Grundner, Vice<br />

President Sales & Marketing, JA Resorts and Hotels<br />

QTell us about the JA brand<br />

A: With a 38-year history as a<br />

homegrown hospitality brand, we’ve now<br />

announced major expansion plans. Our<br />

company vision is to be recognised as<br />

the leading provider of unique getaway<br />

experiences in remarkable<br />

locations around the Indian<br />

Ocean and key global<br />

destinations. We<br />

create memories<br />

across eight distinct<br />

properties, from<br />

snorkelling in<br />

a coral reef to<br />

mountain ziplining<br />

to exploring<br />

global cuisines.<br />

QCan you sum<br />

up the ethos of JA<br />

Resorts & Hotels?<br />

A: Do the work you love<br />

and love the work you do. Our<br />

management style is ‘the JA Way’, which<br />

encourages associates to embrace<br />

individuality and work with positivity–<br />

because they truly love what they do.<br />

It helps us stand out and be fluid as we<br />

navigate change.<br />

QWhat are your USPs?<br />

A: The variety of unique experiences<br />

we offer, the relaxed JA Way service<br />

and our locations. JA Hatta Fort Hotel is<br />

Dubai’s only mountain resort; we have two<br />

luxurious private islands in the Seychelles<br />

and Maldives, and two prime Dubai<br />

locations in Jumeirah Beach Residence and<br />

Dubai’s largest experiential resort,<br />

JA The Resort.<br />

QHow do you help<br />

agents?<br />

A: We recently<br />

launched an online<br />

training course for<br />

UK travel agents<br />

to highlight our<br />

product. We have<br />

strong UK sales<br />

representation<br />

through Gill Shannon<br />

and Louisa Smith,<br />

ensuring the trade is<br />

educated on the portfolio.<br />

Fam trips are hosted throughout the<br />

year and we offer verified agent discounts<br />

on jaresorts.com using the code JATRAV.<br />

QWhat is JA’s policy on sustainability?<br />

A: It’s very important. We are<br />

removing all plastic bottles, replacing them<br />

with our own bottling plants and glassware<br />

and rolling out a food wastage programme<br />

which will reduce our waste drastically.<br />

QWhat are the latest developments<br />

agents need to know?<br />

A: JA The Resort is Dubai’s largest<br />

experience resort, and by September<br />

20<strong>19</strong> JA Beach Hotel will be completely<br />

renovated and the new JA Lake View Hotel<br />

will open. These additions make it a world<br />

class, all-encompassing resort with one<br />

million square metres of land and private<br />

beach, a 104-berth marina and a nine-hole<br />

golf course. There are over 40 activities like<br />

water sports, fishing, seaplanes, tennis and<br />

shooting, plus 25 restaurants and bars.<br />

QWhat does the future hold for JA and<br />

do you plan to expand anywhere else?<br />

A: We are expanding into China in a joint<br />

venture and are launching five or six very<br />

upscale hotels, as well as 30-plus upper<br />

midscale lifestyle hotels called ‘Big Bed by<br />

JA’. We will also open two luxury lodges in<br />

Tanzania and are exploring a 500-room<br />

property in Sri Lanka. <br />



selling Canada<br />


CONTENTS • 48 Rendez-vous trade show news • 52 <strong>Travel</strong> talk: Maureen Riley,<br />

Destination Canada • 53 City profile: Toronto • 54 My trip in... Ontario<br />

• 57 Alberta • 58/60 In the Gallery: <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors and Prestige Holidays<br />



48<br />

Rendez-vous 20<strong>19</strong><br />

TORONTO, CANADA, MAY 28-31<br />

Canada is all heart<br />

Steve Hartridge reports from Canada’s annual tourism marketplace<br />

UK numbers fall<br />

but leisure visitors<br />

remain robust<br />

Overall UK visitor arrivals in<br />

Canada in 2018 were down<br />

by 3.3% – but the number of<br />

leisure travellers reached a<br />

five-year peak of 292,000.<br />

While Brexit concerns<br />

weighed on consumer<br />

confidence and acted as a<br />

drag on long-haul outbound<br />

travels for business trips<br />

and trips to visit friends and<br />

relatives, holidaymakers<br />

kept travelling to Canada.<br />

Demand for travel to<br />

Canada was the highest<br />

between May and June for<br />

leisure travellers.<br />


New brand goes with glow<br />

Destination Canada’s new-look<br />

logo and marketing slogan<br />

taps into travellers’ passion for<br />

Canada and better connects them<br />

to the emotional side of their<br />

experiences in the country, said<br />

tourism officials.<br />

The new slogan, ‘for glowing hearts/<br />

le coeur grand ouvert,’” replaces the<br />

old tagline, ‘keep exploring/explorez<br />

sans fin’, which was in use for more<br />

than a decade.<br />

“Nike and Apple are both<br />

examples of companies that<br />

have nurtured an emotional<br />

attachment to their brands but<br />

Canada is also a brand, a ‘passion<br />

brand’,” said David Goldstein,<br />

Heritage Park shows visitors plenty of summer spirit<br />

Destination Canada’s departing<br />

Chief Executive.<br />

“Previously travel was about<br />

destination icons, then it became<br />

about collecting travel experiences<br />

but now it is transformative, in that<br />

travel helps both change you and<br />

becomes a part of you,” he said.<br />

“<strong>Travel</strong> should change you and<br />

our promise is that Canada will<br />

leave a lasting mark on your heart.”<br />

“In the last five years we have seen<br />

phenomenal visitor growth of an<br />

average of 6% year on year. I would<br />

like to think we have portrayed<br />

Canada as open, welcoming and<br />

receptive – a place for glowing<br />

hearts,” Goldstein added.<br />

Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living historic<br />

theme park, has a new after-hours tour this<br />

summer that shows plenty of spirit. Starting from<br />

Wainwright Saloon, in the Calgary park’s <strong>19</strong>10<br />

Village, guests on the Spirits of the West Ghost Tour<br />

and Whisky Tasting enjoy a Prohibition-era whisky<br />

cocktail before being taken to spooky locations,<br />

including many where guests or staff claim to<br />

have experienced some ‘paranormal activity’. The<br />

evening ends with a gourmet three-course dinner.<br />

heritagepark.ca<br />

RVC 20<strong>19</strong> IN BRIEF<br />

Tourism Toronto’s new<br />

destination marketing<br />

campaign, ‘Let Yourself<br />

In’ was launched as the<br />

city celebrated another<br />

record year in visitation,<br />

having welcomed 44<br />

million travellers in 2018.<br />

“Toronto is the front<br />

door to Canada, and our<br />

message to travellers is<br />

simple – Let Yourself In,”<br />

said Jon Mamela, Executive<br />

Vice President and Chief<br />

Marketing Officer.<br />

seetorontonow.com<br />

Rivers Edge is a 12-room,<br />

four-star hotel earmarked<br />

for the waterfront area in<br />

Whitehorse, Yukon. The First<br />

Nations-themed project will<br />

start construction next spring.<br />

Westjet flies to Whitehorse<br />

from Calgary four times a<br />

week, until September 22.<br />

trade.travelyukon.com<br />

‘Neanderthal’ is a major<br />

new exhibition at the<br />

Canadian Museum of<br />

History, in Gatineau, Québec.<br />

The rare fossils and artifacts<br />

include four Neanderthal<br />

skulls and a hand axe made<br />

of rock crystal. ‘Neanderthal’<br />

runs until January 26, 2020.<br />

historymuseum.ca<br />

For the third year running<br />

Rendez-Vous Canada set<br />

a new attendance record<br />

with over 1,900 delegates<br />

including 46 UK buyers. The<br />

31,600 appointments was<br />

also a record. Next year’s<br />

show will be held in Québec<br />

City, Québec, from May 5-8.<br />



Rendez-vous 20<strong>19</strong> 49<br />

UK visitors are<br />

loving cruising in<br />

Canada<br />

Toronto is proving a hit<br />

among UK visitors renting<br />

an RV vehicle, says Tracy<br />

Thompson, Cruise Canada’s<br />

International Sales &<br />

Marketing Manager.<br />

“Our 11-day Classic Ontario<br />

Circle Tour, which also takes<br />

in Georgian Bay, Algonquin,<br />

1000 Islands, Ottawa and<br />

the Muskoka Lakes region is<br />

selling well,” said Thompson.<br />

Agents can book the tour<br />

through operators such as<br />

Canadian Affair, <strong>Travel</strong>pack<br />

and First Class Holidays.<br />

“Last year was our best yet<br />

out of the UK market - and<br />

we have been here for 47<br />

years. And 20<strong>19</strong> will be up<br />

again. Camping, glamping<br />

and sleeping under the stars<br />

in the heart of the Canadian<br />

wilderness is really growing<br />

in popularity right now.”<br />

cruiseamerica.com<br />

Older travellers have day<br />

Destination Canada UK’s main<br />

consumer target audience is to<br />

shift from Millennials – those<br />

aged between 22-37 – to those 45<br />

and over, Rupert Peters, Regional<br />

Managing Director, Europe and<br />

to do that are the Generation Xers<br />

(those born between the mid-<br />

<strong>19</strong>60s and the early-<strong>19</strong>80s) and<br />

the Baby Boomers (born between<br />

<strong>19</strong>46 and <strong>19</strong>64),” Peters added.<br />

“Finally, our key tour operator<br />

India told <strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong>.<br />

partners and our Canada<br />

“We are going to go after a Specialist travel agents also have<br />

slightly older audience than the over-45s as their core target<br />

previously. After drilling down<br />

our data we know that about twothirds<br />

of our existing travellers<br />

fall into the over-45 bracket.<br />

“Also, I think Millennials are<br />

more likely to be spooked by<br />

the Brexit uncertainty than an<br />

older audience. We have other<br />

challenges, such as encouraging<br />

more travellers to visit in our<br />

audience, so we need to ensure<br />

our approach is the same to create<br />

as much synergy there as we can.”<br />

Peters noted that older travellers<br />

are more likely to be ‘cultural<br />

explorers or learners’, that is<br />

people who want to discover or<br />

learn something on their holiday.<br />

“Another of our themes is that if<br />

you learn something about Canada<br />

‘shoulder seasons’, and the you will likely learn something<br />

demographic groups most likely about yourself,” he said.<br />

Trade is Canadian<br />

Affair’s new love<br />

Canadian Affair has<br />

partnered with Cunard to<br />

offer a Vancouver and Alaska<br />

Cruise Holiday combination<br />

in its 2020 programme,<br />

which is now on sale.<br />

The 12-night Journey<br />

of Discovery tour, which<br />

has prices starting from<br />

£1,568pp, includes two<br />

nights in Vancouver, a<br />

10-night full-board Alaska<br />

Cruise with Cunard, and<br />

direct return flights from<br />

Gatwick to Vancouver.<br />

Meanwhile, Canadian<br />

Affair, which started selling<br />

through the trade only last<br />

October, has had such a<br />

favourable pick up from<br />

operators and agents that it<br />

has boosted its trade team.<br />

Helen Tate and Stephanie<br />

Robertson are new<br />

regional <strong>Travel</strong> Trade Sales<br />

Executives, reporting to the<br />

company’s new <strong>Travel</strong> Trade<br />

Manager, Jane Fraser.<br />

canadianaffair.com<br />


SAVE ON 4<br />






PLUS · Two consecutive days of WEGO transportation<br />

All prices in Canadian dollars. Taxes not included.<br />

All information subject to change without notice.<br />

sellingtravel.co.uk<br />




Rendez-vous 20<strong>19</strong> 51<br />

Le Boat has early<br />

incentives for 2020<br />

In Pursuit of Rockies tours<br />

Take the Scenic<br />

way to Canada<br />

Le Boat, the self-drive river<br />

Scenic Luxury Cruises &<br />

cruise operator, has an early-<br />

Tours has plenty of Canada<br />

bird incentive for trips on<br />

tour options in its new 2020<br />

Ontario’s Rideau Canal.<br />

Natural Wonders of The<br />

Its 2020 Canada<br />

Americas touring collection.<br />

programme has a booking<br />

New is a 17-day Western<br />

discount of up to 20%<br />

Canada Wildlife, Wineries &<br />

for travel secured before<br />

the Rockies itinerary.<br />

September 2 20<strong>19</strong> for<br />

The tour will see visitors<br />

departures next year.<br />

exploring the Okanagan<br />

The offer applies to all boat<br />

wine country, including a visit<br />

types, including the state-of-<br />

to a Syilx First Nations band<br />

the art Horizon models.<br />

winery. A stay at the Knight<br />

For example, a seven-night<br />

Inlet floating lodge should<br />

self-catered stay on the<br />

offer close encounters with<br />

Rideau Canal, starting and<br />

wildlife like grizzly bears,<br />

finishing at Le Boat’s base<br />

The Pursuit Collection, parent<br />

hour slow cooked barbecue beef<br />

seals, dolphins and more.<br />

at Smith Falls, on board the<br />

company of Brewster Touring,<br />

brisket, smoked baked pork ribs<br />

Other highlights include<br />

Horizon 1 (which sleeps five),<br />

unveiled several new products<br />

and wild Pacific salmon, amongst<br />

joining astronomers from<br />

and arriving April 11 2020 is<br />

and a key new partnership at<br />

other things.<br />

Jasper Planetarium in Jasper<br />

priced from £1,968 per boat,<br />

Rendez-vous.<br />

The evening, which is bookable<br />

National Park for a Dark Sky<br />

that’s £394pp (was £2,179<br />

New for 20<strong>19</strong>/20 is a Banff<br />

through operators such as<br />

Experience and a twilight<br />

per boat, saving 20%).<br />

winter sightseeing tour on which<br />

Prestige and Premier, also<br />

supper and a trail ride on<br />

Flights and transfer to the<br />

guests get to sample several iconic<br />

features story-telling and live<br />

horseback or wagon along<br />

boat are not included in the<br />

Canadian winter experiences.<br />

entertainment.<br />

the Bow River, near Banff.<br />

above price.<br />

leboat.co.uk<br />

These include donning<br />

snowshoes at Lake MInnewanka,<br />

Pursuit also announced a new<br />

partnership with Mountain Park<br />

The tour departs May,<br />

June, <strong>July</strong> and September<br />

walking along the steaming<br />

thermal waters of the hot springs<br />

Lodges, which has added seven<br />

hotel properties to Pursuit’s<br />

2020. Priced from £7,445pp.<br />

Scenic.co.uk<br />

and stopping at the best photo-<br />

Banff Jasper Collection: The<br />

spots in Banff. The daily tour will<br />

run from December 1, 20<strong>19</strong> to<br />

March 31, 2020.<br />

Also new is a five-star rustic<br />

dining experience, the Maligne<br />

Canyon Wilderness Kitchen.<br />

Crimson Hotel, Chateau Jasper,<br />

Lobstick Lodge, Marmot Lodge,<br />

Pocahontas Cabins, Pyramid Lake<br />

Resort and Sawridge Inn.<br />

“Pursuit now offers guests<br />

unforgettable and inspiring<br />


Located close to Jasper, at the<br />

experiences and world-class<br />

trailhead of the canyon, the<br />

lodging,” said David Barry,<br />

restaurant offers a smokehouseinspired<br />

menu that features 16-<br />

President, Pursuit.<br />

pursuitcollection.com<br />

A view to thrill<br />

Niagara Helicopters Flightseeing Tours<br />

Niagara Helicopters<br />

905 357 5672<br />



52<br />

travel talk<br />

Trading places<br />

Steve Hartridge catches up with Maureen Riley, Vice<br />

President International, Destination Canada<br />

QWhen did you start your current role?<br />

A: January 6 20<strong>19</strong>. Previously my<br />

title was Executive Director Industry<br />

Partnerships, Destination Canada.<br />

QWhat are your main responsibilities?<br />

A: My main brief is to work closely<br />

with our nine international offices, with a<br />

focus on the travel trade. I aim to ensure<br />

that each market is properly aligned with<br />

our main marketing and media messages.<br />

QSo the trade is a key channel for you?<br />

A: Absolutely. My background is in<br />

the travel trade. I started off, back in my<br />

university days, as a tour guide. I have<br />

also worked for a receptive tour operator,<br />

so I have an understanding how that<br />

works, and in a travel trade capacity for<br />

Destination Canada in Japan. This has<br />

given me a well-rounded understanding<br />

of what tour operators are looking for<br />

when they are trying to develop a strong<br />

Canadian programme.<br />

QWhat goals have you set yourself?<br />

A: I think it is crucial that more of<br />

our industry understands the value of the<br />

trade and the value it brings to Canada.<br />

And our Canadian partners need to<br />

better understand how they can be more<br />

proactive and efficient when working with<br />

international tour operators.<br />

It is wonderful to have beautiful<br />

campaigns that resonate with consumers,<br />

but if after whetting their interest those<br />

people can’t turn around and book that trip<br />

to Canada, we are not fulfilling our full brief.<br />

So I want to see, over the next couple<br />

of years, the travel trade and consumers<br />

more in step, so that we are not just<br />

driving ideas and products towards<br />

consumers but are also working with tour<br />

operators to better understand what their<br />

clients are looking for. Ultimately this will<br />

result in better product and more effective<br />

marketing campaigns for all of us.<br />

QAnything else on your ‘wish list’?<br />

A: Over the last three years or so<br />

I have worked very closely with the<br />

Indigenous Tourism Association of<br />

Canada (ITA). I have had some wonderful<br />

opportunities to engage with First Nations<br />

communities and experience some of<br />

the new and upcoming product, which is<br />

really exciting.<br />

I always leave these experiences with<br />

a different perspective. It is my fervent<br />

wish that more of these products become<br />

known to our international visitors.<br />

QDo you identify any main challenges?<br />

A: We need to boost visitation in our<br />

shoulder seasons or ‘off months’.<br />

The challenge is that travellers want to<br />

travel when they want to travel. Also, they<br />

might not be aware of what is available in<br />

Canada year round, so my aim is to help<br />

grow that awareness. We also have to<br />

work closely with our partners to make<br />

sure enough desirable product is actually<br />

available in those slower months.<br />

QDo you have any favourite Canadian<br />

travel memories to share with us?<br />

A: I have been lucky enough to live in or<br />

travel to most regions of the country.<br />

I am originally from Montréal (pictured)<br />

and that city will always have my heart.<br />

When I was young I used to explore a lot<br />

of Canada with my family; we were big<br />

into camping.<br />

I love the Muskoka Lakes area<br />

(big picture) of Ontario, with<br />

its wide-open spaces. It also<br />

has some excellent hotels and<br />

lodges. I am not a hardcore<br />

outdoors person and like to<br />

combine Canada’s great outdoors<br />

with some creature comforts!<br />

I also always enjoy the Canadian<br />

Rockies. The mountains seem to go on<br />

and on, and always inspire me.<br />

Q What’s top of your still-to-see list?<br />

A: I would like to do some hiking in<br />

Tombstone Territorial Park in Yukon in<br />

the autumn. It is where the tundra and<br />

the forest meet and the colours are<br />

spectacular. At night there’s the chance to<br />

see the colours of the aurora borealis. <br />



city profile 53<br />

Toronto<br />

Take a sporting chance on Canada’s most diverse and<br />

well-rounded city says Steve Hartridge<br />


Top stops<br />

Historic Distillery<br />

District<br />

This artsy enclave of<br />

galleries, boutique<br />

shops – buy designer<br />

footwear<br />

at Fluevog –and<br />

restaurants is set<br />

amongst red-brick<br />

Victorian buildings.<br />

St. Lawrence<br />

Market<br />

A real bustling<br />

working market in a<br />

historic building, this<br />

is the place for those<br />

souvenir bottles of<br />

maple syrup,<br />

mustards, jams and<br />

more.<br />

Museum of<br />

Illusions<br />

Designed to ‘trick’ your<br />

senses this interactive<br />

attraction with 80<br />

visual and sensual<br />

illusions is a one-stop<br />

visit for fun and<br />

entertainment.<br />

Theatre land<br />

Toronto makes a<br />

great alternative to<br />

Broadway. Among<br />

the shows playing<br />

this summer are<br />

Come From Away and<br />

Waitress, Hamilton<br />

starts a run<br />

next February.<br />

Square One<br />

Shopping Centre<br />

Near the airport, the<br />

centre has 320-plus<br />

outlets. It runs a<br />

Tourist Privileges<br />

scheme, with savings<br />

– pick up a pamphlet<br />

from an information<br />

kiosk and promotions.<br />

There are few things that can pull a<br />

city or nation closer together than a<br />

sporting triumph – and Toronto was<br />

a city whose residents seemed to<br />

be collectively living and breathing<br />

basketball when I visited in May.<br />

Sporting life<br />

Its professional basketball team had<br />

reached the National Basketball<br />

Association’s (NBA) final for the first time,<br />

and Toronto was literally in Raptors.<br />

The sports bars in the lively<br />

Entertainment District and the pubs down<br />

by the Waterfront were overflowing with<br />

people wearing t-shirts with the team’s ‘We<br />

The North’ motif. The parties got longer<br />

and louder after I left, as the Raptors<br />

became the first Canadian team to win the<br />

title, setting off an outpouring of city and<br />

national pride.<br />

Although Toronto doesn’t have<br />

to go through hoops to<br />

attract visitors – last year<br />

was another record year<br />

with the city welcoming<br />

44 million travellers –<br />

sport is one of its many<br />

draw cards. The Raptors<br />

and ice hockey’s Maple<br />

Leaves both play in the<br />

Scotiabank Arena, on the<br />

edge of downtown, whilst<br />

baseball’s Blue Jays pitch up at the<br />

Rogers Centre.<br />

My hotel is the Royal York Hotel, a<br />

Fairmont property, which is coming to the<br />

end of a huge refurbishment. Royal York<br />

is ideally located and immediately across<br />

from Union Station, the starting point for<br />

the epic cross-country train,The Canadian.<br />

Toronto’s islands<br />

Leaving Royal York, I stroll down Front<br />

Street, to the recently renovated CN<br />

Tower. A glass-fronted elevator takes me<br />

to the lookout level, 1,116 feet above the<br />

ground, in less than a minute.<br />

From the three new observation level<br />

windows, the views of the city and planes<br />

taking off from the domestic Billy Bishop<br />

City Airport are sensational.<br />

A little-known fact is that Toronto has<br />

islands, located just a few minutes away<br />

from downtown. So after leaving Ripley’s<br />

Aquarium of Canada, with its sharks and<br />

stingrays, to another day, I make the short<br />

walk down to the ferry terminal at The<br />

Waterfront for the 10-minute<br />

crossing to Toronto Island Park.<br />

I pick up my bike and<br />

cycle past some of the 260<br />

cottage-style homes on the<br />

island – actually more than<br />

a dozen small islands linked<br />

by bridges - along the seawall<br />

that protects the park from a<br />

black and restless Lake Ontario.<br />

There are walking and bike trails,<br />

a wading pool, beaches, restaurants and a<br />

petting farm. But perhaps the best reason<br />

for visiting are the views across the water<br />

of Toronto’s skyline.<br />

If the shoe fits<br />

Back on the ‘mainland’ I take the subway<br />

line to Ontario’s Parliament buildings and<br />

then make the short walk to the Royal<br />

Ontario Museum, with its collection of<br />

dinosaurs and ancient artifacts.<br />

I drop into the Gardiner Museum, with<br />

its cool ceramic art, and the Bata Show<br />

Museum, which traces the history of<br />

footwear from Neanderthal deerskin slipons<br />

to the boots worn by astronauts on<br />

the moon. torontonow.com <br />



54<br />

my trip in...Ontario<br />

great<br />

outdoors<br />

Touring options aplenty await just a few<br />

hours’ drive from Toronto, discovers<br />

Steve Hartridge<br />

Iam standing on the edge of<br />

woodland, sipping a digestionassisting<br />

tea made from infused wild<br />

mint and raspberries, the fruits of our<br />

afternoon ‘medicine walk’ with a First<br />

Nations-owned tour company called the<br />

Great Spirit Circle Trail.<br />

As we nibble on ‘bannock bread’, made<br />

from ground roots, corn, wheat and berries,<br />

I hear all about the health-enhancing<br />

properties of the herbs, plants and shrubs<br />

in the forest.<br />

“It took me seven years to understand the<br />

benefits of the botanicals that surround<br />

us. These have been passed down through<br />

the generations,” said our host and<br />

guide, Falcon Migwans, an Ojibway of the<br />

M’Chigeeng First Nation.<br />

“They are the gift of life itself, and help us<br />

connect to the spirits around us. Everything,<br />

even the tiniest flower or wild herb, is<br />

connected and has a spirit, That is why we<br />

start each walk with a spiritual cleanse,<br />

where we inhale the burning essence of<br />

white cedar, sweetgrass, sage and tobacco.”<br />

After peeling a small layer of cedar bark,<br />

Falcon applies the sap to his forearm and<br />

says: “This is a natural skin adhesive, and<br />

works faster than stitches.”<br />

I am on Manitoulin Island, the world’s<br />

largest freshwater island, in Northeastern<br />

Ontario. Botanists think that more than 80%<br />

of all the herbs, plants and flower varieties<br />

in Canada can be found on Manitoulin.<br />

About six driving hours north of Toronto,<br />

the island is also home to six First Nations<br />

tribes, who are slowly gearing up to tourism.<br />

Visitors can sign up for the medicine<br />

walks – “everything in the forest has either<br />

a spiritual, healing, practical or edible use,”<br />

says Falcon – or hike the ‘Cup and Saucer<br />

Trail,’ which leads to the 70-metre-high East<br />

Lookout, a part of the Niagara Escarpment.<br />

Or they can enrol in an outdoor wilderness<br />

experience camp or enjoy a one-hour<br />

moon teaching, where a guide explains<br />

the Aboriginal Calendar and the 13 moon<br />

teachings by using a turtle’s shell.<br />

Heartbeat of a Nation<br />

In summer, Canoe Heritage Tours help<br />

visitors connect with the spirits of water<br />

and sunsets as they paddle through the<br />

heart of Manitoulin on a labyrinth of inland<br />

lakes and rivers. Guides on this Canadian<br />

Signature Experience (CSP) reveal much<br />

about the island’s history and folklore and<br />

pass on wilderness survival techniques.<br />

For a more immersive experience, guests<br />

can drop into one of the several annual<br />

pow wows (or gatherings) between June<br />

and September, featuring drums, dances,<br />

‘heritage interpretations’ and local foods.<br />

There’s also a glamping option, in a Tee<br />

Pee, which includes a ‘Voice of the Drum’<br />

experience.<br />

Earlier that morning, on the two-hour ferry<br />

crossing from Tobermory, Falcon explained<br />

to a captive audience the significant role<br />

drums play in First Nations’ culture.<br />

Tapping out a series of beats on a circle of<br />

taught white-tailed deerskin, he illustrated<br />

how the central rhythm is just like a<br />

heartbeat – one, two… one, two…one, two…<br />

one, two... one, two.<br />

“The heartbeat is at the centre of<br />

everything – the heartbeat of our existence,<br />

the heartbeat of mother earth, the<br />

heartbeat of our nation…even our dancers,<br />

who stand in the centre of a circle of people,<br />

take two steps on every foot, to replicate the<br />

same rhythm,” he said.<br />

The Great Spirit Circle Trail has big growth<br />

plans: it is to develop a woodlands area<br />

into a First Nations museum and hopes to<br />

introduce wig-wam style lodges next year.<br />

Great Spirit Circle Trail is a member of<br />

the Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO)<br />

organisation that works to promote<br />

indigenous-owned tourism products and<br />

experiences. According to ITO’s Executive<br />

Director, Kevin Eshkawakogan, there are<br />

now more than 600 such tourism products<br />





my trip in...Ontario 55<br />




in Ontario although only around 35 of these<br />

are ‘export ready’, meaning geared up for<br />

the international market.<br />

Tobermory<br />

Tobermory is a small town located at the tip<br />

of the Bruce Peninsula. Once a lumber and<br />

fishing community, today it is best-known as<br />

the gateway to two national parks: Fathom<br />

Five National Marine Park (Canada’s first<br />

national marine park) and Bruce Peninsula<br />

National Park.<br />

Restaurants, gift shops, unique stores, a<br />

brewery and an all-you-can-eat fish and chip<br />

shop horseshoe around the town’s quaint<br />

Little Tub Harbour.<br />

One of the popular ways to experience<br />

the park’s crystal-clear waters and rocky<br />

shorelines is by taking a glass-bottom<br />

boat tour around several islands that sit in<br />

Fathom Five National Park.<br />

This is an area of over 20 shipwrecks,<br />

many close to the water’s surface, and a few<br />

minutes out of Little Tub Harbour on our<br />

Blue Heron Cruise we see two of these.<br />


The Sweepstakes was a<br />

two-masted schooner that ran<br />

aground in 1885, she was towed into an<br />

inlet and stripped of most of her rigging,<br />

equipment and cargo of coal before she<br />

sank. But her 36.3-metre hull is intact and<br />

our boat passes what seems like just metres<br />

above it.<br />

Close by is another sunken vessel, The<br />

City of Grand Rapids, a 37-metre passenger<br />

steamship that once called in at ports on<br />

Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. It caught fire<br />

in <strong>19</strong>07 and was towed out of Tobermory<br />

harbour and released.<br />

The cruise stops at Flowerpot island,<br />

where guests can get off and stroll the<br />

15 minutes to the flowerpot-shaped<br />

limestone formations. Some of the cedar<br />

trees clinging to the cliffs are over 1,500<br />

years old, making them among the oldest<br />

living trees in the world. Animals like red<br />

squirrels, snowshoe hares, otter and<br />

beavers inhabit most of the islands.<br />

We see bald eagles, ospreys and turkey<br />

vultures. But not any of the black bears<br />

which live on Cove Island, the largest<br />

island in Fathom Five. The bears have been<br />

spotted swimming across to the mainland.<br />

A five-minute drive out of Tobermory<br />

brings us to the visitor centre of Bruce<br />

Peninsula National Park – and an impressive<br />

one it is too, with a short video and walkthrough<br />

gallery that explains the geology,<br />

history and wildlife of the park.<br />

Several walking trails fan out from here<br />

and from other access points further down<br />

Highway Six. They all lead to majestic cliffs<br />

and bright-blue waters. It’s also a home<br />

to orchids, ferns, cliffside cedars and<br />

endangered flowers. Trails have the same<br />

difficulty designation as Canada’s ski runs:<br />

Top tips<br />

How to get there<br />

British Airways (batraveltrade.<br />

com) operates daily flights to Toronto<br />

International Airport from both Heathrow<br />

and Gatwick. The flying time is around eight<br />

hours. The Toronto Express to downtown<br />

departs the airport every 30 minutes.<br />

Ontario Touring<br />

Suggest a seven-day touring itinerary<br />

that takes in Blue Mountain Resort,<br />

Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula National<br />

Park, Manitoulin Island and Toronto. For<br />

extra days recommend the Muskoka Lakes<br />

region, one of Ontario’s premier ‘getaway’<br />

destinations. For clients with more time<br />

on their hands, Niagara Falls is an easy<br />

add-on to a Toronto city stay.<br />

ontariotravel.net<br />

Where to book it<br />

Prestige Holidays can offer a 12-night<br />

trip, with three nights at the Fairmont<br />

Royal York Toronto, three nights<br />

at Blue Mountain Village, one<br />

night at Tobermory Princess, two nights<br />

at Manitoulin Island Hotel and<br />

three nights at Hidden Valley Huntsville.<br />

Priced from £2605pp, the deal is based on<br />

a June 10 2020 departure and includes<br />

flights from Heathrow with Air Canada, a<br />

full-size four-door car rental.<br />

prestigeholidays.co.uk<br />




56<br />

my trip in...Ontario<br />




black for difficult, blue for a challenge<br />

and green for an easy stroll.<br />

On this Friday there is a steady<br />

stream of walkers strolling the<br />

easy Georgian Bay Trail, through<br />

woodland and past a marshy<br />

landscape which leads to the<br />

Georgian Bay shoreline and rock<br />

formations called Grotto, and<br />

Natural Arch.<br />

Blue Mountain<br />

It’s around a two-hour drive from<br />

Tobermory to Blue Mountain Resort, an<br />

adventure getaway just three hours north<br />

of Toronto.<br />

Once a smallish resort for domestic skiers,<br />

Blue Mountain has been adding attractions<br />

over the last 10 years or so and is now a<br />

four-season resort, with its international<br />

visitors growing by around 1% each year and<br />

the UK one of its top three markets.<br />

In summer they come for activities that<br />

include mountain walking trails, a mini-golf<br />

course, a zipline and the Ridge Runner<br />

Mountain Coaster. At its centre is a village,<br />

with a small lake and various shops,<br />

boutique outlets, bars – including a craft<br />

brewery – restaurants and a square that<br />

hosts summer concerts.<br />

The resort’s 1,000-plus rooms are split<br />

between a Westin hotel, the Blue Mountain<br />

Inn and various village suites,<br />

I take a gondola to the top of the mountain<br />

for gorgeous views of the southern shores<br />

of Georgian Bay and the resort’s golf course.<br />

Mississauga Lake is just 22 kms away and<br />

is a hotspot for watersports, including<br />

kayaking and fishing for bass and lake trout.<br />

This is also an area for mountain biking,<br />

rock climbing and caves that burrow into<br />

the Niagara Escarpment. These include<br />

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, where<br />

you can try to squeeze through a small gap<br />

called ‘Fatman’s Misery’.<br />

My visit ends at Scandinave Spa, moving<br />

gingerly between a collection of hot and<br />

(very) cold pools, saunas, steam rooms,<br />

hammocks and quiet relaxation areas set<br />

amongst a wooded area. <br />

Take me to the top<br />

Enjoy the #1 Ski Resort in Eastern North America!<br />

Come and enjoy a unique global destination<br />

and its many attractions and live an exhilarating<br />

experience at the heart of a picturesque<br />

pedestrian village with undeniable charm.<br />

$31 million investment since 20<strong>19</strong>:<br />

• Increased snowmaking capacity<br />

• New lift<br />

• Additional trails<br />

• Enhanced activity offer<br />

• And much more!<br />

Book your stay now through your favourite tour operator.<br />

<strong>19</strong> YEARS<br />

Untitled-3 1 01/07/20<strong>19</strong> 09:20

selling canada<br />

alberta 57<br />

Spotlight on...<br />

Calgary’s<br />

First Nations<br />

Princess<br />

Steve Hartridge meets Astokomii Smith, an ambassador<br />

and role model for five southern Albertan indigenous tribes<br />

Spirit of Canada’s west<br />

Visitors to this <strong>July</strong>’s Calgary Stampede<br />

(5-14) would have spotted the striking<br />

figure of the event’s First Nations Princess.<br />

The honour this year went to <strong>19</strong>-yearold<br />

Astokomii Smith, who was chosen<br />

to represent five of Southern Alberta’s<br />

indigenous nations – Kainai, Tsuut’ina,<br />

Stoney Nakoda, Siksika and Piikani – as<br />

well as the indigenous-themed<br />

Elbow River Camp located on<br />

the Stampede grounds.<br />

The selection process<br />

was tough: over a<br />

two-week period<br />

Astokomii – whose<br />

name in Blackfoot<br />

translates to<br />

‘Calling Thunder’<br />

– took part in a<br />

contest which<br />

included public<br />

speaking, dancing,<br />

an exam on Treaty 7<br />

(an agreement between<br />

the Canadian government<br />

and several indigenous tribes in<br />

southern Alberta) and the history of the<br />

Calgary Stampede. She also had to submit<br />

an essay on why she wanted to be the 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess.<br />

Her mission statement is a heartfelt<br />

one: “I will strive to be a role model for<br />

the younger generation. I believe that our<br />

mental and physical health should be put<br />

first and that education is our new way of<br />

survival,” she said.<br />

At Alberta’s much-loved annual Western<br />

themed event, Astokomii, a Fancy Shawl<br />

dancer from the Siksika First Nation, met<br />

with visitors from around the world to talk<br />

about the people, the animals, the land,<br />

the traditions and the values that make up<br />

the unique spirit of Canada’s west.<br />

Tribe Days<br />

During Stampede week, Elbow<br />

River Camp provides the<br />

venue for each tribe to<br />

share part of their<br />

culture with the<br />

public on a specific<br />

day, comprising<br />

Tribe Days. The<br />

demonstrations<br />

include dancing,<br />

storytelling, meat<br />

cutting, beadwork<br />

and other traditions.<br />

The camp’s 26 tipis<br />

each have a unique<br />

design on the outside and<br />

beadwork, buckskin outfits<br />

and artifacts are displayed on the<br />

inside. When visitors enter the camp, they<br />

can experience many important aspects<br />

of First Nations peoples, like interpretive<br />

programmes, flag raising, powwows,<br />

traditional storytelling and games.<br />

And although the dust has now settled<br />

on the Stampede for another year<br />

Astokomii’s role, as an ambassador and<br />

role model, will continue throughout 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

She will make many appearances locally,<br />

nationally and internationally throughout<br />

her reign, educating those she meets about<br />

First Nations cultures and sharing her<br />

knowledge of Treaty 7, as well as attending<br />

many First Nation events, powwows,<br />

ceremonies and ‘honourings’ in Alberta.<br />

First Nations experiences<br />

Outside of Stampede Week, there are<br />

many opportunities for visitors to immerse<br />

themselves in First Nations culture.<br />

For example, in Tipi Village at Blackfoot<br />

Crossing on the Siksika Nation, about<br />

100km east of Calgary, they can enjoy a tipi<br />

sleepover and learn about survival skills,<br />

meat smoking and hide tanning.<br />

The Glenbow Museum, in downtown<br />

Calgary, has a year-round exhibition about<br />

the Blackfoot people called Niitsitapiisini:<br />

Our Way of Life, where you can learn how<br />

the Blackfoot people live.<br />

Or visit the site at Head-Smashed-In<br />

Buffalo Jump, where buffaloes were<br />

hunted and learn why they were so<br />

important to First Nations people.<br />

Those looking to take home authentic,<br />

traditional native art, such as jewellery,<br />

moccasins and beadwork by local and<br />

Canadian artists. should visit Moonstone<br />

Creation in Inglewood, a Calgary<br />

neighbourhood. A family-run gallery and<br />

gift shop of curated and created native<br />

goods, Moonstone Creation also offers<br />

classes where you can learn traditional<br />

beadwork, dream catcher and moccasin<br />

making, porcupine quillwork and medicine<br />

wheel teaching. <br />



58<br />

gallery: travel counsellors<br />

Canada Takeover<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors worked alongside<br />

Destination Canada to host two Canada<br />

‘Takeover Days’ for agents in<br />

Birmingham and London. The events<br />

provided an opportunity for agents to<br />

meet with suppliers and learn more<br />

about what Canada has to offer,<br />

sparking new ideas and knowledge to<br />

inspire and secure future bookings.<br />

“I took so much away from the day and<br />

learned loads. I loved the format and the<br />

itinerary planning – that was genius!”<br />

Heidi Kemsley, TC<br />


Our <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors departed our<br />

Canada days armed with a wealth of<br />

new ideas and knowledge - which will<br />

stimulate future bookings”<br />

Samantha Spencer, Commercial Partnerships, <strong>Travel</strong> Counsellors<br />


A key takeaway from the day was that<br />

Canada can be sold as a city break,<br />

with flights from the UK to Canada’s<br />

east coast taking less than five hours<br />





Have clients planning their 2020 vacation? They won’t want to miss our Unforgettable 4 promotion!<br />

Valid for packages on 5+ nights, they’ll receive up to four of our favourite perks, including<br />

additional hotel nights, airport transfers and dinner, making their time in Western Canada truly<br />

unforgettable! This offer is valid for bookings made before <strong>August</strong> 31, 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

rockymountaineer.com | 0800 088 5541<br />



60<br />

gallery: prestige holidays<br />

Prestige celebrates<br />

Canada Day<br />

To mark Canada Day on <strong>July</strong> 1, Prestige<br />

Holidays hosted 48 agents at BelowZero<br />

in London for an evening of networking<br />

and celebrations. Attendees were<br />

invited to test their knowledge in a<br />

Canada quiz, and were treated to<br />

cocktails from the Ice Bar and classic<br />

Canadian dishes, including poutine.<br />

“Cannon <strong>Travel</strong> works closely with Prestige<br />

Holidays and has done so for many years. It’s<br />

great to be invited to such an event”<br />

Tracy Williams, Cannon <strong>Travel</strong><br />

“We have sold a number of Canada holidays<br />

through other operators but are now looking to build<br />

stronger relationships. We used this event to meet<br />

some of the Prestige team”<br />

Mike Silford, Suitcase <strong>Travel</strong><br />

“Canada is a key destination for<br />

Prestige Holidays. We were delighted<br />

with the response from our travel<br />

agents and partners and will definitely<br />

make this an annual event”<br />

Denise Hunn, Director – Canada Tour Operations, Prestige<br />



Prestige’s 13-day Atlantic Maritimes escorted coach tour, which takes<br />

in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, starts from<br />

£3,090pp. Highlights include the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Rocks, St.<br />

Andrews by-the-sea, Halifax and Charlottetown. prestigecanada.co.uk<br />




62<br />

62<br />

65<br />

68<br />








62<br />

the review<br />

Premier gift-wraps<br />

festive breaks to<br />

Channel Islands<br />

Premier Holidays has<br />

launched a selection of<br />

Christmas breaks to the<br />

Channel Islands.<br />

The four-night festive break<br />

packages start from £359pp,<br />

based on two adults sharing,<br />

travelling by ferry from Poole<br />

on December 23, or flying<br />

from a range of regional<br />

airports on December 24.<br />

Jersey Christmas breaks<br />

include the four-star Radisson<br />

Blu Waterfront Hotel, with<br />

B&B and half-board on<br />

Christmas Day, from £359pp<br />

by sea or £399pp by air.<br />

In Guernsey, agents can<br />

book Christmas at St Pierre<br />

Park Hotel from £5<strong>19</strong>pp by<br />

sea or £649pp by air, on a halfboard<br />

basis with full-board<br />

on Christmas Day. Agents<br />

earn £5 in vouchers for every<br />

booking (£10 if booked online<br />

before September 30).<br />

trade.premierholidays.co.uk<br />

Jerusalem an all-round city<br />


Jerusalem is fast shedding its<br />

image of a city that appeals to<br />

mainly religious pilgrims and is<br />

now a top city-break destination<br />

scheduled to open in 20<strong>19</strong> and a<br />

major new attraction, the Museum<br />

of Tolerance, should be welcoming<br />

visitors by the year’s close.<br />

with a line-up of world-class “For a long time the view<br />

attractions, says the destination’s of Jerusalem was very onedimensional:<br />

tourism boss.<br />

Eli Nahmias, Director – Incoming that it is a holy city for<br />

religious visitors but lacking appeal<br />

Tourism and International for more mainstream tourists.<br />

Relations for the Jerusalem “But increasingly we are being<br />

Development Authority, hosted a<br />

trade event in London to highlight<br />

the ‘new Jerusalem’ and recent<br />

developments in the city.<br />

These include a high-speed rail<br />

line between Ben Gurion Airport in<br />

Tel Aviv and Jerusalem city centre,<br />

seen as an international destination<br />

brimming with cultural attractions,<br />

top hotels and museums, arts,<br />

nightlife and a calendar of great<br />

events,” he added.<br />

Jerusalem’s culinary scene is also<br />

booming, with ‘chef-restaurants’<br />

which opened late last year. A opening at a rapid rate.<br />

billion-pound project, it links A new daily Virgin Atlantic flight<br />

Israel’s two main cities in around<br />

20 minutes.<br />

between Heathrow and Tel Aviv<br />

starts on September 25.<br />

Eighteen new hotels are itraveljerusalem.com<br />

Raffles opens first<br />

Indian Ocean hotel<br />

Raffles has opened its first<br />

Indian Ocean hotel – Raffles<br />

Maldives Meradhoo.<br />

The luxury hotel is located<br />

in the rare Maldivian oasis of<br />

Gaafu Alifu Atoll.<br />

The main island is home<br />

to Beach Villas and Beach<br />

Residences, which opened<br />

this summer with private<br />

pools and a marble bathroom<br />

with a sunken bathtub and<br />

outdoor shower. In each of<br />

the terraces, guests can view<br />

the marine life below through<br />

glass flooring panels.<br />

The Raffles Royal<br />

Residence and a secluded<br />

collection of overwater<br />

villas and residences, which<br />

lie adjacent to one of the<br />

house reefs, reached by a<br />

traditional Maldivian Dhoni<br />

boat, will launch during the<br />

last quarter of this year.<br />

raffles.com<br />

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Wilderness reopens luxury Botswana lodge<br />

Wilderness Safaris’ King’s Pool<br />

Camp has reopened in Botswana’s<br />

Linyanti Wildlife Concession.<br />

The lodge, which has nine<br />

luxurious thatched-roof rooms,<br />

has been built with ecotourism<br />

principles in mind. In keeping<br />

with the company’s commitment<br />

to operating with a light ecofootprint,<br />

the camp is 100% solarpowered.<br />

Activities include game drives,<br />

game walks and helicopter flights.<br />


the review 63<br />

Sri Lanka’s fast return<br />



One of the best spots for Diving<br />


Book by 31 Aug <strong>19</strong> and receive<br />

40% Discount on Room Rates!<br />

PLUS Reduced Seaplane Transfers<br />

PLUS One Child Stays Free<br />

Valid for stays from now – 30 Sep <strong>19</strong><br />


Bookings for Sri Lanka are<br />

returning faster than expected<br />

on a wave of goodwill towards<br />

the country, according to the<br />

chairman of one of its leading<br />

hotel groups.<br />

After the Easter Sunday<br />

bombings, tourist arrivals<br />

slumped 70% in May and 57%<br />

in June compared with a year<br />

earlier, but the green shoots<br />

of a recovery – evidenced by<br />

numbers increasing from 37,802<br />

in May to 63,072 in June – are<br />

already being seen, said Hiran<br />

Cooray, Chairman of Jetwing,<br />

“Our bookings immediately<br />

took a big hit, and we lost<br />

around 500,000 room nights,<br />

but after the Foreign and<br />

Commonwealth Office lifted its<br />

travel advisory to Sri Lanka in<br />

early June we have seen 10,000<br />

new bookings for <strong>August</strong> alone.”<br />

Jetwing has 23 hotels in Sri<br />

Lanka – including six in Negombo,<br />

one of the cities targeted by the<br />

bombers – and a range of villas.<br />

The renovated Jetwing<br />

Lighthouse in Galle is scheduled<br />

for an <strong>August</strong> 1 reopening and<br />

a brand-new Jetwing hotel in<br />

Kandy remains on track to be<br />

welcoming guests by the end of<br />

the year, reassured Cooray.<br />

“The support we have received<br />

from UK tour operators, agents,<br />

the media and others has been<br />

overwhelming,” said Cooray.<br />

Turquoise Holidays has a<br />

seven-night stay at Anantara<br />

Tangalle, on the southern<br />

tip of the island, priced from<br />

£1,389pp, on a half-board basis.<br />


Wonderful South Ari Atoll Location<br />

Offering a stunning beach and house reef!<br />

Book by 31 Jul <strong>19</strong> and receive<br />

30% Discount on Room Rates!<br />

PLUS Free Upgrade to All Inclusive<br />

AND Reduced Seaplane Transfer<br />

Valid for stays until 31 Oct <strong>19</strong><br />

Sponsored content - Osborne & Ebel<br />

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a full-board basis, including<br />

return speedboat transfers,<br />

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

64<br />

the review<br />

Inghams looks to<br />

summer 2020<br />

Agents can save their clients<br />

up to £85 per couple for<br />

holidays booked before<br />

September 30 from Inghams’<br />

summer 2020 programme.<br />

A seven-night holiday, on<br />

a half-board basis, at the<br />

five-star Hotel Elisabeth in<br />

Mayrhofen, Austria, starts<br />

from £949pp, based on two<br />

sharing and including flights,<br />

airport transfers and the<br />

early booking discount.<br />

Seven nights at the threediamond,<br />

Inghams-run Hotel<br />

La Sapiniere, in Chamonix,<br />

France, on a catered basis<br />

(including breakfasts,<br />

afternoon tea and evening<br />

meals with complimentary<br />

wine is from £616pp.<br />

inghams.co.uk<br />


Rail Discoveries’ Europe & UK<br />

2020 Preview Brochure features<br />

over 50 escorted tours and an<br />

early booking offer.<br />

New for 2020 is the seven-day<br />

Cities & Palaces of Andalucia tour,<br />

from £745pp. The fly-rail holiday<br />

features time in Ronda, guided<br />

tours of Seville and Cordoba, a<br />

tour in Granada, and a visit to<br />

the Alhambra Palace. Included<br />

are flights, internal transport,<br />

breakfast, and three- or four-star<br />

accommodation.<br />

Also new is the six-day Oban,<br />

South African wine estate offers vintage Cape experience<br />


Rail travel a true discovery<br />

Isle of Skye & the Sound of Mull,<br />

priced from £545pp. Starting in<br />

Glasgow, the itinerary includes<br />

a journey through the Scottish<br />

Highlands on the West Highland<br />

Line and a trip on the Jacobite<br />

Steam Train (pictured). There’s also<br />

a cruise along the Sound of Mull.<br />

Customers can save up to £60<br />

per booking when selling a 2020<br />

departure on or before <strong>August</strong> 20<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. Departures from various<br />

regional UK airports are available<br />

at no additional cost.<br />

raildiscoveries.com<br />

One of South Africa’s leading ‘resort’ wine estates<br />

invited operators and agents to a summer soirée<br />

in London to showcase its latest rosé and put the<br />

word out about one of the Winelands’ leading<br />

visitor attractions.<br />

Babylonstoren’s Cellar Master Charl Coetzee<br />

launched its 20<strong>19</strong> harvest of Mourvèdre Rosé<br />

with an epic rosé tower centrepiece.<br />

Located near Franschhoek, Babylonstoren –<br />

which is listed on the UK Condé Naste Gold List –<br />

also features a boutique hotel and spa, a farm<br />

shop and a restaurant with a farm-to-fork menu.<br />

Agents can book the estate – the oldest fruit<br />

farm and vineyard in South Africa, dating back to<br />

1652 – direct or via a specialist UK tour operator.<br />

babylonstoren.com<br />


November will be a good<br />

time for visitors to be in<br />

Havana, Cuba’s capital. The<br />

city will be celebrating the<br />

500th anniversary of its<br />

founding with street fairs<br />

and festivals. Hotels across<br />

Havana are also planning<br />

their own events.<br />

travel2cuba.co.uk<br />

Prestige Holidays’ new<br />

Madeira and The Algarve<br />

brochure includes the fivestar<br />

Savoy Palace Hotel in<br />

Funchai for the first time.<br />

Prices for a seven-night<br />

B&B stay start from £650pp,<br />

with flights and transfers.<br />

prestigeholidays.co.uk<br />

Kenya, Zambia and South<br />

Africa are featured in a<br />

new three-country tour<br />

from Saga. Masai Mara,<br />

Victoria Falls, the Zambezi<br />

River and Table Mountain<br />

are the highlights of a<br />

13-night option that is<br />

priced from £3,<strong>19</strong>9pp.<br />

The next two departures<br />

are on November 5 20<strong>19</strong><br />

and January 14 2020.<br />

saga.co.uk<br />

The Red Carnation Hotel<br />

Collection is to open its<br />

first hotel in Scotland. The<br />

group’s <strong>19</strong>th property<br />

worldwide – its portfolio<br />

includes Ruebens in London<br />

and Twelve Apostles in<br />

Cape Town – will occupy<br />

the current 100 Princes<br />

Street Hotel, with views<br />

of Edinburgh Castle.<br />

redcarnation.com<br />

Also in Scotland, Ness<br />

Walk, an exclusive five-star<br />

hotel, has opened in the<br />

Highlands capital, Inverness.<br />

In the heart of the city, the<br />

hotel features Torrish, a<br />

fine-dining restaurant which<br />

uses only local ingredients.<br />


the review: cruise 65<br />

Cruise Update<br />

A&K’s cultural cruises<br />



CLIA UK &<br />

Ireland Director<br />

Cruise lines are increasingly<br />

focussing on delivering<br />

the best possible cruise<br />

experience, asking ‘what<br />

will our guests love?’ to<br />

create holidays that offer<br />

extraordinary experiences<br />

both onboard and ashore.<br />

Conversations are moving<br />

away from the physical<br />

narrative of a cruise – for<br />

example, sailing across the<br />

Atlantic for a week – towards<br />

what happens onboard and<br />

during the sailing.<br />

When listening to<br />

customers talk about cruises<br />

you’re more likely to hear<br />

experiential references first,<br />

such as visits to private<br />

Caribbean islands, bars<br />

staffed by robots, food<br />

cooked in the restaurant<br />

of a celebrity chef, visiting<br />

relatively unknown and<br />

exotic climes, and a raft of<br />

adventurous adrenalinefilled<br />

sports such as ziplining.<br />

In order to reach yet-tocruise<br />

travellers, we should<br />

change our language to focus<br />

on these experiences, rather<br />

than focussing too much on<br />

‘maritime language’, such as<br />

how many decks a ship has<br />

and the size of the cabins.<br />

So entice more people<br />

to cruise for the first time<br />

by pointing out innovation<br />

in both the onboard<br />

experience and the landbased<br />

excursions.<br />

cruiseexperts.org<br />


Abercrombie & Kent has<br />

expanded its 2020 portfolio of<br />

Luxury Expedition Cruises, a<br />

move it says is in response to<br />

fast-growing interest in immersive<br />

cultural journeys.<br />

The new Cruising the Baltic Sea:<br />

Copenhagen to St. Petersburg (<strong>July</strong><br />

16-28, 2020) aboard Le Dumont<br />

d’Urville (limited to 148 guests), will<br />

stop in seven countries: Denmark,<br />

Poland, Lithuania, Sweden, Estonia,<br />

Finland and Russia. Guests will<br />

choose from a range of experiences<br />

such as a Nordic food experience<br />

in Stockholm sampling Swedish<br />

specialties from local purveyors, a<br />

Finnish sauna and nature walk and<br />

a cooking class and palace visits in<br />

St. Petersburg. The 13-day cruise<br />

starts from £13,050pp.<br />

A Wonders of Japan Cruise (June<br />

13-26, 2020) will explore Japan’s<br />

four main islands. Those aboard<br />

Le Soleal (limited to <strong>19</strong>9 guests)<br />

will be treated to a private geisha<br />

performance in Kanazawa’s<br />

Higashi Chaia district, as well as a<br />

private performance by the worldrenowned<br />

Kodo taiko drummers.<br />

The 14-day cruise, priced from<br />

£15,999, also visits Gyeongju,<br />

South Korea.<br />

“Our approach to expedition<br />

cruising is culturally immersive,”<br />

said Bob Simpson, Abercrombie<br />

& Kent’s Vice President, Expedition<br />

Cruising. “We start with selecting<br />

the best ship for a destination, then<br />

craft a thoughtful itinerary that<br />

provides ample time in each port<br />

and offers a good understanding<br />

of the region’s history.”<br />

abercrombiekent.co.uk<br />

Winnie the Whale splashes down on Princess Cruises<br />

Princess Cruises has opened<br />

a family water playground on<br />

the top deck of its 3,140-guest<br />

Caribbean Princess.<br />

The Reef Family Splash Zone<br />

includes a water play area, a pool<br />

and a lounge.<br />

Key features are an interactive<br />

water playground (called Winnie<br />

the Whale’s splashpad) with water<br />

sprays and showers, and a spa<br />

and bar area including a family<br />

pool and jacuzzi.<br />

French-owned cruise line<br />

PONANT has joined forces<br />

with Relais & Châteaux to<br />

offer three gourmet cruises in<br />

2020. Relais & Châteaux chefs<br />

will be onboard cruises to<br />

Brittany (September 11),<br />

Canary Islands & Cape Verde<br />

(October 11) and China and<br />

Vietnam (October 28).<br />

ponant.com<br />

Regent Seven Seas Cruises<br />

is to debut more than 200<br />

gourmet plant-based<br />

selections on menus across<br />

its fleet, beginning October 1<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. New dishes will include<br />

wild mushroom tart, poke<br />

bowls and falafel fritters. rssc.<br />

com<br />

Canadian cruise line One<br />

Ocean Expeditions (OOE) will<br />

again run its eight-day<br />

Scotland and Ireland Golf<br />

Expedition Cruise next<br />

summer after a successful<br />

first sailing this June. Priced<br />

from $5,595pp, it will sail<br />

from Dublin to Leith from<br />

June 6-13.<br />

oneoceanexpeditions.com<br />

The two-day annual CLIA<br />

River Cruise Conference will<br />

return to Amsterdam this<br />

November (10-11) after being<br />

staged in Paris in 2018.<br />

cruiseexperts.org<br />

‘Morgan’s Bar’ has a new childfriendly<br />

mocktail menu with drinks<br />

on offer such as ‘Crazy Coconut’<br />

and ‘Berry Nice to Meet You’ .<br />

A 14-day ‘Circle Caribbean’<br />

voyage on Caribbean Princess is<br />

priced from £1,599pp. It departs<br />

from Fort Lauderdale on February<br />

2, 2020 and ports of call include<br />

St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts,<br />

Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad<br />

and Tobago, Bonaire and Aruba.<br />

princess.com<br />


your<br />





Founder and<br />

Owner at Bespoke<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Marketing<br />

QWHAT don’t readers<br />

know about your<br />

company? We are the<br />

General Sales Agent in<br />

the UK and Europe of<br />

Atlantis Paradise Island,<br />

Bahamas, and have been<br />

for nearly five years. We<br />

have the simple objective<br />

of showcasing the resort<br />

and ensuring agents and<br />

operators match it with the<br />

right client.<br />

QWHAT are the<br />

benefits of being<br />

a CTO member? Being<br />

part of a community that<br />

is focused on marketing<br />

the entire Caribbean;<br />

great opportunities for<br />

networking; and working<br />

with the CTO on destination<br />

marketing initiatives and<br />

travel agent training.<br />

QWHAT CTO activities<br />

do you get involved<br />

in? We participate in most<br />

CTO events, including 13<br />

UK travel agent roadshow<br />

events this year.<br />

QWHAT’S your top<br />

Caribbean tip?<br />

Look beyond the beach to<br />

understand the depth of<br />

cultural, sporting, culinary<br />

and other activities each<br />

island has to offer. Each has<br />

its own distinct personality,<br />

history and appeal. An<br />

island hopping holiday is a<br />

great way to explore many<br />

destinations in one trip.<br />

The JTB is rewarding agents for selling Jamaica<br />

Win a place on a Jamaica fam<br />

AGENTS already selling holidays to Jamaica have the<br />

chance to win one of 50 places on a fam trip, hosted<br />

by the Jamaica Tourist Board.<br />

The incentive is part of a ‘Sell It & See It’ campaign,<br />

giving agents the chance to experience Jamaica firsthand<br />

so that they can continue to sell the island.<br />

A dedicated romance-themed fam for wedding and<br />

honeymoon specialists will depart from September<br />

12-17 as well as a regular fam from October 10-15.<br />

To be entered into the prize draw, agents need to<br />

make a booking to Jamaica and register it at<br />

jamaicarewards.co.uk. The tourist board<br />

is also rewarding agents with cash<br />

for bookings made.<br />

Jamaica Rewards also provides<br />

access to training sessions,<br />

allowing agents to become<br />

Jamaica <strong>Travel</strong> Specialists.<br />

BELIZE<br />

has made<br />

rapid steps to<br />

establish itself as a<br />

‘must-see<br />

destination’ among<br />

visitors, says Karen<br />

Leo to make his mark in Belize Bevans, Director of<br />

Tourism for the<br />

Belize Tourism Board. Forthcoming new<br />

product includes a ‘restorative eco-resort’<br />

conceived by actor and environmental<br />

warrior Leonardo DiCaprio, who hopes to<br />

open his property on Blackadore Caye in<br />

2020. travelbelize.org<br />

don’t miss<br />

Agents can meet<br />

with key partners<br />

at the Jamaica <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Market B2B tradeshow<br />

in September.<br />

visitjamaica.com<br />



Antigua & Barbuda has<br />

become the second Caribbean<br />

country to implement a<br />

sustainable diving initiative.<br />

Green Fins, an organisation that<br />

aims to protect and conserve<br />

coral reefs, will provide training<br />

to dive operators to help reduce<br />

the environmental impact on<br />

reefs as well as help sustain the<br />

marine tourism industry. It is<br />

thought that 10,000 tourists will<br />

dive under the new guidelines in<br />

the next year. greenfins.net<br />



Agents can save up to<br />

60% off hotel rates as part of the<br />

Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s<br />

‘Summer Specials’ campaign. Bay<br />

Gardens Beach Resort & Spa,<br />

Bay Gardens Hotel, Bay Gardens<br />

Inn and Bay Gardens Marina<br />

Haven are all offering 40% off<br />

when booking and staying<br />

between now and December <strong>19</strong>.<br />

Meanwhile, East Winds is offering<br />

25% off as part of a Winter Early<br />

Bird deal, valid for stays<br />

between January 1 - 31 and<br />

March 1 - 31, 2020 when<br />

booked before October 31.<br />

20<strong>19</strong>. stlucia.org<br />

HAVING<br />

undergone a fiveyear<br />

renovation,<br />

Cobblers Cove in<br />

Barbados is due to<br />

unveil its new look<br />

in October. The<br />

New look for Cobblers Cove transformation<br />

includes the<br />

refurbishment of all rooms, suites and public<br />

spaces, with influences from furniture<br />

designer Soane Britain. The hotel has been<br />

described as ‘one of the chicest places in the<br />

Caribbean’ and embodies British elegance<br />

with Caribbean charm. cobblerscove.com<br />


caribbean.co.uk<br />

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

68<br />

the review: trade show report<br />


Golden state of mind<br />

Representatives from all 50 U.S. states met up in Anaheim, California, for<br />

the IPW trade show. Jessica Pook and Sally Parker round up the news JUNE 1-5 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Easy travel a<br />

priority for U.S.<br />

<strong>Travel</strong> Association<br />

The U.S. <strong>Travel</strong> Association<br />

spoke of plans to reduce<br />

security wait lines and make<br />

the visa system more efficient<br />

by expanding the Visa Waiver<br />

Programme for visitors.<br />

The association, which<br />

stressed how important<br />

international travel is to the<br />

U.S., especially at a time when<br />

America is experiencing a<br />

decline in the global travel<br />

market, has adopted a new<br />

mantra: ‘<strong>Travel</strong> is trade. <strong>Travel</strong><br />

is security. And travel is<br />

commerce’.<br />

U.S. <strong>Travel</strong> President and<br />

CEO Roger Dow said: “We are<br />

supporting Congress in its<br />

efforts to pass bills such as<br />

the JOLT Act, which would<br />

enable countries like Poland,<br />

Israel, Brazil and others to join<br />

the Visa Waiver Programme.”<br />

Destination D.C. President<br />

and CEO Elliott L. Ferguson II,<br />

said: “We want to encourage<br />

international visitors and<br />

have been working with<br />

officials in Washington to cut<br />

down on wait times and to<br />

make the visa application<br />

system more efficient.”<br />

ustravel.org<br />

New VR tools for Orlando<br />

Virtual tours, including 12 ride<br />

experiences, are now available on<br />

the Visit Orlando website.<br />

personalised recommendations,<br />

discounted tickets.<br />

George Aguel, President and<br />

The visually enhanced site CEO of Visit Orlando said: “Orlando<br />

features 88 virtual reality tours hosted 75 million visitors in 2018,<br />

with 360-degree access.<br />

making it the most visited<br />

Agents can get a ‘taster’ of 12 destination in America. It’s<br />

popular theme park attractions<br />

and ground tours of Downtown<br />

Orlando, as well as the city’s<br />

Convention Centre.<br />

The Visit Orlando <strong>Travel</strong> Academy<br />

is also to undergo a refresh, with<br />

updated webinars, more video<br />

content and interactive workshops.<br />

Agents can download Visit<br />

Orlando’s new free app to receive<br />

important that agents are fully<br />

aware of all the new experiences<br />

on offer.”<br />

Orlando will host IPW in 2022,<br />

when delegates will experience<br />

new attractions such as Epcot’s<br />

nighttime spectacular and the Star<br />

Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area, which<br />

opens in <strong>August</strong>.<br />

visitorlando.com<br />

Puerto Rico asks ‘Have we met yet?’<br />


Jurassic World: The Ride<br />

has opened at Universal<br />

Studios Hollywood.<br />

Riders get to experience<br />

the Indominus Rex and<br />

aquatic Mosasaurus up<br />

close as they peak from<br />

behind a aquarium<br />

observatory tank.<br />

universalorlando.com<br />

The Academy Museum<br />

of Motion Pictures,<br />

designed to celebrate the<br />

making of film, is due to<br />

open at the end of the<br />

year in Los Angeles. It will<br />

feature behind the scenes<br />

footage, props, costumes<br />

and more.<br />

academymuseum.org<br />

Fly Linq in Las Vegas,<br />

the Strip’s only zipline<br />

experience, has just<br />

opened. Adrenalin<br />

enthusiasts can fly 12<br />

storeys above the ground<br />

and land at the world’s<br />

tallest observation wheel,<br />

the High Roller.<br />

caesars.com/linq<br />

Discover Puerto Rico has<br />

launched a new brand<br />

campaign called “Have we met<br />

yet?”<br />

It aims to re-introduce Puerto<br />

Rico to the world following the<br />

devastation caused by<br />

Hurricane Maria in 2017. By<br />

positioning itself as the U.S.<br />

mainland’s “friendly neighbour<br />

to the south” the organisation<br />

hopes to market the island as<br />

‘familiar yet unique’ and<br />

encourage inbound travel.<br />

“Puerto Rico has recovered<br />

and passenger arrivals are now<br />

on par with pre-hurricane<br />

levels,” said Brad Dean, CEO of<br />

Discover Puerto Rico.<br />

discoverpuertorico.com<br />


the review: trade show report 69<br />


Ernest Woode,<br />

CEO of Los Angeles<br />

Tourism, tells<br />

<strong>Selling</strong> <strong>Travel</strong> why L.A. is for<br />

food and sport lovers.<br />

What’s new in town?<br />

Los Angeles has established<br />

itself as a culinary capital - as<br />

evidenced by the city<br />

dominating the 20<strong>19</strong> Michelin<br />

Guide California. We<br />

accounted for 18 of the 27<br />

new restaurants with a onestar<br />

distinction, while six were<br />

awarded two-star status.<br />

Going forward, we plan to use<br />

these credentials to stimulate<br />

demand for food tours and<br />

culinary experiences.<br />

We also have some major<br />

sporting events coming up.<br />

The new Rams stadium, due<br />

to open in 2020, will host the<br />

2022 Super Bowl. L.A. will also<br />

host the opening ceremony<br />

for the 2026 World Cup as<br />

well as the Olympics in 2028.<br />

How key is the UK market?<br />

L.A. is experiencing its eighth<br />

consecutive year of visitor<br />

growth. We’ve actually met<br />

our goal of 50,000 million<br />

visitors two years in advance!<br />

This year we’ve seen a 3%<br />

increase in UK arrivals and are<br />

expecting a subsequent<br />

increase in global visitation<br />

when we host the 2024 IPW<br />

conference. Brand USA is<br />

working hard to ensure that<br />

America is a must-see<br />

destination and I do believe<br />

that the U.S. as a whole will<br />

experience visitor growth,<br />

despite recent (poor) figures.<br />

Food for thought<br />

The 20<strong>19</strong> Michelin Guide California -<br />

the first Michelin guide to focus on<br />

across the state are a true<br />

testament to the diverse and<br />

a specific region of the U.S. - was creative culinary scene in<br />

publicised during IPW in Anaheim<br />

at a ‘reveal event’ in Huntington<br />

Beach, and includes 90 Michelinstar<br />

California,” said Visit California<br />

President & CEO Caroline Beteta.<br />

“From three-star restaurants to<br />

eateries state-wide.<br />

hole-in-the-wall taco shops,<br />

Until this year, the guide only<br />

covered restaurants in the San<br />

California’s cuisine is fuelled by<br />

an abundance of freshness, a<br />

Francisco Bay area but has now fearless attitude and an<br />

expanded to include Los Angeles,<br />

San Diego, Orange County, Santa<br />

excitement for experimentation<br />

and innovation.”<br />

Barbara, Monterey and Visit California is also<br />

Sacramento as well.<br />

Included is the world’s only twostar<br />

highlighting the state’s self-drive<br />

appeal as part of its ‘Road Trip<br />

Mexican restaurant: Republic’ initiative.<br />

Californios (Chef Val Cantu) in San<br />

Francisco, and the world’s only<br />

Visitors can choose from 50<br />

road excursions including the<br />

two-star Indian restaurant: popular Highway One and Route<br />

Campton Place (Chef Srijith 66 to the lesser-known Modoc<br />

Gopinathan) also in San Francisco. County and Wild North Coast.<br />

The guide also features 24 The initiative follows a 79%<br />

restaurants in L.A.<br />

“The stars awarded to the<br />

world-class chefs and restaurants<br />

increase in international travellers<br />

choosing to embark on a road-trip.<br />

visitcalifornia.com<br />

Brand USA unites with new mobile content<br />


Virginia Tourism<br />

Corporation has launched<br />

a campaign to celebrate<br />

the 50th anniversary of<br />

its ‘Virginia is for lovers’<br />

slogan. The campaign will<br />

last until <strong>August</strong> 10 and<br />

features <strong>19</strong>69-inspired<br />

meals at restaurants,<br />

bottled ‘lovers lagers’ and<br />

various programmes and<br />

events. The state also<br />

features heavily in the<br />

upcoming Wonder Woman<br />

movie, which is due for<br />

release in 2020.<br />

virginia.org<br />

The Colorado tourist<br />

board highlighted its<br />

Historic Hot Spring Loop<br />

at IPW. The trail includes<br />

five natural mineral hot<br />

spring spots as part of a<br />

720-mile loop in the<br />

western part of the state.<br />

Clients can soak in<br />

relaxing baths at<br />

Glenwood Springs,<br />

considered the world’s<br />

largest mineral hot<br />

springs pool, as well as<br />

stopping off at Steamboat<br />

Springs, Ouray, Pagosa<br />

Springs and Chaffee<br />

County. colorado.com/<br />

hotspringsloop<br />

The next IPW will be<br />

held in the Las Vegas<br />

Convention Centre from<br />

May 30 to June 3, 2020.<br />

How do you work with<br />

travel agents?<br />

We believe that travel agents<br />

are an extension of L.A.<br />

tourism and that is why we<br />

continue to assist the trade in<br />

selling with our robust<br />

educational programmes, of<br />

which we now have more<br />

than 5,000 graduates.<br />

The latest United Stories<br />

campaign from Brand USA<br />

uses visual content to offer a<br />

first-person insight into the<br />

U.S.<br />

Created by locals, influencers<br />

and travellers alike, the short<br />

videos can be downloaded via<br />

a free app and will be used to<br />

inspire international travellers.<br />

“In the last year we have<br />

hosted fam trips to all 50 states<br />

and continue to grow our<br />

toolkit with new content,” said<br />

Brand USA’s Christopher L.<br />

Thompson.<br />

“Our goal is to be the go-to<br />

channel for content featuring<br />

U.S. destinations.”<br />

thebrandusa.com<br />


70<br />

the review: trade show report<br />

Experience Latin America<br />

The latest edition of ELA, the UK’s only travel trade show dedicated to this<br />

region, was the most successful yet. Laura Gelder rounds up the news<br />

JUNE<br />

10-12 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Green Guyana<br />

gets the go-ahead<br />

from LATA<br />

The Guyana Tourism<br />

Authority (GTA) won<br />

Sustainable Destination of<br />

the Year at the 20<strong>19</strong> LATA<br />

Achievement Awards,<br />

announced at ELA.<br />

According to LATA, the GTA<br />

was awarded ‘for its<br />

comprehensive approach to<br />

sustainable tourism and for<br />

launching a community-led<br />

framework and toolkit aimed<br />

at helping indigenous<br />

communities to access the<br />

benefits of tourism.’<br />

Brian T. Mullis, Director of<br />

the Guyana Tourism<br />

Authority, said: “Guyana has<br />

expended considerable effort<br />

in recent years, not only to<br />

develop an eco-friendly<br />

tourism product but also to<br />

incorporate sustainable<br />

tourism best practice into all<br />

aspects of its tourism<br />

strategy.<br />

“Guyana is committed to<br />

maximising the positive<br />

socio-economic and<br />

conservation outcomes from<br />

tourism and it is a<br />

tremendous honour for us to<br />

receive this award in<br />

recognition of that.”<br />

guyanatourism.com<br />

Cruise shows growth<br />

There was plenty of cruiserelated<br />

news at ELA 20<strong>19</strong>.<br />

Anakonda Amazon Cruises<br />

(anakondaamazoncruises.com) is<br />

now the umbrella brand for two<br />

luxury cruise ships – the<br />

36-passenger Anakonda and<br />

28-capacity Manatee, the latter<br />

the more adventurous option in<br />

the Ecuadorian Amazon. It works<br />

with indigenous communities,<br />

offering cultural tours, wildlife<br />

watching, canoeing and onboard<br />

lectures and activities.<br />

Antarctica 21’s (antarctica21.<br />

com) new polar vessel, Magellan<br />

Explorer, launches November 28,<br />

with private balconies and a gym.<br />

It’s the third in its fly/cruise fleet.<br />

There’s a new fly/cruise<br />

programme from One Ocean<br />

(oneoceanexpeditions.com), with<br />

flights from Punta Arenas to King<br />

George Island and Santiago to<br />

Stanley in the Falkland Islands.<br />

Aqua<br />

Expeditions’<br />

(aquaexpeditions.com) new<br />

20-suite Aqua Nera (pictured)<br />

begins cruising the Peruvian<br />

Amazon in <strong>August</strong> 2020, but is on<br />

sale now, with a choice of six<br />

itineraries.<br />

DMC opens new experience in Ecuador’s Yasuni<br />

Adventure Journeys has a new<br />

experience in the Amazon Basin.<br />

The Amazon Explorer Campsite<br />

is reached by kayak and linked<br />

with the local Kichwa tribal<br />

community. It’s strongly focused<br />

on conservation, offering<br />

activities like tree-planting as<br />

well as wildlife watching and<br />

kayaking.adventurejourneys.com<br />


DMC Argentina <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Partners has a new oneday<br />

tour of the jungle<br />

around Iguazu Falls,<br />

accompanied by a botanist.<br />

atpdmc.com<br />

Boutique hotel<br />

Achamaqui in Northern<br />

Peru touts the<br />

archeological site<br />

Chachapoyas as a less<br />

crowded alternative to<br />

Macchu Picchu. The<br />

31-room hotel works with<br />

communites near the preincan<br />

site, where the main<br />

attractions are the Kuelap<br />

fortress and Karajia<br />

tombs. achamaqui.pe<br />

Specialist DMC Bolivia<br />

Milenaria offers a new<br />

glamping experience. The<br />

bespoke accommodation<br />

takes guests to areas less<br />

touched by tourism in<br />

tents, offering safari-style<br />

comfort with double beds.<br />

Locations include the salt<br />

flats, Lake Titicaca and<br />

Madidi National Park.<br />

boliviamilenaria.com<br />

Amazonas Explorer<br />

refuses to sell the popular<br />

Rainbow Mountain site in<br />

Peru. The DMC claims that<br />

it’s being damaged due to<br />

over tourism.<br />

amazonas-explorer.com<br />

Experience Latin<br />

America will be named the<br />

LATA Expo in 2020 and<br />

located at Chelsea Football<br />

Club again. lata.travel<br />


introducing 71<br />

Ethiopia<br />

Ethiopia is renowned for its religious celebrations and rock- hewn churches.<br />

Lynn Houghton joins Far and Wild for the Timket festival in Addis Ababa<br />

The day dawns bright and warm for<br />

Timket. About 60% of this Amharic<br />

population are Eastern Orthodox and so<br />

celebrate Epiphany (the coming of the<br />

three kings from the east) in January.<br />

After arriving in Addis Ababa I<br />

immediately participated in a stirring<br />

procession with chanting, drumming,<br />

marching and loud throaty singing<br />

from local church members, attired in<br />

matching clothing and with synchronised<br />

choreography. It was truly uplifting.<br />

Now I am travelling up to Meda for<br />

the main Timket service. The glint of the<br />

early-morning sun shines off soaring<br />

skyscrapers and what appear to be<br />

Bedouin camps have goats milling about<br />

and donkeys sheltering under tents as we<br />

pass under the just-opened light rail.<br />

This juxtaposition of rural and modern is<br />

strange to foreigners but the norm here.<br />

My tour guide, Assefa, warns me that<br />

security will be tight. The church elders<br />

are treated like celebrities, plus the Tabot<br />

(Ark of the Covenant), will be protected<br />

like the crown jewels. The one we will see<br />

is a facsimile - the original is said to be in<br />

Axum in the far north.<br />

Red, green and yellow bunting is<br />

fluttering and many are attired in the<br />

national colours too, but most are wearing<br />

white cotton embroidered robes. We arrive<br />

at a compound where the faithful are<br />

descending in droves.<br />

Let the festival begin<br />

I manage to manoeuvre my way toward<br />

the enormous baptismal pool. The security<br />

seems to generally ignore tourists once<br />


TIME ZONE: GMT +3<br />

CURENCY: Birr. £1 = 36 Birr<br />

VISAS: Online/on arrival, $50<br />

CAPITAL: Addis Ababa<br />

LANGUAGES: English, Amharic<br />

CLIMATE: Ethiopian Highlands'<br />

dry season is September-June,<br />

rainy season is <strong>July</strong>-<strong>August</strong><br />

BOOK IT: Far & Wild <strong>Travel</strong><br />


specialise in tailor-made<br />

holidays plus small group<br />

tours to Ethiopia with a Timket<br />

Festival Tour priced from<br />

£3,685pp (farandwild.travel/<br />

africa/ethiopia)<br />

GETTING THERE: Ethiopian<br />

Airlines fly daily from<br />

Heathrow and four times per<br />

through the initial frisk down. Elders<br />

attired in golden brocaded robes carry<br />

filigree silver crosses that represent the<br />

religious centres: Lalibela, Axum and<br />

Gondar. The service entails low chanting<br />

and singing of texts by these elders. Soon,<br />

however, there is a loud commotion. A<br />

soberly dressed churchman is dousing the<br />

entire group of congregants with a hose! It<br />

is a messy group baptism and young and<br />

old alike push forward to participate.<br />

week from Manchester to<br />

Addis Ababa, starting at £455<br />

return (ethiopianairlines.com)<br />

STAY: The eco Simien Mountain<br />

Lodge, located high in the<br />

Simien National Park, helps<br />

fund local community projects<br />

and is close to wildlife such as<br />

gelada baboons.<br />



Now the festivities begin in earnest with<br />

everyone taking part. Football pitches<br />

are erected, and children ride farmers'<br />

donkeys as if on a fairground ride. Tiny<br />

BBQs are lit as Tibs (grilled meat) is<br />

prepared and coffee beans roasted.<br />

Injera, a spongy sour bread, is being<br />

divvied up amongst family members. This<br />

unusual pancake-like staple is used as<br />

both a plate and an eating utensil.<br />

Ethiopia is where coffee originated,<br />

though its beginnings are disputed. Many<br />

locals believe it was a goat herder more<br />

than a thousand years ago who noticed<br />

that his flock became agitated after eating<br />

the ripe red beans. Hundreds of years ago,<br />

Ethiopian warriors chewed the beans for<br />

an adrenaline rush before a battle.<br />

These days, there is a whole ritual<br />

around making coffee and it is quite<br />

the social occasion. Beans are roasted<br />

on a fire, ground, mixed with water and<br />

returned to the fire. The resulting divine<br />

dark concoction is truly delicious and<br />

never forgotten. <br />


72<br />

how to sell<br />

New South Wales<br />

It has Australia’s urban crown as its main draw, but visitors who arrive in Australia via Sydney<br />

might not know that New South Wales has enough to fill an entire holiday, says Laura Gelder<br />

Why sell it<br />

New South Wales (NSW) has a long coastline<br />

dotted with numerous beaches and laidback<br />

surf towns, plus sub-tropical rainforest,<br />

a wine region, a red outback and even snowy<br />

mountains – in short, plenty for agents in<br />

the know to recommend to clients looking to<br />

experience the state beyond the city.<br />

Most people heading to Australia for the<br />

first time are interested in Sydney and may<br />

have heard of the Blue Mountains and<br />

Hunter Valley, but despite it being home to<br />

Australia’s most iconic city much of NSW is<br />

usually unexplored.<br />

This presents an opportunity for agents – a<br />

destination with a famous, desirable and<br />

easily accessible gateway combined with a<br />

surrounding region which still manages to<br />

offer off-the-beaten-track experiences.<br />

Who to sell to<br />

In short, everyone who wants to go to<br />

Australia. But each region has a different<br />

appeal and it will depend on where else in<br />

Australia the client wishes to go, how much<br />

time they have and if they've been before.<br />

The Blue Mountains and outback region<br />

of NSW offer old-fashioned charm and<br />

historic interest, while the Hunter Valley<br />

and Lord Howe Island are great for those<br />

seeking indulgence and relaxation. Families<br />

will appreciate beautiful beaches north and<br />

south of the city, as well as in Sydney itself,<br />

but the south is wilder and will appeal to<br />

those looking to get away from the crowds.<br />



<strong>Selling</strong> the city<br />

Sydney could occupy travellers for several<br />

weeks alone, offering cosmopolitan draws<br />

like shopping, art galleries and fine dining,<br />

as well its many bays and beaches.<br />

Icons like the Opera House and Sydney<br />

Harbour Bridge sell themselves, and<br />

beaches like Bondi and Manly are always<br />

a hit, but agents who get to know the<br />

city’s less obvious areas will attract repeat<br />

visitors and travellers looking to break away<br />

from the obvious. Up-and-coming areas<br />

include artsy Chippendale, hip and historic<br />

Paddington and foodie Surrey Hills.<br />


Agents can impress clients and up their<br />

commission by adding value to classic<br />

attractions. A behind-the-scenes tour of<br />

the Sydney Opera House with lunch, or<br />

breakfast in the koala enclosure at Wild Life<br />

Sydney Zoo, are two examples.<br />

A more unusual way to see the city is an<br />

aboriginal tour with Dreamtime Southern X,<br />

where visitors learn the city’s sacred spots<br />

and take part in an ancient ceremony.<br />

<strong>Selling</strong> the coast<br />

NSW’ Central Coast, between Sydney and<br />

the state’s second-biggest city, Newcastle,<br />

further north. Visitors can expect great<br />

watersports opportunities, wildlife<br />

spotting and plenty of charming towns for<br />

swimming, fishing and surfing.<br />

Wildlife lovers can head to the Australian<br />

Walkabout Wildlife Park and stay overnight<br />

in a cabin among the native animals.<br />

Close by, the Australian Reptile Park has<br />

demonstrations of snake handling and how<br />

to milk venom from funnel-web spiders.<br />

North of Newcastle coastal stops include<br />

Port Stephens, where visitors can tour the<br />

towering sand on quad bikes or 4WD; Coffs<br />

Harbour which is a jumping-off point for<br />

the Solitary Islands Marine Park and scuba<br />

diving trips with turtles or dolphin watching;<br />


how to sell 73<br />

Port Macquarie, where a hospital treats<br />

injured and sick koalas and welcomes<br />

visitors; and Byron Bay, home to Australia’s<br />

most easterly point and combining great<br />

beaches and surf culture with a laid-back<br />

but top-quality café scene and hippy vibes.<br />

South of Sydney visit discover uncrowded<br />

beaches, marine and national parks and<br />

seaside towns and fishing villages like Eden,<br />

which is stuffed to the gills with seafood<br />

restaurants. The rugged coastline offers<br />

adventures such as swimming with seals,<br />

deep-sea fishing, coastal walks and surfing.<br />

Top sights south from Sydney include<br />

Wollongong, NSW’s third-largest city and<br />

home to the largest Buddhist temple<br />

in the Southern Hemisphere, as well as<br />

adventure activities like hang gliding and<br />

sky diving; Kiama and its blowhole, which<br />

spouts seawater 20 metres into the air; the<br />

attractive village of Berry, in the Shoalhaven<br />

wine region and renowned for its local<br />

produce markets and restaurants; and<br />

Jervis Bay, which claims Australia’s whitest<br />

sand and is a haven for dolphins, whales<br />

and penguins.<br />

Another seaside option is the exclusive<br />

Lord Howe Island, where only 400 visitors<br />

are allowed at a time. The island lies 600km<br />

east of the mainland and is World Heritagelisted<br />

thanks to its abundance of nesting<br />

seabirds, corals and marine creatures.<br />

Activities here include relaxing in luxury<br />

accommodation with spa treatments,<br />

enjoying the island's rainforest trails<br />

(including or climbing Mount Gower for<br />

panoramic views), and watersports like<br />

scuba diving, paddle-boarding and kayaking<br />

<strong>Selling</strong> the country<br />

There are lots of great places which are a<br />

short hop or even possible as a day tour<br />

from the coast. From Sydney the Blue<br />

Mountains are a popular option. These<br />

get their name from the natural blue haze<br />



created by vast eucalypt forests whose oil<br />

mixes with water vapour and sunlight to<br />

produce a distinctive haze.<br />

The area’s iconic sights include the Three<br />

Sisters rock formation at Katoomba and the<br />

limestone crystals and underground rivers<br />

of the Jenolan Caves. Visitors can ride the<br />

world’s steepest passenger railway through<br />

ancient rainforest or take a glass-floored<br />

cable car over a steep gorge.<br />

The World Heritage-listed Gondwana<br />

Rainforests are just off the North Coast<br />

and encompass Dorrigo National Park near<br />

Coffs Harbour, with waterfalls, walking and<br />

bird watching.<br />

From Byron Bay visitors can climb an<br />

extinct volcano, Mount Warning, and be<br />

the first in Australia to see the sun rise.<br />

Just off the south coast is the Minnamurra<br />

Rainforest. Inland from Newcastle is the<br />

NSW’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley,<br />

where visitors can tour vineyards and<br />

sample local wines at cellar doors, including<br />

Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood and McGuigan.<br />

Other draws include award-winning<br />

restaurants, championship golf courses,<br />

gardens, farmers’ markets , food and music<br />

festivals and activities like hot air balloon<br />

rides and biking.<br />

Further inland, Mudgee and Orange are<br />

also wine regions, with numerous cellar<br />

doors, wine bars and fine restaurants.<br />

Much further inland, the vast NSW<br />

outback has featured in films such as<br />

the post-apocalyptic Mad Max 2 and<br />

encompasses the ochre and red landscapes<br />

Australia is known for, as well as wetlands<br />

teeming with wildlife.<br />

Remote mining town Broken Hill is 13<br />

hours by train from Sydney and offers<br />

heritage trails and film location tours.<br />

There’s also othe pal mining town White<br />

Cliffs, with its underground motel.<br />

There’s also lots of Aboriginal history,<br />

including ancient rock art in Mutawintji<br />

National Park and Mungo National Park’s<br />

famous remains of Mungo Man and Mungo<br />

Lady, tens of thousands of years old.<br />

How to sell it<br />

Distances are vast in NSW but airlines,<br />

including Qantas, fly to smaller cities<br />

and towns including Coffs Harbour and<br />

country music capital, Tamworth, and there<br />

are trains to the Hunter Valley and Blue<br />

Mountains from Sydney.<br />

For self-drivers there are official<br />

drive routes to follow, like the Legendary<br />

Pacific Coast route, north from Sydney,<br />

and Grand Pacific Drive south from<br />

Sydney, which link attractions and<br />

towns together. <br />


A 14-night Sydney, Coast, Wines and Mountains tour<br />

is from £3,449pp with Emirates fiights. It includes<br />

nights in Sydney at the QT Hotel, glamping in Jervis Bay,<br />

Lilianfels Resort & Spa in the Blue Mountains, Zoofari<br />

Lodge in Dubbo, Hunter Valley Resort, and Peppers<br />

Anchorage in Port Stephens, plus a wine tour, and 12<br />

days Avis car hire. austravel.com – 0808 250 4889<br />


traveluni.com<br />


Training, competitions, events<br />

THIS MONTH'S TOP STORIES <strong>July</strong>/<strong>August</strong> 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Saga launches its<br />

Spirit of Discovery<br />

Quick Quiz<br />

Are you an<br />

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1. Alaska is<br />

home to the<br />

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in America<br />

TRUE / FALSE<br />

NEWS<br />

SAGA welcomed the latest<br />

edition to its fleet, Spirit of<br />

Discovery, by inviting hundreds of<br />

trade partners aboard in Dover this<br />

<strong>July</strong> for a showcase and party.<br />

The ship, and its sister, Spirit of<br />

Adventure, due to launch in <strong>August</strong><br />

2020, are the only small new luxury<br />

ships being built for the British<br />

market. Spirit of Discovery will sail<br />

up to 1,000 passengers around the<br />

world, along with 500 crew.<br />

Trending<br />

City break appeal<br />

for Jerusalem<br />

2. In Alaska<br />

there is one<br />

bear to every<br />

person<br />

TRUE / FALSE<br />

sagaexperts.com<br />

Experience Jerusalem I Modules: 3<br />

Jerusalem has established itself as a popular citybreak<br />

destination as it attracts more mainstream<br />

tourists. Eli Nahmias, of the Jerusalem Development<br />

Authority, says it has shed its image of a city<br />

that appeals to just religious pilgrims, saying:<br />

"Now increasingly we are recognised as an<br />

international destination brimming with cultural<br />

attractions, top hotels and museums, arts,<br />

nightlife and a calendar of great events.”<br />

Eighteen new hotels are scheduled to open this<br />

year and a major new attraction, the Museum of<br />

Tolerance, which will 'promote unity and respect<br />

among Jews and people of all faiths’, should open<br />

before the end of 20<strong>19</strong>. experiencejerusalem.co.uk<br />

Find the answer at:<br />

alaskacertifiedexperts.com<br />

VaKaVa by Jumeirah<br />

News<br />

Jumeirah at Etihad<br />

Towers in Abu Dhabi has<br />

teamed up with Mexican<br />

celebrity chef Richard Sandoval<br />

to open new restaurant VaKaVa<br />

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Taking the place of Toro Toro,<br />

VaKaVa enjoys the same two-storey<br />

views and has a new menu that<br />

offers Latin dishes, sharing platters<br />

and personalised cocktails.<br />

jumeirah.com<br />

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Training courses to help travel agents and advisers sell more!<br />

Working in partnership<br />

Summer seller<br />

Incentive<br />

BOURNE Leisure is each<br />

week giving away £100 in<br />

Love2Shop vouchers as part of its<br />

latest 'Unwrap the Great British<br />

Summer' incentive.<br />

Every agent that registers a<br />

Butlin’s, Haven or Warner Leisure<br />

Hotels booking for guests travelling<br />

through <strong>July</strong> and <strong>August</strong> will be in<br />

with a chance of winning.<br />

Three agents can scoop a share of<br />

the £100 voucher prize pot each<br />

week, with the amount given to<br />

each agent varying from week to<br />

week. During the incentive period<br />

all winners will be chosen at<br />

random and announced on a<br />

weekly basis via Bourne’s Brainz<br />

Agent Hub Facebook page. The<br />

incentive runs until <strong>August</strong> 11.<br />

bourneexpert.co.uk<br />

Honeymoon offer<br />

News<br />

Veranda Resorts has a<br />

honeymoon offer of up to<br />

40% off for stays until January<br />

2020. Agents can book both the<br />

Veranda Paul et Virginie and<br />

Veranda Pointe aux Biches, both in<br />

Mauritius, for 40% less, with free<br />

gifts in the room upon arrival. The<br />

deal is applicable in Superior and<br />

Privilege room categories on a halfboard<br />

basis when booking five<br />

nights. veranda-resorts.com<br />

News<br />

Matai Fiji I Modules: 4<br />

Fiji Airways'<br />

stopover deal<br />

Passengers can enjoy a<br />

stopover in Singapore for 20%<br />

less when they travel to Fiji<br />

with Fiji Airways. The carrier<br />

is promoting a two-day-onenight<br />

Singapore stopover<br />

package consisting of<br />

accommodation, local SIM<br />

card and a one-way transfer from<br />

the airport to the hotel, priced from SGD $62.50pp.<br />

To take advantage of the deal, agents must book a multi-city<br />

itinerary, with a night in Singapore, then use the code FLYFIJI20<br />

to save 20% on select Changi stopover packages. Their clients<br />

can then enjoy attractions such as Sentosa Island, Gardens by<br />

the Bay, Marina Bay Sands and Singapore Zoo.<br />

matai.fiji.travel<br />


A-Z of available<br />

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Alaska<br />

Aruba<br />

Amtrak Vacations<br />

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Finland<br />

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Fort Myers & Sanibel<br />

Haven Hotels<br />

Hawaii<br />

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Jerusalem<br />

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New York state<br />

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Ontario<br />

Qatar<br />

Railbookers<br />

SAGA<br />

Saint Lucia<br />

Sandals Resorts<br />

Seychelles<br />

Simon Malls<br />

St Kitts<br />

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Veranda Resorts<br />

Windjammer Landing<br />

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Yas Island<br />

traveluni.com<br />




Thailandexpert.co.uk<br />

Terms and conditions apply

76<br />

my journey<br />

Carson Pass on<br />

the crest of the<br />

Sierra Nevada<br />

On the road in<br />

California<br />

From the depths of Lake Tahoe to the panoramic views of Yosemite National Park,<br />

Jessica Pook takes to the road to discover the natural allure of the Golden State.<br />

Shaded by a<br />

sequoia<br />

Highway 1’s iconic<br />

cliffhanger views<br />

There’s a country song playing on the radio<br />

about a guy who’s drinking whiskey to<br />

soothe his broken heart. Normally I’d<br />

sympathise, but today I’m in a Mustang with the<br />

top down, winding my way along the west coast of<br />

California, the scent of pine wafting through the<br />

car like a natural air freshener.<br />

On one side the trees are so dense I can<br />

barely see beyond the first row<br />

of trunks and on the other<br />

side the Pacific Ocean<br />

spans forever. I’m having<br />

a Thelma and Louise<br />

moment and no country<br />

crooner can dampen my<br />

mood!<br />

As we cruise further up<br />

Highway 1 we pull over<br />

at a viewpoint just north<br />

of San Simeon and join the<br />

gathering of muscle cars that seem<br />

to dominate this stretch of road. I soon realise why<br />

this is such a popular pit stop. The radio is drowned<br />

out by a loud chorus of honking caused by hundreds,<br />

possibly thousands, of elephant seals, all wallowing<br />

along the shoreline, fighting for that perfect<br />

sunbathing spot.<br />

Tahoe treasures<br />

An eagle skims<br />

the water’s edge before<br />

taking fl ight in front<br />

of me<br />

The journey inland towards Lake Tahoe makes for<br />

a dramatic change in scenery. During the winter<br />

months the lake serves as a popular ski resort and<br />

it’s blanketed in snow from November until April.<br />

Now it’s the middle of June, which sees highs of 25C<br />

– but we’re still seeing patches of snow.<br />

In reality, Lake Tahoe is 75 miles in length and<br />

North America’s largest alpine lake, but search<br />

for it on a map of California and it looks no bigger<br />

than a teardrop! All that fresh water makes it too<br />

tempting to take out a kayak and paddle around.<br />

The clear water of the shallows turn eerily black<br />

the deeper the patches I paddle through. The depth<br />

of the lake has also tempted scuba divers and the<br />

new Emerald Bay Maritime Heritage Trail explores<br />

sunken boats and barges which lie undisturbed up<br />

to 60 feet below the surface.<br />

Back on shore we’re met by Mike Frye from the<br />

South Lake Tahoe Tourist Board and<br />

taken on a gentle hike through a<br />

forest floor scattered with wild<br />

flowers and pine cones the<br />

size of a rugby ball!<br />

While we’re rambling I’m<br />

so busy intently listening to<br />

tales of bears breaking into<br />

houses and wrecking cars that<br />

I nearly miss a break in the trees<br />

offering the most breathtaking<br />

view of the smaller Fallen Leaf Lake,<br />

the reflection of snow-covered mountains<br />

rippling on the surface.<br />

The bear stories continue and I learn that this area<br />

is a hive of wildlife activity in the spring, thanks to<br />

the salmon that gets caught in the weir. As if on cue,<br />

an eagle skims the water’s edge before taking flight<br />

in front of me. It might not be a bear but I’m ok<br />

about that considering my current situation.<br />

South Lake Tahoe teeters on the state line between<br />

California and Nevada and a trip across the border<br />

to Heavenly Valley, just a 10-minute drive from the<br />

quiet, lakeside views of the Azure Hotel where I’m<br />

staying, gives a small insight into a state known for<br />

its blackjack and roulette.<br />

Call of the wild<br />

While I was impressed with Highway 1 and its<br />

ocean views, the journey from Tahoe to Sonora<br />

takes me completely by surprise. What started off<br />


my journey 77<br />

Refl ections on nature<br />

at Lake Tahoe<br />

The awesome power of water at<br />

Yosemite Falls<br />

as an A to B drive turns into the most breathtakingly<br />

scenic passage – dare I say it, even more so than the<br />

Big Sur. We stop at Caples Lake and I can’t help but<br />

investigate what looks like white foam floating on the<br />

surface. Upon closer inspection I realise its ice and<br />

I’m somewhat confused to be standing in shorts and<br />

a t-shirt next to a lake that has blocks of frozen water<br />

floating across the surface!<br />

When we reach Sonora it feels as if we’ve stepped<br />

back in time to the days of the Wild West. The Sonora<br />

Inn, just an hour from Yosemite National Park, has the<br />

charm of days gone by and I half expect to encounter<br />

a cowboy in the corridor as he saunters to the very<br />

real saloon across the road.<br />

Yosemite National Park has been on my bucket list<br />

since I first heard about the giant sequoia trees that<br />

have been rooted here for thousands of years. While<br />

Mariposa Grove is the largest and most popular in the<br />

park - home to characters such as the Grizzly Giant,<br />

the Faithful Couple and The Bachelor and Three<br />

Graces - Tuolume Grove, near the west edge of the<br />

park, offers just as impressive trunks but is generally<br />

less busy so you can enjoy these majestic giants<br />

without the crowds.<br />

Aside from the trees, the park offers visitors a<br />

natural oasis of scenic hikes, towering waterfalls and<br />

sheer cliff edges, most recently highlighted in the<br />

National Geographic documentary film Free Solo.<br />

which follows rock climber Alex Honnold on his quest<br />

to perform a climb of El Capitan without ropes – it’s<br />

not easy watching.<br />

The view from the top of Glacier Point certainly<br />

commands your attention. With panoramic vistas of<br />

the park, it’s worth the half-hour drive to get to.<br />

The drama of Half Dome, with its distinct stone face<br />

looming and the pounding Yosemite Falls, leaves me<br />

questioning if they are actually real. It’s a view that no<br />

camera can do justice to.<br />

As we leave the park, which takes a solid hour due<br />

to the sheer size of it, I feel naive that I’ve tried to ‘do’<br />

Yosemite in two days and find myself determined to<br />

return for a dedicated week-long camping trip. But<br />

before we reach the exit, something catches my eye<br />

in one of the meadows. Sure enough, it’s a grizzly<br />

bear, chomping away at the grass, undeterred by the<br />

audience that it has now attracted. It may not be as<br />

impressive as Mike’s story, but I’m just chuffed to<br />

have enjoyed and survived my own bear encounter. •<br />

Open roads<br />

and beautiful<br />

views<br />

Our shiny<br />

Mustang<br />


Vacations to America has two road trips,<br />

both starting in San Francisco, which<br />

offer elements of this trip. The 14-day<br />

Classic California, from £2,769pp,<br />

takes in Highway 1 including Monterey,<br />

Carmel and Big Sur, before ending in Los<br />

Angeles.<br />

The 11-day Golden West, from £2,385pp,<br />

has three nights in Yosemite before<br />

heading to Death Valley and Las Vegas.<br />

vacationstoamerica.com<br />

sellingtravel.co.uk<br />

Sunbathing next to<br />

snow at Caples Lake

78<br />

south africa<br />

all<br />

aboard!<br />

As South Africa’s Blue Train moves from a one- to a two-night<br />

experience, Phoebe Smith jumps onboard to discover the<br />

ultimate slow travel experience<br />


south africa 79<br />

There’s something mesmerising<br />

about the sound of a train<br />

pushing its way along a track.<br />

I remember when I was a little girl, my<br />

mother would tell me to listen carefully<br />

to hear the locomotive talking to itself,<br />

uttering the words ‘I think I can, I know<br />

I can’ as it went.<br />

As I got older trains somehow lost their<br />

magic, being merely a means to an end,<br />

crammed full of commuters. So when<br />

I received an invitation to travel across<br />

the expanse of South Africa on a twonight<br />

journey by rail it was – perhaps<br />

understandably - met with a certain<br />

amount of trepidation. But this was no<br />

ordinary train.<br />

Palace on wheels<br />

First established back in <strong>19</strong>23 as the<br />

Union Express, it was a vital link between<br />

Johannesburg and Cape Town, allowing<br />

post to reach the waiting mail ships.<br />

The journey back then was all about<br />

function until, following a suspended<br />

service during WWII, it was resurrected<br />

in <strong>19</strong>46 with its distinct blue-and-cream<br />

livery, a luxury overhaul and a new name –<br />

The Blue Train. This was to be a true ‘palace<br />

on wheels’ and large on luxury.<br />

From the private lounge at Cape<br />

Town station, where we toast with pink<br />

Champagne as a jazz musician plays the<br />

saxophone, a blue-blazered butler leads<br />

me to my cabin. He opens the door to<br />

reveal a sumptuous suite consisting of two<br />

large armchairs that fold into twin beds,<br />

a table where a bottle of fizz chills, and a<br />

bathroom complete with a walk-in shower.<br />

But the real show-stopper is the huge<br />

picture window that makes the in-room<br />

entertainment system instantly redundant.<br />

As we roll out of the city, with the cloud<br />

spooling over the top of Table Mountain,<br />

the urban sprawl gives way to farmland,<br />

vineyards and mountain passes. I’m<br />

mesmerised by the ever-changing palette –<br />

from greens to golds, grape to granite.<br />

“It used to be a bit of a rushed journey<br />

– luxurious but fast,” explains the train<br />

manager as we sit in the lounge car<br />

enjoying an aperitif before dinner.<br />

“Now, however, with the two-night<br />

journey time. it’s about allowing guests to<br />

have the space to properly unwind.”<br />

The food is as glorious as the scenery.<br />

Dishes of smoked salmon, pan-fried steak<br />

and biltong flakes are whipped out from<br />

a kitchen smaller than my cabin, each<br />

paired with lovely local wines and followed<br />

by a dessert bonanza of chocolate cigars,<br />

hot fudge pudding and deconstructed<br />

lemon meringue.<br />

Despite the mesmerising flavours, I can’t<br />

help but gaze out at the mountains as we<br />

reach the Karoo plateau, where the grey is<br />

transformed into pink as dusk falls.<br />

I wake early, raise my blind and lie in bed,<br />

simply watching the world go by. Breakfast<br />

is not at a set time so I head to the dining<br />

car when I feel hungry and later call my<br />

butler for an in-room coffee.<br />

“Cape Town is perfect for<br />

slowing down. You could<br />

spend a few nights in<br />

downtown then head out to<br />

Camps Bay for gorgeous<br />

sunsets and endless<br />

coastal walks”<br />

Jonny May, Audley <strong>Travel</strong><br />

Precious gem<br />

The one stop on this journey is at<br />

Kimberley, famed for its diamond mines. A<br />

waiting tour bus whisks us away from the<br />

train to the Big Hole. This massive mining<br />

crater is 214 metres deep and filled with<br />

water that has a surface area the same<br />

size as five football fields.<br />

As I look down at this man-made<br />

excavation I notice my usual hurried<br />

pace has been replaced by a much more<br />

laid-back meander – it’s as though I’m<br />

channelling the speed of the train despite<br />

having left it. By the time I step back<br />

onboard I’m ready to do more of what this<br />

whole experience is about – nothing at all.<br />

I head to the observation car at the back<br />

of the train and, with a drink in hand,<br />

watch the setting sun. My journey will<br />

come to an end the following morning,<br />

rolling back towards the urban, as I pass<br />

through Johannesburg to end in Pretoria.<br />

From there I will head four hours west, for<br />

a safari in Madikwe Reserve. But you<br />



80<br />

south africa<br />


can combine the Blue Train with Kruger<br />

National Park, the Garden Route along the<br />

Eastern Cape, as well as the Hoedspruit<br />

and Sabie areas of the north coast of<br />

KwaZulu-Natal.<br />

For now, I watch a cluster of pink<br />

flamingos on the lake. With our<br />

increasingly fast-paced lives, slow travel<br />

offers something that no other experience<br />

really can; the chance to disconnect<br />

from technology, to reconnect with the<br />

landscape, and to realise that the journey<br />

really can be the destination.<br />

Ideas for slow South Africa<br />

A sidecar tour from Cape Town:<br />

Someone else worries about the<br />

driving while guests simply sit back and<br />

take in the sights, smells and sounds as<br />

the little motorcycles travel down the<br />

coast at a leisurely speed, taking in views<br />

(including a stop for a Champagne<br />

breakfast), Victorian seaside towns and<br />

South African penguins at Boulders Beach,<br />

before ending with a toast and local wine<br />

in Stellenbosch.<br />

A multi-day safari: Just four hours<br />

on good roads from Jo’burg is<br />

Madikwe Nature Reserve, a place where<br />

the Magnificent Seven roam – including<br />

elephant, rhinos, lion, buffalo, leopard,<br />

cheetah and African wild dog. Royal<br />

Madikwe Lodge is situated by a prime<br />

waterhole where, after undertaking<br />

sunrise and sunset drives, guests are<br />

encouraged to grab a sundowner and<br />

watch the wildlife come to them.<br />

Tuk-tuk tour in Soweto: Sick of<br />

being gawped at by coach tour<br />

tourists snapping photos of them as<br />

though on a human safari, locals in<br />

Soweto decided it was time for a change<br />

and provide a more authentic experience.<br />

Buying a fleet of bikes and three tuk-tuks,<br />

they now offer visitors a local view of the<br />

famous township, telling stories and<br />

offering the chance to actually meet and<br />

talk to the locals too.<br />

Where to book it<br />

CARRIER – 0161 492 1353<br />

The seven-night Window to the Soul of<br />

South Africa holiday is priced from £3,185pp,<br />

based on two adults sharing. It includes<br />

two nights’ B&B in a one-bedroom luxury<br />

apartment at More Quarters in Cape Town,<br />

two nights’ full-board in a Deluxe Suite on<br />

The Blue Train from Cape Town to Pretoria,<br />

two nights’ all-inclusive in a Luxury Suite at<br />

Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge and one<br />

night B&B in a Luxury Suite at The Saxon<br />

Boutique Hotel & Spa in Johannesburg.<br />

Plus fast track service and lounge access at<br />

Heathrow, return flights with South African<br />

Airways and private road transfers within<br />

the destination. carrier.co.uk. <br />




the final word 81<br />

the quirky side of travel<br />

Tea for TUI<br />

As a tea-loving nation it comes as no<br />

surprise that we drink an excessive<br />

amount of the stuff, and this doesn't<br />

change when we take flight. According<br />

to TUI, British travellers love nothing<br />

more than a nice brew. The airline<br />

estimates that over the summer period<br />

TUI Airways customers will drink<br />

enough English breakfast tea to fill 920<br />

bathtubs. We are also a fan of snacking<br />

and are expected to eat enough ham<br />

and cheese toasties to feed Wembley<br />

Stadium twice, along with a marathon<br />

amount of Sour Cream & Chive Pringle<br />

- literally! Put back-to-back, the pots<br />

would span the entire London Marathon<br />

route. You know what they say - once<br />

you pop, you can't stop...<br />

tui.co.uk<br />

Train strains<br />

Around 80% of Brits have experienced<br />

a life-changing 'sliding doors moment',<br />

says rail company LNER, referring to<br />

the film Sliding Doors which shows two<br />

versions of a life, depending on whether<br />

a train was missed or not. LNER's survey<br />

revealed that one in 20 came home<br />

earlier than expected and caught their<br />

partner cheating, just like poor Gwyneth<br />

Paltrow in the film. lner.co.uk<br />

Mum over mates<br />

First Choice has revealed that over<br />

three-quarters of young adults are<br />

opting to go on holiday with their<br />

parents. Whilst 23% admitted it's to<br />

save money (thanks to the bank of<br />

mum and dad), 62% simply enjoy<br />

spending quality time with their<br />

parents. They’re not taking mum to<br />

Magaluf, though – parents are finding<br />

new confidence to travel to long-haul<br />

destinations. firstchoice.co.uk<br />

Top 5... most<br />

expensive taxi fares<br />

According to Taxi2airport.com, the country<br />

with the most expensive taxi fare is<br />

Switzerland, at £20.25 for 5km, compared to<br />

just 75 pence for the same journey in Egypt!<br />

Here's a list of the most pricey 5km drives...<br />

1 Switzerland: £20.25<br />

2 Japan: £13.97<br />

3 Germany: £12.32<br />

4 Netherlands: £11.97<br />

5 Belgium: £11.52<br />

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Be inspired by...<br />


Trends in touring • Touring four ways • Interview: Shearings Holidays<br />

• Fresh touring ideas • Take five: off-the-beaten track tours •

84<br />



Once synonymous with passive 'herded' groups, there’s now a touring product to<br />

fit a wider range of clients, and a growing demand to tap into, says Debbie Ward<br />

The touring market continues<br />

to break down into tighter<br />

segments with size, transport and<br />

demographics still fragmenting.<br />

“The concept of touring has evolved over<br />

recent years, from the traditional escorted<br />

coach tour carrying 50-plus passengers to a<br />

more flexible and dynamic product range,”<br />

explains <strong>Travel</strong> 2’s Senior Product and<br />

Commercial Manager for Touring, Europe<br />

and Cruise, Mark Henderson.<br />

Anything from rail to trekking and many<br />

special interests are now covered, he points<br />

out, adding, “a key change is the degree of<br />

flexibility now available within tours. This<br />

includes more time for customers to add on<br />

experiences tailored to their interests.”<br />

This is part of a wider shift towards smallgroup<br />

touring, believes Explore Worldwide’s<br />

Global Head of Sales, Ben Ittensohn, with<br />

even traditional coach operators having to<br />

fragment and personalise their product to<br />

meet demand.<br />

“People are now seeing how much closer<br />

you can get to destinations, culture and<br />

local life in a small group,” he says.<br />

The shift appears to be influenced by the<br />

wider trend for authenticity. “Experiential<br />

tours, whether food-, walking-, cultural- or<br />

multi-sport-based are consistently growing<br />

as travellers are interested in experiencing<br />

the real day-to-day atmosphere and<br />

ambience of a destination,” says Henderson.<br />

Experiential travel<br />

In response to demand for more varied<br />

tours Ramblers Walking Holidays has added<br />

mindfulness and wellbeing, bird watching,<br />

and skills like navigation.<br />

“Clients are also looking for memorable,<br />

low-impact, environmentally aware<br />

experiences," says Sales and Reservations<br />

Manager, Paco Gonzalez. “They expect to<br />

come back from the break with the feeling<br />

they’ve gained a sense of accomplishment.”<br />

Increasingly, socially conscious travellers<br />

seek out community projects, says <strong>Travel</strong> 2.<br />

And Explore notes that responsible travel<br />

is now ‘more relevant’ to consumers than<br />

it was even five years ago. Though social<br />

awareness is a factor, the experiential travel<br />

boom is also fuelled by bragging rights,<br />

admits Ittensohn.<br />

“This year we launched a trip to Lebanon<br />

and sales have just gone through the roof.<br />

It’s social currency to say you’ve just done<br />

eight days in Lebanon or five in Chernobyl,”<br />

he explains.<br />

Touring operators’ high repeat booking<br />

rates also drive innovation. “Some 21% of<br />

our travellers last year had done 10 or more<br />

trips with us so you can see we have a real<br />

need to keep developing programmes,”<br />

says Ittensohn.<br />

Widening horizons<br />

Northern Peru is among the off-the-beaten<br />

track destinations tipped for growth by<br />

Journey Latin America.<br />

South Africa, Japan, Jordan and Lebanon<br />

are, meanwhile, selling strongly for Explore.<br />

It anticipates further Middle East growth<br />

and hopes for a return to form for Sri<br />

Lanka too. Good-value Turkey is also doing<br />

well and operators predict other shorthaul<br />

demand will bounce back as ‘Brexit<br />

wariness’ eases.<br />

As ever, film and TV coverage has an<br />

effect. Demand for Explore’s Chernobyl<br />

tour quadrupled after the HBO/Sky miniseries<br />

about the nuclear disaster.<br />

Judi Dench's recent programme about<br />

Borneo and its lovable orangutans has<br />

driven significant sales to the Malaysian<br />


TOURING 85<br />

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jordan's famous lost city of Petra; Turkish resort Oludeniz; bird watching is becoming more popular; Thailand's Koh Lipe<br />


86<br />

touring<br />

island, according to Mercury Holidays<br />

and Shearings Holidays.<br />

Self-drives are increasingly popular with<br />

those who enjoy travelling independently<br />

while tapping into an operators’<br />

expert know-how, and infrastructure<br />

improvements help boost this market.<br />

“Over the decades, improvements to Latin<br />

America’s growing network of paved roads<br />

have really opened up the region to this<br />

style of holiday,” says Journey Latin America<br />

ABOVE: Lost City of Kuelap, Northern Peru<br />

Business Development Manager, Laura<br />

Rendell-Dunn. “In Ecuador, for example,<br />

recent improvements to Route 45 mean that<br />

places once almost inaccessible to visitors<br />

are now brought within easy reach of<br />

popular Quito and the country’s principal<br />

highland cities.”<br />

Time poor but tech savvy<br />

Today’s travellers want to maximise their<br />

experiences of a destination by being on<br />

tighter schedules.<br />

“Nowadays, clients usually travel for two<br />

or three weeks at a time where 40 years ago<br />

we offered a six-week escorted group tour<br />

that covered Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and<br />

Peru and was hugely popular,” points out<br />

Rendell-Dunn.<br />

Clients are also better informed. Ramblers<br />

says even its predominantly 50+ customers<br />

do thorough internet research before<br />

booking. A recent survey of 2,000 millennial<br />

travellers by TrekAmerica meanwhile found<br />

Instagram was a travel driver for 25% of this<br />

age group – something agents could use to<br />

their own advantage when targeting sales.<br />

ABOVE: Lebanon's appeal includes bragging rights<br />

Flying solo… or as a family<br />

Solo travel is a key recent touring trend.<br />

Explore’s Ittensohn says that although<br />

the reasons are unclear, female client<br />

numbers have also risen, perhaps because<br />

women like the security of travelling with<br />

others. He adds that with more short tours<br />

available, those with partners with different<br />

travel interests feel comfortable taking a<br />

few days away on their own.<br />

Agents can court this market by<br />



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Award-winning service from travel specialists<br />

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Included in all<br />

our tours:<br />

• Local English Speaking guides<br />

• All excursions and entry fees<br />

• Accomodation and selected<br />

meal plans<br />

• Return flights from UK airports<br />

• All internal travel included<br />

• Full holiday protection<br />


#Applies to like-to-like holidays, documentary proof of lower price must be provided within 24 hour. See website for full terms & conditions.<br />

Untitled-1 1 10/07/20<strong>19</strong> 08:58

TOURING 87<br />

ABOVE: Chenobyl - seeing strong growth since the TV mini-series<br />

understanding single supplement options.<br />

Some small group operators waive this<br />

for travellers who will share rooms. Some<br />

have no single supplements on certain<br />

departure dates.<br />

Family touring is also on the rise. <strong>Travel</strong> 2<br />

is expanding product to meet what it sees as<br />

the key 20<strong>19</strong>/2020 trend.<br />

“Families are now looking to travel on<br />

more experiential-based holidays and we<br />

have some great partners that we work with<br />

to deliver this,” says Henderson.<br />

Explore also notes the boom, with<br />

Thailand and Turkey proving popular.<br />

“We’ve seen double-digit growth this year.<br />

People want to get their children away from<br />

their screen and out doing fun activities like<br />

kayaking,” says Ittensohn.<br />

Agents can entice families by stressing<br />

how group touring takes the strain off<br />

parents, he advises.<br />

The age demographic is also shifting. “The<br />

average age of a tour customer is midfifties<br />

but this is something that’s certainly<br />

changing. I was recently on a Vietnam tour<br />

and I happened to be the oldest person<br />

at 40,” says Henderson. “The youngest<br />

customer was <strong>19</strong> but the group was<br />

harmonious as we all had similar interests.”<br />

He predicts average ages will continue to<br />

drop thanks to today’s more immersive tour<br />

opportunities.<br />

Agent tips<br />

Agents often need to be proactive to sell<br />

tours. Explore encourages retailers to use<br />

the demand for new experiences to their<br />

advantage, tempting clients with unusual<br />

destinations and activities they can access<br />

most easily with organised tours. Agents<br />

should also join touring associations<br />

to network with specialists, Explore’s<br />

Ittensohn advises.<br />

And <strong>Travel</strong> 2’s Henderson suggests agents<br />

ask clients their interests and hobbies and<br />

then match them to tours designed with the<br />

same niche in mind.<br />

Titan’s Head of Trade Sales Edwina<br />

Coppock points out that touring is a quick<br />

and easy way for agents to sell a multicentre<br />

holiday without days of research.<br />

She adds: “Don’t just wait for a customer<br />

to ask for an escorted tour. They may<br />

initially only know that they want to visit a<br />

certain country.”<br />

ABOVE: South Africa is a classic touring destination<br />


Spirit of Discovery is here!<br />

Book online at sagaagents.co.uk, call FREE on 0800 074 8021<br />

or contact Trade Support FREE on 0800 068 8732<br />

Visit our online training platform at sagaexperts.co.uk<br />

Find us on social media Saga Trade Team<br />

Image credit: Chris Ison<br />

Saga holidays and cruises are exclusively for the over 50s. A travel companion may be 40+. NTA-SC2851

TOURING 89<br />


Agents can sell tours under many different guises and for varied tastes and<br />

interests, Debbie Ward outlines four styles<br />


Trekking Tanzania's Kilimanjaro is a popular G Adventures trip<br />

G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk) includes many active<br />

tours, some specifically for ‘18 to 30-somethings’,<br />

including serious trekking options in Kilimanjaro,<br />

Nepal and Patagonia, the latter offering clients the<br />

chance to raft in Glacier National Park.<br />

Intrepid (intrepidtravel.com) encourages<br />

adventurous travellers to take to two wheels, with<br />

cycling tours in the Balkans, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran,<br />

Tanzania and the lesser-cycled but trending Japan.<br />

Routes here link Kyoto with Tokyo and the Noto<br />

Peninsula, with optional electric bikes to take some of<br />

the strain.<br />

Medium-haul Costa Rica is a manageable adventure<br />

holiday for families offered by Explore (explore.co.uk)<br />

and Exodus (exodus.co.uk). Explore’s 14-night Family<br />

Rainforest Adventure includes treks to see sloths<br />

and howler monkeys. An 11-day trip to Borneo with<br />

Intrepid <strong>Travel</strong> (intrepidtravel.com) takes in an orangutan<br />

rehabilitation centre plus proboscis monkeys.<br />


Journey Latin America (journeylatinamerica.co.uk) has<br />

a newly-launched tour called Self-drive Ecuador: The<br />

Back Road of the Andes. This heads off the beaten<br />

track, winding its way south from Quito’s high Andean<br />

plateau to the rainforest of the Amazon basin in 10<br />

days. It uses the newly improved scenic Route 45, with<br />

clients staying in forest lodges on the way and taking<br />

opportunities for wildlife spotting and river rafting.<br />

Closer to home, Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.<br />

co.uk) has self-drive itineraries around the mountain<br />

passes and glaciers of Norway and the ancient villages<br />

and beaches of Montenegro, both over eight days.<br />

Kuoni’s (kuoni.co.uk) flexible Australian self-drive<br />

holidays can be made by car, with pre-booked,<br />

accommodation, or by motorhome. Among the less<br />

obvious suggested routes is an Outback self-drive<br />

over 22 nights from Perth to Darwin, taking in Karinji<br />

National Park, the striped rock formations of the Bungle<br />

Bungles and staying two nights at El Questro ranch,<br />

besides coastal stays at Broome and Monkey Mia.<br />

Regent Holidays offers self-drive options in Norway<br />


90<br />



While many escorted tours are likely to include a mix<br />

of solos, couples and friends, Saga (saga.co.uk) is one of<br />

the operators offering dedicated solo departures.<br />

Options include a Southern Italian and Sicilian<br />

Adventure over 12 nights, covering the trending but<br />

lesser-known area at the heel of Italy. Wine tasting on<br />

the foothills of Mount Vesuvius is among the highlights.<br />

Further off the beaten track it also has a 10-night Heart<br />

of the Silk Route solo tour of Uzbekistan, which takes in<br />

Samarkand, famed for its Islamic mosaic work.<br />

Solo departures from Titan <strong>Travel</strong> (titantravel.co.uk)<br />

include California and the Golden West in the US,<br />

incorporating Vegas and Yosemite, and trips to the<br />

Foothills of the Himalayas in India.<br />

Great-value Turkey is among the solo departures for<br />

On the Go tours (onthegotours.com), which has a 10-day<br />

‘Unplugged’ trip taking in Istanbul, Cappadocia and the<br />

WWI landing site at Gallipoli, with no single supplement<br />

if clients room share with another of the same sex.<br />

Client ages range from 18 to 70-plus.<br />

Riviera (rivieratravel.co.uk) has a solo travellers forum<br />

for online travel chat and no single supplement on its<br />

solo departures. These include several Italy options<br />

plus New York, Sri Lanka and a Grand Tour of China.<br />

Saga offers a solo tour of Uzbekistan<br />


South Africa continues to trend this year, partly thanks<br />

to improved airlift. Kuoni (kuoni.co.uk) has a sevennight<br />

escorted Essential South Africa tour combining<br />

three nights in Cape Town with two at Stellenbosch in<br />

the Winelands and an optional Eastern Cape safari, visit<br />

to Victoria Falls, or a three-night add-on in Mauritius.<br />

For the ultimate cash-rich- time-poor clients,<br />

Abercrombie & Kent (abercrombiekent.co.uk) has a<br />

new round-the-world by private jet tour for 20<strong>19</strong>,<br />

stopping at Kyoto in Japan; the Gobi Desert in Mongolia;<br />

Kathmandu and Mount Everest in Nepal; Bhutan; the<br />

Taj Mahal in India; Abu Dhabi; Petra and Wadi Rum in<br />

Jordan; Sicily; and Seattle and Boston in the U.S..<br />

Less typical places to see in style include Albania,<br />

featured by Cox & Kings (coxandkings.co.uk) in its<br />

eight-night Land of the Eagle tour, and Moldova and the<br />

Ukraine, including caviar tasting.<br />

Many luxury-slanted operators offer private touring<br />

with a drive/guide on certain itineraries.<br />

And for something totally different, Wendy Wu<br />

(wendywutours.co.uk) has a unique Big Fat Indian<br />

Wedding trip departing this November that includes an<br />

invite to a lavish wedding reception.<br />

Be a guest at a lavish Indian wedding with Wendy Wu<br />


TOURING 91<br />


Don’t define your customers<br />

by their age, it’s all about<br />

mindset and their personal<br />

passions and interests<br />

Touring is in vogue! People lead busy lives<br />

so they’re looking for a holiday that’s easy<br />

and touring makes sure they can get the best<br />

value, money-wise but also in terms of time, because<br />

they can more easily pack in all the must-see sights.<br />

There’s a misconception about coach tours because<br />

people remember what they travelled in for school.<br />

Our coaches are up-to-date Mercedes Benz; the seat<br />

pitch is larger than an airline’s and seats have lateral<br />

movement. We also offer wifi and an entertainment<br />

system, Roadshow, which lets travellers access films,<br />

TV, podcasts and more through their own devices.<br />

Trending now<br />

Today it’s all about personalisation, so we offer Tour<br />

and Explore packages which travel from place to<br />

place; or Stay and Discover itineraries based in one<br />

hotel with tours going out every day. There are pre- or<br />

post-tour stays available too.<br />

The perception of coach touring is that you’re<br />

herded around in a big crowd and that’s the myth<br />

Yellowstone National Park<br />


Managing Director<br />

Shearings Holidays<br />


INDUSTRY: 30<br />



DESTINATION: Italy<br />

(love the food & wine)<br />


Forgetting my driving<br />

licence on a fly-drive<br />

(hubby took the wheel!)<br />

that agents need to dispell. The only thing that’s<br />

prescriptive about a coach tour is the travel itself.<br />

Once you reach the destination you have freedom<br />

– some people might do a walking tour, some will<br />

explore independently and others may have prebooked<br />

an extra excursion. If they wish, travellers can<br />

just use the coach as a way to get from A to B.<br />

Our Grand Tourer brochure is all about authenticity.<br />

It has all the traditional stops like the Vatican in Rome<br />

or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but we’ve added curated<br />

elements that give a touch of local authenticity, such<br />

as wine tasting in a chateau.<br />

America is our most popular touring destination but<br />

in Europe Italy comes top and in the UK, Scotland.<br />

Borneo, launched a year ago, is growing in popularity<br />

and has been boosted by Judi Dench’s documentary.<br />

TV is a big influencer and agents should pay close<br />

attention to what their customers may be watching.<br />

The future of touring<br />

We have lots of ideas on how to make tours more<br />

individual and by 2020 agents will see more ways<br />

to de-package, meaning they can mix and match<br />

elements for a bespoke holiday. We’ll also be utilising<br />

technology in our tours.<br />

The goal is to broaden our appeal, although our core<br />

market remains the over 55s. But don't define your<br />

customers by their age, it’s all about mindset and their<br />

personal passions and interests and our brochure<br />

signposting aims to highlight each tours' focus.<br />

An escorted tour is an end-to-end experience<br />

and agents can get commission on all of it. We offer<br />

great trade concessions because there’s nothing like<br />

experiencing the product and if agents can offer firsthand<br />

feedback that’s much more compelling<br />

than a website. It’s all about adding value<br />

and understanding what’s included.<br />


This is<br />

Escorted Touring<br />

From Antrim to Antarctica, whether you dream of seeing Orangutans in the jungles of Borneo or<br />

learning about the history of Budapest, a Shearings escorted tour provides you with the freedom,<br />

fl exibility and opportunity to explore all corners of the world. With over 1,000 expertly-planned<br />

itineraries visiting almost 200 destinations on all seven continents, the world is waiting!<br />

Fancy taking to the water or visiting somewhere closer to home, then look no further. We are one of the best in the<br />

business for our Britain and Ireland escorted tours, in addition to offering an unrivalled range of 62 European and<br />

worldwide river cruise itineraries across 32 stunning ships, plus 20 ocean cruises.<br />

Sit back, relax and let us handle the details whilst you marvel at famous sights, natural wonders<br />

and hidden treasures- all brought to life by our tour managers and specialist local guides.<br />

17 DAYS FROM<br />

£2,065PP<br />

Scandinavia & Land Of Midnight Sun<br />

Join our epic journey beyond the Arctic<br />

Circle, through some of the most breathtaking<br />

and unspoilt scenery. Passing stunning fjord<br />

landscapes and quaint fi shing villages along<br />

our way, this will give us a wonderful taste of<br />

what Scandinavia has to offer. Explore historic<br />

capital cities, each with a unique character<br />

and experience the spectacular natural<br />

phenomenon of the ‘Midnight Sun’.<br />

16 DAYS FROM<br />

£1,628PP<br />

Rome, Sorrento & Amalfi Coast<br />

Join us on this fantastic holiday and enjoy<br />

a stay in the stylish resort of Sorrento with<br />

its cafes and shops. Admire the stunning<br />

Amalfi coast, home to some of the<br />

most breath-taking scenery in the world<br />

and discover the iconic sights of the<br />

‘Eternal City’ of Rome, one of the most<br />

photographed cities in the world.<br />

Best of Enchanting Ireland<br />

13/15 DAYS FROM<br />

£1,069PP<br />

A land built on myths and legends and<br />

sustained by local charm and hospitality,<br />

the Emerald Isle is a place of stories.<br />

Create your own with our tour around the<br />

wild landscapes. dramatic seascapes and<br />

the charismatic towns, and perhaps share<br />

a tale or two over a pint of the ‘black stuff’.<br />

May – <strong>July</strong> 2020<br />

BY COACH<br />

Also available by air<br />

April – October 2020<br />

BY COACH<br />

May – September 2020 BY COACH<br />

Also available by air<br />

13 DAYS FROM<br />

£2,589PP<br />

22 DAYS FROM<br />

£5,499PP<br />

12 DAYS FROM<br />

£1,829PP<br />

Eastern Discovery<br />

From the big cities, rural countryside and<br />

history of the USA’s East Coast we cross<br />

the border to Canada’s historic eastern<br />

cities and the majesty of Niagara Falls that<br />

spans the borders. We travel from city to<br />

monument to natural wonders, immersed<br />

in the beauty of these two countries.<br />

New Zealand By Rail, Cruise & Coach<br />

Discover both of New Zealand’s beautiful<br />

islands on this tour, which includes 4<br />

breathtaking rail journeys and 4 cruises.<br />

From Maori traditions to British treaties, we<br />

travel by rail, cruise and coach to see<br />

geyers, glaciers and wildlife to give you an<br />

authentic experience of the land of the<br />

long white cloud.<br />

Borneo Wilderness<br />

From tropical rainforests to idyllic beaches,<br />

experience exotic Borneo’s nature and<br />

wilderness fi rst hand. With no less than 3<br />

included river cruises, you will have plenty<br />

of chances to spot the array of wildlife<br />

that inhabits this mesmerising land, not to<br />

mention the chance to view the infamous<br />

Sepiok Orangutan.<br />

April – September 2020<br />

BY AIR<br />

Sep - Nov 20<strong>19</strong> - Jan - May 2020 • BY AIR<br />

8 Sept 20<strong>19</strong>, 10 Jun & 15 Sept 2020 • BY AIR

Why choose<br />

Shearings?<br />

The UK’s largest escorted tour company<br />


Over 100 years<br />

of experience<br />

Award-winning<br />

holidays<br />

Low deposits,<br />

from £65pp *<br />

Trusted hotels in<br />

excellent<br />

locations<br />

Over 600<br />

pick up points<br />

nationwide<br />

Over 200<br />

destinations<br />

worldwide<br />

Flexible travel options by<br />

coach, car, air and rail<br />

Up to 20kg luggage<br />

included in price †<br />

Award Winning Holidays<br />

facebook.com/groups/shearingstradeteam<br />

Need to talk to us online – visit shearingsagent.com<br />

and talk to us via webchat<br />

Terms and conditions apply. All prices are from prices and based on 2 people sharing a standard twin/double room.<br />

Single/room/cabin/fl ight supplements may apply. *£65pp deposit is based on UK coach holidays of 2 - 5 days only. †On UK and<br />

European coach holidays only. Prices correct as of 01/07/<strong>19</strong>. E&OE

94<br />



BORNEO<br />


Off the back of Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure,<br />

Titan <strong>Travel</strong> has launched a 13-day Wild Borneo<br />

tour. Exploring both the rivers and rainforest, it<br />

offers wildlife encounters with orangutan and the<br />

world's smallest bear. titantravel.co.uk<br />

Dream Yacht Charters offers<br />

seven-day sailing itineraries<br />

across the Mediterranean.<br />

Island hopping around Croatia<br />

involves exploring uninhabited<br />

islands and protected coves,<br />

avoiding all the tourist traps.<br />

dreamyachtsales.com<br />


As Italy celebrates the year of 'slow tourism', why<br />

not ease the pace and enjoy Tuscany by rail. Planet<br />

Rail offers six nights at the Relais dei Molini, a<br />

rural house set among olive trees. planetrail.co.uk<br />


Dine in period-style cars and sleep in luxurious<br />

Gold category rooms on Rovos Rail’s new<br />

Shongololo Express during an 18-night luxury<br />

journey across South Africa. saga.co.uk<br />


FRENCH<br />


Dive Worldwide offers yearround<br />

diving in the UNESCO<br />

Biosphere Reserve at Fakarava<br />

atoll, part of the Tuamotu<br />

group. Expect shark encounters<br />

and humpback whales.<br />

diveworldwide.com<br />


TOURING 95<br />


Rainbow Tours' new 12-day Colours of Colombia small-group<br />

tour begins in Bogotá before heading through the coffee region’s<br />

emerald hills to Caribbean Cartagena. Highlights include the<br />

underground Zipaquira Salt Cathedral. rainbowtours.co.uk<br />


Is there anything more festive than a German Christmas<br />

market tour featuring Aled Jones? The four-day trip features<br />

a Christmas concert in Cologne’s Trinitatiskirche church,<br />

featuring The Snowman singer himself. arenatravel.com<br />



Shearings Holidays has an Around the<br />

World in 30 Days tour. The whirlwind<br />

trip includes visits to New York and Los<br />

Angeles before clients jet off to New<br />

Zealand’s North Island. Clients will<br />

also get to see the Blue Mountains, just<br />

outside of Sydney, followed by Hong<br />

Kong and Singapore, before finishing on<br />

safari in South Africa. shearingsagent.com<br />

Thanks to its mainly flat terrain, cycling<br />

is a great way to explore Latvia, Lithuania<br />

and Estonia. The 11-day Cycle Tour in the<br />

Baltics starts in Lithuania's capital, Vilnius,<br />

and ends in Estonia's capital, Tallin. It also<br />

takes in Latvia's capital, Riga, a national<br />

park, beaches, Soviet architecture, a<br />

medieval castle and a meteorite crater.<br />

baltictravelcompany.com<br />



32 NEW TOURS<br />

New brochure out now!<br />

Find a Golden Ticket to WIN!<br />

We have hidden 50 Golden Tickets in our latest Holidays & Tours Collection<br />

brochure packs! Order now for your chance to win a wonderful prize!<br />

To redeem your prize, send a selfie with your voucher and tag Nic<br />

Newmarket on Facebook. Enter by 31st <strong>July</strong> 20<strong>19</strong>. T&C’s apply.<br />

Prizes include:<br />

• 1x Lake Garda Holiday for 2<br />

• 1x Samsung Galaxy Tablet<br />

• 1x 6 bottles of wine<br />

• 47x £20 Love2Shop Vouchers<br />

Your Escorted Tour Specialists<br />

For bookings, late availability offers, brochures, personalised posters & more,<br />

visit www.newmarketholidays.co.uk/agents-login<br />

or email us at travelagents@newmarketholidays.co.uk<br />

Order our 20<strong>19</strong>-2021 brochure at www.tradegate.co.uk

TOURING 97<br />

1<br />

2<br />



TOURS<br />


guided hiking adventure from Wilderness<br />

Ireland (wildernessireland.com) includes<br />

rambles along Inis Meáin in the Aran Islands;<br />

Burren National Park, said to have inspired<br />

Tolkien’s Middle Earth; and Killary Fjord, home<br />

to friendly pods of dolphins.<br />

3<br />


29-day self-drive from Silver Fern Holidays<br />

(silverfernholidays.com) marks the 250th<br />

anniversary of Captain Cook landing in New<br />

Zealand. Designed to entice intrepid explorers,<br />

it visits Ship Cove in Abel Tasman National<br />

Park, accessible only by boat or on foot.<br />


(sunvil.co.uk) seven-night self-drive begins in<br />

Southern Sweden’s rural Småland province. As<br />

well as the pretty Lake Möckeln and the dense<br />

forests of Store Mosse National Park, there’s<br />

time to visit the IKEA museum in Älmhult and<br />

discover more about those famous meatballs!<br />

4<br />


(intrepid.com) 15-day Wilderness of the West<br />

tour immerses guests in nomadic Mongolian<br />

culture. Stay with families in traditional gers<br />

and hear khoomii (traditional throat singing)<br />

before joining Kazakh eagle hunters.<br />


Follow the tracks of this elusive cat in Natural<br />

World Safaris' (naturalworldsafaris.com) journey<br />

through the mountains of Ladakh, India. Along<br />

the way, stop off at hilltop monasteries to<br />

experience the tranquil life of the Buddhist<br />

monks who meditate there.<br />

5<br />


98<br />



Is there anywhere more evocative of the<br />

journey itself than the American West?<br />

Its endless prairies, rushing rivers,<br />

deep canyons and soaring mountains,<br />

so sacred to Native Americans, proved<br />

the ultimate challenge to settlers from<br />

Europe. Now the ultimate touring<br />

destination, Wyoming's wide-open roads<br />

call to travellers from around the world.<br />

travelwyoming.com<br />


second edition<br />

brochure<br />

Our second edition features brand-new tours in Zimbabwe and southern<br />

India, plus all 2020 departure dates (and 2021 departures on a selection<br />

of long-haul holidays). Don’t forget, booking early guarantees your<br />

customers the best price possible.<br />

• VIP door-to-door travel service †<br />

• Fly from an airport near you*<br />

• Price Promise<br />

• Guaranteed departures<br />

Book online at www.titanagents.co.uk<br />

†Mainland UK only. *Supplements may apply




*Terms and conditions apply. Please see your local travel agent for full details.


SUMMER 2020<br />


OVER 50,000<br />




*Terms and conditions apply. Please see your local travel agent for full details.

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